Tag Archives: Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions South Africa

IN-HOUSE ENGINEERING EXPERTISE GIVE MINES VALUABLE FLEXIBILITY

With its well established design and manufacturing capabilities in South Africa, Sandvik Rock Processing delivers customised and standard vibrating equipment solutions, including screens and feeders, to customers that enhance future flexibility.

Gideon de Villiers, Engineering Manager at Sandvik Rock Processing, says the company has built its success on decades of field experience – and the nurturing of its mechanical and metallurgical engineering skills base. Its 21,000 m2 facilities, in Johannesburg South Africa, house modern workshop and testing facilities that are ISO 9001:2015 accredited and produce world class solutions for global markets.

“A key aspect of our design philosophy is to ensure that our customers can be more agile when their operational demands change,” says De Villiers. “This allows cost effective modifications to be made relatively quickly, without unduly disrupting production.”

He emphasises that this is possible due to the depth of vibrating equipment related expertise that the company has developed, where in-house mechanical and metallurgical experts can come together to find screening and feeding solutions. It is also thanks to the far-sighted initial design of Sandvik Rock Processing’s screens, which carefully take into account the opportunities for future modification.

“There are various technical complexities to consider when creating a design that allows future flexibility,” he explains. “Achieving modified results with an existing machine – rather than replacing it – means a more sustainable solution with less waste. At the same time, the new design must accurately match the new requirements, which we can test and validate using technology like Finite Element Analysis (FEA).”

He notes that efficient design and engineering also make use of cutting edge software and tools such as  advanced CAD and CAE solutions  allows for sophisticated modelling, analysis and prototyping.

“We attract, retain and nurture some of the best skills in the sector, and encourage continuous improvement through training, academic programmes and specialised professional conferences,” says De Villiers. “We also collaborate with universities, research institutions and laboratories to promote cutting edge research and innovation projects.”

A recent success for an iron ore mining customer in the Northern Cape saw Sandvik Rock Processing extend the life of the mine’s scalping screen deck from six weeks to six months – by stiffening the frame and improving the panels’ rubber compound.

MEETING AFRICA’S GROWING DEMAND FOR VIBRATING SCREENS AND FEEDERS

Across the diverse commodities landscape of Africa, the demand for vibrating screens and feeders is on the rise. Sandvik Rock Processing, a prominent player in the industry, has observed a noticeable surge in brownfields projects aimed at replacing existing equipment in various operations.

Frengelina Mabotja, Business Line Manager Screening Solutions at Sandvik Rock Processing, attributes this increased interest to the company’s strong reputation for delivering fit-for-purpose screens and feeders meticulously engineered to meet specific application requirements.

As one of the leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) specialising in screening solutions on the African continent, Sandvik Rock Processing stands out with its capability to provide optimised solutions that comprehensively consider every aspect of a process plant’s operation. Mabotja says that at the core of this capability lies the company’s formidable engineering team, playing a pivotal role in tailoring solutions to meet the unique needs of each customer.

“Unlike a one-size-fits-all approach, Sandvik Rock Processing takes a customised approach, recognising that each process plant possesses a distinct configuration and processes ore with its own characteristics. In essence, we position ourselves as a partner to our customers, offering bespoke screening solutions tailored to their specific operational requirements,” she explains.

One of the critical aspects of this tailored approach involves on-site inspections, R&D and close collaboration to ensure that replacement equipment not only meet but also exceed the required throughput. Sandvik Rock Processing often finds itself replacing competitor products that failed to meet operational criteria.

“In such instances,” Mabotja says, “delivering a solution that seamlessly fits within the existing footprint of the process plant while also achieving the necessary process requirements is where the company excels. This flexibility and adaptability are key strengths that set Sandvik Rock Processing apart in the industry.”

Backing this strength is the company’s extensive local manufacturing facility capable of delivering products with relatively short lead times. This capability ensures that customers’ needs are met promptly, minimising downtime and maximising operational efficiency.

