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EM introduces latest Italian electrical connection systems into SA
27 June 2017
EM introduces latest Italian electrical connection systems into SA

Cembre SpA, a leading Italian manufacturer of electrical connectors, crimping and cutting tools, railroad products, identification and labelling systems, concluded an exclusive distribution agreement with ElectroMechanica (EM) of Johannesburg on 1 March.

The family-owned Cembre SpA has its main manufacturing facility in Brescia in Northern Italy, explains Area Manager Paolo Baldo, who visited South Africa recently as part of a delegation to conclude the distribution agreement with EM, and to demonstrate its extensive product range to potential customers. The company has a second smaller manufacturing facility in Birmingham in the UK focusing on speciality products.

“We pride ourselves on the fact that we produce every single component of our products. From design to manufacture and servicing, everything is done in-house. We hardly rebrand other company’s components as our own. We have to be sure of the quality of the products we sell, and the only way to guarantee this is if we manufacture everything ourselves,” Baldo asserts.

The Italian OEM specialises in electrical connection systems that combine a copper connector, a die, and a tool in a single integrated package. “We are selling a total system as opposed to a standalone product. If you have a bad connector and a good tool, the result remains a faulty electrical connection, and vice versa. Our systems approach is predicated to our commitment to the highest product quality possible,” Baldo stresses.

Cembre SpA also manufactures an industrial marking range to label and identify a range of electrical and automation components, from wires to panels, push buttons, and circuit breakers. “All electrical and automation components need to be identified properly, so that anyone going on-site can see exactly what is going on.” Here again the OEM supplies a total solution, from the printer itself to the consumables it utilises.

“This is a particular speciality on our part that continues to give us a leading edge in the market. While there is a plethora of consumable producers, there are very few making both the consumables and the printers themselves from scratch like we do. Again, we own the proprietary technology that makes up the entire system, which has proven to be very good for us in terms of growth,” Baldo highlights.

Lastly, Cembre SpA produces speciality products for the maintenance of railway lines. Traditionally, electrical rail contacts are welded to provide the necessary energy transmission between the cable and the rail itself. However, this is process was highly dependent on the expertise of the worker carrying out the welding process.

“We tried to figure out how to make this process better and more reliable, and less dependent on external factors such as human labour and climatic conditions,” Baldo stresses. The particular innovation that Cembre SpA has come up with in this regard involves extruding a copper bush into a pre-drilled hole, which results in the external surface of the bush being tightened and sealed against the hole surface, in order to provide the necessary electrical contact.

Baldo explains that Cembre SpA was approached by EM to become its exclusive distributor in Southern Africa after CEO Dave van den Berg began using some of its products locally. “This coincided with our own strategy of moving away from projects themselves to broader-based distribution. The advantage of projects is their size, scope, and duration, but they are highly sensitive to economic conditions and financial uncertainty.”

Africa remains a key focus for Cembre SpA, Baldo asserts. “Mediterranean Africa is more akin to Europe, while Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be driven by South Africa itself. Overall it is a market with a huge potential for growth.”

Commenting on his visit to South Africa, Baldo reveals that there has been much interest in the Italian manufacturer’s innovative products, testament to EM’s strategy of introducing only the best and highest-quality technology available globally.

“When we visit customers, we always bring our products along, especially a couple of tools with some lugs and a sample of cable just to show the actual crimping process itself. Customers like to identify with what you are trying to demonstrate to them by seeing it in action,” he concludes.

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