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Editors Comment

November 2020

Even the scenario planners can’t plan!

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News

November 2020

Retecon Group of Companies celebrates 50-year milestone

This year the Retecon Group of Companies celebrates the half-century mark, which all began with the establishment of Retecon Machine Tools in 1970. Burkhard Herrmann, who had emigrated from Germany to South Africa in 1967, was supplying imported tooling and accessories to the South African industry before establishing a company to sell machine tools and related equipment.
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Harvey Roofing Products develops a high-tech roof tile manufactured from 98% waste material

A proudly South African company, Harvey Roofing Products (a division of the Macsteel Group) and recognised for its Harvey steel roof tiles, has developed a high-tech new roof tile that will be manufactured from 98% waste material. The tiles, which have been through an extensive three-year R&D phase, are engineered from a mineral polymer blend that will be offered as a superior alternative to heavier clay or concrete roof tiles.
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Torch Tech celebrates 15-year relationship with Thermacut

With nearly 30 years of involvement in the industrial cutting systems industry there is not much that Paul Botha does not know about the industry. “My first experience with the industry was about 30 years ago when I was sent on a training course to Bystronic in Switzerland to learn to operate and service a Bystronic laser that was to be imported into South Africa.
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600SA Machine Tools secure with some recognised machining agencies

“With over 45 years of experience in the sales and service arena of metalworking equipment, with a number of those working together at some well-known machine tool dealers here in South Africa, the two of us teaming up to start our own company was almost inevitable, or should we say CNC programmed to be so,” quipped Johnny Pierdica, one of the two Directors at 600SA Machine Tools Pty Ltd.
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VM Automotive installs laser blanking line from Schuler despite the challenges presented by COVID-19

VM Automotive is currently reaching the final stages of installing a Schuler laser blanking line in its facility in Berlin, near East London, Eastern Cape. The line will cut blanks out of a moving sheet metal coil that then get formed into car body parts in further steps. As fiber lasers are used for the cutting process, no dies are required, in contrast to conventional blanking lines.
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Astro adds machining and milling to value chain with investment in a new CNC MicroMill router

The router that will give the company the ability to offer 3D CNC milling of aluminium as an extra process to the value chain. “An early objective was to establish a comprehensive manufacturing capability to produce high-quality finished and semi-finished products to client specification,” explained Mark Coetzee, Commercial Manager of Astro Holdings.
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EDM Shop appointed agents for Yawei sheetmetal forming machine tools

EDM Shop have announced that they have been appointed to represent Jiangsu Yawei Machine Tool Co Ltd (Yawei) in South Africa. Established in 1956 Yawei has grown into one of the leading enterprises in the sheetmetal processing machine tools industry in China. Yawei develops, manufactures and sells CNC turret punching machines, CNC press brakes, CNC laser cutting machines, flexible cells and systems, automatic coil lines and linear and horizontal multi-joint robots.
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Barcelona loses! Nissan South Africa’s gain

Nissan South Africa expects to begin commercial production of the new Navara bakkie in January 2021. Scenes unfamiliar to Europeans, but very familiar to South Africans, unfolded at the Barcelona, Spain Nissan plant earlier this year when the company announced a radical global restructuring. Hundreds of masked workers burning tyres and shouting “war” blockaded Nissan’s Barcelona plant after the Japanese carmaker announced it would shut the plant from December 2020 as part of a global restructuring plan to slash costs.
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AMP-CNC-Academy appointed resellers for Solidworks and Mastercam

“We have this vision of bringing manufacturing back to life by bridging the gap between software products offered, those that design using this software and then those that machine the components and products. I have my own CNC machining company that was established by my father in 1990 to repair scraper winches for the mines before he went on to design his own and then began manufacturing them,” said AMP-CNC-Academy founder Stephen Du Preez.
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Atlantis Foundries – 40 years of history

Atlantis Foundries has evolved over the years, originating from Atlantis Diesel Engines (ADE), an engine machining and assembly plant that was built in the late 1970s. The brand ‘ADE’ died away, but the company was purchased by Daimler/Mercedes-Benz in 1999, and has continued to cast cylinder blocks for heavy-duty trucks ever since.
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The economics of using bacteriostatic soluble oil

