News

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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November 2018

Steel Best Group puts new life into Zealous

The long-established Springs-based aluminium foundry operations Zealous Automotive and Zealous Pressure Castings have been given a lifeline by the Steel Best Group, a company with manufacturing facilities in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape but with its head office in Pretoria, Gauteng. Zealous Pressure Castings was established as a zinc die casting company in 1970 before changing emphasis to the aluminium die casting industry in 1996.

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Aveng enters agreement to sell rail business

JSE-listed infrastructure group Aveng has announced that it would sell its rail business to black-owned investment company Mathupha Capital for R133 million. The proposed transaction is subject to several conditions, including Competition Commission approval, but the company announcement says it is expected to close the transaction by 31 December 2018, after all the conditions have been met.

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Audi optimises quality inspections in the press shop with artificial intelligence

As one of the first automobile manufacturers worldwide, Audi plans to apply machine learning (ML) in series production. The software Audi has developed recognises and marks the finest cracks in sheet metal parts automatically, reliably and in a matter of seconds. With this project, Audi is promoting artificial intelligence at the company and revolutionising the testing process in production.

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Prima unveils Prima Additive brand

Prima Industrie has introduced its new Prima Additive brand, dedicated to the design, production, and marketing of metal powder bed fusion and direct metal deposition technologies, as well as application support and global service. Prima Additive becomes the third division of the Prima Industrie Group, which already includes Prima Power (laser and sheet metal working machinery) and Prima Electro (laser sources and industrial electronics).

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Open Mind joins Okuma Partners in THINC initiative

Germany-headquartered CADCAM developer Open Mind Technologies AG has partnered with Okuma America Corporation, joining the Partners in THINC collaboration, founded by Okuma. “We are looking forward to collaborating with Okuma and the members of Partners in THINC to bring the most advanced, integrated solutions to manufacturers,” said Alan Levine, Managing Director for Open Mind Technologies USA, Inc.

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Hexagon AB acquires External-Array Software

Hexagon AB has acquired External-Array Software, a software development company that specialises in providing user-friendly and high functionality metrology software for coordinate measuring machine (CMM) manufacturers. Established in China in 2005, External-Array joins Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence Division. With simplified programming modes, customisation capabilities and strong compatibility.

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Mazak chosen for UK government flagship 5G factory initiative

Yamazaki Mazak has been chosen as one of a select few UK companies to act as a ‘testbed’ for the deployment of next-generation 5G technology, with a view to improving commercial digital infrastructures and ultimately boosting productivity across the UK industrial sector. 5G is set to become the industry standard for connectivity in the future, with potential speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second.

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Trumpf increases sales to 3.6 billion euros

Machine tool manufacturer releases preliminary figures for the 2017/18 fiscal year: Sales up by around 15 per cent from 3.1 to 3.6 billion euros. Orders received rise from 3.4 to 3.8 billion euros. Biggest individual markets: Germany, USA and China. The Trumpf Group posted a significant increase in sales of around 15 per cent at the end of the 2017/18 fiscal year on June 30, 2018.

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September 2018

Chinese investors plan $10 billion metallurgical complex in South Africa

Chinese investors signed agreements to build a $10 billion metallurgical complex in South Africa during President Xi Jinping’s state visit recently and hope to start construction next year, an executive involved in the project and a provincial official told Reuters. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said at a joint news conference with Xi that China had committed to invest $14.7 billion in the South African economy, but neither leader mentioned the $10 billion complex.

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Sassda responds to news of proposed new stainless steel mill

Chinese investment puts focus on export. Responding to the recent news of investment into a $10 billion metallurgical complex development in Limpopo’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ) by Chinese investors, the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) announced it welcomes any and all beneficiation of South Africa’s raw materials, particularly chromite.

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Mercedes-Benz SA in 300 million euro (R9.47 billion) plant expansion plan

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has launched a 600 million euro (approx. R9.47 billion) expansion of its East London plant, describing the investment as a vote of confidence in the country’s new direction. MBSA said the expansion of the plant was a sign of the carmaker’s commitment to South Africa and efforts to revive economic growth.

