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Maintenance News

Aircraft maintenance academy has new training centre

By: Keith Campbell     13th February 2015 One of the country’s few training centres for aircraft maintenance technicians, the Safomar Group’s Mega Aero Training Academy (MATA) can now provide practical as well as theoretical training for apprentices at its own facility, thanks to the opening, at the start of this year, of its dedicated... 

Cement kiln maintenance optimisation important for efficiency

By: Schalk Burger     6th February 2015 Cement producers must prepare adequately for shutdowns so that maintenance work proceeds rapidly and must optimise their plants to enable efficient maintenance and repairs during shutdowns. This will also improve the efficiency of repairs during unplanned stoppages, says cement and limekiln... 

Cement kiln maintenance optimisation important for efficiency
Photo by Duane Daws
MAINTENANCE PREPARATION Proper maintenance planning will also improve the efficiency of repairs during unplanned stoppages

Energy savings with advanced lubricant for heavy industry

By: Dylan Slater     6th February 2015 US-based lubricant specialist Lubrication Engineers is helping heavy industries to register significant savings, owing to the improved energy efficiency and product longevity provided by the company’s advanced series of Pyroshield lubricants. 

Energy savings with advanced lubricant  for heavy industry
SUPERIOR BASE STOCK Lubrication Engineers’ production facility uses mainly mineral oils for base stock and only synthetic formulas for specialised applications

Industry-proven lubricants ensure steady sales

By: Dylan Slater     6th February 2015 Wynberg-based special lubricants manufacturer Spanjaard’s products are gaining in popularity, owing to their increasing use in many specialised and industrial applications – in a niche field of the sector where competing products are falling short of meeting the requirements of heavy industrial... 

Industry-proven  lubricants ensure  steady sales
INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS Spanjaard's products serve a niche field, whereas competing products are falling short of meeting the requirements of heavy industrial applications

State rail company invests in track management 

By: Bruce Montiea     12th December 2014 In support of its Market Demand Strategy (MDS), State-owned freight and logistics company Transnet is concentrating on refurbishing the country’s rail track system through training and the introduction of new rail track monitoring and management methods, says Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) track... 

State rail company invests in track management
Transnet Freight Rail track and technology principal engineer Kanak Mistry discusses the parastatal’s training initiatives

Metal roofing industry body releases standard for cladding

     21st November 2014 Metal roofing industry body Southern African Metal Cladding and Roofing Association (Samcra), a division of the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction, completed the draft of the new standard for cladding, aimed at assisting engineers and specifiers with cladding work, says association... 

Metal roofing industry body releases standard  for cladding
CLADDING WORK Samcra is regulating the industry to benefit metal roofing professionals

Positive responses to product received, growth expected

By: Jonathan Rodin     21st November 2014 Energy and petrochemicals company Shell has received positive responses from original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for its range of transmission-component protection oil, Shell Spirax, which was launched in April. Shell commercial technical manager Raymond Abraham explains that products, such... 

Demand increase for preventative maintenance strategies

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th November 2014 Steel plant processing technology, equipment and services specialist SMS Siemag South Africa, a division of SMS Group, has registered significant demand growth for preventative maintenance in the local ferrous, nonferrous and ferroalloys industries, paired with a 10% to 15% increase in technical... 

Demand increase for preventative maintenance strategies
Photo by Duane Daws
PREVENTATIVE STRATEGY SMS Group assists the industry in monitoring predictive failure and scheduled shutdowns

Fabricator awarded chemicals and energy group’s maintenance contract

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th November 2014 Gas conveying and compression company Aerzen sub-Saharan Africa subsidiary Airgas Compressors has noted a significant increase in the demand for maintenance and service contracts, as well as a 300% increase in it services division in the past 14 years, Airgas Compressors assistant service manager... 

Fabricator awarded chemicals and energy group’s maintenance contract
CONTRACT SCOPE The contract for Sasol entails service of pressure vessels, storage tanks, heat exchangers and pipes according to Sasol’s specifications

High-performance fan manufacturer to diversify industry focus

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th November 2014 Having been awarded significant contracts to retrofit fans at several mining operations in South Africa in the past two years, high-performance fan designer and manufacturer MechCaL will actively focus on establishing a footprint in other industries, such as steelmaking, MD Gavin Ratner tells... 

