CONCOR BUILDINGS SHOWCASES FLEXIBILITY ON MAKRO RIVERSANDS PROJECT

Visible Felt Leadership is a philosophy that Concor Construction drives and an excellent example of a project where this is reaping significant rewards is the Concor Buildings Makro Riversands contract.

Concor Buildings, previously known as Murray & Roberts Buildings, is part of Concor Construction which was recently acquired by a consortium led by Southern Palace Group.

This is an extremely busy construction site with activities on all faces with people and machinery moving everywhere, yet it does not seem congested and everyone seems to have a thorough knowledge of what needs to be done and why. It is apparent when one walks through the site that there is ongoing interaction between all levels of personnel on this contract and this high level of communication is ensuring the success of the project.

When completed the massive new Makro will be a 12 metre high single storey structure that includes the store, offices and outbuildings. Roadways and parking areas are also included in the scope of the contract.

Scaffold activities for brickwork and plastering.

The contract was awarded to Concor Buildings by Massmart in February 2017, however external issues outside of the contractor’s control led to a delay in being able to start concrete casting.

This, according to contracts manager, Martin Muller, had a 41 day impact on the critical path of the baseline programme but also provided the opportunity to showcase Concor Buildings’ flexibility and responsiveness to the changing needs of the project due to the delay.

“We were able to mobilise the necessary competent core team initially, and implement the necessary acceleration in the programme to bring it back on track to ensure that the newly agreed store opening would not be compromised,” Muller explains.

He say that the original sequence of works had been to proceed from the east to the west but, because of the unprecedented delay, the programming was resequenced with construction starting from both ends at the same time.

This required a change in the level of resourcing on the project to accommodate the accelerated works programme.

“The resequencing and accelerating of the programme has crashed all the activities with some of these now completely out of sequence. This has put pressure on ensuring that all information is received on time and requires monitoring of all activities on site to ensure that everything is done correctly the first time,” Muller says.

Formwork being stripped and stacked.

One of the primary challenges on the project is to keep close track of the actual costs versus the budget especially because of the accelerated programme. Also important is the close management of people and productivity including sub-contractors. There are currently 565 people on site, but this is expected to increase to over 1000 at project peak.

Muller says that several initiatives have been implemented aimed at keeping rework and wastage to an absolute minimum. One of these is the daily monitoring of brick and concrete usage, while another is tracking of the labour cost to complete these elements.

“These are important aspects on this contract and have involved the ongoing education and training of both our people and sub-contractors. Often the focus is on construction methodologies only but we believe it is essential to empower all our people on site to understand the ramifications of wastage and rework,” Muller says.

Following site establishment, the contractor started on the foundation work while simultaneously procuring the long lead items.

Levelling off the external hard stands in preparation for concrete casting.

The first concrete was eventually poured on May 3rd and shortly thereafter the structural steel and concrete structure activities began concurrently.

Significantly, on the Makro Riversands structure the complete perimeter walls are being constructed with brick and mortar as opposed to the use of conventional dry wall and sheeting above the three metre level.

Muller says that not only is this type of building activity more labour intensive, the height at which these construction activities is taking place has necessitated the use of additional access handling equipment to be able to access the full extent of the 12 metre structure. Increased focus has also been placed on all activities related to working at height.

Safety has also been a critical element of Concor Buildings approach to all projects, and this one is not different.

Services and other trades working together to achieve the end date.

Muller explains that contractor has mitigated the risks with the high number of people on site, the accelerated programme and the fact that construction is being undertaken on more than one face, by increasing the number of safety officers and representatives on site.

“In addition to the daily site task instructions which are held every morning by the respective foremen and the weekly toolbox talk on site, there is a high level of interaction from supervisory level as well as management, and this visible felt leadership is paying huge dividends in terms of productivity, quality workmanship and safety,” Muller says.

A significant portion of the labour force on site is from the local community, and while largely unskilled people, wherever possible skills transfer is being done to ensure sustainability of the community.

In addition to this, there are a high number of interns on site as well. This is an extension of the existing Concor Construction programme with Go for Gold students and underpins the company’s commitment to supporting continued knowledge sharing, development and up skilling of graduates.

