The environmental impact of industrial water cooling towers is coming under increased regulatory scrutiny as government bodies across the world endeavour to clean up the planet’s air and water resources. Accordingly, ensuring cooling tower systems are operating at optimum efficiencies is the goal for all system owners/operators. Crucial to achieving this is to ensure cooling water in the recirculating flow rate is kept as clean as possible throughout the cycle. This is because cooling tower systems are most efficient when heat transfer surfaces within them and heat exchanger equipment, like plate heat exchangers, are clean and free from suspended solids, the presence of which leads to four main water treatment issues: corrosion, scaling, fouling and microbiological activity. A cost-effective method of preventing the build-up of solids and thus addressing these issues is through water filtration. IWC, specialists in evaporative water cooling systems, are the leading suppliers of water filtration systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. IWC offers fully integrated solutions, from cooling towers to glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) manufacturing and plate heat exchangers (PHE) supplied by SONDEX. The company’s range of products are packaged cooling towers, large field erected-and-mechanical draught cooling towers, natural draught cooling towers as well as the refurbishment thereof. Suspended solids: the bane of cooling towers The bane of industrial cooling tower system operators, in relation to efficient heat transfer and pathological risks to employees, is suspended solids within the water system. Suspended solids (or unclean water) in the cooling tower system reduce efficiency in the following ways: ? A higher flow of water is required to remove heat when heat transfer efficiency is reduced, leading to increased energy usage (and higher costs) for more pumping capacity. ? The nozzles in counter-flow cooling towers become clogged with organic or inorganic . . .
This month, South African industry heavyweights are making their way to the heart of the Zambian mining region to be part of the Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo and Conference (CBM-TEC) - Zambia's premier networking event for international and regional companies that operate within the country's highly-lucrative Copperbelt region, being hosted in Kitwe on 28 and 29 April 2014. Joining over 80 exhibitors at the conference this year is IWC - South African leaders in cooling towers and cooling solutions in Africa offering fully integrated solutions, from cooling towers to glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) manufacturing and plate heat exchangers (PHE) supplied by SONDEX. The company’s range of products are packaged cooling towers, large field erected cooling towers and natural draught cooling towers. The company also provides refurbishment services thereof. IWC’s keen interest to explore the possibilities of Zambia’s mining industry is not without good reason. The dynamic industrial growth and recent accessibility of the Zambian Copperbelt region means new opportunities for business. Company MD Roger Rusch says, “Zambia is of strategic importance to the Southern African mining sector. With the steady flow of investments, the copper mining industry is growing at a rapid rate and we are keen to be a part of this emerging market.” Zambia has a mining history spanning over ninety years. In the late 1960s, the country was ranked as the world’s third largest copper producer, after the United States and the former Soviet Union. Currently, Zambia is the largest copper producer in Africa and the seventh largest copper producer in the world. After a successive slump in output over the past few years, the Zambian copper mining industry had a marked rebound in 2013. The country managed a strong growth rate of 6.5 % in 2013, supported by a 20% rise in copper output in 2012. This trend is set to continue and copper output is projected to reach 1.5 million tonnes by 2015, . . .
Nine years ago, a small business was set up in the Klein Karoo town of Prince Albert, with five employees in an old ostrich hatchery. This month the AVOOVA business (now exporting its beautiful handmade ostrich eggshell products to 15 countries) celebrated the official opening of its newly renovated, 800m² factory across the road. (Thursday 20 February). Funding from the Jobs Fund, through the auspices of the Cape Craft & Design Institute (CCDI), made the new premises possible. This has not only enabled AVOOVA to improve the working conditions of its staff and boost productivity, but to create 20 permanent new jobs. The business is now far better equipped to develop the export potential of its products. CEO of AVOOVA, Tom Goddard, believes that there could be a further 20-30 positions available over the next one to two years as a result of the funding injection. The factory has sufficient spare capacity to double the numbers employed to in excess of 100 over the next few years. The Jobs Fund investment has, in addition, gone into creating an AVOOVA shop in the former factory. This has the potential to be a huge attraction for the growing number of tourists visiting Prince Albert, adding to the number of direct and indirect jobs. “We made a conscious decision to remain faithful to the origins of our business by keeping our production in the town where it all started,” said Goddard. “This has presented many challenges both logistically and in terms of short term skills shortages – but on the other hand there are many longer term advantages to such a strategy. “Staff retention is excellent, which is very important when developing and refining specific skills. Because we operate in a small local community, over the years we have been able to establish a relationship with our staff that is founded on mutual trust and dependency. With every year that passes this bond will strengthen and will enable us to grow and improve not just in terms of quality and . . .
