Construction product supplier and subsidiary of the Chryso Southern Africa Group, a.b.e. Construction Chemicals, is in the final phase of completing its modernisation and expansion programme that involves the installation of new high-technology equipment at its Boksburg and Isipingo factories.
The company explains that three major installations are running simultaneously, two at the Boksburg factory have been completed, while the third installation – the automated dispensing line for viscous two-component products at Isipingo – is ongoing, but should be completed within the next three to four months. This new production line will enhance a.b.e.’s epoxy and polysulphide production capability and improve speed to market for the company’s products.
The first component of the expansion programme is the installation of the bulk emulsion stainless steel tank, commissioned in July 2015, at the Boksburg plant. The tank – supplied by engineering chemical design specialist Vandokem Chemical Enterprises – is increasing the production rate of the liquid component for the a.b.e. cementitious product range.
The acquisition of the tank follows the installation of the R2.3-million bulk-liquid mixers in 2014 during Phase 1 of the Boksburg expansion programme.
The 50 m3 bulk tank enhances safety, with emulsion now being decanted using computer-controlled automatic controls, and reduces manual labour. It also improves housekeeping, as a.b.e. no longer has to store drums and intermediate bulk containers that use valuable space during periods of limited space availability, making working conditions less hazardous.
Additional benefits include improved pricing from the supplier, as a result of improved economies of scale, as well as efficiency and accuracy, with the automated controls reducing the time it takes to charge the mixing vessels and produce a batch of product. Batching accuracy and consistency of product have also improved, owing to the elimination of multiple batches of raw material.
A second automated valve bag filler has also been installed at the Boksburg plant and was commissioned in February. The valve bag filler has reduced the packing time for cementitious products, thereby improving productivity.
Chryso Group Operations GM Mario Marais says the new equipment will benefit a.b.e. customers. “Firstly, it results in faster execution of orders . . . and . . . in a significant reduction in production cost, which will make the Boksburg and Isipingo plants more efficient and profitable.”
He adds that an important benefit of investing in new equipment for the group is intensified commitment to sustainability, which covers economic, social and environmental commitments through increasing its “pioneering dustless production” of powdered cementitious products at the Boksburg plant, and boosting skills development.
In line with enhancing employee skills, a.b.e. has registered its employees at the Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority for chemical operations modules at various levels.
Laboratory staff members are completing South African Paint Manufacturing Association training modules. The company also uses the local tertiary institutions for various management courses.
“Mandatory and statutory training pertinent to the chemicals industry is ongoing,” concludes Marais.