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Editors Comment

July 2022

Two examples of competent engineering in South Africa

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News

July 2022

TaeguTec works energetically to provide the best customer solutions

“Cutting tools will have to adapt to remove less metal but at much faster speeds and feeds. The cutting tool can have a huge impact on productivity. Not every company can buy the latest machine tools but changing to our cutters means the tools can run at very high speeds with a minimum amount of downtime. TaeguTec’s new tools will enable machinists to perform metal cutting at a rate similar to that found in the woodworking industry,” said Jacob Harpaz, President and CEO of the IMC Group.
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Adaptive manufacturing key to thriving amid volatility

Many manufacturers are locked in on a strategy for success that has served them well for years. But tried-and-tested manufacturing strategies have been upended by unpredictable market demands and supply chains, rising costs, shipping delays and staffing shortfalls.
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Gühring South Africa upgrades regrinding facility

“Gühring offers a complete reconditioning service for carbide end mills, including refurbishing of used tools and the addition of corner radius. In addition to standard helix end mill designs, our reconditioning division can also recondition Gühring variable flute and variable helix carbide end mills,” explained Gerald Green, Managing Director of Gühring Cutting Tools South Africa.
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Creating a robotic solution to meet weighty component machining challenges at Vula Drilling [VIDEO]

Worker safety is always the first priority when working with new equipment or tools. However, manual loading of heavy housings or components onto a machine for further processing should be treated with equal caution, if not more so. It is one thing lifting 45 kilograms of weights above your head while lying on a bench in the gym, in fact it is a relatively easy task for most fit humans, but it is another trying to load the same amount of weight into the jaws on a CNC machine.
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What a high-powered 30kW Penta fiber laser means for Fast Flame Profiling

It’s more than just cutting thick materials. It’s also about cutting process time. First of its kind in South Africa. Fabricators don’t have to be an expert in fiber laser cutting technology to know that if they can cut 6mm sheet with a 4kW laser, they can cut it faster with an 8kW laser power source. Now think what they can do with a 30kW fiber laser cutting machine.
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U&L Engineering increases capabilities and capacity for large part machining

By adding new machines, this company has earned new business they wouldn’t even have considered in the past and that allowed them to deliver large precision-machined parts to their customers much faster than ever before. U&L Engineering has been repairing, overhauling and remanufacturing equipment in the field for some years now.
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Walter Meano Engineering installs Aberlink Axiom CMM

Coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) have been around since the 1960s. In most precision manufacturing facilities, the CMM is the company’s chief dimensional measurement device that is traceable to the standards maintained by the national standards authority of the relevant country. Most CMMs are used to verify dimensional accuracy for quality control (QC) and first-article inspection.
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World-first patented launch of leak-proof oxyfuel system at compressed gas safety conference

First Cut, Messer Cutting Systems, Gas Safety International and BED collaborate in developing new safety valve, torch and process that will lessen the possibility of a gas leakage taking place due to either worker negligence or an accidental breakage in the compressed gas supply line.
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Doosan Machine Tools changes name to DN Solutions

Doosan Machine Tools announced that it will change its name to DN Solutions and be reborn as a total manufacturing solutions provider. The new name will be effective as of June 2, and signifies a new start after the merger with DN Automotive, which became its new parent company in January 2022.
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EuroBLECH 2022 is confirmed to take place in October 2022

Following the latest easing of Covid restrictions, show organiser Mack-Brooks Exhibitions confirmed that the 26th edition of the International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition, EuroBLECH 2022, will take place from 25 to 28 October 2022, in Hannover, Germany. The current exhibitor list stands at 1 257 companies from 39 nations, covering a total net exhibition space of over 88 000m².
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JIMTOF 2022: The 31st Japan International Machine Tool Fair

The Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association (JMTBA) and Tokyo Big Sight Inc. will host the upcoming event, JIMTOF 2022, that will be held in Tokyo Big Sight from 8 November to 13 November 2022. JIMTOF 2022 will be using all of the exhibition halls of Tokyo Big Sight, including the South Hall, which opened in 2019. JIMTOF 2022 will be held with 861 exhibitors and a record number of 5 610 booths in total.
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South African-designed camper-trailer receives prestigious international Red Dot Design Award

South Africa has taken centre stage in the international design industry when EdgeOut – the South African-designed and a world-first rotomoulded teardrop camper-trailer designed for use on tar and gravel roads – was awarded the prestigious Red Dot Design Award 2022 in the category Product Design in Germany in June this year.
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Guinness World Records officially recognises Macsteel world record for the longest roof span

In an epic display of pursuing reinvention with their pioneering technology, Macsteel did the nation proud when they broke a world record to become the new Guinness World Records title holder for the longest roof span covered by a single metal corrugated sheet. The sheet spans 280 metres, across the widest part of the roof covering the new Pick n Pay flagship distribution centre in Kempton Park, Gauteng.
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PDTS medical device product development unit has specifically designed the cranial protector

