THE MILL LINER THAT LASTS LONGER

Fields results show that the new Vulco® R67 mill lining rubber compound from Weir Minerals delivers an increase in wear life of 20%.

With a liner that can run significantly longer, operators will experience a measurable reduction in mill downtime, installation and maintenance costs.

“This is a breakthrough in the industry; a rubber mill liner that in extensive global trials delivered on average 20% longer life than comparable composite lifter bars. This means less shut-down time for maintenance, which in this highly competitive environment represents a measurable outcome to our customers’ productivity and bottom line,” states Mathias Kuhrke, Global Product Manager for Mill Lining Systems at Weir Minerals.

The innovative premium rubber compound is the most wear resistant Weir Minerals has ever formulated. Operators using R67 lifter bars within their mill will not only benefit from the increase in wear life, but they will notice a measurable reduction in installation and maintenance costs as a result of a longer run schedule.

The making of R67 compound
Weir Minerals is an industry leader in materials technology and have been supplying the Vulco® R63 rubber compound to mill lining applications across the globe for over 50 years. Whilst this technology performs well in most grinding applications, many suppliers are perceived by the market to offer similar rubber compounds with no real differentiation. Weir Minerals identified a clear gap in the market for a rubber compound that could increase the wear life of its mill liners and outlast the rest.

After extensive field research on the current rubber compounds available to the market, Weir Minerals expert engineers and material scientists developed the unique patented material that forms the R67 compound.
“Using our extensive in-house knowledge, experience and expertise, we were able to develop a new Weir proprietary elastomer that is able to withstand the severe abrasion typical in mill systems applications. Our Vulco R67 compound utilises new technology and chemistry in elastomer formulary which overcomes the limitations of more traditional elastomer compounds used in the market today,” states Dr. Michael Lum, Materials and Elastomer Development Manager for Weir Minerals.

The Vulco® R67 rubber compound is visually different from others in the market place, with green capped ends on the lifter bars.

“During the product development process we added a green pigmentation to the formulation to visually set our lifter bars apart from the competitors. Now when a mill operator sees the distinct green strip on the lifter bar, they will know they have a premium product,” says Lum.

What customers think
Over 10 trials spanning four continents have shown significant wear life improvements, in some cases exceeding a 50% increase in wear life! Weir Minerals are confident the latest R67 rubber technology will help operators across the globe get the most out of their mill.

“Our customers were at the heart of this new compound development and we worked closely with them throughout the field trials. During this time, we encouraged them to provide honest feedback on the R67 rubber compound. There’s tremendous value in having a trial partner that documents the downsides as well as the positive benefits. This allowed us to note which applications the new compound is best suited for, or make further improvements to the compound,” states Hayden McLean, Mill Lining Product Manager for Weir Minerals.

One operation to reap the benefits of the premium R67 rubber compound is Simplot Phosphates, LLC. Operating a phosphate mine, north of Vernal, Utah, this long-standing customer of Weir Minerals agreed to trial the liner with R67 rubber. After a nine-month trial, the liner achieved a 29% improvement in wear life and had 20% service life remaining when it was removed. The trial also achieved an estimated 25% reduction in maintenance and reline costs.

Bart Smuin, Mill Maintenance Supervisor for Simplot states: “R67 lasts longer, which delivers less downtime and less time in the mill. That is the biggest advantage.”

Weir Minerals’ new Vulco® R67 premium rubber compound sets the benchmark for mill liners worldwide. Contact your local Weir Minerals representative to find out how the Vulco® R67 rubber compound can keep your mill running at capacity for longer.

GRINDEX PUMPS MOVE SAND SLURRY WITH EASE

Sand slurry can be one of the most challenging pumping applications as the material being transferred is thick, abrasive and contains coarse particles that often form an unstable mixture.

Colin Adams, managing director of Integrated Pump Technology, says that sand slurries also often contain corrosive elements and sharp particles including stones which could result in excessively high wear with a dramatic reduction in pump life.

“Pumping sand slurry can be tough on pumps and it is critical that the correct pump be selected for this demanding application,” Adams says. “Attention needs to be paid to the flow requirements and power calculations when determining which pump is most suited to an individual application. Most importantly, these sorts of pumping tasks require more power to operate than that required by a clean water pump.”

Integrated Pump Technology has reported continued success with its Grindex Bravo pumps replacing vertical spindle pumps in these applications.

Apart from the obvious advantage that a submersible pump offers over a vertical spindle pump such as its ease of installation, the innovative design of the Grindex Bravo range ensures minimal contact with the actual sand slurry being pumped.

