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State-of-the-art clean room at Reef Fuel Injection Services where assembly is done.

State-of-the-art clean room at Reef Fuel Injection Services where assembly is done.

Metric Automotive Engineering is positioning itself as a world class remanufacturing centre. “Some companies believe that diesel engine component repair or remanufacture can only be done properly in Europe or America. This is not true. We have facilities and competencies that are comparable to anywhere in the world. In addition, it is far more cost effective to carry out such repairs or remanufacture locally due to the exchange rate,” Andrew Yorke, operations director, at Metric Automotive Engineering, says.

The company is South Africa’s most comprehensively equipped diesel engine component remanufacturer. Established as a family business in 1969, Metric Automotive Engineering has an operating philosophy of investing the latest technology and quality equipment. Yorke says that it is critical to stay abreast of changes in industry, one of which is the move towards much larger heavy diesel engines.

“Larger engines mean much larger components and two of our most recent investments in new equipment are the largest crankshaft grinding machine in Africa and a state-of-the-art new generation three axis CNC machine,” Yorke says.

The crankshaft grinding machine is capable of grinding shafts of up to 4.7 metres long and with weights of up to 5 tons. It will allow the grinding of crankshafts from industrial compressors right through to the V16 locomotive diesel engine. Improved grinding tolerances will be achieved as the machine is paired with set of compensators which will help to eliminate ovality and taper.

The CNC machining centres is the only machine of its kind in Africa. This machine is capable of line boring, surfacing and blue-printing blocks up to 6 metres in length, and has boosted Metric Automotive Engineering capacity to handle the huge engine blocks that are found in the railways, marine and heavy equipment sectors.

Metric Automotive Engineering has an established reputation for the quality remanufacture of diesel engine components and offers services which include cylinder head remanufacture, cylinder block line boring, milling, honing and boring, camshaft grinding, crankshaft grinding, engine assembly and dynamometer testing.

On the fuel injection side, Yorke says that the technological focus is on fuel economy and emissions levels. “There have been huge advancements with this technology and it is important that companies offering services in this field stay up to date with the latest international trends.

South Africa has a distinct advantage in being able to access the latest advances once they have been through the developmental stage in the international arena. This means that the adoption of new trends is far easier and efficient.

However, Yorke is quick to point out that not all global technology is applicable to the African market. “Harsh operating conditions and remote locations add to the challenges in Africa and fuel contamination is a major problem, whether it is just dirt and water in the filling station tanks or buying blended diesel at the roadside because it is cheaper,” he explains

Reef Fuel Injection Services offers a full diagnosis and fault analysis service to help customers get to grips with these operating conditions. Yorke points out that while older fuel systems could tolerate a certain level of fuel contamination, the newer systems comprise advanced electronics and are much more susceptible to fuel contamination.

The company has invested in the latest diagnostic equipment and its team has the necessary technical skill to assist customers. It offers Bosch, Delphi and Denso approved fuel injection services and is acknowledged as a specialist in CAT fuel systems.

Looking at growth opportunities, Yorke says that both companies are well placed to service customer across Africa. “Africa is a growth area for us and we have the necessary infrastructure and skills in place to service multi-national companies that operate in the region,” Yorke concludes.