African Projects, controlled Mandrel pipe-bending machine

Africa Projects Consultants (Pty) Ltd (APC), a 100% black-owned ship repair and ship building company, has recently acquired a CNC controlled Mandrel pipe-bending machine for the bending of tubes and profiles made of mild steel or stainless steel.  This state-of-the-art machine, the first of its kind in Africa, bends pipes ranging from 40 mm to 140mm considerably faster than conventional pipe-bending methods.

Managing Director of APC, Refaan Hendricks says, “The new machine will dramatically improve quality and reduce the time and cost involved in bending pipes. Currently, pipe-bending of thick wall thickness pipes involves manually welding together two pipes and an elbow together – a process which can take almost a full working day. Alternatively, complete bent pipes are imported which can be an expensive exercise. This technologically-advanced machine will not only increase the speed at which the pipe-bending and fabrication can be done, it will substantially increase the quality. It is amazing to see these thick-walled pipes being bent in a matter of seconds.”

The machine consists of a base frame with a free-standing bending head to ensure bending freedom and is equipped with a twisting unit, mandrel withdrawal and counter bearing. The twisting unit positions the pipe automatically in length and rotation. It is equipped with a central controller that links all individual components and enables flexible programming and operation of the system. The pipe is clamped in the clamping device of the twisting unit and is spatially twisted and moved by the twisting unit and can be bent in different angles. Once the bending process is complete, the pipe is removed manually from the machine.

The pipe-bending machine arrived at their Paarden Eiland premises in September and was financed by Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) as part of their Enterprise Supplier Development programme. APC will launch the machine during the month of October and demonstrations will be held to companies across various sectors who can benefit from its capabilities.

Taufeeq Phipps, Project Manager and co-founder of APC says, “The new machine will provide a competitive edge when servicing the marine industry where on-time delivery is a key driver for our clients.  In addition, it will allow us to service other industries such as mining, refrigeration, manufacturing, automotive, chemical, agriculture, general industrial and construction – basically any industry where bent pipes are required.”

While Africa Projects Consultants was established in 2018 and is considered to be a young company, the directors have over 60 years’ combined experience in ship repair and oil and gas. APC specialises in providing turnkey ship repair solutions, workshop fabrication, industrial maintenance and project management.