Adams says that these pumps have been engineered to deal specifically with complex slurries, and have an integrated agitator system that allows the slurry to be placed into suspension for easier pumping.

“The majority of pumps do not have this feature and agitation therefore needs to come from an outside source increasing the cost of the installation as well as the maintenance required in that application,” he says.

Commenting on potential increased wear in these applications, Adams says that the hydraulic components are made from N-Hard 4, one of the hardest materials available today. This ensures optimum wear life.

The Grindex Bravo pumps are engineered to operate over the complete pump curve, not just on specific duty and can handle from 30 litres per second up to 130 litres per second at a maximum head of 45 metres. The slim compact design facilitates quick and easy installation, while low noise level operation is another advantage.

Lower operating costs are also possible. These high efficiency pumps are known for reduced electrical consumption and as well as lower maintenance costs. An integrated pump starter protects the unit from dry run conditions and also allows optimum control of the pumping operation.

In addition, the unique Grindex “SMART” motor protection feature prevents pumps from single phasing, overheating and backward rotation.

The pumps incorporate an innovative hydraulics section with a closed impeller that reduces the performance drop sometimes caused by long term wear. The impeller is easily adjusted and this ensures stable dewatering during the whole life of the pump.

MORE ABOUT INTEGRATED PUMP TECHNOLOGY
Integrated Pump Technology is the sole importer and principal distributor for the Grindex range of dewatering, slurry and sludge pumps for southern Africa. The company’s product line-up also includes Faggiolati submersible drainage and wastewater pumps, mixers and aerators and Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum pumps.

A network of 16 strategically located, specialised pump distributors supported by dedicated account managers ensure effective service and customer support. Grindex submersible pumps have been available in South Africa for 25 years and are a household name in mine dewatering.

MULTOTEC IS FIRST UP FOR SABS LOCAL CONTENT VERIFICATION

Leading South African mineral processing equipment manufacturer Multotec has taken the pioneering step of having its local content verified by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), in line with the requirements of the draft Broad-Based Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter for the Mining and Mineral Industry, 2018.

At the end of the verification assessment in July, Multotec Group chief operating officer Jannie de Jonge commended the work of the technical teams from the SABS and Multotec, who had pursued the creation of this “prototype” process as a starting point for promoting local content in mining goods. Whereas mines’ procurement requirements have in the past been linked mainly to the B-BBEE ownership of suppliers, the new draft Mining Charter proposes a more direct measurement of local manufacture embodied in the products themselves.

“Following the publication of the National Development Plan, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) have put more emphasis on the promotion of the South African manufacturing industry,” says De Jonge. These proposals were incorporated by the Department of Mineral Resources in the 2018draft of the Mining Charter.

The amendments propose that 70% of all goods procured by mines are required to be “South African manufactured goods”, which are in turn defined as “goods with a minimum 60% of the value added during the assembly or manufacturing of the product is created in the Republic.” It is also proposed that this plan is phased in over five years, giving suppliers time to align themselves and become compliant if they wish to continue supplying mines.

The Multotec Group decided to become more pro-active in this process after a DTI-SABS presentation early this year to the South African Mineral Process Equipment Council (SAMPEC) – part of the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC) – where the benefits of the local content requirement were outlined.

“South Africa’s manufacturing sector has shrunk considerably in recent years, and this localisation drive was part of efforts to support and grow local manufacturing and job creation,” de Jonge says. “The department was also able to outline generally how it thought the process would unfold.”

The Multotec Group decided that action would be better than words, so showed its support for the spirit of these local manufacturing requirements by investing in having its products verified. While there were reasonable standards in place against which such verification could be initiated, there were aspects of the requirements and processes that were still not clearly defined.

“Both Multotec and the SABS agreed that we needed to create a prototype of how this verification process could work, and this would need practical engagement,” he says. “We committed to go through the process to see what was involved and what we could learn and provide useful feedback to the SABS and the DTI. The learnings gained from the process and the experience gained by all involved are priceless.”

The Multotec Group has invested millions of Rands over the four decades since its establishment in 1978 in state-of-the-art manufacturing plant and equipment and is actively engaged in training initiatives to ensure that the skills are developed and maintained to put these investments to best use.

“We certainly appreciate seeing this recognition from government for our own progress to date,” he says. “Despite the uncertainty of the outcome, and the rules and definitions still being under review and open for comments, we are committed to the process and supporting the initiative by the DTI and DMR to prioritise local content.”

