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Publication of the SA Institution of Mechanical Engineering, incorporating News of Associate Organisations


SA Institute of Tribology Understanding Friction, Lubrication & Wear

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Being an Engineer is not all Taught, Some Things Need to be Learnt


Dr Martin Venter

s South African engineers we are proud of our community, we have a reputation for hard work and innovation in many parts of the world, but we seem to be forgetting that our reputation is not based on what we were taught in the classroom, rather on what we learnt from our betters in the wider world.

values may no longer be imparted to the younger segment of our community.

In recent years there has been a strong focus on increasing the number of graduates coming out of tertiary education (at my institution there has been a 5-fold increase in output in a decade). Most of us are aware that to meet this demand, academia has wrestled with many challenges resulting in updated curricula. Assessments have been streamlined and the digital era has been embraced.

We can no longer rely on the passive interactions of the past (or our absentee regulator) to instill the culture of South African engineering on the new generation. If we want to maintain our standards of practice and reputation, we now need to plan how new additions to our community are socialized.

Contemporary graduates have a range of classical skills that will be familiar to the old guard but have also accrued a range of new skills. Some institutions have even begun emphasizing the ever-illusive ‘soft skills’ that the public at large wants us to have. The question here is; now what?


However good your formal education is, it is incomplete. Young engineers move out of the classroom and join other practising engineers. Only here do they learn the values of our industry: honesty, integrity, responsibility, inclusivity, continuous development and professionalism. These attributes are passed down from generation to generation. The older generation either mentored the new graduates directly through EIT programs or indirectly through their interaction with new graduates. In this way we have built a culture of engineering. In a recent news article, Consulting Engineers South Africa laments the immigration of senior engineers in the age bracket 35 to 55 and notes the ‘huge number’ of new graduates. As a community we are fast becoming bottom heavy and will reach the point where there are simply too few senior engineers to provide adequate mentorship, and our

With their sheer number, the newly graduated engineers will dominate how South African engineers are seen globally and their behaviour will reflect all our values.


Steps in this direction have been made in other communities. In Canada for instance many new graduates choose to participate in the ‘Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer’, which in the words of Rudyard Kipling; ‘...has been instituted with the simple end of directing the young engineer towards a consciousness of his profession and its significance, and indicating to the older engineer his responsibilities in receiving, welcoming and supporting the young engineers in their beginnings.’

Only here do they learn the values of our industry: honesty, integrity, responsibility, inclusivity, continuous development and professionalism

Members of the voluntary associations are in the best position to engage with the youth to ensure that they gain the attributes that will keep our community strong. All it takes is a little time. Dr Martin Venter MSAIMechE


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Publication of the SA Institution of Mechanical Engineering, incorporating News of Associate Organisations



Contents SA Institute of Tribology Understanding Friction, Lubrication & Wear

On the Cover

SAIT Tel: (011) 804-3710 Email:,

Cover Story



28 Colonialism or an Upliftment Opportunity?

Biolubrication: Beyond Tribology

Hydraulics & Pneumatics 11 Committed to SA and Africa

Industry 4.0 13 Intoducing the New Artisan 14 Robots Still too Stupid for Human Jobs

New Equipment

HVAC 33 There is Good Reason to Manufacture in SA

Recycling 35 Binning Plastic: The Answer is not What you Think

Water Wise

17 Fabricating for 25 Years

36 Off the Municipal Grid

Pipes, Pumps & Valves 19 Robust and Durable 20 Adjustment Technology


An Engineer’s View



Institution News

22 Turnkey Solution: A Market First

38 Market Forum

Power Transmission

46 On the Move

26 Hybrid Bearings


All rights reserved. No editorial matter published in “SA Mechanical Engineer” may be reproduced in any form or language without written permission of the publishers. While every effort is made to ensure accurate reproduction, the editor, authors, publishers and their employees or agents shall not be responsible or in any way liable for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in the publication, whether arising from negligence or otherwise or for any consequences arising therefrom. The inclusion or exclusion of any product does not mean that the publisher or editorial board advocates or rejects its use either generally or in any particular field or fields.

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Council 2018 - 2020

Company Affiliates

Office Bearers

President......................................................Prof D Blaine (Debby) Vice President....................................... H Makwarela (Hangwani) National Treasurer.............................Prof JL van Niekerk (Wikus)

Branch Chairpersons

Central ............................................................... A Celliers (Alicia) Eastern Cape........................................... G van den Berg (Gideon) KwaZulu-Natal ........................................ Dr J Padayachee (Jared) Mpumalanga Highveld .....................................N Lecordier (Noel) Vaal.............................................................. N Swanepoel (Niekie) Western Cape ............................................... Dr M Venter (Martin)


Procedures.......................................................... SZ Hrabar (Steve) Communications and Marketing..................G Bartholomew (Bart) TBC...........................................................MAE Black (Malcolm) TBC..............................................................HG Bosman (Tertius) TBC.................................................C Molomo-Mphephu (Cillia) TBC..............................................................R Tshitahe (Rudzani) Chief Executive Officer..................... Vaughan Rimbault National Office Manager................ Anisa Nanabhay National Office Co-ordinator…….....………….. Carey Evans PO Box 511, Bruma, 2026 Tel: (011) 615-5660 Email: Website: Membership Email:



Autodesk as represented by Worldsview Technologies

Mod-U-Flow CC

Alstom Power Service SA (Pty) Ltd Babcock Ntuthuko Engineering Pty Ltd Bosch Projects Pty Ltd Eskom Rotek Industries SOC Ltd Esteq Group (Pty) Ltd Exxaro Resources (Pty) Ltd Festo (Pty) Ltd Fluor SA (Pty) Ltd Kelvion Systems (Pty) Ltd Green Plan Consultants (Pty) Ltd Hatch Africa (Pty) Ltd Howden Power (a div of Howden Africa) Howden Projects (a div of James Howden) MBE Minerals (SA) (Pty) Ltd

Osborn Engineered Products SA (Pty) Ltd Plant Design & Project Services (Pty) Limited (PDPS) PPS Insurance Co Limited Proconics Redheads Engineering Services (Pty Ltd) S.A.M.E Water (Pty) Ltd SA Power Services (Pty) Ltd Sasol Technology (Pty) Ltd Siemens (Pty) Ltd Simera Technology (Pty) Ltd Spirax Sarco (Pty) Ltd Tenova Mining and Minerals SA Thyssenkrupp Engineering (Pty) Ltd Vital Engineering (Pty) Ltd Weir Minerals Africa

Job Creation through Local Manufacturing The SAIMechE is partening with the Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo (LME) taking place from 21 to 23 May 2019 at the Expo Centre, Nasrec. Approximately 50-70% local content in products would be considered acceptable to the future growth and sustainability of the local manufacturing sector. This is according to Eric Bruggeman, CEO at the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC). Eric cites Transnet’s delayed pipeline project as a great example of how local manufacturers could help to build the country’s economy and reduce unemployment. The project, which has been plagued by numerous delays, was finally completed in early 2018. A local manufacturer of valves received a substantial order to replace the existing valves after products from two different sources had failed to produce a positive outcome.

Unnecessary importation

“This is especially relevant given the fact that local procurement specialists still insist on sourcing products from overseas when local alternatives have in fact proven to be superior in terms of both performance and reliability. In a nutshell, the unnecessary importation of goods, which are available from local manufacturers, is costing South Africa innumerable jobs and needs to be urgently addressed,” says Eric. Determined to drive inclusion for local manufacturers as part of both the local and international supply chains, SACEEC has partnered with Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, to launch the Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo (LME). In addition to the exhibition, SAIMechE will be hosting the free-to-attend seminars. There will also be an arei (Association of Representatives for the Electronics Industry) Pavilion and the Artisan

Training Institute (ATI) is hosting the Skills Development Zone. Other Association partners include International Steel Fabricators (ISF), and Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa (MEMSA). “We are very excited at the potential that the Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo will provide for local manufacturers to market themselves to a captive extended audience. The exhibition will not only allow them to showcase their products and services in an interactive manner, but will furthermore equip them with the skills needed to drive entrepreneurial innovation and aftersales service. It will also create a fertile environment for visitors to find the right BBBEE and technology partners,” says Eric.

Great interest

“The industry has shown great interest in the exhibition and stand sales have been brisk. We do still have a few stands available and urge local manufacturers to seize this strategic opportunity to engage with a captive buying audience. Interested parties can contact our sales team to customise a package that will build their brand quickly and effectively,” says Charlene Hefer, portfolio director for Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery. Specialised Exhibitions Natasha Heiberg, WhatsApp: 076 135 6549


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Biolubrication: Beyond Tribology Frictional processes in living systems (and their modulation through biolubrication) differ fundamentally from the usual tribological wear and tear effects such as in machines, or more generally between sliding inert surfaces.


his is because frictional effects in biology can result in shear stresses on living cells, which through mechanotransductive mechanisms, may lead to gene regulation and production of proteins and enzymes. These may have a further effect on the sliding tissues and thus on the friction itself. This applies in particular wherever tissues slide past each other in highly stressed environments in the body. Prime examples are the major joints (so-called synovial joints) like hips and knees, where friction-related diseases like osteoarthritis, which involves cartilage degradation and wear, affect many millions worldwide (eg, 30M in the US alone, including some 50% of the population over 75 years old). This problem is becoming more widespread as human longevity increases. Thus an appreciation of the factors controlling lubrication in synovial joints, and how they affect gene regulation through

cell mechanotransduction, may lead to better treatment of osteoarthritis.