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic Flexilube realised the importance of their customers coolant systems whilst they were not being circulated. The company also took into consideration operator health, especially when the machines would be re-started. Flexilube immediately got to work on developing their new bacteriostatic coolant – BioKool Citrine. BioKool Citrine expands on Flexilube’s current technology by becoming part of your cleaning staff. BioKool Citrine does not just run clean it cleans dirt and grime inside your sump, pumps, piping and all those difficult to reach places that never receives the cleaning they deserve.
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September 2020

Messer Cutting Systems appoints First Cut and Bolt and Engineering Distributors (BED) to supply oxyfuel cutting and welding systems and consumables [VIDEO]

Joint venture agreement leverages BED’s position in the mining and general engineering industries. Messer Cutting Systems, a leading German company, has had a long history in South Africa and much of its capital equipment is being used by steel processors and fabricators throughout the country.
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Blaser Swisslube appoints Hi-Tech Machine Tools as its sole agent in South Africa

Blaser Swisslube, a globally active company in the metalworking fluid sector that develops and produces high-quality cutting and grinding fluids for various industries, has announced that it has appointed Hi-Tech Machine Tools as its sole agent in South Africa to market and distribute its range of coolants, cutting oils, grinding oils and micro emulsions.
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Rollfab increases big bending capacity and adds large vertical turning and boring capabilities to machining operations

Just short of two years ago Rollfab installed a second-hand Craven horizontal lathe that was completely refurbished and reconditioned to virtually new by Machine Tool Promotions (MTP). This included scrapping of beds and other components where necessary, new gearboxes and ballscrews – in other words a complete geometric reconditioning and mechanical and electrical upgrade. This lathe has a swing of 5 000mm and can machine 12 metres in one setting.
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Fanuc Academy launched

New facility offers participants the opportunity to be trained in CNCs, robots and automation solutions. Fanuc has continuously pursued factory automation after it succeeded in implementing servomechanism and NC (numerical control) systems within the Japanese private sector, since its inception in 1956. If you expand the acronym of Fanuc, the original company name includes the words of automatic, numerical and control.
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Guhring South Africa appoints strategic partner for Eastern Cape area

Guhring, a leading manufacturer of rotary precision tools for metal machining including tapping, milling (end and thread mills), drilling, deep hole drilling, toolholding, insert drilling systems, MQL machining, CFRP machining and reaming solutions, has recently appointed Imbali Consumable Services as a strategic partner to market and distribute Guhring products in the Eastern Cape.
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Mecad Manufacturing continues with its informative and insightful blog

In order to stay competitive, businesses and their leaders must find new ways to make better decisions faster. A critical part of this is establishing visibility, or making sure the right people have access to the right information at the right time – in real time. With so many avenues to engage with clients and potential clients competing for visibility in today’s world can be challenging.
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Machine Tool & Design Technology appointed agents for Newall DRO systems and Doall sawing products

Machine Tool & Design Technology, a company that is intrinsically linked with the metalworking industry because of the international equipment manufacturers that the company represents and services in South Africa, has announced that it has been appointed as the agents to market and distribute Newall DRO systems and Doall sawing products.
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South African tool and die specialist benefits from the world’s current crisis

“For many years there has been lively discussion about the mould and die industry in South Africa losing out to low-cost countries. I myself have previously vocalised on this topic and questioned whether mould manufacturers really have to fear these low-cost countries as a threat to mould manufacture in our country?” said Johan Dreyer, Managing Member of Enviro Lamps.
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Bono Steel continues with investment plans

New Ermaksan Power-Bend Pro press brake installed via Zoom and WhatsApp help. Bono Steel, based in Elandsfontein, Gauteng, can attribute its existence to a sister company that was involved in just machining operations and services before the owner decided to offer his clients forming and fabricating services. The company dabbled in a bit of forming with an investment in a couple of press brakes but as the company grew so too did its requirements for sheet metal and plate components.
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Flexilube launches the Coolant Doctor Mobile Laboratory – an on-site metalworking fluid optimisation programme

Before the world’s current crisis Industry 4.0 had unleashed a whole new way of thinking, not just in manufacturing. Flexilube, a leading manufacturer of metalworking fluids has launched an on-site mobile laboratory that will allow you to get on with what you know best and leave the hassle of metalworking fluid monitoring to the experts.
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Future of AHRLAC secured as business rescue nears completion

