With the lifting and placing of the press crown onto the last press in the 5-press tandem line at the Ford Motor Company in Silverton Pretoria, Vanguard officially completed the heavy lifting of what is the biggest tandem line to be installed in South Africa. The fully assembled crown and the lifting gear weighed in at 367-tons and in order to clear the tie bars, had to be lifted to a height of 14.75 metres.



This installation forms part of what is a $ 1.5 billion dollar investment by Ford into upgrading their production facilities in the region.


“Vanguard”, says senior field manager Patrick Valentine “are very proud to be part of this development in Silverton. To be entrusted with the turnkey installation from Richards Bay to final hand over of a working line to the customer of a plant as sophisticated as this is a feather in our cap. I am pleased to say that so far all has gone according to plan.”


Vanguard’s responsibility is an all-encompassing Turnkey Operation including: The complete logistics, the heavy transport of the 7 800-ton consignment from Richards Bay to Silverton; the off-loading and final positioning of the 5 presses and the associated automated handling stations; the full installation, including all electrical and PLC programming; the commissioning and the final hand over to the client.


At the “last crown up ceremony” organised by the press manufacture, Jier from Shanghai in China, whose senior manager in South Africa noted “Vanguard’s Millwright Service department (VMS) with whom we placed this order, has lived up to our every expectation and I would like to thank project manager Joost Heystek for the good work so far. VMS is truly a company of the highest international standard. We look forward to working with them again soon, in South Africa and beyond.”


In association with related investments in the Silverton Development, Vanguard in the course of the next 4 months will install and commission a further 14 presses, three of which are even bigger than the Jier Tandem line.  Good luck to the VMS crews.

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