Doing it the Weir way

Heavy Bay foundry in Port Elizabeth takes shape.

Weir Minerals Africa has procured their castings from local foundries or imported them from Weir Minerals foundries located elsewhere in the world since 2006. This arrangement worked well in some respects; however, it also had its drawbacks. First and foremost, the company did not have sufficient control over the quality of material used or the processes employed at the contracted local non-Weir Minerals foundries. The obvious problems such as overall quality of castings, erratic delivery and lead times would frustrate the company no end. Importing castings from Weir Minerals in-house foundries abroad added unnecessary shipping costs, and the logistical problems made it very difficult to support response times required by the Weir Lean Manufacturing systems that were in place. Weir China was considered as an alternative but this would still have resulted in prohibitive lead times, and potentially the loss of local employment opportunities.

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