Early last year Multotec’s stated aim was to become the leading screening media technology solutions provider for the global minerals processing industry within the next decade. As part of its strategy, the Group has implemented a number of initiatives that include a drive to form collaborative partnerships in the industry.
“In the past, collaboration with respect to screen media was mainly conceived within the local minerals processing environment and included inter mineral cooperation. A major step instituted by Multotec has been the establishment of collaborative initiatives on a global scale and, most importantly, across a number of other industry sectors, such as industrial processing, chemicals, food and beverage and aggregates,” Rhodes Nelson, managing director at Multotec Manufacturing, says.
“Collaboration on a global scale with international sister companies allows us to bring screen media technologies and solutions into Africa. This is an important learning curve both in terms of market sustainability and understanding what needs to be done in both mature and emerging competitive markets,” he adds.
He explains that by being exposed to international trends in the first world, Multotec’s South African screen media manufacturing operation is able to extrapolate this information and apply product and applications knowledge to local scenarios. He cites as an example Germany’s intention to cease coal mining in 2018. “By being part of a global collaboration in this well-developed market, we are gaining valuable insights into alternative markets. This scenario is obviously a very real challenge that we may well have to face at some future date in Africa, and we will certainly be better equipped as a result of our early exposure to this issue.”
Another very significant initiative is the acceleration of Multotec’s collaborative screen media R&D programme with tertiary institutions, and Rhodes points out that this includes a number of universities in South Africa. “Traditionally R&D was conducted in isolation with outside sources, but it is the sharing of information with tertiary facilities that will facilitate independently verifiable outcomes. This is something that we vigorously support and we believe it provides industry with reassurance in regard to the results of any research undertaken by Multotec,” Nelson says.
Africa continues to be an area for growth and expansion and Multotec has a well-established screen media footprint on the continent. Nelson says that it is the Group’s intention to continue to expand its market share, through a combination of Multotec companies and third party distributors.
“Participation in the African market needs to be undertaken on a country by country basis, due to the diversity of cultures within the region and the business models which vary from one country to another. By leveraging relationships centred around on-the-ground representation by people who are committed and understand that country/region, we are confident that we will continue to grow our presence.”
Multotec’s goal to become a more solutions oriented group will be achieved in large part by participating in customer driven R&D. “By strengthening existing customer relationships and understanding market requirements we will be in a better position to provide screening and other solutions to specific customer needs. This will result in a shift from merely pushing product into the market and more of an integrated approach that considers collaboration with customers,” Nelson says.