Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  13 Jul 2011

INVESTMENT: Massive Investment Takes M&C a Quantum Leap Forward


Recent Gauteng Business News

Marthinusen and Coutts (M and C) has just commissioned a new burn-off oven at its 9500 m² state-of-the-art facility in Cleveland, Johannesburg. This is one of several significant investments the company has recently made which managing director, Richard Botton says has taken M and C a quantum leap forward and established it as one the country’s leading repairers of large rotating machines from 9 MW upwards.

Other recent investments include the purchase of a new 32 ton balancing machine – the third largest in South Africa, a new facility in Benoni, along with an 80 ton crane, new coil presses that enable large coils to be manufactured, an upgrade to the company’s machine shop, a new vertical boring mill, two CNC lathes and the commissioning a specialised rotational curing facility for large machines that ensures even distribution of the resins within the windings, resulting better insulation and better heat distribution.

These improvements have doubled the size of the company in the space of five years.

“We decided on the most recent investment — the burn-off oven — after carefully monitoring the sub-contractors we have been using to conduct burn-out of stator windings over many years,” Botton says. “We have very successfully implemented a cold winding removal process that has been used on several large stators, bigger than 5 MW, with excellent results.

“This cold removal process is, however, very time consuming and extends the delivery time of the motor. For this reason we investigated the specifications of burn-out ovens in consultation with local and international customers, suppliers and technical experts. This resulted in the compilation of a very detailed and accurately specified standard for our new burn-out oven.”

The oven has a maximum operating temperature of 380°C and its inside dimensions are 3 metre wide by 3.5 metre high by 3 metre deep, housed with 225 mm thick walls in a 3.5 by 4 by 3.5 metre enclosure with two stainless steel swing doors.

It is direct fired from a WG40 Weishaupt gas burner, harnessing a gas valve check system. A 12 metre high 300 mm diameter flue creates a negative suction of 2’’ WG to keep enclosure under negative pressure, while a secondary after burner features a refractory insert in its stack to maintain a temperature of 1100 °C. The oven includes explosion relief doors in its combustion chamber and in its oven roof.

The control panel features a Brain Child VR18 Human machine interface paperless recorder temperature controller with software networking and a security lock-out facility for the main and after burner. Customer product protection is ensured by; a programmable process controller, oven temperature protection controller and a paperless 18 channel chart recorder. Oven temperature is controlled using actual motor core temperatures. Mist pulsating water spray nozzles have been fitted to the roof of the oven and are controlled from the oven temperature controller, with water supplied from a local 2000 litre reservoir to ensure ongoing supply in the event of a water shortage.

The burn-off oven supplier has also manufactured a smaller, but similar, burn-off oven for M and C’s Welkom branch.

Balancing machine
The recent acquisition of a new 32 ton Schenk HM 7 U/S balancing machine means M and C has the third largest high speed dynamic balancing machine in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Dynamic balancing of the rotating element of an electrical machine is critical to the performance of the motor, as well as the driven article,” Botton explains.

“The new machine will realise cost savings through improved efficiency and by eliminating the middle man mark-up. Inaccurate balancing can cause unnecessary delays if found on final testing. Balancing to a higher accuracy will improve vibration levels, increase reliability and reduce maintenance costs.”

Market share

“M and C has grown and will continue to grow,” Botton says. “We have substantially increased our market share in terms of providing maintenance and repair services for rotating electrical equipment. Owing to the increased volumes of the past few years, we purchased the new 12000 m² facility in Benoni to supplement our Cleveland operation and we are already refurbishing large machines, turbo rotors and power generators at the Benoni facility.”

M and C is the largest repairer and manufacturer of MV and HV electric motors and alternators in Africa. The company also manufactures motors under licence for some international OEM’s and has more than 300 of its own designs. The company has its own design room and has invested in critical equipment such as “full load” test bays and crucial testing equipment that enable the M and C team to manufacture and repair motors with unparalleled results.

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