Sucrotech reaches a Golden milestone. In operation since 1973 a 50th Birthday this Year.

Sucrotech original registered name was Electrotech, which undertook the electrification of new sugar mills as they were being built in Southern Africa.

The BMA link and agency only came about in the 80’s after the Government moratorium on the repatriation of funds causing BMA / LTA to close their local office in South Africa once the contract of building Simunye was fulfilled.

As the BMA’s new agent back then Sucrotech supplied various equipment for both front and back ends of the new factory’s from diffusers and dewatering mills to evaporation, crystallization and drying. The last front-end installation undertaken by Sucrotech was Komati Sugar Mill phase II.

Call outs for assessments before the mills stops crushing for off crop are becoming more of the norm as factory rely more on the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) technicians to tell the mills what should be done in off-rope either by the mill or Sucrotech to keep the machine safe and ready for start-up.

Mills and refineries that have used this service in the past, and that are users of OEM equipment and consumables, know well that this service is provided free of charge.

Today we focus more on the design of backend equipment but still also on the highly efficient diffusion extraction plants.

Sucrotech services for technical and process assistance was started in 2002 when the sugar industry started to lose skilled persons to other industries and offshore. At this time, we started to build up a technical force which now has seven certified technicians in crystal separation, programming, and the mechanical assistance with batch and continuous centrifugals.

SASTA 2023. Paper given by Dr Lehnberger on FFE’s

With the off-crop work in full swing at our factory, we are this year, more so than in previous, received broken, incorrectly manufactured, wrong material non-OEM Centrifugal components that have been in operation at massive risk to the machine and operators.

These components have either been incorrectly repaired by the mills themselves or supplied by companies who perceive, incorrectly, to be able to supply or repair fast rotating centrifugal components to BMA standards.

We have this year repaired or replace numerous main bearing housings, distributors, main spindles and baskets all which have prematurely failed / cracked because of not being manufactured to OEM tolerances and material specifications.

Not all BMA spares are ex import. Sucrotech is allowed to manufacture certain spares locally in accordance with BMA specifications to be able to use our costings and keeping the pricing local.

So, if you believe that you are getting the real or compatible component from others at a lesser price it is in fact, a lesser product which does one of three things;

  1. Either it breaks putting your machine and operating persons in harm’s way.
  2. Does not give the required process requirements.
  3. Or does not last as long in operation before requiring replacement.

All three relate to higher costs in the long run.

For your amusement and expense, we include pictures of the some of this year’s findings.


Counterfeit Products. Learn the warning signs

Counterfeit products are a growing concern for businesses and consumers alike. Not only do they undermine legitimate businesses with potential legal or reputational risks, but they can also be dangerous and have serious cost implications. As such, it is imperative that you are equipped to protect yourself and your business from illicit products.

To avoid counterfeit products, the initial step is to become familiar with the discerning signs that differentiate an authentic product from an illicit one, such as:

  • Prices that seem too good to be true.
  • Packaging that looks different or low-quality.
  • Products that don’t have a brand name or have a misspelled name.
  • Products that are sold through unauthorized channels or sellers.
  • Products that don’t have a serial number or other identifying marks.

Adhering to the following steps will ensure that you only purchase legitimate products and protect your business from the risks associated with counterfeit products:

  • Purchasing products from reputable authorised distributors.
  • If in doubt, verify the authenticity of products before purchasing.
  • Checking the packaging and labelling for any signs of tampering or counterfeiting.

If you suspect that a product you have purchased is counterfeit, it’s important to act and request assistance to verify authenticity from the authorised distributors/agent.

You don’t need to be a separation expert to visually see the difference in uniformity / sizing of the slots. It’s clear that the one will do less curing and cause increase losses in the run-off.
From a measure properties point of view, it is clear that the one is more nickel with a lesser chrome covering but still less in overall thickness. Add to this the 20% reduction in the hardened working surface it is clear the OEM screen will provide extensively more operational time.

Programming old systems. Providing what you need

Ageing machines with hard-wire, analogue limited operations can be updated to compete with the new model’s operational technology whether for batch or continuous centrifugals.

These updates not only provide a safer and more flexible operation but also includes replacing out-dated signal equipment to more dependable proxy and electronic measuring equipment.

The design of these programming systems allows for the upgrading from manual operation to automatic operation with far less reliance on operator input with latest PLC’s and touch screen operator panels.

This service supply is provided together with our partners at AMSI.

Refinery filtration. Single stage membrane filters.

Putsch Germany has now installed single stage filtration in various sugar factories including MSM Malaysia, two into the China Sugar Industry and with another being installation at a Tate and Lyle refinery in Portugal.

The sophistication of membrane filtration presses designed by Putsch is now able to filtrate the syrup and remove the ‘muds’ into dry filter cake in a single process as can be seen in comparing the schematics below.

Carbonatation Refinery Sluiced Mud Filtration              

Carbonatation Refinery Single Stage Filtration

Why have two lots of filtration when one will do.


Ronnie Chetty          - Business Manager Sugar

Sheryl Moodley        - Spares servicing            

Cheryl Callanan        - Accounts 

Clayton Chinneck         - Works Manager

Stuart Ritchie            - Engineering

Ian Ivison                  - Commercial

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