Extra Large Lathe Boost Capacity – Nov 2018

You are currently viewing Extra Large Lathe Boost Capacity – Nov 2018

On-site rewind of a 30MVA synchronous generator at N’Zilo Hydro Power Station in the DRC.

The newly installed 40 t lathe at M&C’ power generation repair facility

A technician inspects a large high speed synchronous cylindrical rotor on the newly installed 40 t lathe at M&C’ power generation repair facility.


One of the largest lathes on the African continent has been installed at Marthinusen & Coutts’ power generation equipment repair facility in Benoni. Marthinusen & Coutts is a division of ACTOM (Pty) Ltd and this acquisition further boosts its capabilities to conduct high-precision machining in-house.

In operation since its commissioning in August this year, the lathe can machine rotors and other components of large electrical and mechanical rotating equipment. With a 3,2 metre swing, it has the capacity to handle workpieces with a mass of up to 40 tonnes and 10 metres in length.

Marthinusen & Coutts now has the ability to offer the machining of very large workpieces in-house and this will improve both the turnaround time and competitiveness of its offering to customers.

According to Craig Megannon, works executive at Marthinusen & Coutts, its business unit ACTOM Turbo Machines was acquired approximately four years ago allowing the division to offer customers a full electro-mechanical solution for all rotating equipment.

“The lathe is a further investment to grow our capacity and services offered to customers. It was purchased in Europe last year and underwent a substantial rebuild and modernisation to enable automated operation,” he explains

“This included having it modified to achieve the fine tolerances normally required for the machining of precision power generation equipment,” Megannon continues. “We also upgraded it from semi-automatic operation to a high-precision, numerically-controlled machine.”

“We previously would sub-contract very large items to be machined, which led to logistical risks in transporting workpieces back and forth,” he says. “This made the procedure very expensive and time consuming, impacting on our competitiveness for performing such work.”

He adds that the new lathe can also be utilised by other business units within Marthinusen & Coutts and will be a boost to the broader ACTOM Group. It will especially benefit ACTOM Turbo Machines, for instance, which provides a mechanical maintenance and repair service complimentary to Marthinusen & Coutts’ own maintenance and repair service for electrical rotating machines.

Marthinusen & Coutts, together with ACTOM Turbo Machines, offers a full range of electro- mechanical services including maintenance, repair and specialised manufacture of electric motors, generators, turbo machinery and other high speed mechanical rotating equipment.