Hydration lubrication

Over the past 15 years or so, hydration lubrication has emerged as a new paradigm for understanding lubrication in aqueous and biological environments [1 – 4]. In this mechanism, water molecules in the hydration layers surrounding ions, zwitterions or polar groups can provide lubrication through their property of being strongly bound while at the same time very fluid. Thus they resist being squeezed out under normal stresses but behave fluidly, providing very weak shear or frictional resistance, when sliding. These together combine to make such hydration layers, and the groups carrying them, particularly efficient lubrication elements in aqueous, including biological media.

Phosphatidylcholine (PC) lipids can form highly lubricating boundary layers PC lipids have a di-acyl tail attached to a zwitterionicphosphocholine head-group. Such phosphocholine head-groups are exceptionally well hydrated, and can provide extremely efficient boundary lubrication when they are in a 2-D or quasi-2-D array, such as in liposomes (vesicles with a lipid bilayer membrane) or in layers/multilayers.

Over the past 15 years or so, hydration lubrication has emerged as a new paradigm for understanding lubrication

Lipids naturally form layered structures in water as their hydrophobic tails bind adjacent lipids while their head-groups (for the case of PC lipids) expose a highly hydrated surface. When two such layers slide past each other, as illustrated in fig. 1, a very low friction coefficient may result, up to physiologically high pressures of hundreds of atmospheres [5,6].

Supra-molecular synergy in synovial lubrication

Lubrication between articular cartilage layers which coat the contacting ends of the major human joint-bones, has long been studied because of its direct relation to osteoarthritis (see review in ref. [7]). While several modes of lubrication have been examined, including fluid films, it appears from experiments on whole joints that boundary lubrication by molecular layers at the cartilage surface is the dominant mode [8,9].

Figure 1: Illustrating the sliding of two PC-lipid layers past each other, where the highly-hydrated head-groups provide low friction via the hydration lubrication mechanism

The main molecules which have been implicated in this have been hyaluronic acid (HA), which is a long, linear polysaccharide; lubricin, which is a rod-like protein; and PC lipids.

Figure 2: Proposed supra-molecular structure where lubricin attaches HA at the cartilage surface, which in turn complexes with PC lipids exposing their highly hydrated head-groups at the slip plane



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Based on recent work in our group, we have proposed that these combine to form a boundary layer where all three act together, as illustrated in fig. 2 (adapted from [7]), with the phosphocholine headgroups exposed at the actual slip plane to provide the low friction via hydration lubrication as in fig. 1.

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Cartilage friction, chondrocyte strain and osteoarthritis

Friction at the cartilage surface, and the resulting shear stress, may transmit strain through the tissue to the embedded chondrocytes, which are the cartilage-generating (growing) cells. This is illustrated in fig. 3 (adapted from ref. [7]) The shear strain ε experienced by chondrocytes embedded in the cartilage as shown schematically in fig. 3 is related to the pressure P, the cartilage shear modulus K and the friction coefficient µ as ε = µP/K. Thus substantial strains may be transmitted unless the friction coefficient remains sufficiently low. Chondrocytes are known to be sensitive to shear strains, as noted in the Introduction, and indeed there is evidence [7,10] that shear strains cause them to produce excess amounts of cartilage-degrading enzymes. One scenario, therefore, relating friction to osteoarthritis (OA) is where increased friction (arising for example from some traumatic event such as a sports accident, or other more natural causes) results in chondrocyte shear strain, which in consequence leads to up-regulation of cartilage-degrading enzymes. These in turn, through their degrading of the cartilage surface, result in higher friction, thus higher strain and an increased enzyme production, and so on in a self-reinforcing cycle which eventually leads to the major cartilage degradation associated with OA.

Conclusions and perspectives

A better understanding of lubrication at cartilage surfaces (and other sliding surfaces such as in the eye between the eyelid and the cornea) can lead to treatments which may augment nature’s lubrication mechanisms. Hydration lubrication is increasingly recognized as a main mode of boundary lubrication in biological systems. At cartilage surfaces in particular, it has been proposed to act via PC lipids complexed in boundary layers with other macromolecules, exposing their highly-hydrated head-groups at the slip-plane. A possible approach to exploit this may be to introduce PC lipids, suitably augmented with other macromolecules, to augment the body’s natural lubrication mechanisms. Raviv, U. and Klein, J., ‘Fluidity of bound hydration layers’ – Science 297, 1540-1543 (2002) 1. Briscoe, W.H., Titmuss, S., Tiberg, F., McGillivray, D.J., Thomas, R.K., Klein, J., ‘Boundary lubrication under water’, Nature 444, 191-194 (2006) 2. Ma, L., Gaisinskaya, A., Kampf, N. and Klein, J., ‘Origins of hydration lubrication’, Nature Communications, | 6:6060 |DOI: 10.1038/ ncomms7060 (2015). 3. Klein, J., ‘Hydration Lubrication’, Friction 1, 1-23 (2013).

Figure 3: Illustrating the sliding of a top cartilage layer over the bottom one, at typical pressures P and shear modulus K, for different friction coefficients µ; the embedded chondrocyte cells (orange) experience shear strain during the sliding, which depends on µ

4. Goldberg, R., Schroeder, A., Barenholz, Y., Klein, J., ‘Boundary Lubricants with Exceptionally Low Friction Coefficients Based on 2D Close-Packed Phosphatidylcholine Liposomes’, Advanced Materials, 23, 3517-3521 (2011) 5.

Sorkin, R., Kampf, N., Dror, Y., Shimoni, E. and Klein, J., ‘Origins of extreme boundary lubrication by phosphatidylcholine liposomes’, Biomaterials, 34, 5465-5475 (2013)

6. Jahn S, Seror J, Klein J. ‘Lubrication of articular cartilage’. Annu. Rev. Biomed. Eng. 18:235–58, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-bioeng-081514-123305 (2016) 7. Wright, V.; Dowson, D., Lubrication and cartilage. J. Anat. 1976, 121, 107-118. 8. Little, T.; Freeman, M.; Swanson, A., Experiments on friction in the human hip joint. In Lubrication and wear in joints, Wright, V., Ed. Sector Publishing: London, 1969; pp 110-116 9. Burleigh, A.; Chanalaris, A.; Gardiner, M. D.; Driscoll, C.; Boruc, O.; Saklatvala, J.; Vincent, T. L., Joint immobilization prevents murine osteoarthritis and reveals the highly mechanosensitive nature of protease expression in vivo. Arthritis and Rheumatism 2012, 64, (7), 2278-2288.

Professor Jacob Klein Weizmann Institute of Science Paper presented at the Sixth World Tribology Congress in Beijing ibn 2017 Last month’s article ‘Improving a Turning Insert’s Lifespan’ was written by: Dominic Smit and Natasha Sacks School of Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering, & DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


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Committed to SA and Africa Bosch Rexroth recently opened their new facility in Kempton Park, Gauteng. “SA Mechanical Engineer” attended the launch and toured the facility with various dignitaries including the German Ambassador to South Africa.


he new building is home to six companies: Hytec, Tectra Automation, Hytec Services Africa, HYSA, Hägglunds and Bosch Rexroth South Africa.

Says Tillmann Olsen, Bosch Rexroth SA CEO, “It symbolises the group’s ambition and sets the standard in all aspects of doing business.”

Allow the group to expand its footprint as a knowledge centre for some of the continent’s leading technical minds in fluid power and automation technologies Staff were invited to name the building and chose Rexroth Hubb, with Hubb standing for ‘Hytec Unified By Bosch.’ The six companies relocated to the Kempton Park site in 2018 and are now under one roof with centralised production, training facilities, engineering, sales and support offices. Tillmann points out that the significant expansion of training facilities across the hydraulics and pneumatics fields, as well as the rapidly-developing discipline of mechatronics, will allow the group to expand its footprint as a knowledge centre for some of the continent’s leading technical minds in fluid power and automation technologies. “Sharing the premises with Bosch Rexroth’s South African product development and support division further consolidates and increases proximity between Bosch Rexroth’s R&D and manufacturing centres in Germany and our 40 branches across Africa,” he adds.

Closer to customers

The focus on training provides long-term benefits to

customers. Short term, there are also a few wins. “Greater integration among both the individual group companies, and between office and production spaces, has created a more interactive and collaborative environment that enables us to service our customers even better,” says Tillmann. “Consolidating the group companies’ lean assembly, production and logistics capabilities and philosophies in a single location means we can reduce the number of intralogistic transactions, streamlining our handling efficiency to supply our technologies to market with even greater speed.”