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Yaskawa Southern Africa staff to ride in Berg & Bush mountain bike challenge to raise money for charity

Four staff members at Yaskawa Southern Africa have taken up the challenge to compete in this year’s Berg & Bush mountain bike event, which takes place in October 2018, while at the same time raising funds for two non-profit organisations, the Kitty and Puppy Haven and Get up Woman.

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Tiso Blackstar sells non-core steel subsidiary to Macsteel

Media group Tiso Blackstar has said it had signed a sale of shares and claims agreement with Macsteel Service Centres in which Macsteel would purchase 100 per cent of Consolidated Steel Industries (CSI). In June 2015, Stalcor (established 1973) completed a merger with Global Roofing Solutions (GRS) to form Consolidated Steel Industries (CSI). Both were part of the Blackstar Group at the time.

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Germany blocks china deal to buy machine tool manufacturer

Germany is joining the US and Canada in taking a tougher line on Chinese acquisitions. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government for the first time vetoed a possible Chinese takeover of a German company, signalling a toughening stance toward investments from the country. Merkel’s Cabinet voted to block the potential purchase of German machine tool manufacturer Leifeld Metal Spinning AG by a Chinese investor.

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Plant expansion and diversification project announced by KLT Automotive SA

KLT Automotive and Tubular Products, the supplier of chassis frames to the Ford Motor Company’s plant in Silverton in Pretoria for the Ford Ranger, has embarked on a production expansion and diversification programme. KLT SA chief executive Paul Leonard said the company would be investing a further R20 million to increase the production of chassis frames at its Hammanskraal factory from an average of 500 a day to 630 a day.

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Trumpf acquires Teufel Solutions AG

Trumpf has acquired a full stake in Teufel Solutions AG effective August 1, 2018. Founded in 2002 as an SAP systems company based in Bottighofen, Switzerland, Teufel Solutions is a development partner for the Trumpf TruTops Fab software. This manufacturing control system can be used to oversee the entire sheet metal production process, as well as monitor and manage all machine jobs. The system is modular in design and allows users to implement functions step by step.

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Hexagon acquires Spring Technologies, manufacturers of machine tool simulation and verification software

Hexagon AB has announced the acquisition of Spring Technologies, a provider of machine tool simulation, toolpath verification and optimisation, and machine tool management software. Spring Technologies’ flagship portfolio, NCSimul, is a comprehensive suite of integrated solutions providing native CNC code programming, CNC simulation, cutting and tool libraries, CNC programme management, real-time machine monitoring and technical content publication.

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600 UK rebrands as Colchester Machine Tool Solutions

Colchester Machine Tool Solutions is a division of 600 Group Plc and is the home to leading machine tool brand names Colchester lathes, Harrison lathes, Pratt Burnerd chucks and Clausing machine tools. The company 600 UK (Heckmondwike, United Kingdom) has rebranded as Colchester Machine Tool Solutions. The rebranding coincided with Mach 2018 in April 2018, which was held in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

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BZ Bank Aktiengesellschaft acquires the United Grinding Group

Holding company Körber AG sells off group that includes Studer, Schaudt, Mikrosa, Magerle, Blohm, Walter and Ewag. The new owner structure comprises a strategically aligned pool of investors organised by the Swiss BZ Bank Aktiengesellschaft. The sale of the Group by the Körber technology group was completed at the end of June, following approval by the responsible supervisory authorities.

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Yamazaki Mazak to open new machine tool museum in its 100th anniversary of its founding

Yamazaki Mazak is set to open its own historic Machine Tool Museum on the 100th anniversary of its founding. The new museum, which will open in Autumn 2019, is located in Minokamo-city, Japan, in the newly renovated underground factory of Yamazaki Mazak Optonics Corporation, currently home to the company’s laser manufacturing operations. The interactive museum will give visitors the opportunity to see, touch and learn about machine tools and their history.

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DMG MORI AG reveals record first-half figures, promises more world premieres this year

DMG Mori AG, the German side of the Japanese-German machine tool giant DMG Mori, has achieved record figures, delivering the best first half-year results in the company’s history. Order intake, sales revenues, earnings and free cash flow recorded double-digit rates of growth. Order intake rose by 14% to €1,577.1 million (previous year: €1,384.2 million). Sales revenues increased by 10% to €1,215.1 million.

