ABB South Africa’s facility in Alrode, near Johannesburg, was established in 1981 to produce high voltage (HV) machines and specialises in manufacturing to order components for motors and generators. With a commitment to skills development and localisation, and following a recent investment in, and transfer of, knowledge and skills, the facility is now fully compliant with the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti’s) >70% local sourcing regulations.

ABB Alrode motor and generator facility now fully compliant

Boasting a working area of 6000 m2, the motors and generators area is equipped with a 15 tonne high speed balancing machine, cranes with lifting capacities of 80 tonnes, and a load test facility of 13,8 kV, 6 mW. The facility is also home to a dedicated, state-of-the-art coil shop, part of ABB’s commitment to the region and to modernising local manufacturing facilities in line with the best in the world. The factory is recognised by industry as being a machines manufacturer for safe and classified areas.

Since its inception, the facility has produced a total of >60 000 mW worth of motors with ratings of up to 29 mW, 13,8 kV, running at up to 6000 rpm. The largest motors have had up to 1200 frames and 36 poles. Types include slip ring induction motors, cage induction motors, synchronous motors and generators with ratings of 550 kW to 20 mW, 355 to 1200 frames, 50/60 Hz, 3,3 to 13,8 kV, variable and fixed speed types.

“We have also designed and built motors and generators tailored for the local market at this facility,” says ABB South Africa’s MOMG Regional Service Manager, David Warne. “These include high customisable Q range machines (engineered modular motors) designed to directly replace current installations of older obsolete machines, comply with ever advancing safe and classified area standards or meet increased performance requirements,” he explains.

Ensuring greater than 70% localisation, ABB’s Alrode motor facility is fully compliant with the dti’s requirements regarding the following components and manufacturing processes:

• Casting or frame fabrication.
• Fabrication and stator-core winding.
• Fabrication and rotor-core winding.
• Accessories.
• Assembly and testing of fully built units.

In fact, ABB is one of only a few large OEMs in the country that fully meets the dti’s requirements.


Local manufacture has many benefits for customers, from ABB’s improved Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) rating, to reduced costs, improved efficiencies and shortened turnaround times which result in better after sales service and access to parts. Building an agile and customer focused organisation increases ABB’s competitiveness in the market, creating opportunities for export into neighbouring markets. This forms part of ABB’s focus on customer centricity.

Service and repairs

The facility’s after sales and repair service provides fast and effective product support to ensure that ABB or non-ABB motors and generators deliver maximum availability throughout their lifetime. ABB also offers recommended upgrades or replacement machines that offer the best options for enhancing operational lifetime and performance.

Through the application of the latest design techniques and insulation methods, motors and generators repaired by ABB stand to have a longer life within the parameters of their original design criteria. ABB also offers comprehensive design, Finite Element Analysis, diagnostic analysis, testing, balancing and advanced digital twin lifecycle management services. A dedicated field service offering supports installation, supervision, commissioning, and a range of field bound maintenance services, designed to increase the reliability of the motors and generators.

The Alrode facility is able to offer a full range of genuine OEM spare parts, including commissioning parts, operational parts, preventative maintenance kits and capital parts. Combining the best available materials with superior technology, the electric motors and generators from ABB are designed to operate reliably in every industry and application, no matter how challenging the process or application, with the lowest life cycle costs.

ABB’s product lifecycle management model is designed to provide proactive service offerings for increasing availability and performance. The model not only delivers optimum support to end users, but also ensures a smooth transition to a new machine at the end of the current machine’s service life. Typical applications for these motors and generators include blowers, Banbury mixer, chippers, crushers, compressors, conveyors, extruders, fans, hoists, mill stands, mixers, pulpers, pumps, refiners, rolling mill, roller press and sugarcane mill.

Enquiries: +27 (0)10 202 5617

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