Agriculture and irrigation is a growth market for Cummins
From agriculture and irrigation to mining and firefighting, Cummins supplies a range of high-quality engines for the pumps segment. Together these diverse industries represent a major growth opportunity and focus for ongoing innovation for the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the Africa and Middle East (AME) region.
This is according to Mohamed Othman, Industrial Pump Engines Segment Leader, who has been with Cummins Africa Middle East for seven years, and therefore has an in-depth knowledge of the market on the continent. “It is important to understand we do not supply pump products per se, but the engines that drive these pumps in various industries. Our focus has been, and will always continue to be, engine technology itself.”
Cummins supplies both end users and OEMs that manufacture pump products themselves. A major application for pumps, from construction to mining, is dewatering. In agriculture and irrigation, Cummins supplies variable-speed engines to optimise centre-pivot irrigation lines, while in the firefighting sector pumps are used to protect a range of assets, from commercial buildings to industrial plants and even oil-and-gas facilities.
Acknowledging that this is a highly competitive sector, Othman points out that what continues to give Cummins a leading edge on the continent is its distribution network, coupled with its aftermarket service and customer support. The OEM ensures it maintains a strategic stockholding of both engines and critical spares around the continent, thereby giving its customers peace-of-mind that any contingencies can be dealt with effectively and timeously.
From a fuel-consumption point of view, Cummins engine technology is far superior in terms of efficiency and emissions regulations. Cummins has a range of trusted and durable mechanical engines for the region’s specific requirements, arduous operating conditions, remote locations and related issues such as variable quality fuel supply. A major advantage here is simplified troubleshooting where technical expertise is not always available, which reduces downtime dramatically.
Key to Cummins’ customer focus is that it not only supplies products, but focuses on engine selection for the application in hand. “We work closely with our customers to ascertain their exact requirements, and from this information we can specify the most cost-effective and efficient solution, based on the optimum horsepower needed,” Othman explains.
Such a customised approach has the added benefit of reducing overall capital costs for clients. “The specific value-add that Cummins can bring to the table is that customers are guaranteed the lowest total cost of ownership in opting for our tailormade solutions.” This extends to customer-focused seminars, with events planned for this year from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to Johannesburg in South Africa, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, and Accra in Ghana. “Here we are able to spread the word about the latest developments in the industrial engine segment as it pertains to pumps in particular,” Othman notes.
Looking at growth opportunities on the continent, Othman singles out Zambia, Botswana, Ghana and South Africa for the mining industry, while agriculture and irrigation enjoy centre stage in North Sudan and Ethiopia. This growth is underpinned by innovative strategies such as introducing Key Account Initiatives, whereby Cummins engages with customers about optimising their existing fleets.
A particular success in this regard has been a repower project for a major mining house in Ghana, which has switched over from a competitor to engines from Cummins, as well as a major contract to supply engines to a major Saudi Arabian oil producer, one of the largest in the world.