News

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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November 2017

Ceratizit acquires Komet Group

Explains Komet Group chief Dr. Christof Bönsch: “The disruptive changes in the market environment pose enormous challenges for Komet. The acquisition by Ceratizit now opens up new opportunities for sustainable growth. The takeover sees the emergence of a new global player with superior technology expertise and broad market access.”

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OrderFox.com helps shops compete in an online marketplace

The speed and complexity of the CNC business is growing with the progression of digitisation and Industry 4.0. All business processes, horizontal and vertical, are becoming more efficient. For CNC manufacturers and buyers alike, digital networking is becoming an indispensable platform for keeping up within the competitive landscape.

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SLM Solutions expands dealer network in Africa

Metal Heart Additive Technology Africa will distribute the company’s Selective Laser Melting (SLM) platforms across the country and provide advice and support as and when required. The South African outfit has been working intensively with SLM technology since 2014, and will now add the offerings of SLM Solutions to its portfolio.

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Salvagnini opens Robotica plant

Incorporates centre of excellence for press brake bending. Salvagnini Robotica, Salvagnini’s new robotic applications project, has opened a modern plant in Brendola, Italy, which is also the centre of excellence for press brake bending. Salvagnini Robotica is the Group’s new division for the development and manufacture of press brakes and associated robotic applications.

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Siemens and FFG partner for digitalisation strategy

Long-term partnership to integrate enterprise technologies and an open-access, cloud-based IoT operating system for Fair Friend Group’s 90 brands. Siemens and Fair Friend Enterprise Co. Ltd. Taiwan (FFG) have signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding with the intention of strengthening their long-standing business relationship.

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Nissan licenses energy-efficient engine technology to Heller

“Rather than limiting the use of our own technologies like NMRP within the company, Nissan is contributing to the technological advancement of the industry by making them widely available,” said Catherine Perez, corporate vice president of corporate strategy, partnerships and business development at Nissan.

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September 2017

Schweissen & Schneiden 2017

25 to 29 September 2017 – Dusseldorf, Germany. Together with Messe Essen GmbH, the organiser of Schweissen & Schneiden and a longstanding partner of the society, DVS is looking forward to the forthcoming premier global fair. This will take place in Düsseldorf from September 25 to 29, 2017 since the fair site in Essen is being modernised for the next Schweissen & Schneiden.

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Hypertherm at Schweissen & Schneiden 2017

Hypertherm, a manufacturer of plasma, laser and waterjet cutting systems, is pleased to announce its participation at the upcoming Schweissen und Schneiden 2017 (25-29 September 2017) in Dusseldorf, Germany. Visitors will meet the new plasma, a revolution in industrial cutting, see impressive demonstrations and get introduced to an amazing new concept at the company’s stand.

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Building excitement for engineering at school level

Altair South Africa once again hosted a group of potential engineering students as part of their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) initiative to expose them to the opportunities available in the engineering field. “The main criteria to attend the day was obviously an interest in studying engineering. The project has grown exponentially since we started three years ago, with over 60 learners joining us this year,” explains Gronum Smith.

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CIMdata publishes Global CAM Market Analysis Report

CAM market grew 6.9% in 2016. According to Stan Przybylinski, CIMdata’s VP of Research, “The CAM results were solid in 2016, with few of the currency effects that impacted the results CIMdata reported last year. Even in the face of slower machine tool consumption, companies still continue to invest in new CAM software.”

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Mazak adds another plant to its smart network

Machine tool builder expands IoT-connected factory concept to Japanese manufacturing plant. Mazak has passed another milestone in its drive to expand “smart manufacturing”, announcing full digitisation of its manufacturing plant at Oguchi, Japan. The manufacturer emphasises data analysis and machine connectivity in its designs, specifically using the MTConnect® open communications protocol and customised data-collection technology.

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Toyota SA investigating manufacturing other models

Toyota SA wants to add another vehicle to its local production line-up to absorb spare capacity created by diminishing demand for its Corolla car range. “We are investigating another vehicle to make use of the capacity no longer used by Corolla at our Prospection, Durban plant,” said CEO Andrew Kirby. He would not identify candidates and did not say whether Toyota SA would continue to build Corollas indefinitely.

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Mercedes-Benz Trucks has taken 3D printing to the next level

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has taken 3D printing to the next level. The first printed spare part made of metal, a thermostat cover for truck and Unimog models from older model series, has passed all the stages of the stringent quality assurance process at Mercedes-Benz smoothly, and is now celebrating its premiere. This means that Mercedes-Benz Trucks is now the technological leader in the challenging segment of cutting-edge 3D printing.