Patient-specific medical devices. Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes unprovoked, recurring seizures. It is a condition that affects about 50 million people around the world according to WHO (World Health Organisation). Anyone can be affected by it but it mostly onsets in young children and this has a bad effect on their daily lives.
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NEASA believes that the Plastic Converters’ Association of South Africa has betrayed the steel industry. All to do with wage negotiations

The National Employers Association of South Africa (NEASA) has released a statement that it claims the steel industry has been betrayed. The statement, in the form of a letter, was published in June 2022 by the association. “Dear Steel Industry employer…”
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Power outages/loadshedding and strikes: Engineering company owners exasperated

Company owners, directors and managers have been expressing their frustration on the social medium platform of LinkedIn. This is what they had to say in response to the initial post below. “One of our suppliers went out of business today and all due to two PREVENTABLE things: 1. Power outages (“loadshedding”) and 2. Strikes (Sibanye/Numsa).
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Copper could be the ‘new gold’ for South Africa

Big Tree Copper chief executive Jan Nelson expects a steady climb in demand for the red metal over the next three decades, according to a Businesstech report. This, as the world, has turned its full attention to sustainable energy and a greener economy. Recent panic over the conflict in Ukraine and its subsequent threat to Europe’s reliance on Russian energy saw a surge in the metal trade to around $10 900 per ton (R169 700).
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Hypertherm changes its corporate name to Hypertherm Associates

Hypertherm is changing its corporate name to Hypertherm Associates, a name that represents the company’s evolution from a manufacturer of plasma cutting products to a multi-technology provider of industrial cutting solutions, with its people at the heart of everything it does to support and solve customer challenges.
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Addressing industry skills shortages by engaging in the new QCTO framework

In its global risk barometer for 2022, international financial services provider Allianz surveyed 2 650 risk experts in 89 countries on the biggest perils facing industries in the coming year. Notably, skills shortages were identified as the eighth biggest risk in South Africa currently.
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United Grinding and Titans of CNC to launch new grinding academy

United Grinding and Titans of CNC, a manufacturing group of part-makers, influencers and educators, have collaborated to launch the all-new Grinding Academy. Much like Titans’ existing machining and aerospace academies, the Grinding Academy will offer free online courses that teach and train the next generation of machinists.
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Modern Machine Shop has released the results of the 2021 World Machine Tool Survey

Modern Machine Shop has released the results of the 2021 World Machine Tool Survey (WMTS). Cautiously optimistic. Encouraged. Just shy of a happy dance. These descriptors may apply to you after reviewing results of the 2021 World Machine Tool Survey.
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May 2022

Victor Taichung introduces the Victor Vturn-A200YSCM CNC horizontal turn-mill with Y-axis and a sub-spindle and the multitasking VMT-X200 milling and turning center

As part of its growing portfolio of machine tools, Victor Taichung has now introduced the Victor Vturn-A200YSCM CNC horizontal turn-mill with Y-axis and a sub-spindle. An upgrade of Victor Vturn-A20Y, which was only launched in 2021, the Victor Vturn-A200YSCM turn-mill has a belt driven spindle speed of 4 200rpm as standard instead of a built-in speed of 5 000rpm (optional) on the previous model.
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Somta Tools takes delivery of two Lasit fibre laser marking systems

Continuing with the journey of investing in new technology to enhance its manufacturing facilities so as to improve the finish and geometry of the tools that the company manufactures and to reduce setup and cycle times, Somta Tools, an OSG Corporation company that is regarded as a global leader in the manufacture of round cutting tools and a company that is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, has purchased two (Open Frame) Miniopen FR Z20 G20 fibre laser marking systems from Lasit.
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LIVE EVENT: Join Sandvik Coromant on ‘How to productively machine aluminium components’

Join Sandvik Coromant on 15 June 2022 at 15:00 Central European Time for the live event. The changed economic circumstances, the onward march of new technologies and the necessity to reduce global carbon emissions require the automotive industry OEMs and their suppliers to adapt.
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Formex Industries pledges R102 million investment boost for auto component manufacturing

Company is gearing itself for new projects that are planned for Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) and the expected localisation drive from other automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Eastern Cape-based Formex Industries has announced a new R102 million investment in the region. This follows a localisation drive by Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) and potential work from other automotive OEMs. The latest contract will enable Formex to manufacture more than 20 new automotive components that were previously made in Portugal.
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Robotic Innovations develops mobile, all-inclusive cobot welding system equipped with a Fanuc CRX-10iA/L collaborative robot

“Traditional manual welding comes with many problems, which are mostly weld seam inconsistency and quality. However, using robotic welding the welded seams have consistent shapes and the seam width is stable, thanks to the excellent repeatability and motion control of robots. Moreover, automatic welding reduces the occurrence of porosity, making the welding seam more aesthetic,” said Rickard Oosthuizen, Operations Manager of Robotic Innovations.
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Year of the Cobot: Cobots make automating easier than ever

Collaborative robots (cobots) aren’t superheroes, but they are rescuing manufacturers of all sizes from the grip of a crippling labour shortage. Companies that once never considered robotic automation are now adopting cobots in their operations because today’s cobots are simple to operate and can handle a wide variety of previously impossible tasks.
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Industrial design: It’s all digital these days – no it is not!

