Foundry Solutions thrives on non-ferrous bushes and liners

Now adding spin casting to its portfolio.

Foundry Solutions might not be your modern casting facility with all the bells and whistles often associated with a foundry that is perhaps servicing the OEM automotive market and is required to have the latest production equipment and is deploying the cutting-edge technologies. But if you are producing quality castings and components on equipment that you can afford and your clients are happy with that then does it really matter?

At the tender age of 25 Paul Britz found himself in a sink or swim position having already been part of the foundry industry for eight years. During this time Paul worked in the family foundry business learning all aspects of sand casting, mainly casting non-ferrous metals. This experience stood him in good stead and was a precursor to him opening up his own foundry in Vereeniging, Gauteng.

A machined casting

Foundry Solutions concentrates on casting non-ferrous metals and as few variations of castings as possible

“At that stage of my life I did not have the capital to even contemplate purchasing new equipment but managed to get enough money together to buy two 300 kilogram second hand furnaces, a couple of second hand conventional lathes and a bandsaw.”

“I decided that I should concentrate on casting non-ferrous metals and as few variations of castings as possible. This decision led to me focusing the production on manufacturing bushes and liners for the wear parts and spares sections of industry.”

“Having no record to speak of it was a real battle to convince companies to order from me. It is astounding to see how many companies, big and small, are not prepared to stick their necks out and give someone a chance. There are so many excuses that they come up with. I virtually had to beg to get my first order and when I did I made sure that all the boxes were ticked, from quality to delivery date. In fact, I delivered the components before they were scheduled to be delivered.”

Foundry Solutions casts between 10 and 15 tons of castings, depending on orders every month

A bush being pre-machined

“I started off on the foundry floor and I am still on the foundry floor today except that I am there for longer periods these days and I have 14 other people helping me get between 10 and 15 tons of castings, depending on orders, out every month.”

“My client list has grown substantially relative to the size business we are and we either supply castings as cast, pre-machined or fully machined.”

“There is nothing fancy about the way we cast our metals but we just make sure we do it correctly using premium metals and green sand. We use polystyrene patterns and quality consumables.”

“The heaviest casting we have cast is 600 kilograms and the largest casting is a bush that had a 1 600mm OD. One of our biggest clients today is a national distributor of non-ferrous metals with branches throughout South Africa. He has been kind to us, after battling to get on his vendor list initially, but we do provide the level of service that that they demand.”

Copper hammers
“Another important client to us operates in the mining industry. One of the main products that we supply to them are copper hammers. We can supply up to 3 000 of these a month in four different variations between 1,4 and 6,3 kilogram weights. I don’t know what happens to these hammers on the mines but it is a high consumable if you look at the numbers.”

Spin casting
“With the demise recently of one of the only spin casters in the country we have decided to venture into this area of casting as there is a call for this type of operation. Understanding the competitive dynamics of an industry is a critical part of any growth strategy effort.”

“For this reason we have now chosen the specialised casting process of centrifugally cast or spun cast tubes as there is no one else doing it.”

Paul Britz of Foundry Solutions

The heaviest casting that Foundry Solutions has cast is 600 kilograms and the largest casting is a bush that had a 1 600mm OD

“Primarily used in the petrochemical industry, spun cast tubing is designed and manufactured to withstand the enormous pressure and exceedingly high temperatures that come with the chemical processes associated with this industry.”

“The two major benefits of casting tubes this way is that they are virtually creep free because the centrifugal force literally ‘squeezes’ molten metal into shrinkage voids as they are formed, resulting in castings that are very dense, especially when compared to static castings.”

“The second major benefit is that there is a secondary refining process. When the centrifugal force spins the more dense material – the metal – to the outside diameter of the molten casting, the less dense material – the non-metallics – spin preferentially to the centre of the tube. These non-metallics can then be easily removed in subsequent machining operations, leaving a very clean, very dense end product.”

“When done via the sand casting method there is too much opportunity to incur defects and leave the product vulnerable to leaking, which could have catastrophic consequences in the industries where the product is mainly used.”

Inside the Foundry Solutions foundry

Foundry Solutions ordered two spin casting machines from the Turkey manufacturer Centrifugal Casting Machine Company. The one machine will operate in the 100 to 200mm OD area and the other one will cater for product between 300 and 500mm OD. The machines were installed in November 2017

“The partial list of end products that can be manufactured include cylinder liners, alloy steel tubes, bushings, bearings, piston rings, ductile iron pipe, soil pipe, steel rolls and other types of rolls, brake drums, sleeves and other non-ferrous castings.”

“We ordered two machines from the Turkish manufacturer Centrifugal Casting Machine Company and they were installed in November 2017.”

“They are horizontal trunnion type machines. The one machine will operate in the 100 to 200mm OD area and the other one will cater for product between 300 and 500mm OD. Although the process will be new to my company we do have a synergy in that bushes are all cylindrical with holes in the middle to put it simply.”

“We intend to spin cast all the types of material that are possible. We are currently looking at our melting capacity and could be adding equipment to this department.”

For further details contact Paul Britz of Foundry Solutions on TEL: 084 724 3333 or visit