Recent replacement projects undertaken by Sandvik Rock Processing span a range of commodities, including iron ore, diamonds, gold and platinum applications. This diverse portfolio underscores the company’s versatility and expertise in addressing the specific screening challenges posed by different commodities.

The demand for Sandvik Rock Processing’s expertise extends beyond the borders of Africa. Enquiries via the Sandvik network from across the globe further attest to the company’s reputation as a trusted provider of screening solutions.

Crucially, in addition to their products, Mabotja also emphasises the importance of customer support. Sandvik’s extensive network of operations in Africa and beyond provides customers with the assurance that proactive customer support is available whenever needed.

“Our ability to deliver custom-engineered screening solutions, coupled with a solid commitment to providing outstanding customer support, positions us as a pivotal player in meeting the growing demand for vibrating screens and feeders across Africa’s diverse commodities landscape,” Mabotja concludes. As the industry continues to evolve, Sandvik Rock Processing’s tailored solutions and expertise are set to play a central role in enhancing operational efficiency and productivity for their valued customers.

SANDVIK ROCK PROCESSING DRIVES MANUFACTURING AGILITY TO MEET RISING DEMAND

To keep pace with record equipment orders, vibrating screen and feeder original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Sandvik Rock Processing is driving manufacturing agility at its South African facility. Director Operations for the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) Region, Riaan Steinmann, says the goal of agile manufacturing is to respond quickly to customer and market demands, while maintaining production output and quality.

“We have recorded a solid growth in the past three years in our screens product range. As a result, Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions South Africa is now well positioned as one of the leading vibrating equipment suppliers not only in South Africa, but in Africa at large,” says Steinmann. “We have also made strong inroads in other regions such as Europe and the Middle East.”

In fact, Sandvik Rock Processing South Africa’s exports have increased significantly with numerous screens being shipped across the African continent and internationally. A case in point is the recently completed order to supply over 72 screens and associated equipment to a large copper mining operation in Central Asia.  

To meet this rising demand for its equipment, which has seen Sandvik Rock Processing South Africa producing about 60 machines a month in recent times, the company is driving agility within its manufacturing environment. Being agile has allowed the company to easily adapt to changing market conditions and meet or even exceed customer expectations.  

“On the back of the significant growth of our screening offering in recent years, we have seen the need to continuously review and optimise our internal processes,” says Steinmann. “For example, our workshop layouts are based on job-shop lean manufacturing processes to cater for any customised components. We make use of in-house designed precision engineered jigs and fixtures to increase our production efficiencies and at the same time secure quality of these components.”

To further drive agility, Sandvik Rock Processing has adopted a strategic outsourcing programme for non-core components to alleviate pressure on its own manufacturing facilities and help ensure timeous customer deliveries. Some of the non-core components being outsourced to carefully selected service providers include cleats, bearing covers, gearbox shafts and housings, amongst others. 

“We work closely with these suppliers, most of whom are within a 10 km radius of our Spartan manufacturing facilities. While we conduct regular quality inspections at their facilities, most of them have worked with us for many years and now have a strong understanding of our quality standards,” says Steinmann. “We also hold significant stock of various critical components to make sure our customers get the best availability and service.”

What makes the Sandvik Rock Processing South Africa manufacturing team even more agile is that the production and engineering teams work in close collaboration with each other to swiftly resolve any design and manufacturing discrepancies that might occur during manufacturing. 

“Over time, our production and engineering teams have developed strict in-house quality standards which include, but are not limited to, welding procedures, fastening sequences, torquing of bolts, levelling, sequence of assembling subcomponents, shot blasting and paint specifications,” explains Steinmann. 

In addition, Sandvik Rock Processing invests in its people to ensure its employees are trained to adopt an agile mindset. This allows them to meet the company’s evolving production needs at any time, whilst ensuring maximum productivity and efficiency. 

“Upskilling our people allows us to build on our competence and stay ahead of industry needs,” says Steinmann. “We have an above average percentage of highly skilled and qualified staff, including boilermakers, artisans, certified welders and engineers. Having the right skills, however, is one thing, but being able to retain them is quite another. A positive working culture has been instrumental to our low staff turnover rate and a good retainment of skills.”