Boost for SA

“The Hubb expresses our ambition and optimism to further grow the business. We feel challenged to service our customers better and strive for excellence, making them more competitive and forcing more growth and job creation in South Africa,” says Bosch Rexroth Executive Board member Dr Markus Forschner. German Ambassador to South Africa, Martin Schäfer supports the idea of a new dawn in the country. “We support the new dawn and are positive we can make a contribution to the turnaround of this country, which is very important for South Africans and Germany.” “This is a real show of confidence in the country,” adds Department of Trade and Industry director general, Lionel October.

African ambitions

Situated close to OR Tambo International, the facility is the group’s African hub. “It is the focal point of our investment in Africa. “With state of the art facilities tailored to providing solutions for Africa’s industrial markets, we are ready to meet the continent’s requirements for smart, efficient hydraulic, pneumatics and automation technologies.” “Hydraulic power units are built and assembled from raw materials according to specifications and we have a 3 metre container where we can control the pressure.” There is also a simulation unit. Along with testing, servicing, repair work, and R135 million stock on hand, units can be refurbished on site. “We repair back to factory specifications which means a unit can travel from a coal mine in South Africa to a mine in Russia in its lifetime. Willem Gijzelaar, Tel: (011) 979-4630,

Stephen Dondolo (CEO African Pioneer Group and director of Hytec & Bosch Rexroth South Africa), Dr Markus Forschner (executive president and chief financial officer, Bosch Rexroth AG), Lionel October (director-general, Department of Trade and Industry), Martin Schäfer (German Ambassador to South Africa), Tillmann Olsen (CEO, Bosch Rexroth South Africa) and Dr Markus Thill (president, Bosch Africa) cut the ribbon, marking the official inauguration of the Rexroth Hubb.


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Introducing the new ARTISAN Challenges faced by the mining industry today such as increasing production costs, depressed commodity prices and the high cost of electricity, are forcing the mining sector to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution as it brings industrial transformation.


uch developments will bring the training colleges and artisan training centres to the forefront, as workers now need to be upskilled to work alongside technology in the mining sector.

is that they will communicate with the equipment via the Internet of Things. They will not only know that a certain pump has stopped, they will know why. The pump, its motor and control systems will be connected to an industrial network. An Artisan 4.0 will also know about internet protocols, IP addresses, how to set up networks, how to configure wireless devices. A smartphone and tablet computer will be alongside a set of sockets and screwdrivers in the toolbox.�

Modern technology and the artisan

Industry 4.0, with the current trend of automation and data exchange in the industrial environment also includes cloud-based systems. It leads to improved safety and security, efficiency and therefore reducing production costs.

The Artisan 4.0 will not only know that a certain pump has stopped, they will know why

It also has a positive effect on the maintenance load of the mine as preventative maintenance can be carried out. Communication between machines and the plant maintenance staff reduces downtime while preventing complete breakdowns.

Modern technology creates a demand for skilled labour, and so the Colliery Training College began to roll out its Artisan 4.0 initiative.

When asked to explain what the term Artisan 4.0 means, Johan Venter says, “Artisan 4.0 will still carry a toolbox similar to that of their forefathers, they will still know all about bearings, gearboxes and sequence starters because the basic principles of mechanics, electricity, forces and motion have not changed. The thing that will distinguish them

Colliery Training College Johan Venter Tel: 013- 692 3121


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Robots Still Too Stupid For Human Jobs People working in the manufacturing industry tend to see the Fourth Industrial Revolution as yet another nail in the coffin of an already weakened industry. But without downplaying the challenges, there is another view.


s the Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds, we could see an increasing number of existing jobs in part or in whole taken over by machines. But we are a long way off any machine being able to counterfeit the human ability to reason and, crucially, to interact on a personal level.

Gartner predicts that while artificial intelligence will automate 1.8 million people out of work by 2020, we will create 2.3 million new ones - a gain of 500 000

find out if you qualify Just use Siri or Google Assistant to get you Margaret to #joinourtable at name Thatcher’s middle - and you’ll find out how

in a complex manufacturing process to design, test, produce, distribute and service tyres, for example. Gartner predicts that while artificial intelligence will automate 1.8 million people out of work by 2020, we will create 2.3 million new ones - a gain of 500 000.

Unskilled jobs more at risk

However, these new jobs will only be available to those with the right set of skills. To put it bluntly, unskilled jobs are most at risk and that is the rub, particularly for us here in South Africa. Generally speaking, our work force is relatively unskilled and is thus vulnerable.

For companies with existing work forces, the first dumb technology actually is when compared to a challenge is to prepare existing employees to make the transition to a radically different way of workhuman assistant. The same dynamic is even truer PPS is an authorized Financial Services Provider.



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We are currently piloting new ways of transmitting knowledge which, when perfected, will play a vital role in preparing our people to transition to a new type of job, likely one that will involve the higher value, relationship-building service end of the business. A key competency to master will be that of being able to unlearn old and learn new, enabling one to be far more agile in adapting to constantly changing roles and skills required. It is no longer only about what you know at any given point in time, but rather how quickly you can adapt and learn.

It is no longer only about what you know at any given point in time, but rather how quickly you can adapt and learn Ryan Crawford, IT Manager, Bridgestone

yfilauq uoy fi tuo dnif In conclusion, aaword z.oofccaution. .spp Anything ta eltobdo atwith ruonioj# ot More hype than action

technology, and 4IR is supremely technology-driven, is susceptible to hype. This means that the expected .redivorP secivreS laicnaniF dezirohtua na si SPP changes can seem as though they are just around ing in a radically different work environment. The the corner. In fact, it will be a long time before all second will be to play a role alongside government the existing manufacturing facilities and processes in somehow ensuring that our deeply flawed edu- are fundamentally changed. cational system is retooled to start producing a new generation of workers with skills suitable for Bridgestone South Africa the new workplace. When it comes to existing workers, it is clear that traditional skills’ training is not going to be effective.

Ryan Crawford 011 923 7500


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South Africa’s perfect blend of ingredients provides the ideal backdrop for this international Congress: adventure, wildlife, magnificent scenery, rich cultural diversity, and efficient infrastructure. Few countries in the world can match the fun, beauty and excitement you will find in South Africa. At the foot of the vast continent of Africa is Cape Town, host city of the FIATA World Congress 2019, also known as South Africa’s “Mother City”. Cape Town is set in a dramatic landscape of exquisite natural beauty, nestled between the majestic Table Mountain and the sea, and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.







2017• 2018










You are coming to Africa! This is your chance to experience a unique once-in-alifetime Big Five Safari. Track these wild wild animals, live in luxury, dine under the starry Southern skies and immerse yourself in Africa. To book email:

Consistently named one of the best conditioned courses in South Africa Golf Digest Annual Top 100 – playing at Steenberg Golf Estate should be on every serious golfers’ bucket list. The golf package includes green fees, transport, meals and drinks. Signup for the tournament when you register for the Congress.

DAY TOURS It’s not all hard work and no play! A varied selection of day tours in and around Cape Town is available for participants and partners who find that they have a free moment during the Congress week. To book visit: fiata-2019/




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EARLY ACCOMMODATION SPECIAL Choose from among some of Cape Town’s most convenient Congress hotels, with prices and star-ratings to suit all budgets. Participants that book and pay in full before 30 April 2019 will benefit from special discounted accommodation rates.


Fabricating For 25 Years Last year marked 25 years of service for Babcock’s fabricating facility of providing products and a full range of specialised support services to Africa’s power generation and metallurgical industries.


avid Brook, Technical Director at Babcock says, “We have always been highly adept at being able to conceive, design and implement radical solutions; however, it became clear over time that the slowest and most critical aspect of being able to deliver was the final manufacture, which was then being undertaken by ICAL (International Combustion of Africa Limited) and other fabricators.

The company boasts a comprehensive inventory of fabrication equipment including tube bending, tube-end forming and bevelling equipment With the dissolving of ICAL in 1993, the opportunity arose for Babcock to establish its own fabrication capability and with some R2.3 million of orders on hand, a team of 10 staff set up shop to complete the projects and prepared to secure additional orders. The factory undertakes both new boiler projects as well as the manufacture of replacement parts for existing boilers. The workshops are equipped to deal with high pressure tubular fabrication and tube manipulations as well as welding and assembly of high pressure tubular components.

Recent projects

Babcock recently played a major role in the refurbishment of the three boiler units at a local power station, a project that comprised executing more than 22 000 internal butt welds as well as

a successful economiser modular replacement and turbine loop piping replacement. Other customers include numerous energy users in the petrochemical, chemical, sugar, paper, water, mining and associated process sectors, with pressure pipes, boiler tubes, membrane furnace panels and various other items fabricated to customer requirements and/or design. The facility uses all types of welding including MMA, GTAW, GMAW and SAW, and any materials from normal carbon steel up to the 1% and 2¼% chrome steels as well as high temperature, high strength, creep resistant steels are used.

