A Survey of Quality Control Practices in the Local Aluminium Scrap Foundries

Daniel Wangombe


Quality control reduces rejects and increases production in a foundry. Use of high standard equipment, technics and competitive workforce results in quality products. Industries can be classified on the basis of raw materials, size and ownership. The size refers to the amount of capital invested, number of people employed and the volume of production. A survey was conducted with an aim of assessing the level of quality control and categorizing the local foundries. A total of forty five foundries located in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and western Kenya sugar belt were studied. These foundries were using aluminium scrap as a raw material. Data was gathered by use of questionnaires, interviews and site visits to the foundries. The foundries were categorized into; jua kali, small scale, medium scale and large scale foundries. This classification was based on parameters like aluminium casting practices, capital investments, human resources, volume of scrap consumed, energy consumed, occupational health and safety, and environment conservation. In this survey it was found that quality control practices such as melt treatment (use of additives, degassers and fluxes), material testing, microstructure analysis and chemical analysis were used occasionally by about 20 percent of the foundries. It was also found that 90 percent of the workforce lacked formal training in foundry practices and the capacity utilization was about 40 percent. As a result most of the products, in general, did not have a competitive edge in the market and could also not find application where high impact and fatigue strength were required.


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