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Autocatalyst Production Services

CFW has been involved in the autocatalyst industry for over 15 years, enabling us to supply turnkey solutions according to client specifications. We offer complete coating, drying and calcining lines for autocat producers. We design, build and test lines. These may consist of product tanks, piping, conveyers, weighing equipment, coating units, dryers, calciners, inline backpressure units, robots, pick and place automation, safety guarding, electrical panels and control systems. Additional equipment, such as X-ray equipment, that is not part of our scope of work, can be integrated into our line. The fully automated line provides the ability to track and record all relevant data (back-pressure, washcoat applied, etc.) of each substrate.

Turnkey services

Making use of turnkey services means:

  • Eliminating additional project handling costs.
  • CFW alone addresses snags and after sales service.
  • One company responsible for the electrical programming and integration of the different equipment.
  • Ability to track and record all relevant data required by clients.
  • No unforeseen surprises and extra costs on site. Complete line tested and signed off at our factory before shipping.
  • Better delivery on overall project. Normally a considerable time is lost during the design and installation phase trying to integrate the various suppliers’ equipment.
  • After sales cost advantage. One company can service the complete line.
  • Price advantage.

Drying and calcining equipment

CFW provides both batch and continuous drying systems for the catalyst industry. We can supply units with a small footprint and positive control over airflow and heating rate.

The dryers / calciners that CFW can supply include:

  • Batch dryers / calciners: CFW-designed and manufactured in standard or custom models, for many catalyst industry applications.
  • Belt dryers / calciners: As with batch equipment, but using only custom designs. Belt equipment is still widely used, but the trend in the catalyst industry is against belt models, since they are not energy efficient, use a lot of floor space and hinder the traceability of parts during production runs.
  • Rotary dryers / calciners: CFW has designed a range of models for the catalyst industry. Our units have been installed and proven their ability in many countries. Units can be manually operated or used in a fully automated line. A wide range of substrate shapes and sizes can be accommodated. This popular line offers: great compactness, energy efficiency, full part traceability, low maintenance and ease of operation. This range does have speed limitations which are addressed by our linear indexing range.
  • Linear indexing designs: A range for high-speed fully automated lines. This is a proven concept and we cater for a wide range of substrate shapes and sizes. This range is very compact – almost half the size of the equivalent belt type – and easy to operate. Low maintenance, energy efficiency and full traceability of parts are other advantages.

Test rigs for drying / calcination are also available.

Coating machinery

CFW Projects has also developed a wide range of coating units, from manual coaters to single- and multi-head fully automated high-speed production units. These coating systems are competitively priced, easy to clean and very easy to clean, requiring little maintenance. The dosing system is very accurate, with automatic height and dose volume setup between different substrate sizes. A wide range of substrate shapes and sizes can be catered for, and a complete changeover to a new substrate size can be made in less than five minutes. The unit is manufactured from stainless steel 304 and suitable engineering plastics. Stainless steel 316 is used for washcoat contact parts. Systems are in place for positive sealing to limit washcoat contact on the outside of the substrate, and to prevent nozzle blocking during production downtime. The unit can attain speeds of as high as 600 parts per hour.

Manual and Automated Weighing Units

Depending on the clients’ specification, CFW Projects can offer a wide range of scale assemblies for manual or automated application. Scale assemblies are custom built and integrated into the control system.


CFW Projects offers systems for both soft automation and hard automation. Our programming team integrates both kinds of units into the control system.

In the soft or flexible automation category, we offer a broad range of robots for different applications. These are bought-out items with gripper assemblies custom-designed and built by CFW for the application.

Our hard / fixed automation systems include a wide variety of multi-axis pick and place systems for different automated applications. The axes are bought-out. We custom-design and build the mounting frame and gripper assemblies to suit any application.

Elevators, Chain, Roller, Belt and Customized Conveyers

CFW Projects can custom-design and manufacture elevator and conveying systems for many catalyst industry applications. Services include control system programming and integration into a complete line.

