Multotec has expanded its facilities and capacity of its mill lining factory in Spartan, South Africa, to meet the rising demand, enabling the company to manufacture larger mill liners for clients around the globe.
The expansion consists of the installation of three new presses at the factory that will boost manufacturing capacity by 15-20% to meet the demand for larger mill liners, as well as the increasing demand for Multotec’s new integrated mill liners that are replacing steel liners in the market.
Managing Director-Rubber Thando Makhoba said the installation of one new press has already been completed, while the other two will be installed this month.
The new presses enable Multotec to manufacture larger mill liners that are between 10 meters and 15 m in diameter, whereas previously the company focused on 3- to 7-m diameter mill liners.
“Most commonly used for platinum and copper applications, the new presses are more modern and offer greater manufacturing capacity, enabling us to produce integrated mill liners – consisting of lifter bars and shell or grate plates – as one piece. Previously, these components were manufactured separately and then installed at a customer’s site, which involved a considerable amount of time,” said Makhoba.
“Because we can now produce mill liners as a single unit that is then installed at a mine, it cuts down installation time by at least 24 hours, thus reducing plant downtime and saving clients’ time and money.”
Makhoba added that growth in demand for mill liners, which prompted the installation of the new presses, was two-fold. First, Multotec benefitted from winning the business of several competitors who have either left South Africa or have scaled down their local manufacturing capacity. Second, the company has also seen a huge increase in demand for its integrated rubber liners, which are replacing steel mill liners in the market.
Another important feature of the new presses is that they are much safer, as this modern equipment allows operators to have less physical engagement with the machine during production.
“The new presses come with a digital Manufacturing Execution System (MES) enabling the operator to log in on an app and monitor what the machine is producing via live data, that shows what is being produced, whether a specific press is running or not and how much capacity a particular machine has available,” Makhoba said.