Commenting on specific construction activities, Muller says that the actual monolithic concrete floor which is an important element for Makro is on the critical path of the project. The floor is designed to accommodate the high levels of vehicular traffic and storage as well as the requisite load bearing capacity of the store.

Before the floor can be cast it is essential that the entire structure be completed; this includes the roof structure and all the perimeter walling and ensuring that the entire construction is watertight. The flooring itself will take about three weeks to be cast under stringent quality control measures, and this one of the reason why the contractor is pushing to complete the programme.

Once the flooring has been cast, access will need to be given to Makro so racking and other internal structures can be assembled.

Once completed Makro Riversands would have consumed a total of 1 million cement stock bricks, used 9 000 m3 of readymix.

Muller is ably assisted on this project by site agent, Andrew Kagaso and general foreman, Petrus Nthombeni.

MARTHINUSEN & COUTTS CONSOLIDATES PRESENCE AS PREFERRED ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL SERVICES PROVIDER

Marthinusen & Coutts, a division of ACTOM (Pty) Ltd, is consolidating its role as an integrated electrical and mechanical services provider across Africa, and internationally. Together with subsidiary, ACTOM Turbo Machines, the division offers the full range of maintenance, repair and special manufacturing services of electric motors, generators, turbo machinery and other high speed mechanical rotating equipment.

Richard Botton, Divisional CEO, Marthinusen & Coutts, says both Marthinusen & Coutts and ACTOM Turbo Machines have a long and proud history of serving customers on the continent. He ascribes the ongoing success to a combination of diligent planning, a culture of problem solving and providing innovative solutions; a sense of urgency, industry-leading skills, and having the necessary infrastructure and resources in place, both in South Africa and in strategic African countries.

Marthinusen & Coutts is unique in that it is the only independently owned service provider that is capable of providing extensive maintenance, repair and special manufacturing solutions for all electrical and mechanical rotating machinery.

“We are well positioned to carry out critical projects both in Africa and globally, having access to all our resources in South Africa as well as our well-equipped facility in Zambia, which provides immediate services to our customers in that region, with all the sought-after advantages of a local facility, plus the full backup of M&C and ACTOM’s resources in South Africa,” Botton says.

Marthinusen & Coutts has an extensive reference base of successfully completed projects, innovative maintenance solutions, record turnaround time breakdown repairs, and numerous on-site maintenance contracts.

He is quick to caution about the difficulties of providing maintenance services in African countries, with some companies lacking the necessary infrastructure, expertise and extensive experience that Marthinusen & Coutts is known for on complex projects and emergency repairs.

“A critical factor is that Marthinusen & Coutts has been involved in Africa for more than a decade, and as such have a sound knowledge of what it takes to deliver a quality solution to our customers in the countries in which we operate,” Botton says. “It is our in-depth understanding of African conditions that allows our teams to get there, make a plan, manage and execute projects; and that is on an ongoing basis with numerous repeat customers.”

The key differentiator for Marthinusen & Coutts is its rapid response time, inherent sense of urgency, culture of dedicated customer service and ability to mobilise quickly and efficiently in tackling critical projects. “We understand our customers’ business needs and that they cannot afford unscheduled downtime. Many of these projects are vital to ensure regular power supply to mining projects and other sectors, so our speed, understanding and service delivery are all essential,” Botton says.

In addition, all Marthinusen & Coutts branches have direct access to the Centre of Excellence in Cleveland, Johannesburg. Critical equipment at this facility includes a 32 ton balancing machine, extensive testing capabilities and a fully equipped machine shop including CNC machines.

“While these advantages give us the competitive edge, Marthinusen & Coutts is also adept at thinking out of the box and renowned for its flexibility and ingenuity,” Botton says.

“Our long-term strategy is to become the preferred integrated electrical and mechanical services provider for the power generation and mining industries in Africa and across the globe,” Botton notes. “What gives us the leading edge in terms of these African contracts is that we can leverage the other divisions within the ACTOM Group to provide us with additional manufacturing capability, products, and expertise,” he concludes.

