Driving down part turnaround time whereas bettering quality and reducing waste is being achieved at Weir Minerals Africa’s exciting new Replicast Plant in Isando, Gauteng.
Umar Smith, plant supervisor at Weir Minerals Africa’s Isando facility, highlights that the progressive improvement enables the company to provide extra parts at a time – and more quickly. This will help in meeting rising customer demand, while additionally reducing rework and wastage.
“As a part of our Project Vuka, this new plant permits us to forged a quantity of small elements per batch rather than just one at a time,” says Smith. “We can also reduce our knock-out occasions from days to only a few hours.”
Private -of-the-art amenities allow Weir Minerals Africa to solid excessive chrome components weighing up to 250 kg. There are two phases to the model new process, he explains, which makes use of polystyrene to create moulds. The first part is the polystyrene moulding course of, which happens after the polystyrene beads have been expanded. The second phase is the place the ramming, pouring and demoulding takes place.
In distinction to the standard moulding line – the place resin and catalyst are used to bind sand – the Replicast Plant makes use of silica sand of 30-35 AFS grade along with the polystyrene mould, he says. The system entails a vacuum bin, from which all the air is removed to compress the sand.
“The absence of resin and catalyst – in addition to having no clamping process – leads to 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 greater floor end and fewer defects.”
He notes that the geometrical stability of parts is improved, as there is less fettling of the finished product thereby lowering dimensional variation between the same components. This in flip contributes to the reliability of the gear utilizing these elements. Research says the foundry may also realise vital environmental benefits because of using no chemical compounds within the sand.
“This new plant aligns properly with our company sustainability targets, ensuring that our processes usually are not only compliant but constantly scale back our environmental influence,” says Smith. “Our new moulding systems be positive that fewer gases are emitted during the casting process, and there are zero emissions of dangerous substances such as benzene.”
The new technology can also be leading to less frequent disposal of silica sand, and the sand itself is extra environmentally friendly because it incorporates no resin or acid.
“A outstanding facet of creating this new plant was the truth that it was accomplished 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 includes more than 16,000 particular person elements, and makes use of over 1,900 m of cabling, 300 m of water piping and fifty five tons of steel.

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