However, de Jonge emphasises that this process will need to be embraced with a significant responsibility and accountability to the industry by local mining suppliers.

“The key focus among all stakeholders – including local manufacturers – must be the sustainability and success of our mining sector, so we need to ensure that we can supply world class products at competitive prices to the mining industry,” he says.

The concerns expressed by the Minerals Council South Africa – previously the Chamber of Mines – that some of the elements of the Draft Charter do not promote competitiveness, must be taken seriously.

“The mining industry is under severe cost pressure and is not in a position to absorb higher prices from suppliers,” says de Jonge. “Local manufacturers are therefore obliged to continue becoming more competitive themselves, and to improve productivity as a strategic priority going forward. We must all understand and accept that for mining in South Africa to be competitive, it must have an efficient and competitive supply chain.”

He also firmly believes that the promotion of local manufacture can gain momentum and can itself attract substantial foreign direct investment to enable its expansion and improvement.

CONCOR WESTERN CAPE SCORES THREE SAFETY AWARDS AT MBAWC

Concor Western Cape has again proved itself a world class contractor by winning three out of the five building categories in the Master Builders Association Western Cape (MBAWC) 2018 Regional Safety Competition.

Mark Fugard, managing director of Concor Western Cape, says that these accolades from the MBAWC is an acknowledgement and recognition of the exemplary health, safety and environmental programme that the company has in place across all its sites.

“Safety is more than a watch word for Concor, with the highest level of commitment from management to our Stop.Think.Act! philosophy. It is about remaining focused on our objective of Zero Harm while delivering quality projects,” he says.

In Category D for project values between R14 million and R40 million, Concor Western Cape was placed first for its Signature Lux project. This project scope involved internal demolition and stripping out of an extremely old heritage status six storey building and converting the building into an 88 key Signature Lux hotel. Fugard says that although challenging at times the project has progressed well and is scheduled to take its first guests in September this year.

For the second year in a row, the company’s 16 Nettleton Road project was placed first in Category F which covers projects from R100 million to R150 million. The project scope is for the construction of a luxury residential house constructed over seven levels on the steeply inclined seaward side of Nettleton Road, Clifton.

This has been a complex project with one of the many challenges being the need to anchor the structure to the shear mountain slope at regular intervals. The project is now entering the very detailed finishing stages. Completion is scheduled for early next year at which stage a new standard of luxury residential construction will have been achieved.

The Aurum luxury lifestyle development in Bantry Bay scored another first for Concor Western Cape, this time in Category G for project values from R250million to R450million. This well publicised project includes building on each side of the busy Victoria Road with the sumptuous Presidential Residences cascading down to the water’s edge below the road, and the 15 plush Luxury Residences climbing the hill above the road.

“Safety is a key performance requirement on the project with traffic and pedestrian management and control vital to project performance success, considering the constant heavy flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic passing the site,” Fugard says. During construction use was made of closed-circuit cameras focused on various points on the road between the two buildings to ensure that traffic and pedestrian behaviour was closely monitored and that construction staff managed the traffic flow while accepting the necessary deliveries of concrete, bricks and other materials.

“We believe that securing these awards further underpins Concor Western Cape’s capabilities in terms of delivering complex projects on time, within budget and most importantly safely. We are also extremely proud to have these projects represent Concor in the Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) National Safety Competition,” Fugard concludes.

BOOYCO ELECTRONICS MEETS EVOLVING CUSTOMER NEEDS

Understanding evolving customer needs as well as the legislative compliance for differing sectors has positioned Booyco Electronics to offer application specific safety related solutions to customers across a range of industries.

Graeme Jardine, general manager field services at Booyco Electronics, says that the company’s safety products portfolio has grown significantly since the company was first established 12 years ago. This market offering is underpinned by a solid field service support system ensuring customers of a rapid response across South Africa.

Significantly, the company’s market offering, founded on leveraging best practice engineering and manufacturing, has produced a line-up of technologically proficient solutions. Jardine say that in addition to locally manufactured products, the company sources quality equipment where the economic justification for local manufacturing does not exist.

Unpacking the core products, Jardine explains that the company pioneered proximity detection systems in the South Africa underground mining industry, and this offering was extended to surface operations. Interestingly, this is across several industry sectors now.

Booyco Electronics’ fully integrated Proximity Detection System (PDS) represents the latest generation of this technology. The Booyco PDS, which provides a safety intervention capability with a data hub, has been well accepted in the mining sector with other industries rapidly incorporating the company’s technology into their safety programmes.

