News

November 2020

Steel production trends to look out for to sustain the manufacturing industry

The manufacturing industry has been hard hit by the consequences of COVID-19, as reported in recent GDP reports, stating the sector suffered a 74,9% financial downturn. This sector-wide drop – including iron, steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery – has contributed a total of 11% to the overall 51% decline.

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Rheinmetall Denel Munition awarded 60mm mortar contract

An international customer has contracted with Rheinmetall for an array of cutting-edge mortar ammunition. South African arms manufacturer Rheinmetall Denel Munition, a Rheinmetall subsidiary, will supply the customer with conventional 60mm, long-range 60mm and advanced 60mm patrol mortar ammunition. Under the agreement, this longstanding customer will take delivery of the products by the end of 2021. The order is worth a figure in the mid-single-digit million euro range.

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Record 2.7 million robots work in factories around the globe

The new World Robotics 2020 Industrial Robots report shows a record of 2.7 million industrial robots operating in factories around the world, an increase of 12%. Sales of new robots remain on a high level with 373 000 units shipped globally in 2019. This is 12% less compared to 2018, but still the 3rd highest sales volume ever recorded. “The stock of industrial robots operating in factories around the world today marks the highest level in history,” says Milton Guerry.

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Adidas shoe features a robot produced upper and 3D printed midsole

A proof-of-concept running shoe from Adidas features an industry-first textile upper and a 3D printed, lattice-style midsole with tunable cushioning properties. According to an Adidas video: Futurecraft.Strung “3D allows us to input athlete data in the precision placement of each thread in any direction we choose.” Special software lets engineers build and test different structures before sending the chosen design to the Strung robot.

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DMG MORI advances its green credentials to the maximum. All machines to be produced carbon-neutrally from January 2021

As of January next year, DMG MORI says it will manufacture all its machines in a completely climate-neutral manner – from raw materials to delivery. This adds to the fact that the company’s products already provide the highest energy efficiency on customers’ premises, it adds.

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EMO 2021 scheduled for October 2021 in Milan, Italy

EMO Milano 2021, one of the largest machine tool exhibitions in the world, will be held in Milan, Italy, from 4 to 9 October 2021. The date was announced during a virtual press conference. With Italy both a major supplier and consumer of machine tools and manufacturing equipment, holding the show is as important to Italy as it is to the attendees, according to Marco Saladini, Trade Commissioner-Chicago of the Italian Trade Agency.

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Sandvik acquires Vericut developer CGTech

Sandvik has signed a deal to acquire Vericut developers CGTech, enhancing Sandvik’s ability to provide full machining solutions and increase its value proposition. CGTech will join Sandvik Coromant, a division within Sandvik Machining Solutions. The product offering includes Vericut, a machining simulation and optimisation software, which is machine tool manufacturer and cutting tool neutral and works stand alone or in conjunction with all major CAM suppliers.

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CAMWorks adds Wire EDM tech from CIMTechnology

CAMWorks has signed up a partnership with CIMTechnology, a leading provider of Wire EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) software gaining CAMWorks users exclusive access to it. CIMTechnology have specialised in Wire EDM for more than 30 years, with its technology previously sold through OEM partners as stand-alone systems or as technology added to current programming systems.

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Doosan Machine Tools partners with Titans of CNC

Doosan Machine Tools has entered a new strategic partnership with Titans of CNC. As part of this partnership, Doosan Machine Tools will become the exclusive premier machine tool builder partner for Titans of CNC. Titans of CNC is focused on being the top global manufacturing education provider and over the past few years has reshaped the way manufacturing education is approached and delivered.

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Trumpf sheet metal parts gets new business model

The Trumpf Group and Munich Re are entering into a strategic partnership to create a ‘pay-per-part’ model for sheet metal laser cutters. The goal is to enable customers to use a full-service laser machine without having to buy or lease any equipment, with the offering including access to a fully automatic laser cutting machine, a storage system, Trumpf’s production know-how, and the necessary service components, as well as equipment maintenance and the required raw materials.

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September 2020

Transnet looks to localise the manufacture and supply of rail to reindustrialise the economy

As part of its strategy to localise rail manufacturing, Transnet SOC Ltd. has issued a Request for Information (RFI) relating to the local manufacture and supply of rails. The objective of the RFI is to assess the current market’s capabilities and capacity to manufacture, as well as determine the timelines and investments required to meet Transnet’s demand that is projected at approximately 77 000 tons per annum over the next twenty (20) years.

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NEASA has withdrawn its urgent application in the Gauteng High Court to stop the implementation of a 10% import tariff and custom duties on coated flat-rolled products

“Early in August 2020 NEASA filed an urgent application in the Gauteng High Court to prevent Government from introducing more tariffs on nine new product codes, some of which are not even manufactured in South Africa,” said NEASA CE Gerhard Papenfus.

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AMSA declares force majeure after Newcastle furnace breakdown

ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has temporarily shut down its Newcastle Works blast furnace after the unit suffered thermal damage and broke down. As a result, the firm has declared force majeure. The unit’s repairs will take an estimated three weeks, a spokesperson for the steelmaker said. “Every effort is being made to resolve the problem quickly and to restart production as soon as possible to limit the impact on customers,” the spokesperson says.