“The misconception about an industrial designer or the profession itself continues to linger on despite the modern world that we live in and the access that we have to being informed. Personally I think the linking of the two words – industrial and design/designer – is a contributing factor to the misconception,” said Brian Steinhobel of Art Steinhobel.
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ONS Electrical and Engineering owner makes it happen after a layoff

Invests in DNE fibre laser. Looking to invest more in other metalworking equipment. Kenny Pillay did not need any motivation or pushing. At the age of 32 he had been retrenched after building up a decent resume in positions other than manufacturing, let alone metalworking. The closest he came was his last position where he was Manager of the spares department at an automotive OEM. Even with no dependants to worry about coupled with very little savings, he still needed to earn.
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Localisation Supermarket, in support of the South African Automotive Masterplan 2035, gives you opportunity to supply locally made components

The Localisation Supermarket, both a physical showcase and online catalogue of automotive components that are currently imported and for which Tier 1 suppliers are seeking local alternatives, is giving impetus to the South African Automotive Masterplan’s targets to transform the automotive supply chain.
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Rainbow SkyReach introduces laser cutting and bending to its aircraft manufacturing capabilities

Modern machinery has increased throughput in many metalworking and fabricating companies tremendously. I’ve visited some shops in which I see components move from one process to the next within minutes, as long as there is an organised production plan. In many operations, the once so dreaded machine changeover is now no big deal. The speed at which the machines cut or bend shifts the problem to address downstream issues.
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Multitrade 3D Systems appointed as Meltio’s official sales partner to boost growth in the Sub-Saharan Africa metal additive manufacturing market

Multitrade 3D Systems and Meltio, based in the Jaén province of southern Spain in the eastern part of the autonomous community of Andalusia, a disruptive laser metal deposition technology manufacturer have announced that Multitrade 3D Systems is going to play a key role in the distribution and support of the Meltio metal 3D printing solutions in the Sub-Saharan Africa market, as an official sales partner.
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Special Steels takes delivery of three Everising bandsaws and one billet saw

Special Steels’ sawing line is constantly being added to with new equipment and in 2021 two new machines were installed and now in 2022 a further three Everising bandsaws and one Everising billet saw have been added to this department. “With a growing order book, we identified the need to increase capacity, to cut quickly and shorten lead-times. This has always been the company’s philosophy,” said Byron Ferguson, MD of Special Steels.
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KPL Die Casting and Thekwini Wire thrive on VWSA mentoring and recognition

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the semi-conductor crisis impacting the automotive industry, the goal of transformation has remained a priority to Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA). This priority extends to the company and to its supply chain, with two new black-owned suppliers joining the VWSA supplier base after completing a mentoring programme offered by the company.
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WD Hearn Machine Tools golf day brings welcome diversion to stressful period

Participating in a company sponsored golf day used to be a regular outing for many. As we all know this welcome diversion from a busy work schedule came to a grinding halt just over two years ago. Slowly life is getting back to what we were accustomed to, for now anyway, but we still have to be cautious. In March WD Hearn Machine Tools Johannesburg branch revived their annual golf day, which had not taken place the previous three years.
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Does South African manufacturing have a problem?

“The makerspace idea originates from the USA. The concept is about lowering the barriers of entry for people to express their creativity in a physical way. It is about people getting together, working creatively, inspiring each other, engaging with new technology, and building a bottom-up economy, as the MakerSpace Foundation describes it,” explained Henry Levine, CEO at Made In Workshop.
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Air Products South Africa acquires Weldamax

The Competition Tribunal has conditionally approved the large merger wherein Air Products South Africa (Pty) Ltd (Air Products) intends to acquire Weldamax (Pty) Ltd (Weldamax). On implementation of the proposed merger, Air Products will have sole control over Weldamax. The Tribunal has approved the proposed transaction with conditions.
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It is not only the government that discourages foreign investment in South Africa with its red tape. Competition Commission recommends imposing conditions to sale of Consol Holdings

Headquartered in Johannesburg, and founded in 1946, Consol Holdings operates four glass production facilities. It serves international, regional and domestic customers, principally in the beer, wine, spirits, food and non-alcoholic beverage sectors. In the year to June 30, 2021, Consol reported consolidated revenues of ZAR9.0 billion ($566 million).
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Engineering company owners exasperated with government’s non willingness to see the light

