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Driving down part turnaround time whereas improving quality and reducing waste is being achieved at Weir Minerals Africa’s thrilling new Replicast Plant in Isando, Gauteng.
Umar Smith, plant supervisor at Weir Minerals Africa’s Isando facility, highlights that the progressive improvement permits the company to provide more parts at a time – and extra shortly. This will help in assembly rising buyer demand, whereas additionally lowering rework and wastage.
“As part of our Project Vuka, this new plant allows us to cast multiple small components per batch quite than just separately,” says Smith. “We also can reduce our knock-out occasions from days to just a few hours.”

The state-of-the-art facilities allow Weir Minerals Africa to cast high chrome parts weighing as a lot as 250 kg. There are two phases to the model new course of, he explains, which makes use of polystyrene to create moulds. The first section is the polystyrene moulding process, which happens after the polystyrene beads have been expanded. The second part is where the ramming, pouring and demoulding takes place.
In contrast to the normal moulding line – where resin and catalyst are used to bind sand – the Replicast Plant uses silica sand of 30-35 AFS grade together with the polystyrene mould, he says. The system involves a vacuum bin, from which all the air is eliminated to compress the sand.
เพรสเชอร์เกจ of resin and catalyst – in addition to having no clamping course of – leads to much less scrap being produced, and subsequently brings operational financial savings,” he says. “The high quality of castings can additionally be raised, with a greater surface finish and fewer defects.”

He notes that the geometrical stability of elements is improved, as there is much less fettling of the completed product thereby reducing dimensional variation between the same elements. This in flip contributes to the reliability of the gear utilizing these parts. He says the foundry may even realise vital environmental advantages on account of utilizing no chemicals in the sand.
“This new plant aligns well with our corporate sustainability objectives, guaranteeing that our processes aren’t solely compliant however constantly scale back our environmental impression,” says Smith. “Our new moulding methods be positive that fewer gases are emitted through the casting process, and there are zero emissions of dangerous substances corresponding to benzene.”

The new technology can additionally be leading to less frequent disposal of silica sand, and the sand itself is more environmentally friendly as it accommodates no resin or acid.
“A remarkable side of growing this new plant was the reality that it was accomplished with our local skills and largely in the course of the COVID-19 lockdowns,” he says. “Despite the novelty of this know-how, and the logistical challenges created by the pandemic, it was successfully applied on time and within finances.”

The plant consists of greater than 16,000 particular person parts, and makes use of over 1,900 m of cabling, 300 m of water piping and 55 tons of steel.
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