A generator set installation at a Cape Town private hospital will soon be commissioned by Zest WEG, providing a plug-and-play solution with high reliability and minimal downtime.

“In a design that suited the hospital’s severe space constraints, Zest WEG built the generator, transformer and remote radiator into special ISO shipping containers in a double-stack configuration,” Johannes Nel, operations manager – production at Zest WEG. “The contract also included the refurbishment of the client’s existing 1,000 KVA 400V MTU open-type generator which was included in the solution.”

The new genset expands the hospital’s standby generating capacity to 1 MVA continuous rating, allowing 100% of the institution’s functions to continue as normal during periods of load-shedding. Nel also highlights that reliable supply was key to the hospital’s safe and efficient operation, whether from mains or back-up supply.

To reduce the project lead time as much as possible, the delivery of certain imported components was arranged well in advance. The containerised solution was constructed and extensively tested at the Zest WEG genset manufacturing facility in Epping, saving time during installation.

“It was critical that any downtime be kept to an absolute minimum, as hospitals need to run continuously,” Nel says. “With our expertise, product range and experience in the health sector, our design, installation and commissioning strategy was able to align closely with this priority.”

A dry-type step-up transformer allows the generator to connect to the 11 KV council electricity supply council supply, which will reduce hospital downtime during commissioning. The resin-sealed transformer also provides a long-lasting solution with low maintenance and a high safety factor due to the absence of oil as a coolant.

Nel explains that another vital concern was the hospital’s proximity to a residential area, demanding that the noise level of the generator be kept within strict limits. This requirement was successfully achieved during testing, with the noise level kept within 65 decibels at a distance of seven metres.

In addition to conducting a complete engine rewiring, Zest WEG also upgraded the generator controller, giving the customer improved ability to monitor the generator’s operation during load-shedding. The modern controls help protect the generator and optimise the lifespan of critical equipment.

While certain aspects of the contract’s timing have been affected by Covid-19 lockdown regulations, the final commissioning and handover to the client is projected for the end of May.


With its custom-designed transfer point solutions at mines across Africa, Weba Chute Systems has proved its chutes in commodities from platinum to diamonds to gold, coal and copper.

In addition to mining hotspots including Ghana, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, Weba Chute Systems have been installed in countries like Tanzania, Mauritania and Eritrea. Authorised Weba Chute Systems agents are deployed to support customers in key countries, while technical experts from the company’s head office in Germiston, Gauteng, are on call to assist.

“Mines across the continent have recognised the value of our custom-designed chutes,” says Wade Vandenberg, Weba Chute Systems’ technical advisor Africa. “Not only do these operations gain the benefits of controlled material flow in their operations, but they experience first-hand how our engineering design extends wear life and reduces maintenance downtime.”

He highlights that better dust control – a key part of health and safety policies in the mining sector – is another important benefit that Weba chutes bring to an operation.

“Our state-of-the-art digital engineering design facilities and expertise makes use of the latest technologies to simulate the specific material flow conditions in each customer’s application,” says Vandenberg. “This allows us to apply our philosophy that no two chute designs are identical, and to scientifically accommodate exact flow characteristics into our design.”

Discrete element modelling allows close control over the flow of material through the chute. This minimises turbulence reducing the levels of dust created in the working area. It also cuts spillage levels, which in turn means a saving of valuable material and less time spent on cleaning activities.

“We work towards the ISO dust management standards, supporting our customers in managing health and safety in this critical area of transfer points,” says Izak Potgieter, systems manager at Weba Chute Systems. “Our testing measures dust down to 0,03 micron particles, to make sure that our designs meet stringent health-related targets.”

Flow control also creates more material-on-material movement to reduce wear on chute liners, ensuring longer liner life when compared to that of conventional chutes. Custom design and use of simulation technology allow for the wear life to be carefully predicted, based on operating conditions.

“Our technical expertise and solutions-oriented approach mean that customers can always rely on us,” says Vandenberg. “When we commission one of our chutes, it is part of an ongoing productivity journey with our customer, no matter where they are located.”


