20 ton Inductotherm steel frame furnaces with 8 000kW Inductotherm VIP Power-Trak Power supply installed in melt shop.
For many of us, early exposure to some of the interests that are a part of who we are today, were created when we were very young. It is at a time of your life when impressions are easily made and generally will be remembered for the rest of your life, whether it be a leisure activity, a hobby or your attitude to life. As a son your father, or another male family member, will be the chief influencer. Rafik Mohamed was no different. From an early age he learnt from his father, who ran his own hardware shop, that you could not take anything for granted except that hard work, passion and dedication will help you succeed. Simultaneously another life lesson he learnt from his father was that your name is your most valuable asset whether it be dealing with your community that you relied on to help you start your business or giving your full commitment to your customers and staff.
In the melting department SA Steel Mills have two furnace systems, each comprising of an 8MVA power supply and two 20MT Inductotherm steel frame coreless induction furnaces
Rafik Mohamed has now built a very successful steel merchant, manufacturing and processing business and he is not shy to attribute his success to the part that his late father and mentor played in his life before his premature and sad passing. He is also grateful to his uncle Osman who lent him R30 000.00 to give him some working capital when he saw an opportunity to expand the business when he became aware of the demand for roof sheeting. With this came responsibilities and commitment to family, customers and staff because Mohamed knew that people are your most important asset and they must be respected while at the same time driven to succeed.
Since those early beginnings of having to source material from secondary suppliers Rafik Mohamed’s vision has always been to set up a world class, self-sustainable and fully integrated steel manufacturing and processing plant.
After starting out purely as a manufacturer of corrugated and IBR roof sheeting, they have grown immensely and now sport one of the most diverse product ranges in the country.
A pour taking place
Bars on their way to the rolling mill department exiting a walking beam reheating oven
Pro Roof Steel and Tube attributes its success to the fact that the top structure of the company is lean, mean and hands on. Productivity and expenses are closely monitored, and staff are driven to achieve.
Pro Roof Steel and Tube was established by Rafik Mohamed in 1988 and has been servicing the South African steel industry for more than 30 years. Pro Roof Steel and Tube currently has three operations, located in Vereeniging, Pretoria and Cape Town. Their current product range of tubing, lip channels, roofing, rainwater goods, flat sheets, long products, gates and fencing related products are supplied to steel merchants and end users in the building, construction, transportation, engineering and agricultural sectors.
A comprehensive range of hot rolled structural tubing and cold formed open sections are also manufactured by the company. The tubing or hollow sections range include circular (round), square and rectangular profiles, manufactured from hot rolled strips. Cold formed open sections include lip channels, purlins, channels, top hats and angles.
A 20 ton arc furnace for refining molten metal
The rolling mill facility
Pro Roof Steel and Tube are distributors of a comprehensive range of flat and long products that include hot and cold rolled sheets and coils, galvanised sheets and coils, commercial quality and certified plates, wear and abrasive resistant plates and coils as well as various long structural steel profiles.
Value added services done at the company’s fully-fledged service centre on coil includes slitting, blanking, decoiling, guillotining and tube cutting.
From steel processing to steel making
Steel is the backbone of industry, and it follows suit as the backbone of infrastructure. Steel provides the strength to keep a building and its components standing from the ground up. Steel can be used in diverse arrays of applications, both domestic and industrial. The strength to weight ratio assists in cost savings and ensures that the structure will stand the test of time. Steel, dependent on the design and customer’s requirement, can be shaped to fit any mould. The versatility, design, and application can make a structural art piece that is appealing to the eye.
It therefore goes without saying that countries that suffer a steel shortage will be left vulnerable. The same can be said for companies that have steel as a requirement. And those are many in the value chain.
The establishment of SA Steel Mills
With the dilemma of unpredictable supply on their hands, management at Pro Roof Steel and Tube decided to secure the majority of their steel supply with an investment in a greenfield steel manufacturing mill. The company had previously set up a smaller mill in Vereeniging producing 50 000 tons a year but this was not enough capacity, even just for its own consumption.
