In response to the lack of local fibreglass manufacturing facilities and a growing demand for fibreglass equipment and piping, Industrial Water Cooling (IWC) has officially launched its new glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) manufacturing facility in Isando, Ekurhuleni, which is one of only two GRP plants of this kind in South Africa.
Before IWC launched its GRP facility, the biggest local supplier of industrial fibreglass was based in Durban. “Our facility will provide GRP products for companies in and around Gauteng, offering transportation and lead-time savings,” noted IWC sales manager Lucy Hawthorne at the launch in April.
She stressed that, owing to the gap in supply of industrial fibreglass solutions, existing companies were seemingly monopolising the industry. There is a growing demand for GRP across industries, as the composite offers many benefits to a wide range of users from food and beverage to mining and industrial applications.
The establishment of the GRP facility was initiated in the beginning of 2012, during which the company acquired two unrivalled, state-of-the-art filament-winding machines. These machines have the capacity to wind cylinders for piping, tanks or vessels with diameters ranging from 25 mm to 5 000 mm, with an overall complete product mass of 20 t on the large winder.
“IWC’s expertise in GRP will enable us to supply the various products at cost-effective and competitive rates. There is already much interest in our product offering,” Hawthorne noted at the launch.
IWC have been involved in the supply of GRP for many years, manufacturing cooling towers, fan stacks, ducting, distribution troughs and louvres at their premises in Midrand. With the new manufacturing facility they are capable of supplying an extended range of GRP products and services. With this range, IWC have expanded their offering to their market, which extends from food and beverage to chemi- cal, metallurgical, mining, petrochemical and water applications.
As a result of the new GRP manufacturing facility IWC now offers the design and manu- facture of freestanding GRP cells and GRP liners for electrolytic and electrowinning metal refineries and GRP scrubbers, cooling towers, process vessels and GRP storage tanks.
It also offers the design, manufacture and installation of GRP piping and fittings from 25 mm up to 2 500 mm in diameter, GRP ducting, GRP overwrapped thermoplastics and fluoroplastics such as polypropylene, which is used for pipelines, fittings, tanks, process vessels, ducting and stacks.
In addition, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride and high-density polyethylene vessels and piping, underground storage tanks for petroleum storage, fire water mains, GRP chimney stacks, GRP corrosion-resistant linings and on-site GRP repairs and maintenance will also be supplied.
On order at present at their GRP facility, IWC is manufacturing a number of storage tanks, agitator tanks, fan stacks and piping, for clients including Omnia, Eskom, NCP Chlorchem, PDNA Industrial Projects and Sasol.
The company has also launched a new plate heat exchanger service and capital sales division at its premises in Barbeque Downs, Midrand. “Traditionally, our core business has focused on cooling towers and, because of the synergy between these two products, we have secured business from Denmark to supply heat exchangers.” IWC MD Roger Rusch told Engineering News in February.
IWC now offers new Sondex heat exchanger equipment, supplies Sondex replacement plates and gaskets as well as plates and gaskets for most other plate heat exchanger brands, and services and maintain all brands of plate heat exchangers.
The company entered into an agreement with Danish plate heat exchanger manufacturer Sondex in 2012 to supply its products in sub-Saharan Africa as part of its aim to expand IWC’s product and service offering. The Sondex product range includes condenser and evaporator plate heat exchangers, copper-brazed, semi-welded and fully welded plate heat exchangers, as well as freshwater distillers.
“To offer a holistic industrial solution, IWC supplies heat exchangers, cooling towers and GRP products, as well as their servicing and maintenance, to all industries.” Hawthorne told Engineering News.