Paramount Aerospace Industries Proprietary Limited, part of the Paramount Aerospace and Technology Group, has announced that the business rescue plans of the Aerospace Development Corporation Proprietary Limited (ADC), the manufacturer of the AHRLAC aircraft and its subsidiaries* are in the final phase of implementation. This is in line with the business rescue plans adopted by affected parties in October 2019.
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Fuchs Lubricants South Africa makes R250 million phase one investment in South Africa

Fuchs Lubricants South Africa, a subsidiary of Fuchs Petrolub SE in Germany, has announced an investment of just over R250 million in South Africa for the purchase of land and the development of the site for a warehouse, office complex and lubricants plant. The project duration is 17 months and is expected to be completed in October 2021. Paul Deppe, MD of Fuchs Lubricants South Africa, said the project has been in planning for the last two years.
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Toyota is set to produce its first hybrid synergy drive (petrol-electric) car

Japanese automobile giant Toyota is set to produce its first “hybrid synergy drive” (petrol-electric) car on the African continent at its Prospecton plant in Durban, as part of a R2.5 billion investment in a new production line. Andrew Kirby, CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM), confirmed this saying that the investment is still on track despite the economic impact of COVID-19 on the local and international markets.
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Reconditioning services for carbide end mills

When Gühring, one of the world’s leading manufacturers and supplier of rotary cutting tools entered the South African market in the 1990s it was not only to sell product but also to capture the market for reconditioning services for carbide end mills. Gühring opened its regrind facility in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape late 1999. The 180m² factory served its purposes until a new 873m² factory was built in 2010 in the Greenbushes area of Port Elizabeth and the company moved.
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July 2020

PFERD South Africa, in it for the long haul

Established in 1968, PFERD South Africa has become a major player in the abrasive industry within South Africa and the African continent. PFERD South Africa’s parent company August Rüggeberg is situated in Marienheide Germany and was founded in 1799. “With over 200 years of experience, we are certainly able to provide the industry with highly effective and innovative products,” said Horst Frenzel, managing director of PFERD South Africa.
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Robots set to play a bigger role in manufacturing in South Africa because of COVID-19

Yaskawa Southern Africa names Andrew Crackett as new MD. In South Africa, manufacturers experience significant challenges. From the stuttering economy to the lack of skills development, there are obstacles that prevent industries from pushing forward into a new era of automation and robotic solutions. Due to the effects of COVID-19, many businesses might not have a choice but to rapidly adopt this technology.
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Made in South Africa: King Bull develops soft jaws and tap wrenches

It is refreshing to announce that King Bull Industrial Supplies and Sales, an importer and distributor of threading tools (taps and forming taps) manufactured by German specialist manufacturer Schumacher Precision Tools GmbH, has developed and manufactured a range of soft jaws for use on lathe chucks and a range of hand tap wrenches – South African designed and manufactured.
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Keeping the power on and consistent at Lucchini

38 days of production lost last year because of loadshedding and poor supply. Company invests in two 570kVA generators. In 2017 Lucchini RS, the Italian manufacturer of forged railway products, invested R200 million in a new production facility in Germiston in Ekurhuleni to machine railway wheels. It was the first international forged wheel manufacturer to make some investment in manufacturing facilities in South Africa.
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Local scuba diving equipment manufacturer develops a new range of high-quality, re-usable face masks suitable for public, professional and patient use to combat COVID-19

Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the world, the Internet has been flooded with advice on how to make homemade face masks. There has also been an almighty rush to manufacture the sanitiser dispensers and the actual sanitiser liquid.
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Somta Tools launches new multi-purpose cutting tool range for drilling, threading and milling solutions

Somta Tools is excited to announce the launch of its brand-new multi-purpose cutting tool range, designed specifically to assist manufacturers who machine multiple material types. The mindset behind the new range was focused on combining three essential components – flexibility, performance and value for money.
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Naledi Ringrollers awarded IRIS ISO/TS 22163:2017 certification

Extra forging and machining capacity allows company to expand and seek more opportunities for the manufacture of seamless forged and rolled products. The certification fully adopts the structure of the ISO 9001:2015 quality management standard and has been extended to include requirements specifically for the railway industry.
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Budget Sheet Metal extends its machine portfolio

