At the beginning of last year local foundry equipment manufacturer Endeco Omega Sinto moved into a new facility in Wadeville, Gauteng, having been in its previous factory for 25 years.
“The move was part of our restructuring plan to grow the business organically and externally. While the previous factory served its purpose while we were there, in the end it began to hinder our ambition to grow the business by expanding our penetration into the South African market and to be able to participate in Group manufacturing activities,” said Roy Dias, Managing Director of Endeco Omega Sinto.
“We had a facility that was approximately 800m². Eventually our boilermakers and fabricators were falling over each other. Space was at a premium and we needed to address the situation. We now have 2 000m² of factory floor space at our disposal and as a result it afforded us the opportunity to have a greenfield mindset when planning the deployment of our various fabrication services.”
A ladle for a client fabricated by Endeco Omega Sinto ready for delivery
“A big bonus is that the facility has two overhead cranes, which we have never had before. Just the time that we are saving on moving our relatively heavy structures that comprise the various foundry equipment that we manufacture, has had a marked effect on fabrication and assembly times.”
“We have also been able to organise the flow of material – from cutting to welding and then final fabrication – so that we optimise and maximise productivity and machine utilisation, while at the same time we are minimising turnaround times.”
“The new factory has also afforded us the opportunity to increase our capacity in more ways than one. Additionally, we have installed a spray booth that adheres to requirements. We have never had one before.”
“You only realise and understand what gains you can achieve if you have a forward-thinking policy for your company. By eliminating non-value-added actions and processing your material more efficiently, you can add significant benefits to your production floor and of course the bottom line.”
A positive spinoff from Endeco Omega Sinto’s move is that they are now fabricating and manufacturing company products that are destined to be installed in foundries in other countries where the Group is active. Some equipment that Endeco Omega Sinto now manufactures locally is equipment that the company has not manufactured before
“This might be one small example but we as a company have always encouraged the local foundry industry to adopt the same outlook – to invest in new and high-tech equipment that will make their operations more cost effective. It is particularly more pertinent now that there is more and more competition from countries like China and India affecting all aspects of the local manufacturing environment.”
“Another motivation for us to make the move was that we are now a company within a multi-national group – Sintokogio – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of foundry equipment, offering technologies for improving casting quality, productivity and the work environment. Sinto acquired UK equipment manufacturer Omega Foundry Machinery, a company we have a joint agreement with, in 2018.”
“In 2015, Omega Foundry Machinery acquired a majority stake in our company.”
“The Omega product range includes a range of equipment that we were not previously manufacturing. Their product portfolio is to specialise in the manufacture of equipment for the chemically bonded or no-bake process. We now manufacture in South Africa all equipment to Omega designs and standards. This encompasses the group’s vision of supplying equipment to the same standards and quality globally. This is for all equipment related to sand mixing, mould handling, reclamation and core making.”
“Sinto serves customers and industries with solutions for foundry, surface treatment, material handling, environmental, mechatronics, consumables and more. Headquartered in Nagoya, Japan, the Sinto network extends to a group of 48 companies in 12 countries and regions, with approximately 3 840 employees worldwide.”
Chromite sand recovery test plant: “Another interesting project that we are in the process of completing and testing is the manufacture of a chromite sand recovery test plant for a local client with international links. The development of the plant is to be able to afford foundries that use chromite sand the opportunity to have spent sand processed in the plant to separate silica from chromite sand. Ultimately foundries may be able to use the recovered chromite sand or silica, back in their plant. This could lead to sizeable bottom line savings for foundries.”
“Sinto equipment includes flaskless moulding machines, automatic core setters, “Seiatsu”, tight flask moulding lines, flaskless and tight flask mould handling systems, Shalco shell and cold box core machines, automatic pouring systems for lip and stopper rod pouring, Barinder automatic grinding machines, robotics and integrated control systems. Sinto manufactures equipment for the whole foundry process, from sand treatment to surface treatment finishing, which includes shot blasting equipment, blasting abrasives and peening media, and we are able to market this equipment locally.”
“Sinto has built up a reputation in the foundry industry that is second to none. In doing so it has incorporated a strict policy on quality, image and corporate brand reputation. All subsidiary companies have to have a unified approach in applying modern, winning management and manufacturing systems and add to the international recognition.”
“The challenge to comply has been rewarding. However, the benefits of the association are too numerous to mention and the resultant technology transfer into the local foundry market is an added bonus.”
“Another project that we began implementing last year was our ISO standards. This is an ongoing project as it takes time to adhere to all the standards required of you to meet, especially as we are striving for Health and Safety ISO 45001:2018, Quality Management ISO 9001:2015 and Environmental ISO 14001:2015 simultaneously. We hope to be accredited in a few months’ time.”
“Implementing effective and robust ISO management systems will help us to focus on the important areas of our business and improve efficiencies, while at the same time adhere to quality, health, safety and environmental standards. The management processes that are established throughout your business will provide a sound foundation, leading to increased productivity and profit. This in turn will improve your customer acquisition and retention,” said Dias.
Positive Group spinoffs
“These improvements in all aspects of our business have led to increased orders and also recognition within the Group structure. The positive spinoff is that we are now fabricating and manufacturing company products that are destined to be installed in foundries in other countries where the Group is active.”
The bed for a shakeout being fabricated
“There are many reasons why we are now included but one of the main reasons is that we have been acknowledged as being a fabricator and manufacturer that meet the world standards that are demanded and required. We have had to earn the trust but from a broad technical aspect we believe we are ahead in some cases. It is an opportunity that we have grasped and it is a big step as it will be the first time that we will be ‘exporting’ equipment to countries outside the continent.”
“An added advantage is the technical transfer that we are now afforded. Some of the projects that we are involved in where we are manufacturing equipment, is equipment that we have not manufactured before.”
Chromite sand recovery test plant
“Another interesting project that we are in the process of completing and testing is the manufacture of a chromite sand recovery test plant for a local client with international links.”
“The development of the plant is to be able to afford foundries that use chromite sand the opportunity to have spent sand processed in the plant to separate silica from chromite sand. Ultimately foundries may be able to use the recovered chromite sand or silica, back in their plant. This could lead to sizeable bottom line savings for foundries.”
Cover picture: Robotic sand milling
Tinker Omega Sinto, an Omega Group Company, have developed a robotic milling cell that is set to revolutionise the metal casting industry’s approach towards the traditional manufacturing of patterns and ultimately the castings that they produce. A multi-axis CNC robot milling tool is used to create a precision mould from a solid block of sand. This process takes just a few hours, as opposed to the few weeks that would be required to create a traditional wooden pattern. Using the latest technology, lead times can be drastically reduced, especially when the various aspects of the process are well connected, or better, all on the same site. The company says you can achieve patternless sand mould production at 25% of the cost of 3D printing with double the speed!