“Air Products has been selected as argon supplier to Cataler South Africa and several main manu- facturers in the automotive industry because it has, for the past 25 years and longer, been the largest volume supplier of pure argon in South Africa. Air Products has also consistently maintained the highest standard of purity,” says Air Products’ packaged gas marketing and strategy manager Tony Wheatley.
Cataler South Africa engineering services manager Devon Carr explains that in fabricating catalytic converters, a number of parameters have to be controlled if quality standards are to be met in the tungsten inert gas welding of converter shells.
He says that the key aspects to be controlled include a consistent weld preparation set-up; cleanliness of the joint prior to welding; the correct tungsten stick-out for good shrouding of the weld pool; the most favourable welding speed; the need to reduce the heat at the affected zone for superior mechani- cal strength; obtaining the most favourable purging for weld integrity; and obtaining exceptional gas purity for an oxide-free root pass.
“Since opting for Air Products’ argon supply service in exchangeable Maxitank containers, we have enjoyed a trouble-free gas supply. “It has been a relief to know that Air Products’ argon is always on tap, and that by drawing gas from a liquid source, we enjoy consistent purity,” says Carr.
In addition to providing a reliable supply of superior-quality product, Air Products has also concerned itself with the technical aspects of Cataler South Africa’s welding set-up in order to ensure that the company achieves the best possible results.
“By employing the services of Air Products, we have a supplier that is comfortable in employing the newest technology and is willing to develop the best supply solution to suit our operation,” says Carr.
In providing South Africa’s motoring industry with superior quality gases, Air Products plays an important role in the provision of reliable, environment-friendly motoring,” concludes Wheatley.
Air Products manufactures and distributes the majority of its pro-ducts in South Africa at its nine strategically located facilities. The company conducts business according to the principles of best opera-ting practices. Its internationally recognised standards have led to its being ISO 9001 accredited as well as being NOSA 5-Star Platinum safety-rated.
Cataler South Africa is just one of many companies clustered around a major automotive assembly plant in Prospecton, Durban. While Cataler’s South African operation was established in January, 2001, internationally, Cataler has been a pioneer in the production of catalytic converters for automotive applications since 1975.
To ensure that the company produces exhaust catalytic con- verters profitably and consistently to specification, Cataler South Africa has selected suppliers of the required raw materials with care. These suppliers are, in turn, scrupulous about the quality of materials they deliver.
Cataler South Africa has to ensure that the parts it manufactures comply with very stringent industry standards to secure and maintain its position in the approved supply chain.