The impact of the current energy crisis in South Africa has been detrimental to local manufacturers, says Steinmann. The current fragmented factory operations, which are situated at different locations, make it a bit challenging to install backup generation capacity. 

“We have, however, invited local suppliers to tender for the supply of alternative power supply sources for all our workshops. This will require a significant investment, but on the upside it will help ensure we continue to be the same reliable and agile supplier we have always been to our customers,” he says. 

Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions, which includes the Kwatani screen products, the Schenck Process Mining screens and Sandvik’s original screening products, is well positioned to become the leading screening solutions provider with global best manufacturing practices in place. In addition, the company has a well-established global distribution and service network. 

“Our facility is set to become the global engineering and manufacturing base for vibrating equipment for both local and international customers who are looking for quality cost effective screening solutions that will enable them to achieve the total lowest cost of ownership,” concludes Steinmann. 

SANDVIK ROCK PROCESSING SCREENING SOLUTIONS BUILDS ON AFRICA FOOTPRINT FOR SCREEN BUSINESS

It is a well proven fact that companies succeed where they are closest to their customers, and this is driving Sandvik Rock Processing to leverage the extensive Sandvik footprint across Africa.

According to Gavin McLaggan, Lifecycle Services Manager at Sandvik Rock Processing Screening Solutions, customers in the crushing and screening markets can now have quicker access to support within the region or country. This allows the same high standard of support for all its products, including the Sandvik, Kwatani and Schenck screening products – which are all now supported by Sandvik Rock Processing. 

“We recognise the importance of being close to our customers and aim to establish long term relationships with them,” says McLaggan. “Having facilities that are close to our customers throughout Africa is crucial for our support-driven strategy, and we believe this differentiates us significantly from competitors.”

For instance, he explains there are regional Sandvik offices in South Africa for the Southern African area, in Zambia for Central Africa and in Ghana for West Africa – as well as country offices in nine other countries. The presence of existing workshop facilities and spares warehousing is a real gamechanger for growing Sandvik Rock Processing’s screening business. 

“As Sandvik rock Processing, we are prioritising the presence of our teams on the ground in countries where our screening equipment is already working,” he says. “By leveraging Sandvik’s strong presence in most countries, we can react rapidly and provide backup support whenever and wherever it is needed.” 

Many customers will have the benefit of in-country refurbishment opportunities, for instance, instead of having to send equipment cross-border for mechanical attention. The local support means lower transport costs, faster turnaround times and less operational downtime. This includes the availability of technicians and specialists to give customers optimal assistance throughout the lifecycle of their screens. 

“Closer proximity to customers also allows them to have their equipment serviced more regularly – and to OEM standards,” he explains. “By focusing on the entire lifecycle and reducing the total cost of ownership, Sandvik Rock Processing aims to provide customers with enhanced value and improved outcomes.”

He highlights that the high quality of workmanship gives a second life to these machines, further improving their contribution to mining customers’ bottom line profitability. The local footprint also gives Sandvik Rock Processing easier access to customers’ sites, so they can become more familiar with their specific challenges and requirements. 

“Mines are increasingly looking to their supply partners to hold as many of their consumable items and critical spares as possible,” says McLaggan. “As we leverage the Sandvik footprint, Sandvik Rock Processing is engaging with customers to ensure we understand their current and future needs, so we can develop our spares holding capacity of in-country offices accordingly.” 

This capacity building strategy also includes the technical training of personnel in various countries, equipping them to deliver maintenance, repairs and refurbishment in line with ISO quality standards. Developing long term relationships with customers is a key aspect of the Sandvik vision, he emphasises. 

“We are continuing to build the business so that customers are assured that we will always be here with the support they need,” he concludes. “This is what maintains and develops the positive trust on which strong relationships are based.”