High-performance fan manufacturer to diversify industry focus
COST REDUCTION MechCal had repaired only 121 of 1 347 composite and steel impeller fans since initial installation in the mining industry in 2012

Higher-quality lubrication reduces maintenance

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th November 2014 Wear control, lubrication and filtration company Filter Focus has assisted Germiston-based precious metals refiner Rand Refinery in significantly reducing its operational expenditure from R2.4-million to about R1-million in the past eight months by changing the refinery’s lubrication and... 

Higher-quality lubrication reduces maintenance
MAINTENANCE ACHIEVEMENT Many industries have reported a 2% to 10% productivity increase, owing to the correct use of predictive maintenance practices and use of correct lubrication

Lack of maintenance vision

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th November 2014 Ongoing challenges are faced by municipalities and State-owned enterprises that are struggling to operate and maintain their infrastructure, so much so that it severely hampers service delivery, says asset management company IHA Technology & Aviation director Allan Tarita. However, this problem... 

Lack of maintenance vision
Photo by Bloomberg
DRIVING STRATEGY A maintenance vision will drive the composition of a maintenance strategy that should include all facets of an organisation

Locomotives manufacturer to realign its maintenance strategy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th November 2014 S outh Africa-based locomotives manufacturer and supplier Grindrod Locomotives aims to increase its annuity locomotive maintenance, repair and leasing to 50% of its total services by 2015, Grindrod Locomotives CEO Robert Spoon tells Engineering News. About five years ago, Grindrod Locomotives’... 

Locomotives manufacturer to realign its maintenance strategy

Maintenance vital to infrastructure sustainability  

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th November 2014 Operations and maintenance service contracts are imperative in ensuring the sustainable operation and maintenance practices of existing and future infrastructure, as they can strengthen maintenance provision activities, voluntary association Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) CEO Lefadi... 

Maintenance vital to  infrastructure sustainability
Consulting Engineers South Africa CEO Lefadi Makibinyane discusses the need for operations and maintenance contracts for the public sector.

OEM registers significant service contracts demand increase

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th November 2014 Gas conveying and compression company Aerzen sub-Saharan Africa subsidiary Airgas Compressors has noted a significant increase in the demand for maintenance and service contracts, as well as a 300% increase in it services division in the past 14 years, Airgas Compressors assistant service manager... 

OEM registers significant service contracts demand increase
SERVICE RANGE Airgas Compressors offers field service, repairs, overhauls and maintenance contracts to Aerzener Maschinenfabrik roots blowers and screw compressors

Rail fleet maintenance backlog cleared

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th November 2014 State-owned logistics company Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has cleared its fleet backlog with the new locomotives being brought on board and old locomotives having been retired, TFR spokesperson Mike Asefovitz tells Engineering News. TFR plans to replace some of its aging stock with 1 400 new... 

Rail fleet maintenance backlog cleared
Photo by Duane Daws
REFIT PROGRAMME About 30 6E1 locomotives will be upgraded to 18E locomotives within this financial year

Spin filter technology reduces costly maintenance

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th November 2014 A key benefit of Tshwane-based specialised engineering solutions company Rand Technical Services’ (RTS’) spin filter technology remains its maintenance-free features, which provide a compelling motivation for companies to use this technology, RTS MD Ian Fraser notes. Costly maintenance in... 

Spin filter technology reduces costly maintenance
LASTING INSTALLATION Rand Technical Services supplied dedicated back channel cooling to variable speed drive (VSD) panels in a control room on a mine in the Northern Cape

Water treatment units upkeep complete

     14th November 2014 Rope access specialists Skyriders has successfully completed the maintenance of six water treatment units, which form part of the water treatment plant at the Medupi power station, a greenfield coal-fired power plant near Lephalale, in Limpopo. Skyriders was originally approached and tasked with... 

