Company manufactures fasteners for renewable energy sector

20th June 2014 By: Pimani Baloyi - Creamer Media Writer

Johannesburg-based fastener solutions provider Swagefast reports that it has experienced an increase in business since it ventured into manufacturing fasteners for the renewable-energy market in 2013.

Company FD Jay Rossouw tells Engineering News that the com- pany has been awarded two major contracts to supply Swagebolt pins and collars as well as Swagefast installation equipment for projects that are scheduled for completion later this year.

He says the products have been manufactured at Swagefast’s Germiston plant, in Johannesburg, and that they are being used on a reflective mirror that heats the renewable-energy plant’s tubing oil, thereby producing steam energy.

“The Swagefast installation equipment that is being used on these projects works with the fastener to pull and clamp the application together with ease and safety in mind. The installation equipment system comprises a tool, nose assembly, hose set and Powerig unit.

“The Powerig unit drives the tool while the nose assembly provides the installation link between the fastener and the tool. Installation tools and nose assemblies are designed to install specific fastener types and dia- meters,” Rossouw explains.

However, he explains that the ongoing strike on the platinum belt has had a negative effect on fastener providers, where some projects were halted, elaborating that “the fastener industry is currently under heavy strain owing to the extensive strikes in the mining and utilities sectors”. The strikes have caused shaft closure and have placed pressure on mining profitability.

“The shaft closures are having a ripple effect on other industries, including engineering, conveyance, manufacturing and service pro- viders to the mining sector.”

Swagebolt pins and collars have been in use in different parts of the word since 1946 and Swagefast manufactures and supplies them to the Southern African market as well as the international market. Rossouw states that manufacturing world-class fasteners can be challenging.

“For instance, the material of the fastener or its coating should be compatible with the application material . . . meaning every fast- ener is made with its ultimate use in mind to suit the specifications of such conditions.

“Further, the fastener diameter is determined by the shear and tensile strength required; the fastener length is determined by the total material thickness that requires fastening; and the fastener head styles are determined by the clearance, design requirements and specifications of the client, with consideration of its use and environment,” he highlights.

Rossouw says Swagefast has been expanding its exports, with the company currently exporting its products to Dubai, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Australia.

Among its range are Swagepac Powerig standard- and close-quarter installation tools, which are manufactured in South Africa for all ranges from 5 mm to 28