The automated forming and welding machine at Scaw Metals’ facility, dubbed the Relay machine by the company’s employees, is designed to manufacture large diameter chain and masterlink components.
“Since the 1930s, our chain products division, which manufactures McKinnon products, has provided the industry with fine-quality products and world-class technical support,” says Scaw Metals Group CEO Markus Hannemann.
“Today the company continues to enhance those same principles to serve its customers in ways that help them grow their businesses,” continues Hannemann.
McKinnon products provide high performance solutions across industrial, agricultural and specialist applications with its extensive range of products all designed and produced using advanced and highly efficient production methods.
Specialising in high-grade chains, McKinnon produces all grades of welded chain including lifting, transportation tie down chains, several types of hardware chain, coal conveyor chain, kibble and mining chain.
Hannemann says despite the current economic environment, in line with its strategy to maximise the technical competence of the business to focus on high-value adding products, Scaw Metals Group has chosen to invest more than R110 million to revamp the company and the automated manufacture of McKinnon products.
The company has designed and procured a fit-for-purpose robotic machine capable of producing up to four times faster than historical manual operations.
The Relay machine, which uses a flash-butt weld manufacturing methodology, will produce 80 links an hour compared to 10 to 20 links an hour in the past.
The new equipment will be used to complement the existing capacity, thereby providing both economies of scale and agility to manufacture masterlink products respectively.
To complement its chain products, it also manufacturer’s masterlink and sub-assemblies predominately for use internationally in the offshore oil and gas sector.
Scaw Metals Group’s chain division employs 262 people, 95% from the Vaal triangle.
For decades, Scaw Metals Group has helped improve the lives of nearby communities. The company’s community social investment programmes focus on education, health, sports development and environmental awareness.
Amongst others, through the partnership with Adopt-a-School, the company has upgraded Mohloli Secondary School’s science and life sciences laboratories, benefiting both leaders and educators.
Feature image credit: Scaw Metals
(Formed masterlink components manufactured at Scaw Metals’ McKinnon Chain manufacturing facility in Vereeniging)