Sep 28, 2012
Aluminium manufacturer upgrades local schoolsBack
Construction|Engineering|Limpopo|Natal|Africa|Generator|Lighting|Wahl Industries|Waste|Africa|Mauritius|South Africa|Aluminium Products|Automotive|Energy|Manufacturing|Mining|Products|Service|Ture Manufacturer|Eastern Cape|Western Cape|Infrastructure|Power|Randal Wahl|Waste|Eastern Cape|The 2010 FIFA World Cup
© Reuse this
The company states that government has started to reinvest money in schools. Wahl has received orders to supply bulkhead light fittings to various schools in the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.
“Government is replacing old bulkhead fittings, which are of a poor quality and falling apart,” says Wahl Industries MD Randal Wahl.
He states that the company opened its new upgraded showroom, which took four months to build, in June.
“We host a number of presentations in the showroom and use it as a platform to showcase the aluminium light fittings we offer with a ten-year construction guarantee,” he says.
The company operates an aluminium gravity and tilt die-casting foundry, which produces a range of castings for the automotive, irrigation, catering, general engineering, furniture and lighting industries.
“Our aluminium commercial and domestic light fittings comprise 75% of the business and, although we occasionally supply government departments, we generally focus on private commercial developments,” he states.
Wahl says the aluminium foundry industry has been inconsistent since 2010, but notes that the company has benefited from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as it supplied various aluminium products to contractors for two years in preparation for the event.
“The industry has been unstable since the 2010 FIFA World Cup and if we had only focused on the foundry casting business, we would have been affected by the industry’s instability,” he says.
Wahl adds that many foundries closed in the past two years, adding that the market has become very competitive.
“We are competing with foundries that are struggling to simply pay salaries, with many offering prices that are unsustainable; hence, the closure of so many over the past few years.”
To remain profitable, the company has not only diversified but also increased the amount of stock it carries to improve customer service.
“We carry stock castings and I do not think there is another foundry in the country that does that. “Two years ago, manufacturing companies were cutting their stock to the bone and, as a manufacturing company, you cannot have too little, as small runs result in less efficiency and higher costs, he says.
Wahl says the company recently filled an order for a mining company for 500 conveyor-belt castings. Because Wahl had castings in stock, it was able to deliver the products the next day.
“Having castings in stock has helped us expand our business. We have done work for hotels in Mauritius and we see the rest of Africa as a significant area of potential growth,” he states.
Meanwhile, a major challenge facing the company is the cost of gas and electricity.
“We installed a 635 kVA generator in our foundry three years ago at a cost of more than R1-million. “We need to have a constant supply of work moving through the foundry when we are producing and can’t risk disruption.
“We can’t keep aluminium in the crucibles, as this would damage them as they solidify after a few hours.
“Every time there was a power outage for more than six hours, it would be the equivalent of losing two days of production. We have been fortunate with a more stable supply of power over the past few years; however, the capital costs associated with the backup power make us less competitive than our offshore competitors.
“Stable infrastructure is the foundation of all industrialised economies,” says Wahl.Aluminium
makes up 8% of the earth’s solid surface by weight, but does not occur in nature as a free metal.
“Aluminium is too chemically reactive and is, therefore, found as a combined element in more than 270 different minerals, primarily bauxite ore,” he says.
Wahl notes that aluminium’s value is its resistance to corrosion and its low density.
“Aluminium is malleable, durable and lightweight. It is regarded as being able to store energy because it retains the original energy used to convert it.
“In the recycling of the metal, the original stored energy is reused and only 5% of the original energy input is required to recycle aluminium, without any loss in quality.
“We only use recycled alloyed aluminium. “All runners and flaring cutoffs during the manufacturing process are remelted, so we try to waste as little energy and leftover aluminium as possible,” he explains.
Wahl says the company’s foundry is one of the largest privately owned aluminium foundries in South Africa, with 10 500 m2 under cover, a maximum height of 4 m and overhead lifting capacity of 5 t.
“It has gas melting furnaces, a transfer ladle and electric furnaces with strict temperature controls,” he says.
He adds that the foundry comprises gravity and tilt castings, a tool room and machinery.
“We produce between 58 000 and 70 000 castings a month, ranging from 100 g to 18 kg,” he concludes.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Aluminium News
The month-long strike in the metal sector knocked back the third-quarter growth rate of the South African economy by more than half of what it could have been, the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) said on Monday. In its latest Quarterly Bulletin, the bank said the annualised...
After a R1.5-billion impairment charge resulted in Hulamin reporting negative earnings per share (EPS) of 422c for the 2013 financial year, the aluminium supplier said on Monday that EPS and headline earnings per share for the 2014 financial year were expected to...
The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) warned on Friday that the metals and engineering sector could contract by between 2% and 3% in 2014, owing primarily to the fallout from a month-long strike in July. The sector, which made...
Updated 37 minutes ago Goldman Sachs Group has sold its controversial metals warehousing business to Swiss private equity group Reuben Brothers, the Wall Street bank said on Monday. The deal for Metro International Trade Services comes months after Goldman formally put the business on the...
Updated 45 minutes ago Greenhouse gas emissions by the world's top 500 companies rose 3.1% from 2010 to 2013, far off the cuts urged by the United Nations to limit global warming, a study showed on Monday. The top 500 firms by capitalisation accounted for 13.8% of world greenhouse gas...
Updated 5 hours ago The cost of copper theft decreased to R13-million in November from R13.2-million in October, according to the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (Sacci) Copper Theft Barometer. "The November figure is 1.51% lower than a month ago and 36.8% higher than a year...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...
Next ArticleDesign company completes various supply contracts