SPECIALISED PLANT NEEDS SPECIALISED CARE – WEBA

A trend on many mines to cut maintenance costs has sometimes led to general contractors being engaged to conduct repairs and servicing; this is generally not a good idea for specialised equipment, warns Mark Baller, managing director of Weba Chute Systems.

“Most customers are well aware that good maintenance is the right long term solution to preserve the value of their assets and ensure smooth operations,” says Baller. “Faced with financial pressure, however, outsourcing to general contractors is seen as a cheaper option, which it is actually not.”

The danger is that these service providers are not that knowledgeable about the specific products they are maintaining, he says. In many cases, for instance, they see the Weba Chute simply as platework, and conduct repairs in a fairly haphazard way through welding.

“What they don’t realise is that our chutes are custom engineered to meet the specific operational requirements of that mine, so the material chosen and the particular configurations of the transfer points cannot be changed willy-nilly by the incorrect installation of parts or components,” he says.

When maintenance is not conducted in line with the equipment design, this affects the performance of the chute, and ultimately has a knock-on effect on the whole materials handling process of which it is a critical part.

“This will often result in additional costs being incurred by the customer,” he says. “Operationally, there may be added impact and damage to the conveyor belts, or more spillage at the transfer point which requires added clean-up time. Also, dust emissions may increase, and these would have to be addressed.”

The eventual result of incorrect maintenance is that the unit becomes irreparable and has to be replaced. This introduces capital cost implications, on top of the operational and maintenance costs.

Retrofit replacement underway by Weba Chute Systems.

“So it is not difficult to see that it can be very dangerous to put the maintenance in the hands of a service provider that is not correctly trained or is not sufficiently knowledgeable,” says Baller. “By trying to save a little – say, R20,000 to R30,000 a month – on the maintenance cost, some mines put their whole operation in jeopardy. Even a single hour of lost production can cost the operation hundreds of thousands of rands in foregone revenue.”

The quality of maintenance, he says, has a direct impact on plant availability. In a recent case, Weba Chute Systems had collaborated on maintenance with a customer to keep their plant availability at between 96% and 98%. When a cost saving exercise led to a general contractor being engaged, the plant availability dropped to 89% – a significant drop that cost the mine substantially in terms of lost production.

“It wasn’t just our equipment that was affected,” says Baller. “All the OEMs were shifted off site in favour of the general contractor. Their drop in productivity was therefore not limited to just the chutes, but extended to a range of other specialised equipment. Without sufficient training on all the equipment, the contractor could not keep up the required standards, leading to this drastic reduction in plant performance and overall production.”

On the other hand, Baller says, there are a range of benefits that an OEM brings to a mining operation, that turn their maintenance charges into tangible value for the customer.

“In some cases, we have maintenance contracts which actually involve our own crews on site, who perform inspections and conduct the maintenance work,” he says. “The mine will order the spares when they are required, and we work hand-in-hand with the mine’s maintenance superintendents and engineers to schedule the maintenance on these plants.”

Lack of maintenance can lead to damage inside transfer points.

He says that Weba Chute Systems also have customers doing their own maintenance. “We assist them with random inspections, just to keep an eye on things, but they generally do their own planning and installation, as well as the ordering of spares,” says Baller.

DRY-TYPE TRANSFORMERS IDEAL FOR TREND TO MODULAR SUB-STATIONS

The introduction of Trafo dry-type transformers to the African market comes just at the right time for the end-user, as a number of industry sectors embrace the growing trend towards modularised substations.

“Due to the various benefits and the cost effectiveness of modular substations – which are fitted into either a marine container or a specially fabricated E-house – dry-type transformers are becoming more popular,” says David Claassen, managing director of Trafo Power Solutions. “The Trafo dry-type transformer is ideally suited to this application as it can be mounted inside the modular structure; this cannot be done with the traditional oil-filled transformer.”

Claassen highlights that safety is the prime concern in the design and construction of substations. Due to its design and the absence of oil as a coolant, the dry-type transformer is simple and safe, allowing extensive test work to be conducted with the modular unit prior to the full solution being sent to site. This in turn reduces the costs associated with site installation, assembly work and commissioning.

