Driving down element turnaround time whereas enhancing high quality and reducing waste is being achieved at Weir Minerals Africa’s thrilling new Replicast Plant in Isando, Gauteng.
Umar Smith, plant supervisor at Weir Minerals Africa’s Isando facility, highlights that the progressive growth enables the company to supply extra components at a time – and extra quickly. This will help in assembly rising customer demand, whereas additionally lowering rework and wastage.
“As a half of our Project Vuka, this new plant allows us to cast a quantity of small parts per batch quite than just one by one,” says Smith. “We also can cut back our knock-out instances from days to only a few hours.”
The state-of-the-art services enable Weir Minerals Africa to cast high chrome elements weighing up to 250 kg. There are two phases to the new process, he explains, which makes use of polystyrene to create moulds. The first phase is the polystyrene moulding course of, which happens after the polystyrene beads have been expanded. Cheat sheet is where the ramming, pouring and demoulding takes place.
In contrast to the normal moulding line – where resin and catalyst are used to bind sand – the Replicast Plant uses silica sand of 30-35 AFS grade along with the polystyrene mould, he says. The system entails a vacuum bin, from which all of the air is eliminated to compress the sand.
“The absence of resin and catalyst – in addition to having no clamping course of – ends in less scrap being produced, and due to this fact brings operational financial savings,” he says. “The high quality of castings can be raised, with a better surface finish and fewer defects.”
He notes that the geometrical stability of components is improved, as there may be less fettling of the finished product thereby lowering dimensional variation between the identical elements. This in flip contributes to the reliability of the tools utilizing those components. He says the foundry will also realise vital environmental advantages as a end result of utilizing no chemical substances within the sand.
“This new plant aligns well with our corporate sustainability targets, ensuring that our processes usually are not only compliant but constantly cut back our environmental influence,” says Smith. “Our new moulding methods ensure that fewer gases are emitted in the course of the casting process, and there are zero emissions of dangerous substances corresponding to benzene.”
The new expertise is also leading to less frequent disposal of silica sand, and the sand itself is extra environmentally friendly as it incorporates no resin or acid.
“A outstanding aspect of creating this new plant was the reality that it was done with our native skills and largely during the COVID-19 lockdowns,” he says. “Despite the novelty of this know-how, and the logistical challenges created by the pandemic, it was efficiently implemented on time and inside price range.”
The plant contains greater than 16,000 particular person elements, and uses over 1,900 m of cabling, 300 m of water piping and 55 tons of metal.

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