One of the world’s largest white iron foundries is open for business

Capable of producing 18 000 tons of white iron per year and turning out efficient slurry pumps and parts that can weigh up to 27 tons, the new KSB foundry is at the end of a more than a US$100 million capital investment, according to an article in Mining Technology.

April 2022 saw the second stage of the large white iron material manufacturing and handling project that GIW Industries, Inc. (now a part of KSB Mining) had begun building in early 2014, end. The new facilities in the 13 000m² unit at its Grovetown, Georgia, US complex expanded production and handling capabilities at the site to make it one of the world’s largest white iron foundries.

The new foundry is capable of producing pumps at a whopping 1 000 castings over 5 500kgs each per year. This means it can easily accommodate the production of its large-scale slurry pumps from start to finish, like the MDX-850 (the largest hard rock pump that KSB produces), the TBC-92, one of the largest and heaviest slurry pumps available for the mining industry, and the DWD, which is even larger than the MDX or TBC, and is used for dredging.

As some pump castings produced can weigh up to 27 tons, the 12 heavy-duty cranes installed in the foundry will certainly have to pull their weight. The building is 22m tall and houses facilities to produce these giant pumps, including three custom heat treatment systems manufactured by McLaughlin Furnace of Indiana, USA, which are capable of loads of up to 45 tons each.

Original foundry expansion
The mining market was expanding ahead of 2014 and, to meet rising global demand, GIW Industries had to expand its production capabilities to remain competitive. At that time, only ten per cent of the world’s foundries made white iron, so increasing GIW’s manufacturing capabilities in this product allowed it to maintain its position, with a view to capturing more of the market in the future.

This also gave them the opportunity to draw up plans for making the new facility a real game-changer. GIW’s view of the future was that there would be a strong market for larger and larger pump castings, so they created an appropriate space where these could be manufactured.

The first stage of the expanded foundry at the Grovetown, Georgia site became fully operational in 2016, but further expansion was needed to meet the growing demand for these types of large pumps. The decision was made so GIW and KSB could quote for large casting orders competitively without having concerns about extended lead times and quality issues.