Company is also experiencing a ‘reshoring from China’ surge. Custom CNC sheet metal fabricator Budget Sheet Metal has extended its range of press brakes to include an Amada EG 4010 press brake. “There has been a distinct upturn from our existing clients for smaller components. It therefore makes sense to deploy a machine that is quicker, more flexible and efficient at processing these smaller components,” said Sietse Walma van der Molen, Production Director at Budget Sheet Metal Engineering.
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Collaborating for effectiveness: Shared workshop and fabrication studio Made In Workshop

Introduction of new machines and facility illustrate the new capabilities that are now given to members. In manufacturing and machining facilities today, automation applications tend to call for robots that are powerful and perilous. That is, robots with a high payload and high work rate, typically fixed in one place and operating behind a safety fence. They are productive and have a myopic focus on moving a component as efficiently as possible from point A to point B.
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Three South African foundries accredited with PED 2014/68/EU certification standard, which enables them to supply castings with internationally recognised CE marking

NFTN supports initiative to get Kimberley Engineering Works, RelyIntracast and Vestcast audit ready. As a result of the TUV accreditation the local content pump and valve initiative gets clout and SOCs loophole is closed.
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SPI Lasers to rebrand under Trumpf banner

High-technology company Trumpf has announced a cooperation between Trumpf Laser-und Systemtechnik GmbH and SPI Lasers UK Ltd., which are both wholly owned subsidiaries of the Trumpf Group. Trumpf Laser-und Systemtechnik GmbH will combine the business operations of SPI Lasers UK Ltd. to bring advantages in industrial applications via both disk and fiber technology and enhance customer service offerings. As of the 1st July SPI Lasers products will begin to be available via the Trumpf sales channels.
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Esprit announces extended support for Mazak Smooth Ai CNC

Esprit by DP Technology has announced extended support for Mazak Smooth Ai CNC. Esprit produces machine-optimised, edit-free G-code programs, programmes optimisation, and machine simulation for Mazak’s machine tools. The extended support offered by Esprit for Mazak’s new Smooth Ai CNCs includes the ability to utilise the Esprit digital twin inside the CNC. This new capability is the result of years of collaborative partnership between DP Technology and Mazak Japan.
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Hexagon AB acquires CAEfatigue Limited

Hexagon AB, a provider of sensor, software and autonomous solutions, has announced the acquisition of CAEfatigue Limited, a provider of mechanical fatigue simulation solutions used to improve manufacturing product design, quality and reliability. “Manufactured products face a multitude of stresses over their lifetime that can cause fatigue and result in everything from safety problems to structural failure,” said a company spokesperson.
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DMG MORI and Nikon Technology sign agreement

DMG MORI to integrate Nikon laser scanner on machine tools. Nikon Corporation (Nikon) and DMG MORI have concluded a memorandum of understanding for a comprehensive business alliance. As part of the alliance Nikon’s non-contact laser scanner LC15Dx is to be sold integrated onto DMG MORI’s machine tools. DMG MORI will install the LC15Dx to its original non-contact on-machine measuring system.
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Lantek announces collaboration with Euromac

Manufacturing software provider Lantek has announced a collaboration agreement with Italy-based Euromac, a supplier of CNC punching systems, benders, and automated sheet metal systems. The agreement enables control of the sorting cell programmed with the Kuka KR 10 robot. It uses Lantek Expert Punch-Plus and Lantek Stackmaster to automate the unloading line for parts and their subsequent palletisation and storage.
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May 2020

Victor Taichung opens US$120 million smart factory

Smart manufacturing gains ground in Taiwan. Faced with rising labour costs, Taiwanese companies are increasingly utilising the latest sophisticated technologies to go beyond conventional automation to embrace Industry 4.0. Victor Taichung Machinery, one of Taiwan’s leading manufacturers of CNC machine tools and plastic injection moulding machines, has opened its new US$120 million smart factory, which is also referred to as the Victor Intellectual Factory.
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Brink Towing Systems produces 10 000th towbar for a Ford Ranger Raptor

The Raptor is designed to be one of the toughest bakkies in every which way and that includes the towbar. The Brink plant in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal currently produces some 7 000 towbars a month for various Ford Ranger models, and in the same way the Raptor differs markedly from other Rangers, so too does the towbar. In fact, it is a completely different design, which necessitated a clean-sheet approach.
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Machine Tools Africa 2020 postponed – new date still to be decided

