Alltube’s R4,2 mln expansion

2008-01-08 00:00

Aluminium radiator tube manufacturer Alltube is in the midst of a

R4,2-million expansion to improve its manufacturing capacity and storage space.

The expansion will also see the construction of a new electrical substation at a cost of R1 million at its Camps Drift premises.

The extension will add an additional 1 000 m2 to the existing 2 000 m2 that houses the aluminium tube mill, office complex and limited storage area.

The extension is in keeping with the existing architectural style, and was designed by Stewart Kerr of Stewart Kerr PR Eng, while the construction was undertaken by Gordon Key of Key Building.

One of the key motivations for the expansion is to prepare the way for the installation of a third tube mill in the 2008/09 financial year.

"We are planning ahead and the chances are we will install a third tube mill in the foreseeable future," Alltube CEO Theo Lodeman said.

The new mill will accelerate Alltube’s move into the original equipment manufacturing market (OEM), said Lodeman.

"Alltube started off as a supplier to the after-market, but has systematically increased its supply of OEM products, and the new mill will naturally raise that part of our business," he said.

The new machine will manufacture a "B-type" tube to add to the original German-made plant that was installed when the factory opened in 2001, and the R15 million mill that was added in 2006.

However, the new mill will be producing folded tubes, unlike the flat high-frequency welded aluminium tubes previously manufactured at the plant.

The additional manufacturing capacity will increase Alltube’s output to 300 tons a month, a far cry

from the relatively modest 50 tons that first rolled off the mill in September 2001.

"Our current production is about 200 tons a month and the expansion is very much in line with our growth plans," Lodeman said.

Tubing currently produced is manufactured from clad aluminium strip supplied by Hulett Aluminium and complies with quality requirements in terms of alloy composition, mechanical properties and dimensional tolerances.

Alltube is located next to Hulett Aluminium and is the giant

aluminium producer’s largest automotive customer and an important role-player in Pietermaritzburg’s aluminium cluster.

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