30 January 2013 – Powertech Transformers, a subsidiary of Powertech and the JSE listed Altron group, announced a collaborative research and development project with the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Pretoria, through funding received from the department of science and technology’s (DST) technology localisation programme.

Beeuwen Gerryts, chief director: technology localisation and advanced manufacturing says that DST’s goal for its technology localisation programme is to help increase the competitiveness and capability of local companies by providing increased access to new technologies, skills and innovations – in the form of technology assistance packages (TAPs) − to qualifying South African companies. These companies are then able to increase the level of local components and services provided to South Africa’s state-owned companies (SOCs). Ultimately, the aim is to increase the level of local manufacturing capabilities and activities, and thereby reduce the reliance on imports, resulting in increased skills development and sustainable work opportunities.

Powertech Transformers (PTT) is one of the companies that qualified to benefit from this programme. Its first major R&D project relates to the short-circuit withstand ability of transformers. Through this project PTT will further develop knowledge, empirical factors and engineering models representing the short circuit characteristics of transformers, establishing a local knowledge base.  

Bernard Meyer, CEO Powertech Transformers says, “for PTT to prosper and grow it must do more than keep up with its competitors. Getting ahead means innovation which hinges on R&D. The collaborative R&D opportunities through the CSIR, DST and University of Pretoria provide us with a sound platform to excel and at the same time boost local transformer engineering design and manufacturing capabilities.”

Powertech Transformers manufactures power and distribution transformers for sub-Saharan Africa at its operations in Pretoria West, Cape Town and Johannesburg.