Like many exhibitions worldwide the Machine Tools Africa 2020 exhibition has been postponed to a new date in the future. The exhibition, which was last held in 2017, has been designed to showcase the very latest technology developments, machinery, products, services and solutions in this innovative sector, was scheduled to take place from 12 to 15 May 2020.
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Multitrade 3D Systems offers metal additive manufacturing machines

Metal additive manufacturing has made tremendous strides in the aerospace industry, starting with GE Aviation’s fuel nozzle for the LEAP engine, which has led to the development of multiple parts that are taking flight. The orthopaedics market was also an early adopter of the technology. Additive is playing a growing role in the ongoing evolution of more personalised and bespoke medical treatment.
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TBA Tools appointed YG-1 agent

YG-1, the South Korean-based company engaged in the manufacture and distribution of cutting tools and that opened up a subsidiary in South Africa just under three years ago, has appointed TBA Tools as an agent to market the YG-1 brand of cutting tools. YG-1, whose cutting tools have been widely distributed in South Africa for many years, has an established name in South Africa and worldwide.
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Daimler Trucks AG set to acquire Atlantis Foundries

Germany’s and one of the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturers has entered into a transaction to acquire control over Ukuvela Holdings and its subsidiaries Atlantis Foundries Pty Ltd and Ukuvela Properties Pty Ltd. Daimler AG, commonly known and referred to as Mercedes, is a German multinational automotive corporation, headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Würtemberg.
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Somta Tools designs and builds SANI-STATION, a non-contact, foot operated hand sanitiser station

Specialist designer and manufacturer of standard and custom tools in high speed steel and solid carbide for the industrial and ‘do it yourself’ markets, Somta Tools, is now manufacturing easy to use hands free, foot operated sanitiser dispensers that enables companies, industrial and manufacturing businesses, retail shops and shopping centres, schools, clinics, orphanages, hospitals, old age homes, animal help societies or, any entity where there is movement of people.
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Gilbert establishes Machine Tool & Design Technology

Tim Gilbert, who has been active in the metalworking equipment sales environment in South Africa for over 10 years, has recently established his own company – Machine Tool & Design Technology – a company that will be intrinsically linked with the metalworking industry because of the international equipment manufacturers that Machine Tool & Design Technology will represent and service in South Africa.
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New owners of Schmidt Industries look to broaden scope of business

Significant change in culture within the business is showing positive signs. There comes a time when all of us must face the grim yet daunting task of divesting ourselves of a friendship, once unassailable, in favour of a new and invigorating relationship ignited with passion and endless, yet-to-be-determined possibilities. This is no easy choice, and there is no unequivocally guaranteed outcome.
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Celebrating the life of Ken Beverley

It is with great sadness that I have to report on the sudden and untimely passing of Kennith Richard Beverley on the 10th April 2020. Ken was one of the most well respected and liked personalities in the tooling supply industry, having worked in the industry for over 45 years. But more importantly he was a very proud man, a devoted husband and family man, lived a fulfilled life with the motto of the first to give and the last to take, uppermost in his mind.
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Ikusasa CNC training facility is now merSETA accredited

As machine tools have become more sophisticated (and expensive) and as tolerance for errors of any kind in the machining process approaches zero, more formal training programmes are becoming a more attractive training alternative for small shops as well as large manufacturing concerns. The founders of Ikusasa CNC Training Centre recognised this fact and launched the company just over a year ago with a specific aim to train employees in G-Code programming, CNC setting and CNC machine operating.
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Robots in the time of COVID-19

The contagion of COVID-19 has swept through the lives of people across the globe, disrupted all industries and brought the world’s economy to a grinding halt. Some analysts predict the pandemic’s impact could be as devastating as the Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 to 1933. As the world moves towards a different tomorrow, future-orientated solutions won’t merely be an option for industries but an absolute necessity.
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Innovative locally-developed face shield ready for market

Joining the campaign to flatten the COVID-19 curve are three progressive KwaZulu-Natal-based technology companies Akhani 3D, Progressive Components and MATelec. The three companies are contributing by combining their design and engineering expertise to develop a high-quality, affordable and reusable face shield, ideal for essential services personnel and healthcare providers.
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South Africa is a leading supplier of catalytic converters for Ford globally