IWC’s glass reinforced plastic (GRP) manufacturing facility in Isando, Ekurhuleni, is one of a handful of GRP plants in South Africa, offering the design and manufacturing of GRP products. GRP Performs Like the 'Hulk' GRP is a relatively modern composite material composed of strands of glass. Each individual glass fibre is very fine with a small diameter, and they are woven to form a flexible fabric. The fabric is normally placed in a mould and a resin is added. The process is repeated so that there are many layers of fibre glass and resin and allowed to cure. The plastic matrix may be epoxy, a thermosetting plastic (most often polyester or vinyl ester) or thermoplastic. The resulting material is very strong and light. Benefits of Glass Reinforced Plastic This robust material offers a number of advantages over other materials such as: Strength and durability: Glass reinforced plastic has a high strength to weight ratio and high flexural strength making it an attractive lightweight material that builds strength into almost any finished product or component. Pound for pound, GRP can be stronger than steel and sheet metals, has a high resistance to environmental extremes, and is resistant to ultra violet light, extreme temperatures, salt air, and a variety of chemicals including most acids. As GRP is chemically inert, it is also non-corrosive. Versatility: The unique physical properties of glass reinforced plastic make it extremely flexible meaning it can be easily tooled, moulded and manufactured to meet almost any specifications. With GRP there are few constraints on size, shape, colour or finish. Affordability: Glass reinforced plastic is considerably less expensive than stainless steel and owing to its natural strength, durability and non-corrosive properties, it has a longer life expectancy when compared to a variety of construction materials, making it more economical. Dielectric Properties: Glass reinforced plastic is non-conductive, RF . . .
Positron and Ithemba LABS In Radioisotope Agreement Positron Corporation (OTCBB:POSC) announces it has entered into a multi-year radioisotope supply agreement with iThemba LABS of Cape Town, South Africa. The supply agreement contracts the procurement of raw material, strontium-82 (Sr-82) from iThemba LABS for further production of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) at Positron's radioisotope production facility in Lubbock, TX. In September 2013, Positron will receive relevant volumes of strontium-82 for qualification and will commence with commercial availability beginning in February 2014. This additional supply will enhance the industry's strontium-82 supply and increase the availability of radiopharmaceuticals to the end user. Positron intends to make this Sr-82 API supply available to all rubidium-82 generator producers in the marketplace. The iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator-Based Sciences (LABS) is a group of multi- disciplinary research laboratories administered by the National Research Foundation of South Africa. The iThemba LABS facility provides basic and applied research using particle beams, particle radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer and the supply of accelerator-produced radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine and research. The Radionuclide Production Department has been producing radiopharmaceuticals and radionuclides for the past 23 years, some of them include 67 Ga-citrate, 123 I-products, 18 F-FDG, 68 Ge/ 68 Ga generators, 22 Na UHV positron sources and 82 Sr (irradiated Rb or RbCl targets). iThemba LABS is the largest facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and one of six facilities in the world that can produce Sr-82 with a proton accelerator. "Over the past 15 years, iThemba LABS has played an integral role in supplying a significant portion of the global Sr-82 supply," states Jason Kitten, Executive Director of Radioisotopes for Positron. "During my tenure, with the U.S. Department of Energy at . . .
