Aveng Manufacturing DFC has further upgraded factory facilities to maintain competitive advantage in quality and productivity.At the company’s Vent-O-Mat valve plant, an automated welding line has been installed to improve the execution of welding sequences on stainless steel components used in the manufacture of guides and airtight thin-walled floats. Vent-O-Mat, one of the world’s leading valve ranges for the protection of pipelines against surge, air build-up and vacuum, frequently makes use of components in either 304 or 316 stainless steel, a material on which automated welding delivers superior results. The new welding line, which will also automate the attaching of stainless steel flanges to Vent-O-Mat valve barrels, centres on a Fanuc robot integrated with a Lincoln 400‑ampere automatic welding machine and Binzel air-cooled welding guns, and incorporates a horizontal manipulator incorporated into a lathe-type machine. The automated welding line was commissioned in January. Other equipment installed by DFC this year includes a replacement shot-blast machine and an additional machining centre.
The shot-blast machine was installed in March on the fluidised-bed paint line servicing Vent-O-Mat production. It will increase capacity and better prepare metal surfaces for epoxy paint adhesion.The additional Accuway vertical machining centre, currently being commissioned, will improve lead times on the DFC SKG-F and SKG-W knife-gate valve ranges, which have for some time been experiencing increased demand. On order by Aveng Manufacturing DFC is a new paint plant which will be for Insamcor production only. This is scheduled for installation and commissioning in early May. The latest factory upgrades and machine installations follow a major productivity improvement programme carried out between 2006 and 2010. Phases one and two of this programme were completed in 2007 after in investment of some R30-million, and comprised the upgrading of technology and the optimisation of materials flow and individual workstations within all factories. In 2010, the implementation of the clockworks productivity programme was completed as the third phase, providing management with access to manufacturing process data and overall equipment effectiveness by machine, product type and operator.