Ford Motor Company of SA is contracted to supply more than 1.8 million catalytic converters annually for local vehicle assembly and export markets. Catalytic converters supplied to 25 Ford customer plants and two aftermarket divisions internationally. Almost 37 million catalytic converters produced over the past 25 years. Ford is also a significant supplier of components to Ford manufacturing plants internationally by managing the local manufacturing and export of catalytic converters.
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Business distress management, a defined risk assessment for business leaders

The mining and manufacturing industry in South Africa has been struggling. The challenges of the 2019 financial year were conquered and the prospective opportunities of 2020 were exciting and motivating until it happened – a global economic crash attributed to an uncontrollable pandemic. Businesses in various sectors are now facing situations of distress but with the right know-how and support these situations can be managed.
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March 2020

Bodor Laser looks to conquer the world

Based in Jinan, Shandong, China Bodor was established in 2008 and is among the top 10 laser cutting machine manufacturers in China. Initially the company began manufacturing CO2 lasers but has now turned its full attention to the manufacture of fiber laser cutting machines in its 27 000m² facility. Bodor manufactures machines that are dedicated to cutting sheet and plate and those that are dedicated to cutting tube and others that combine both sheet and tube cutting.
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It’s all about high-feeds and high-speeds – Jacob Harpaz, President and CEO of the IMC Group

In an exclusive interview before the South African launch of TaeguTec’s new and wide range of inserts and cutters Jacob Harpaz, President and CEO of the IMC Group, emphasised that clients were looking to improve the productivity of their equipment and reduce the cost per part. And the only way you can do that, in this age of advanced machining that is feeding into Industry 4.0, is to increase the feeds and speeds of your CNC machine cutting process.
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Thekwini Wire and Fasteners targets import replacement in automotive, lighting and general manufacturing industries with investment in a new Robomac R214 TF wire bender

Durban, KwaZulu-Natal-based light engineering company specialising in wire converting and processing Thekwini Wire and Fasteners, has recently invested in a Robomac R214 TF wire bender, manufactured by French company Numailliance. Retecon are the suppliers.
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Somta Tools’ new PVD coating plant and polishing and honing machine delivering benefits to more applications than just their own tooling

Somta Tools have invested in a USA-designed and manufactured PerformCoat PfC540 PVD coating machine. The machine has been developed in conjunction with OSG Japan and it will now allow Somta Tools to implement coating layers with adjustable properties for toughness, hot hardness, wear resistance, oxidation resistance and colour.
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Metal Chip Machinery adds Muratec equipment to portfolio

“Muratec is a well-known Japanese brand of equipment that has been associated with the metal industry since 1935. Muratec, which is synonymous with fabrication equipment, CNC turning equipment, industrial automation and reliability across an extensive product line, is a brand solely manufactured by Murata Machinery Ltd,” explained Malcolm Moriarty, owner of Metal Chip Machinery.
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Revolution Machine Tools opens for business

In a development that has been described as the positioning of the equipment that the company sells, services and markets to the metalworking engineering businesses in South Africa, so as to become recognised and more distinguishable, Steve Andrews has opened up a company – Revolution Machine Tools. The company has a vast range of CNC mills and machining centers, including 5-axis, CNC lathes, surface and cylindrical grinders.
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The do’s and don’ts of purchasing a laser cutting machine

The laser (CO2 and fiber) cutting machine has become the ultimate cutting tool for sheet metal in recent years. It’s also one of the most rapidly evolving technologies in metal fabrication and not so long ago you’d be hard pressed to find a fiber or disk cutting laser at a custom fabrication shop. Today they’re popping up everywhere. Some figures bandied about say that 28 machines were imported into South Africa just from China, last year.
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EuroBLECH 2020 announces additional exhibition hall

The 26th edition of the International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition, EuroBLECH 2020, will take place from 27 to 30 October 2020 at the Hanover Exhibition Grounds in Germany. The show organisers, Mack Brooks Exhibitions, have now announced the expansion of exhibition space for EuroBLECH 2020 with the addition of a ninth hall for the first time in its history.
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Guhring and Chiron mill their way into the record books

