German supplier and independent plant engineering and construction company Keller will supply technology for clay brick manufacturer and distributor Corobrik’s R800-million brick factory currently being constructed in Driefontein, Gauteng. Construction of the new facility began in July 2018 and it is expected to be commissioned in 2020.
Creamer Media’s Research Channel Africa reported that the new factory is expected to produce 100-million bricks a year.
Ceramics testing laboratory Cermalab serves the heavy clay, ceramic and refractory industries in Africa.
The company offers a range of services and products dedicated to improving quality, competitiveness and profitability of suppliers, manufacturers and users in the ceramics market, says Cermalab heavy clay business development manager CJ Bloem.
Cermalab has been Keller’s Southern Africa agents for more than five years and is the link between heavy clay manufacturing companies, such as Corobrik, and Keller, which is a leading supplier in automated technology and has been in the heavy clay industry for 125 years, says Cermalab general manager Johan Naude.
The new factory will meet larger volume orders for major construction and infrastructure projects. Naude adds that the brick-manufacturing process at the new facility will be fully automated, from mixing to manufacturing, making this factory one of the most technologically advanced factories in South Africa. Naude describes the partnership between Cermalab and Keller as “perfect”, as Keller understands the brick- manufacturing process. “We can do assessments before they start with the projects – this will assist Keller in developing its technology and provide the right solutions.” “Because we know the local market and the potential clients that would be interested in Keller’s services, we have assisted Keller in finding those clients in South Africa,” adds Cermalab technical director Bruce Berger.
Naude notes that the Driefontein brick factory will be the second project that Cermalab has assisted Keller with in South Africa; the first was the Corobrik factory in Rietvlei, Gauteng. “Our experienced professionals are involved in all aspects of materials testing, improving process technology and evaluating final products to specified standards,” he says.
Cermalab established the Tile Adhesive testing laboratory in May 2011 and became the first independent tester of tile adhesives in South Africa. The Institute of Ceramic Education, affiliated to Cermalab, presents three training courses – a sector orientated, eight-module brick-making course over sixteen weeks, a three-day quality-control course for the ceramics industry and a refrac- tory awareness course for the refractories industries.