Name change imminent.
Guestro Casting and Machining, the last remaining asset of the once-mighty engineering group Dorbyl Ltd, which was acquired by the current owners in 2013, has begun a restructuring phase that will see the company increase capacity and enhance quality and production performance, with an eye on diversification.
“We would like to clear up any misconceptions in the market place and clarify that Guestro Casting and Machining, which sits in amongst the large foundry classification in South Africa, is operating in a positive space and once the current capital investment program is completed towards the end of the year will be one of the most technically advanced foundries in South Africa,” said newly appointed Group CEO Pieter Du Plessis.
“The company was taken over by the new owners in 2013 when the 100% black owned Naledi Inhlanganiso Group, though a consortium and in partnership with the IDC, purchased the majority of the shares in the previously JSE listed Dorbyl Ltd. In July 2014 the company was formally delisted which triggered a process of capital investment and restructuring in line with the original plans of the consortium,” explained Du Plessis.
“During this period the company continued to operate as a going concern offering foundry services to new and existing clients with the value add of various machining operations included.”
“Fortunately the company was not a casualty during the unbundling period of Dorbyl Ltd, earlier this century. Dorbyl acquired the company, which was known as Salcast at the time, in 1985 and it was positioned within the Dorbyl Automotive Technologies (DAT) division.”
“The foundry has origins dating back to 1947 when it was established as African Malleable Foundries. Various acquisitions and name changes subsequently occurred and it has been operating as Guestro Casting and Machining since 2003.”
“In future the company will trade under the NI-Foundry name, once all the paper work has been completed. It will be a Division within the Group, which also includes NI-Forge and NI-Africa.”
Restructuring and investment
“A new board and management team has been appointed with a mandate to increase capacity and enhance quality and production performance, with an eye on diversification. Currently the foundry casts between 150 to 200 tons per day of steel and iron products, including grey, ductile and SG iron.”
“Our focus has been primarily on the automotive industry in recent years, supplying fully machined SABS approved castings to the OEMs and others. With the major investment in equipment and processes that we are currently implementing, which includes increasing our melting and moulding capacities, we will aggressively be pursuing other automotive components and diversifying into other areas.”
“Metallurgy or more correctly foundry work is all about cooking metal, as I like to call it. If you do not get the methods and processes correct you might as well dump the outcome in the bin. To achieve this quality and to compete you need the latest equipment. This has been the chief motivating factor why we embarked on this close to R100 million investment program.”
“Once complete it will afford us more opportunities and, besides diversifying our product range we will also be able to offer other metals that we can cast. This will mainly be on the ferrous side and we are far down the line with implementing the processes to cast carbon and alloy steels, as well as the high chrome irons.”
Import replacement and larger castings
“We believe that there are other critical advantages that will result because of our investment strategy. The first is that we will be able to offer larger castings, up to nine tons and more if requested, and higher volumes. This is because of the extra melting capacity that we are installing.”
“We are continuing with the horizontal moulding with box sizes up to 800 x 600 x 400mm and the floor moulding of smaller castings from one kilogram up to about 450 kilograms.”
“Secondly the efficiencies that come with the modern equipment and processes that we are implementing will give us a competitive advantage in the price per kilogram. We believe that there are far too many castings that are currently being imported into South Africa, and with our intended efficiencies this will make our offerings very attractive to the local market.”
“We need to address this situation so that we don’t just retain jobs but rather increase opportunities and employment.”
“This is an exciting new development in the Group and it also fits in with our import replacement policy. NI-Forge was established in 2014 with the intention of supplying steel forged wheels for the local rail transport industry and, in the future, the export market. The company is in the process of constructing a world class steel forge wheel manufacturing plant, which will be the first of its kind in the country and in Africa.”
“NI-Forge has already been awarded a major contract for the supply of 34” wagon wheels.
The manufacturing plant will be capable of manufacturing to AAR and ENI standards.”
“The project will establish the first dedicated forge wheel manufacturing plant in South Africa, and will use the latest modern manufacturing technology available in the world in its production process.”
“These investments by the Naledi Inhlanganiso Group and its partners are a commitment to the local industry, which needs a strong manufacturing base,” concluded Du Plessis.
For further details contact the Naledi Inhlanganiso Group on TEL: 011 845 1546 or visit www.ni-holdings.co.za