The main focus of the 11-year-old company is reparative welding techniques.
Speaking to company owner Pat-rick Anderson in an exclusive Engin- eering News interview, he says that vital research is being carried out at Castweld to ensure the best products for clients.
“We often research experimental repair techniques on request,” he explains.
Castweld is involved in the repair support of aluminium, cast iron, magnesium, stainless steel, alumi-nium bronze and silicon bronze.
“The bulk of our work, however, remains in aluminium and alumi-nium alloys,” Anderson says.
Future projects for Castweld involve the training of workers on site, which includes troubleshooting welding techniques.
In addition, Castweld will con-tinue to assist with the training of welders throughout South Africa as well as in neighbouring states.
“We have a lot of business coming in from countries outside South Africa and, if South Africa had the skills that are required, we could add significant value to the metal market,” he says.
Initiatives are being undertaken by the company to recover castings and rework broken components, which result in the components being reused in the market.
However, such skilled work requires manpower and Anderson says that the Manufacturing, Engin- eering and Related Services Training Authority (Merseta) is not fulfilling its duty as the supporting structure for in-house training.
“My main concern regarding Mer-seta is that it has failed to respond to the requests that I have sent to them in writing as well as those that I have discussed with them tele-phonically.” Anderson says that he has been training staff at his premises, at his own expense, for some 11 years now.
“All my attempts to gain back what I gave have gone unheard by Merseta,” he claims.
“I don’t think that they understand the skills required for specialised welding, nor the costs involved.” He tells Engineering News that, due to its specialist nature, the training of a welder in reparative aluminium welding costs the com-pany both time and money.
“The modules I have been shown by Merseta are for mild steel only. There seems to be no data regarding the other metals. Merseta skills-development advisers should have an understanding of the skills that they are advising upon.” Anderson firmly believes that skills development is critical in the South African context.
“Skills development will ulti-mately create better employment opportunities,” he notes.
“Whether or not Merseta recog-nises the fact that South Africa requires specialised welders, I will continue to train welders.
“I will also upgrade welders in specialised techniques. With sup-port and help from Merseta, we will get to some sustainability much faster, but I will make it my goal to get there anyway,” Anderson concludes.