Guhring and Chiron have set a ground-breaking record: Machining 1 000 cubic cm of steel alloy (16MnCr5) in 60 seconds, which equates to a metal removal rate (MRR) of 8kg of steel per minute. The record was set on a Chiron FZ 16 5-axis machining center using a Guhring RF 100 Speed P tool – a roughing cutter specially adapted for machining steel, high-tensile steel and cast iron.
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Fanuc supplies 3 500 robots to BMW Group – Major order seals strategic partnership

The industrial robot manufacturer Fanuc and the automotive group BMW AG have signed a framework agreement for the supply of 3 500 robots for new production lines and plants. Fanuc robots will be used in the production of current and future generations of BMW models. The first robots were installed at the end of 2019.
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Bloodhound unveils plans to ‘steam’ into history

The Bloodhound Land Speed Record (LSR) team has confirmed plans to challenge for the world land speed record using a rocket powered by concentrated hydrogen peroxide. This will be used alongside the F-35 jet-fighter engine when the Bloodhound LSR car attempts to reach speeds above 800mph in South Africa in the autumn of next year. This comes after Bloodhound’s successful high-speed testing programme in the Kalahari Desert in November 2019.
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Amada opens third US manufacturing facility

Amada America Inc., a supplier of precision sheet metal production equipment and related systems, has expanded its customer coverage in the US with the opening of a 17 652m² manufacturing facility near High Point, North Carolina. A 5 760m² technical centre is also under construction on the campus and should be completed in the US spring of 2020. Amada America’s Chief Operating Officer, Mike Guerin, summarised Amada’s goals and strategy for the US investment.
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DMG MORI focuses on digitalisation and automation at Pfronten, Germany open house

At DMG MORI’s traditional open house held in Pfronten, Southern Germany from 11 to 15 February 2020, the global machine tool manufacturer stressed digitalisation and automation. Areas of particular focus were on end-to-end connectivity as the standard for all machines, updating of existing versions of the Celos machine interface, the new customer portal my DMG Mori, and the cooperation with US software provider.
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January 2020

Success can be measured

“While many companies invest heavily in CNC machine tools and related equipment, the implementation of new metrology strategies tends to happen more slowly. However, today the call for more accountability when manufacturing large or small components is getting louder. In fact, rules and standards are becoming the norm rather than the exception,” explains Bryn Labuschagne, Sales Director of B&R Metrology Solutions.
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Eez-Wel Pipe Fabrications and Welding Works invests to achieve a perfect bend

Like many fabrication shops, Eez-Wel Pipe Fabrications and Welding Works is the product of a humble origin. A pipe shop that started with four employees in 2011, has now grown to become a specialist pipe fabrication shop processing carbon, stainless steel and steel piping, low and high pressure pipes, chrome, normalised carbon and P235GH piping and piping used in fire systems employing 40 staff.
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OSG continues to invest in Somta Tools

OSG Corporation, regarded as a global leader in the manufacture of round cutting tools and a company that is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, has continued with its investment plan at its South African manufacturing partner Somta Tools. “Last year OSG Corporation announced a R60 million investment in our factory in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, which we began implementing in June 2019,” said Allan Conolly, Managing Director of Somta Tools.
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Training by the numbers: Ikusasa CNC Training Centre celebrates successful first year of training

For many people in metalworking, the term training evokes an image of a white-haired, pot-bellied old timer showing a young, somewhat attentive apprentice how to run a machine on the production floor. If you are a machine operator, you probably received your training on the job working under the watchful eye of an experienced operator. That kind of training may have been adequate a few generations ago.
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TRM Supplies appointed agent for SPI Lasers

Company will service and sell fiber source for laser application machines whether it is sheet, plate, tube or additive manufacturing solutions. TRM Supplies has announced that the company has been appointed the agent and distributor of SPI Lasers, a UK-based company. SPI Lasers, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trumpf Group, is a leading designer and manufacturer of fiber lasers for welding, cutting, marking, drilling and micro-machining.
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Anticipation builds for Machine Tools Africa 2020

Nasrec Expo Centre, Johannesburg will be the venue for metalworking suppliers and manufacturing companies to exhibit their products from 12 to 15 May 2020.
Anticipation levels are already building despite there still being five months to go before the doors open for Machine Tools Africa 2020, South Africa’s premier metalworking supplier and manufacturing technologies event.