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100x faster, 10x cheaper: 3D metal printing is about to go mainstream

The company closed a US $115 million round of venture funding to deliver its first batch of machines to customers within the U.S., founder and CEO Ric Fulop announced recently. The series D investment brings Desktop Metal’s total capital raised to US $212 million. The deal values the company at more than US $1 billion, sources familiar with the deal confirmed.

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Aveng ends talks to sell Trident Steel

South African construction group Aveng has announced it has ended talks on the sale of its Aveng Trident Steel business due to a failure to reach an agreement on price. Work for South Africa’s construction industry has slowed sharply as government contracts stall and weak commodity prices hit demand from the mining industry. Companies have had to employ new strategies to survive in a sector stunted by an economy that is not expected to grow at all.

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BSI Steel cuts B-BBEE transaction

BSI shareholders have been advised that JSE listed BSI and its wholly owned subsidiary Isilo Steel have now entered into a series of transactions to give effect to the B-BBEE transaction. In terms of the transaction Isilo Investments (held 51% as to Tutuni Investments 14 (Proprietary) Limited and 49% as to Thuthuka Trust) will acquire an effective 51.12% in Isilo Steel. This will result in Isilo Steel being 51% Black Owned and 30% Black Women owned.

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Argent not happy with state help for ArcelorMittal

Metal products maker Argent Industrial has criticised the government for granting ArcelorMittal SA import tariff protection, saying South Africa’s largest steel producer is “hell-bent” on creating an inefficient primary steel supply monopoly, while killing off downstream steel processing through higher input costs, according to a Business Day report. Argent said in its recent results statement for the year to March that General Motors’ departure from South Africa meant that Argent would close its automotive plant.

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Altair acquires highly rated Carriots IoT platform

Altair has acquired Carriots S.L, an Internet of Things (IoT) technology company from Madrid, Spain that was founded in 2011. The company is the developer of Carriots®, a complete IoT application enablement platform (AEP) to rapidly connect and manage devices, collect and analyse data, and build intelligent applications together with enterprise business systems. “Combining Altair’s software suites with Carriots’ solutions for the IoT will provide our customers with the complete stack of technology they need.”

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South African car industry economic transformation plan revealed

South Africa’s vehicle manufacturers are to create a transformation fund that would allocate funds to develop black ownership in the supply chain and vehicle dealership network. The industry has also developed a vision and master plan to 2035. Details of the transformation fund and the master plan were disclosed at a media briefing recently that was addressed by ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize and several industry executives.

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Denel to deliver another 21 Casspirs to African client

Another consignment of 21 Casspir mine-protected vehicles is ready for handover and shipment to an African client. This forms part of a total order of 45 vehicles of which Denel has already delivered 24 during December 2016. The total fleet is based on the Denel New Generation Casspir NG2000 Series, a cutting-edge product derived from the well-known and battle-proven Casspir MPV of which more than 3 000 units were manufactured.

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First locally-made Mercedes-AMG C43 4MATIC makes its debut in East London

Excitement was at an all time high as the first locally manufactured Mercedes-AMG C43 4MATIC rolled off the production line in East London, Eastern Cape. Since its official launch earlier in the year, the AMG brand promise: Driving Performance and the associated typical character traits can now be experienced by an even broader target group.

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July 2017

Europe to the rescue of South African vehicle manufacturers

Exports have become the lifeblood of South African vehicle manufacturers. Despite precarious domestic demand, assembly plants are working at close to capacity, according to a FM report. A spike in demand for South African-built vehicles in Europe and Asia has mitigated the fallout from plunging local sales and a collapse in markets across Africa.

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AMRC invents hybrid 3D printing process ‘game-changer’

The Design and Prototyping Group of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing has developed a unique hybrid 3D printing process that allows electrical, optical and structural elements to be introduced throughout an additively manufactured component during the build process.

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Zuse Holding GmbH acquires Hüller Hille

The new company Zuse Hüller Hille Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH is to relocate to Mosbach, Germany, where the Diedesheim plant is located, and will establish its first development and manufacturing centre in Europe there. Diedesheim’s plant, its 185 employees, 15 apprentices and infrastructure will be retained.

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Aerospace materials market to be worth $25.80 billion by 2022

According to “Aerospace Materials Market by Type (Aluminium Alloys, Steel Alloys, Titanium Alloys, Super Alloys, and Composite Materials), Aircraft Type (Commercial Aircraft, Business & General Aviation, Helicopters), and Region—Global Forecast to 2022,” published by MarketsandMarkets™, the market is projected to reach $25.80 billion by 2022.

