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High chrome white iron (HCWI) specialist Mitak is now able to cast up to 1000 tons a month. Since 2014, the company has invested in upgrading its foundry and expanding its manufacturing facilities, and has spent over R200-million on new equipment as part of this drive.

HCWI continues to provide competitive advantage for Mitak

According to Graham Anderson, Business Development Director of Mitak, the foundry has been sustainably growing into this new capacity since 2014. Today, Mitak employs more than 500 people and has made major investments in most areas of its production.

“We are also one of the few foundries internationally that can manufacture HCWI castings of up to 18 tons finished mass. When the company was founded 45 years ago, a decision was taken to focus its expertise on HCWI as the alloy of choice. Although this alloy was a difficult one to master at the time, the founders realised that a dedicated focus on HCWI would give them an important competitive advantage – even over competitors in the lower-cost regions of the world,” Anderson says.

“Key to this advantage was the expertise Mitak has subsequently developed in manufacturing hard metal alloys. This has been reinforced through greater efficiency, economies of scale and consistently stringent standards of quality.”

Due to its exceptional wear-resistant qualities, HCWI is well-suited for manufacture of mill liner castings for tube, rod, ball and fully autonomous grinding (FAG) mills. Mitak uses the latest foundry technology to support its high quality production, for example using laser and optical technology to reverse-engineer existing liners.

Anderson says the company has also brought the latest technology to bear in the production of casting patterns, an example being the installation of one of the largest CNC-controlled five-axis pattern millers. Mitak also uses 3D additive printing to produce certain patterns. Once a component has been cast, cutting-edge digital technology checks for absolute dimensional accuracy.

“Every aspect of the manufacturing process has always been under one roof, facilitating rigorous quality control checks at every step of the production process. At Mitak, the role of quality inspectors is crucial in maintaining and further improving the foundry's high levels of manufacturing excellence. More than 50 well-trained quality inspectors do more than simply carry out final inspection, but carefully monitor each phase of the production process,” Anderson adds.

“Uncompromising quality is the reason why some 75% of Mitak's production is exported, most of this going to major OEMs of process equipment in Europe. Many of these relationships date back more than 35 years, and are testimony to the trust that these world-leading OEMs have placed, and continue to place, in the South African foundry.”

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