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July 2018

ArcelorMittal SA to sell Macsteel stake

The proceeds of the sale will be used to fund working capital requirements and investments in the operating businesses. ArcelorMittal’s South Africa unit will sell its 50 per cent stake in trading and shipping company MIHBV to its joint venture partner Macsteel Holdings Luxembourg (MacHold) for $220 million, the steel maker said recently. The proposed transaction, which is subject to several conditions, will be consummated through a sale of shares agreement.

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Showcasing local manufacturing initiatives using the latest technology tools

The first Innovations in Industry Technical Conference will take place at Nelson Mandela University on Friday 7 September 2018. This event will focus on sharing applications of new technology being used in the South African manufacturing arena. Presentations throughout the day on latest technology will include topics such as metal additive manufacturing, designing for additive manufacturing, optimisation and automotive design and lightweighting.

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Yamazaki Mazak starts assembly operations at its new Inabe Plant

While the final stage of construction is ongoing, the Inabe Plant has already begun producing new Variaxis Series five-axis machining centers and Versatech Series five-axis double-column machining centers. The facility also includes significant floor space devoted to performing test cuts for customers on these large machine tools. When the $176 million (¥20 billion) facility is finished, the 56 000m² production floor will take over operations from the current Seiko Plant.

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Supervisory Board change at DMG MORI – Dr. Mori is new Chairman

The German arm of the global machine tool manufacturing company has reported a record order intake for the first quarter of the year, with the firm breaking the €800 million mark. At the recent 116th Annual General Meeting of shareholders DMG MORI Aktiengesellschaft welcomed approximately 450 shareholders. Thus some 88% of the share capital were represented.

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Automotive import probe launched in US

The Trump administration has launched a national security investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 into car and truck imports that could lead to new US tariffs similar to those imposed on imported steel and aluminium in March. That could lead to tariffs of up to 25 per cent on the same national security grounds used to impose US steel and aluminum duties.

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Widia releases app for access to product feeds, speeds

Widia has created an app to quickly access machining speeds and feeds for Widia tooling without interrupting production. The newly released Machining Central app scans the Widia product barcode or searches the tool’s corresponding order number or an ANSI or ISO catalog number to automatically generate product information and availability along with feeds and speeds in seconds.

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Parnis manufactures large mine winder for Canadian gold mine

Engineering company, Parnis Manufacturing recently delivered a 23 ton, three metre single drum winder to a gold mining company in Canada. Parnis said the unit would be used as a man winder and service hoist, reaching depths of 2 000 metres. Manufacturing the winder using material that is safety critical, Parnis Manufacturing’s contribution was to profile and roll, fabricate and weld, inspect, machine and paint, among other specialist services.

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Cape Gate fined R40 million for cartel conduct

The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a R40 million settlement agreement with wire and steel manufacturer Cape Gate, following the company’s admission of price fixing, dividing markets and collusive tendering in respect of lightly galvanised wire, nails, wire and various wire products. The Competition Commission has welcomed the confirmation by the Tribunal as an order for the fine of R40 million.

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Competition Commission approves Amsted Rail Company Inc’s merger with the Cast Products Division of Scaw SA (Pty) Ltd

South Africa’s Competition Commission has approved the proposed merger, with conditions, whereby Amsted Rail Company Inc. (Amsted) intends to acquire the Cast Products Division of Scaw South Africa (Pty) Ltd (Cast Products SA). Amsted is an American company, ultimately a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amsted Industries Incorporated.

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TASA changes name to Production Technologies Association of South Africa

The Toolmaking Association of South Africa (TASA) was established in 2004 as a representative body for the South African tool, die and mouldmaking (TDM) industry. TASA was established to address the South African TDM and precision machining industry, which had been losing significant capacity, and with it, its global competitiveness and ability to enhance job creation – all to the detriment of the manufacturing sector and the economy as a whole.

