Robor invests in new steel mill

Fully automated mill capable of producing 60 000 tons of steel product per year.

Steel manufacturer Robor has replaced two older steel mills with a new one designed to use the latest technology. Designed in conjunction with some of the leading equipment builders from around the world, this fully automated, state of the art mill, is claimed to be one of the most advanced ø219 pipeline mills in the world. The machine’s capability is to roll a size range from 114 outer diameter to 219 outer diameter with wall thickness up to 8mm.

With the aid of a fully automated robotic tool changing system, the first of its kind on the African continent, the mill is capable of changing rolls in 30 minutes. The mill has been fully commissioned and takes pride of place at the company’s 250 000m² Elandsfontein site in Gauteng.

The new mill arrived during October 2017, packed in 39 containers and a number of components in bulk that were too large to containerise, with a total combined mass of 650 tons. The designers of the FD mill were chosen as the preferred suppliers after considering 27 different mill makers globally to ensure that the new mill performs to stringent technical specification requirements.

The mill is complemented by extensive value add, project and fabrication operations, with the capability to handle a full range of customer requirements in the light and medium fabrication range, according to Robor. The company provides estimating and turnkey supply to the sites of complex and demanding water reticulation and structural steel projects.

“Remaining at the forefront of technology and product development is paramount for any company who considers themselves among market leaders. At Robor, we take this aspect of our business very seriously. Over the past five years our Capital Expenditure has been extensive. The most recently approved, being the biggest Capex in the history of Robor, was for the replacement of the two older mills in favour of the new mill,” the company said in a statement.

“The Tricom Structures business affords us the opportunity to supply into various telecommunication and power distribution systems and has augmented our pipe structures capabilities with traditional steels. Robor is at the forefront of the African steel industry and, having developed a fully integrated steel processing facility of world class standards, we are the largest supplier of longitudinally welded steel tube and pipe in Southern Africa.”

Last year, Robor became an equal shareholder of Mine Support Products (MSP), manufacturer of the tube Rocprop product range for underground mine roof support. The company then purchased the 50% balance of shares from DCD Dorbyl to become the sole owner of MSP. 2017 also saw Robor enter into a joint venture with Aegion – United Pipeline Systems, a multinational American company that provides pipeline solutions.

As a result, the company is able to provide a wide range of value added services. These include hot dip galvanising for corrosion protection, pipe and tube cutting (2D and 3D), punching, drilling, coatings and linings, pressure testing, welding (robotic, stick and submerged arc), cutting, wrapping, painting, packing, fabrication of certain components, and ultrasonic testing.