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Global aluminium scrap recycling market to grow 8 per cent through 2021

London-based Technavio has released a report that projects growth in the global aluminium scrap recycling market to 32.12 million metric tons by 2021, at a CAGR of nearly 8 per cent. The report divides the market into secondary smelting and downstream segments, covering the APAC, Americas and EMEA regions.

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Harley-Davidson’s decision to build plant in Thailand raises eyebrows

Harley said the Thai plant will not result in American job losses, arguing instead it will enable them to grow their business using American-built parts. Harley-Davidson, the iconic motorcycle brand hailed by President Donald Trump for keeping jobs in America, is building a plant in Thailand, the company confirmed on May 25, as it seeks new buyers in Asia, and lower tariffs.

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TaeguTec partners with MachiningCloud

As part of this partnership, which utilises the convenience of cloud-based technology, end users will be able to quickly optimise the way they gather information for their manufacturing operations by effortlessly searching for the proper cutting tool that best fits their cutting conditions, the firms say.

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Turkey: The engine driving its international competitiveness in the automotive industry

Turkey is a transcontinental country bordering South-eastern Europe and South-western Asia with the majority of the country located in the latter. It has a population of 79.4 million people. Turkey’s economy is the 17th largest economy in the world, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $799.54 billion.

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EU slaps China with new steel anti-dumping duties

The European Union imposed new anti-dumping duties on steel products from China on June 9, as it broadens its campaign to protect struggling steel manufacturers in Europe. The EU took the latest action against China, which makes more than half the worlds steel, for allegedly flooding global markets in violation of international trade agreements.

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Has Sandvik just turned turning on its head?

In March 2017, Sandvik celebrated the 75th anniversary of the establishment of its Coromant brand at the company’s facilities in Sandviken, Sweden, complete with cake and all. There was even a special present. It was, however, not one that Sandvik received, but one it presented to manufacturers that rely on turning operations, writes James D. Sawyer, Editor in Chief at SME.

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May 2017

Mclaren-Honda extends exclusive machine tool partnership with Mazak

McLaren-Honda has further extended its contract with Yamazaki Mazak, ensuring the manufacturer continues in its role as the sole official supplier of CNC machine tools to the McLaren-Honda Formula One team. Mazak has supplied the team for 18 years, and currently has a total of 33 machines installed at the McLaren Technology Centre in Surrey.

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Fermel mining vehicle chosen as finalist for Swedish Steel Prize 2017

One of the finalists chosen is a mining vehicle manufactured by South African company Fermel. Fermel has developed a unique range of multi-purpose vehicles for safe transportation in mines. The vehicles meet new, more stringent safety legislation and are intended to replace the re-built standard vehicles currently used.

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Bell wants to start plant in US

Listed manufacturer of heavy equipment for the construction and mining sectors Bell Equipment is considering establishing a manufacturing plant in the US, according to a newspaper report. However, chief executive Gary Bell said the opening of the plant in the US would not have much impact on jobs in the company’s South African operations.

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Red Bud Industries to host coil processing seminar in Johannesburg

Red Bud Industries will be hosting a coil processing seminar at the Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 21 June 2017. Attendees will learn about blanking, multi-blanking, leveling, slitting, and a new process (EPS®) for hot roll black material along with learning how to apply new technology, improve tolerances, produce optimum flatness in material, and maximise overall efficiency.

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Scaw Metals upgrades McKinnon Chain factory

Large diameter chains are used in various industries for lifting applications, while the masterlink and subassemblies are sold mostly into the international offshore oil and gas sector. Specialising in high-grade chains, McKinnon produces all grades of welded chain including lifting, transportation tie down chains, several types of hardware chain, coal conveyor chain, kibble and mining chain.

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Paramount Group unveils new version of Mwari aircraft

Paramount Group, the African-based global defence and aerospace company has announced the launch of Mwari, a military variant of its Advanced High Performance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC) that comes with a South African designed, developed and tested advanced mission system – a high-wing, two-seat aircraft.

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DTI enthusiastic about R4 billion titanium beneficiation project

The launch of a new R4 billion titanium beneficiation project for manufacturing titanium pigment at the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) is a significant and commendable milestone in South Africa’s mineral beneficiation and industrialisation paths,” said Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies.

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VWSA to ramp up new Polo production

Production of the first confirmation models have already started. Most of the major installations were completed over the Christmas shutdown, with the last work due to have taken place over the Easter period in April. The Uitenhage plant will also produce a second new model, and possibly a third.

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Auto Industrial Machining named South African Kaizen champion

In the presence of manufacturers across sectors and international manufacturing experts, the Johannesburg based company, involved in the machining and assembly of chassis and drive train components to clients including OEMs, claimed the top award for their winning Kaizen, “change for the better”.