At the recent Afrimold Conference, Henk Snyman, Secretary of the Toolmaking Association of South Africa (TASA) Gauteng branch, announced the signing of a funding agreement with government agency, Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), to establish a viable tooling cluster which will boost localisation in the tool making sector in support of the packaging and automotive manufacturing industries in South Africa. TASA Gauteng has been awarded R10.6 million from GEP as part of a three year contract to launch a tooling cluster initiative. This cluster initiative underlines TASA Gauteng’s commitment towards the revitalisation and expansion of the Tool, Die and Mouldmaking (TDM) as well as the Precision Machining sectors which are crucial to the future of the manufacturing industry in South Africa, especially with regards to the automotive manufacturing sector. The fundamental concept behind the initiative is the creation of a formal and informal association of multi-sectorial companies who share common goals and are prepared to join like-minded companies for the common good of the entire group and consequently the economy as a whole. The idea of the cluster initiative is to improve the capacity of the TDM industry in terms of cost, time to market, profitability and the size of tooling – thereby allowing manufacturers to take advantage of economies of scale, higher local content, local tool maintenance capabilities for large tools as well as the accessibility and flexibility that comes from dealing with locally based toolmakers. Participating tool making companies will be able to share resources that will enable them to improve their capabilities and capitalise on the synergistic effects available through the clustering process. This will enable them to focus on their core competencies, resulting in greater profitability, efficiency and reduced strain on their business. The model will also provide tool makers with a viable exit strategy from their business when . . .
Recognising the potential for toolmaking activities, given that the South African motor industry has a target of 1 million vehicles by 2020 and to increase the local content to 70% from the current 35%, Malaysian toolmakers have identified South Africa as a country of opportunities to grow the local toolmaking industry. At the recent TASA Conference, held during the Afrimold exhibition, Mr Amrizal Majid, CEO of Malaysian Toolmaking Company, Miyazu, gave a presentation on the development of the Malaysian toolmaking industry from 1980 to the present. The presentation inspired the audience as it gave an idea of how Malaysian toolmakers progressed from supplying small tools to being able to produce complete vehicles with local tooling. This learning curve has helped them to develop a strong understanding of how to project manage all the tools needed for a full vehicle. This has enabled Miyazu to become a one-stop-shop to OEMs, an area where South African toolmakers are at a distinct disadvantage. By partnering with Malaysian toolmaking companies, South African toolmakers can expect to gain an understanding of how to grow the toolmaking fraternity in a developing country. Since Malaysian toolmaking companies supply products into Europe, the United States and South America, South African toolmakers who partner with these companies will also gain immediate access to international markets. Malaysian toolmaking companies such as Miyazu consider it a positive factor that there are export credits available on the exporting of tools from South Africa and that tools can be exported into the USA and Europe tax-free. Furthermore, South Africa’s positioning in the same time zone as Europe, the good banking system and the fact that European designed vehicles are being manufactured in South Africa for export worldwide will also provide a distinct advantage to the Malaysian/South African produced tools. South African toolmaking companies interested in exploring a possible . . .
