Global energy requirements are growing at an ever-increasing speed. Revolutions are underway all over our planet, causing the demand for electrical energy to increase even further. Be it a growing number of megacities, the boost to the international transport industry, the development of information technology, or the closer relationship between societies and industry, the direct result is the same. The world needs future-ready power grids to guarantee a safe and efficient supply of energy.
Pfisterer prides itself in operating a fully vertically integrated manufacturing facility, converting raw materials directly into completed products through efficient in-house processes and technologically driven machinery
Contributing to the development is Pfisterer (Pty) Ltd, a high voltage electrical hardware developer and manufacturer situated in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. Pfisterer prides itself in operating a fully vertically integrated manufacturing facility, converting raw materials directly into completed products through efficient in-house processes and technologically driven machinery. Some of the key manufacturing processes include high pressure injection moulding machines mainly for cutouts and composite insulators, a gravity die cast foundry producing aluminium castings, a sand foundry casting SG iron castings, a helical wire-forming plant, a fiberglass rod pultrusion plant and the tool and die making facility (toolroom).
The comprehensive in-house technologies have ensured that Pfisterer is a market leader in the field of OHL products on the African continent, notably being the first African company to 100% locally manufacture and supply 400kV polymeric insulators to Eskom and other African utilities, in addition to successfully exporting these products to Europe. In 2018, Pfisterer has also added another historical milestone in their product offering through the launch of Africa’s first 765kV polymeric insulator manufacturing in their portfolio of products.
Pfisterer’s aluminium gravity die-casting production facility casts nearly 80 tons of castings per month
Molten metal is poured from a vessel or ladle into the mould. The mould cavity fills with no force other than gravity. Filling can be controlled by tilting the die
The majority of the Pfisterer’s products require a die or a mould, some more complicated than others, to manufacture the various components that are then assembled into final product. Therefore, a significant portion of Pfisterer’s toolroom’s work involves meeting the constant demand for new moulds to supply the company’s production facilities.
Aluminium gravity die-casting
An example of this is the aluminium gravity die-casting production facility that is casting over 150 different aluminium components the numbers of which can run into tens of thousands per component. This department produces nearly 80 tons of castings per month and with a component weighing not more than two kilograms, this is a huge amount of castings that the company is producing. The gravity die-casting moulds are therefore in constant use and need to be maintained regularly. The toolroom takes control of this operation as well.
Not known to many is that Pfisterer also has its own ferrous foundry and has had for over two decades. Housed in a separate building away from the aluminium gravity die-casting production facility to avoid contamination, the ferrous foundry casts ductile iron only and all components cast in the foundry are for Pfisterer’s own consumption.
The Pfisterer aluminium gravity die-casting foundry has a number of furnaces at its disposal
Components weighing not more than two kilograms are produced in the aluminium die-casting foundry
Components cast in the ferrous foundry include various composite insulator end fittings (tongues, clevises, eyes, balls and sockets) for both the railway catenary and power utility distribution networks, fuse cut out brackets and other components in support of the Pfisterer product range value chain. The ferrous foundry produces 20 different components for the Pfisterer products and casts between 40 and 50 tons a month.
Pfisterer’s product line comprises overhead lines, cable systems, railway catenary systems and other components, all for the high voltage electrical power transmission and distribution industries.
Product is used in the German Rail system and now in the Swedish rail system with tension and cantiliver insulators. A number of units have been exported for both the Spanish and Polish markets. The Spanish high-speed rail line Madrid-Segovia-Valladolid, was the company’s first high-speed rail project. Pfisterer have also supplied product to Network Rail (East to West) and Cross Rail London, both of which form part of the London Underground, as well as the Euro Tunnel project.
Pfisterer’s aluminium gravity die-casting production facility is casting over 150 different aluminium components, the numbers of which can run into tens of thousands per component
Pfisterer also has a sand foundry casting ductile iron castings. Components cast in the ferrous foundry include various composite insulator end fittings (tongues, clevises, eyes, balls and sockets) for both the railway catenary and power utility distribution networks, fuse cut out brackets and other components in support of the Pfisterer product range value chain. The ferrous foundry produces 20 different components for the Pfisterer products and casts between 40 and 50 tons a month
Locally Pfisterer have been supplying Transnet for well over 20 years and they supplied all of the overhead composite insulators for the Gautrain project.
Pfisterer (Pty) Ltd is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company having gained its initial certification through the German Accreditation Certification Company DQS back in 2001. This certification encompasses a full complement of personnel and capabilities to design, plan, manufacture, manage and execute complex OHL hardware supply projects, providing total solutions by using their in-house expertise and high-quality products in the medium to high voltage sectors. Pfisterer is also one of the few companies able to offer complete string assembly solutions from hardware components through to composite insulators, tested and qualified up to the 400kV level. The 765kV insulator range is currently undergoing qualification testing at various international test laboratories.
The melting area in the sand foundry
Pfisterer (Pty) Ltd is a high voltage electrical hardware developer and manufacturer situated in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. As a leading manufacturer of high quality electrical power transmission and distribution products locally and internationally, Pfisterer in South Africa is unique in that it virtually has all the manufacturing processes needed to produce its own final product operating under one roof.
Pfisterer was established as Hardware Assemblies in 1978 and has served the South African and export markets for more than 40 years. The acquisition of Hardware Assemblies by the German-Swiss Pfisterer Group in 2003 further propelled the research and development at the local factory resulting in an expansion of the comprehensive product ranges. Over the decades, Pfisterer in South Africa has grown into the largest manufacturer of composite insulators and line hardware on the African continent with the most complete product offering.
Thabani Nene is the General Manager of Pfisterer
In line with the adoption of a new corporate image by the Pfisterer Group, Hardware Assemblies officially changed its name to Pfisterer (Pty) Ltd on the 1st January 2006. To keep up with the progressive legislation in South Africa, which is to encourage local content and ownership, the Pfisterer Group decided to embark on a mutually beneficial sale agreement with a 100% black owned South African investment company, The Thesele Group. As of 26th July 2018, The Thesele Group acquired 100% ownership of Pfisterer (Pty) Ltd shares making Pfisterer (Pty) Ltd a proudly South African owned manufacturing entity that now has a Level 2 B-BBEE score rating.
For further details contact Pfisterer on TEL 033 397 5425 or visit www.pfisterer.co.za