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Transnet signs R400 million deal with Mozambican operator

State-owned rail engineering company Transnet Engineering (TE) and Mozambican state-owned railway operator Caminhos De Ferros De Mocambique (CFM) have signed a rolling stock supply agreement valued at more than R400 million. Under the terms of the agreement, TE will supply 300 freight wagons to CFM. The wagons will be manufactured at the TE Bloemfontein centre, creating local supply opportunities.

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CIMdata publishes global CAM market analysis report

CIMdata, Inc., the leading global PLM strategic management consulting and research firm, has announced the release of the 2020 CIMdata CAM Market Analysis Report (MAR), the 28th annual study of the global Computer-Aided Machining (CAM) market. CIMdata estimates that based on end-user payments, the worldwide CAM software and related services market grew by 3.9% in the calendar year 2019.

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Chiron Group acquires Mecatis SA, a specialist in small, high-precision machining centers

The Chiron Group acquired Mecatis SA with headquarters in Isérables, Valais, Switzerland. Mecatis is a specialist for small, high-precision machining centers, which are used in the watchmaking, medical, jewellery and micro engineering industry. Mecatis, established in 2007, designs, builds and maintains machining centers for the high-speed cutting of micro-technical components.

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Take a break from the virtual and visit the Italian trade show 32.BI-MU

Exhibition is scheduled to take place from 14 to 17 October 2020 in Milan, Italy. Take a break from the virtual and go in person to the 32nd edition of the BI-MU trade show. Over 550 companies have confirmed their presence at this Italian trade show for machine tools, robotics and automation. It is scheduled for 14 to 17 October 2020 in the exhibition centre of Fieramilano Rho in Milan, Italy.

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Tech Soft 3D and OPEN MIND collaborate on CAM solutions

Tech Soft 3D, a leading provider of engineering software development toolkits, and OPEN MIND, a leading developer of CAD/CAM software solutions worldwide, have announced that HOOPS Exchange, the industry’s fast and accurate CAD data access and reuse technology for manufacturing and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) workflows, will be integrated into hyperMILL and hyperCAD-S to ensure that all CAD and PMI data is transferred seamlessly between applications.

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JIMTOF 2020 goes online

The Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association and Tokyo Big Sight Inc. have decided to hold the JIMTOF 2020 exhibition online on the website for 12 days from 16 to 27 November 2020. JIMTOF 2020, which was scheduled to be held in December of this year, was cancelled, but it has been decided to hold an online exhibition in response to the need for new-product announcements and opportunities for business talks, say the organisers.

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Machine tool orders gloomy

Orders received by the German machine tool industry in the second quarter of 2020 were 46 per cent down on the same period last year. In the process orders from Germany fell by 36 per cent. 51 per cent fewer orders were received from abroad. In the first half of 2020, the level of orders fell by 35 per cent. Domestic orders were 28 per cent lower than in the previous year. The level of orders from abroad was reduced by 39 per cent.

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DMG MORI results show decline in demand for machine tools

DMG MORI might have been bullish and positive when they sent out a press release with the headline of: DMG MORI with positive results in the first half year 2020, but in fact if you look at their figures you can see that they, like many others are down on sales, revenues and everything else. The whole industry is reporting lower earnings and it is nothing to be ashamed of – many are in the same boat.

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Hannover Messe Hermes award goes to Trumpf

The company’s award-winning product supports the use of all location technologies, bundling position data to enable targeted optimisation of process flows. Machine tool manufacturer Trumpf has won this year’s Hermes award, one of the most coveted prizes in the international industry, for its open location standard product omlox. The award ceremony took place on July 14 during the Hannover Messe Digital Days.

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July 2020

EcoCooling: A dry, clean and environmentally friendly method developed to lubricate metal workpieces

Dry cooling method to replace polluting metalworking fluids. Expensive metalworking fluids are no longer needed to cool and lubricate workpieces and cutting tools in the machine tool industry. Instead, there is now a proven green and clean method, EcoCooling, that uses only ionised and cooled air and has none of the environmental hazards and costs related to oil-based fluids.

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Africa Aerospace and Defence show postponed to 2022

The exhibition, long seen as Africa’s premier aerospace and defence event, was set down for 16 to 20 September 2020 at Air Force Base Waterkloof in Centurion. The traditional weekend airshow was set to include large parts of the SA Air Force (SAAF) inventory as part of the commemoration of the force’s centenary. The show has been “deferred” to 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Rheinmetall wins munitions plant engineering contract

Rheinmetall Group subsidiary Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has won a 13 million euro plant engineering contract. The contract encompasses modernisation of an existing production facility belonging to an established, longstanding customer. Due to begin shortly, the project is to be complete in 2021. Given its highly developed capabilities in plant engineering, the South Africa-based company enables customers and partners in over thirty countries around the world.