Comprehensive equipment inventory

The company boasts a comprehensive inventory of fabrication equipment including tube bending, tube-end forming and bevelling equipment; cutting equipment ranging from mechanical saws through to plasma cutters; large boring, drilling and milling machines and welding equipment covering almost every process. The four workshop bays are supplied with LPG gas, oxygen, argon and compressed air via piped ring mains. David says that while the boilers are still manufactured the same way they were 25 years ago, upgrades have been carried out over the years at the premises, and there have been advancements in equipment technology, with the company recently investing in a new, fully automatic, CNC bending machine. Babcock David Brook Email:

The workshops are equipped to deal with high pressure tubular fabrication and tube manipulations


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QuanƟty Surveying… …at the heart of every successful construcƟon project

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ROBUST AND DURABLE Tough operating conditions are the norm in the mining sector, which is why Colin Adams, managing director of Integrated Pump Technology, warns that companies need to specify high-quality OEM products.

Slurry pumps need to be up to the task of handling high volumes of abrasive material, and when this is not the case, these failures lead to costly production downtime with the obvious knock-on effects.” Integrated Pump Technology is the authorised distributor for Grindex submersible pumps and included in its product lineup is the Grindex Bravo range. Colin says these robust, durable and high performance pumps offer a good return on investment as the units are engineered to achieve lower operating and maintenance costs.

duty point. This means that the pump can be used in numerous applications within its range and it is not a case of “one pump – one application”. The pumps are fitted with a cooling jacket and an agitator for effective slurry pumping. Pumps in the range can handle slurry and fluids with a high content of highly abrasive solids in sizes up to 50mm at maximum heads from 17 to 45 metres. Wear is reduced by using NiHard 4 for all hydraulic components, and these pumps can handle liquids with pH values from 4 up to 10. Integrated Pump Technology Colin Adams Tel: (011) 918 9034 Email:

The Grindex Bravo range are produced to operate over the complete pump curve, not just one specific duty point Slurry vs dry-mounted pumps

Commenting on why a submersible slurry pump is a better option for slurry pumping, Colin explains that submersibles offer several benefits over drymounted pumps. They do not require any support structure, need less space for operation and are very easy to install. The Grindex Bravo range is produced to operate over the complete pump curve, not just one specific

Grindex Bravo slurry pump on display at Electra Mining Africa 2018


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Adjustment Technology Recognising that throatbush wear rate has a major impact in the overall efficiency of slurry pumps, Weir Minerals has developed superior rotating and axial adjustment technology.


n many applications, the pump’s throatbush is the component that has the shortest life compared with the impeller and liners, with considerable variability.

By mechanising the adjustment procedure, personnel are removed from the line of fire, and the accuracy of axial movement is increased Adjusting the gap between the throatbush and the impeller front shroud reduces hydraulic recirculation in the pump. This prevents localised wear on the throatbush, improves hydraulic efficiency and lowers the total ownership cost for the operator. To avoid impacting the plant’s production, these adjustments are often performed while the pump is operating. However, this can have safety implications for individuals working at

the front of the pump unit. Manually adjusting an alloy throatbush on a large pump requires several people and is labour intensive. It requires mechanical tools to adjust the four pusher bolts, one at a time, in order to reduce the gap between the throatbush and impeller. ”We wanted to find a safer and quicker way to extend the wear life of the pump with regular adjustments, which led us to development of this technology,” states Marcus Lane, Global Product Manager for Centrifugal Pumps for Weir Minerals.

Automated solutions

“Our automated throatbush adjustment solutions are available for pumps fitted with either rubber or alloy throatbushes on Warman slurry pumps used in the most arduous applications, and have been designed with our customers’ safety and pump operation in mind. By mechanising the adjustment procedure, personnel are removed from the line of fire, and the accuracy of axial movement is increased,” states Ron Bourgeois, Director of Slurry Pumping Technology Group for Weir Minerals. The company’s automated adjustment systems speed up the process, allowing for more frequent adjustments with minimal effort. When maintaining an alloy throatbush, all four bolts are adjusted at the same time to ensure even adjustment and accurate positioning, improving the wear life of the throatbush.

A standard gap

Rubber throatbush adjustment is considerably different because it poses the risk of hysteresis and premature failure of the throatbush. The goal is not to adjust to a minimum clearance but to maintain a standard gap to ensure that there is no contact between the impeller and throatbush, while periodically rotating the throatbush face to avoid acceleration of localised wear. “We developed an automated rotating solution which maintains an optimum gap between the throatbush and impeller front shroud for the particles to flow



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PIPES, PUMPS AND VALVES through without catching and tearing the rubber. The localised surface wear is usually near the discharge position, but by slowly rotating the throatbush, we even out the material loss over the entire face. Field results have been very positive, showing an average of 40% increase in wear life,” states Ron. For the smaller Warman slurry pumps used in medium to heavy duty applications, the company offers a single point adjustment mechanism, providing both axial and rotational repositioning. This allows one individual to safely stand to the side of the pump while making the adjustment.

Successful trials

Mining operators who have trialled this adjustment technology have reported improved wear life and safer, simpler maintenance through the process of regular adjustment. Weir Minerals has already taken its adjustment technology one step further by integrating it with their IIoT Synertrex platform to offer predictive maintenance feedback.

Rubber throatbush adjustment is considerably different because it poses the risk of hysteresis and premature failure of the throatbush “This is made possible through machine learning. Over time Synertrex learns from past adjustments, recording how many times the throatbush was adjusted and the magnitude of adjustment each time. This trending data is collected and analysed by Synertrex to communicate future adjustment requirements. “Through automating all adjustments, we can successfully communicate remaining useful life, and inform customers of optimum times to adjust the pump to increase efficiency and maximise wear life,” Ron concludes. Weir Minerals Africa Rajen Govender Tel: 011 929 2701 E-mail:


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Turnkey Solution: A Market First Following the launch of the TLT-Turbo Africa in 2018, German based ventilation firm, TLT-Turbo (GmbH), has concluded the consolidation of several South African based operations to become the continent’s first and only complete, turnkey mining, energy and industrial ventilation solutions provider.

Over the past two years, the TLT-Turbo Africa board, under the global leadership of TLT-Turbo, has worked towards the complete integration of product, service and project capabilities. Our objective is to provide our clients with an absolute turnkey approach to ventilation solutions,” says TLT-Turbo Africa Managing Director, Luther Erasmus.

Consolidating our African operations opens a doorway to a broader local and international client base TLT-Turbo manufactures radial and axial flow fans for virtually any industrial application and is regarded as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of technology-driven industrial fans and ventilation systems. First-rate engineering, tradition and advancements in air handling technology, along with a worldwide support network, have been the cornerstones of their global reputation as a fan and systems manufacturer over the past 150 years. “One of our main objectives following the complete consolidation of TLT-Turbo Africa’s operations is to produce and distribute a full range of ventilation products for the mining, industrial and power markets for South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.



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In future, our product lines will be based on the group’s unique, proprietary ventilation solutions,” says Luther.

Authorised service partner

To enhance TLT-Turbo Africa’s service offering, LH Marthinusen (LHM), a division of Actom, has been appointed as the group’s authorised service partner. LHM will be responsible for the maintenance and refurbishment of the full range of TLT-Turbo fans, as well as the distribution of spare parts on an exclusive basis in South Africa and on a nonexclusive basis in 20 other sub-Saharan countries. LHM will provide routine maintenance services on both new and installed TLT-Turbo products, like the 36 large induced draft fans at Majuba, Medupi and Kusile power stations, other installed surface and process fans, as well as their range of auxiliary fans, axial flow and centrifugal fans. LHM has been given full access to the design expertise of TLT-Turbo’s engineering team allowing them to perform service and efficiency upgrades on third party fans for TLT-Turbo clients as well.

African market

According to TLT-Turbo Global Managing Director, Rainer Redinger, the consolidation exercise forms part of their global strategy to be the world leader in air movement services as well as their long term African growth strategy. “Consolidating our African operations opens a doorway to a broader local and international client base. It will see us benefiting

March 2019

VENTILATION from a larger supply and services footprint with global support infrastructure from TLT-Turbo and its parent company PowerChina Corporation,” says Rainer. Luther explains that in 2019, TLT-Turbo Africa will focus on the expansion of its SSA footprint which will lead to future investment for the expansion of TLT-Turbo Africa’s projects offering and manufacturing facilities to support the expected growth in the SSA mining industry and industrial applications. “Ultimately, we now have the deepest and widest fan and ventilation offering of any firm on the continent. No competitor offers the extensive range of fans that we do or addresses the broad range of solutions that we can, all alongside the R&D, engineering and supplementary services offered by TLT-Turbo Africa,” claims Luther. “This complete offering provides clients with a single source for design, development, distribution, product support, and customer service. Seamless integration of all these elements means maximum client value and assures our clients that they are being supplied a quality product along with the highest level of long-term product support. This is also consistent with our approach that offers our clients the best Total Life Cycle cost solution,” he concludes.

