Expansion, logistics and import replacement motivating factors – capacity and technology to support the increased production.
“When we established Ceramic and Alloy Specialists (Pty) Ltd in 1998 our core business was initially implementing projects in the aluminium primary and secondary sectors, upgrading launder systems and supplying consumables into metals industries,” explained Mike Retief, MD of Ceramic and Alloy Specialists.
“Most of the products that we supplied into industry were mainly sourced internationally. But we had been closely associated for a number of years with Dakot Ceramics, a Northern KwaZulu-Natal manufacturer of fine and coarse ceramic components for the aluminium industry, with Ceramic and Alloy Specialists being responsible for the marketing and sales in South Africa.”
Ceralcast’s main product line in pre-cast ceramic shapes can operate at temperatures in the range of 700°C up to 1750°C, depending on the raw material/castable refractory selected
“This relationship continued until 2004. We then acquired a 50% share in the Dakot Ceramics and the name was changed to Ceralcast (Pty) Ltd. Dakot Ceramics continued as a separate business. Over the next two years we acquired the balance of the shares.”
“At the time the company was based in Mtunzini, Northern KwaZulu-Natal and it continued to do so until earlier this year when we decided to relocate the manufacturing operation to the Gauteng region.”
“There are a number of reasons for this decision. Demand for our products, particularly from the investment casters, has been growing significantly in the last few years as companies look to cut costs and support local industry where they can.”
“We also took the decision that we wanted to expand this side of the business and where possible manufacture and offer products that could replace those that are currently being imported.”
Products could cover insulation, wear resistance, flow control or impact resistance requirements or more importantly, also reduction in energy used
Castable material, either made up in house or bought out from approved local and international refractory producers, is poured into moulds
“Another important factor was the location of the manufacturing operation. Although Mtunzini is ideally situated for the primary and secondary aluminium industry, logistically the transport of raw materials and the main product shift to the foundry and steel industry, relocation to the Gauteng area became more important and cost effective.”
Ceralcast’s main product line in pre-cast ceramic shapes can operate at temperatures in the range of 700°C up to 1750°C, depending on the raw material/castable refractory selected. The castable material is either made up in house or bought out from approved local and international refractory producers.
“Products could cover insulation, wear resistance, flow control or impact resistance requirements or more importantly also reduction in energy used. Typical shapes would include filter bowls, launders, flow control pins, ferrules for boilers, spouts, tubes, troughs and other shapes as required. We manufacture up to 30 different shapes of pre-cast ceramic shapes.”
“Development of products for the steel industry is currently taking place. There are a number of areas where we believe our ceramic products can be used. This will form part of the expansion drive. The factory was relocated in March this year to the Boksburg area, which is close to Ceramic and Alloy’s head office, and already by April it was manufacturing product.”
Ceralcast manufacture up to 30 different shapes of pre-cast ceramic shapes
Typical shapes would include filter bowls, launders, flow control pins, ferrules for boilers, spouts, tubes, troughs and other shapes as required
“Andy Cader, who has been our Production Manager for the last seven years, has relocated to Gauteng and has been very instrumental in the seamless transition of our manufacturing operation. The move has also given him the opportunity to implement improvements in our production processes and also to start to work towards ISO recognition.”
“As a result we have met our objective of increasing capacity and besides manufacturing the standard ceramic shapes we are now able to more readily offer custom designed shapes for molten metal handling.”
For further details contact Ceralcast/Ceramic and Alloy Specialists on TEL: 011 894 3039 or visit www.ceramic-alloy.co.za