Minerals processing equipment specialist Metso’s local manganese foundry, one of six across the globe, has introduced a core shooter to its manufacturing capabilities. The core shooter, designed and manufactured by local foundry equipment manufacturer R.C. Systems, represents a recent shift at the foundry to improve and automate manufacturing capabilities aimed at driving the company’s local and African business.
One of the largest components of Metso’s business, both globally and locally, is the supply of large-scale grinding and crushing equipment to the mining industry. More recently the company has introduced the manufacture of metallic mill linings in manganese steel, low-alloy steel and high chromium iron for AG, SAG and ball mills to its portfolio of various components and castings for the company’s extensive product lines.
R.C. Systems was contracted to manufacture and install the new fully automatic core making plant, which comprises a 25 litre core jobbing machine, with a sand mixing and storage platform situated above the machine. The sand storage system makes provision to mix chromite and/or zircon sand
Unlike any other foundry-manufactured product, the mill linings will not only be manufactured for Metso’s product range, but will be sold to the industry for any mill in operation.
Continuing with Metso’s significant investment into its local foundry over the recent years, equipping the foundry largely with new and additional equipment, it was decided last year to expand the company’s service and manufacturing capability by introducing core shooting capabilities for the first time.
R.C. Systems was contracted to manufacture and install the new fully automatic core making plant, which comprises a 25 litre core jobbing machine with a sand mixing and storage platform situated above the machine. The sand storage system makes provision to mix chromite and/or zircon sand.
Additionally a two-ton an hour continuous mixer, which feeds the mixed sand directly into the core making machine, has also been supplied by R.C Systems.
The process being used is Foseco’s Ecolotech 2635, a process based on the use of a water-soluble phenolic resin, condensed under alkaline conditions. The resin is the only binder component that has to be mixed with the sand. The resin does not contain any nitrogen, phosphorus or sulphur. All sand types (e.g. silica, chromite or chamotte) can be used successfully. To harden the mixed sand CO2 has to be gassed into the corebox. CO2 acts as a reaction partner with the resin, not as a catalyst.
Situated in the remote Isithebe township in KwaZulu Natal, half way between Durban and Richards Bay, Metso’s South African foundry forms an integral part of the local company’s crushing and grinding business.
Metso Minerals Isithebe was first founded in 1978 under different ownership following a joint venture between Lennings Holdings (South Africa), Vickers (United Kingdom) and Vickers (Australia) under the name of Lennings Manganese Foundry.
Additionally a two-ton an hour continuous mixer, which feeds the mixed sand directly into the core making machine, has also been supplied by R.C Systems
In 1985 Rexnord certified Lennings Manganese as a supplier of manganese steel castings and Lennings was officially recognised as a worldwide source for manganese parts to the Nordberg Group.
In 1991 Scaw Metals took control of the Lennings foundry, which was subsequently sold to Nordberg in 1998. Nordberg Lennings then became part of the Metso Minerals Group when it was purchased in 2001.
Committed to the environment and its workforce
The Metso group is committed to reducing its environmental footprint and practising energy efficiency, and recently introduced its Metso Energy Efficiency Programme (MEEP).
The initiative aims to reduce the entire global group’s energy consumption by 15% by end 2015, and 20% by 2020. The Isithebe foundry will contribute towards these targets, and is reviewing all its manufacturing lines and components.
This includes purchasing a new air compressor, incorporating new furnace linings to better retain heat, introducing energy efficient motors and lighting, and even looking at technologies to convert its off-heat (generated from the foundry process) into energy.
The foundry, which thanks to Metso, is a vital local business component, employs over 350 staff with the majority sourced directly from the nearby areas. Among just a few major industrial players in the area, Metso is contributing substantially to the local community, providing social upliftment and employment.
It also provides HIV/Aids counselling and guidance. Its workforce, and the entire area, has a high level of HIV infection.
The process being used is Foseco’s Ecolotech 2635, a process based on the use of a water-soluble phenolic resin, condensed under alkaline conditions
R.C. Systems’ origins date back to 1987 when Rob van Niekerk started his business providing electrical engineering services to manufacturing companies in the Gauteng area.
Today the company has grown considerably and besides offering the electrical engineering services, now also manufactures equipment for the electrical, foundry and electroplating industries.
For further details contact R.C. Systems on TEL: 011 425-4273 or visit www.rcsystems.co.za