“Slowly we keep the wheels of industry running between the few professionals and companies that are left in the fabrication and engineering space. Real companies with real passion for this industry. Companies with long-term views. It’s called building a civilisation. Please note that if you come to the few of us that are left, you will get a product that will run its lifecycle or more. We don’t take chances and we work to a proven code,” said Francois Coertzen, owner of Coertzen Engineering Consultants, recently in a LinkedIn post.
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EuroBLECH 2022 returns to live event format

The 26th edition of the International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition, EuroBLECH 2022, will take place from 25 to 28 October 2022 in Hanover, Germany. Following the latest easing of Covid restrictions, show organiser Mack-Brooks Exhibitions has confirmed that the world’s largest trade event for sheet metal processing will go ahead as planned. Demand for stand space has surged, and the current exhibitor list stands at 1 257 companies from 39 nations.
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Fanuc reaches CNC production milestone of 5 million

Fanuc started the development of NC (numerical control) in 1955 and has unwaveringly devoted its business to factory automation. Since the start of production of the first NC in 1958, the accumulated production has increased steadily resulting in 10 000 units in 1974, 1 million units in 1998, 2 million units in 2007, 3 million units in 2013, 4 million units in 2018, culminating in a total of 5 million units in February, 2022.
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Tshwane Automotive SEZ: Construction of Phase 2 to start this year

The special economic zone has already attracted billions in investments by suppliers to Ford SA. Construction is anticipated to commence later this year on Phase 2 of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ), where automotive component suppliers to Ford South Africa have already invested billions in new facilities and equipment, writes Roy Cokayne on the Moneyweb website.
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Duferco calls for the DTIC to follow the data and rethink its approach to the South African steel industry

Duferco Steel Processing (Duferco) is calling for the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) to adopt a more far-sighted and even-handed approach that will benefit the South African steel industry as a whole. Ludovico Sanges, CEO of DSP, says that the DTIC’s approach to protecting the local flat steel industry unfairly benefits only certain sectors of a complex ecosystem.
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March 2022

Logical extension: Iscar has introduced NeologIQ

Several years ago, Iscar launched a unique and innovative LogIQ product line – a campaign that brought new families of cutting tools to the world market. These families were designed to address challenges in metalworking industries, from increasing productivity to finding cost-effective indexable alternatives to small-in-diameter solid carbide tools.
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Stillam adds Swiss-type machining CAM software to basket of software solutions

Stillam CNC Programming Solutions has announced that it has been appointed the Southern African distributor for Esprit CAM software, a product that was established in 1982 by DP Technology and is now in the Hexagon AB stable. Their clients are mom-and-pop machine shops, multinational aerospace corporations, and everyone in between, providing them with a highly adaptable CAM system.
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First Cut and Messer Cutting Systems strengthen ties

Three years ago First Cut, one of the leading distributors of international capital equipment and consumables in South Africa, announced that the company had signed a distribution agreement with Germany’s Messer Cutting Systems to market the company’s plasma, oxyfuel, and large-plate processing equipment.
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Strucmac invests in large Fermat twin table horizontal floor borer to handle large workpieces up to 40 ton

Adding capacity, capabilities, floor space. In the case of Strucmac, the company has built a job shop business based on flexibility and breadth. It’s a business designed to handle parts, sub-assemblies or complete products for its clients. The company offers a multitude of metalworking services and disciplines that makes it hard for a client to look elsewhere.
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J.A. Engineering completes manufacture and delivery of 12 JAE 20-C shuttle cars for an underground mining client

“We are very proud to announce the ground-breaking achievement that we have achieved. We closed off 2021 by supplying 12 JAE 20-C shuttle cars to a first-time customer. The customer included a penalty clause for late delivery, with a deadline for the first eight Shuttle Cars in just four months and the balance within six months,” Danie van Wyk, CEO at J.A. Engineering.
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Fritz Kosa decides to retire and sell Trimos-Sylvac

When Fritz Kosa established Trimos-Sylvac in 1990 as a family-owned business he was not thinking of his retirement. All he wanted to be is a happy and successful businessman that would service the industry sector that he had chosen to the best of his abilities. He started the company based on many years of experience in the field of metrology and dimensional measuring applications.
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Ford South Africa transforms manufacturing robot into a BBQ braai legend!

There’s a new braai (or barbeque) master at Ford South Africa’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, but just don’t expect a reply when you tell him how well you want your meat done! That’s because TCF BBQ – as it’s affectionately known – is a robot! What TCF BBQ (Braai Boerewors Quickly) lacks in communication, it more than makes up for in speed! Able to braai 120 pieces of meat in 12 minutes without breaking a sweat.
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Graeme Cooper appointed MD of WD Hearn Machine Tools

WD Hearn Machine Tools, one of the oldest and largest machine tool companies in South Africa, offering a wide agency portfolio that covers virtually all metalworking and metrology needs, have announced that Graeme Cooper, son of owner Ray Cooper, has been appointed Managing Director, taking over from his father who will now take up the position of Chairman of the group of companies under the umbrella of Drury Machine Tools and includes WD Hearn Machine Tools and Lead Machine Tools.
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Pferd looks to improve economic efficiency for clients with their products and training

