Dango & Dienenthal GM Hannes Goosen reports that, with the cyclical nature of resource pri-ces, some 50% of order volumes each year are for reconditioning and 50% for new machines.
He points out that a one-year new-machine warranty is issued with each refurbishment, giving customers the peace of mind to continue using the same machines over a longer life, and bring them in every three to five years for reconditioning.
Goosen notes that a new Dango & Dienenthal stoking and charging car supplied some 30 years ago to Tubatse Ferrochrome, in Steelpoort, is back at the company’s premises for the first time since the sale for reconditioning.
Other work on the go for Tubatse is the supply, installation and commissioning of a combination hydraulic clay gun and tap-hole drill and a recently-completed installation of a hydraulic-lifting arrangement on another furnace’s doors.
Contracts manager and engineering consultant Piet du Toit relates that a R3-million order is expected from Middelburg Ferrochrome in August for the supply of a pedestal-mounted hydraulic clay gun and drill to its CDR plant.
Goosen is confident that, in two to three years, orders will be obtained from the Corridor Sands project, in Mozambique, and International Ferro Metals, in the Brits area.
“We anticipate orders from Anglo American’s Namakwa Sands operation, in Saldahna, if a third furnace is to be added to its current operation, and Tata Steel, in Richards Bay,” he states.
For Anglo Platinum’s ACP plant at its Waterval smelter, Dango & Dienenthal has completed some 90% of the technical drawings for TMT tap-hole equipment with overhead rails, which it will manufacture, supply, install and commission by the beginning of 2005.
“The phase-one tap-hole equipment will come off for reconditioning and upgrading when this phase-two equipment is up and running,” Du Toit adds.
Goosen brings Engineering News up to date with its current Assmang, Highveld Steel and Transalloys projects.
At Assmang Chrome’s Mpumlanga works, cold commissioning finished in July, training is being given to maintenance and operational staff, and the first hot-commission tap occurred in the last week of July, he reports.
The supply, installation and commissioning of two pedestal-mounted hydraulic clay guns and taphole drills for Highveld Steel is 90% complete, with hot commissioning expected by August’s end.
Goosen insists that the company’s tapping and drilling equipment is renowned for its ability to rebuild the taphole successfully, without any metal solidifying in it.
“A taphole can only be drilled open if the full length is filled with clay, substantially reducing the need for lancing,” he emphasises.
He points out that not only are semiautomated taphole-rebuilding processes more cost-effective because no loss of production is experienced to rebuild them, but that worker-safety regulation has now enforced that the chore not be done manually.
At Transalloys’ Witbank facility, the company is working with Pyromet to rebuild a furnace to function with a Dango & Dienenthal automatic stoking-and-charging machine.
This is on schedule for delivery in August, and must be fully operational by the end of this month.
New water-cooled chutes are being installed for which, if the setup is successful and the design meets the specifications and the furnace is not damaged in any way during operation, Du Toit anticipates receiving many similar enquiries from other companies.
“The special feature of this German machine, that we originally commissioned in 1991, is that it is operated entirely from the control-room, and does not need a driver on the charge floor, which is a significant safety feature considering the occurrence of accidents arising from molten-metal eruptions out of the furnace,” he informs.
On that note, Du Toit reports that research and development is ongoing at Dango & Dienenthal, with a popular development being the taphole-drilling machine’s increased swing span, enabling it to arc between 180