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Management buyout enables majority stake in Rely IntraCast and Walro Flex

Rely IntraCast’s current Managing Director Mark Hughes and the current Managing Director of Walro Flex, Carlos Palinhos, have completed a MBO (management buyout) to become majority shareholders in the respective companies that will in future fall under a recently established industrial holding company Intakobusi Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

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March 2017

Concorde completes final journey to new £19 million home

The last Concorde ever to fly has safely completed her journey to Aerospace Bristol, a new £19 million museum in Filton, to the north of Bristol, UK. The new museum has been supported with a £180 000 donation from global engineering technologies company Renishaw, which was created by two former Rolls-Royce employees to commercialise an innovation that solved a measurement problem faced in the manufacture of the Olympus engine that powered Concorde.

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Adira unveils world’s first tiled laser melting metal 3D printer with biggest ever build volume

Big things are happening in the metal 3D printing industry, where hardware is rapidly becoming ready for large volume production. For years, metal 3D printing technology has been seen as ‘not quite there yet’, in part thanks to material, size and build volume restrictions. But these limitations are systematically being dealt with.

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CO2 out; fiber in, says Bystronic

It has been reported that David Larcombe, managing director of Bystronic UK, has revealed that since August 2015 the company has not sold a single CO2 laser cutting machine in Britain or Ireland. It has, however, sold 14 fiber laser models during November and December last year alone.

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Boeing plans first manufacturing plant in Europe

The parts are described as actuation devices on the trailing edge of aircraft wings. Trailing edge actuation systems are responsible for extending and retracting wing flaps during different phases of flight. The flaps add lift that allow take-off and landing at lower speeds, and provide drag to help slow the aircraft.

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IPG exceeds $1 billion in annual sales

IPG Photonics has reported annual sales exceeding $1 billion in 2016, an increase of 12 per cent year-over-year. The company’s fourth quarter sales, driven by the materials processing markets, increased by 25 per cent to $280.1 million year-over-year. The company reported strong growth in China, Europe, Russia and Japan, while sales in North America were slightly up from Q4 2015.

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January 2017

Yaskawa invests in European manufacturing centre

Japanese motion control and robotics specialist Yaskawa is intensifying its presence in Europe, with the aim of becoming one of the two leading manufacturers of industrial robots in strategic target markets. The company will expand its production capacities and open a new robot manufacturing plant and a new European robotics development centre in Slovenia.

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EMO heading for record registrations

Just under a year before the world’s largest machine tool exhibition begins, the figures for official registration at EMO 2017 are looking rather impressive. More than 1 700 firms from 40 different countries have already registered, booking a stand area totalling 152 000m² for the show, which takes place 18 to 23 September 2017 in Hannover, Germany.

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Sandvik Coromant to partner DMG MORI

Sandvik Coromant has signed an agreement to become a “premium partner” of DMG MORI. The deal, which makes Sandvik Coromant the only tooling manufacturer to be named as a DMG MORI premium partner, will further strengthen the relationship between the companies on a global scale.

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Bystronic partners with Lantek for management software systems

Sheet metal processing systems and services provider Bystronic has entered a technology partnership and strategic global alliance with Lantek, developers of software solutions for the optimised production of sheet metal, tube and profile parts. Under the terms of the agreement, Lantek will provide Bystronic with manufacturing management software systems and consultancy expertise.

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Italian machine tool builders profit from tax changes

Italian manufacturers reportedly are benefiting from a new tax provision that allows them to claim credits up to 250% of the value of their capital investments in high-technology products. The so-called Industry 4.0 tax incentive was promoted and implemented by the now ousted government of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

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GE buys Germany’s Concept Laser after SLM bid fails

US conglomerate General Electric has agreed to buy privately held German 3D printing firm Concept Laser for 549 million euros, it said after its bid for rival SLM Solutions failed. GE and its competitors have begun to invest seriously in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, which produces parts with less work than traditional production methods, generates less scrap material and expands design possibilities.

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600 Group buys Kondia machine tool business

600 Group Plc has acquired the entire manual machine tools business of Kondia, for a total consideration of 50 000 euros. Kondia, formerly Spain’s largest manufacturer of milling machines, was placed into administration in 2015. The acquisition means the 600 Group now owns the Kondia name, all IP and a large inventory of spare parts worth in excess of the acquisition costs.

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GF Machining Solutions set to acquire Microlution Inc

US firm Microlution was founded in 2005 by three engineers from the Chicago area. The company specialises in 5-axis milling and femto-second laser machining for hole drilling and micro-cutting applications for a wide range of industries, including aerospace, medical and automotive. The 30-employee operation generated $10 million in sales in 2015.

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