Company also closes DCD Venco in Newcastle and moves manufacturing operations to Vereeniging.
Specialist manufacturer DCD Heavy Engineering, part of the DCD Group’s mining and energy cluster, has recently completed some major equipment projects for clients in Mpumalanga and Zambia that involved heavy engineering fabrication.
Recently completed is a 380 ton base for a Caterpillar dragline excavator destined for a coal project in Mpumalanga. At 18 metres in diameter, and comprising 16 individual sections, the contract to manufacture the base locally was awarded to the company in April 2015.
Winder drums for a copper mine in Zambia
DCD Heavy Engineering is also nearing completion on a two-year project to produce winder drums for a copper mine in Zambia.
DCD Heavy Engineering recently completed a 380 ton base for a Caterpillar dragline excavator destined for a local coal project
The contract was for two double-drum winders for hoisting rock and two single-drum winders for hoisting personnel. The order also included related components such as clutches, bearings and brake stands and assembly.
“These are substantial items of safety-critical equipment that need to perform optimally for a life of at least 25 to 30 years with no room for error,” said Jaco Muller, project manager at DCD Heavy Engineering.
“The project required not just our high levels of engineering expertise and state-of-the-art facilities, but also needed to conform to various international safety and quality standards; so leading consultancy Hatch Africa was engaged to ensure strict adherence to these quality requirements.”
The completed man-winder is 6,4 metres in diameter and 204 tons when assembled, and can transport 141 people at a time to a depth of 1,9 kilometres below surface in just over two minutes.
DCD uses their high engineering expertise and state-of-the-art facilities and also conforms to various international safety and quality standards to complete the winder build for a Zambian mine. The winder makes a complete revolution almost every second and on average will deliver more than 550 tons of rock in an hour
The rock winder, measuring 7,2 metres in diameter and weighing 175 tons when assembled, collects rock from a depth of up to two kilometres. Each load weighs up to 27,5 tons and can be delivered in less than two minutes. The winder makes a complete revolution almost every second, and on average will deliver more than 550 tons of rock in an hour.
Steel sourced from China
“Most of the steel for the manufacturing process was sourced from China, as South Africa’s local mills were not able meet the specific requirements,” said Muller.
“Some 1 700 tons went into the project, made up of 125 plates ranging from 60mm to 215mm thick. The largest plate was 170mm thick and weighed 30 tons, measuring nine metres by 2,5 metres.”
Equipped with the largest Hauesler roll plate bending machine in Africa, DCD Heavy Engineering was able to roll the 170mm thick plate into an almost 180 degree cylinder through a hot rolling process.
The rock winder, measuring 7,2 metres in diameter and weighing 175 tons when assembled, collects rock from a depth of up to two kilometres. Each load weighs up to 27,5 tons and can be delivered in less than two minutes
“The manufacturing aspects of the project took 18 months, with a total of about 60 000 hours being invested,” he said.
“Quality was paramount, and machining tolerances were a very fine 0,1mm on fit-up.”
DCD Venco settles in Vereeniging
“The incorporation of DCD Venco into DCD Heavy Engineering in Vereeniging is consolidating the capacity of two iconic South African manufacturing operations into an optimised business that is well placed for growth,” according to DCD Heavy Engineering general manager Dawie Marais.
“Moving DCD Venco from Newcastle was not an easy decision, but it was clear to the holding DCD Group that the businesses needed to be resized and aligned to market conditions,” said Marais.
“Over recent years, the depressed state of the mining industry in particular made trading conditions very difficult for both firms.”
A dump truck body manufactured by DCD Heavy Engineering
“With operations now being brought under DCD Heavy Engineering’s three operational units – North Works, South Works and Vanderbijlpark – the cost base is being reduced and the utilisation of facilities optimised. While DCD Venco’s Newcastle facilities offered light and medium fabrication and machining capabilities, the Vereeniging sites service customers across a range of work from light to ultra-heavy in grade,” he said
“The result is that the consolidated facilities can provide the same services as the two facilities offered separately. For Venco customers, we can now offer more capacity in terms of manufacturing space, lifting capacity and ‘under hook’ clearance,” said Marais.
While not all staff could be relocated, Marais highlighted the importance of retaining the decades of specialised engineering skills within the DCD Group that allows high quality standards to be applied throughout the planning, procurement and manufacturing processes.
Ducting for a power generation plant manufactured by DCD Heavy Engineering
“The company has in recent years invested over R100 million in equipment and machine upgrades to improve its overall technological offering. We also invest heavily in skills development, having expanded our training facility in 2014 where apprentices are trained as fitters and turners, electricians, boiler-makers, welders and riggers.”
DCD Heavy Engineering’s Vereeniging facilities boast crane capacities of 20 to 70 tons at South Works and 20 to 60 tons at North Works with 13 metres and nine metres under hook respectively. On the machining side, there is crane capacity at North Works from 7 to 40 tons, and at Vanderbijlpark from 20 to 100 tons.
Services at DCD Heavy Engineering include vertical and horizontal rolling, turning, machining, heat treatment, shot blasting and painting.
For further details visit www.dcd.co.za