TLT-Turbo Luther Erasmus Tel: 011 878 3340 E-mail:


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Hybrid Bearings New research could make hybrid bearings more cost-effective and reliable, paving the way for their use in a wider range of applications.


ybrid bearings, which combine hardened steel rings with rolling elements made of high-performance ceramic materials, are an increasingly popular option for demanding applications, especially in jet engines and other critical aerospace equipment. These bearings also provide high levels of electrical resistance, making them useful in applications like electric motors and generators, where stray currents can damage steel bearing surfaces. Ceramic materials have many characteristics that

Can have issues with damage tolerance in the form of sensitivity to imperfections that may pre-exist in the material or on the surface.



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SKF Senior Scientist, Junbiao Lai

make them ideal for bearing applications. Modern ceramics such as silicon nitride are hard, light and can be manufactured with an extremely smooth surface finish.

Acceptable limits

Ceramic materials do have disadvantages. Despite continued efforts to improve their toughness, these

March 2019

materials can have issues with damage tolerance in the form of sensitivity to imperfections that may pre-exist in the material or on the surface. To reduce the occurrence of such problems in service, ceramic bearing components are manufactured under extremely tight quality conditions. One particular challenge for manufacturers is that they haven’t historically had good models for the damage-tolerance of ceramic bearings. Some surface imperfections are so small that they have no effect on the performance or longevity of a bearing, but without knowing exactly where the acceptable limits lie, manufacturers have had to take a conservative approach.

Precise threshold

Now, SKF is helping take the guesswork out of ceramic product quality control. The group has developed a predictive model of damage-tolerance for ceramic rolling elements used in hybrid bearings, allowing manufacturers to ascertain the precise threshold at which a microscopic imperfection should become a concern. The team studied a range of common imperfections including contact marks like surface scratches that can be introduced during polishing operations, ring or C cracks, which

occur if the component experiences an impact and surface voids. The bearings or ceramic components were then tested on a rolling contact fatigue under a wide range of loading and lubrication conditions until failure or suspension. The SKF team used its findings to build a new model based on fracture mechanics to predict the damage tolerance of ceramic rolling elements. “We based our work on fracture mechanics, but we added some extra elements that account for the unique properties and failure mechanisms of ceramic materials under the relevant operation conditions of hybrid bearings in applications,” explains Junbiao Lai, a senior scientist at SKF.


“In particular, our new model accounts for interactions between the bearing material and the lubricant. Lubricant that enters a crack or void in a bearing becomes pressurised by the bearing loads. That can impart a tensile stress which is generally considered undesirable for lowering the fatigue resistance of materials.” SKF South Africa Junbiao Lai Tel: 011 821 3500


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Colonialism or an Upliftment Opportunity? The rise of cryptocurrencies has both positive and negative implications for Africa, and the world. How their use is managed will determine how well they benefit those most in need.


t is quite clear that we are developing into a society that is completely driven by information and reliant on technology. As we evolve along this path, those who succeed will be those who are able to equip themselves to handle this future by grasping the fact that the entire paradigm has shifted significantly, says Fay Mukaddam, CEO of 4AX.

Fay Mukaddam

The business world has moved beyond the idea that if it isn’t made of bricks and mortar, then a company has no value. The classic illustration of this principle is that of Uber, which despite being one of the largest transport organisations in the world, actually owns no vehicles. “When one looks at it like this, there is no real

There are a lot of conflicting opinions across global markets as to the benefits cryptocurrencies may offer



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reason for the financial services and capital markets to be any different. After all, the aim of the game, whatever the industry, is always to see how we can encourage the inclusion and participation of as many people as possible within financial markets, and make things simpler for the client or end-user, using technology,” she says.

Enormous potential

“With this in mind, there is both room and a need for a platform like Blockchain, which we believe offers enormous potential not just to the financial sector, but to industries across the spectrum. Of course, the one that is most often talked about in finance is cryptocurrencies, which is ultimately nothing more than an application built on top of Blockchain technology,” Fay adds. There are a lot of conflicting opinions across global markets as to the benefits cryptocurrencies may offer. Fay believes that before we can truly attribute value to it, we need to both understand what it does and how it may improve things. We also need to contemplate the fears and anxieties it raises, such as the concern around moving large values across borders in a situation where there is no regulatory control. There is certainly more value to be gained from such technologies than there are things to be feared. “The answer most likely lies in managing it and contextualising it properly. The regulators certainly need to approach it from this angle, rather than from a point of fear and anxiety. As the latter will only lead to them wanting to shut it down.

March 2019

There are speculative market concerns that cryptocurrencies hold the potential to launch a new cycle of economic colonialism, where the rich use it to oppress the poor African Potential

“From an African perspective, I think we clearly need to recognise the potential that cryptocurrencies offer to the continent, and thereby help close the socio-economic disparity gap,” says Fay. “If we consider just the opportunities this opens for cross-border trading in Africa, the benefits are obvious. No doubt there are challenges that come with this, not the least of which is the sovereignty issues relating to the taxes and customs fees that would be applicable, if we are talking about a physical entity.” However, Fay still believes that cryptocurrencies offer immense opportunities in terms of economic development where, for example, the BRICS community would be able to undertake cross-border trade without all the suffocating regulations that currently govern such a process. “The ease of trade and of movement that comes with this will ultimately help to encourage trade with partners, irrespective of where they are in the world. “I am, in fact, less concerned about the technology than I am the regulatory oversight, as it is imperative to ensure that there is full transparency and disclosure.” There are speculative market concerns that cryptocurrencies hold the potential to launch a new cycle of economic colonialism, where the rich use it to oppress the poor.

to effectively reduce the gap between the haves and have-nots, almost overnight. Where there is innovation, there is positive possibilities for all,” adds Fay. “But, to uplift a significant portion of the African continent, due consideration and appropriate steps must be taken to regulate these new asset classes, as well as education initiatives to ramp up on financial knowledge and literacy. “We must ensure that ordinary citizens are not being defrauded, or are continuously excluded from participating in capital and financial markets. We simply cannot allow those who need to be uplifted to be taken advantage of or oppressed by exclusion.”

Undertake cross-border trade without all the suffocating regulations that currently govern such a process “When it comes to potentially game-changing technologies, such as cryptocurrencies, it is important for markets and authorities, alike, to not allow themselves to be steered by fear of change. Rather, the focus should be on how we can positively map our way through the challenges and utilise such innovation to drive change – and change that will have meaningful impact on positively transforming people’s lives,” Fay concludes. 4AX Fay Mukaddam Tel: (011) 100 8352 E-mail: Web:

Reducing the gap

“Fintech, like cryptocurrencies etc, have the potential THE SOUTH AFRICAN MECHANICAL ENGINEER

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The Local Manufacturing Expo Aims to:

21 – 23 MAY 2019

Promote local manufacturing


Demonstrate Southern Africa’s export potential


Provide access to global markets

A Showcase of Southern Africa’s Manufacturing Capabilities Who Will Exhibit?

Networking opportunities Develop public / private partnerships Public / private sector collaborations Identify industry challenges and opportunities for growth

Manufacturers across a variety of sectors, including:



Business Process Outsourcing

Capital Equipment




Food and Beverage


ICT and Electronics




Textiles/ Clothing/ Footwear

Transport In association with:


Endorsed by:


Implemented by:

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Brought to you by:

March 2019



There Is Good Reason to Manufacture in SA Manufacturing remains a bridge the country has yet to build in its fight for economic growth and employment which is a great pity because the sector has huge potential, and there are more than a few good reasons to manufacture in the country. “SA Mechanical Engineer” talks to Evapco South Africa managing director, Andre van der Merwe.


e sketches a picture of the global and local industry, and shared developments in the local economy that give more than a few rays of hope.

North and South

“If you’re looking for an industry trend, look no further than the two hemispheres. The north is booming, the south is struggling,” as Andre has observed on his trips to the US, Evapco’s headquarters. “At the height of the 2008 crisis in the US there were empty lots and construction just stopped. Last year in Baltimore I noticed all the construction activity. Five big projects, and new cars on the road. Business is doing well,” Andre says.

If you’re looking for an industry trend, look no further than the two hemispheres. The north is booming, the south is struggling The other big northern giant is also doing well. “The Chinese operation has increased and is back to where it was a few years ago. For the last three years China has been flat, now it’s growing again.”

But Andre points out that the while the northern hemisphere Evapco agencies are doing well, down south it’s a different story. “The three southern hemisphere businesses in Australia, South America and South Africa are not shooting the lights out at the moment.” And in South Africa it’s been the case for a while. “Over the years manufacturing has become a bigger challenge. Last year we had a record low order backlog.”

