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Gary Colegate, general manager, DCD Heavy Engineering.
Gary Colegate, general manager, DCD Heavy Engineering.

Vereeniging-based DCD Heavy Engineering is a niche supplier of bespoke engineered heavy mechanical equipment to the mining, steel and energy sectors and is recognised as one of only two global suppliers of large ball and sag mills for gold, copper and platinum mining. Increased capability as a result of continued capital investment has assisted the company in manufacturing larger grinding mills, resulting in DCD Heavy Engineering reviewing design options to upgrade one of its vertical borers to enable it to carry 250 t at a swing diameter of 16 m.

General manager Gary Colegate notes that the company's unrivalled machining and fabrication facilities have contributed substantially to the continued success of DCD Heavy Engineering. "DCD Heavy Engineering boasts 75 000 m2 of undercover fabrication and machining facilities at two separate sites in Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark. All products are manufactured according to exact specifications, while the manufacturing process is guided by a team of highly experienced project engineers, with stringent quality and cost control underpinning development," he explains.

DCD Heavy Engineering is recognised as one of only two global suppliers of large ball and sag mills for gold, copper and platinum mining.
DCD Heavy Engineering is recognised as one of only two global suppliers of large ball and sag mills for gold, copper and platinum mining.

Among DCD Heavy Engineering's recent milestones in the face of market volatility is its successful manufacture and delivery of a 16ft ball mill to a gold mining operation in Australia. Colegate notes that the company was contracted in May 2013 to manufacture the ball mill, which will be used to grind ore. "The ball mill was completed within budget and agreed upon deadlines, and was successfully delivered onsite in January 2014."

DCD Heavy Engineering is reviewing design options to upgrade one of its vertical borers to enable it to carry 250t.
DCD Heavy Engineering is reviewing design options to upgrade one of its vertical borers to enable it to carry 250t.

DCD Heavy Engineering is also currently in the process of delivering a 23ft x 32ft ball mill that it manufactured for a large copper and cobalt open pit mining operation located in the Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. "The Katanga ball mill is being completed in four separate segments, and was due for onsite delivery by March 2014," adds Colegate. As a leading specialist in the machining and fabrication of capital equipment, the DCD Heavy Engineering OSHAS 18001 accredited facility boasts the following production capacities:

  • Lifting Capacity: 20 to 200 tons tandem lift.
  • Vertical and horizontal rolling: 260mm thickness x 3 500mm width.
  • Turning: 8,3m diameter x 23m length.
  • Vertical machining: 16m diameter x 6,3m height and 180 ton weight.
  • Horizontal machining: 15m travel x 5,5m height.
  • Heat treatment furnaces: 8,3m x 6,3m x 12m.

In addition to its manufacturing capabilities and quality standards, Colegate reveals that DCD Heavy Engineering prides itself on promoting skills development. This is clearly evident in the fact that the company invested R3-million in launching a purpose-built training facility at its Vereeniging site in late 2012, which is designed to provide training for the local community and to promote the advancement of artisans.

The company is a niche supplier of bespoke engineered heavy mechanical equipment.
The company is a niche supplier of bespoke engineered heavy mechanical equipment.

"The 1 193m2 centre is our contribution towards rectifying the challenge of skills and employment shortages in the country. The facility is currently training 67 apprentices in disciplines that include; fitting and turning, electrical apprenticeships, boilermaking, welding and rigging. The training facility currently employs two training instructors, a fabrication mentor, a machining mentor and a training co-ordinator," he continues.

The apprenticeship programme lasts for a minimum of 80 weeks with a maximum of four years, and involves the students working at the DCD Heavy Engineering workshop while completing their training programme. Colegate highlights the fact that all students are also provided with the opportunity to work within the DCD Group once they have graduated from the training programme.

DCD Heavy Engineering boasts 75 000 m2 of undercover fabrication and machining facilities at two separate sites in Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark.
DCD Heavy Engineering boasts 75 000 m2 of undercover fabrication and machining facilities at two separate sites in Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark.

Since its establishment in 1946, DCD Heavy Engineering has grown from strength-to-strength. "Commitment to technological advancement, product quality and skills development has resulted in DCD developing an unrivalled industry reputation. With rapid industrial advancement taking place, across Africa in particular, the company is well positioned to add substantial value to a growing customer base in the local mining, metallurgical, materials handling, power generation and other allied industries," he concludes.

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