Jardine says data is transferred between users via Booyco Electronics’ Human Machine Interface (BCI unit), with system communication with line managers, engineers using easy to understand icons. The company’s BEAMS software is used as a reporting tool to ensure that PDS events can be analysed and used as a change-in-behaviour tool.

Many operations include the Booyco Biometric Control System as an integral part of their operating environment. This further enhances safe operating parameters as the system, which uses personalised ID cards, regulates access to restricted areas and validates licenced machine operators.

“Importantly, BEAMS software can be configured for specific operational and application requirements allowing optimum flexibility underpinned by absolute reliability and accurate access to information,” Jardine says.

Other Booyco safety products such as the Sentient handheld gas detection device and ESI Smart Sensor can be connected via the network to a downloading server, where specialised BEAMS software enables various reports to be generated. This includes detailed information on detection of gases, peak values, TWA values, pre-shift tested values, calibration reports and “no movement” reports.

The IP68 rated Sentient handheld unit was developed to improve safety in underground mining or any confined spaces in surface operations. It is the first multi-gas instrument in South Africa to measure relative humidity as a standard offering.

Gas monitoring at fixed locations is easily accomplished with the ESI Smart Sensor. This unit features a localised display of sensor information and significantly a single controller can measure 15 different gases. It can also accommodate other sensors with analogue outputs such as air velocity sensors or smoke detectors.

“A natural addition to Booyco Electronics’ product line-up was the range of fire suppression technologies that were added earlier this year,” Jardine says. These products are a good fit and enable the company to provide the latest suppression systems as part of a total solution from a single service provider thereby creating a better value proposition.

Booyco Electronics was appointed as the preferred distributor for Advanced Automation Systems (AAS); the company which exclusively markets the DAFO brand of vehicle fire protection and FirePro aerosol-based extinguishing systems in South Africa.

“It is all very well to offer such fit-for-purpose technology, but our real differentiator is the level of technical assistance available both through our head office technical team as well as the competent individuals across our branch network,” Jardine says. The branches are strategically situated allowing proximity to customer operations in the major mining centres of the country. The current network includes seven facilities which is due to be expanded later in the year.

Field service teams ensure optimum uptime of all Booyco Electronics technology installations, branches maintain a parts stockholding commensurate with equipment populations in each region.

CIVILS IN SURVIVAL MODE FOR 2018, BUT 2019 HOLDS HOPE

The construction sector – and particularly civil engineering – will remain in the doldrums for 2018 with hopes for some improvement to begin next year, according to Industry Insight senior economist David Metelerkamp.

Speaking to construction industry stakeholders at a recent AfriSam breakfast briefing on the State of the South African Construction Industry, Metelerkamp said that the civils sector was bearing the brunt of the construction downturn, and companies reported the worst levels of confidence since the early 1990s.

“Over the last 18 months, there has been a significant decline in the value of tenders awarded,” he said, pointing to a 26% decrease in the value of projects over the past year.

He highlighted that order books across the civils sector remain flat, and even dropped in recent months, possibly as a result of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s planned clean-up of the state-owned enterprises which had in some instances delayed expenditure. But he saw more efficient SOEs as a positive factor in the medium to long term for civils.

“Conditions will remain tough this year, which will possibly be the worst year for the civils sector,” he said, “but we are expecting some improvement next year and the following year.”

The civils sector had experienced poor annual growth levels for many years up to 2016, after which its performance had worsened further with five consecutive quarters of negative growth. Some good news came recently with Energy Minister Jeff Radebe’s interventions to progress 27 independent power producer agreements; Metelerkamp noted that civils contractors would have to rely more on the private sector contracts like these. There might also be good news in store as the next national election looms, with an election run-up often coinciding with the issuing of more government tenders.

In the interests of transforming the sector, government has also been breaking up large infrastructure projects into smaller pieces, to allow greater access by small contractors; these smaller players have therefore taken over a substantial portion of market share from larger contractors.

AfriSam’s chief executive officer Rob Wessels emphasised the positive role that construction played in creating employment. Urging greater partnership between the stakeholders at the briefing – which included construction firms, retailers, trade unions, management, material suppliers like AfriSam and industry associations – Wessels said that while construction contributed around 3% of gross domestic product, it employed roughly 9% of South Africa’s labour force. The sector employs about 1,4 million of South Africa’s total workforce of approximately 16,3 million people.

“The construction sector is labour-intensive, and if our President’s vision of creating another one million jobs over the next five years is to be realised, a significant portion of that will have to be achieved by the people in this room,” he said.

