Based in Epping, in Cape Town, Gear Pump Manufacturing (GPM), part of the Hudaco Industries group, has always been a leader in the manufacture and assembly of SAE mounted hydraulic pumps and associated components right since its inception in 1985. This is evident through its worldwide recognition as a preferred supplier to various markets in the US and Europe, as well as Australasia. Approximately 70% of production is exported across these various markets.
These components make up a complete range of internationally interchangeable commercial components for bearing gear pumps, bushing gear pumps, motors and flow dividers. They include gear sets, shafts, gear housings, end covers, bearing carriers, thrust plates, bearings and bushes, seals, retainers, dowels spacers, keys, fasteners, rings and clips and other small part components. Further, GPM manufacture a range of PTO truck pumps, straight axial piston pumps and offer custom hydraulic pump design and manufacture.
Components cast and machined at Gear Pump Manufacturing
GPM Operations Manager, Graeme Lakay: “For us, continuous process improvement is what our business is all about. We pride ourselves on this and with a focus on management and staff, as well as processes, and in particular their growth and efficiencies within the business, we are able to say proudly that we are a growing business.”
Commissioned in February 2002, the GPM foundry is located on the same site as its manufacturing facility and this part of the business has grown from strength to strength each year. Physically, the foundry has been expanded by more than 50% over the years in order for it to cater to these increased volumes of production. Currently the foundry produces grey iron, SG iron and compacted graphite iron (CGI).
GPM is presently experiencing growth both locally and internationally, some of which can be attributed to developments in the mining and earth moving industries. The company is also supplying directly to foundry clients now, and there is no doubt that this is as a result of the many closures of foundries across the country in recent years. This has thus helped afford GPM its highest numbers of production ever last year, and also saw the foundry voted as being GPM’s best improved department.
New 600kW Inductotherm VIP Power-Trak power supply
A first in Africa, GPM installed at the end of 2019, a new 600kW Inductotherm VIP Power-Trak power supply. The system was commissioned, up and running by the beginning of January 2020 and was supplied by Cerefco.
Burtie Roberts, a management accountant by trade and now Managing Director at GPM, joined the company in April 2019. He brought with him a wealth of manufacturing and management experience and his more than 20 years of manufacturing experience was a perfect fit for the GPM business model.
A first in Africa, Gear Pump Manufacturing installed at the end of 2019, a new 600kW Inductotherm VIP Power-Trak power supply. The system was commissioned, up and running by the beginning of January 2020 and was supplied by Cerefco
Both Lakay and Roberts cite the increasing inefficiencies of aspects related to power and older technologies as some of the key reasons behind the decision to make the investment in the new equipment. Things like the costs of switching between the use of generators and electricity as well as something as simple as the power coming back on after load shedding sooner than forecast, all began to take their toll on ageing equipment.
“With the continuous unreliability of electricity and power surges, we began to experience unnecessary downtime through aspects such as having to replace costly fuses and the like. With not being able to produce castings this would further create a breakdown in the feeding of the machine shop, and even more downtime across the business,” explained Roberts.
Notwithstanding, the new and improved features offered with the Inductotherm VIP Power-Trak were also attractive in their own rights. Continued Lakay: “Melt time is now around 40 minutes, so we’re already realising the results of more melts to production volumes.”
The Inductotherm VIP Power-Trak includes an intelligent digital control board with fiber-optic connectors for clear signal processing, a bright LED panel system information display and forms part of an induction power system that has the fastest melt rates from cold charge to pouring temperature in the market. As well as being provided with a backup motherboard by Cerefco, the new technology also provides valuable insight into facets such as fault finding and the protection of the furnaces themselves with improved warning systems. Should something be anticipated to go wrong, the operations team is able to step in and avoid theoretically preventable disruptions.
Lakay has been with GPM since 1991 and knows the business processes and the inner workings of the entire operation quite well. The installation process gave Lakay and his team the opportunity to take on most of the task of installing the new equipment themselves, and this would go a long way to help further upskill everyone within the foundry as the opportunity presented a fantastic manufacturing shop floor challenge – something none of the team had undertaken before. This included the manufacture of the platform on which the power system was to be housed as well as the majority of the associated piping and tubing used.
The Inductotherm VIP Power-Trak includes an intelligent digital control board with fiber-optic connectors for clear signal processing, a bright LED panel system information display and forms part of an induction power system that has the fastest melt rates from cold charge to pouring temperature in the market. As well as being provided with a backup motherboard by Cerefco, the new technology also provides valuable insight into facets such as fault finding and the protection of the furnaces themselves with improved warning systems. Should something be anticipated to go wrong, the operations team is able to step in and avoid theoretically preventable disruptions
Credibility goes a long way in any industry, and it is none more so important than when your products need to meet the strict premium quality requirements of your clients around the world. Akin to this, GPM has been ISO 9001 compliant since 1992. At present GPM is ISO 9001:2015 compliant, ISO 14001:2015 compliant and ISO 45001:2018 compliant. GPM is also a level 3 B-BBEE contributor and currently employs 150 staff across all divisions of the company.
A general look at the stores area of Gear Pump Manufacturing
Further to this philosophy of continuous process improvement, GPM will look to make additional capital equipment investments as and when is necessary in the coming years. This will include the purchase of equipment like milling machines, an air compressor, lathes and general upgrades to the extensive CNC fleet already on the shop floor.
For further details contact Gear Pump Manufacturing on TEL: 021 531 9330 or visit https://gearpumps.co.za/