Strong growth in the last few years has necessitated investment in equipment and factory and office space for U & L Engineering, based in Putfontein, Benoni, Gauteng, an engineering shop that offers machining of new, as well as repairs. rebuilding and refurbishment of equipment and components for the mining, construction, earth-moving and agricultural industries.
U & L Engineering was only established in 2006 by Ulrich Olivier and through his hard work the company has grown from employing an initial three members of staff to a total of 80 staff at present. Such has been the demand for U & L Engineering’s services that the company has had to increase its engineering and machining space with an additional 2 580m² and now occupies a total of 4 200m².
The new MTool C5123 vertical boring mill supplied by MTool and Spartan Machine Tools
“We offer repairs and manufacture of hydraulic cylinders, idlers, grader circles, big dump truck wheel stations, buckets, H-frames, A-frames, dippers/booms, track tensioners, pins and bushes. In fact any component or wear part used on the heavy transport equipment used in a wide variety of applications in the mining, construction, earthmoving, road building, forestry and agricultural industries – we can manufacture new or repair,” said Olivier.
“We have worked on Sumitomo, Caterpillar (CAT), Hitachi, Komatsu, Terex, Kawasaki, Volvo, Bell Equipment, Foton, Hyundai, Doosan and Liebherr cylinders to name a few.”
“We also offer on-site line boring, on site welding repairs, general engineering and general fabrication. We also have service vans that are permanently on the road servicing clients, both locally and across the border. More recently we have been repairing, refurbishing and rebuilding/assembling the entire machine for clients.”
U & L Engineering offer manufacture and repair of any component or wear part used on the heavy transport equipment used in a wide variety of applications in the mining, construction, earthmoving, road building, forestry and agricultural industries
“Rebuilding and reconditioning of equipment for the owners and operators in these industries makes economic sense when you compare the cost of purchasing new. The heavy equipment generally works in harsh environments and mechanical and structural failure is bound to happen. The simple economics dictate that there are always going to be customers who are going to be rebuilding machines, especially in this economic climate. We have customers who are tearing down machines in the field and completely rebuilding them once they have had components repaired by us.”
“When I started I did not seek any work that required elaborate or complicated machining operations. It was simple cutting, turning and welding repairs to components that could be easily and quickly refurbished and returned to the customer. Of course this is the source of other more complicated and bigger requests and if I was going to progress then I would have to increase my service offerings.”
U & L Engineering have worked on Sumitomo, Caterpillar (CAT), Hitachi, Komatsu, Terex, Kawasaki, Volvo, Bell Equipment, Foton, Hyundai, Doosan and Liebherr components
“We have steadily increased our machining equipment and other services over the years and now have modern Hurco CNC machines to do our lathe and milling work with 4th axis capabilities and a Sunnen horizontal tube honing operations. Alongside this equipment we have conventional lathes all equipped with DROs and we can turn up to six metres between centres, three horizontal boring mills, as well as a Scharman 120 boring machine.”
New MTool C5123 vertical boring mill
“A machine shop will always be lacking in some area, no matter what. Our biggest drawback until now has been that we have not been able to do vertical boring mill operations. Installed in April however was our first MTool vertical boring mill supplied by MTool and Spartan Machine Tools.”
“The new MTool C5123 vertical boring mill is a single column hydraulic operated machine that has a maximum cutting diameter of 2 300mm and a maximum cutting height of 1 300mm. The table diameter is 2 000mm and it can take a maximum load of eight tons. The table speed range is 3.2 to 80r/min with 16 steps. The main motor is 30kW and the feeding motor power is 1.8kW. The machine is also equipped with a 2-axis DRO.”
The main focus of U & L Engineering has been refurbishing hydraulic cylinders and this accounts for about 70% of the work
“This is a significant investment for our company. While it might not be one of those big machines that are available it suits our needs. Just as we did in the beginning when all our machining operations had to be shopped out and we slowly purchased equipment to do the machining in-house, we have done the same for our vertical boring operations. The new machine will also give us scope to repair and manufacture other types of components.”
“The main focus of U & L Engineering has been refurbishing hydraulic cylinders and this accounts about 70% of the work that we do.”
“Hydraulic cylinders are used in a multitude of applications and come in a number of different sizes. We have been repairing, refurbishing, rebuilding and manufacturing new hydraulic cylinders, including hydraulic cylinders for challenging applications in the most difficult of environmental conditions. We rebuild to OEM spec and we can salvage a cylinder – any type of cylinder – with our honing operations. The cost and time for the customer is a fraction of the replacement costs.”
“We can replace the barrel, rod, rod eyes, head/seal areas, hydraulic lines and connections, or custom-fabricate new cylinders to spec,” explained Olivier.
No hydraulic cylinder is too big or small for U & L Engineering to refurbish
“We are not limited to the cylinders and these components. We still refurbish a number of other wear parts. A client can deliver his machine to us and we will strip, repair and assemble so they don’t have to have the hassle of finding service centres to complete the different operations.”
TurboTime – moving towards a paperless system
“We are currently getting ready to implement TurboTime’s software that will eventually move the company towards running on a paperless system. Besides this advantage there are many others that have been built into the software and a big one for us is the ability to track any component while it proceeds through the different departments. A client can phone and I can virtually tell exactly how much longer it will take before we have completed the repair or refurbishment.”
“Throughout the various workshops we will have monitors installed so that everyone is aware of whether they are on track or behind schedule.”
“We also have on order another Sunnen honing machine and this will be installed in four months.”
For further details contact U & L Engineering on TEL: 011 968 9815 or visit www.ulengineering.co.za