Prowalco Tatsuno ICON technology for the farming community

The ICON 5000 series is perfect for small and large-scale farmers
The ICON 5000 series is perfect for small and large-scale farmers

A locally-developed and manufactured fuel-dispensing and management solution that not only removes the burden from farmers of maintaining logbooks, but allows them to cut costs, improve uptime, and hence focus on their core business of farming, will be on display at the Goscor Group stand at Grain SA’s NAMPO Harvest Day.

The proudly South African solution is designed and manufactured by Prowalco Tatsuno, which has a Level 1 B-BBEE rating, and was established in 1960. The company has the lion’s share of both the fuel-pump and dispenser supply and maintenance market in South Africa. It also specialises in facility maintenance, with longstanding contracts with leading players. Along with the Goscor Group, both companies form part of the larger Bud Group.

This association has the added benefit of extending Prowalco Tatsuno’s footprint in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, where it can piggyback off the presence of fellow Bud Group subsidiaries from Zambia to Namibia, Swaziland, and Botswana. In addition, the company has an 80-strong technician team in South Africa, in addition to a maintenance team supporting its distributors in other countries.

Taking pride-of-place on the Prowalco Tatsuno portion of the Goscor Group stand at NAMPO 2019 will be the ICON 5000 Series commercial range, aimed at farms, mines, and large corporates. With a local content of over 70%, and manufactured at the company’s Johannesburg factory, some of the imported components are the Tatsuno pumping unit and meter, which have proven to be of a very high quality.

Tatsuno acquired a 3% stake in Prowalco in January 2018, and is collaborating with the local company in its software development. The leading-edge ICON electronics is highly advanced, with its reliability proving itself across more than 300 installed sites. “As a result, we are pursuing international accreditation, which means that Tatsuno will be adopting our locally-developed electronics for some of their markets,” Prowalco Tatsuno CEO Annali May reveals.

The ICON 5000 series is perfect for small and large-scale farmers, as it consists of both a fuel-dispensing and fleet-management solution. This is critical for the agricultural industry, with the latest requirements from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) stipulating a detailed breakdown of fuel consumption per piece of equipment. As a result, Prowalco Tatsuno attracted a lot of attention at NAMPO 2018, and hopes to consolidate its presence at the leading agricultural exhibition again this year.

“The main attraction for farmers is that the ICON 5000 Series is very user-friendly, providing real-time information that can be used to generate statistical reports,” May explains. In addition, the pumps themselves are cloud-based, which means that technicians can log into them remotely and often fix any problems without having to go into the field.

This ‘smart’ capability of the pumps also allows for automatic diagnosis and self-repair, or the unit can flag the issue with the call centre for follow-up. If technicians are required to be dispatched to site, they can arrive with the exact spares required, which reduces downtime significantly. “The fact that we manufacture locally means that parts and back-up are readily available, which is critical for the agricultural industry to maintain its productivity,” May comments.

She points out that major oil suppliers are looking at the commercial side of their operations to maintain growth and expansion, which means an increased demand for maintenance and upgrades. This has seen Prowalco Tatsuno enter 2019 with a healthy order book, and a strong foothold in the farming community in particular.

Elaborating on the importance of exhibiting at NAMPO 2019, May stresses that the agricultural exhibition provides for invaluable brand awareness. “We also find that a lot of attendees are from related industries, and on the lookout for solutions to similar requirements for their own markets. This not only gives NAMPO a broad focus, but makes it a high-level exhibition.”

Looking at the latest trends in the agricultural industry, which is under margin pressure and rising costs due to the ongoing drought, May says farmers – especially small-scale farmers with only a few fuel pumps – rely on equipment that can perform in arduous African operating conditions, and on dependable companies that can provide the necessary back-up and support.

“Uptime and customer service are critical in the farming community,” May highlights. Prowalco Tatsuno prides itself on providing complete solutions, and on constantly improving its technology. “Our solutions are also easily scalable, and can be customised to specific customer requirements if need be. We are also constantly developing and refining our products,” she concludes.

Visit Prowalco Tatsuno, part of the Bud Group, at the Goscor Group at Stand C17 at NAMPO 2019 from 14 to 17 May in Bothaville in the Free State . For more information go to