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Perdekraal East Wind Farm achieves milestone

Construction of Perdekraal East Wind Farm has achieved a major milestone after a locally manufactured transformer arrived to be used on the project. The main transformer was transported by road from Pretoria. The 500MVA mega transformer was manufactured in South Africa as were the turbines used in the wind farm, a move that seeks to enhance local content percentage on the project.

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AMSA seeks safeguards on steel imports amid demand concerns

Clarifies details of safeguard application for structural steel products. ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has approached the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) for safeguards on imports of structural steel products amid concerns over poor demand and rising steel imports. An AMSA spokesperson said that the safeguards would not only apply to the company, but to the entire local steel industry.

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Technology is key at Ford

Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant uses an advanced Fits Gate system on its assembly line in Pretoria to measure the gap and flushness between all sheet metal components of the Ranger and Everest. Handheld laser measurement gauges are used by operators on either side of the vehicle who move from the front to the back measuring the bonnet, doors and tailgate.

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IMTS 2020 cancelled because of COVID-19

IMTS 2020, which had been scheduled to be held in Chicago in September 2020, has been cancelled because of the pandemic virus Coronavirus (COVID-19). The state of Illinois has imposed health and safety requirements for holding conventions, including the availability of a vaccine for COVID-19 or an effective treatment protocol. The state has said it has a five-phase plan for reopening its economy.

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Mikron aligns capacity and structures to changed market circumstances

Mikron is now specifying the capacity adjustments announced in its media release of April 17, 2020. Following the huge slump in demand for capital goods in the automotive industry, a trend that has been further worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mikron is reducing capacity and simplifying Group structures.

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Aluminium World Trade Fair postponed

Now to be held from 18 to 20 May 2021. Aluminium, the world’s leading trade fair for the aluminium industry, which was to take place in Düsseldorf from 6 to 8 October 2020, has been postponed to 18 to 20 May 2021 due to the serious consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The accompanying Aluminium Conference will also be postponed into the next year.

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May 2020

Mazak opens museum dedicated to machine tools

The Yamazaki Mazak Corporation is celebrating the far-reaching impact machine tools have on everyday life with the opening of the Yamazaki Mazak Museum of Machine Tools in Minokamo, Japan. Opened to the public at the end of 2019 to mark the company’s 100th anniversary, the museum showcases the intrinsic link between Mazak’s history and the evolution of the technology.

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Umati – on its way to becoming the global language of production

Mechanical and plant engineering sector propelling industry towards Industry 4.0. Machine tools and the individual mix of machines, equipment, robots and systems can exist in a common ecosystem, which is ideal for producing plug-and-play solutions. The VDMA and VDW are joining forces to promote the use and dissemination of OPC UA standards throughout the mechanical engineering sector under the Umati label.

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Prima Industrie introduces Prima@Home streaming service

Prima Industrie S.p.A. has launched Prima@Home streaming platform to help connect with customers during the current pandemic situations. The streaming platform is designed to offer a complete range of services including live formats such as events, demos, webinars, presentations and training courses, live video demonstrations of the Group’s products, and the ‘on demand’ streaming of a wide variety of content.

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Chiron enters AM with new metal 3D printer

The Chiron Group, a global manufacturer of CNC equipment, has made its first foray into the world of additive manufacturing with the development of its first 3D printer, the AM Cube, a laser metal deposition (LMD) system. Designed for manufacturing large and complex components, the AM Cube expands upon the company’s existing core competencies that focus on metal machining and automation.

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Heraeus Amloy and Trumpf explore new opportunities for 3D printing of amorphous metals

Heraeus Amloy, a division of Heraeus, Hanau, Germany, and Trumpf, Ditzingen, Germany, have joined together to collaborate on the Additive Manufacturing of amorphous metals, also known as metallic glasses. The aim of the collaboration is to establish the Additive Manufacturing of amorphous parts as a standard production method on the shop floor by improving process and cost efficiencies.

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New METAV date set: International fair for metalworking technologies to be held next year

METAV 2020 is postponed until March 2021. It will now be held from 23 to 26 March 2021. “We are delighted to have agreed a new date together with our partner, Messe Düsseldorf, so quickly,” says Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the METAV organiser VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association). METAV 2020 was originally scheduled to take place from 10 to 13 March this year.

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MACH exhibition rescheduled to take place in January 2021

The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), which owns and runs the MACH exhibition on behalf of the industry, has taken the decision to reschedule MACH from April 2020 to January 2021. Given the spread of the Coronavirus, the MTA has decided that, in order to minimise the risks to visitors and exhibitors and to provide the best possible platform for both exhibitors and visitors, the event will now take place from 25 to 28 January 2021.

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New date for wire and Tube Düsseldorf

The world’s leading international trade fairs for the wire, cable, tube and pipe industry, wire and Tube, will take place from 7 to 11 December 2020 at Düsseldorf Fairgrounds, Germany. This is Messe Düsseldorf’s timely response to the postponement of the industry highlights announced at the end of February. It was agreed in consultation with all partners involved in order to counteract the increasingly dynamic developments regarding the possible spread of the Coronavirus.