HENGSTLER INCREMENTAL ENCODERS RANGE OFFERS OPTIMUM FLEXIBILITY

The range of Hengstler incremental encoders offers users optimum flexibility with an encoder available for every application. In fact, the options allow for a customised solution according to southern Africa distributor, Countapulse Controls.

There are over twenty standard models from which to choose; this includes encoders for solid or hollow rotating shafts from 4 mm up to 42 mm diameter and up to 10 000 PPR (Pulses Per Revolution). A choice heavy duty or light duty is possible as is the housing material which could be aluminium or stainless, and there are multiple connection options facilitating a fit-for-purpose encoder.

The Hengstler RI32-O incremental rotary encoder is popular for light duty applications and as one of the smallest encoders available is ideal for use where space is limited. The shaft is aluminium and the 30 mm diameter housing is constructed of plastic material. This makes these devices lightweight and durable. This range also include 5 mm and 6 mm solid shaft diameters with protection class ratings of IP40 and resolutions of up to 1 500 PPR.

Known as economy encoders, the Hengstler RI38-O incremental rotary encoder is also favoured for light duty applications. The shaft is made of stainless steel and the housing is constructed of glass fibre reinforced plastic material. This makes it an economical, light and durable product. A 6 mm diameter solid shaft version is available with a protection class rating of IP40 and resolutions of up to 1 024 PPR.

The Hengstler RI58-O incremental encoder is a universal industry standard encoder. The 58 mm diameter housing is aluminium while the shaft is stainless steel. This encoder offers a choice of product configuration options.

For example, a clamping flange version with solid shaft diameters of 10 mm and 12 mm with a protection class rating of IP64 and resolutions of up to 5 000 PPR. This encoder is available with a PPR up to 10 000 if required.

Designed for direct mounting onto rotating shafts, the Hengstler RI58-D incremental rotary encoder is secured by a front clamping ring and the main body of the encoder by a stator coupling or set screw. The through shaft design allows for unrestricted mounting depths as the shaft passes completely through the encoder body. The front clamping ring version is available with shaft diameters of 10 mm and 12 mm and a protection class rating of IP64 with resolutions of up to 5 000 PPR (Pulses Per Revolution).

Also, directly mounted onto rotating shafts, the Hengstler RI76TD incremental rotary encoder is secured by a front flexible tether allowing for mechanical stresses caused by angular, axial or radial misalignment between the rotating shaft and the encoder. Again, the design of this encoder allows for unrestricted mounting depths as the shaft passes completely through the encoder body.

Shaft diameters of 15 mm and up to 42 mm are available with a protection class rating of IP40 and resolutions of 500, 1 000 and 1 024 PPR.

The full range of Hengstler incremental encoders is available from Johannesburg-based Countapulse Controls. The company offers a full technical advisory service assisting customers to select the most appropriate encoder for the given application.

B&E INTERNATIONAL IS INDUSTRY’S PARTNER IN CRUSHING FROM START TO FINISH

Cost effective crushing is vital to the competitiveness of mining and quarrying operations, and experienced experts can ensure the right amount of the required product, while reducing the risk of operational downtime.

Dewald Janse van Rensburg, managing director of B&E International, says it is essential to consider the comminution and sizing operations as an integrated process.

“We have been hands-on in crushing and screening for over 45 years, and so we can bring our detailed insights into every aspect of design, manufacture and operation,” says Janse van Rensburg.

He notes the importance of focusing their designs on the precise nature and volume of output that the customer requires in a specific timeframe. To do this a good understanding of the source material is also required, such as the size of the rock entering the process, its abrasiveness and its hardness.

For instance, the hardness of the material may well reduce the throughput that can be achieved through the crushing circuit and high silica levels and other abrasiveness factors will influence wear levels, so operators need to be aware that maintenance interventions may be more frequent under these conditions.

“Our engagement with the customer can start much earlier in the process, with the identification and approval of a quarry site for aggregate production, for example,” he says. “We can test the stone available and advise on blast design and practices.”

Janse van Rensburg highlights that each customer’s application will be specific, so it is crucial to design and manufacture crushing plants with appropriately sized and staged equipment – as well as the right screening and other infrastructure – to suit the purpose.

“Customer requirements include the right grading envelope – the ratio between the coarser and finer aggregates – that must be achieved,” says Janse Van Rensburg. “The expected throughput rate is determined by what the market demands, or the daily draw-off levels for a specific project and the design must reliably achieve this.”