Losing competitiveness

Low order books follow low levels of investment by the public and private sectors, impacting local manufacturers. There’s another concern as well – SA is not as competitive as it once was. Andre says Evapco manufactures the same products to the same standards as all their operations, making for easy and accurate comparisons on factors such as competitiveness. “I can tell you that 15 years ago Evapco South Africa was the cheapest producer. Now we are the most expensive. China is the cheapest.” “We changed from being the cheapest to the most expensive because of the increase in the steel price. Steel is the base of our products. Labour costs have also gone up, but skills development hasn’t kept up,” he adds. “These are some of the aspects that reduced our competitiveness.” This raises the question whether local manufacturers are viable and if the sector does have the touted potential.


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HVAC “The South African aircon industry had a few local manufacturers 15 years ago, but today they are mostly gone,” Andre notes.

months the situation has been highlighted by applications for business rescue from two companies and Group Five is the latest casualty.

Surviving and being profitable in South Africa has become a balancing act, Andre says with some industries struggling while others grow “Manufacturers in South Africa today are either niche – very specialised, or in our case we have a very bulky product. So even though it is 37% cheaper in a Chinese factory, shipping it is not feasible because these costs make the end product more expensive. This allows us to succeed as a manufacturer.”

Contrast this with the commercial retail mall industry that has shown ‘phenomenal growth’ and the food, perishables and wine industries. “We also supply a lot of equipment to refrigeration cold storage facilities for fruit, vegetables, and wine in the Cape. This has been a success story thankfully and there is more opportunity.” The net result is that the market has made up some of the deficit lost on the industrial side. But as Andre says, this is some, not all.

Different climate, different solution

Surviving and being profitable in South Africa has become a balancing act, Andre says with some industries struggling while others grow.

A clear opportunity has been the drought in the Western Cape which has demanded innovative solutions, and showcased Evapco’s diverse product range. Customers in food and perishables have been forced to find cooling solutions that do not use too much water.

“Some of our biggest customers are in the chrome and platinum industry, and they are struggling,” he says. So has the construction industry been hit hard by low investment from the private sector and reduced investment from the public sector.

“Water and energy conservation are key and we are most definitely a leader in this field. We focus on environmentally responsible products. The latest release, which completes our family of products, is a full range of dry and adiabatic coolers.”

“One of the big concerns of late when I speak to contractors is the worrying state of construction in South Africa,” Andre comments. In the last few

“We are very focused on water consumption and offer the full spectrum from full wet to hybrid to adiabatic products to full dry operation.”

Balancing act

Evapco has a big R&D focus, making sure the company offers the best and most appropriate solution. “No other manufacturer has the same level of activity so we benefit hugely,” Andre says.

Don’t rely on a crystal ball

He concludes by emphasising how difficult it is to forecast in the current climate. “We’ve been in South Africa since 1980, and experienced good growth, but since 2015 business has slowed. It is stable for now, but unpredictable. My crystal ball has been lying to me for five years. “We used to have a pipeline with dates and clients and developers. Now there are still a healthy number of queries, but no dates or commitments and we see a lot of cancellation and delays. This makes it impossible to plan. “I am an optimist. You can’t walk around like an ostrich, you’ve got to be realistic. But if you want to survive, you have to stay positive. I’m confident that when things get sorted out we can get back to growing the economy. The manufacturing sector may be in decline but it’s still one of the sectors in South Africa that offers the biggest potential for growth and job creation.” Evapco Andre van der Merwe Tel: (011) 392-6630



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Binning Plastic: The Answer Is Not What You Think Recently a 610m floating pipe connected to a huge net arrived at the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch to begin cleaning up the biggest floating plastic waste island in the world. The organisation responsible for its design, the Ocean Cleanup Foundation, is hoping to eliminate the rubbish by trapping it in the U-shaped pipe, with a boat discarding the litter every few months. Amidst this news, Tim Stewart Executive: Packaging at Novus Holdings, takes a look at the issue of plastic pollution and asks the question, what really needs to change?


e tend to blame plastic for polluting the environment, but the way we are using it might very well be the problem.

Last year, Plastics SA released the audited results of the biggest pollutants found on our beaches during 2017. The majority of waste was food wrappers, plastic containers, bottle caps and lids. Plastic will always be around. It is our responsibility to commit to throwing our waste away – or better yet, recycling it.

Are we recycling?

An organic cotton bag would have to be reused at least 149 times to make up for the negative manufacturing methods used to produce it Plastics SA recently released the plastics recycling figures for the year ending 2017, and for the seventh year running, plastics recycling in South Africa has continued to grow, with more than 334 727 tonnes recycled back into raw material. With an input recycling rate of 43.7%, South Africa has outperformed Europe whose recycling rate currently sits at 31.1%. Low-density polyethylene (PE-LD and PE-LLD) packaging films continues to be the most widely recycled material in South Africa. With around 80 million tonnes being produced annually around

the world, it is the most common plastic and is primarily used in packaging such as plastic bags, plastic films, wrappings, geomembranes, rotational moulded tanks, etc.

What about shopping bags?

Many local retailers have started making a concerted effort to do their part in reducing plastic waste and are introducing different alternatives for single-use plastic bags. However, all materials used (plastic, paper, cotton or fabric) have an impact on the environment. A recent study done by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency finds that plastic bags are, contrary to popular belief, kinder to the environment than many other re-usable bags, such as cotton or cloth bags. “This is because the entire production cycle isn’t taken into account when people assume that cotton bags are better for the environment. For example, it can take more than 20 000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton,” says Tim. The study went further to say that cotton bags have the worst impact on the environment; an organic cotton bag would have to be reused at least 149 times to make up for the negative manufacturing methods used to produce it. It found that plastic bags made out of LDPE plastic, like the ones found at retailers, have by far the lowest impact on the environment. In addition, it found that plastic bags should ideally be used as a garbage bags rather than disposing of them directly as waste. Other “heavy” plastic bags made out of polypropylene, recycled PET-plastic and polyester by contrast, should always be recycled. For example, a 100% recyclable LLD plastic bag that is also washable is currently being manufactured. This bag is also made from recycled material; is thicker than an ordinary plastic grocery bag (a sturdier product with added strength – robust for carrying up to 20kg) and; it can be used up to 200 times (before being handed in for responsible recycling).

An environmental hero

A shift in perception and behaviour can go a long way in fixing the problem of plastic pollution. Making better choices through not discarding single-use plastic, recycling and using plastic responsibly all plays a part. Novus Holdings, Tim Stewart Tel: (021) 550 2500, Email:


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Off the Municipal Grid A sizeable South African commercial building has been taken completely off the municipal water grid.


he District, in the heart of Woodstock in Cape Town, has become Growthpoint’s first water net-positive building. It is also the first of several commercial properties in Cape Town that the company intends to take off-grid. The multi-tenant office and retail building has seven floors and five basement levels with 18 721sqm of lettable area that accommodates a community of 25 businesses. It is used by around 1 750 people daily who together consume around 45 000 litres of water per day.

It is incredibly frustrating to have a sustainable alternative water source that has to be flushed down the drain because it is not safe to drink. Timothy Irvine, Growthpoint Properties’ regional asset manager for the Western Cape says, “By taking The District and other commercial buildings off the water grid, and substituting municipal water with a safe and sustainable alternative source of drinking water, we are taking pressure off the city’s potable water reserves, adding to the resilience of the city’s water system, and contributing positively to the environment.”



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Timothy Irvine

At The District, a naturally occurring underground mountain spring flows to the building’s basement. For years this crystal-clear water has been pumped from the basement sump to prevent flooding. The water was pumped straight into the city’s storm-water system, where it flows into the sea less than a kilometre away.

Sump water

Before the city’s water crisis, Growthpoint investigated the possibility of using this sump water as greywater for flushing the building’s toilets.

March 2019

WATER WISE However, its design, which has evolved over the years ( first it was redeveloped from four buildings into two and then into one) prevented this. However, Cape Town’s water woes spurred the team back to the drawing board and inspired them to think even bigger. “It is incredibly frustrating to have a sustainable alternative water source that has to be flushed down the drain because it is not safe to drink. So, we challenged ourselves to find a way to use the sump to provide drinking water that is completely safe for human consumption for the entire building,” explains Timothy. This was no simple task. The company had to identify and adapt an existing technology never before used for this type of water filtration. It also had to work with the City of Cape Town to get special legislation drafted and passed to allow it to produce water on a large scale. In addition, it had to get buy-in from the building’s tenants. Fortunately, the process was made easier by the positive response from major stakeholders, including The City of Cape Town and tenants of The District, specifically major tenant, Ogilvy Cape Town. Now, Growthpoint provides all the water for this bustling building from the basement, where its filtration plant can be found in its own sterile glassfronted room. This enables anyone to view the sump water being made into drinking water. The plant’s filtration plant installation has also been designed to create a greater understanding and awareness about water. It is even labelled so that viewers can

follow the process and learn how it works. Some 140 000 litres of water flow naturally through the sump each day, and the filtration plant has been designed to clean the entire flow.