Abrasives manufacturer Pferd South Africa expects South Africa’s manufacturing sector to increase the uptake of high-quality products and its training during 2022 as companies look to improve productivity and efficiencies to offset rising costs. Statistics South Africa reports that the basic iron, steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products, and machinery division is experiencing an uptick in activity.
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Government targets cable thieves

South Africa’s government intends making it mandatory for all metal traders to get licenses and prevent them from dealing in cash, according to a Bloomberg report. The government intends making it mandatory for all metal traders to get licenses and prevent them from dealing in cash, a measure aimed at combating a massive illegal trade in cables and wiring stripped from rail, power and telecommunication lines.
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KLT manufactures 800 000th Ranger chassis

KLT Automotive and Tubular Products SA, the chassis and tubing manufacturer, has announced the production of the 800 000th Ford Ranger chassis at its Hammanskraal, northern Gauteng plant. KLT Group is a chassis and tubing manufacturer in India, with customers such as Tata, Mahindra, Daimler, Ashok Leyland and Volvo/Eicher and operates 11 plants. KLT Automotive SA, a subsidiary of KLT Group, currently employs more than 700 people.
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Major OEM vehicle manufacturers invested R8.8 billion in South Africa in 2021

A total of R8.8 billion was invested in South Africa by the major vehicle manufacturers in 2021, the second highest level on record after the record R9.23 billion invested in 2020, according to a report by Roy Cokane in Moneyweb. This was disclosed in the quarterly review of business conditions in the vehicle manufacturing industry and automotive sector for the fourth quarter of 2021, released by automotive business council Naamsa.
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Does the western world really care about us? Just a thought!

Tony Cimato, Chairman and CEO of the Efficient Engineering Group of Companies, posted this question on the LinkedIn social media platform recently. The responses from company owners and the like are posted below. “We as South Africans are all surprised that the western world was quick to lock us out of their borders because of the Omicron variant, even though there is evidence that this was in Europe weeks before our scientists discovered this variant.”
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Stewarts & Lloyds add aesthetics to steelwork for Nike SA sponsored sports centre in Soweto

With many challenges to find a solution for, the Stewarts & Lloyds’ Robertville, Gauteng team, the branch assigned the project, has been busy over the past two years with a huge project for Nike SA manufacturing and fabricating the roofing structure for the new Shapa Soweto Training Centre, a beautiful, functional and very impressive one-of-a-kind assembly.
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A feminine approach to fibre laser cutting

It is no secret that you don’t often find females hovering around a fibre laser or a press brake and being quite at home operating the machine. It is a little more prevalent when it comes to CNC lathe operators or in certain departments in a foundry, the laboratory or metallurgy departments, for example. In other words women are scarce in the ‘tough’ departments of manufacturing and for good reason, some may say.
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Protecting your assets – inside and outside – made easier

In today’s tech-driven world, it’s tempting to look for the one perfect, all-encompassing solution to your problems. After all, we live in times when cutting-edge technology is often worshipped as the one true faith of trouble-shooting, and many companies advertise their products as an all-in-one miracle elixir. However, the reality is that “silver bullet” solutions don’t exist, and this is especially true in the complex and ever-changing world of security systems.
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South Africa’s biggest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, reports a bumper net profit

Extracts from the report produced by the JSE SENS Department said: “The Company’s annual results were supported by a continuing strong price environment, higher sales volumes, and the benefit of robust price-cost effects, all resulting in the highest yearly EBITDA (R8 569 million) and headline earnings (R6 860 million) since 2008.”
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Special Steels also offers robotic welding and laser cutting

“In recent years we have concentrated on adding value in all the right places and moved away from being just a specialist cut-to-length company of imported bar and tube company. Niche steel industry capabilities and focus allows our company to be the hybrid between a steel supplier that is able to add value to our products for the benefit of our clients,” said Byron Ferguson, MD of Special Steels.
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January 2022

From 3D scanning to 3D printing – B&R Metrology Solutions

“As additive manufacturing techniques and technologies continue to mature, more and more industry sectors, companies and design teams are realising the tremendous potential that 3D printers, used in conjunction with 3D scanners, have accelerated innovation, operational gains, supply chain resiliency and on-demand small-batch production,” said Bryn Labuschagne, Sales Director of B&R Metrology.
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Admo Engineering makes major investment in Hugong 12m by 4.5m 8kW fibre laser

“The machine might not be largest in terms of its cutting area for the length of the bed – that accolade went to a company named Laser Sprint way back in 2003 – but for the width of the cutting area it certainly is. The bed size of this monster Hugong CNC fibre laser cutter is slightly more than the 12 metres by 4.5 metres plate that Admo Engineering intend processing,” explained Thys de Villiers.
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Macsteel Service Centres SA opens Macsteel City