FIRST SANDVIK SCREEN PACKAGE BUILT IN SA

Sandvik Rock Processing, a global leader in the mining and rock excavation industry, has marked a significant step in its expansion across Africa with the successful completion of its first South African-manufactured screen package. This milestone project was undertaken at the company’s world class Spartan facility in Johannesburg, which already produces the Kwatani and Schenck products as part of Sandvik’s screening solutions offering. The capability to also produce the Sandvik original screen range signals a new phase in Sandvik’s African presence and growth.

Riaan Steinmann, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Operation Director Screening Solutions at Sandvik Rock Processing, showing the grizzly bars which were manufactured using VRN500 high manganese durable plates, equivalent to AR500 plates. The grizzly gazettes determine the specific cut size of the ore.
Riaan Steinmann, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Operation Director Screening Solutions at Sandvik Rock Processing, showing the grizzly bars which were manufactured using VRN500 high manganese durable plates, equivalent to AR500 plates. The grizzly gazettes determine the specific cut size of the ore.

Riaan Steinmann, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Operation Director Screening Solutions at Sandvik Rock Processing, says the achievement is a testament to the facility’s local design and engineering prowess. He emphasises the South African facility’s capability to build high quality vibrating screens from raw materials, which also includes a range of exciter gearboxes using locally procured castings. This innovative approach enables the company to maintain strict quality control and facilitates shorter delivery times for their customers, thereby improving the customer experience significantly.

The screen package that marks this milestone was specifically ordered by a gold mining client located in North-East Africa. It includes a vibrating grizzly screen with a motor-driven exciter, five feeders, and two custom-engineered feed-in chutes. Steinmann praised the facility’s streamlined processes and the benefits of local procurement, which collectively allowed the project to be successfully completed within an impressive timeframe of three months.

“Manufacturing screens in South Africa represents the same standard as those produced in Europe or India,” Steinmann says underscoring the global quality benchmark. He also notes the multiple benefits including reduced shipping times and costs due to Southern African Development Community (SADC) trade agreements. Moreover, he highlights the positive impact on the local economy through exports and increased capacity leading to job creation.

Steinmann’s team adheres to strict standards and procedures during the manufacturing process. They are particularly careful in selecting the correct assembly and welding requirements for each component, ensuring fabrication and welding is aligned with the company’s stringent internal controls.

“Importantly, we aim to serve not only the African continent but also other regions within the Sandvik Rock Processing group,” Steinmann concludes. “The successful execution of this first Sandvik screen package has not only underscored our position as a world class manufacturer but also underlines our ambition to become Africa’s preferred screening solution partner.”

MATCHING CRUSHERS AND SCREENS FOR BEST RESULTS

The careful alignment of screens and crushers in processing makes for optimal throughput and efficiency, by ensuring that all settings and parameters are ideally matched.

“The Kwatani product can now give their vibrating screen customers added benefits in this regard, being part of the global Sandvik group – which is well known for its crushing solutions,” says Kenny Mayhew-Ridgers, Regional Business Director at Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions South Africa. “The advantage is that the Kwatani screens can be specified and optimised with Sandvik’s range of crushers – ensuring that the key elements of the circuit are perfectly matched.”

Kwatani double deck banana screen on route to the customer.

Earlier this year, Kwatani and the mining related business of Schenck Process Group (SP Mining) were incorporated into the Sandvik group within Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions South Africa. Mayhew-Ridgers explains that the screens and crushers in any mineral processing plant are two critical lines of equipment – and they need to be well integrated to optimise the performance of both.

“There is a risk that operators and service technicians may focus on the one item without taking into account the impact of the other,” he says. “The settings and parameters on both the screens and crushers must suit the mined material, and must be perfectly aligned for best results.”

If the crusher is not delivering the required size distribution of material, for instance, the screen will not perform to expectation. The Kwatani product is now able to specify a vibrating screen along with the optimal Sandvik crusher specification, he explains. 

“With Sandvik as the OEM for both equipment lines, we bring our in-depth product insight into how the different equipment will best serve the customer’s specific requirements,” he says. 

