Growth at underground coal mining equipment manufacturer Churston necessitates a move into a larger facility

The larger facility is designed to provide customers with an improved onsite experience to learn and discuss comprehensive manufacturing solutions.

Churston, a Baughn Group company has relocated from its previous Industries East, Germiston headquarters to Lilianton, Boksburg, Gauteng. The company’s new building includes additional office space and a much larger manufacturing, warehouse and showroom facility, allowing it to offer a larger selection of products and services to the coal mining industry.

“We have literally moved a few kilometres down the road in an easterly direction,” explained Churston’s General Manager Morné Landsberg.

Churston moved into a new facility in August 2023

Churston was formed in 2020 to manufacture and supply parts for the underground coal mining industry for feeder breakers, plant feeders, reclaim feeders, mineral sizers and shuttle cars

“Our previous location housed ourselves and some of the other companies in the group. These are Swasap Axles, which includes the GFM forge, Salchain, a manufacturer of conveyor and elevator chains and Kirkwood Engineering, a specialty machining facility manufacturing components for the mining, military and automotive industries, including hopper axles, hopper wheels, bearing boxes, machined hollow bodies and hubs,” continued Landsberg.

“All of these companies have experienced reasonable growth recently and the Industries East facility was just becoming too small to house all of us.”

“For those that know the area we moved to a 20 000m² factory that used to be one of the flagship facilities for Macsteel, that relocated to Elandsfontein. We, being Churston, are occupying 12 000m². The rest of the space will be occupied by sister companies Salchain and Kirkwood Engineering. There will be synergies with the three companies but primarily they will operate as standalone companies.”

“Churston was formed in 2020 to manufacture and supply parts for the underground coal mining and power generation industry for feeder breakers, plant feeders, reclaim feeders, mineral sizers and shuttle cars. On request from our valued customers Churston’s product range has expanded into the supply of complete machines such as feeder breakers (low/high seam), reclaim feeders, plant feeder, sizers, spares/repairs and services.”

“We pride ourselves on producing quality parts that perform to customer’s expectations such as Sasol Mining, Thungela, Seriti Mining, Glencore Coal, Eskom and others. We believe it is of paramount importance for the coal mining and power generation industry in South Africa to have access to readily available locally manufactured quality products resulting in huge cost savings and more importantly creating jobs for South African citizens.”

Of the 12 000m² floor space 200m² is allocated to the machine shop, 1 500m² to the assembly shop, 300m² to the shotblasting shop and 1 400m² for main stores

The focus of the business is on manufacturing new equipment as well as refurbishing equipment

“With our larger machine manufacturing facility, we can accommodate a larger workload with shorter manufacturing turnaround for feeders, sizers and refurbishments. Of the 12 000m² floor space 200m² is allocated to the machine shop, 1 500m² to the assembly shop, 300m² to the shotblasting shop and 1 400m² for main stores.”

“For power we have a 1 000V power supply onsite.”

“In total we have 18 overhead cranes and seven of these are located in the machine shop area. The machine shop has 12 CNC machines, 6 gear cutters, 3 slotters, 13 lathes, 2 milling machine, 3 radial arm drills, 3 vertical boring mills and 1 horizontal boring mill. We are well catered for in this department.”

“The focus of the business is manufacturing of new equipment as well as refurbishing existing equipment. The refurbishment side of the business has grown tremendously and now accounts for 70% of our production.”

“An example of what we do on a feeder refurbishment is that we replace the top and bottom decks, we install a new head and tail shaft as well as a new chain assembly, we refurbish the complete drive train, conduct minor feeder body repairs and replace all electrical components, cabling and lubrication pipes.”

“The scope of work on a recent tail end crusher refurbishment included the sizer rotor repair, new segments and spacer installation, new wheel assemblies, the sizer frame was repaired, the tail end frame repaired, we replaced the idler frames and Skega bed completely, refurbished both drive trains and all electrical components, cabling and lubrication pipes were replaced too.”

“Our refurbishments are comprehensive as the equipment is used in a robust and abrasive environment and any mechanical breakdown/s costs money. Wherever possible we will work closely with the end user/Mining Houses as a major overhaul consists of auditing, disassembling, reconditioning, updating, quoting, reassembling, testing and evaluating performance.”

Churston supply and refurbish conveyor and elevator chains

Various components and equipment waiting to be refurbished

“Besides the products I mentioned before we also manufacture the Churston “OX Chain”, a derivative of the European Standard mining chain that has been adapted to suit discharge conveyors used on all types of shuttle cars in the coal mining industry.”

New concept
“Churston was established to offer a superior product range and service than compared to our competitors, this being cost, quality, innovation, lead times and more so our commitment to our customers.”

“When we moved to this facility, we wanted to do something different to make us stand out. Not often seen in our industry we decided to incorporate a showroom so clients can interact with the equipment and staff. As we have only moved in April 2023, we have not been fully operational until now and have witnessed recently the excitement and appreciation of our customers during the last equipment inspection.”

The Baughan Group has a commanding presence in the US and South Africa and supplies a diversified international market. The Baughan Group manufactures and distributes parts and equipment to the global mining, railway, ordnance and material handling markets.

The Group company portfolio includes Phillips Global, Baughan, Churston, Gauley Robertson South Africa, Gauley Robertson Australia, Salchain, Swasap Axles and Kirkwood Engineering.

For further details contact Churston on TEL: 011 873 6666 or visit