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BIEMH postponed to November 2020 over Coronavirus concerns

The International Machine Tool Exhibition, or BIEMH, has been postponed from its original dates in May to November 23 to 27, 2020. The decision to postpone the Spanish event was in response to the World Health Organisation’s declaration of a public health emergency with the spread of the coronavirus internationally. The postponement also applies to the ADDIT3D, BeDigital, IMIC and Workinn events, which were planned to be held in parallel with BIEMH.

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JIMTOF 2020 cancelled

Reasons for the cancellation stem from the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to 2021. The organisers of JIMTOF 2020, the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association (JMTBA) and Tokyo Big Sight Inc., have announced that this year’s JIMTOF exhibition has been cancelled and will resume in 2022. Tokyo Big Sight is the exhibition venue to be used for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics and Paralympics Games and JIMTOF 2022.

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March 2020

Denel announces exit from Aerostructures Manufacturing business

The process of exiting the greater part of Denel’s Aerostructures Manufacturing Business is now at an advanced stage with major steps put in place to minimise the impact on job losses within the company. This follows the mutual agreement by Denel and its customers to transfer the manufacturing of aircraft parts to alternative suppliers as the business was no longer sustainable for Denel.

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AMSA acquires South Africa’s only producer of heavy sections of long steel

The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA’s) acquisition of the manufacturing and production of the structural steel and rail business of Highveld Structural Mill (HSM), a subsidiary of Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium. HSM, in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, is the only company capable of producing heavy sections of long steel in South Africa.

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Trumpf Hüttinger acquires microwave tech firm HBH

Trumpf Hüttinger, laser and machine company Trumpf’s high-tech division, has acquired HBH Microwave, based in Stutensee, Germany. This acquisition adds semiconductor-based, solid-state microwave generators to Trumpf Hüttinger’s technology portfolio. These devices are used in industrial heating, drying, and plasma applications, as well as in communications and radar technology.

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32.BI-MU from 14 to 17 October 2020 at fieramilano RHO, Milan, Italy

From 14 to 17 October 2020, fieramilano Rho will be the stage for the 32nd edition of BI-MU, the most important Italian exhibition dedicated to the industry of metal forming and metal cutting machine tools, additive and digital manufacturing, robots and automation, enabling technologies and subcontracting. It is the only trade show in Italy related to the sector that has a real international appeal.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) monitors machine tool drives

Researchers developed a system for automated monitoring of ball screw drives in machine tools. In mechanical engineering, timely maintenance and replacement of defective components in machine tools is an important part of the manufacturing process. For ball screw drives, such as those used in lathes to precisely guide the production of cylindrical components, wear is determined manually.

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Ford 3D printed development helps to thwart thieves

As car security systems become ever more advanced, thieves are targeting car parts instead, including alloy wheels. Ford engineers have used 3D printing technology to develop next-generation locking wheel nuts. Together with additive-manufacturing specialist EOS, Ford has created locking nuts with contours that are based on the driver’s voice. Like an iris scan or a fingerprint, a person’s voice can be used as a unique biometric identification.

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Metalworking fluids experts Quaker Chemical Corporation and Houghton International combine operations

Quaker Chemical Corporation and Houghton International have combined to create Quaker Houghton, a global leader in industrial process fluids to the primary metals and metalworking markets. The combined US$1.6 billion revenue company employs 4 000 associates serving 15 000 customers worldwide. Quaker was founded in 1918 and Houghton in 1865.

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BAE Systems and Renishaw to develop 3D printing capability for the defence and aerospace sector

BAE Systems and Renishaw have signed an agreement to work together on the development of additive manufacturing (AM) capability for the defence and aerospace sector. The collaboration is designed to help improve performance, reduce costs and speed up manufacturing processes on future combat aircraft.

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German machine tool industry facing major challenges in 2020

A difficult international situation, a virus and trouble in different industries, it will not be an easy year for the machine tool industry. Find out why 2020 still holds a lot of potential. The VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) is expecting production output to fall by 18% in 2020. The past year, by contrast, turned out much better than anticipated.

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Luigi Galdabini appointed General Commissioner for EMO Milano 2021

Luigi Galdabini is the General Commissioner for EMO Milano 2021, the world machine tool exhibition, which will be hosted at the Exhibition Centre of fieramilano Rho from 4 to 9 October 2021. Luigi Galdabini will have the task of supervising the organisation of EMO Milano 2021, also participating in the promotion of the event through a roadshow of press conferences.

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3D printing market continues to grow at a record pace, report says

According to the latest report by Amsterdam-based online manufacturing platform 3D Hubs, North America and Europe are the clear leaders in online 3D printing, representing together more than 95% of the global demand. US businesses account for nearly 50% of the global online 3D printing demand, while UK firms are the most avid 3D printing users in Europe, accounting for more than 12% of global online 3D printing.

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January 2020

Nikon and DMG MORI cooperate to provide innovative machine tool solutions

Nikon Corporation and DMG MORI have concluded a memorandum of understanding for a comprehensive business alliance. This business alliance will boost the establishment of Nikon’s material processing business by utilising the knowledge of DMG MORI as a leading machine tool company. The two companies will also cooperate to develop more advanced DMG MORI machine tools by applying Nikon’s measurement and camera related technologies.

