Kempton Park-based hydraulic cylinder manufacturer Hytec Engineering, which is part of the Hytec Group, has enhanced its service offering by purchasing four additional computer numerical control (CNC) machines to increase quality improvements and lower cylinder downtime with the purchase of an additional 242 cylinders that will be used in its service exchange programme.
With the purchase of the four additional CNC machines, Hytec now owns seven CNC machines.
Replacing old, traditional machine tools, Hytec Engineering’s CNC machines are specifically used to manufacture hydraulic cylinder componentry and will achieve significant quality improvements stemming from the repeatability produced by CNC machining.
In addition, for volume-based projects, CNC machining has been proven to produce a larger quantity of machined parts with significant accuracy in a fraction of the time, compared with manual machining.
Nevertheless, for once-off milling, or tuning, the manual machining process outperforms a CNC machine, as a result of the programming delay in setting up the machining requirements.
Once the machining for a component has been programmed, it is stored so that when a repeat item order is required, the process is significantly faster as all that is required is recalling the program and beginning the machining process.
“Now that we’ve programmed a database of components into the new machines they will significantly increase the production of hydraulic cylinder-machined componentry,” highlights Hytec Engineering GM Pierre Goosen.
“The real impact is in new cylinder component manufacturing, as the drawings required to program the machines are readily available,” Goosen says.
Increased Cylinder Stock
The increased stock of the cylinders and additional sales representatives will enable clients to maintain continuous production in their mining and industrial operations.
Through Hytec Engineering’s service exchange programme, clients are able to exchange defective hydraulic units for fully functioning units, while their original cylinder is repaired. This ensures minimal downtime at a client’s operation.
The service exchange programme is available through Hytec Engineering’s Johannesburg-based operations and is supported throughout Africa by the Hytec Group’s network of 40 branches in Southern, East, West and Central Africa.
“The primary aim of the programme has been to [provide] clients [with] replacement cylinders in the shortest timeframe possible,” Goosen maintains. “With this increased stockholding, we’re now able to offer clients an even shorter downtime potential by lowering the lead times on exchanged units,” he adds.
Further, the new stockholding will complement the company’s current extensive Liebherr service exchange stock, which includes various-sized hydraulic cylinders from brands, such as Cat, Komatsu, Volvo and Hitachi that have proven their success in Africa’s earthmoving, drilling and surface mining operations.
While the majority of the new stock will be solely for the service exchange programme, clients can also purchase excess stock from Hytec Engineering’s facility in Johannesburg, Gauteng.
Hytec Engineering ensures the operational efficiency of all second-hand and refurbished cylinders by adhering to strict original-equipment manufacturer standards through its computer- aided design facility, reverse engineering services, and its specifically designed cylinder test bench that tests stroke sizing and leak detection on every cylinder.
“Every component is inspected and tested upon arrival at our factory,” Goosen says, noting that Hytec also monitors the amount of times a component is reused before it is scrapped to ensure that none of the cylinders are at risk of material fatigue. Once a cylinder has been tested, the automated system generates a certificate that can be used for quality control by clients.
To accommodate recent market growth, Hytec Engineering has also expanded its sales force and the company is looking to expand its 4 000 m2 workshop facilities to further increase stock and refurbishment turnaround times.