Coal Age

JUN 2019

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June 2019 39 operating ideas continued ing laser cut to fit assembly. It took about three weeks of round-the-clock operations to complete the complex laser cutting by approved specialists located in Vanderbijlpark, with Genrec Engineering team members located permanently on site to advise, as well as monitor progress and quality. They were delivered to the plant in the correct assembly sequence and welding was then undertaken to the OEM's exacting standards and procedures in a 2,200-m 2 bay that was converted for specialized manu- facturing projects. "The process commenced with pre-heating and the roots undertaken with tungsten-inert gas (TIG) weld- ing and CO 2 used as a filler," Burger said. "Non-destructive testing (NDT) was done using magnetic-particle, phased array ultrasonic, radiograph- ic and ultrasonic testing. Personnel from NJM Heat Treatment & NDE Services, as well as NDT specialists were stationed permanently on site to ensure that we were able to maintain sound productivity rates and adhere to exacting quality standards." A total of 2.3 tons of weld mate- rial and eight weld feeders were also sourced from Australia to supplement available resources for this project. Due attention was also given to the quality of the more than 20 weld- ing machines deployed on the pro- ject. They had to provide a consis- tent current at the correct frequency to ensure a high-quality weld. One of the complexities of the welding oper- ations was the varying diameters and positioning of the larger chords and smaller lacing. A total of 129 welders were tested by Genrec Engineering and 52 met- al inert gas (MIG), or gas metal arc, and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welders employed to work on this project, together with 18 boiler makers and assistants. They were designated to the various teams that would work in the three shifts to ensure an unin- terrupted 24/7 operation. Ranks were bolstered with five specialist boom welders, as well as an expert boom- weld engineer and project coordina- tor from Australia. They also assisted in undertaking the four successful Procedure Qual- ification Records ahead of welding activities. Further demonstrating the ex- tent of the skills of capabilities of the Genrec Engineering team are the ro- tators that were designed and devel- oped especially for this project. These complement the large investment al- ready made by the company and SPG in acquiring the capital equipment needed to diversify into niche and specialist markets. Among these are the computer- numerically controlled machines housed on the factory floor that have been fully integrated into the SolidWorks engineering program to ensure high levels of precision and productivity. These alone represent about a R50 million ($3.5 million) investment that is also being supported by con- tinued skills development and train- ing as Genrec Engineering builds up its skills base to cater to the high de- mand for its specialist services. As part of the project, Genrec Engineering was also tasked with upgrading the dragline excavator's boom-point box. A special furnace was designed and developed around the boom-point box and soaked at 600°C for six hours and then cooled down to 37°C for five days. The fur- nace was heated with gas at a rate of 37°C per hour to 600°C. A canopy was also designed to al- low sand blasting to continue a pace in the workshop while welding pro- gressed according to plan to maintain high productivity rates. The components were transport- ed to the mine site by Mammoet us- ing a 13-wheel Nicolas trailer and resting on 11-ton cradles that were specially designed and manufactured by Genrec Engineering. It took three days to transport the two loads to site as part of the last phase of the project. This was the largest abnormal load to have ever traveled on the Gauteng road network, and Genrec Engineering was also involved in the extensive road survey, in addition to obtaining all nec- essary road permits from the Gauteng Department: Roads & Transport. The midsection of the dragline ex- cavator boom was dispatched to site at the end of November and the front end in early December. It was successfully assembled by Caterpillar's southern African dealer, Barloworld Equipment, on site in De- cember over a period of four weeks. Prince said he is proud of his team's involvement in another suc- cessful project that has demonstrated the important role the local steel in- dustry plays as employer and driver of critical skills development in line with government's re-industrializa- tion strategy. It took three days to transport the two loads to site as part of the last phase of the project.

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