Water treatment units upkeep complete
CONCRETE COMPLETION Skyriders was commissioned to complete maintenance on the entire water treatment building’s 6-m-high columns at the Medupi power station, in Lephalale, in Limpopo

Company relaunches SRB campaign

By: David Oliveira     7th November 2014 Global technology provider SKF relaunched its spherical roller bearings (SRBs) campaign in September to gather new momentum in the South African market for improved product penetration in key applications. SKF asset management business development manager Giscard Lailvaux tells Engineering News... 

Company relaunches  SRB campaign
EXPLORER SRB SKF relaunched its spherical roller bearings campaign, with its Explorer range, in September to gather new momentum in the local market

First stockholding of new bearing housings received

By: David Oliveira     7th November 2014 East Rand-based Bearings 2000 received its first stockholding of the complete range of FAG SNS plummer block bearing housings in September. The plummer block bearing housings were first launched in 2013, but were made commercially available to the South African market only in June this year. 

First stockholding  of new bearing  housings received
FAG SNS PLUMMER BLOCK HOUSING Design improvements on the FAG SNS plummer block housing range resulted in ease of operation while reducing total life-cycle costs

Heavy-duty bearing cuts machine downtime

By: David Oliveira     7th November 2014 Imported bearings and transmission products supplier Bearings International (BI) supplied the Link-Belt 5000 series bearing to a reputable Gauteng-based brick manufacturer, in September. BI Link-Belt product manager Lucas Pretorius notes that there were frequent bearing failures, including... 

Local company supplies split bearings to TPT

By: David Oliveira     7th November 2014 South African split bearings specialist OE Bearings secured a supply contract for four 500 mm cast-iron split bearings, last month, with State-owned port logistics company Transnet Port Terminals (TPT). OE Bearings MD Warwick Steinhobel tells Engineering News that the bearings, which will be... 

Local company supplies split bearings to TPT
LENGTHY DOWNTIME The bucket wheels needed to be removed to replace the bearing, which took up to three weeks

Simple, robust hydraulic equipment for tough tasks

By: Dylan Slater     17th October 2014 Mining infrastructure systems company Becker Mining South Africa’s hydraulic rail benders, which have been developed for bending and forming rails on railway lines in heavy industrial and underground transport systems in mining applications, easily handle rail up to 40 kg/m. 

Simple, robust hydraulic equipment for tough tasks
EASY RAIL BENDING Becker Mining South Africa’s rail benders are powered by 25 t/250 kN hydraulic cylinders and activated by two-stage hand pumps

Aluminium growth boosts company

By: Mia Breytenbach     26th September 2014 Owing to the continuous expansion of its specialised services in the aluminium industry, local furnace and industrial services company Dickinson Group of Companies has registered a 60% increase in business from this industry in the past 20 years. “We can now offer more products and services that... 

Aluminium growth boosts company
KEY SERVICES PROVIDER DRS Mozambique has been rendering site-wide smelter services to the aluminium industry, which include pot delining and relining

Helicopter company rebrands and transforms

By: Keith Campbell     19th September 2014 The recently rebranded Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa (AHZA, previously Eurocopter Southern Africa Limited or ESAL) is, in parallel with the rebranding, undergoing a transformation to improve its service to its customers. The rebranding process follows the restructuring of the Airbus Group... 

Pretoria to host engineering asset management congress next month

By: Schalk Burger     5th September 2014 The ninth World Congress on Engineering Asset Management (WCEAM) will be held at the International Convention Centre, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, in Pretoria, from October 28 to 31 and will explore complementary disciplines that constitute the body of knowledge on engineering... 

New academic chair to develop knowledge in maintenance engineering industry

By: Sashnee Moodley     22nd August 2014 A newly established academic chair at the University of Pretoria, co-funded by minerals solutions company Weir Minerals, will perform fundamental research in the maintenance engineering industry to provide key skills for a growing industry.  

Generic trade preparation programme aims to plug skills gap

By: Schalk Burger     15th August 2014 Bridging and specialised courses that provide school-leavers and unemployed youth with the necessary industry entry qualifications to a trade, as well as expose them to how industry works and the technologies used in industry, can help to prepare them for training and apprenticeship courses to... 