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NAACAM show to be held in Durban in 2019

The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) has announced that the NAACAM Show 2019 will be hosted by eThekwini Municipality in partnership with the Durban Automotive Cluster (DAC). This second iteration of the show will take place at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) on 12 – 14 March 2019. Bookings were due to open in late May 2018.

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FFG acquires MHD gear-machining solutions

FFG Europe & Americas, the Eislingen-based (www.ffg-werke.com) machine tool group with a variety of German, Swiss and Italian brands (including MAG, VDF Boehringer, Hessapp, Modul, Jobs, Tacchella, Pfiffner and others), is broadening its portfolio for gear-manufacturing solutions. In March, the group acquired the bevel-gear-generating and gear-shaping machines of the Chemnitz-based gear technology and retrofit specialist MHD.

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May 2018

COMA 2019 – International Conference on Competitive Manufacturing

Following the success of the 6th International conference on Competitive Manufacturing (COMA ‘16), held in January 2016, the organisers are pleased to announce that the 2019 conference, hosted by the Stellenbosch University – Industrial Engineering Department, will be held in the last week of January 2019, from the 30th of January to the 1st of February 2019, in the beautiful Stellenbosch winelands.

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Wohlers Report 2018 shows dramatic rise in metal additive manufacturing and overall industry growth of 21%

Industry expanded by more than $1.25 billion. Wohlers Associates, Inc. has released the Wohlers Report 2018, the global report on the state of the additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing industry, terms used interchangeably. Wohlers Associates has published its series of annual reports on AM for 23 consecutive years.

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DMG Mori’s ‘Path of Digitisation’ focuses on automation solutions, new technology

The theme at DMG Mori’s open house exhibition in Pfronten, Germany this year was the “Path of Digitisation” showcasing the company’s technology, including a digital factory, holistic automation solutions and new technology. Approximately 9 000 visitors, including media members and DMG Mori customers, saw 70 high-tech machines, including the world premiere of the new NTX 3000, as well as innovative manufacturing processes such as additive manufacturing.

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Sassda calls for entries to 2018 Awards

The theme for this year’s Sassda Columbus Stainless Awards is “Celebrating Innovation”. These prestigious awards serve to recognise and applaud exceptional achievements within the stainless steel industry and aim to recognise and promote excellence, innovation and entrepreneurial development as well as profile world-class thinking and success at both a local and international level.

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Ford expands engine assembly operations at Struandale engine plant

Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is expanding its operations at the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth as part of a wide-ranging investment in its two South African plants, announced late last year. “We are delighted to confirm that, as part of the R3 billion investment announced in November 2017, we are expanding both the capability and capacity of the Struandale Engine Plant for our current and future engine programmes,” says Jacques Brent.

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BMW reveals production plans for Africa

Global premium vehicle manufacturer BMW, which has production plants in South Africa and Egypt, anticipates having another plant in sub-Saharan Africa within the next 10 years. Tim Abbott, the chief executive of BMW Group South Africa, confirmed to Business Report recently that BMW would look at establishing an assembly plant in sub-Saharan Africa “when the time is right”.

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Japan machinery manufacturers with China links hit by trade war fears

Shares of Japanese machinery makers with heavy exposure to China plummeted recently as China and the United States moved closer to a trade war that could damage global growth, according to a Reuters article in The Asahi Shimbun. Shares in machinery manufacturers, which account for 20 per cent of Japan’s total exports, had enjoyed strong gains in the past year on the back of brisk demand for investment in electronics and semiconductors in China, Japan’s biggest trading partner.

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India overtakes UK as car sales surge

India’s automotive sales surged at the second-fastest rate in the world in 2017, with total numbers exceeding developed markets like the UK and France and coming within striking distance of Germany. India closed the last calendar year with sales of 3.61 million units – a growth of 8.8% and putting India in fifth spot in the world behind China (25.8 million), the USA (17.23 million), Japan (5.16 million) and Germany (3.71 million).

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Huge break for auto companies as China removes ownership caps

China has removed a 20-year restriction allowing foreign companies to gain a greater share of its market. China will let foreign automakers from Volkswagen AG to Ford Motor Co. own more than 50% of local ventures, removing a two-decade restriction and giving a boost to global companies seeking to capture a greater share of the world’s largest car market.

