US-headquartered Allied Mineral Products, Inc., a producer of monolithic refractories for the foundry, steel and aluminium industries, has had an association with South Africa going back to 1997. Allied Mineral Products, Inc. and Metallurg South Africa (Pty) Ltd., which subsequently changed its name to Insimbi Alloy Supplies after a MBO in 2005, formed their joint venture company – AMETSA (Allied Metallurg South Africa) – in August 1997 and initially operated primarily as a sales organisation until June 1998, supplying monolithic refractory products to the South African market, manufactured by Allied Mineral Products, Inc.
During this period a manufacturing facility was being setup in Germiston, Johannesburg, and the company began supplying locally manufactured product in March 1998. At the time the South African manufacturing plant was Allied Mineral Products, Inc.’s second manufacturing operation outside of the USA.
At the heart of the Allied Mineral Products South Africa facility in Gosforth Business Park in Germiston is the batching plant that consists of two batching lines that run parallel to each other so that the company can either run the same mix or different ones depending on sales requirements
Bagging of material
AMETSA manufactured a complete range of monolithic refractory products, including dry vibratables, low-moisture castables, castables for aluminium, coreless and channel induction furnaces, ladles and pouring units, blast furnace trough systems, arc furnaces, aluminium reverb and holding furnaces, in addition to plastics and ramming mixes for the South African market.
In December 2004 AMETSA expanded its manufacturing and warehousing facilities. The expansion doubled the existing facility to 4 000m² under roof.
Allied Mineral Products South Africa
Then in January 2008 Allied Mineral Products, Inc. acquired the remaining 49% shareholding of AMETSA from their joint venture partner Insimbi Alloy Supplies. The name AMETSA was dropped completely and the company was renamed Allied Mineral Products South Africa.
The primary function of the South African operation is to design and manufacture monolithic refractories for the foundry, aluminium, steel, cement, power, minerals processing, boiler, heat treating, forging and industrial markets. Allied Mineral Products, Inc. has designed, manufactured and sold monolithic refractories for the foundry industry since 1961.The company was founded on supplying product to the foundry industry before expanding to manufacture refractories for the integrated steel and other industries.
Most of Allied Mineral Products South Africa’s raw materials are imported from China, the US and other countries and they have a stock holding of between nine and 12 months
Product testing and development is conducted in Allied’s state-of-the-art research and technology centres and products are vigorously tested in modern labs that are tailored to unique installation and application condition requirements
The next big development for the local company came in 2016 when it moved from its Wadeville facility to its current position in Gosforth Business Park in Germiston. Again the company doubled the size of its manufacturing and warehousing facilities to 8 000m² under roof.
“The extra space has allowed us to optimise our manufacturing process from delivery of raw material to dispatch of final product. In between we have the mixing department and the batching plant,” explained Clinton Pretorius, Managing Director of Allied Mineral Products South Africa.
“Raw materials and final product are easy to transport as they are bagged but plant and equipment is a different story. Despite this our manufacturing was up and running in a relatively short period.”
“The plant consists of two batching lines that run parallel to each other so we can either run the same mix or different ones depending on sales requirements. We have over 2 500 recipes unique to Allied Mineral Products, Inc. The flexibility of our plant allows us to respond quickly to any urgent product request. However, before any changeover to a new batch the plant is flushed and cleaned to prevent any contamination.”
Final product ready for delivery
The various raw materials that Allied Mineral Products South Africa uses
“Our quality control is carried out according to Allied’s global standard, a company that has been ISO certified since 1985. This includes strict raw materials qualifications and pre and post verification of every single batch is tested.”
“We are also focused on developing new products, improving existing ones and perfecting installation techniques. Product testing and development is conducted in Allied’s state-of-the-art research and technology centres and are vigorously tested in our modern labs that are tailored to unique installation and application condition requirements.”
“Stock holding of both raw materials and final product depends on our sales pipeline predictions but is not totally reliant on these forecasts. As most of our raw materials are imported from China, the US and other countries we do have a stock holding of between nine and 12 months. We will also buy locally but the supplier or mine will have to meet Allied’s specifications.”
“We have a bigger stock holding of raw material because the shelf life is a lot longer as compared to the final product once it has been through the mixing and batching plant.”
