Concor Buildings is synonymous with delivering fast track projects to the desired quality, on time and most importantly within budget.

Martin Muller, contracts manager at Concor Buildings, ascribes this characteristic as one of the reasons why the company secured the contract to construct the new student housing accommodation in Streatley Avenue, Auckland Park.

Being developed by Century Property Developments, The Campus, when completed at the end of 2018, will provide accommodation for 800 students predominantly from Wits and UJ. This will mitigate some of the shortages being experienced with student accommodation close to the tertiary education institutions.

Construction work started in January this year and practical completion is targeted for November 2018. This will allow the finishing trades access to ready the apartments for occupation in early 2019.

Designed with an industrial look and feel, The Campus is a four and six storey building with two basement levels. The multi-storey structure will house several communal areas including study rooms, computer labs, conference rooms, a games room and a gym facility.

Significantly, The Campus will be pursuing an EDGE Sustainability Certificate through the Green Building Council of South Africa. This international rating system looks at three key areas being energy, water and materials.

Describing the construction methodologies being used, Muller says that an in-situ cast concrete base structure was cast up to the ground floor transfer slab and that everything above this level is a combination of load bearing brickwork with precast slab elements and various steel finishes.

The sections above the transfer slab vary from four storey to six storey structures with eight apartment blocks in total. The design of the complex features a central core area which will house the access lifts, a pool and gym, a canteen and other services. The basement area will accommodate both parking and storage facilities for the students. All apartments will be fully furnished making it an easy rental for students.

Once the load bearing brickwork is completed, the precast slab elements which include floor slabs and staircases will follow.

An interesting challenge for the contractor is that the construction site is taking place within a residential area which is rich in heritage and care has to be taken at all times to adhere to the local bylaws and residents’ requests.

Adding to this factor, there are additional logistical challenges as the site itself is spread over 235 metres with an extremely narrow roadway making access to site challenging. To mitigate materials handling activities, Concor Buildings erected two tower cranes which were strategically placed to service the entire construction site.

“Fast track projects are challenging at the best of times but with these logistical factors at play we have had to pay even more attention to detail in planning,” Muller says. “It is critical that materials are delivered at the correct time to the correct location as there is no space for the stockpiling of materials on site. This means delivery of all bulk materials must dovetail accurately with the construction programme.”

He explains that during the detailed planning process, the team used resource linking to the various activities to ensure sufficient resources are available when and where needed. In this manner, the company has been able to mitigate most issues.

“It is this level of planning and the control of information flow that makes a fast track project a success, and it also calls for close communication between the client, the professional team, us and the many sub-contractors that are on site,” Muller says.

Majority of the finishing trades will be done by selected sub-contractors, and Muller says that the focus here has been on ensuring overall quality while controlling the cost. The polished concrete floor and ceilings will have an off-shutter finish from the slab elements above. The walls will be mostly whitewashed, and the furniture and finishes will be modular with a modern industrial look.

Safety, as always, is a non-negotiable on Concor Buildings’ projects but constructing within a residential area has required an even more focussed approach. Maintaining absolute safety on the roadway is vital and additional personnel have been put in place to ensure this.

Another important factor is working at height, especially on a project which is fast track in nature. Skilled tower crane operators are essential and Muller says that they will play an important role when it comes to lifting and positioning the precast elements.

Concor Buildings’ Visible Felt Leadership strategy can be seen on site, and management often takes part in the daily safety task instructions briefings showing solid leadership and commitment to the company’s safety objectives.

“We are synonymous with delivering fast track projects on time, within budget and to the required specifications, and to be able to do this is all about team work and understanding what is required of each individual. We have a cohesive team and ongoing communication is vital. The team includes a lot of strong young professionals who bring energy to the project,” Muller concludes.


Continued operation of open refrigerated display cabinets after trading hours translates into unnecessarily high electricity consumption. And it can also result in premature compressor failure due to the extended duty cycles of these units.

Seemanns, a name well recognised for the supply of quality meat and meat products, recently addressed this issue with the installation of Apex Roller Blinds on its upright refrigerated display units. This was done to both conserve energy and ensure optimum quality of the products stored in these units.

Locally manufactured from a specially formulated durable aluminium material, the Apex Roller Blinds provide a cost effective manner of reducing energy losses outside of trading hours. The thermal properties of the material prevent the cold air from escaping out of the refrigerated cabinets. And this ensures that optimum temperature control is easily achieved, extending the life of the perishable goods in the unit as constant temperature eliminates condensation and ice build-up. The material is also easy to clean and resistant to mould and algae.