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Buoyant German machine tool industry

The German machine tool industry’s order bookings increased by 24% in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with the same quarter in 2016. Domestic orders were up by 48%, while orders from abroad rose by 13%. For 2017 as a whole, there was an overall increase of 8%, with domestic orders climbing by 10%. Orders from abroad ended up 7%, with euro-zone nations the driving forces here.

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March 2018

Isuzu Motors takes over GMSA plant

Japan’s Isuzu Motors made its official debut in Port Elizabeth after taking over General Motors South Africa facilities around the country and 1 000 GMSA employees. Trading as Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSA) since the start of 2018, the debut also served as a platform to reveal the company’s new SUV segment contender‚ the Isuzu MUX (Multi Utility Crossover).

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Mercedes-AMG with V8 power rolls off the line in East London

The integration of the three new models (Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC, Mercedes-AMG C 63 and Mercedes-AMG C 63 S), was smooth with absolute minimal interruption to the current production in the East London plant. More than 1 700 Mercedes-AMG C 43 units have been exported as part of the normal export plan from the plant, which once again reached record levels in 2017.

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19th International Annual RAPDASA Conference

7 to 9 November 2018, University of Johannesburg and Resolution Circle. Following the success of the 2017 International RAPDASA conference, the organisers are pleased to announce the 19th Annual International RAPDASA conference. This event will be jointly hosted by the University of Johannesburg and Resolution Circle, on behalf of RAPDASA, and will be held from 7 to 9 November 2018 in Johannesburg.

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Evraz Highveld Iron Plant 1 at Highveld Industrial Park up for sale

Not long ago, the Highveld Steel iron plant was a place of flames, fire, thunder and lightning. That was until it was placed into business rescue in April 2015. However, a business strategy was set in motion to convert the steel complex into the Highveld Industrial Park and to see the park capitalise on its strategic location and key facilities.

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Recycling your metals matters

South Africans used more than 198 000 tons of metal cans, foil trays and aerosols during 2016 alone. MetPac-SA, the material recovery organisation representing the steel, tinplate and aluminium packaging industries in South Africa, is reminding South Africans that recycling their metals matters to the thousands of schools, collectors and convertors who earn a living from recycling this material.

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Latest stats reveal top 10 most automated countries

The automation of production is accelerating around the world, according to new figures published by the International Federation of Robotics, which shows global robot density is on the rise. The 2017 World Robot Statistics have revealed that 74 robot units per 10 000 employees is the new average of global robot density in the manufacturing industries, up from 66 units in 2015.

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ASF Metrology to acquire Nikon Metrology CMM business

Nikon Metrology has announced that ASF Metrology intends to acquire Nikon Metrology’s coordinate measuring machines (CMM) business. The closing of the transaction is expected to take place in about two months. Nikon Metrology’s CMM activities, with offices in Belgium, France, Germany, the UK and the USA, represent approximately 25% of the total Nikon Metrology worldwide consolidated turnover.

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Trumpf acquires Amphos, a manufacturer of ultrashort pulsed lasers

Amphos develops and produces ultrashort pulsed lasers with high output power for manufacturing and research applications. Ultrashort pulsed lasers are especially important in electronics manufacturing where they are used to produce items such as printed circuit boards, displays and cover glass. The key to Amphos lasers is InnoSlab technology, which was co-developed by the company’s founders while still a part of ILT.

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Tungaloy partners with MachiningCloud

Metal cutting tools manufacturer Tungaloy and product data provider MachiningCloud have partnered to provide Tungaloy product data on the cloud. Tungaloy and MachiningCloud have jointly announced their partnership to provide Tungaloy product data on the Cloud. Tungaloy is a manufacturer of a diverse range of products, including metal cutting tools, such as indexable inserts and steel products.

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Hardinge Inc. to be acquired by Privet Fund Management

Total transaction value of approximately $245 million. Hardinge is a manufacturer of CNC machine tools developed for hard-to-machine metal parts and a producer of workholding accessories. Under the terms of the agreement, Privet will acquire all shares of Hardinge common stock not currently owned by Privet for $18.50 in cash, for a total transaction value of approximately $245 million.