Responding quickly with the right solutions, Integrated Pump Rental has continued as a secondary emergency supplier throughout the lockdown, including helping to dewater a coal mine in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

“The customer urgently needed fit-for-purpose dewatering equipment to prevent flooding in the open pit,” says Henru Strydom, operations manager at Integrated Pump Rental. The unexpected failure of one of the mine’s own pumps came at a bad time. The national coronavirus lockdown meant that it would be some time before pump repairs were possible. Some heavy downpours aggravated the situation, demanding that there be no delay in pit dewatering.

The answer came in the form of a Sykes HH130 high-head diesel-driven pump. The rugged, five tonne unit was promptly delivered to site by truck, and transferred to an on-site trailer for easy mobility. The six-inch pump is capable of pumping at a head of over 140 metres high at a flow of between 80 to 90 litres per second.

“From our experience of the mining sector, we know that water in a coal mine is acidic,” Strydom says. “The complete pump-end we supplied was, therefore, of stainless steel construction to resist corrosion and ensure reliability and uptime.”

Lockdown regulations allowed those coal mines supplying to state power producer Eskom to continue their operations during Alert Level 5 ,even as most business activity came to a standstill. Rainfall across much of the coal-producing province of Mpumalanga raised the risk of flooding and led to Integrated Pump Rental also delivering solutions to a number of its customers there during the lockdown.

Strydom emphasises that, in addition to maintaining their vital dewatering activities, mines gain other benefits from renting pumps. There is no large capital outlay, for instance, and running costs can be controlled.

“The renting option means that we handle the maintenance, so that mines can better control their costs,” he says. “We also ensure the pump’s optimal performance, so that mines don’t risk costly downtime.”


Combining decades of experience with its leading R&D and manufacturing capability, Multotec has developed a high-impact screen panel that cuts plant downtime and boosts mine productivity.

The Ceradox panel – incorporating both Hardox blocks and alumina ceramic tiles – boasts more than double the wear life of traditional rubber panels. The innovation was developed during 2019 in response to a request from an iron ore mining customer in Australia’s Pilbara region. Three months of testing delivered results that exceeded expectations, said Multotec screening product manager Shawn Faba.

“The customer needed a panel with an extended wear life, so that they only needed to conduct replacements during the regular maintenance shut-down every 12 weeks,” says Faba. “Our testing demonstrated that the panels were lasting 24 weeks and longer.”

Through a close collaboration between Multotec South Africa, Multotec Australia and the customer, an innovative solution was developed and proved for a demanding application on scalper screens.

“Designed for the impact area of the scalper screen, the Ceradox panel must withstand the impact of material up to 300 mm in size, falling from a discharge height of up to three metres,” he says. “It must also resist high levels of abrasion from the ore.”

The resulting design leverages the impact strength of the Hardox blocks and the abrasion resistance of the ceramic tiles, embedded in Multotec’s proprietary rubber formulation which helps absorb the energy of the falling material. The panels are manufactured locally at Multotec’s high-volume facilities in Gauteng, which include a rubber mixing plant run by experienced rubber specialists.

Faba notes that the 305 mm square Ceradox panels can be manufactured to different thicknesses from 50 mm to 100 mm.

“With our local manufacturing capability, we can achieve short lead-times and deliver to anywhere in the world,” he says. Multotec already supplies about 35% of the screening media to the iron ore mines in the Pilbara area.


Transnet’s upgrade of its port facility at Saldanha Bay will include dry-type transformers from specialist company Trafo Power Solutions.

The company is supplying specialised transformers for the Tippler 3 project at the iron ore load-out station. Factory-acceptance testing was completed in December 2019, according to Trafo Power Solutions managing director David Claassen. Delivery to site is scheduled for February 2020.

The construction of a third tippler at the Saldanha Bay port is to sustain iron ore export volumes of 60 million tons per year when the existing tipplers are refurbished in future. It will integrate with the rail system bringing ore via the 860 km line from mines in the Northern Cape. Key aspects of the new infrastructure comprise the 285 tonne tippler itself, a loading vault below ground and a conveyor tunnel. New buildings, service roads, bridges, railway lines, conveyors, lighting and bulk electrical supply infrastructure are also part of Transnet’s upgrade project.

