Experienced foundry colleagues form partnership to offer turnkey and project management solutions

Aims are to become a major player in enterprise solutions, from foundry planning to execution.

Three experienced foundry contemporaries, who cumulatively between them have over 50 years of practiced service in the metal melting industry in South Africa, have decided to pool their talents and experience and offer a turnkey project management solution for greenfield and brownfield foundries.

“We have not worked at the same company in the past but because all of us have been working directly in and with the metal melting industry, with a strong bias towards the foundry business, our paths have crossed on many occasions,” explained Johan Botes of J-Tec Electrical & Installations and J-Tec Engineering.

“Working at and working with some of the major foundries in the country is how we linked up. This indicates that we have different talents and fields of expertise and it is one of the primary reasons that we have decided to form a partnership that will allow us to utilise each other’s knowledge to the benefit of present and future clients.”

J-Tec Engineering’s aims are to become a major player in enterprise solutions, from foundry planning to execution

“No one can claim to know everything about how a foundry operates. But you can become an engineering provider involved in the foundry planning for a new foundry from the beginning to the execution of producing castings and meeting production goals or, in the case of an existing foundry, change and improve the foundry operations with a capital-improvement or operational process programme. This can be done by harnessing the talents of individuals to provide foundry-engineering expertise, project management and construction coordination services.”

“Companies are increasingly demonstrating demand for complete turnkey engineering solutions from the industry’s technology suppliers, and all indicators are that the trend will continue. The reason for this is simple: The efficiencies foundries gain from a complete turnkey solution, from single machines, equipment upgrades and small systems to complete foundry layout and design, are significant.”

“Foundries need to know more than just equipment operational use and installation. They need to know how the capital they are investing in will change and improve their operations and improve and increase their production levels.

“Foundries are seeking a variety of integrated engineering services for the whole project, but, tellingly, not only for production machinery. More and more foundries request fully engineered layouts that reveal how new equipment will fit into their foundry and interact with their existing equipment. Also, they are requesting equipment suppliers to provide a complete solution, not just for their own line of equipment but all the ancillary devices and systems, too.”

The portfolio of services that J-Tec Engineering will be offering to foundries and similar companies range from foundry audits to engineering and construction of complete plants

“Foundries are looking to simplify their improvement process and to reduce the time needed to complete the project benefit by giving complete responsibility to a single supplier. The advantages from these arrangements are significant, as they tend to eliminate many of the unwelcome effects of parcelling out project responsibilities, such as uneven project management, finger pointing over responsibility, out-of-control costs, and scheduling delays. The final result is project commissioning that is on-time and on-budget, and meets production goals.”

Recent successful project management story at Grinding Media South Africa
Normally behind any project involving construction and or installation of equipment there are always those that help drive it and make sure that project happens. In the case of Grinding Media South Africa’s (GMSA) recently completed new induction melting plant, that contractor was J-Tec Engineering.

“Based on our previous projects and an outstanding relationship and professional interaction with Cerefco, the South African agent for Inductotherm and supplier of the three 10 ton Inductotherm coreless induction furnaces, J-Tec was recommended to GMSA,” explained Botes.

“Our first involvement with the multi-million rand project was that J-Tec was awarded the contract to supply and install the MV (medium voltage) switchgear. Our approach to this contract opened the door to much greater things to come and later in the project J-Tec was established as one of the primary contractors on this very exciting technology upgrade project, driven by GMSA’s commitment to environmental responsibilities.”

Included amogst these services is the installation of induction furnaces, transformers, power packs, capacitor banks, electrical distribution – LV, MV, HT – energy management, PLCs and MCCs, process control and monitoring systems, water cooling and treatment systems, hydraulic systems, alternative power generation, civil design and the construction elements

“J-Tec entered into negotiations to place, install and commission the equipment supplied by approximately 15 different suppliers. We were responsible for planning, organising and directing the completion of the specific installations while ensuring these installations were on time and within scope.”

Human capital development
“During further negotiations GMSA indicated the need to establish a human capital development plan and based on previous operational experience J-Tec successfully concluded and extended our involvement and commitment towards GMSA.”

“GMSA has done a tremendous job planning and the amount of detail attended to beforehand was astounding. But like with any project of this nature and the magnitude of the interface of equipment, other gaps were identified during installation and the commissioning phases. Due to the depth and wealth of knowledge that we have through our previous experience, J-Tec was well positioned to stimulate designs and plans to offer solutions and or alternatives to overcome these challenges.”

“The interaction between the human capital development and the installation team proved to be of immense value. Generic supplier manuals were responsibly customised to be project specific and user friendly. This established a firm base for training modules that were developed. In order to ensure longevity and to establish unrestricted access to employees, GMSA requested that the medium and approach to training be changed from trainer lead to computer-based training. The right people for this incredible challenge were provided. It needs to be stated that GMSA’s commitment and the well-balanced investment in the development of their staff is unrivalled and needs to be applauded.”

Transformation
“The portfolio of services that we will be offering to foundries and similar companies range from foundry audits to engineering and construction of complete plants. In between, they may choose strategic analysis and feasibility studies, site selection and master planning, computer simulation and training programmes, project management and equipment installation.”

“To achieve this, we must be able to assess, develop a strategy, plan the technology to incorporate and then implement and train.”

“Companies are increasingly demonstrating demand for complete turnkey engineering solutions from the industry’s technology suppliers, and all indicators are that the trend will continue. The reason for this is simple: The efficiencies foundries gain from a complete turnkey solution, from single machines, equipment upgrades and small systems to complete foundry layout and design, are significant.”

“Besides the GMSA project some of the other installations and projects we have been involved with include induction furnaces, transformers, power packs, capacitor banks, electrical distribution – LV, MV, HT – energy management, PLCs and MCCs, process control and monitoring systems, water cooling and treatment systems, hydraulic systems, alternative power generation, civil design and construction.”

“We say that as a foundry technical consulting company we can offer turnkey solutions and project manage them from the beginning to the end. We want to transform how a foundry currently operates into one that will have a real impact going forward.”

Partners
“There are three of us in the partnership, each with our own skills and talent. The other two partners are Darren Brown and Dricus van Niekerk.”

“Darren brings to the partnership over 30 years of foundry experience covering every discipline including marketing, technical, production and project management at some of the largest foundries in South Africa.”

“After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BSc (ENG) Mechanical in 1994, Darren gained further qualifications in Foundry Technology and Engineering Metallurgy.”

“More recently Darren was the foundry consultant for a greenfield foundry project to manufacture manganese crusher liners and other wear parts, setup in Hunan Province, China,” said Botes.

“The days of foundries managing all of their upgrades are disappearing. For example, in the past, a foundry planning to improve its coremaking operations would source the core machine from one company, the scrubber from another, the sand silos and supporting structures from others, and still another company to handle the installation and commissioning. Now, most foundry customers request a complete turnkey engineering solution in one proposal,” explained Brown.

The third partner – Dricus van Niekerk – has many years of experience in project development and management, with a focus on engineering, design and development support. Human capital development is another skill and although he has spent the majority of his life in industries such as the beer, mining, packaging and food industries, he has also been fundamentally involved in upgrade projects at a couple of foundries in recent times.

“Foundries need more than equipment design. They need to know how the capital they are investing will change and improve their operations. We can provide this service,” concluded Botes.

For further details contact J-Tec Engineering on TEL: 010 007 1892 / 082 409 7475 or visit www.jtecengineering.com