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Hurco partners with BMO Automation

Hurco has announced it is partnering with BMO Automation to provide manufacturers with a tested automation solution that requires minimal integration and increased productivity without disruption. BMO has been in the automation and digitisation business for the machining industry since 2008. “Our customers tell us that finding qualified machinists is the primary impediment to their company’s growth.”

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31 BIEMH 2020 – Spain’s international machine tool exhibition

Bilbao Exhibition Centre, Bilbao, Spain from 25 to 29 May 2020. The organising team of BIEMH, Spain’s international machine tool exhibition, has presented the new campaign image for the event, which will be held from the 25th to the 29th of May 2020. The content of the image, both graphic and written, focusses on the value of BIEMH as an advanced manufacturing fair that can showcase ‘the technology that will change the world’, as their claim affirms.

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METAV 2020 showing advances in 3D printing products and solutions

There has been a great deal of hype surrounding the benefits of additive manufacturing for several years now. Numerous companies have invested in machines and have been trying out the innovative manufacturing process. Such trials often represent a cost-intensive learning process, but the focus is now increasingly on achieving verifiable successes. The following practical applications show that the technology is gaining more and more ground in the machining production environment.

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The largest manufacturing technology show in Korea – SIMTOS 2020 – to be held at KINTEX from March 31 to April 4, 2020

SIMTOS 2020 (Seoul International Manufacturing Technology Show 2020), Korea’s biggest manufacturing technology exhibition hosted by the Korea Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association(KOMMA), will be held at KINTEX (Korea International Exhibition Centre) in Korea from March 31 to April 4 in 2020 under the slogan of “Capture the Future: 4th Industrial Revolution”.

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Chiron Group opens digital machine tool plant

Greenfield investment was the largest from Chiron in more than 100 years. With a maximum annual production capacity of 400 high-precision machining centers, the nearly 14 000 m² Chiron Precision Factory in Neuhausen, Germany, is currently the most modern machine factory in Europe. Costing more than €34.5 million and completed in just 15 months, the greenfield building is the largest single investment in almost 100 years of Chiron’s corporate history.

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MACH 2020 scheduled for April 2020

The UK’s national manufacturing show, MACH 2020, might still be four months away, but anticipation is building fast and the event is already set to be one of the industry’s highlights of the year. MACH is the longest-running manufacturing and engineering exhibition in the UK, showcasing the largest variety of manufacturing technology solutions in the country, all under one roof. It will take place at the NEC in Birmingham between 20 and 24 April 2020.

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Schneeberger appointed new CECIMO President

The CECIMO General Assembly has elected Dr Hans-Martin Schneeberger as President for a period of two years. His term will focus on the setting of global standards and the uptake of artificial intelligence (AI). Succeeding Dr Roland Feichtl, Dr Hans-Martin Schneeberger has been entrusted with the responsibility of leading the European association, which represents more than a third of the world’s machine-tool production.

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Okuma and Dr Kaiser Diamantwerkzeuge jointly develop grinding system

Okuma and German grinding expert Dr Kaiser Diamantwerkzeuge GmbH, have jointly developed a grinding system that is said to offer a number of advanced wheel dressing functions. Dr Kaiser and Okuma can look back on a successful co-operation having previously created a special app to determine optimal dressing parameters. Now, Dr Kaiser has developed a vitrified CBN grinding wheel, a dressing spindle system and the related dressing tools for an Okuma GP25W x65 CNC grinding machine.

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November 2019

DMG MORI gains digital know-how with stake in up2parts

With a strategic stake in the Bavarian software company up2parts, which specialises in artificial intelligence (AI), DMG MORI plans to acquire important know-how in the field of digitised manufacturing processes. up2parts’ AI-based geometric workpiece analysis makes it easy and quick to generate work plans and price calculations for individual components.

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Blaser Swisslube at EMO 2019 with the latest technologies and Titan Gilroy

Blaser Swisslube’s brand ambassador Titan Gilroy of TITANS of CNC: Academy was the centre of attraction on the company’s stand at EMO Hannover 2019. Titan Gilroy is recognised for his free e-learning platform TITANS of CNC: Academy. Titan and his team have managed to educate machine operators, students and many more about CAD, CAM and CNC.

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Chasis manufacturer KLT acquires Brits plant, eyes East London expansion

Chassis manufacturer, the KLT Group, has acquired the AVMY Steel Science pressing, welding, assembly and e-coating plant, in Brits, in the North West province, in an investment valued at roughly R30 million. The move forms part of the Indian group’s production expansion and diversification programme in South Africa, with more on the cards for 2021.

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Aveng asset disposal process advances

Following the strategic review concluded in 2018 and as part of the non-core disposal process, Aveng has now announced that, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Aveng Africa (Pty) Ltd, it has entered into a binding term sheet, with Laula Consortium (Pty) Ltd., for the sale of the Grinaker-LTA Mechanical and Electrical Business (M&E Business), subject to certain conditions precedent. Laula is a black-owned company.