Legislation in place

The legislation that the City of Cape Town drafted to enable Growthpoint to produce water on a large scale came into effect in November 2017, when the company was given the go-ahead to become a Water Services Intermediary. It can, however, only supply water to those with which it has a contractual obligation, its tenants. It does this at exactly the same rate as the municipality.

It can, however, only supply water to those with which it has a contractual obligation, its tenants With this legislation in place, other commercial property owners are also enabled to do the same. “Net-zero water initiatives are an important part of our journey as we strive to make all its new developments net-zero by 2030,” Timothy points out. The next building the company is aiming to take off-grid is 200 on Main. All the buildings identified are in Cape Town, as this is the only city with the legislation in place to enable the process. “We would certainly consider doing the same with suitable buildings in other cities to achieve this,” Timothy concludes. Growthpoint Properties,

Filtration process The filtration process begins when water from the sump is placed in holding tanks. It then goes through a bag-filter which filters out bigger debris, such as leaves and stones, to protect the filters before passing through ultra-filtration canisters which filter it to 0.02 microns, or one-thousandth of the diameter of a human hair. This cleans the water, but to remove any viruses, the water then passes into a charcoal filtration canister to absorb bacteria and any smells. Thereafter, it flows to a holding tank where it is dosed with ozone, which clumps together anything that may still be left in the water before pushing it through reverse osmosis, which strips everything out of the water. This process is effective to 0.0007 microns, and is the same as that used to remove salt from seawater. After this thorough filtration process, the water is re-mineralised with calcium. Unlike municipal water, no chlorine is added. Finally, water is fed to the building’s water system, via holding tanks. To ensure the water is safe to drink, the filtration plant is equipped with a system that measures conductivity. While water itself doesn’t conduct electricity, the impurities in water do. The filtration system immediately shuts down if there is a change in the conductivity levels of the filtered water. THE SOUTH AFRICAN MECHANICAL ENGINEER

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Keeping the BIRDS away Thirteen Apex Traffic high speed doors have been installed at Bayer’s only manufacturing plant in Africa. James Candy, production manager at Apex Strip Curtains & Doors, explains that one of the primary requirements was to provide a solution that would prevent birds from entering the facility. The Apex Traffic high speed doors at the Bayer Nigel facility are required to accommodate forklift traffic moving palletised product to and from the warehouse section. This is a very busy warehouse operation with high volumes of traffic and the doors automatically opening, using sensors.


“Ensuring smooth traffic flow is one of the key requirements in any warehouse operation and the opening and closing action of the Traffic High Speed doors is at 1 metre per second, allowing optimum materials handling and minimising of bottlenecking,” he concludes.

The Apex Traffic high speed doors have been installed on the outside of all exterior openings.

Apex Strip Curtains Wim Dressing Tel: (011) 452-8723

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March 2019

2018/11/20 04:46


Efficient blowing Atlas Copco’s new generation of ZB 5 – 6 VSD+ magnetic bearing turbo blowers is said to be one of the most efficient oil-free turbo blowers on the market. The ZB magnetic bearing technology is extremely strong and ensures safe operation regardless of the environment. The shaft is always fully controlled due to the magnetic force which constantly adjusts its position.

“Another great advantage of magnetic bearing turbo technology is that no air is used from the system to operate the machine. Compared with other technologies, this makes the machine independent from downstream conditions which may prevail as a result of any operation trouble,” says JC Lombard, Business Line Manager at Atlas Copco Oil-free Air Division. Additionally, with

this new generation of machines, Atlas Copco has developed technology that does not require a power bank in the case of power failure. Atlas Copco South Africa JC Lombard Tel: 011 821-9000 Email:

Monitoring chain wear BMG has extended its range of Tsubaki chain wear indicators, with its large size gauges.

new large size indicators are available as individual items, rather than as part of a set.

“Tsubaki chain wear indicators enable plant and machinery engineers to accurately measure roller chain condition and to determine critical wear, in a simple operation,” says Carlo Beukes, BMG’s business unit manager, power transmission. “These robust gauges are valuable tools to ensure machinery is maintained in pristine condition and for minimising unexpected chain failures that lead to costly production downtime.”

These corrosion-resistant gauges, manufactured to stringent quality specifications, have one end shaped to mount over a roller, while the tip of the other end indicates the degree of wear, by

BMG’s new Tsubaki BS large size indicators are available in sizes RS20B to RS48B and ANSI large size indicators cover sizes from RS100 to RS 240. These complement the existing BS sets, which are used with sizes RF06B to RS16B and ANSI sets for sizes RS35 to RS80. To meet market demand, the

highlighting the total elongation over a number of links. Since the chain might wear unevenly, BMG stresses the importance of measuring on several points of the chain. BMG, Carlo Beukes, Tel: (011) 620-7558 Email:

Tsubaki chain wear indicators enable plant and machinery engineers to accurately measure roller chain condition and to determine critical wear, in one simple operation


VOL 70

March 2019



Take a load off

Why buy when you can rent? As part of its turnkey service offering to its customers, Goscor Compressed Air Systems (GCAS) offers its customers rental units. Warren Schultz, GM of GCAS, says the company has since acquired various additional units, especially in the portable range and downstream equipment, to bolster its rental offering and provide its customers with an even bigger range to choose from. GCAS distributes two globally renowned brands, Ozen and Sullair, and offers a range of compressed air solutions such as compressors, vacuum pumps, air dryers, air tools and value added products.

Engineers responsible for mechanical engineering or ‘wet’ services, from suspending cable trays to HVAC, plumbing, and sprinkler-system piping, now have a lightweight, flexible solution available in the form of the fischer FLS channel system, distributed locally by Upat. “Available in sizes from 17mm to 30mm and 37mm, the system features 3 metre long lengths as opposed to the traditional 5 metres. In addition to the low weight, this makes it easily transportable,” explains Upat National Product Specialist, Charl Weber. Other features include the alternating long slots in the mounting channel, in addition to the form-fitting connector elements. This allows for optimised fixing in the substrate.

“Our new rental offering has been meticulously considered in order to provide all customers with air, from the small home owner, to the big mining and industrial companies. No matter the size or the requirement, we are now in a position to supply these customers with air,” adds Warren. GCAS is able to supply rental units on portable compressors, ranging from 185CFM to 1 600CFM. On electrical (stationary) units, the company is able to supply customers with units from 2,2kW to 250kW. Goscor Debby Marx Tel: (011) 230-2600 Email: Web:

A major benefit of the system is that it comprises pre-assembled construction elements, which reduces the possibility of arriving on site with missing components or incomplete units. The fischer Clix elements with 90° rotation make for simplified, time-saving post-installation in set channels. A special spring leg on the fischer Clix elements ensures the required pressure in the installation channel for simple adjustment of the element, while the unique stop element facilitates precise and error-free rotation in the installation rail. Secure metallic connections are facilitated by the unique thrust block on the plastic holder of the Clix sliding nut. Upat Alison Thomet Tel: (011) 624 6700 Email: Web:

Assisting in rare earths processing FLSmidth has been chosen as the supplier of an acid-bake rotary kiln to the Rare Earths Hastings Technology Metals (Hastings) Yangibana Rare Earths Project in Australia. The agreement means FLSmidth will design and supply the kiln and provide technical assistance for this essential component in rare earths processing. The incorporates concentrate mixing and feeding equipment, directs waste gas to a separate scrubbing facility and provides a natural gas fired heating system essential for the processing of rare earths.


The deal is significant strategically for FLSmidth as it recognises the depth of pyrometallurgical processing technology the company can provide for rare earths production of neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr). NdPr is a key ingredient in the production of permanent magnets. FLSmidth, William Leahy Email:


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March 2019


New possibilities

to have its own filter and metering station to procure natural gas directly from Sasol Gas. Hatch was the project and construction manager, while Energas Technologies was responsible for the E&I, mechanical design, fabrication and supply of the filter and metering skid, as well as the relevant equipment. Laetitia Jansen van Vuuren, Energas Technologies Product Engineer, notes that constructing the 800 metre of underground high-pressure gas line outside the plant recovery had its own challenges. “It had to cross many existing services of which the positions were unknown. We also had unseasonal rains which wreaked havoc on the production timeline. We also had four sets of directional drilling, including a 120 m-long single drill at which hard rock conditions were encountered,” she concludes.

AB-InBev has commissioned a 0,8 km-long high-pressure underground pipeline which allows its SAB Rosslyn branch

Getting the knife

Energas Laetitia Jansen van Vuuren Tel: 011 397 6809 Email:,

Cheaper printing alternative

The Krebs Technequip TGW series of wafer-style knife gate slurry valves were designed as a space saving option for heavy duty applications. The replaceable elastomer sleeves offer a reliable sealing solution using the latest technology. The valve’s reliable operation is based on its full port design, which allows the gate to be fully isolated by the sleeves from the process in the open position. As the gate closes it pushes between the two sleeves, discharging a small amount of material out of the bottom of the valve. This prevents material build-up in the seat area ensuring full gate closure, as well as preventing damage to the gate. When the gate is in the open or closed position, there is a 100% bi-directional bubble-tight seal and zero downstream leakage.