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Lasercraft set for further growth

A shareholder transaction with the 100% black-controlled Mergence Group will provide the capital necessary for Lasercraft to continually invest in metal laser cutting, bending and welding equipment to maintain the position of the company as a market leader. “We had been seeking a BEE partner for several years but struggled to find the right fit until we met the Mergence team who share the same passion and structural view of the metal sector,” said Paul Dreyer, MD of Lasercraft.
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WD Hearn appointed South African agent for Bodor Laser cutting systems

Cape Town-headquartered WD Hearn Machine Tools have announced that they have been appointed the agents for Jinan Bodor Laser, a worldwide operating, Chinese manufacturer of flat sheet and tube fiber laser cutting machines. Bodor was established in 2008 and is among the top 10 laser cutting machine manufacturers in China. The company began manufacturing CO2 lasers but has now turned its full attention to the manufacture of fiber laser cutting machines in its 27 000m² facility.
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EDM Shop to service and sell Syntec PC-based CNC controllers

“Syntec is a professional PC-based digital controller manufacturer. It has long been immersed in the development of software and hardware technology for machine tool controllers, and is committed to expanding its market worldwide. That includes South Africa where a significant amount of CNC machines have been imported with the Syntec CNC controller and we have retrofitted a number of machines with the latest controls from the company,” said Steven Andrews of EDM Shop.
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Stainless Plate Products acquires Schipper Steel

Acquisition finalised in 2019. Much has changed at Stainless Plate Products since Metalworking News last visited four years ago. For one, owner Freddie Visser has shown his commitment to building a better South Africa despite the numerous challenges the economy faces in the coming years by acquiring Schipper Steel, a Cape Town-based fabricator of a wide range of metal enclosures, and in the process prevented the loss of some 37 jobs.
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Ultrafab to market Modula automated vertical storage and retrieval systems

Vertical storage and retrieval solutions helps you to improve your warehouse productivity and efficiency, recover expensive floor space and keep inventory under control. “We were in the market for a solution to optimise our factory space, work and warehouse management systems. After an extensive research exercise we engaged Italian manufacturer Modula to install a system for our situation,” explained Derrick van Niekerk of Ultrafab.
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Mastercam and Mitutoyo partner with TITANS of CNC

CNC Software, Inc., developers of Mastercam, has announced a new partnership with TITANS of CNC, Inc. to help train the next generation of highly skilled CNC machinists and eliminate the widening skills gap. The organisations have entered into a three-year partnership to develop media that advocates for CNC education and high-level aerospace manufacturing processes. Mastercam is one of the world’s leading CAD/CAM software. It is a widely used CAM in industry and education worldwide.
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Hypertherm announces successful raid of counterfeiting operation in Vietnam

Hypertherm, a manufacturer of industrial cutting systems and software, has announced a successful raid of a counterfeiting operation in Vietnam leading to the seizure and destruction of dozens of counterfeit Powermax electrodes, nozzles, and shields. The raid, conducted in partnership with Vietnamese enforcement authorities at the Market Management Bureau, took place in a Hanoi facility operated by Vietmec Import Export Equipment Technology Co., also known as Vinamec Machines.
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Mazak and Oak Ridge National Laboratory partner for wire additive R&D

Continuing collaborative efforts for the technological advancement of manufacturing processes, Mazak Corporation and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) manufacturing demonstration centre in Oak Ridge, TN, USA have entered into a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA). Working on behalf of the US Department of Energy, ORNL and Mazak will further develop the use of Hot Wire Deposition (HWD) in additive manufacturing (AM) part production operations.
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Kennametal launches additive manufacturing unit

Kennametal has formed a 3D printing materials and production business unit, Kennametal Additive Manufacturing, as part of its Infrastructure segment. The new business unit, which is already shipping production parts to customers, combines the company’s experience in materials science and wear-resistant solutions with additive manufacturing capabilities to supply high-performance metal additive powders and fully finished 3D printed parts for wear, erosion, corrosion, and high temperature applications.
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There could still be hope for Saldanha Steel: Expressions of interest received

Government urges AMSA to take all steps possible to retain jobs but AMSA says offers are not commercially substantive. In an official statement released in December 2019 The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) said it has received expressions of interest by two parties to buy the Saldanha Steel works from ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA).
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