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IQA members visited the pour house, where they watched three operators fill the ‘tea pot moulds with red liquid fire’.
IQA members visited the pour house, where they watched three operators fill the ‘tea pot moulds with red liquid fire’.

Site visit provides ‘lava-type’ thrill

A recent IQA tour allowed members to become acquainted with Weir Minerals’ foundry in Sydney.

The IQA’s New South Wales Hunter sub-branch facilitated the visit, which was held on 23 February at Weir Minerals’ foundry in Artarmon, north Sydney.

Weir Minerals manufacturing director Michael Bennett and area manager Peter Auditore welcomed the small, dedicated group and gave an overview of operations.

“It is great to see we can still make quality products and compete”.
Greg Thomson, IQA NSW Hunter sub-branch secretary

Bennett told the group the ferrous foundry was Australia’s largest. It had been built on a 3.5ha site that was also once the home of a quarry. About 12,000 tonnes of molten metal are poured every year and Weir Minerals keeps more than 7000 patterns on hand. An elastomer plant is also on site.

Hunter sub-branch secretary Greg Thomson explained that the visit had been designed to provide additional insight into what work takes place at the foundry.

“It was great to see [the state of] manufacturing in Australia,” Thomson added. “The visit was well received, and Peter [Auditore] caught up with four of the attendees at another function the next week and they were still raving about it.”

Attendees were given a fully guided tour of the operation, which started with observing black rubber slugs heated and shaped like clay for brick manufacture. It is understood that 40 machinists are responsible for shaping and trimming the poured products to specification before sending them out to consumers.

Attendees then moved to the pour house, where they experienced molten metal being poured out of a five-tonne “tea pot” into prepared moulds.

“The three operators moved as one and filled the moulds with red liquid fire,” Thomson noted. “It reminded us of the lava seen flowing into the ocean off the big island in Hawaii.”

According to Thomson, this was one of the highlights of the tour. He also noted that the techniques displayed for moulding steel products and heating rubber commodities were also memorable. “It is great to see we can still make quality products and compete,” he said.

Quarry operators that are interested in taking a tour of the Weir Foundry may send expressions of interest to Peter Auditore.

WATCH VIDEO

 

Foundry tour

A dedicated group recently toured Weir Minerals Foundry in north Sydney.
A dedicated group recently toured Weir Minerals Foundry in north Sydney.
Weir Minerals manufacturing director Michael Bennett gave members an overview of operations.
Weir Minerals manufacturing director Michael Bennett gave members an overview of operations.

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Tuesday, 21 August, 2018 06:35am
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