The Harris Products Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of metalworking products used in welding, cutting, brazing and soldering, announced today that the company’s strategy to dramatically expand its distribution channel in South Africa has been an overwhelming success.

Harris began implementing the strategy earlier this year, providing South African customers in the mining, railroad, petrochemical, and auto assembly industries easier access to its products through additional distributors such as Renttech, Air Liquide and Brandweld in order to meet increased demand.   

Long part of the Afrox stable of products, Harris began manufacturing its own products for the South African market when competing brands began migrating to Chinese parts and products, challenging Harris’ market share. The Harris goods are being produced at its Dzierzoniów, Poland plant, one of the most modern manufacturing facilities in the world.

That strategy is now a proven success.  As of July 2012, bookings of Harris-branded gas equipment are three times higher than for all of 2010, and 2011.

“We’re very excited to announce the success of our South African business plan here at the Electra Mining Show,” said David J. Nangle, President & CEO, The Harris Products Group, and Vice President, The Lincoln Electric Company.  “This is a terrific opportunity to thank our customers in person and show them how we intend to build on this success moving forward.”

A key driver of this success is increased demand for two new Harris products—the Harris H28 Heavy Duty Hand Cutting Torch, designed for Foundry and Special Heavy Cutting applications, and the Harris 351 Flowmeter Regulator, which is more resistant to CO2 freeze-up and gauge damage than typical flow control devices.