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AZIZE Equipment unleashes Sunward, ushering in a new era in surface drilling

AZIZE Equipment (Pty) Ltd. makes its mark on African soil having secured the sole rights to supply, service and support the full line of world-class quality Sunward drill rigs and excavators to South Africa and surrounding countries. 

Listed on the Shenzen stock exchange and a top 50 global construction equipment manufacturer that produces over 11 000 excavators and drilling rigs per annum, Sunward Equipment Group is perfectly positioned as a highly reputable and experienced partner for AZIZE. The extensive Sunward offering was unveiled during a prestigious launch in Carolina, Mpumalanga, on 07 and 08 June 2019, laying a solid foundation in Southern Africa’s surface drilling industry.

“We are extremely excited about the birth of a 100% black owned AZIZE, a Level 1 company, and our partnership with the globally renowned Sunward Equipment Group,” says an enthusiastic Pascal Mbambo, Managing Director of AZIZE Equipment. “The name AZIZE is of Afro-Asiatic origin meaning powerful and valuable which is a perfect representation of our company, products and services as well as how we perceive our customers.”

Mbambo is supported by a team of experts including company director Basie Roelofse who brings a wealth of engineering and drilling expertise to the AZIZE table. This formidable AZIZE team boasts a strong operational background in and deep knowledge of the surface drilling sector and is capable of meeting the challenges faced by this complex industry. On the one hand, the high capital expenditure and associated maintenance and service cost structures make the procurement of a new drill rig virtually impossible for smaller businesses. But owning the right equipment is only the first step. The drilling and blasting business is centred on meters drilled and tons or cubic meters moved which directly correlate to efficiency, uptime and availability.

Sunward SWDE165A drilling rig from Azize

“These critical factors are essential for operational sustainability and profitability, underpinned by the fundamentally important aspect of safety in this notoriously challenging environment,” notes Roelofse. “Our hands-on experience with a variety of drilling rigs has given us a unique insight into the key success elements enabling us to equip customers with the right tools to manage their drilling operation.” As a single source supplier, AZIZE delivers high quality drilling machines supported by skilled technicians and exceptional service to the customer’s doorstep.

Sunward is a well-tested and globally respected brand and is certainly not new to the African continent. Outside of South Africa, numerous Sunward machines operate in Namibia, Zimbabwe and the DRC. “Having owned, operated and maintained various different brands of drilling rigs including Sunward machines and having drilled in all typical geologies, we were highly impressed by Sunward’s holistic capabilities,” says Roelofse.

While Sunward machines feature all the best-in-class components necessary to get the job done and compete head to head with other brands, they are significantly less complex than many other options in the market. This straight-forward no-frills package signifies ruggedness, reliability, simple and easy operation and serviceability for improved uptime and enhanced profitability at the lowest total cost of ownership. Through these perfect fit-for-Africa machines, AZIZE has the potential to further grow the Sunward footprint across the continent.

AZIZE is targeting surface drilling companies engaged primarily in blast hole drilling in all geological formations across the mining, quarry and construction industries. Aligning to these sectors, the Sunward range is ideally suited to mine owners,drilling contractors, and drilling and blast contractors who are looking for modern, safe, efficient and reliable surface drilling rigs that positively impact their bottom line.

The company offers three distinct Sunward surface drilling machines; two crawler-type Top hammer models (from 64mm up to 115mm dia. with hole depths up to 25m) and a range of DTH (Down The Hole) drilling rigs (from 90mm up to 255mm dia. with hole depths up to 36m). Rounding off the product portfolio is the Sunward excavator range with 105mm to 165mm dia. and up to 36m hole depths.

Powered by Tier 111a engines, the fuel efficient, low emission Sunward machines uphold standard ergonomics and safety designs, featuring cab air conditioning, radios as well as LED lights.

The AZIZE launch showcased several Sunward machines including the SWDE165A drilling rig which features a fully automatic hands-free carousel, ROPS/FOPS, a cyclonic dust suppression system as well as rod lubrication system, a compliant FOGMAKER automatic fire suppression system and a 1070 cfm, 20bar compressor, all fitted as standard. Also generating a great deal of interest at the launch was the SWDR138H excavator rig, currently the only drilling rig to have a full OEM certification that covers the full rig, from tower to compressor and everything in between.

The extensive product suite is supplied from AZIZE’s Carolina head office. With a twelve-strong sales and service team the business occupies 2500sqm of undercover space for administration, service and parts.

AZIZE has invested substantially in training, a key element to ensure the correct and safe operation of Sunward machines for optimal and reliable performance.  Three factory-trained engineers have moved to Carolina to train and transfer skills to the service and commissions team. Plans for substantial expansion include a training centre and test site that will offer a turnkey solution for our drilling customers. The unique training centre will also accommodate trainees during conversion and training on machines. Committed to job creation, AZIZE plans to open branches in small South African mining towns with high unemployment levels. “While our main focus is on black-owned companies, we are also looking to partner with small and start-up businesses,” confirms Mbambo. He adds that AZIZE is poised to grow with customer demand through the expansion of the Sunward machine offerings as well as through the establishment of footholds in Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.                                                     

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