South Africa needs to wake up quickly to the dire socio-economic impacts of simply importing new engines rather than remanufacturing existing components locally.
Metric Automotive Engineering News
In a boost to South Africa’s engineering capacity and quality, Metric Automotive Engineering has added a new-generation Rottler three-axis CNC machining unit to its workshop. Featuring linear rails for greater accuracy, the machine is the first of its kind in Africa, according to Metric Automotive Equipment operations director Andrew Yorke.
As South Africa looks to make greater use of natural gas – and even landfill gas – in the generation of electricity, the good news is that the country has world class engine component remanufacturing capacity to optimise the lifespan and reliability of these generating sets.
In an engineering first for South Africa, Metric Automotive Engineering in Germiston is conducting the full remanufacture of the two large locomotive engine blocks and oil pans on behalf of a large OEM customer based in the United States for an African rail operator.
“Penny wise and pound foolish” is how Metric Automotive Engineering operations director Andrew Yorke describes the tendency for many equipment owners to try to cut corners when getting engines remanufactured.
So complex has modern engine design become that companies wanting to have their engines remanufactured should first look carefully at their service provider’s equipment and in-house skills profile.
Users of equipment driven by diesel engines can look forward to many more years of economical operation if they understand that these modern engines are designed for two, three or more ‘new lives’ between overhauls; but proper maintenance goes hand-in-hand with quality remanufacturing to make this possible.
Metric Automotive Engineering’s facility in Johannesburg, Gauteng, also features a three axis computer numerical controlled machining centre.
The weakened Rand continues to place pressure on local companies importing products and components. This means that remanufacturing of components to OEM standards rather than purchasing new engine components is a solid option as it affords less downtime, quicker turnaround times and less capital outlay.