“There is an historical misconception that dry-type transformers are too large to be housed within a container, but this is not so,” he says.

Including the dry-type transformer inside of the modularised substation has the cost saving benefit of eliminating the need for civils infrastructure that is needed for oil-filled transformers have to be located outside of the substation for safety reasons. This type of civils work includes foundations and a plinth on which the unit can stand as well as special purpose bunding walls to contain oil leaks This not only increases the cost of the installation, but lengthens the time frame in which the substation can become operational, and the cost of this additional civils infrastructure in the more remote areas of Africa is also particularly high.

The Trafo dry-type transformer is ideally suited to this application as it can be mounted inside the modular structure.

Sourcing dry-type transformers from industry pioneer and leader Hammond Power Solutions (HPS) gives Trafo Power Solutions the flexibility to meet specific and unusual requirements from customers.

Drawing on the depth of technical expertise within HPS and its manufacturing facilities in Italy, an appropriate solution can always be found without compromising the quality of the product.

“In a recent E-house application that Trafo Power Solutions provided for a mining project in Sierra Leone, a 2,000 kVA dry-type transformer was specified as part of the mobile mining unit,” says Claassen.

“We supplied four dry-type transformers in total: two 800 KVA units, one 1,600 KVA unit and one 2,000 KVA unit. The unusual voltage levels that were required – 13,2 KV/480 V at 60 Hz – demonstrated our flexibility in meeting specific customer requirements.”

The focus at Trafo Power Solutions is all about finding a solution for the customer, he says, outlining other elements that made this project a success. The scope of supply included temperature control units along with cooling fans. These will be automatically switched on in the event of a failure of the master cooling system and will ensure minimum downtime while the system is repaired.

Another useful function of the cooling fans is to allow the transformer to increase its power output in the event of an overload situation. Surge arrestors for each transformer were supplied as an added protection against the risk of an unstable voltage supply.

Parts of the substation such as potential transformers (PTs) are specifically designed and manufactured for outdoor use with a rating 13,2 KV/110 V AC, 500 VA for protection purposes mounted near the auto reclosers.

Including the dry-type transformer inside of the modularised substation has the cost saving benefit of eliminating the need for civils infrastructure.

Claassen says that because these mobile mining units are transported to site and in some instances moved from area to area within a mine, it is critical that the structural integrity meets this type of arduous application. “Trafo transformers are engineered to withstand harsh vibration and are robust in construction, however where required it is possible to reinforce the rigidity further.”

“We find solutions and offer flexibility through understanding the customer’s specific needs and applying an agile approach,” he says. “Traditionally, this type of equipment would be on the critical path for a project, but we managed to have them manufactured within a five-week window, which allowed for a rapid delivery to the customer.”

Claassen emphasises the high energy efficiency of these transformers, leading not only to lower energy consumption but also to less energy loss through heat; this means less is demanded from the ventilation and cooling systems on these units.

An extra benefit – especially for remote sites such as mines in rural areas of Africa – is that a dry-type transformer is virtually maintenance free, significantly lowering its operating cost.

MODULAR DESIGN OF WEG SMART RELAY OFFERS FLEXIBILITY

The modular design of the WEG low voltage electric motor management system offers flexibility by allowing expansion of its functionalities. Engineered as a plug and play solution, the compact WEG SRW01 is ideal for applications where space is limited. It incorporates state of the art technology and network communication capabilities.

Designed for use with power supplies from 24 to 220 V AC/ DC, the WEG SRW01 has a facility, if selected, to monitor voltage up to 690 V AC and measures current from 0.25 A up to 840 A.

The reliability and precision achieved with the WEG SRW01 smart relay makes it suitable for the toughest industrial applications.

Pre-programmed operation modes allow use in several starting and monitoring configurations; this includes a mode which allows the device to be programmed for an individual application allowing optimum flexibility. The unit provides LED indication for input and output activations status, operation mode status, power supply status, and alarm status.

The digital input and output functions of the control unit are automatically configured as operation mode is selected. The system will also automatically recognise which protocol is in use.

