Hulamin, situated in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, is an independent producer of semi-finished and fabricated aluminium products. Their rolled products division manufactures a range of sheet, plate and foil alloys and is focused on high specification, tight tolerance products which it supplies to customers throughout the world.
Last year Hulamin contacted Innoval Technology to carry out an audit of their six-high cold mill. They asked us to assess the general capability of the mill, and to comment on its performance relative to other mills producing similar products. Dan Miller, who is part of our Process Improvement team, visited the plant in Pietermaritzburg.
During his visit Dan audited the rolling operations, assessed the recorded machine centre metrics and carried out detailed analyses of the process data. He measured the performance of the cold mill against its capability and the requirements of world class quality and performance. Dan then divided his recommendations from the audit into two parts: those that would help to improve mill performance immediately, and those which should be considered longer term improvements. Then he worked closely with the team at Hulamin to prioritise the recommendations.
The visit also proved a good opportunity for Dan to mentor Hulamin's engineers and operators to enable them to implement his recommendations themselves, as well as to transfer the techniques to other operations in the plant.
Following the cold mill audit, we've been delighted to continue working with Hulamin by supporting their new foil mill installations. This has included a study on the lubrication requirements for the mills, as well as training in foil rolling and defect analysis for the lead operators.
Pierre Taljaard, Technology Manager at Hulamin, has this to say about working with Innoval:
We value Innoval's comprehensive range of skills and extensive industry experience, and we can rely on their independence to give us sound advice. We've accepted the recommendations arising from the audit and are implementing these to realise the improvements in mill productivity and product quality.
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This case study appears as an article in the 2009 edition of 'innform'; the newsletter of Innoval Technology.