Gold to flow nonstop through manufacturing experience Increasingly, companies that are supplying only focused products into specific industries are becoming sought after for their knowledge and experience gained in their field. When a West Rand gold mine approached mining and industrial rubber specialist, Transvaal Rubber Company (Truco), to carry out a plant survey, this was exactly the kind of input they were hoping for to deal with the serious problem of excessive downtime. Indeed, Truco's findings highlighted the cause of the continuous downtime and offered a working solution to the dilemma. Pulp wear on steel bends had lead to a recurring failure on the apex of the bends. This was further complicated through a design error. Proposing that rubber be used for the manufacture of new bends, with new, accurately set bend radiuses, Truco will be replacing all existing steel bends as plant shutdowns allow. While the more flexible, resilient rubber bends are more costly per unit than steel bends, the increased plant uptime due to longer component life will pay off handsomely for the client. "Our ability to accurately assess plant problems and suggest working solutions - in most cases even delivering the solution - is becoming an important ingredient of our total offering," explains Mike Stuart, Truco Hose Division Director. "We hope to complete this project within six months and look forward to studying the effect of the results with our client. Our success in each case will be the catalyst for further such projects."