Hot saw cutting
Currently SA Steel Mills supplies 80% of its product to the local market and the other 20% is exported to surrounding African countries. The aim of the company is to be a one-stop supplier of semi processed – billet and slab – and processed steel. This will include being able to produce angles, channels, IPE sections, reinforcing, flat bar, columns, beams, window sections, wire rod and square bar
A strip mill to manufacture hot rolled coils is also planned by SA Steel Mills, all with the vision to control its own destiny and supply chain and provide an uninterrupted service to its clients.
Planning and construction of a fourth, state-of-the-art facility for the group began in earnest with the acquisition of a 57 hectare site in Meyerton, which is about 14kms from the Pro Roof Steel and Tube plant in Vereeniging. The fully developed site with existing 120 megawatt line power was cleared of unwanted structures and development of a 300 000m² under roof facility began. Structural and cladding operations were finished in 2018 and the rest of construction and installation of manufacturing and related equipment was finished in 2020.
Environmental and sustainability consideration
From the beginning the vision was to build a world-class, modern, self-sustainable vertically integrated steel plant that would be energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The building design has incorporated a process that can harvest the maximum from the sun for solar energy and rain and groundwater that will enable SA Steel Mills to use transformative technology to produce steel differently from the global players and make SA Steel Mills only the second player in the world to make green steel without greenhouse gases.
In the melting department SA Steel Mills have two furnace systems, each comprising of an 8MVA power supply and two 20MT Inductotherm steel frame coreless induction furnaces. The company will only have two furnaces in operation at any given time and while these are in operation the other two furnaces will be prepared for relining and the next melt.
The coal gasifier
Planning and construction of a fourth, state-of-the-art facility for the group began in earnest with the acquisition of a 57 hectare site in Meyerton, which is about 14kms from the Pro Roof Steel and Tube plant in Vereeniging. The fully developed site with existing 120 megawatt line power was cleared of unwanted structures and development of a 300 000m² under roof facility began. Structural and cladding operations were finished in 2018 and the rest of construction and installation of manufacturing and related equipment was finished in 2020
The Inductotherm VIP Power-Trak Power supply that provides the power for the melting furnaces can be switched between either of the two furnaces that it is connected to.
Other equipment includes a 20 ton arc furnace for refining molten metal, a continuous casting machine, an Inductoforge billet heater, primary (5PPM) and secondary (15PPM) baghouses/fume extraction systems, a coal gasifier, two fully equipped laboratories (one for elementary spectrometry and one for physical properties) and all the other associated equipment.
For processing of the steel the company has four rolling mill sections for processing light, medium and heavy sections and rebar.
A hot and cold saw mill, cooling beds, stackers, bundling machines and conventional and CNC lathes to maintain the many rolls used in the processing of steel into various shapes and sizes are also included in the capital equipment. Ancillary equipment includes an oxygen plant, cooling water purification and cooling plant, air pollution control systems (scrubber), material handling and lifting equipment (cranes) and a coal gasifier.
A 120MW capacity substation has been built to receive power from Eskom’s substation at 33KVA. Another mini substation has also been installed.
Whole basket of products
Currently SA Steel Mills supplies 80% of its product to the local market and the other 20% is exported to surrounding African countries. The aim of the company is to be a one-stop supplier of semi processed – billet and slab – and processed steel. This will include being able to produce angles, channels, IPE sections, reinforcing, flat bar, columns, beams, window sections, wire rod and square bar.
A section of the primary (5PPM) and secondary (15PPM) baghouses/fume extraction systems
Manufactured bar ready for reheating and processing
This hands-on, owner run business has an owner who is passionate about empowering and training his staff and all those around him because they are the most important asset to him and his success. Equally his sensitivity to the environment and the next generation are priorities despite his drive to be one of the biggest suppliers of low-cost steel in South and Southern Africa.
“I established myself by selling goods at minimal margins and I developed a marked reputation in the steel industry. The credit lines to buy my machinery were given to me purely based on my honesty and integrity – the level of which fundamentally till today drives my success.”
With his company continually growing, Mohamed has only one wish: That his late brother, who before his passing was his business partner, and his parents were around to witness the success of their teachings.
For further details contact SA Steel Mills on TEL: 016 362 6045 or for sales Peter Potgieter on TEL: 016 450 5851 or email email@example.com