Trafo Power Solutions’ contract was for the design, supply and commissioning of five dry-type transformers. There are two 1000 kVA units and a 3150 kVA unit, both stepping down from 11 kV to 400 V. The other two units are 3500 kVA and 4500 kVA capacity respectively, taking 11 kV to 3,3 kV.

To resist the corrosive sea air, all the transformer enclosures will be manufactured from 3CR12 grade of stainless steel. The enclosures are also to be IP33-rated to ensure a high level of ingress protection against moisture and dust.

“The enclosure design also incorporates cable boxes and Type C, totally enclosed plug-in bushings for the terminations,” he says. “This provides a boot covering which is touch-potential safe, and also provides for efficient plug-and-play installation.”

This is a significant improvement on the regular lug and bolt copper connection, which would just be shrouded by a heat-shrunk material. The special terminations also facilitate easier maintenance or removal.

“The units will provide the medium-voltage supply for the Tippler 3 project and its associated infrastructure, including equipment like conveyors,” he says. “All the transformers will be supplying non-linear load to a certain extent, so they have been designed with a K-factor of four.”

The K-factor is a measure of a transformer’s ability to withstand the heating effects of non-sinusoidal harmonic currents created by electronic equipment. The higher the K-factor, the greater the harmonic heating effects.

As dry-type transformers are cooled without the use of oil, these units will receive forced ventilation when a preset temperature is reached. This ventilation is provided from a row of fans which Trafo Power Solutions has designed to be bolted below the location of the transformers.

Designed locally by Trafo Power Solutions, these dry-type transformers are manufactured in Italy by strategic partners TMC Transformers, experts in cast resin transformer technology. All products are routinely factory-tested according to IEC standards, but type-testing and special testing can also be conducted.

“The standard applicable to dry-type power transformers is IEC 60076-11,” Claassen says. “TMC’s advanced laboratory facilities allow us to conduct the full range of tests in-house, in accordance with what these standards and whatever other requirements are designated by the customer.”

At Saldanha, Trafo Power Solutions is also responsible for building auxiliary protection and control panels, which it locates remotely from the transformers. These include temperature control sensors that communicate with the port’s broader control and monitoring network.


Large doorways left open to facilitate easy access at manufacturing and storage facilities present challenges in terms of maintaining a pleasant and comfortable working environment.

Wim Dessing, sales executive at Apex Strip Curtains & Doors, says that during winter it becomes extremely difficult to maintain a constant temperature with these large openings. “This translates into unpleasant working conditions, negatively affecting productivity, and as the cold weather approaches we are inundated with requests from customers looking at ways to improve both working conditions and employee comfort,” he says.

Apex Strip Curtains & Doors is able to offer solutions including its well-known Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains, high speed doors and impact traffic doors. The wide range of doors and enclosures is specifically designed for applications where the maintenance of consistent temperatures on the work floor is required.

Locally manufactured from specially formulated PVC material, Apex General Purpose Strip Curtains are ideal to cordon off areas within manufacturing facilities, workshops, storage areas or warehouses. This highly effective product is generally fitted on hanging hardware across a door or entrance way on specially made framework.

Each individual PVC strip features the patented Balledge® design ensuring an efficient thermal seal preventing the ingress of cold air into the workplace. The transparent strips allow unimpaired vision into enclosed areas, and part readily under pressure allowing easy access for both equipment and personnel.

Apex Strip Curtains & Doors’ range of high speed doors offers a viable solution for quick and easy access. When installed these contribute significantly to improved productivity. These doors are suitable for a wide variety of applications, including warehousing areas as they do not hinder personnel, forklift or vehicular traffic and, depending on the actual operation, can be either automatically or manually controlled.

The Sector high speed roll-up door, manufactured locally by Apex Strip Curtains & Doors, delivers both functionality and performance. It is robust enough to cope with the intensive demands of heavy and continuous traffic.

The Traffic high speed fold-up doors offers a sturdy, dependable and modular solution for medium and large entrances such as shipment and warehouse areas, and are particularly suited to conditions where wind is a factor.