An integrated solution is based on a careful assessment of the nature and size distribution of the material which will be fed into the crushing and screening circuit, says Gavin McLaggan, Lifecycle Services Manager for Africa at Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions South Africa. This opens the door to increased efficiency and bottom-line profitability.

“Among the improvements that can be achieved are reduced energy consumption and less wear on the crusher liners – while gaining more throughput,” says McLaggan. “Where there are changes to the orebody and resulting material, there may be an opportunity to change the particle size distribution (PSD) and raise the throughput further.”

The Kwatani product’s inclusion into Sandvik has facilitated a valuable two-way sharing of knowledge on screening technology, says Mayhew-Ridgers. This is a considerable benefit for customers as decades of research and development are combined.

SANDVIK ROCK PROCESSING PUTS SKILLS FRONT AND CENTRE

With its strong tradition of training and upskilling – both in-house and through educational institutions – Sandvik Rock Processing is fast establishing a solid reputation for quality screening solutions as well as the expertise of its staff.

Lylian Kgatla, Human Resources Manager at Sandvik Rock Processing South Africa.
Lylian Kgatla, Human Resources Manager at Sandvik Rock Processing South Africa.

According to Lylian Kgatla, Human Resources Manager at Sandvik Rock Processing South Africa, the firm commitment to skills development is a key ingredient of its success. The company was formed earlier in the year following the acquisition by Sandvik of Kwatani and Schenk and is steadily growing its customer footprint with the value of its offerings being readily recognised by customers in South Africa and across the globe. This reputation based on excellence in designing, manufacturing and supporting its screening solutions is being maintained through continuous upskilling, says Kgatla.

“What is also important has been to make sure that our training efforts are well aligned with the company strategy as well as with employment equity and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) requirements,” she says. “Most of our customers are in the mining sector, and in South Africa this means that they have objectives in terms of the Mining Charter – which their supply partners must help them to meet.”

Meeting the technical and operational expectations of its customers remains at the heart of Sandvik Rock Processing South Africa’s training programmes – which range from apprenticeships and learnerships to university bursary schemes. Apprentices are selected and supported to pursue careers such as boilermakers, fitters and millwrights; the apprenticeship programme lasts three to four years, and is conducted in collaboration with the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta).

“These are key skills for our industry, and need to be supported by all stakeholders to maintain the necessary expertise for the country’s industrial growth,” she says. “The quality of training is ensured by the unit standards which are in place for each area of expertise.”

Sandvik Rock Processing South Africa also supports external learnerships for unemployed youth, working with outside training organisations that provide the theory – while the practical experience is gained by exposing these candidates to the company’s extensive manufacturing facility in Kempton Park. The number of youth supported by the company in this programme has risen exponentially over the years.

Meeting the technical and operational expectations of its customers remains at the heart of Sandvik Rock Processing’s training programmes.
Meeting the technical and operational expectations of its customers remains at the heart of Sandvik Rock Processing’s training programmes.

“This training makes us feel very proud, as we have been able to absorb some of the candidates into the company – and I look forward to watching their progress,” she says. The learners are previously disadvantaged, unemployed learners who may not have yet earned a matriculation certificate. The programme advances them through NQF Levels 1, 2 and 3 so that they can achieve a matric-level qualification for their further studies. She highlights that the skills they learn open the door to employment after achieving NQF Level 3.

There is also a bursary programme focused on disciplines relevant to Sandvik Rock Processing south Africa to fund students in scarce and critical fields such as mechanical, design and process engineering. Where possible, qualified students are also brought into the business and exposed to the various aspects of Sandvik Rock Processing’s operation – often growing into successful careers there.

Training of key personnel at a customer site underway.
Training of key personnel at a customer site underway.

Kgatla highlights how crucial it is for mentoring and coaching to be an integral aspect of the employment and growth process. While many organisations expect new employees to ‘sink or swim’, she argues that retaining and building expertise demands a more formal and committed approach to nurturing staff.