Changes are abound in the valves sector as the formation of The Valve and Actuator Manufacturers’ Cluster of South Africa (VAMCOSA) gears up to provide significant demand prospects for local manufacturers. However, with great promise comes great responsibility, and local manufacturers need to step up to the plate to produce world-class valves that are able to compete with imported products. The South African Valve Manufacturing industry has been in a steady decline since 1994 as a result of the higher quality and affordability that imported products provide. In an attempt to turn the industry around and promote the growth of locally sourced valves, VAMCOSA was formed in 2011. While this may mean that industry giants such as Eskom will now have to look closer to home for a supply of valves, the pressure is on to meet demanding requirements for the same level of quality as internationally produced products. In the next five years, Eskom is expected to replace an estimated 5,500 valves in on-going operations and maintenance projects at existing power plants, significantly increasing demand for control valves, multi-turn valves, quarter turn valves, as well as electric and pneumatic actuators. It stands to reason that local valve manufacturers will benefit considerably from this massive replacement programme. Now more than ever, local valve manufacturers need to seek out the support of a well-established foundry for the supply of raw castings. As the first South African PED-certified foundry and material supplier, Steloy Castings is able to produce as-cast and machined components that conform to stringent quality assurance requirements necessitated by the pump and valve industry. Being qualified to produce PED-class castings allows valve manufacturers to attach the coveted CE (Conformite Europeene) mark to each item of pressure equipment, and ISO 9001 accredited facilities provides the added assurance of superior quality and product integrity. Over 25 years . . .
While the need for infrastructure development in Africa is growing, the lack of skills and workforce required to bridge the project-preparation gap continues to hinder development. Strategic initiatives and fresh approaches to develop construction industry skills are now arising out of this demand gap. From the public sector, governments across Africa are incorporating skills development into national planning and from the private sector, South Africa sets an example with 25% of its construction industry CEOs contemplating major change to their strategies for managing talent over the next 12 months. Proof of this movement is also being seen with over 2000 construction professionals from the public and private sector alike signing up to prioritise skills development and commercial collaboration at the TotallyConcrete Expo taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 3 to 5 June. PPC is the main sponsor of the event and brings a unique learning approach with a series of do-it-yourself workshops giving hands-on exposure to cement handling and mixing techniques. "PPC continues its dedication to industry development in Africa through its sponsorship of the TotallyConcrete Expo where we will host a series of do-it-yourself workshops to enhance expertise and host industry stakeholders,” says Nomzamo Khanyile, Group Public Relations Manager for PPC There are also over 50 African media and partner associations supporting this leading cement, concrete and construction industry event and partner organisations include the Concrete Society of Southern Africa, the Engineering Council of South Africa, Eskom, Kenya Master Builders Federation, Master Builders Association of South Africa, Namibia Institute of Architects, Institute of Engineers Tanzania and National Home Builder’s Registration Council of South Africa. Other sponsors of the event include Lafarge, Sephaku Cement, AfriSam, NPC Cimpor and Reimer. The event is a timely endeavour designed by . . .
Foster Wheeler partnered with SA Foundry, Steloy Castings, for the supply of static and centrifugal castings for the major upgrade and expansion of the Barrancabermeja Refinery in Columbia, owned by Fortune 500 Company, Ecopetrol. Johannesburg, April 2013 - Foster Wheeler is internationally recognised as a leading engineering, construction and project management contractor as well as power equipment supplier. In order to maintain the high levels of quality standards that has earned them global prestige, it is absolutely critical for Foster Wheeler to source from credible partners in the supply of components that assist in the successful execution of large and often complex projects. The $1.023 billion Ecopetrol project which would see the increase in capacity of the refinery from 12.5 million tonnes per annum to 15 million was awarded to Foster Wheeler as the sole contractor in 2008 for the front-end engineering design (FEED) and project management. A large section of the contract involved the assembly of radiant stanchions comprising of over 3000 components cast in ASTM A351 HK40 weighing in at a substantial 72 metric tonnes. Steloy approached Foster Wheeler with a proposal to supply the static and centrifugal castings for the direct fired heaters and convection applications that make up the radiant sections which was subsequently accepted. Working in the refinery business, it is very crucial for Foster Wheeler to keep operating downtime to a minimum. Unforeseen delays in project implementation can cost clients millions, making the prompt delivery of components a key deciding factor in choosing a supplier. As a well-established foundry, Steloy was able to cater to Foster Wheeler’s demands for high-integrity, high performance components, delivered within reasonable timeframes. According to Bruce Brewer, QA Manager at Foster Wheeler, “Steloy has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to meet our stringent technical and quality requirements”. It is this . . .