A synergistic approach and cooperation between designer and tool manufacturers facilitates manufacture of tools in a short time span.
A proudly South African company, Harvey Roofing Products (a division of the Macsteel Group) and recognised for its Harvey steel roof tiles, has developed a high-tech new roof tile that will be manufactured from 98% waste material. The tiles, which have been through an extensive three-year R&D phase, are engineered from a mineral polymer blend that will be offered as a superior alternative to heavier clay or concrete roof tiles.
With the recent focus on the effect that discarded plastic products have on ocean life and our natural rivers, lakes and dams, Harvey EcoTile’s development could not be more timeous.
Harvey Roofing Products (a division of the Macsteel Group) and recognised for its Harvey steel roof tiles, has developed a new high-tech roof tile that will be manufactured from 98% waste material
“The innovative product has been developed to outperform conventional clay/concrete tiles in every way,” said Albie Jordaan, Harvey Roofing Products General Manager Sales and Marketing.
“The EcoTile roof tile has the ability to eliminate 29 million, two-litre used plastic milk bottles from landfill sites in South Africa. Each tile will utilise 3.8 recycled bottles and is 100% recyclable. In addition, the product input does not require any water resource, an increasingly scarce commodity in South Africa.”
Design and development
“The idea of composite roof tiles is not new. Experimentation started in the early 90s and similar tile concepts do exist elsewhere in the world. However, none have captured market share due to a lack of economy of scale, UV stability challenges and stringent quality control on material inputs. As an established roofing manufacturer, Harvey Roofing Products has the necessary engineering expertise, manufacturing capacity, supply chain and distribution footprint to produce and supply a consistent product,” said Frikkie Erasmus, CEO of Harvey’s roofing division.
The tiles, which have been through an extensive three-year R&D phase, are engineered from a mineral polymer blend that will be offered as a superior alternative to heavier clay or concrete roof tiles
“We realised that for Harvey EcoTile to gain acceptance in the construction industry, the product has to outperform conventional tiles in all functional areas as well as be aesthetically pleasing. Harvey EcoTile is four times stronger yet three times lighter than concrete tiles. Combining these advantages makes it possible to transport four times more Harvey EcoTiles as opposed to conventional roof tiles, limiting transportation cost and on-site breakages. We estimate that breakages can be reduced by up to 10% in the full value chain. Most importantly, endless maintenance on horizontal roof ridges will be a thing of the past.”
“Aesthetically, the shape of a Harvey EcoTile is similar to that of a Double Roman concrete tile but its fixing methodology will result in a roof being a single impregnable unit. Given the engineering of the product, it will display symmetrical lines once installed. This means a complete roof will be weather, water and dust proof as all gaps are eliminated.”
“Fortunately we have worked with a developer who has many years of experience developing components and products for the OEMs in the automotive industry. Virtually all of those technical and material requirements and performance conditions are needed in a roof tile. However, this roof tile development has been a passion of his for many years, specifically the use of recycled plastic as the material of use.”
The team involved in the high-tech roof tile: Standing from the left Frikkie Erasmus, Bill Bowman, Albie Jordaan, all from Harvey Roofing Products, Sakkie Luiters of SLS Tool & Die and Jonathan Phillips of Cutting Edge Technologies. Seated in the front is Markus Funk of UTP Mould & Die
“He has been championing the development from all aspects for the last six years and especially over the three-year R&D period. Together with product and tool designer Jonathan Phillips of Cutting Edge Technologies they have developed some engineering IP that is unique to our product. Additionally, they have consulted with scientists and engineers at the Institute of Applied Materials at one of our leading universities to ensure that our product adheres to the highest standards and specifications for flame retardancy, thermal stability and UV protection stability.”
“There have been many challenges to overcome, from material performance during and post production, to keeping the product competitive and cost effective.”
Tool development and manufacture
“In a development like this you need partners, in other words your suppliers, who are going to buy into your vision. We as a company have many years of engineering experience and this we found in UTP Mould & Die and SLS Tool & Die, the manufacturers of our 12 sets of tools, and Yaskawa Southern Africa, the robot supplier of the four offloading robots, two stacking robots and one palletising robot. All three companies have been influential in certain decision making related to their products and have taken responsibility in the various phases of manufacture and production automation.”
SLS Tool & Die, Cutting Edge Technologies and UTP Mould & Die were involved in the design and manufacture of the moulds
“The interaction between the designs, production machines, control systems, processes and tooling is vital for manufacturing a component or product, no matter if the component has tight tolerances or not. So why should a synergistic approach and cooperation not exist between designer, tool manufacturers and the automation service provider, with the manufacturer?”
“UTP Mould & Die have been responsible for the manufacture of the custom mould bases, which includes base preparation, as well as the sourcing and machining of associated componentry such as pins and bushes.”
“These mould bases were then delivered to SLS Tool & Die who were responsible for the tool and die operations such as wire cutting of cavities and also for assembly of the top and bottom moulds. SLS Tool & Die were also contracted to manufacture the form blocks and then outsource the surface finishing such as sand blasting and nitriding, which was done at PH Heat Treatment and Bohler Heat Treatment.”
Once machined each tool weighs about 1.8 tons and the dimensions are 950mm x 650mm x 400mm. It required in the region of 750 hours to manufacture each tool
“The original weight of each tool – we used Toolox 33 and 2312 steel as our material of choice for the tools – is approximately two tons. Once machined each tool weighs about 1.8 tons and the dimensions are 950mm x 650mm x 400mm. It required in the region of 750 hours to manufacture each tool and we were very impressed with their turnaround time, which was three months.”
“I must compliment both UTP Mould & Die and SLS Tool & Die for working with us and Cutting Edge Technologies team on the tool manufacture. They have the experience and were not shy to advise on optimum tool manufacturing methods.”
Yaskawa Southern Africa will be supplying four offloading robots, two stacking robots and one palletising robot for the production line
“Likewise with the automation and material handling aspects. Yaskawa Southern Africa took it upon themselves to give us the best solution for our situation. You can imagine a tile coming off the moulding machine is still very hot and still very ‘fluid’. They had to account for these and many other handling aspects so that we had a perfect product once packaged.”
“We believe that locally we have the skills and knowledge to be competitive. But to achieve recognition and win orders criteria such as quality should not be emphasised in the equation, they are a must.”
For further details contact Harvey Roofing Products on TEL: 011 741 5600, Cutting Edge Technologies TEL: 074 740 5912, UTP Mould & Die on TEL: 011 664 6070, SLS Tool & Die on
TEL: 012 564 5467, Yaskawa Southern Africa on TEL: 011 608 3182 or visit www.macsteel.co.za, www.cetech.co.za, www.utp.co.za, www.sls-tool-die.business.site or www.yaskawa.za.com