Insimbi builds its presence in the non-ferrous industry

Development of remelt ingot manufacture allows Insimbi Alloy Supplies’ non-ferrous division to offer a full basket of products.

Insimbi Alloy Supplies, now in its 50th year of existence, has been associated with the foundry industry for the majority of that time and with the non-ferrous industry an equal amount of time, supplying master alloys to the aluminium industry, notably titanium-boron aluminium and strontium aluminium, and many other products such as specialty metals, alloys, metal-based chemicals and powders. These products included grain refiners, tungsten carbide powders, ferro molybdenum, ferro titanium and welding powders. They also represented companies who produced products such as inoculants, nodulisers and calcium.

“We have been very dominant in the market as a supplier to the industry with the supply of industrial consumables to a wide range of markets but we always felt we were lacking in some areas,” explained Director Dudley de Beer.

“Non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, copper and zinc will always play a vital role in the manufacturing industry since they are irreplaceable for many products in the automotive, mechanical engineering and construction sectors.”

Non-ferrous remelt ingot is sliced into billet size

“It is for this reason that we have a division dedicated to supplying a comprehensive range of non-ferrous consumables and hardware to local and global markets. Our clients consist mainly of primary and secondary aluminium smelters, copper smelters, non-ferrous foundries and the electroplating and galvanising industries,” explained de Beer.

It’s not what is on the outside it’s what is inside that makes the difference
“We began about five years ago to address the situation of not offering a full basket of products to the non-ferrous industries that we supply. We have now fulfilled this objective by sourcing a reliable supply of crucibles, fluxes and degassing consumable products. It has never been our intention to supply the hardware such as equipment and this remains so.”

“However, to add more value to our supply chain and clients we needed to offer non-ferrous remelt ingot and rather than just source from a third-party we decided to manufacture our own product.”

“The idea was first mooted five years ago and through extensive trials and development we are now confident that we can supply a quality product to the industry. Anybody can melt a pile of scrap and then pour it into billet shape and offer it for sale. But there is much more to it. In this case it’s not what is on the outside, although surface finish is important, it’s what is inside that makes the difference.”

“We can adjust the composition of chemical properties and colour of the billet according to client requirements but more importantly it is the know-how of this process that we now have through our extensive testing, that sets us apart. This is very critical in eliminating further melting and product defects and the resultant costs in the downstream process.”

“Scrap is considered one of the most important resources that accounts for a large percentage of the manufacturing costs of final product in the casting process.”

Manganese master alloy that has been manufactured by Insimbi Alloy Supplies

“The process of manufacturing a semi-product that feeds the furnace, a square sliced billet, includes melting the scrap to remove impurities and casting the square billets through an adjustment of chemical composition. Billet has a square cross section area and when sliced are easier to handle during furnace loading especially if your furnace is small in size like those that are generally used at an art foundry.”

“We started off making conventional ingot but through our experience and research we changed to billet cast vertically to reduce oxide inclusions. Initially we setup at our aluminium facility in Benoni but soon relocated the furnaces and plant to Wadeville, for many reasons.”

Growth of Insimbi Group
“While we have been developing this area of material supply of the Insimbi Alloy Supplies Division, the Insimbi Group has been growing as well. They have entered into the scrap metal recycling industry with the acquisition of Amalgamated Metals Recycling (AMR) Group, the Treppo Group and Group Wreck.”

“This ensured a reliable supply of scrap material such as brass, copper, lead, nickel and tin for the manufacture of our copper-based billet. We have also been associated with Anglo Platinum for many years and therefore have access to the base metal of copper and others.”

Group laboratory for chemical analysis
“The Group has also seen organic growth in the form of the development of the beneficiation of materials. This has accelerated the development of a stand-alone business operation – The Insimbi Group Laboratory.”

“The laboratory’s activities are conducted in compliance with international standards and best practices and include a full suite of services for accurate determination of analysis, from sampling, sample preparation, analysis through appropriate methods and sample retention and disposal. Additionally, certificates of analysis are verified and issued for complete accountability and traceability.”

“This service has been a big influence in the development of our product, which besides copper-based billets, includes manganese master alloy and ferro titanium billet.”

Vertical casting
“We have also been busy in developing our material processing and billet manufacture. As said earlier we started off manufacturing ingot but this changed to billet. This also allowed us the freedom to change to vertical casting.”

“We have also designed and developed our own carousel to house the moulds, a much simpler and more efficient process.”

“We have also now invested in our own cast moulds rather than using the fabricated moulds that we initially used. Maintenance on these fabricated moulds was too extensive.”

Vertical casting of remelt ingot that is then sliced into billet size. Insimbi Alloy Supplies designed and developed their own carousel to house the moulds, a much simpler and more efficient process

“Although the business division was a few years in development and we only went to market earlier this year in February, we have achieved month-on-month growth, despite the well-known pandemic that the world has been fighting.”

“We are confident that we can continue with this trend and are buoyant that clients can regard us as a one-stop-shop, an approach that management has been trying to achieve.”

“Our billets can be produced out of primary as well as remelt or secondary metal. The list of new clients that we can acquire is dynamic depending on changing market conditions as more and more new players realise they can venture into the locally manufactured product business. We are going to be part of that market share.”

For further details contact Insimbi Alloy Supplies on TEL: 011 902 6930 or 011 865 8800 or visit