Apex Roller Blinds provide an effective temperature control solution that is both aesthetically pleasing and simple to operate. The cassette is fitted at the top of the upright display unit, and once the store has closed the blind is simply pulled across the cabinet opening and secured in a mechanism at the bottom. The process is reversed just before opening the store the next day. When opened, the Apex Roller Blinds installed on the display cabinets at Seemanns are completelyout of sight.

A critical advantage of the locally manufactured Apex Roller blind is that it can be customised to ensure a snug fit into non-standard refrigerated display cabinets. This is important as refrigerated display unit sizes can vary quite substantially and using a blind that provides the “closest fit” will not be an effective solution.

Wim Dessing Jnr, sales director at Apex Strip Curtains & Doors, says that such are the savings achieved when using the Apex Roller Blind that the capital outlay can be recovered within months. The company produces roller blinds for upright and island refrigerated units, and these are available either in manual configuration or motorised allowing automated shutting.


While design developments in vehicle ergonomics continue to mitigate human error, there remains the need to ensure the safe operation of all construction, earthmoving and mining machinery.

Leading electronic safety equipment supplier, Booyco Electronics has again leveraged technology to provide an effective option that eliminates the need for the physical clipboard prestart checklist that is still used by so many operators. And more significant than taking away the paper and pen procedure, the software system allows for the inclusion of no-go and go parameters that will determine whether the driver may operate the vehicle.

This specially developed software system is easily integrated into vehicles to facilitate confirmation that all the requisite prestart checks have been done by the operator. This is essential not only from a safety perspective, but also to ensure that the vehicle is in sound running order.

An important first step is that the system is able to identify whether the operator attempting to access the vehicle has the authority and capability to do so. Once the vehicle ignition is switched on, initial checks will validate the operator according to vehicle type and the operator’s current licence. This ensures that only licenced persons can operate a specific vehicle or range of vehicles.

Once the operator has been verified, the Booyco Electronic Checklist will start running through a wide range of preset parameters that can be configured according to individual operation requirements. The easy to read display shows both text and images, making it operator friendly, and each item being checked requires a simple “yes” or “no”. The checklist itself is randomised to ensure that the operator completes it in its entirety.

The Booyco Electronic Checklist is divided into critical and non-critical items, further facilitating that preventative maintenance is carried out on equipment. As an example, should a low oil level be detected, the vehicle will be inhibited from moving until this is rectified. However, should a low fuel level be detected, the vehicle will be allowed to start and drive to the nearest fuel bowser.

Should some TMM component be operating outside of preset functionality or be completely out of order, the Booyco Electronic Checklist can be configured to inhibit the vehicle. An example where this would be particularly relevant would be if the vehicle brakes are faulty.

The information recorded on individual units is easily downloadable using WiFi allowing easy accessibility to the data. This provides accurate reporting on vehicle condition and usage.

Operators using a specific vehicle need to access the checklist only once per shift, thereby avoiding production losses. Should the vehicle be switched off during that particular the shift the operator need only provide biometric identification to continue using the vehicle.

The Booyco Electronic Checklist is available as a standalone system or can be incorporated in the full Booyco PDS solution.


With mining operations remaining under pressure to optimise plants, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers must be more dynamic and focused in terms of their overall market offering.

This is the message from Johannes Kottmann, managing director of MBE Minerals SA, who says that the company’s strong relationship with and understanding of its customers’ operations allows it to provide optimum value support and services, all of which is aimed at ensuring that operations perform optimally.

MBE Minerals’ support options are customised to suit specific customer requirements and can range from basic maintenance contracts, which would typically include on-site service personnel, and can extend to consignment stock facilities and progress right up to comprehensive Service Level Agreements (SLAs). At this level, support is provided through fully fledged regional service centres capable of undertaking ongoing equipment condition monitoring, maintenance and service support.

Customers are able to leverage the expertise and in-depth experience MBE Minerals SA has acquired across the full spectrum of services to a large footprint of customers. “With an OEM supporting the equipment in the plant directly, it is possible to implement efficiency improvements as a result of ongoing input and interaction with the plant personnel. In addition to this, training is undertaken that benefits the plant personnel both in terms of operator needs and maintenance,” Kottmann says.

The maintenance of equipment in mineral processing plants is equally as important as its optimum functioning and a multi-disciplined approach needs to be instituted when designing a plant. Kottmann maintains that OEMs should be tasked with the continued and consistent maintenance of equipment in the plant to ensure that it is carried out cost effectively and downtime is reduced.