New laser sintering printers expand 3D printing capacity for the production of durable wear-resistant parts Increasingly more customers are turning to the fast 3D printing service for long-lasting wear-resistant parts made of high-performance plastics, whether for short-term spare parts procurement, for prototype construction or for the production of lubrication-free small batches. To meet this demand, a Cologne plastics specialist has now tripled its 3D laser sintering printing capacity. The laser sintering printers can produce simple and complex types as well as mobile solutions. “In an installation space of 220x170x300 millimetres, for example, 5 000 plain bearings with an inner diameter of 10 millimetres can be produced per laser sintering system within 30 hours,” says Tom Krause, Business Division Manager Additive Manufacturing at igus. High costs, such as the production of injection moulding tools, are eliminated and possible design changes can easily be made on the computer, whereas in conventional injection moulding, entire moulds need to be changed. In addition, there is no price difference between complex and simple shapes. igus, Oliver Cyrus

To ensure long life, all valves are supplied with dust boots as a standard feature to protect valve stems and actuators. Hardware such as nuts, bolts, and washers are specially zinc-plated to protect against corrosion. Flsmidth Willie Van Wyk Tel: (010) 210-4820 A Krebs® Technequip™ air cylinder knife gate valve


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March 2019



Smooth running for the sugar industry BI is the official distributor for Senqcia Chain, formerly known as Hitachi, manufactured in Japan, and Ewart Chain, manufactured in England. Orders for new chains and components are placed months in advance, with sizes and quantities to suit the various conveyor carriers. BI also supplies ordinary transmission chain, bearings, industrial gearboxes, and lubricants for the sugar industry. In supplying sugar mills in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, and Mo-

zambique, a major facet of the BI offering is providing technical advice on power transmission products and equipment, and training the operators dealing with these components. Technical training in these countries is very necessary for maintaining productivity of sugar mills, and empowering local communities to become more self-sufficient. “Our ability to advise a client whether or not a particular component needs to be refurbished, or will run for another season, is vital in the industry, especially

SKF Multilog On-line System IMx-8

More data capture opportunities. Even in a limited space. Configure your IMx-8 and monitor your data wirelessly from your iOS or Android device. The IMx-8 can be fully configured via luetooth, and can use existing template configurations stored in the SKF Cloud. Machine data can then be viewed on your iOS or Android device. And with direct access to world-class software, analytics and support through SKF @ptitude or SKF Enlight, it’s the cost-effective route to high performance.

SKF South Africa (Pty) Limited Tel: +27 11 821 3591, Fax: +27 86 677 7876 Email:, Web: ® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group. | © SKF Group 2018



VOL 70

March 2019

given the tight margins. It is expected of suppliers to the industry to assist in reducing the total cost of ownership. To this end, we have to be inventive about extending the life of components without putting the production capacity of sugar mills at risk,” says BI Sugar Division Branch Manager Nick Allanson. Bearings International Nick Allanson Tel: (011) 899-0000 Email:


Bearings for greater loads To counter a plant’s repeated bearing failures, NSK recommended switching to its high-performance NSKHPS Spherical Roller Bearings within NSK SNN Plummer Blocks and NSK Labyrinth seals. This move, along with recommendations for correct fitting, optimum lubrication intervals and quantity, would serve to overcome any future failures. A year-long trial was commenced, with NSK overseeing the installation and implementation of the recommendations. The results of the trial saw no bearing failures at any point in the 12-month period. NSKHPS bearings are specifically designed to carry greater loads and operate at higher temperatures, offering temperature

stability up to 200°C. With these attributes, users can achieve up to twice the operating life and enhanced reliability.

NSK, Geraldene Govender Tel: 011 458 3600, Email:

Driven to achieve the perfect finish Leading local provider of portable air and power, Rand-Air, was recently requested to hire out two diesel oil-free compressors to a local facilities management company, for use at the end-customer’s local motor vehicle manufacturing plant. “The customer required two of our largest Atlas Copco 1500 cfm compressors

over a period of some two weeks,” says Marinda Enslin, the Rand-Air Sales Representative responsible for this particular hire. “While other companies might offer oilfree compressors, their air output does not have the same 100% contaminantfree air quality that our Class-0-rated

oil-free compressors have,” she says. A contaminant in the paint could have very serious consequences.

Rand Air Tel: (011) 345-0700


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March 2019



Correctly specified motors save electricity Significant savings can be realised in the agriculture sector by leveraging available technology to provide appropriate electric motor and variable speed drives that will reduce owning and operating costs while providing reliable performance. The Weg IE3 Top Premium Efficiency motors and Weg Variable Speed Drives (VSDs), from the Zest Weg Group, will do just that. The Weg IE3 Top Premium Efficiency motors not only offer maximum ingress protection with a higher winding insulation system to increase motor life expectancy, but also offer efficiencies of up to 96.6% and the benefits can be seen when compared against IE1 standard efficiency motors.

motor, operating for 4 000 hours per year at 91% efficiency, will consume about R93 800 worth of energy using old methods by means of valves that can be throttled to reduce the output of water volume and/or pressure. The same water volume and/or pressure could be achieved using a VSD to reduce the motor speed while simultaneously further reducing the energy absorbed when compared with running the mo-

tor direct online from a power source. If a 10% reduction in operational speed using the VSD is assumed, further savings of 22% to 27% could be achieved; based on the affinity law principle of hydraulics. Zest Weg Group Africa Tel: (011) 723-6000 E-mail: Most efficient combination to reduce energy consumption - the WEG W22 electric motor with a WEG VSD

Much higher savings can also be realised by using a Weg VSD in combination with a Weg motor. An IE1 electric

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VOL 70

March 2019

2018/07/10 10:32 AM

High security welded mesh



Gate Automation

Razor wire and more ....

What is High Security Weld Mesh HIGH Security Weld Mesh is wire fused and welded at a Horizontal distance of 76.2mm and a vertical distance of 12.7mm also known as 35B/3510 where 3 denotes 3”(distance between vertical wires), 5 denotes 0.5” (distance between horizontal wires), and B or 10 denotes gauge of wire

Salient Features • Difficult to Climb: The spaces between the Horizontal wires are too narrow for fingers to have grip • Impregnable: Extremely difficult to cut with a hand cutter as the beak of a wire cutter will not be able to penetrate the horizontal wires • Excellent Replacement option to Solid Wall as: 1. More economical than a solid wall 2. Faster to install than a solid wall 3. CCTV Camera has a clear view • Further upgrade possible with electric security system • Anti-corrosive & low maintenance


• Manufactured according to BS EN 10016-2 • Wire Sizes in accordance with BS EN 10218-2 • Tolerance on Mesh Size in accordance wiht EN 10223-7 • Tolerance on Panel Size in accordance with EN 10223-4 • Welding Strength in accordance with BS EN 1461 • Zinc Coating in accordance with EN 10245-1 • Anti Corrosion in accordance with BS En 3900 E4/F4

Tensile Strength • Wire has a tensile strenght of min 550 MPA

MARK: 083 454 6488


VOL 70

March 2019


On the Move

Conrad Muller

Klaus Marggraff

Freddie Kühn

Bearings International has appointed Conrad Muller as Sales and Marketing Director. Conrad reports directly to Hudaco Industries Portfolio Executive Ernie Smith, who oversees the BI and Bauer Gear Motor divisions.

Klaus Marggraff has been appointed Business Development Manager, Africa for Hytec South Africa. In his new position, Marggraff will promote the sales, upgrade and optimisation of systems throughout Africa.

Freddie Kühn has been appointed to the position of Sales Director for Hytec South Africa. In his new role, Freddie Kühn will continue to report to Mike Harrison, General Manager, Hytec South Africa.

Quentin Gustav von Kleist

Thabani Dlamini

Bianca Louw

Quentin Gustav von Kleist has joined WearCheck as a technical support consultant for customers in the greater Johannesburg area

Thabani Dlamini has joined WearCheck Pinetown as accounts assistant.

Bianca Louw has joined WearCheck as data capturer for WearCheck’s Specialty Laboratory (WSL) in Johannesburg.

Thamsanqa Shongwe has been appointed as WearCheck’s in-house instrumentation technician – based in Pinetown but supporting all 16 labs in nine countries

Sello Patience Mokoena has been promoted to laboratory supervisor at WearCheck’s Specialty Laboratory (WSL) in Johannesburg Sello Patience Mokoena

Thamsanqa Shongwe



VOL 70

March 2019

Piecing together your success.


We understand that you’ve been building your career piece by piece, and that all those hours, projects and plans allow you to live the lifestyle you deserve. Partner with PPS, and let us help you ensure your success is more than the sum of its parts. Proud sponsor of the SAICE Young Engineer of the Year. Visit to find out more about our financial solutions for graduate professionals. PPS is an authorised Financial Services Provider.


VOL 70

March 2019


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