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Taiwan machine tool industry needs upgrading to remain competitive

Taiwan needs to step up its investment in machine tool industry upgrades amid increased competition from China and South Korea that is bringing about a qualitative change in the sector, according to an industry expert. Eric Chuo, founder of Hiwin Technologies Corp., made the case for Taiwan to boost its machine tool manufacturing prowess through three approaches.

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China’s Estun Automation acquires Germany’s Carl Cloos Welding Technology

Nanjing Estun Automation Technology Co. has announced that it has acquired Carl Cloos Schweißtechnik GmbH, or Carl Cloos Welding Technology, for €196 million (US $216.44 million). The Estun Group said it hopes to become a world-leading robotics company. Haiger, Germany-based Cloos Group was founded in 1919 and develops, manufactures, and delivers robotic welding systems.

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Airbus: 39 000 aircraft needed globally in next 20 years

The world’s passenger and freighter aircraft fleet will more than double from today’s 23 000 to almost 48 000 in the next 20 years, according to Airbus. Until 2038 the aerospace giant predicts a 4.3% annual growth in air traffic, resulting in 39 210 new aircraft needed and 8 470 remaining from today.

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September 2019

Okuma president Yoshimaro Hanaki recognised for his long-time contribution to the growth of the machine tool industry

Yoshimaro Hanaki, president and CEO of Okuma Corporation, has been awarded a Japanese medal of honour entitled: The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon. This award honours and recognises Hanaki’s long-time contribution to the growth of the machine tool industry and the benefits that Okuma’s activities have brought to society.

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Bloodhound set for high-speed tests

The Bloodhound LSR car is set to undergo high-speed tests on a dry lake bed race track in South Africa in October 2019, in preparation for a land speed record attempt in late 2020. Following the successful 200mph UK runway trials at Cornwall Airport Newquay in October 2017, the team, which is based at SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College on the Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park, will be targeting 500mph.

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hyperMILL signs a cooperative agreement with CFturbo

Open Mind Technologies AG has now announced a cooperative agreement with CFturbo to provide a complete design-to-manufacture workflow process to produce turbo machines such as pumps, compressors, turbines, fans and blowers. CFturbo is acknowledged as an industry leader in the turbo machinery sector with its design software that takes businesses from conceptual design through to complete 3D model.

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Sandvik acquires 30% stake in Italy’s Beam IT

Sandvik has acquired a significant stake in Italian metal additive manufacturing (AM) firm Beam IT to strengthen the company’s offer in metal additive manufacturing. “The investment is also in line with Sandvik’s strategic ambition to become a leading solution provider for the wider component manufacturing industry,” the news release says.

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Cheap imports, ongoing challenges in the steel industry as well as a weak South African economy hit ArcelorMittal South Africa’s performance

ArcelorMittal South Africa’s operating profit decreased from a profit of R1 224 million in June 2018, the first half-year profit in almost a decade, to a loss of R222 million. This was largely as a result of lower sales prices and volumes, higher electricity, rail and port tariffs, and sharp increases in primary raw material prices, notably iron ore.

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Ford’s expansion unleashes new potential for South Africa

Company says it is to add 1 200 jobs from August and introduce a third shift at the vehicle assembly plant in Silverton to the west of Pretoria. Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) will employ 1 200 new employees from August 2019 to meet the growing international and local demand for the New Ranger, Ranger Raptor and Everest models.

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July 2019

Elkana CNC Services appointed agents for Chiron CNC vertical milling and turning machining centers

Elkana CNC Services has announced that they have been appointed the agents to look after the sales, service and maintenance of the Chiron brand of machines in South Africa. The Chiron Group, headquartered in Tuttlingen, is a global company specialising in CNC controlled vertical machining and turning centers.

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Macsteel collects two awards in recognition of significant advances in supplier development

It took two awards at the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards, which recognise and celebrate businesses committed to building a better South Africa via inclusive and transformed supply chains. Macsteel won the Small Supplier and Local Manufacturing Award in acknowledgement of companies who have developed an ecosystem of small suppliers, manufacturers or value-add services and products from the local industry.

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Siemens acquires Esteq

Siemens Digital Industries Software has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire assets of Esteq, a distributor of product lifecycle management, product design and simulation, and manufacturing operations software and services. Esteq is headquartered in Pretoria, South Africa, and has locations across the region serving the aerospace and defence, transportation, consumer products, energy, electronics, machinery, mining and minerals, and oil and gas industries.

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Ford South Africa’s growth strategy targets crucial exports

Ford focuses on crucial bakkie and SUV exports. A struggling economy, political uncertainty, fragile consumer confidence, mounting pressure on disposable income, and diminished purchasing power as a result of higher interest rates and fuel price hikes, have all taken their toll on domestic new vehicle sales in South Africa. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the automotive sector.

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OPINION: 3D ready to give manufacturing sector a complete makeover

Unlike some may think, 3D printing is not just an innovative technology for rapid prototyping, modelling and manufacturing of specialised one-off products. It is an essential building block of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) that has the ability to alter the way in which manufacturing and consumption are connected.