Factors like fines generation or stone shape may also need to be addressed when producing aggregate. When dealing with flaky material, specialised equipment like a vertical shaft impactor (VSI) can be included in the process, to break down the edges of the stones to make them more cubical.

“In those rare applications where tramp metal is an issue in the source material, we also provide solutions such as metal detectors to stop the belt when necessary, or even magnets to remove metal objects before they damage the crushers,” he says.

DURABILITY UNDERPINS CHOICE OF APEX STRIP CURTAINS BY B.T. ENTERPRISES

Known for providing cutting edge technology, service and innovation to the local food industry, B.T. Enterprises has long recognised the advantages of using Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains at its facilities.

Established in 1974 as a supplier of specialised food processing equipment, the company has grown to where today it operates three divisions – food processing equipment, packaging materials and spices and food ingredients.

Wim Dessing Jnr, sales director at Apex Strip Curtains & Doors, says the company has a large number of repeat customers, and counts B.T. Enterprises among these.

“Operating in the food industry requires high level of quality control and this includes eliminating the ingress of dust, insects and other foreign contaminants from its packaging, blending and processing areas,” Dessing Jnr says.

Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains are installed in a number of locations at B.T. Enterprises’ facilities and with individual strips being reinforced with the patented Balledge® have proved durable. This unique edge ensures an efficient thermal seal yet allows strip to part easily under pressure to allow personnel to move between areas.

In the latest installation as B.T. Enterprises, a fixed Apex General Purpose Strip Curtain installation was replaced with an installation on a specially designed sliding track. Dessing Jnr says this facilitates a much wider opening allowing bulk palleted goods to be easily moved in and out, increasing productivity.

Another requirement in this particular application was the inclusion of a red strip in strategic positions among the other clear strips. These cautionary strips clearly demarcate the sides and the middle of the opening, further enhancing safety for those moving through the opening.

“The use of flexible PVC strips was pioneered more than 40 years ago by Apex Strip Curtains & Doors,” Dessing Jnr says. “And an important characteristic of our specially formulated PVC material is it does not become brittle with use, which means that our product easily outlasts inferior products.”

Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains are locally manufactured by the company in Johannesburg, and its technical team is able to assess applications and provide a fit-for-purpose cost effective solution.

MATERIAL SPECIFIERS ARE DROPPING THE SAFETY AND PERFORMANCE BALL

Specifiers of floor grating often stress the purchase price of the material at the expense of structural integrity and loading capacity. “Cost and price are two separate factors which need to be acknowledged, and this is especially so with floor grating as the quality of the material underpins both its safety and ultimate performance,” Lance, Quinlan, national technical sales consultant at Andrew Mentis cautions.

Andrew Mentis is the largest single producer of floor grating in southern Africa and has been manufacturing Rectagrid RS40 (40/40) floor grating for 68 years. It operates from a world-class facility at Elandsfontein, Johannesburg, and its Rectagrid products are the benchmark in floor grating in South Africa.

“However, with increasing pressure to cut costs, specifiers often take the short-sighted approach of opting for bottom line, sub-standard products. These may be cheaper in the short term, but do not offer the same benefits in terms of quality and durability. Health and safety is also compromised using inferior products,” Quinlan says.

Rectagrid RS40 (40/40) floor grating is manufactured using a pressure locking system pioneered by Andrew Mentis. Quality control during the manufacturing process ensures that close tolerances are maintained, and that the round transversal bar fits tightly through the pierced bearer bar. This not only guarantees the superior structural integrity of the product, but also eliminates its vulnerability to corrosion – which, in turn, ensures the superior locking characteristics. Rectagrid RS40 (40/40) is formed through a process of compressive locking of bearer bars and transversals to form an exact pitch with openings of 35.5 mm by 32.4 mm.

“In an effort to cut costs even further, specifiers are even reducing the number of bearer bars and round bar transversals on each section of grating. This reduces the loading capacity of the grating, as well as weakening it and, in some cases, even rendering it unsafe,” Quinlan explains.

“An added problem of such short-sighted cost-cutting measures is that the safety implication is only apparent after installation, when it is clear that the compromised floor grating is unable to perform according to the original specifications.”

Rectagrid RS40 (40/40) is a highly engineered product that has been tested extensively in the field. Andrew Mentis’s entire product range is manufactured locally from raw materials supplied by Mittal. Quinlan says the company’s main challenge is to continue to produce world-class products without sacrificing on either materials or quality.

“It is also critical to educate the end-user market, as well as ensuring that specifiers make informed purchase decisions that take into account the full ramifications of cost versus price,” he concludes.