In 2018 Allied purchased the intellectual property rights to a collection of refractory cements and pastes previously owned by Graftech Advanced Graphite Materials. The purchase is in response to restructuring at Graftech Advanced Graphite Materials, which ended production of several staple products for the steel, ferroalloy and iron industries. Allied seized the opportunity to meet market needs. Allied now own and supply nine key products previously from the Graftech line, including carbon and graphite-based cements, ramming materials and grout, complementing Allied’s existing refractory solutions.
Allied markets its new products under existing trade names, such as C34 Cement and C46 Cement. These products joined Allied’s existing product line of clean-carbon mortars, grouts and ramming materials, marketed under the GC name.
Local manufacture of precast refractory shapes
“Allied’s first precast shapes facility was founded in 1995 in Columbus, Ohio when it acquired American Precast Refractories. Since then, our precast capabilities have grown significantly with the expansion of our first facility and the addition of four others around the globe. Allied has become a leading manufacturer of custom engineered precast, pre-fired refractory shapes for a variety of industries,” explained Pretorius.
Allied Mineral Products South Africa will now manufacture precast refractory shapes locally. The new plant consists of a furnace and other equipment
Other equipment in the new plant manufacturing precast refractory shapes includes a mixing platform that consists of two Mud Hog 1-ton paddle mixers
“Some of our most popular shape capabilities include foundry crucibles, furnace structural parts, EAF deltas and spouts, tilters and skimmer blocks, incinerator shapes, and rotary furnace shapes.
We have application engineering capabilities that allow us to design and manufacture complex pieces of virtually any shape and size. Precast shapes can be designed and created based on existing drawings or an existing shape.”
“Allied can manufacture precast refractory shapes from 1kg to 15 metric tons in our plants in Ohio and Alabama in the USA, Tianjin in China and Tholen in the Netherlands.”
“Allied has now given us the go-ahead to manufacture precast refractory shapes locally. We have rented a facility across the road from our existing facility. It comprises two factories – one 2 800m² and the other 2 400m². Our manufacturing plant has been setup in the bigger factory and the other one will be occupied once we have created the demand for our product.”
“The plant consists of a furnace manufactured by Technifurn and a mixing platform that consists of two Mud Hog 1-ton paddle mixers. Moulds are also made locally, either in wood or steel.”
“You could describe it as diversification but we look at it as an extension of our local product offering and to meet the growing demands of our customers and their markets since we are taking know-how and IP from Allied who have been manufacturing the products since 1995.”
“Precast refractory shapes are not mass produced, but purpose-made products for a specific application. Precast components are easy to install and examples are given where one precast block replaces about 30 bricks or an iron ladle can require as many as 3 000 bricks to build. However, only eight precast blocks are required to build the ladle.”
“Our foundry shapes offerings encompass coreless furnaces, channel induction furnaces, cupolas, gas-fired furnaces, resistance rod furnaces, heat treating and forging furnaces, reverberatory furnaces, vacuum tundishes, transfer ladles, ductile treatment ladles, pouring tundishes/boxes, launders, centrifugal casting feed equipment and impact shapes.”
Allied Mineral Products South Africa will now manufacture precast refractory shapes locally
Allied Mineral Products South Africa will now manufacture precast refractory shapes locally
“We also supply precast shapes for high temperature applications such as heat treating and forging and also an array of products for the other industrial applications such as fireplaces, woodstoves, pellet stoves, bio-mass stoves, indoor/outdoor wood boilers, gasifiers, other boilers, incineration processes, lime kilns, asphalt processing, cement manufacture, iron ore processing, power generation and waste to energy gasification processes.”
“We also offer a complete line of specialised precast, pre-fired refractory shapes for the steel industry including iron troughs, runners, slag runners, tilting runners, transfer equipment, blast furnace subhearth/hearth, EAF roof deltas, EAF spouts and EAF electrode rings.”
“Our long history is reflected in that our skilled engineering team employs a variety of programmes and calculations to create a custom refractory system for each customer. Our engineered solutions are based on equipment design, thermal considerations and material characteristics,” concluded Pretorius.
For further details contact Allied Mineral Products South Africa on TEL: 011 776 2400 or visit www.alliedmineral.com