“We have seen a trend developing within the industry whereby customers are moving away from maintaining plants in-house to an SLA or life-cycle contract with the OEM. This implies that the manufacturer is not only selling a piece of equipment but is also supplying the customer with a comprehensive maintenance plan,” Kottmann explains.

“Coupled with this is the importance of the OEM’s location in relation to its customer’s operations, and we currently operate a fully-fledged service centre in Kathu in the Northern Cape to cater for these iron ore and manganese operations and in Middleburg to service various customers in the coalfields,” Kottmann says. As a result, the MBE Minerals teams have developed first-hand knowledge of how its equipment is operating within the various plants, enabling application-specific design improvements that result in an enhancement in the operational life and efficiency of the equipment.

“Our locality in close proximity to our customers also allows us to provide a rapid response technical assistance and maintenance service. We maintain a substantial stockholding of requisite parts as determined by the customer base’s needs and we can offer both on- and off-site service. From an OEM perspective, we will ensure that the correct parts are installed according to specification, and that the equipment operates within its design limits, to ensure maximised throughput and minimised downtime,” Kottmann concluded.


Access guarding in refrigerated applications can pose challenges if the sensing solution selected is not fit-for-purpose. Factors such as temperature range and ambient temperature need to be taken into account.

Countapulse Controls, the official distributor of Leuze sensing solution, offers a safety light curtain specifically engineered to cope with low temperature ranges.

The Leuze MLC 500 series safety light curtain is particularly suited for use in refrigerated areas including cold storage facilities where ambient temperatures can be as low as minus 30°C. The safety light curtains’ design is robust and compact making it suitable for installation in confined areas and those where forklifts or wheeled materials handling equipment is being used.

When coupled with Leuze’s Smart Process Gating technology, this safety light curtain offers a reliable system design which completely eliminates the need for signalling sensors. This makes the access guarding system simpler not only to install but also to operate, and costs associated with maintenance and servicing are also reduced.

Configuration and installation of the Leuze MLC safety light curtains is easy and can be done without PC. Models are available with resolutions from 14 to 90 mm and protective field lengths from 300 mm to 3 000 mm.

Countapulse Controls is able to offer a wide range of sensing solutions for a myriad of applications not only within the food and beverage sector, but across a wide spectrum of industries.


The Ombepo Wind Farm, the first wind farm to be constructed in Namibia, is situated just outside Luderitz, Southern Namibia and is designed to inject 5 MW into the national grid managed by NamPower, the national utility.

The wind farm was built by InnoSun Energy Holdings (Pty) Ltd who secured the services of Johnson Renew to transport the larger components that make up the wind turbines to site and to undertake the installation of the components on site.

InnoSun is, to date, the largest IPP in Namibia with 20 MW of solar and wind farms currently in operation. Pioneering the renewable energy sector in Namibia since 2008, InnoSun continues to actively develop, finance, build and operate numbers of different renewable energy projects across the country and beyond. InnoSun is currently the largest local supplier of power to NamPower. With its 17 years of experience in the wind industry thanks to its mother company, InnoVent; InnoVent has built 105 MW farms in South Africa through its daughter company, InnoWind.

Cornelis Grotius, general manager at Johnson Renew, says that the company’s ability to offer a turnkey solution such as this was a major advantage for InnoSun as it ensured a seamless operation.

The contract with InnoSun started in June 2017 and was completed mid-August with the wind farm coming on line end August 2017. Apart from the lifts, Johnson Renew also transported a total of 27 abnormal loads from the port of Luderitz to the site, a distance of some 9 km of which 5 km was on a national route and the balance on a private road.

Grotius says there are currently no cranes of this lifting capability available in Namibia, but that this was only one of the reasons why Johnson Renew was contracted as the customer’s TCI partner.

He explains that lifts of this nature involve heavy loads installed at extreme heights and it is critical that the lifting activity is undertaken by a company that fully understands the associated risks and has the necessary competence and experience.

“Lifting such large components on a wind farm also present other challenges; chief amongst these is the fact that the wind farm is obviously situated in a windy region of the country,” he continues. Notably Johnson Renew has completed numerous wind farm lifts across the southern African region and has an established reputation in this sector for performing these safely and to the required standards.

Important value added services are Johnson Renew’s in-house project management and engineering capabilities, which facilitate the requisite engineering planning and risk management activities prior to the actual execution of the work. This also allows Johnson Renew to provide an optimal fit-for-purpose lifting solution that is both cost effective and safe.

