Company converts from electric arc furnace melting to induction furnace melting to reduce emissions to achieve environmental compliance, achieve quality improvements, reduce direct costs and enhance its safety incident awareness accordance.
For over 35 years Grinding Media South Africa has been supplying grinding media for the platinum, gold, ferrochrome, base metals, power generation and cement industries. The company’s first manufacturing plant – a high chromium ball plant – was commissioned in 1985 to meet the requirements of the cement and platinum industries, while still under the stewardship of Scaw Metals, a company within the global mining company Anglo American plc. Subsequent investments saw major technological improvements and capacity expansions at the company’s Union Junction base in Germiston, Gauteng.
High chromium media
High chromium media has been established as the accepted standard grinding media for the comminution of cement and platinum ores. Comminution is a process of reducing the size of ore particles to liberate the minerals in preparation for extraction in downstream processes, and classification is installed to ensure that liberated minerals enter the recovery section of the process plant and those not ready are recycled.
Forged steel media
Forged steel media is largely consumed by the gold, copper and base metal mining industries. The Forged Plants are situated on the Union Junction site with the feed stock being supplied from Scaw’s rolling mills.
Grinding Media South Africa has made a major investment in its melt shop revitalisation programme to reduce the company’s environmental impact. The company has converted from electric arc furnace melting to induction furnace melting to reduce emissions to achieve environmental compliance, achieve quality improvements, reduce direct costs and enhance its safety incident awareness accordance
Because of increasing competition from other foundries, the need to improve its productivity and concern about excessive emissions and environmental impact, the company reviewed alternate processes for casting production. It found that one of the highest costs of producing a casting centred in the melt operations, prompting the decision to upgrade the melt shop in 2020. However, the feasibility and impact studies began long before 2020 when three 10-ton Inductotherm induction furnaces with individual 8 000kW VIP controls were installed.
At the outset the mission was also to reduce operating costs by increasing the plant’s productivity and efficiency to survive in a low-margin, highly competitive market. Management believed that the solution was to take advantage of the competitiveness of induction furnace technology and other benefits that come with induction. For over 30 years the melt shop had operated electric arc furnaces for primary melting so to change to induction melting would not only bring benefits but would also present many challenges.
The equipment Grinding Media South Africa decided to purchase are three Inductotherm 8 000kW VIP Power Trak power supply and three 10-metric-ton steel frame coreless furnaces, each equipped with an air operated clam shell for slag removal, integral high-velocity close-capture fume collection covers (hoods) and lining/refractory push out systems. The Inductotherm equipment is represented in South Africa by Cerefco
Wherever possible has used local manufacturers for all of the equipment, fabrication and infrastructure requirements.
They have also constructed a 4 000m² building for scrap separation. This includes a new bunker system for better scrap handling and separation.
In March 2018 the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Magotteaux International S.A. announced that they had reached an agreement on extending their partnership regarding Grinding Media South Africa (GMSA). The Scaw Metals Group already had a long-term relationship with Magotteaux, as the company had been manufacturing high chromium media under license from Magotteaux for over 30 years.
For further details contact Grinding Media South Africa on TEL: 011 842 9000 or visit www.grindingmedia.co.za