The pressure is on local manufacturers to produce products in line with global standards that can compete with imported alternatives, states stainless steel casting manufacturer Steloy Castings.
The company says the industry cannot rely solely on the attempt by the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) to turn the industry around and promote the growth of locally sourced stainless steel products to create new opportunities for local manufacturers.
For almost 50 years, Sassda has actively promoted the growth and development of the local stainless steel industry. However, as competition from imports continues to threaten the industry, Sassda has shifted its focus to include initiatives to provide significant demand prospects for local manufacturers, Steloy Castings points out.
“Given the ageing local petrochemicals plants and government’s initiative to upgrade these plants for green-fuel purposes, the biggest potential for stainless steel and stainless steel castings lies within the petrochemicals industry, mineral processing in Africa and exports. All of these potential growth areas require stringent quality control. Stainless steel is often better suited to process applications than alternative ferrous materials, specifically in high-temperature, corrosive and abrasive environments,” says Steloy Castings group sales manager Leon Reeves.
He highlights that now, more than ever, local manufacturers need to gain the support of a well-established foundry for the supply of high-quality castings. As the first South African Pressure Equipment Directive- (PED-) certified foundry and materials supplier, Steloy Castings can produce components for pressurised applications that conform to stringent European quality-assurance requirements prescribed by the pump and valve industries.
The PED-class castings produced by Steloy Castings enable it to attach the coveted Conformité Européenne mark to each item of pressure equipment exported to Europe.
“The company’s ISO 9001:2008-accredited facilities also provide the added assurance of superior quality and product integrity. This has permitted Steloy to export to several countries, which, in turn, has con- tributed to the incremental growth of quality-control procedures ahead of our competitors,” says Reeves.
The company exports to the petrochemi- cals industry in Europe, the US and Asia and has completed several export projects for companies such as global engineering and construction company Foster Wheeler and chemicals distributor Petrochem. Steloy Castings is an approved supplier to several multinational original-equipment manufacturers and engineering design houses.
The company has also been in discussions with the National Foundry Technology Network, the Department of Trade and Industry, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and State- owned enterprises-designated initiatives to stimulate local supply and the growth of the local manufacturing industry at large, as well as the stainless steel industry in South Africa.
“More than 25 years of experience in the supply of made-to-order high-quality castings to local and international industry has put Steloy Castings in a good position to provide customer support and [it has gained] an understanding of the product requirements and specifications expected from globally competitive companies.
“This and other specialist competences go a long way towards improving Steloy Castings’ capacity to provide high-quality products, fast reaction times and overall service excellence. These qualities are invaluable when it comes to providing the cost effectiveness and time savings that the South African industry needs to grow,” notes Reeves.