The wind turbines stand 80 metres tall and are fitted with blades that are 45,3 metres in length. The heaviest component on the turbines is the generator unit with a weight of 65,7 ton. The turbine type is an XEMCXE93-2000 wind turbine.

“The depth of our crane fleet is also a benefit to the customer as this allows the flexibility to provide solutions irrespective of the lifting requirements. In the case of the Ombepo Wind Farm we used an LTM 1750-9.1 hydraulic mobile crane which has a 750 ton lifting capacity,” Grotius says.

Johnson Renew has an operating philosophy of supporting local communities in areas where it secures projects and in line with this important strategy the company contracted a local crane hire company to provide two hydraulic mobile cranes (one 90 t unit and one 170 t unit) as support cranes to the main crane for this lifting project. These cranes were used for the assembly and relocation of the main crane as well as the tailing of the tower sections.

Grotius says that the strategy of economic input into the local population also extended to the employment of riggers, technicians and crane operators as well as general labour. Use was also made of the local supply chain wherever possible and skills transfer was applied where appropriate.

“By developing the local community’s skills base, we are not only empowering them for future sustainability but we are also feeding money back into the regional economy,” he says. From site establishment to final handover the company was in the region for just over two and a half months during which time the community benefited.

Johnson Renew has a strong safety and quality track record in arduous and complicated lifting conditions, and Grotius says the company is well positioned to meet demanding project requirements.


Increased technological collaboration between Multotec and its sister companies in Europe is releasing added value for customers around Africa and beyond, according to Multotec’s vice president screening media, Roy Roche.

“While Multotec is well known for a diverse range of screening media offerings for all commodities across the mining sector, this technical sharing process will benefit local customers and even open doors for us into new markets and industries,” says Roche. “Working more closely with our global partners, we now have the opportunity to grow our presence into the aggregate segment and even industrial segments like food.”

He notes that Multotec’s unique design and manufacturing capabilities – including screening media manufactured from wedgewire, polyurethane polymers, rubber compounds, ceramic compounds and various forms of steel – allows it to share lessons in best practice and cutting-edge technology with its northern hemisphere partners.

In turn, the involvement of many of these firms in the aggregate sector has already opened doors for Multotec to share benefits with its local customers in terms of aggregate screening.

“Our sister companies – who are headquartered mainly in Germany – have almost a century of experience in their respective fields,” says Roche. “Their expertise can therefore feed valuably into Multotec’s mining product evolution cycle with technology in areas such as fixing systems, ease of installation and flexibility of polymers.”

Cooperation to date has allowed the sharing of design and technical insights, as well as ideas on manufacturing techniques, with experts meeting at screening workshops and sales conferences. Among the matters discussed are issues such as accuracy of screening, the prevention of pegging and blinding on screen media, and the replaceability of panels.

Roche emphasises the ‘golden thread’ running through Multotec’s approach to customer service and technological development – from concept and design stage, through manufacture and installation to performance monitoring, feedback and design modification.

“This feedback loop has led to the continuous improvement of our products, adding value with each new enhancement,” he says.

He highlights that there are few, if any, other companies in the world that can match Multotec’s design and manufacturing capability in screening media, allowing the company to consider expanding its applications.

“Our position as a leader in screening media also means that we are invited, for instance, onto dedicated working groups on mines’ maintenance management, where we provide input on strategies for higher productivity and cost effectiveness,” says Roche.


CHRYSO Southern Africa has released a new end-to-end range of concrete admixtures specifically for dry and semi-dry precast applications.

“Each product in this range meets high performance levels in terms of concrete compaction, mechanical strength and aesthetic quality,” says Hannes Engelbrecht, general manager inland sales at CHRYSO Southern Africa.

The range includes CHRYSO® Alpha for all dry and semi-dry precast applications, as well as specific admixtures for blocks (CHRYSO® Alpha Block), paving stones (CHRYSO® Alpha Pave), kerbs (CHRYSO® Alpha K), and pipes and hollow slabs (CHRYSO® Alpha T).

For even higher performance ratios – unrivalled in the market – the company has developed CHRYSO® Alpha Block L540, CHRYSO® Alpha K216 and CHRYSO® Alpha Pave 305.

Adding to their innovativeness, the company has also introduced a new range of efflorescence reducers called CHRYSO® Alpha Color 600, 300 and 100.

CHRYSO has also pioneered a dedicated array of immediate mould-release products and services in its CHRYSO® Dem range, which is designed to meet any precast and construction requirements.