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Fanuc to build new plant to harness 5G and self-driving demand

Japanese industrial robot maker Fanuc plans to spend 3.5 billion yen ($28.3 million) on a new plant it hopes will help it capture business opportunities related to 5G smartphones and self-driving cars. The company intends to increase production of what is known as nano-level processing equipment, in an effort to meet demand for moulds for high-precision camera lenses used in the phones and vehicles.

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Sandvik creates first 3D printed diamond composite

Sandvik Additive Manufacturing has created the first ever 3D printed diamond composite for a wide range of industrial uses. The newly developed process means that this super-hard material can now be 3D printed in highly complex shapes without the need for further machining. Although a composite, most of Sandvik’s material is diamond.

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FutureAM project discovers superalloys for additive manufacturing

A team of engineers has been refining laser powder buildup welding over decades to allow more materials to be applied in additive manufacturing. Engineers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology (Fraunhofer IWS; Dresden, Germany) have refined laser powder buildup welding over decades to allow more materials to be applied in additive manufacturing.

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Renishaw and Wenzel collaborate on shopfloor coordinate measurement solutions

Renishaw’s Equator gauging system is to be controlled with Wenzel’s WM Quartis metrology software for programming and evaluation purposes. The move comes as part of a co-operation deal between the two companies and will be incorporated into the Wenzel product portfolio.

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May 2019

Denel looking to stop manufacture of A400M components

Denel and Airbus have reached a mutual agreement to transfer the manufacturing of aircraft parts for the A400M military airlifter out of Denel, subject to fulfilling applicable legal prescripts. As part of its turnaround strategy, Denel is looking to halt production of historically loss-making A400M components for Airbus.

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Area plan of EMO Hannover 2019

Club of Metalworking card allows you free public transport within Hannover. Even though the floor planning for EMO Hannover 2019 is still in full swing, the trade fair’s organiser VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) has already published the first details.

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Components demand a good sign for South Africa’s automotive industry

Growth is set to be bigger after 2021 when government policy demanding more than 50% local content kicks in. Promising growth in demand by vehicle manufacturers for South African made automotive components cannot hide underlying challenges faced by the local components industry, says Dave Furlonger writing about a report in Business Day.

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Metal-cutting machines are a long way from being ripe for the scrap heap

EMO Hannover 2019 will show how smart technologies meet the production requirements of electro-mobility. The mobility concept for individual transportation will in the relatively near future be a combination of progressively downsized internal combustion engines and electric drives, say some, while others predict that electro-mobility will secure jobs or even create new ones.

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Disruptive technologies offer major opportunities and headaches for manufacturers

New study finds some manufacturers are ready to leverage cutting edge technologies while others fall behind. New research finds that manufacturing leaders are worried about disruptive technologies – robotics, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, and analytics – and yet few are doing much about it.

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Nissan to manufacture Navara pickup in South Africa

Nissan has announced a R3 billion investment in its facility in Rosslyn, Pretoria to prepare the plant for production of the next generation Nissan Navara pickup. The move expands the role of the plant as a Light Commercial Vehicle manufacturing hub for Nissan. The Navara will join the popular NP200 and NP300 models, which are already built at Rosslyn and sold in the domestic market.

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Toyota receives NAACAM award

Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) has announced that it received a recognition award for being the most supportive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in promoting the objectives of the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) Show.

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Mazak celebrates 10th anniversary of European technology centre

Yamazaki Mazak will celebrate a decade of success for its European Technology Centre (ETC) in 2019. The facility, which is located at its European Manufacturing Plant in Worcester, UK first opened its doors in 2009, and has since hosted in excess of 33 000 visitors.

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Wohlers report 2019 on additive manufacturing now available

Takes a look at significant growth in 3D printing materials segment. The Wohlers Report 2019 has been released for those wanting to gain a special view of additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing worldwide. Wohlers Associates feels that this report has been more carefully and thoroughly researched and written than any other.

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Bloodhound project back on track for world-record

The Bloodhound LSR project has been officially re-launched, with a new base, a new livery and a new owner vowing to let it “off the leash”. The British car made its first appearance since the project went into administration outside new headquarters at SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College (UTC) on the Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park.

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AM capabilities shown by Renishaw collaboration

Gloucestershire-based Renishaw has collaborated with two advanced-technology companies to demonstrate the advantages of additive manufacturing (AM) in the production of spinal implants. Its work with Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) and nTopology shows how streamlined the transition from design to AM can be when working with the right partners.

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Gleason to acquire Faessler honing business

Gleason Corporation has announced the signing of a definitive agreement with Daetwyler Industries AG and MDC Max Daetwyler AG to acquire all assets of Daetwyler’s Faessler gear-honing business. Under the Faessler brand, Daetwyler has been producing gear-honing machines, related work-holding and tools for the high-precision hard finishing of gears.

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March 2019

Sandvik Coromant plant recognised as advanced Industry 4.0 site

The World Economic Forum has officially recognised the Sandvik Coromant production unit in Gimo, Sweden as an advanced Industry 4.0 facility. Gimo has been selected as a “lighthouse” site, namely one that comprehensively deploys a wide range of Industry 4.0 technologies and uses cases at scale, while keeping humans and sustainability at the heart of innovation.