Generic trade preparation programme  aims to plug skills gap
Photo by Duane Daws
EXPOSURE All stakeholders must cooperate to expose school children, youths and unemployed adults to industrial activity to enable a smooth transition from school into the workplace

Metrorail refurb to run for 15 years, CTLE rail theft being resolved

By: Irma Venter     23rd July 2014 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) will continue refurbishing its existing Metrorail fleet for another 15 years, despite the R51-billion acquisition of 600 new trains of six cars each, signed last year. Not all the new coaches will come on stream at once, which means the existing... 

Metrorail refurb to run for 15 years, CTLE rail theft being resolved
Photo by Duane Daws
A Metrorail coach in need of refurbishment

Manufacturing contracts 4.4% in Q1 as post-recession effects linger

By: Natalie Greve     14th July 2014 Confirming that the South African economy had “struggled” to fully recover after the 2009 recession, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) statistician-general Pali Lehohla said on Monday that the manufacturing industry was a sector not immune to the downturn, having contracted by 4.4% in the first... 

Manufacturing contracts 4.4% in Q1 as post-recession effects linger

Merseta advocates practical trade experience to plug South Africa’s technical gaps

By: Schalk Burger     11th July 2014 The Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta) advocates artisan training, coupled with workplace experience, as a way of developing technical skills that are in demand, which will create high-quality jobs and more technically qualified... 

Metallurgical plant maintenance stimulates technical services

By: David Oliveira     11th July 2014 The South African arm of Germany-based metallurgical plant and rolling mill technology provider SMS Siemag has registered significant growth in its technical services over the last two to three years. SMS Siemag South Africa MD Pieter Bezuidenhout notes that the growth, despite the lack of major... 

Waterblocking protects cables

By: Mia Breytenbach     4th July 2014 As the penetration of water or the existence of moisture in cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cables is an “unacceptable problem” associated with the life span of certain cables, especially under the influence of high electrical stresses, longitudinal waterblocking is an appropriate means of... 

Waterblocking protects cables
Photo by Aberdare Cables
MEANS OF PROTECTION Waterblocking is achieved by filling the free space within cables with materials that prevent water spreading

Preliminary work for new builds conducted

By: Mia Breytenbach     27th June 2014 While work is progressing at State-owned power utility Eskom’s new build projects, Eskom group capital acting group executive Dan Marokane says the utility has conducted preliminary work for potential additional new build projects. These projects include a third coal-fired power station,... 

Preliminary work for new builds conducted
Photo by Duane Daws
NEW BUILD PREPARATION Eskom is awaiting government direction regarding the proposed new nuclear and coal–fired power station builds

Construction on Dunnottar rail industrial park to start 2015 

By: Irma Venter     26th June 2014 The first 20 trains in the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) ten-year, R51-billion deal to procure 600 new trains, should be shipped from Brazil by the end of 2015, said Gibela CEO Marc Granger on Thursday. Speaking in Johannesburg, he said PRASA should start using these first new... 

Construction on Dunnottar rail industrial park to start 2015
Gibela CEO Marc Granger discusses the timeline of the R51-billion rolling stock programme. Camerawork and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Minimum qualification level for municipal technical managers advocated

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th June 2014 To improve the current relationship between municipalities and municipal engineers, there must be a renewed appreciation for the skills and experience of these engineers, professional technical and management support services provider AECOM’s SA East district business line leader for water Hennie... 

Minimum qualification level for municipal technical managers advocated
ENGINEERING ASSISTANCE AECOM suggests that more operation and maintenance services should be outsourced to the private sector in areas where municipalities lack capacity

Roads, infrastructure restoration key focus 

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th June 2014 Roads infrastructure management agency Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) plans to complete the repairs of nine rain-damaged bridges in Johannesburg as soon as possible to continue with its key focus of restoring the asset value of roads infrastructure in the City of Johannesburg, in line with its... 

Roads, infrastructure restoration key focus
Johannesburg Roads Agency MD Skhumbuzo Macozoma discusses the core programmes comprising the agency’s response plan.

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