- MAHLE ramps up production for large automotive OEM
Durban, South Africa - MAHLE Behr South Africa (MBZA), a specialist for automotive air conditioning and engine cooling in both passenger and commercial vehicles, recently launched their new production line to manufacture and supply engine cooling modules for the new BMW X3, which is being manufactured at BMW Group Plant Rosslyn in Tshwane. The manufacturing process requires sophisticated technology used for the first time in South Africa.
The result of a significant investment by MAHLE, this new production line is based at MAHLE’s plant in Durban and is currently ramping up to full production. MBZA’s commitment to localisation, in terms of the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP), focuses on expanding local suppliers’ capabilities through skills development and technology transfer.
“Localising is critical for the automotive industry if we are wanting to achieve sustainable growth in South Africa. This means, investing in the supply chain on the ground, in this way we work with suppliers to become globally competitive.” says Alex Holmes, Commercial Director for MBZA.
“A new building area has been allocated on the existing site and significant investment has been made in capital equipment and in the training of new employees, as the assembly process is totally new to the Durban site” says Holmes.
According to Holmes, the development of MBZA’s employee skills has been crucial to ensure that the quality of their components is in line with world standards. Therefore, MBZA has spent a significant amount of time and money training their employees both locally and abroad.
Further to this, MBZA is focused on the communities near to where they operate, and the areas in which their employees live. Through MAHLE’s mobile science lab, “Science2Go”, they are able to provide science and maths tuition to more than 20 000 learners from the local area each year.
“At MBZA we want to inspire, educate and spark the interest of science leaders for tomorrow” says Jolene van Heerden, Communications Manager for MAHLE Behr South Africa.
Bongekile Myende, a MBZA employee holding up a fan motor assemblyjust after it has passed the balancing check
Engine Cooling Module ready to be placed onto carrier for shipment (with Alex Holmes, Commercial Director of MAHLE Behr South Africa)
About the company
MAHLE Behr South Africa is a specialist component manufacturer of air conditioning and engine cooling products for both passenger and commercial vehicles.
The company is the local subsidiary of MAHLE, in Stuttgart Germany. The South African division has been part of Behr since 1999 and has plants in Durban and Port Elizabeth.
The final products currently manufactured include components for engine cooling modules, radiators, charge air coolers, condensers, and evaporators in Durban, and HVAC and aluminium and stainless steel tubes in Port Elizabeth.
Jolene van Heerden, Communications Manager
Tel: 031 7197718 Mobile: 0836307503
- NAACAM Media release: 24 April 2018
Increased Localisation opportunities exist for SA Automotive Component Manufacturers
Localisation opportunities should increase for South Africa-based automotive suppliers.
This is one of the key findings contained in the South African Automotive Supplier Industry Benchmark Report 2018. The report, produced for the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM), is based on research undertaken by B&M Analysts, a specialist benchmarking consultancy, and stems from their comprehensive benchmarking activities in the automotive sector. The report contains benchmark data for South Africa-based suppliers, as well as comparators from developed and less-developed countries.
Renai Moothilal, NAACAM Executive Director, highlighted, “The customer benchmark findings contained in the latest report confirm that local OEMs are wanting to increase their purchases from South Africa suppliers.”
Moothilal added, “Three-quarters of the SA OEM customer respondents engaged with in 2017, indicated that they are looking at increasing their total buy from current local suppliers in coming years. This is related to purchasing more of the same products and expanding the range of products bought from suppliers. It also includes the increased buy of newly developed products from local suppliers. This seems to reflect a change in the way localisation has been viewed, and is possibly reflective of OEMs starting to plan for a future production environment that rewards higher localisation.”
This year’s report outlines steps suppliers can take to unlock these opportunities. It found that local suppliers need to focus attention on better meeting customer product development demands. To achieve this, local suppliers need to ensure an improved understanding of customer development needs, as well as what skills and supporting capital and technology is required to realise increased growth opportunities from local OEM customers. In addition, suppliers need to look at influencing and situating the development needs of local customers within their research and development networks, whether globally located or not.
Moothilal reflected on the important role that government’s support programmes, especially the DTI’s Automotive Production Development Programme (APDP) and its associated cash grant, the Automotive Investment Scheme (AIS), is playing in supporting the industry’s localisation drive. The soon-to-be-announced post-2020 automotive policy is expected to have a heightened focus on localisation in the sector, with work to date having highlighted the importance of shifting South Africa’s current localisation average of less than 40% to 60% by 2035.
Moothilal concluded by confirming, “The automotive sector remains a priority South African manufacturing sector, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP and export basket. Whilst the production of local OEMs is crucial, the largest economic spinoffs will be realised in the supply chain.”
The South African Automotive Supplier Industry Benchmark Report 2018 is delivered as part of NAACAM’s continued focus on keeping the local industry and its members appraised of relevant industry trends, developments and focus areas. This includes the assessed benchmarked performance of the local supplier industry.
(Note: To view the full report and executive summary, register on the Member Access Area on the home page)
The Mandela Bay Composites Cluster and eNtsa, an engagement institute within the Nelson Mandela University have signed a co-operation agreement which is set to boost the development and use of composites in South Africa.
In terms of a Memorandum of Understanding the two entities will work together to unlock value for local manufacturers by optimising access to the world class, Composites Innovation Centre (CIC), housed on campus.
The CIC, managed by eNtsa, contains cutting edge research and testing technology funded by the Department of Science and Technology through the CSIR.
Cluster MD Andy Radford said through the signed MOU, National cluster participants could have their costs for utilizing the CIC subsidised, while the centre would also host workshops and training to grow awareness and access.
"We want to ensure that the facilities are used optimally and that business grows through this partnership,'' Radford said.
The CIC through eNtsa has already undertaken numerous industry projects including the development of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) skills used in the development of a lightweight wing structure, the building of a large 3D printer capable of printing the moulds for the manufacture of turbine blades and the design and build of a car spare wheel using composites.
Radford said a complex process of reverse engineering skills was used recently to identify weaknesses in a boat, which was laser scanned, the CAD of which was then altered to the desired design, after which a plug was machined and the moulds built.
"The initial parts from the moulds were built using vacuum infusion as a viable technology for boat building and to ensure that a light consistent build was achieved".
"The CIC and eNtsa, have demonstrated the ability to assist industry with complex solutions and to support and stimulate local engineering innovation and the competitiveness of local manufacturers which will enable industry to exploit and develop new markets.
"The new MOU between the composites industry body and CIC will lift the lid even further,'' Radford said.
Andy Radford, Managing Director
Cell: 072 375 3671
Phone: 041 502 3714
Please click here
for an invitation from the dti to join an official visit with Minister Davies to France. The targeted delegate profile will suit executive management of companies with export and/or investment links to French companies. NAACAM supports such as part of a wider strategy of increasing profile and visibility of SA component producers. Costs will be self borne with RSVP's and other logistical arrangements to be finalized directly through the dti contacts as listed.
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