The company has begun a journey of pursuing reinvention. In 2019 Macsteel Service Centres SA (Pty) Ltd (MSCSA) embarked on a consolidation and reinvention programme set on becoming a centralised distribution-type business. The focus would be on how the company would move steel to customers as effectively and efficiently as possible.
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Wagner Systems – More than 50 years of fine mechanics components and assemblies’ production

Founded in 1965, the company provides specialist precision engineering services to customers in various industries worldwide. These include, amongst others, enterprises producing medical devices (dental implant systems, audiology/hearing aids, cardiovascular, ophthalmology and endoscopy) and laboratory equipment, aerospace, radioastronomy, the mechanical industry, and industry in general – even music instruments and model car builders!
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First Cut and Gas Safety International join forces

First Cut has announced that it has entered into a merger of interests with Gas Safety International (GSI), a Johannesburg-based company that has been providing certified training and supplying gas equipment to the industrial sector in South Africa since 1985. The agreement became effective from 01 November 2021 and will allow both companies to explore opportunities that are mutually beneficial to both.
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Pro-Tec Engineering wins production assembly line orders in the automotive industry

Following years in the automotive sector, Pro-Tec Engineering, together with their partner KDA were approached by Aeroklas Duys, South Africa to assist them in building a production assembly line for rear bumpers. The rear bumpers are for two leading global car manufacturers, Ford and Volkswagen, and they will be manufactured for the Ford Ranger and VW Amarok models respectively. These rear bumpers are for both the Ranger and Amarok will be assembled on one assembly line.
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Machine like a Pro Free webinar with Autodesk and Aztech

Design and engineer products to ensure aesthetics, form, fit, and function. Reduce the impact of design, engineering, and PCB changes and ensure manufacturability with simulation and generative design tools. Directly edit existing features or model fixtures with the only truly integrated CAD + CAM software tool.
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African Lazer Solutions finds success in its first year of business

Starting a business is difficult at the best of times but, starting one during the pandemic crisis that the world is currently in, is very brave. “We are delighted that we have successfully negotiated our first year in business and can reflect back on the year knowing that we have completed some very interesting installations and look forward to more in 2022 with the current order book that we have,” commented Chris van Aswegen of African Lazer Solutions.
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To meet demand, energy storage solutions company Freedom Won has invested in a new Durma CNC synchro press brake

Lithium battery technology supplier overcomes problem for battery enclosures with custom-built press brake. Fast growing energy storage solutions company Freedom Won has recently invested in a new Durma CNC synchro press brake that has been custom built for the company so that the company can fabricate its battery boxes and enclosures without taking extra stages in the bending process.
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Acoustex installs 250 ton Yangli hydraulic press to manufacture moulded carpets for the new Isuzu D-Max bakkie

Acoustex, a Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape manufacturer of vehicle trim components, has recently installed a new 250 ton Yangli to manufacture moulded carpets for the new Isuzu D-Max bakkie, which is due to be launched in 2022. The excitement at Acoustex’s plant began in mid-2021 with the floor preparation for the new production line. The dedicated line includes the Yangli frame type single moving sheet drawing hydraulic press that weighs in at 39 tons.
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MSC Technical Durban erects and installs ship propeller at new KwaZulu-Natal Cruise Terminal in Durban

MSC Technical Durban, one of three MSC Shipping facilities worldwide that were established by the company to offer repairs and services to the company’s ships, has recently completed a major project whereby it has erected and secured a ship’s propeller at the new KwaZulu-Natal Cruise Terminal, a passenger terminal in Durban harbour that will cater for the many expected tourists and cruise ships that are likely to visit Durban, once the pandemic has ceased.
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Ford invests R600 million in Struandale engine plant for new 3.0L V6 diesel engine and upgrades for 2.0L diesel

Ford Motor Company today announced an investment of R600 million in the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth. This investment supports the launch of a new 3.0L V6 turbodiesel engine, as well as upgrades to the existing assembly line for the 2.0L Single Turbo and 2.0L Bi-Turbo diesel engines – all of which will be offered in the recently unveiled next-generation Ford Ranger pick-up, set for launch in 2022.
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Raising the bar at Special Steels: Celebrates 20 years in business

Adding value in all the right places: Niche steel industry capabilities and focus allows company to be the hybrid between steel supplier and value-adding producers. Value-added processing was not the focus of Specials Steels when it was established 20 years ago. The main emphasis of the company at the time was to be a specialist cut-to-length company of imported bar and tube company.
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NMU student creates unique configurable 3D printed golf putter

In June of 2020, having a competitive Eastern Province golfer, Wian van Aswegen, amongst its students and an established capability in advanced Additive Manufacturing (AM) design and manufacturing outputs, the Advanced Engineering and Design Group (AEDG) student team at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) initiated a project to create a unique configurable golf putter that could appeal to the needs of many high-level golfers.
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Pegasus Steel introduces 15kW Bystronic ByStar 8025 fibre laser into its capabilities