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Sandvik invests in metal powder plant

Sandvik has announced plans to invest about $25 million in a new plant for manufacturing titanium and nickel fine metal powders. Sandvik will invest about 200 million SEK in a new plant for manufacturing of titanium and nickel fine metal powders within the business area Sandvik Materials Technology. The investment will complement the existing powder offering and strengthen Sandvik’s position in the rapidly growing markets for metal powder and metal additive manufacturing.

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Prima Industrie marks 10th anniversary of Finn-Power purchase with new headquarters

Prima Industrie S.p.A, a manufacturer of laser systems, sheet metal working systems and electronic components for industrial applications, is celebrating 10 years since the acquisition of Finn-Power. That acquisition, which allowed the Group to assume an increasingly global dimension, was followed by a phase of deleveraging and financial strengthening.

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January 2018

Mazak Partners with MachiningCloud to provide easy access to machine tools

Japanese machine tool manufacturer Mazak has partnered with MachiningCloud, a provider of product data content for the machining industry. The partnership will in future enable Mazak customers to have direct access to complete and up-to-date cutting tool product data from cutting tool and workholding manufacturers.

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Mastercam and Widia announce new fast and simple tooling data solution

CNC Software, Inc., developers of Mastercam, have collaborated with Widia, the original German tungsten carbide tool developers, to provide a solution that enables CAM users to quickly import tool assemblies from Widia Novo directly into Mastercam 2018.

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Bystronic forms partnership with TTM Laser

For many laser sheet metal processing companies, the expansion of their production portfolio to include tube processing is a logical step in to differentiate themselves from their competitors, thanks to a wide production range. Bystronic, based in Niederönz, Switzerland will support this by entering a strategic partnership with laser-based tube and profile processing specialist TTM Laser, based in Cazzago San Martino, Italy.

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Yaskawa to increase production capacity by 25 per cent in China

Overactive Chinese manufacturers of smartphones and computers have driven Yaskawa to the point of increasing production capacity by 25 per cent. Yaskawa says it will increase its monthly output from its current 1 200 units per month to 1 500 units per month to meet frenetically increasing demand from Chinese electronics manufacturers, according to a report on Nikkei.

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Trumpf presents ‘fastest 3D printer in the world’

Trumpf presented what it says is the world’s fastest and most productive medium-format 3D printing system. TruPrint 5000 works according to a so-called multi-laser principle with three beam sources and is equipped with optics specially designed by Trumpf. In combination with the exposure strategies developed by Trumpf and the optimally adjusted process parameters, the TruPrint 5000 cuts exposure time per job by a factor of three.

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DMG MORI ups its automation game by establishing a new joint venture company with German company Heitec AG

Also announces joint lubrication development with Fuchs. DMG MORI has upped its automation game by founding a new joint venture company with German company Heitec AG. DMG MORI Heitec GmbH represents an extension to the two companies’ collaboration over recent years.

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Tooling specialist Walter AG acquires cloud platform firm Comara

The two companies have, in fact, been working together since 2012. Upon the acquisition, an official statement read: “Walter AG is expanding its expertise with Comara and will therefore be able to connect tools with greater sophistication and optimise them using real-time data in future. Combined with the existing Walter ToolID, this will give rise to the production of ‘Smart Tools’ in future.”

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GF buys machine connectivity software developer

Machine tool developer and manufacturer GF Machining Solutions is buying Symmedia GmbH, a privately owned software developer that specialises in machine connectivity systems. Connecting machines with security is “the basis of the future development of industrial processes,” according to GF’s statement, in which it also described the acquired company as “a key player in factory digitalisation.”

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Trumpf acquires majority stake in Access Laser

Access Laser Company (ALC) and Trumpf GmbH have announced that they have entered into an agreement where Trumpf will acquire an 85% share of ALC. Trumpf is a global technology leader in lasers, with a reputation for delivering world class manufacturing solutions. By acquiring a majority stake in ALC, Trumpf has secured a key player in Extreme UltraViolet (EUV) photolithography.

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