Product supplier and manufacturer Frank-wen Forge installed a four-axis computer numerically controlled machine late last year, says Frankwen Forge sales manager Vince Horsburgh.
He says that the machine enables the company to machine complex, integrally reinforced lip-type nozzles, final drill tube holes in plates and forged tube sheets to the drawings and specifications of its customers.
He adds that the machine, which was imported from Taiwan, was brought in to increase the company’s size and weight capabilities for the machining of complex forging tools, as well as to enhance its service to the petrochemicals industry in the provision of machined tube sheets and lip-type nozzles.
Horsburgh highlights that the company’s manufacturing facility in Benoni, Ekurhuleni, offers customers general forgings of up to 10 t in aluminium, copper, carbon and low to medium alloy steels, as well as austenitic, martensitic and duplex stainless steels.
Further, the facility offers round bar and heat treatment, such as stress relieving, normalising and annealing, as well as hardening, by means of oil and water quenching and salt bath hardening. A full suite of metallurgical services is available at its South African National Accreditation System-approved laboratory – Franktech.
Imports are the biggest threat to the industry, as there are limited import protection barriers. Horsburgh says government needs to be proactive and support the local industry.
He adds that the industry has experienced a decline since November last year.
Frankwen Forge is currently involved in the wax expansion project of energy and chemicals company Sasol.
Horsburgh says the recent downturn in the mining industry has had a negative effect on the industry, as many of the company’s products are supplied to machine manufacturers who, in turn, supply the mines.