“The new range allows manufacturers to reduce total cost of ownership. For example, precast paving manufacturers are able to optimise total cementitious contents, while reducing pigment dosages and still produce quality paving blocks. Further advantages producers can expect are improved aesthetics better colour stability, colour intensities and swipe and increased output in production as well as reduced energy consumption,” says Engelbrecht.

Engelbrecht highlights that CHRYSO Southern Africa’s team of technical experts is always on hand to offer advice, as well as provide superior formulations that integrate into customers’ manufacturing processes. Backing up this service is in-house laboratory support to meet specific requirements, ensuring that solutions deliver the best cost-performance ratio. There is also a colour lab to assist with tailored colour requirements.

“Our innovative, hi-tech approach includes the conducting of material diagnostics for the customer, analysing their requirements to find the right products in our dry-cast concrete range that will best suit their process and provide the optimal performance,” he says.

The new CHRYSO® products use latest-generation molecules to achieve unprecedented performance levels.


In the single largest order for vibrating screens secured from any mine in the past two years, Kwatani has shown its mettle by supplying some of the largest vibrating screens in Africa to the world’s leading opencast coal complex.

According to Kwatani CEO Kim Schoepflin, the contract comprised 44 large screens boasting widths of up to 4,3 metres.

“Our equipment may be large and heavy, but each individual unit has been customised for its specific application, to efficiently handle the ore required,” says Schoepflin. “Moreover, the vibrating unit must be engineered to seamlessly fit into a new or existing building, and must operate in harmony with the rest of the processing plant.”

Among the larger units in the order were two double-deck, run-of-mine screens measuring 3 metres wide by 9 metres long, as well as three 2,4 metres by 6 metres degradation screens which will be installed in the mine’s drum plant. Also being supplied are twenty three screens and three vibrating pan feeders for the cyclone plant.

There are sixteen drain and rinse screens in the contract, four of which are generously sized at 4,3 metres by 7 metres, driven by two large gearboxes which deliver a centrifugal force of over 460 kN each.

“The successful handling of this magnitude of contract is a testament to Kwatani’s technical capability,” she says, “as we can handle these larger contracts while continuing to service all our other customers.”

Schoepflin highlights the skills and passion of the company’s family of 160 employees, combined with its extensive and well-equipped manufacturing facility in Spartan near Johannesburg.

“The vibrating screen comprises of thousands of different parts and components, each requiring precision engineering and a number of fabrication processes, which at the end are carefully assembled by dedicated staff,” she says.

She adds that Kwatani is the only OEM of vibrating equipment to engineer, assemble and test its exciter gearboxes in-house and at full load on its fit-for-purpose test bench – ensuring that every gearbox performs optimally before dispatch to a customer.


Adding a partnership with technology group Andritz to its range of Trio® crushing equipment, Enduron® screens and other established brands, Weir Minerals Africa is further entrenching its position as a total solution provider to process plants.

General Manager Comminution at Weir Minerals Africa, Vernon Steenbok, says: “Our offerings to mines now span all processes from the run-of-mine tip to the tailings dams including equipment such as crushers, conveyers, screens, feeders, pumps, cyclones, linings, hoses and valves.”

Steenbok emphasises that the company has been expanding into the comminution space as a vital part of its total integrated solution provided to customers across Africa and the Middle East, from the gold mines of West and East Africa to the copper mines of Central Africa. Infrastructure development in the Middle East has also been important driver of the aggregate business, with resultant demand for Weir Minerals’ crushers and screens.

As regulations governing the management of mine tailings become more onerous, the solutions available from Weir Minerals now includes a range of mechanical separation technologies such as thickeners, filter presses, centrifuges and vacuum belt filters.

“To ensure the effective application of our growing equipment range, we place experienced process engineers at the centre of our relationship with customers,” says Steenbok. “This is key to helping customers drive down their cost of ownership while raising efficiency, productivity and profitability.”

This involves building local capacity by actively developing mineral processing and other related skills in-country, nurturing young engineers in Weir Minerals Africa’s service-centred performance culture.

“Our team of process engineers brings years of experience from the mining sector, and through training and mentoring prepare the next generation of engineers for their role in supporting and building a sustainable mining sector,” he says.

Weir Minerals Africa’s talent pipeline includes 89 black learners – one third of them women – and this programme is set to grow to 115 learners participating in 2018. They are trained and prepared through a range of initiatives from bursary students and graduates to internships and apprenticeships.

“We are here for the long haul,” says Steenbok, “and our investment in developing and acquiring leading brands, alongside our commitment to world class expertise, shows our commitment to the future of our customers and the mining industry as a whole.”