Ducting: Stainless Steel, Galvanized and Mild Steel, Painted

CFW Projects has a wide range of standard ducting products, including

  • Straight ducting
  • Bends
  • Transition pieces
  • Flexible ducting
  • Support brackets
  • Flow dampers
  • Directional dampers
  • Flexible connectors
  • Duct cladding

Ducting can be manufacture in stainless, galvanized or painted mild steel. We also offer ducting layout design and installation.

Polycarbonate, Wire Mesh and Perspex

CFW Projects can offer a wide range of standard safety guarding, safety doors, door handles and similar items. We also design and build custom safety guarding if required. The safety guarding consists of steel frames, with the option of polycarbonate, wire mesh or Perspex panels.

Services include addressing all safety aspects and integration into a complete line.

CFW also supplies washcoat recovery dryers and back-pressure measurement units. The back-pressure units include both manual and inline automated machines.

In-HouseManufacturing and Quality Control

Our manufacturing facility is constantly upgraded with the latest machinery ensuring competitiveness, consistency, best quality and a fast aftersales service.

90% of all manufacturing is done in-house.

We benchmark the quality of our equipment against the high European manufacturing standards, and all exported equipment complies with European safety standards (CE).

Our in-house quality department ensures high quality on all our products. To maintain the high standard of quality, our measuring devices are calibrated on regular intervals.

Our facilities and services include

  • A research and development laboratory
  • Electrical panel building
  • Mild steel / stainless steel plate and sheet metal fabrication
  • CNC laser cutting
  • Punching machinery
  • CNC forming and bending machinery (including a Trubend 5320)
  • CNC lathes and milling equipment (including Takisawa machines)
  • Metal forming machinery
  • An aluminium foundry
  • Fibreglass moulding
  • Static and dynamic balancing
  • Fan testing facility to ISO 5801 test standard

About Autocatalyst Production

Metal catalysts are used in a wide variety of applications, including oil refineries, petrochemical industries and the production of catalytic converters for the automotive industry. Platinum-group metals (PGMs) such as platinum or palladium are used in slurries, gels or solutions during catalyst manufacture.

For automotive catalysts, an aqueous, acidic slurry containing 30-50% solids is used. A catalyst carrier (also known as a catalyst support or catalyst substrate) is dipped into the slurry and then dried. Monoliths made of ceramic honeycomb are commonly used as carriers, although metal substrates are becoming more popular. To clear the honeycomb cells, air is blown through the monolith and it is then dried at approximately 110 °C. Finally, the monolith is calcinated at temperatures of 300-500 °C to bind the washcoat to the monolith walls.

The catalysts must be evenly and carefully applied to the carriers for the result to be effective and reduce costs. Even a small degree of uncontrolled variation can influence the prices that can be obtained for the catalyst, so that the application process is just as economically important as the correct formulation of the reagent slurry.

There are a multitude of technologies for catalyst and substrate drying on the market. Apart from initial and operating costs, ease of material handling, compactness, thermal efficiency and control, particle size distributions, and the shape of the dried substrate needs to be considered.

Many kinds of air technology are used to support the fluidised bed process. Apart from ductwork, valves and controls, the supply side of the machine might require centrifugal fans, air filters, humidifiers, while on the exhaust side there might be a cyclone separator, bag house and exhaust blower (i.e. a dust collector). Reliable fans are needed to prevent undesirable agglomeration of finer powders.

Contact Us


Cape Town, South Africa (HQ)

3 Parin Road, Parow Industria, 7500, Western Cape

Johannesburg, South Africa

4 Chilworth Road, Founders View North, Modderfontein, Edenvale, 1645, Gauteng


Cape Town, South Africa (HQ)

T +27 (0)21 931 8331
F +27 (0)21 931 3165

Johannesburg, South Africa

T +27 (0)11 452 5830 / 5146
F +27 (0)11 452 5132


Cape Town, South Africa (HQ)

 Johannesburg, South Africa

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 1542, Parow, 7499, South Africa