The metal fabrication industry’s business case for high laser cutting power has evolved over the years. In the early years of CO2 laser cutting, more power let you cut faster and thicker. Especially for custom fabricators, a higher-powered laser broadened a shop’s capabilities, which in turn opened the door to new customers and markets. Then in the late 2000s came the fibre laser and a whole new ballgame.
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Mazak enters Swiss-type turning machine market with its new line of Syncrex machines

The extremely precise Syncrex models feature seven, eight and nine-axis configurations and are optimised for high-production of small parts. A Swiss CNC machine, also known as a Swiss type lathe or a Swiss automatic lathe, is a modern precision manufacturing machine that can produce extremely small parts quickly and accurately. Very small, slender or delicate components can be produced by Swiss machining in a production volume environment.
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JIMTOF 2022 to connect exhibitors, visitors and technology: The 31st Japan International Machine Tool Fair

The exhibition will be held at the Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Centre) from 8 November to 13 November 2022. As is customary the organisers of Japan’s machine tool exhibition JIMTOF link the exhibition to an appropriate theme in the engineering field. The theme for JIMTOF 2022 will be: Open the door to the future – Meet the technologies moving the world forward.
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From EMO Milano to EMO Hannover 2023

Scheduled to take place from 18 to 23 September 2023 in Hannover, Germany. For the first time in a long while, EMO Milano 2021 offered the metalworking industry the opportunity to meet face-to-face on an international stage, make new acquaintances and exchange ideas on a large scale. All of this makes one optimistic when it comes to the future of the trade show business and has everyone involved looking forward with confidence to the industry’s next highlights. One is undoubtedly EMO Hannover 2023, which relaunched in September 2021.
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Taiwan’s trade show Timtos x TMTS 2022 all set for February 2022

Timtos x TMTS 2022, Taiwan’s largest co-branded machine tool show, will be held at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Centre, from 21 to 26 February, 2022. Organisers are expecting a total of 900+ exhibitors to pack the exhibition halls with 5 200 booths. Notably, it will be not only the largest trade show in Taiwan since the outbreak of the pandemic, but one of the most significant events for the global machine tool industry in early 2022.
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November 2021

A year in review with the Retecon Group

Last year the Retecon Group of Companies celebrated the 50-year milestone, which all began with the establishment of Retecon Machine Tools in 1970. The company subsequently has become one of South Africa’s most successful machine tool, metalworking equipment and related equipment supply companies.
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Latest strike exasperates employers and could force alternative thinking going forward

The latest strike action in the steel and related industries called for by the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) has left many business owners exasperated, angry, frustrated and looking for alternative manufacturing options such as automation so that they are less dependent on labour.
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Dimitrov Scholarship in honour of Prof Dimiter (Dimitri) Marinov Dimitrov

The late Prof Dimiter (Dimitri) Marinov Dimitrov, one of the founding members of RAPDASA and first Chairperson of the association, was a driving force behind the formation of an association to bring together industry, academia and like-minded people interested in the very new Rapid Product Development technology of the day.
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How much time do we have available?

This is the opinion piece of Paul Savides, MD of PBS Machine Tools. I was doing a new machining process evaluation for a customer whilst keeping his standard production time availability in mind but, the result was that I needed too many machines to accomplish the required batch size. This proposal would clearly have made my customer uncompetitive both locally and against imports.
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Weco installs 10th Hurco CNC machine

It is very unusual to visit an engineering company that has machining as its main service and note that the company has standardised on one brand of CNC machine tool on the shopfloor. There are many reasons why this happens but in general it will be a price and availability factor. However, there are other reasons and in the case of Weco it is the company’s strategy not to compromise on quality but rather to have more machines which results in more output.
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Getting the cut correct at Special Steels

Special Steels was established just under 20 years ago in 2002 as a specialist cut-to-length company with an emphasis on imported bar and tube. In those early years the company concentrated on the niche area of bar and tube as not many specialised in this area as well as the more difficult sizes and compositions of solid and hollow bar.
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Gear Ratio up for sale

Financially-embattled State-owned defence industrial group Denel has finally initiated its long-trailed plan to dispose of what it considers to be ‘non-core’ assets. It has published a newspaper notice calling for expressions of interest from companies interested in buying Denel Gear Ratio, a unit of Denel Vehicle Systems.
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Hoefyster is another Denel casualty

The State-owned defence and security acquisition agency, operating as a State-owned enterprise (SOE) in Minister Thandi Modise’s Department of Defence and Military Veterans, notes delays are mainly attributed to technical and financial challenges in Denel. During the reporting period, it has become clearer Denel is experiencing an increasing lack of capacity and capability and this has exacerbated delays on the programme.
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Paramount develops add-on armour for its Mbombe 4 IFV vehicle

