African Fusion visits Afrox’s NAMPO stand in Bothaville and talks to Johan Pieterse and Brett Cameron about welding solutions for the farming community.
“As the leading welding and gas supplier in Africa, we feel that it is very important to support the farming community and that is why, year-on-year, you will find a permanent Afrox stand at A1 at the NAMPO show,” says Afrox’s Johan Pieterse. “We are here to interact, meet and speak to existing and prospective customers in the agricultural industry and we have specialists on hand to provide welding and product advice,” he adds.
Grain SA’s NAMPO Harvest Day exhibition is the largest agricultural show in the Southern Hemisphere: “Our opportunity here is to both showcase our capabilities and to sell directly into the farming community, who don’t just come here to look, they come to buy. So for this week, we offer great specials on the typical products farmers need to maintain their equipment: welding inverters, PortaPack cutting equipment and our premium Vitamax all-purpose welding electrodes, for example. So far, the response has been very good,” Pieterse tells African Fusion.
“Also every year, we organise an activity to transfer some skills and to get farmers into welding. This year we have a daily welding competition with 60 people entering every day. The best welder on each day walks away with a new Afrox 200 A MMA welding machine, a welding helmet and a pack of Vitemax welding electrodes. Then on the last day, each of the winners goes into a draw for a PortaPak gas cutting system,” Pieterse informs African Fusion.
“Agricultural equipment such as wagons, planters, harvesters and irrigation systems all depend on sound steel structures to enable them to function. And while there are many maintenance professionals who do repairs, more and more farmers are now setting up their own repair workshops. So there really is a need and a market for quality products. And the skills are here: the people we are seeing entering the competition and trying out our machines are good at welding,” Pieterse says.
Top of the list of not-to-be-missed NAMPO promotions for the farming environment include Afrox’s premium Vitemax electrodes for mild steel applications. “Vitamax is being sold at excel- lent prices this year and some farmers are buying them by the tonne,” says Pieterse, adding that the ‘pay and collect’ option has also returned, offering customers the chance to take advantage of discounted prices on promotional items and then collect their purchases from their nearest Afrox branch.
Brett Cameron, Afrox’s arc equipment manager, takes African Fusion on a tour of the Miller and Transarc range of welding machines on offer, starting with a 200 A Miller Thunderbolt inverter on promotion at 15% less than retail.
“We are also offering specials on our in-house Afrox Industrial range,” he says, pointing towards a Transarc 200 A inverter with a built in lift-TIG facility. “These inverters incorporate a voltage reducing device (VRD), which enables lift-TIG and softer starting during MMA welding,” Cameron notes, adding that this makes them ideal and very popular for repair and maintenance work.
“Also on sale is our Afrox Industrial 251 single-phase compact multi-process MIG/stick/lift-TIG machine, which provides the flexibility needed in small farm workshops. And for the DIY market, we have a basic 200 A machine that we are selling here at only R1 600 including VAT,” he adds.
Another NAMPO highlight is the exclusive Agrigas and Porta range of gas cylinders, which gives farmers the option of acquiring a cylinder without paying any rental fees. This range consists of the PortaPak® oxygen and acetylene cylinders for gas cutting, as well as Portashield® shielding gas for MIG welding and PortaTIG® shielding gas for TIG welding.
“We at Afrox are committed to our customers and to becoming the preferred supplier of choice for all the welding and gas equipment requirements of the farming community,” Pieterse concludes.