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DMG Mori AG reports record figures for 2018

Germany-headquartered DMG Mori AG, part of Japan-headquartered machine tool giant DMG Mori Co, reports record figures for order intake, sales revenues, EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) and free cash flow. Order intake rose by 8% to €2 975.6 million, with sales increasing by 13% to €2 655.1 million. EBIT went up by 21% to €217.1 million – an EBIT margin of 8.2% – and free cash flow improved by €11.8 million to €154.2 million.

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Mazak Integrex AG series has won ‘One of the Best Products in Japan in 2018’ award

The Mazak Integrex AG series, integrating multi-tasking machines with gear cutting, has won the One of the Best Products in Japan in 2018 awards. This is the 61st time the awards have been held and they are organised by Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Ltd, one of the leading industrial newspapers in Japan.

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Record-breaking year for the Italian machine tool industry

Based on the ISTAT data processing by UCIMU, in the first eight months of the year (latest available survey), the main destination countries for the Made in Italy products of the sector were the following: Germany 246 million euro (+11.6%); China 237 million euro (+7.1%); United States 223 million euro (+9.5%); Poland 143 million euro (+49.8%) and France 135 million euro (-4.6%).

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Lamiera – Italy’s metal forming exhibition takes place in Milan from 15 to 18 May 2019

The exhibition area of Lamiera is growing and expanding. The international exhibition dedicated to sheet metal machines and to innovative technologies related to the sector, will take place at Fiera Milano Rho in Milan, Italy from 15 to 18 May 2019. In addition to the traditional halls 13 and 15, pavilion 18 will also be occupied and has been named the Innovation Hall.

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Airbus terminating A380 programme in 2021

Emirates announced it will only take 14 more A380s instead of the 53 it had on firm order. The order is revised and now includes 40 A330-900s and 30 A350-900s, according to a new heads of agreement. “As a result of this decision we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years. This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders said.

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VWSA to reach record production this year, says Schäfer

Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) should this year produce a record number of vehicles at its Uitenhage plant, in the Eastern Cape, says CEO Thomas Schäfer. He says the local arm of the German car manufacturer should produce 161 900 vehicles, of which 108 000 are scheduled to be exported. VWSA produced 126 413 vehicles in 2018, and exported around 75 900 units.

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Paramount Group secures contract with United Arab Emirates (UAE) for its next generation armoured vehicle

Paramount Group, the South African-based global defence and aerospace company, has unveiled its next generation armoured personnel carrier, and announced it has received a contract from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at IDEX 2019, the largest defence and security Expo in the Middle East.

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Ford’s Silverton vehicle assembly plant in Pretoria has started production of the refreshed 2019 Ford Ranger

“Following the investment of over R3 billion in our local operations and extensive upgrades to our plants over the past 18 months, we are delighted to see the first of the new Ford Ranger models coming off our production line,” said Neale Hill, Managing Director, Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

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January 2019

New motor industry plan aims to boost local content to 60 per cent

South Africa is likely to adopt new plans for the country’s car industry in December, which aim to increase the local content of assembled cars to 60 per cent by 2035 from around 38 per cent now, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has said. The new plan, which will come into effect in 2021, seeks to provide stability for one of the country’s main manufacturing sectors, where carmakers have invested billions upgrading factories to supply the export market.

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Trumpf acquires laser diode division of Philips

Trumpf has announced that it has acquired 100 per cent of Photonics GmbH from Philips, headquartered in Ulm, Germany. This opens up a new market segment for Trumpf in addition to its existing business with high-power diode lasers and expands its product portfolio. Laser diodes from Philips Photonics are used, for example, in smartphones, in digital data transmission, and in sensors for autonomous driving.

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Sandvik acquires US based Dura-Mill

Sandvik Coromant, a division within Sandvik Machining Solutions, has reached an agreement to acquire the privately owned US-based company Dura-Mill Inc., a manufacturer of precision solid carbide end mills. The acquisition enhances an already strong position and product offering in North America and primarily within the Aerospace segment.

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DMG MORI AG takes 30% stake in Indian software firm having additive manufacturing focus

DMG MORI AG, the €2.3 billion turnover German part of €3.3 billion turnover Japanese-German machine tool giant DMG MORI, has taken a 30% stake in Indian additive manufacturing software firm Intech. Already supplying software for use with DMG MORI’s Lasertec SLM series, the Indian firm develops software to support additive manufacturing and incorporates machine learning and artificial intelligence elements.

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Gibela delivers its first South African-built commuter train to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA)

The train was dispatched from Gibela’s new train manufacturing complex at Dunnottar, in Ekurhuleni, in December 2018 travelling to Prasa’s Wolmerton depot, north of Pretoria. Gibela’s CEO, Thierry Darthout says the train has taken 14 months to complete, with production beginning in September 2017.

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Two South African entrepreneurs shortlisted for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

Hybrid five-axis machine tool, developed by Dr Lukas du Plessis, one of the nominees. Now in its fifth year, and run by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation has shortlisted 16 startups from across Africa in a move to recognise their efforts to solve problems across sub-Saharan Africa.

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