The digital inputs can be configured to monitor external digital signals. Using this feature, the output contact from an external relay can be connected to the digital input of the smart relay. Significantly, it is this feature that allows the user to incorporate various protection mechanisms, such as earth leakage and thermal (PTC), in the same relay.

The WEG SRW01 supports a range of communications networks including DeviceNet, Modbus-RTU, Profibus-DP, and Ethernet (2016). The communications modules can be easily exchanged due to the design of the system. The WEG SRW01 has a USB port for relay monitoring, programming and online back-up through a PC when using WLP software.

Rapid system monitoring and relay parameterisation is done via a Human Machine Interface (HMI) keypad, and the device’s internal memory makes it possible to record up to three parameter settings or user programmes. The relay incorporates a thermal memory circuit which will maintain the motor thermal image, even in the event of power loss. This handheld keypad allows engineers to link up to 250 WEG SRW01 smart relays offering great flexibility.

WHAT IS YOUR REAL COST PER TON?

When mines go out to tender on the goods and services they require, procurement officers should be looking beyond the service provider’s rates to the contribution they make to the mine’s cost per ton of minerals produced; not an easy task when there are so many hidden factors at play.

In fact, says SPH Kundalila group commercial and operations manager Graeme Campbell, a proper investigation into costing is vital before the correct buying decision can be made.

Contractors need to have the flexibility to move equipment and people around from one area to another.

“One of the central problems that mines face with procurement is when contractors charge lower rates but then don’t perform in line with expectations. This can result in losses for the mine,” says Campbell. “Under-performance basically increases the cost per ton, and may also make the mine liable for expenses not previously anticipated.”

He emphasises that contractors need to have the flexibility to move equipment and people around from one area to another.

“If the contractor does not have additional equipment and people that can be brought in as ‘backup’ when additional work is sourced, this hampers production levels,” he says. “Many contractors create this problem for themselves when they do away with backup services in order to keep wages and maintenance costs low. In the end this becomes a hidden cost to customers as they don’t get the required level of service.”

He also highlights the effect on pricing that is exerted by the age of a contractor’s equipment. If the application is ‘soft’, the work conditions easy and the working hours short, then a small scale contractor can generally provide an adequate service.

“However, when the application changes to medium or hard conditions which have higher impact loads, this could lead to older equipment starting to break down,” says Campbell. “This immediately affects targets, which are not met and which therefore bring down profits.”

He points to the significance of fleet size in the lowest-cost-per-ton equation. While small scale contractors can often offer a cheaper rate per ton on a limited quantity of material, they usually have to hire in equipment for dealing with larger quantities. This could affect the mine’s profits and safety levels.

“Due to the cheaper rates charged, it is not always possible for them to hire the right quality of equipment to perform the work, and this sub-standard equipment can put the profitability and safety of the operation at risk,” he says. “A health and safety incident, for example, can trigger a section 54 stoppage, which invariably results in revenue loss for the customer.”

Mines need in-depth vetting to ensure that their service providers have the necessary capacity for any conditions that they may encounter, and a record of past success.

“At SPH Kundalila, for instance, we manage the biggest Caterpillar 950 loader fleet in the southern hemisphere,” he says, “and our safety performance is reflected in the number of safety awards we have been awarded by the Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of South Africa (ASPASA).”

Campbell concludes that the real cost per ton is not only represented by a contractor’s rate, but by the value that the contractor will add to the mine’s profitability in terms of time saved and productivity.

“A low rate charged by the contractor is never a saving if it costs the mine millions in lost production,” he says. “Customers choose SPH Kundalila because we ensure that production runs efficiently and smoothly, so that targets are met and profits are made.”

DOUBLE THE CAPACITY AT REEF FOR DIESEL INJECTION WORK

Leading diesel injection specialist Reef Fuel Injection Services (RFI) has boosted the capability of its ISO 9001 accredited Germiston facility by investing in a second Hartridge test bench for calibrating the new generation smart Delphi diesel injectors.

The new equipment represents RFI’s further commitment to the Delphi smart fuel injection system, which offers a range of benefits relating to efficiency and emissions to end-users.