Installation of both is quick and easy because the support structure contains all the electrical drive gear and a special mechanical counterbalancing system. The doors are controlled by an electronic unit which complies with all IEC regulations and can be activated by any type of remote control equipment including photocells, pressure sensitive mats, movement detectors or induction loops. To facilitate safety, the door is fitted with a release lever that opens it from either side in the event of a power failure or malfunction.

Also locally manufactured is the Apex SR 9000 high impact traffic door which complies with all relevant safety, health, environment and quality (SHEQ) standards. The door is made from a 3 mm ABS skin which is impervious to moisture, acids, petroleum products, animal fats, rodents, insects and salt solutions.

Standard vision panels constructed from 3 mm clear polycarbonate sheeting are available in a number of custom sizes. However, the Apex SR 9000 is also available without the vision panel which allows greater flexibility of use.

Apex Strip Curtains & Doors provides a technical information service assisting customers in selecting the most appropriate door for a particular application.


Its growing reputation for prompt and cost effective dredging in the mining sector has extended the work of Integrated Pump Rental into tackling sewage settlement ponds.

A recent contract at a wastewater treatment plant is part of a strong flow of repeat business from South Africa’s platinum mines, according to Ruaan Venter, rental development manager at Integrated Pump Rental. This particular plant was operated by the mine, but also served the local municipality and nearby communities.

“Using our specialised SlurrySucker dredging equipment, we could quickly dredge the sewage pond before there was any danger of overflow,” says Venter. “Regular monitoring and dredging of these facilities allows them to effectively settle the sewage flowing in, and keep the system operating well.”

He notes that the SlurrySucker uses a pump with an open-vane, non-clogging impeller – an important innovation in these applications as there are still solid objects and sanitary products that could block a normal pump.

“The design of our system, and the way it channels water flow to agitate the settled material, ensures that there is no chance of damaging the pond liner,” he says. “This is also vital in protecting the environment from any leakage or contamination.”

Population growth in many of areas of the country means that wastewater treatment plants are often under increasing load, leading to sewage ponds filling with sludge more quickly. These ponds would usually need to be dredged about once a year, says Venter.

Where conditions demand more frequent dredging, he says there is also an option for customers to purchase their own SlurrySucker units. Training is provided by Integrated Pump Rental to upskill local workers in the correct operation of the equipment.


Taking advantage of the mining industry slowdown over the Christmas period, Booyco Electronics equipped another South African platinum mine with its latest Level-9 Ready PDS system.

According to Pieter Wolfaardt, chief operating officer at Booyco Electronics, this rapid installation and commissioning was an important compliance step for the mine, and was achieved with minimal impact on its productivity.

“The industry is hard at work to meet Level 9 compliance by the end of 2020,” Wolfaardt says. “By working through the annual slowdown, we were able to avoid disrupting the production cycle while further enhancing the mine’s safety levels.”

Booyco Electronics has been a leader in developing and testing proximity detection systems that incorporate collision avoidance technology and comply with the required Level 9 standard. At this level, electronic systems are required to take mechanical control of trackless mining machinery (TMM) and automatically slow it down or bring these to a stop when detecting a dangerous and significant risk situation.

The recent contract involved equipping 35 underground vehicles with Booyco CXS PDS systems, the third and latest generation of Booyco Electronics’ offering. It included the fitment of 595 Exsence cap lamps, complete with intelligent buzzers and CXS tags, for pedestrians. Testing facilities for all equipment were also installed – in the form of test stations for lamps and vehicles – to ensure every item is fully functional before going underground.

“Great teamwork from our Rustenburg branch – led by our area manager Carel Snyman – in collaboration with the mine’s staff allowed us to respond immediately to the mine’s order and collectively complete the installation and commissioning in just 19 days,” Wolfaardt says.

Among the vehicles on which the Booyco CXS equipment was installed were load-haul-dumpers (LHDs), utility vehicles and personnel carriers, as well as a rock breaker, an ambulance and a road grader.

