Driving down component turnaround time while bettering high quality and reducing waste is being achieved at Weir Minerals Africa’s thrilling new Replicast Plant in Isando, Gauteng.
Umar Smith, plant manager at Weir Minerals Africa’s Isando facility, highlights that the innovative development permits the company to produce more elements at a time – and extra quickly. This will assist in meeting rising buyer demand, while also reducing rework and wastage.
“As Whopping of our Project Vuka, this new plant allows us to forged a number of small components per batch quite than simply one at a time,” says Smith. “We can even cut back our knock-out occasions from days to simply a few hours.”
The state-of-the-art facilities allow Weir Minerals Africa to forged excessive chrome elements weighing as a lot as 250 kg. There are two phases to the new course of, he explains, which makes use of polystyrene to create moulds. The first part is the polystyrene moulding process, which occurs after the polystyrene beads have been expanded. The second part is the place the ramming, pouring and demoulding takes place.
In Bonanza to the standard moulding line – where resin and catalyst are used to bind sand – the Replicast Plant makes use of silica sand of 30-35 AFS grade together with the polystyrene mould, he says. The system entails a vacuum bin, from which all the air is eliminated to compress the sand.
“The absence of resin and catalyst – as nicely as having no clamping course of – results in much less scrap being produced, and due to this fact brings operational financial savings,” he says. “The quality of castings is also raised, with a greater surface end and fewer defects.”
He notes that the geometrical stability of components is improved, as there’s much less fettling of the finished product thereby reducing dimensional variation between the same parts. This in turn contributes to the reliability of the tools utilizing those elements. He says the foundry may even realise significant environmental advantages as a end result of utilizing no chemicals within the sand.
“This new plant aligns nicely with our corporate sustainability goals, making certain that our processes aren’t only compliant however continuously reduce our environmental impression,” says Smith. “Our new moulding techniques ensure that fewer gases are emitted during the casting course of, and there are zero emissions of dangerous substances such as benzene.”
The new expertise is also resulting in less frequent disposal of silica sand, and the sand itself is more environmentally friendly as it accommodates no resin or acid.
“A remarkable side of growing this new plant was the fact that it was carried out with our native skills and largely through the COVID-19 lockdowns,” he says. “Despite the novelty of this expertise, and the logistical challenges created by the pandemic, it was efficiently implemented on time and within finances.”
The plant includes greater than 16,000 particular person elements, and uses over 1,900 m of cabling, 300 m of water piping and fifty five tons of metal.

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