Bringing foundries together
Bringing foundries together
The South African foundry industry is one of the cornerstones of the manufacturing sector. Approximately 180 foundries countrywide produce a wide range of ferrous and non-ferrous products for all key industry sectors, including automotive, mining, chemical and general engineering. It is estimated that around 9 000 to 12 000 people are directly employed by the industry.
The National Foundry Technology Network (NFTN) has been established to bring together the key stakeholders from industry, government, science and technology, and tertiary education to devise and implement support programmes and projects to overcome the key issues faced by the industry. One major focus area is skills development and the NFTN, in partnership with the South African Institute of Foundrymen (SAIF), developed a career path framework for the foundry industry and a roll-out of a comprehensive and focused training programme for workers.
To motion this, from 22 to 24 August, the Vaal University of Technology Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park’s Casting Simulation Network, in partnership with the NFTN, SAIF, The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) held its second session and offered training to 14 candidates as part of the New Generation Foundry Forum Programme.
The Project Manager for this programme was Khathutshelo Nemavhola, with the assistance of Mr Conrad Beukes: Simulation Engineer. The foundries taking part in the programme were Viking’s Foundry, Durran’s RMS, University of Johannesburg, Auto Industrial and Thos Begbie.
The coursework was designed to enable participants to apply their new learning within their companies, as outcomes included a better understanding of these technologies in industry generally, and also to make the foundry community more aware of the equipment and support structures that are available to them at VUT.
The training was based on Module3: Casting Simulation. Topics covered in this module were: Casting Simulation, with examples and exercises; Basic Additive Manufacturing (AD) theory; and Design for AD.
At the end of the three-day training, the candidates were exposed to 3D methods’ design using Solid Works CAD software, casting simulation using magma’ software, AD theory and international trends and how to design for AD.
This session follows on from the official opening of the programme which was held from 25 to 27 July where the focus was on Module 2: Creative Product Development. In this training, aspects such as; basic feeder and gating system design, Introduction to Computer Aided Design, and Computer aided Design exercises (Foundry related designs), were covered. The Gating and Riser Systems Design was aimed to teach the candidates methods of designing gating systems and feeders, which included various methods and calculations.
On 6, 7 and 21 September, the programme will cover Module 4: Printing for Foundries. This module entails aspects such as Mould Core Design for Printing, Mould printing, Cleaning and Quality inspection as well as a feedback and discussion session.