Driving down part turnaround time while bettering quality and decreasing waste is being achieved at Weir Minerals Africa’s exciting new Replicast Plant in Isando, Gauteng.
Umar Smith, plant manager at Weir Minerals Africa’s Isando facility, highlights that the innovative development allows the company to produce more parts at a time – and more shortly. This will help in meeting rising buyer demand, whereas additionally decreasing rework and wastage.
“As a half of our Project Vuka, this new plant allows us to cast a quantity of small parts per batch somewhat than just separately,” says Smith. “We can even cut back our knock-out instances from days to just a few hours.”
The state-of-the-art amenities enable Weir Minerals Africa to forged excessive chrome parts weighing up to 250 kg. There are Lost to the new course of, he explains, which uses polystyrene to create moulds. The first part is the polystyrene moulding process, which happens after the polystyrene beads have been expanded. The second phase is the place the ramming, pouring and demoulding takes place.
In contrast to the normal moulding line – where resin and catalyst are used to bind sand – the Replicast Plant uses silica sand of 30-35 AFS grade along with the polystyrene mould, he says. The system involves a vacuum bin, from which all of the air is eliminated to compress the sand.
“The absence of resin and catalyst – in addition to having no clamping course of – results in less scrap being produced, and subsequently brings operational savings,” he says. “The high quality of castings can additionally be raised, with a greater surface end and fewer defects.”
He notes that the geometrical stability of parts is improved, as there may be less fettling of the finished product thereby lowering dimensional variation between the same elements. This in flip contributes to the reliability of the tools using these parts. He says the foundry will also realise significant environmental advantages as a outcome of utilizing no chemical compounds within the sand.
“This new plant aligns well with our corporate sustainability goals, guaranteeing that our processes are not solely compliant but continuously scale back our environmental influence,” says Smith. “Our new moulding methods be sure that fewer gases are emitted during the casting course of, and there are zero emissions of dangerous substances such as benzene.”
The new expertise is also resulting in less frequent disposal of silica sand, and the sand itself is extra environmentally friendly as it accommodates no resin or acid.
“A remarkable aspect of creating this new plant was the reality that it was carried out with our local expertise and largely during the COVID-19 lockdowns,” he says. “Despite the novelty of this technology, and the logistical challenges created by the pandemic, it was efficiently carried out on time and within finances.”
The plant contains more than sixteen,000 individual parts, and uses over 1,900 m of cabling, 300 m of water piping and fifty five tons of metal.

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