Wolfaardt highlights that training is a vital element in ensuring that PDS equipment is used effectively. Skilled training personnel from Booyco Electronics were able to train 50 TMM operators and 407 pedestrians before the mine resumed full operations in January 2020.

“Our local manufacturing capacity means that we can control and reduce lead times, giving customers unmatched availability,” he says. “Our quick delivery and installation times are matched by high levels of local support through our footprint of qualified technicians and offices throughout South Africa.”

The mine has also engaged Booyco Electronics through a service level agreement which will include regular preventive maintenance and condition auditing. The software in the equipment provided will also be updated whenever updates are developed, ensuring that safety performance remains at the leading edge of industry standards.


Made from specially formulated PVC material, Apex Welding and Safety Screens will ensure optimum safety in workshop environments, protecting workers from harsh ultra-violet light and dangerous u.v. radiation which occurs during welding and grinding processes.

This locally manufactured safety screen incorporates a heavy-duty ultra-violet light absorber, which safely contains all u.v. radiation in the curtained off area enhancing safety in the environment and providing a high level of protection for workers in close proximity to welding and grinding activities.

Standard tinted PVC. material while offering a visible barrier does not provide adequate protection. Extensive tests conducted by the SABS proved that Apex Welding and Safety Screens are superior to conventional tinted material.

Tested for ultra-violet transmittance, the conventional material gave readings of 0,0005%, 0,008% and 5.0% as opposed to Apex readings of 0,005%, 0,001 and 0,005%. When tested for total visible light transmittance, the tests were conclusive. The conventional material allowed 78%, while the Apex material allowed only 15,5% light transmittance – a dramatic difference.

Apex Welding and Safety Screens are impervious to burning, and this is of particular importance should the material come into contact with welding splatter.

Access to cordoned off areas is easy as the patented Balledge® design on the individual PVC strips facilitates easy access for both personnel and equipment. The strips part on contact and return to their original configuration ensuring an efficient close.

Available in several configurations to suit individual requirements, the most popular version is the freestanding frame that facilitates both easy handling and portability. The screens’ angled feet allow optimum utilisation of the floor space and the screens can be butted together at a 90-degree angle.

In addition to Apex Welding and Safety Screens, the company markets a range of high-speed roll up and fold up doors, which represent a leap forward in warehouse closure systems.


On-site testwork at a South African base metal refinery allowed Multotec to prove its sievebend solution for improving the quality of the customer’s product to market.

According to PJ Pieters, process engineer at Multotec, the refinery was looking for the most efficient way to reduce impurities to less than 200 parts per million in the product stream.

“As the contaminants were found mainly in a specific size fraction, the aim was to remove this fraction by classification using a sievebend,” says Pieters. “To test this proposal, we used our mobile sievebend test unit which we could take onto the customer’s site and link up to one of the product streams in the plant.”

This provided a convenient way to conduct testing under normal plant operating conditions. It also meant there was no need to remove any valuable mineral product from the site, which could demand onerous security compliance procedures. The tests took only a week to conduct, after the mobile units were installed.

“The tests were conducted to reduce impurities and to measure the effect of the sievebend on the downstream screen scroll centrifuge,” he says. “We managed to achieve the product quality goal, while also maintaining optimal centrifuge performance in terms of the customer’s product moisture requirement.”

The addition of a sievebend to the process will not increase the energy costs as the machine is operated under normal gravity conditions and is compact enough to fit inline between existing process equipment.

To withstand the highly corrosive application, the sievebend and its housing were manufactured in stainless steel. By using appropriate sampling techniques, the testwork was able to deliver very representative results. This gave the customer an accurate expectation of the precise results that a full-scale installation would deliver.

“This kind of testwork adds confidence to the customer’s decision to invest in a specific solution,” Pieters says. “It is also part of Multotec’s contribution to continually improve customers’ process efficiency; we work to provide the customer with the best knowledge and products to optimise their plants.”

Another element of the valued added by the sievebend, says Pieters, is that the refinery is likely to save on potential penalties arising from impurity levels in the saleable product. Multotec also provides after-sales optimisation and support to ensure on-going benefit from the innovations applied.