“This new investment will double our capacity to repair, remanufacture, test and calibrate Delphi diesel injectors, and will allow us to serve the growing market in Delphi systems, as this brand expands beyond its traditional application in light motor vehicles to larger truck engine applications,” says RFI director Andrew Yorke.

RFI is once again first to market with this technology, supporting customers with high quality, OEM certified repair and calibration services as these systems rapidly evolve. Yorke says that the remarkable progress of injector technology – while being driven mainly by the global drive to reduce emissions from diesel engines – also brings cost related benefits to customers.

“It makes simple economic sense to properly burn all the diesel that you are putting into your engine,” he says, “The higher pressures that are being built into modern injection systems produce better atomisation and contribute considerably to the efficiency of the combustion cycle – which in turn improves engine efficiency and diesel consumption rates.”

To illustrate the advances in recent decades, the latest Delphi systems are designed to operate with a 2,500 bar injection pressure – a far cry from the 240 bar normally associated with original mechanical injectors.

He also highlights the significance of the electronically controlled nozzle control valves in the latest smart injector systems, allowing multi-stage injection cycles that further raise burn efficiency within the combustion chamber.

Other diesel fuel injection systems for which RFI is an authorised service agent include Bosch, Denso, and Stanadyne. This means that RFI’s repairs on these brands are backed by an OEM warranty. RFI is acknowledged as the market leader for the repair of CAT fuel injection systems.

“It is important for us to stay ahead of the game across the range of fuel injection systems in the market today,” says Yorke, “as the vehicle population in South Africa is fairly small by European or North American standards.”

The cost effective process of remanufacturing diesel injectors always requires testing and calibration before a unit can be returned to a customer in its ‘zero hour’ (as new) state – and its settings mapped back to a standard, he says.

Established in 1975, RFI is a subsidiary company of Metric Automotive Engineering, also a well respected and leading player in the remanufacture of diesel engine components.

AFRICA’S LARGEST CRANKSHAFT POLISHER AT METRIC

Leading diesel engine component remanufacturer Metric Automotive Engineering is once again ahead of the curve, installing and commissioning the largest crankshaft polishing machine in Africa.

“This custom engineered, one-of-a-kind machine is capable of accommodating crankshafts with lengths of over six metres,” says Andrew Yorke, operations director at Metric Automotive Engineering. “It represents our philosophy of investing in the latest bespoke and best practice technology, so that we can offer our customers around Africa a world-class standard of service.”

Yorke says that while crankshafts have traditionally been ground and then polished on grinding machines, this is certainly not the ideal solution.

“Polishing debris contaminates the crank grinding machine and this can lead to accelerated wear on critical areas of the machine,” he says. “Moreover, not all crankshafts need to be both ground and polished; some only need polishing, and doing this on a grinding machine is not the best use of this asset.”

Metric Automotive Engineering’s dedicated polishing machine will significantly raise the company’s productivity, enabling even more rapid turnarounds on those crankshafts that require only polishing and not grinding.

“We will also employ this machine to polish camshafts after the re-profiling of the component, or if the journals and lobes only require a polish and not a re-profile,” says Yorke. “Polishing of these components after grinding is vital, as it removes grinding burrs and ensures that the surface finish is ideally matched to the requirements of the bearing materials they run on.”

He emphasises that, in the case of crankshafts and camshafts, there are journals which run on the bearings and lobes which have roller followers carrying high loads. These require the best possible surface finish in order to prevent roller skidding or seizure.

“By polishing these journals and lobes to the correct surface finish, we can return them to OEM specification or better,” he says. “In turn, this leads to improved component performance and longer engine life.”

The company remanufactures heavy diesel engine components for a range of different end-user industries, and has developed a long and impressive track record over almost 50 years. It has generated its extensive capabilities by staying abreast of the latest global developments in diesel engine technology. To ensure the highest standards and expertise, it also maintains close affiliations to the leading diesel engine OEMs.

Repairing and remanufacturing modern diesel engine components to their original OEM specification is an exacting science, says Yorke, and requires long-term development of expert skills and ongoing investment in specialised equipment like this state-of-the-art polishing unit.

Metric Automotive Engineering remanufactures heavy diesel engine components for a range of different end-user industries, and has developed a long and impressive track record over almost 50 years.

