Hose specialist develops local alternative to imports Following the successful completion of a 7-month test run, Truco's (Transvaal Rubber Company) new convoluted 'feed' hose for use on furnaces has proven to not only be much more durable than imported alternatives, but significantly more cost-effective as well. "A manufacturer in Newcastle approached us to develop a fines feed hose, specifically as a result of the high cost of imports," recalls Truco's manager for KwaZulu-Natal, Wray Radford. "Confident that we could satisfy their requirements in terms of quality we came up with a world-class product. Certain critical aspects had to be achieved in the design of the concertina hose in order for the project to have proven successful." The hose's function is to feed fines through a hollow electrode. When it collapses, it must not buckle like ordinary hoses would, but fold down symmetrically, allowing it to extend in a straight line. "The fact that we have managed to do this in such a short period of time, not only proves our in-house technical capabilities, but it means that we can continue growing our hose sales on the back of new features and improvements." Says Radford. "We were fortunate to have worked through this project with our highly professional distributor, Mecon Engineering. Their involvement ensured the correct installation and application of our technology. Looking ahead, we expect to sell between 3 and 6 of these specialized products yearly." The customer now has a supplier who is a local manufacturer and who can provide a very cost effective product in a short lead time, with quality equal to or better than that previously imported.