Tiputone, a company that focuses on reducing tyre waste and creating employment, will deliver the first of several of its patented tyre cutter machines to global miner Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen mine, in the Northern Cape, in August.
It reports that further units are on order from companies operating in other mining areas in South Africa, while global miner Anglo American has also approached the company for its first unit, which will be commissioned soon.
Tiputone MD Cobus Botha, who worked in the mining equipment tyre supply industry for many years, realised there was a global need to cut large mining tyres into smaller pieces to aid recycling.
The patented technology has been used by Tiputone technical director Hardie de Villiers, who is also owner of Kosh CNC Engineering, and his engineers to develop the Sweep tyre cutter range starting with the entry-level MK-1 model up to the larger Sweep Jumbo cutter.
About R6-million was invested on developing the technology.
Botha says the tyre cutters, which sell for about R3.9-million each, weigh about 6 000 kg and are 6 m x 3.95 m x 4 m. The range is capable of cutting tyres sized between 1.2 m and 6 m in diameter.
The company adds that the unit features the latest robotics, electronics, hydraulics and automation technology. It is a high-speed machine and the blade is capable of cutting through the radial steel contained in the tyre.
“The tyre cutter provides mines with the opportunity to correctly dispose of waste, as it is easier to transport when the tyres have been cut into manageable sections as required by the Environment Conservation Act, No 73 of 1989: Waste Tyre Regulation, 2008,” says Tiputone director Eddie Bekker.
Botha notes this sytem will create sustainable jobs, as mines have the opportunity to offer small business owners contracts to transport the now manageable sections of rubber to various recycling plants.
Meanwhile, he says there is huge opportunity for the company to export the machines, but notes that it first wants to establish a solid client base in South Africa before moving into the international market. “We have a commitment to create job opportunities in our own country first.”