MONITORING TO RAISE MILL EFFICIENCY, REDUCE STOPPAGE TIME

Unreliable and time consuming methods of monitoring the condition of mill liners are now a thing of the past, as mines can now ensure higher efficiencies by tracking liner wear in real time.

With the introduction of MultoScan by Multotec Rubber, milling plants can accurately measure a mill’s liner profile and predict the point at which the mill will start becoming inefficient. The automatic measurement and display of the charge level confirms that the operation of the mill is correct.

According to Matthew Fitzsimons, technical manager at Multotec Rubber, wear rates of liners are not linear, as the increased slippage of the charge on worn liners tends to exponentially increase the wear rate.

Data generated by the MultoScan is analysed and interpreted by highly skilled technicians using Multotec’s Hawkeye proprietary programme, so there is no time lag, allowing plants much quicker responsiveness.

“When combined with critical mill operating parameters, this data can help predict the point where the liner becomes inefficient and hence when the mill itself will become inefficient,” says Fitzsimons. “Customers can receive immediate feedback on the condition of the liners, so any urgent issues can also be timeously addressed.”

The traditional way of monitoring liner wear was the time consuming and often inaccurate pin-gauge method. The MultoScan now provides an effective alternative, while also being much more affordable than the highly sophisticated but expensive monitoring technology in the market.

Repeatability of the MultoScan results means that there is hardly any room for human error in this system. It also saves mines significantly in terms of the time value of mill stoppages for taking manual wear readings.

Further savings can be harnessed by reducing the stockholding of liners that mines need to keep; this is due to better information on the liner profile, giving maintenance crews the ability to set the trigger point for the liner inventory as and when they need it.

Fitzsimons highlights the potential that MultoScan offers, as individual plants can map key performance indicators of their mills and link these to the liner profile condition, extending the capability of the monitoring system by allowing mines to select specific criteria.

Field trials have proven how well the system works in some of Africa’s most arduous milling conditions; more recently, the technology has even been exported to Australian customers.

He emphasises the commercial value that plants can leverage by optimising their mill performance through access to this pioneering technology, alongside Multotec’s market-leading technical expertise and support.

Data generated by the MultoScan is analysed and interpreted by highly skilled technicians.

DURABLE AND FLEXIBLE APEX STRIP CURTAINS FOR ALL APPLICATIONS

The patented Balledge® design on Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains not only ensures an effective thermal seal, it also makes the locally manufactured product very durable.

Made from specially formulated PVC material that retains its flexibility irrespective of the environment or temperate where the strips re used, Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains have found use in numerous applications across the country.

Wim Dessing, managing director of the company, says that the Balledge® is essentially a reinforced edge on the side of each strip and it prevents snagging and scratching of people and foods as they pass through.

“The Balledge® is what provides extended strip life, even after years of use, and because the material is transparent visibility is enhanced making it safe to use for covering doorways and cordoning off areas within a facility,” Dessing says.

Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains are commonly attached to an overhead hanging rail and provide a cost effective and highly efficient means of separating atmospherically critical areas from temperature extremes and environmental pollutants. In addition to their obvious use at entrance and exit points, the industrial PVC strip curtains are also becoming increasingly popular as a means of temporarily partitioning areas within large facilities.

The use of flexible PVC strips in industrial applications was pioneered more than 40 years ago by Apex Strip Curtains & Doors. “An important characteristic of our specially formulated PVC material is that the Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains do not become brittle with use, which means that they easily outlast inferior products,” Dessing says.

In addition to controlling the influx of hot or cold air, Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains also reduce the dust levels as well as prevent the ingress of birds, rodents and insects. The strip curtains are able to prevent the passage of unwanted contaminants in industries where hygiene and cleanliness are critical, while still permitting the unhindered and safe passage of people and forklift trucks. Additional benefits include the reduction of noise levels from both inside and outside the facility in question.

The strips are available on a metre by metre basis, or as complete installation together with hanging hardware. Apex Strip Curtains & Doors is represented throughout South Africa by a network of agents that also offer technical and installation support.

Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains are commonly attached to an overhead hanging rail.