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Springs-based foundry Elmacast Engineering is expanding. The company recently completed the first phase of its expansion project with the installation of four new induction furnaces, automated continuous caster and a fully integrated double line heat treatment plant. The cost of the project totalled R134 million, and increased the foundry’s capacity to produce in excess of 2500 tons of chrome casted grinding media for ball mills a month.

The foundry also upgraded its two 6-ton induction furnaces and overhauled all of its cranes. In addition, it installed a shot blaster and a thermal sand reclamation plant. The foundry also underwent substantial upgrades to its laboratory and implemented the latest computer simulation technologies to model various casting procedures before they are executed.

These upgrades allow the foundry to produce conventional castings to a maximum gross weight of 6 tons per casting. Dean Wilson, General Manager of Elmacast Engineering, says that the investment into new technologies and processes was crucial for the sustainability of the company, due to the large influx of imports dominated by Chinese, Indian and Turkish markets.

“These upgrades give Elmacast Engineering a competitive edge while allowing further focus on quality to ensure world class castings are delivered to our customers. Over and above the new equipment and technologies invested in the foundry, strategic supply contracts of raw materials were put in place to ensure materials are sourced at the right price, quality and continuity of supply,” Wilson says.

In addition to chrome casted grinding media for ball mills, Elmacast supplies the mining, automobile and agricultural sectors with various casted components ranging from pump casings, brake drums, bearings housings and gear housing. The foundry is now undergoing phase two of its expansion project which will add additional capacity to its grinding media offering as well as another high-volume production line for smaller conventional castings and additional induction furnaces.

The size of the Elmacast’s current property totals over 80000m2, of which 15000m2 is currently under roof. The second phase of the expansion project will increase the total under-roof area of the foundry to 21000m2.

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