Paramount Group, the global technology and aerospace business, has announced that new add-on armour has been developed for its next generation Mbombe 4 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), resulting in some of the highest levels of protection that can be achieved globally by an armoured vehicle in its class. The Mbombe 4 was first launched in 2019, designed for local manufacturing within customer countries.
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Integral Machine Tools appointed South African agent for Bodor Laser cutting systems

Integral Machine Tools was established in 2020 and represent Okuma, manufacturers of CNC machines for metal removal and shaping and were appointed earlier this year to represent Bodor Laser. Integral Machine Tools also represents suppliers who produce a variety of conventional and CNC equipment, encompassing a range of applications and processes, and tooling for the equipment.
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Thompson Machine Tools celebrates 50 years in the machine tool industry

“Surviving 50 years in the machine tool business is a significant achievement and we would like to sincerely thank all our clients, suppliers and friends in the industry that have supported us during this period,” commented Philip Thompson, MD of the company. The privately held company was started by Philip’s brothers Fred and the late Frank Thompson in 1971.
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Herona Engineering plans ahead with the introduction of a Victor Vcenter P136 machining center

Herona Engineering has had CNC equipment on its floor since 2004 when the company purchased its first CNC machine – a Victor Vturn-26 machining center. But this precision engineering company, based in Delporton, Krugersdorp West, has been in existence since 1982 and had built up a sizeable client base and reputation before the CNC arrived, by machining all of the components it manufactured for clients on conventional equipment.
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Recruiting for the manufacturing and engineering sectors

The shortage of potential employees in the manufacturing and engineering sectors is a serious challenge that merits a serious response. Too many companies react to employee needs by scrambling to fill the holes as they appear. And then they do not know who to turn to because the general recruitment agency that they use for administrative staff does not understand the industry we are working in and what type of candidate is needed.
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Ford modernises and expands manufacturing and assembly line in Silverton for the all-new Ranger pickup truck production

The high-profile US$1.05 billion investment by Ford South Africa (Ford SA) to modernise and expand its manufacturing facility in the Silverton plant to support expanded production of the all-new Ranger pickup truck is starting to take shape with the installation of a number of machines that will be seen for the first time in South Africa. Assembly of the Ranger is scheduled to begin in 2022.
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How China’s new privacy law will impact businesses in South Africa

In the case of South Africa-China ties, 2021 marks 23 years of diplomatic and economic relations between the two allies. As of July 2021, imports from China to South Africa accounted for 19.4% of South Africa’s imports, while exports to China from South Africa amounted to 12.6%. From the above statistics it can be safely deduced that South Africa will seek to protect and maintain all trade relations it has with China.
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September 2021

Tekenso launches eTrack – a complete management system that incorporates finance, sales, production, logistics, HR and IT (CAD/CAM/nesting software, CRM/ERP)

Businesses require effective management and oversight of various operational inputs from sales to pricing, orders outstanding, and tracking work-in-progress on the shop floor, to ensure the production and delivery of product – on time and within budget – for the end-customer.
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PTD appointed Kennametal distributor

Newly established tooling and related equipment and accessories distributor PTD Metalworking Professionals has been appointed an authorised Kennametal distributor. At the forefront of advanced materials innovation for more than 75 years, Kennametal is a global industrial technology leader, offering a wide range of metalworking tools for turning, milling, holemaking, threading and tooling systems applications.
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Macsteel Tube & Pipe leads the way for pursuing reinvention

Macsteel Express, a new franchise-partnering concept, is being rolled out. Last year Macsteel Service Centres SA (Pty) Ltd (MSCSA) embarked on a consolidation and reinvention programme set on becoming a centralised distribution-type business and the focus would be on how the company would move steel to customers as effectively and efficiently as possible.
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Simmer Engineering invests in CMM capabilities

An Aberlink Azimuth CNC CMM installed in purpose-built temperature controlled room. Gauteng-based Simmer Engineering specialise in the manufacture of precision components including covers, shafts, shaft sleeves, lantern rings, stuffing boxes, seal rings, glands, neck rings, impellers, expellers and other pump components linked to the mining, rail and military industries in a variety of materials.
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Celebrating the life of Jim (Hamish) Aikman

It is with deep regret and sadness that we announce the passing of Jim (Hamish) Aikman (71) in June 2021 due to COVID-19 related complications. Jim was one of the well-known and loveable characters of the tooling and engineering supplies industry who you struggled to understand because of his strong Scottish accent.
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Matthew And Son Engineering reach 40-year milestone

Matthew And Son Engineering may not sound as romantic as the famous musician or the song – Matthew and Son – that made Cat Stevens a household name to those from that era, but it does have the same longevity as the song. The manufacturing and fabrication engineering business recently celebrated its 40th anniversary as a company after being established by Matthew Mayhew Snr in 1981.
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Hi-Tech Machine Tools partners with cutting tool manufacturer Fraisa SA

Fraisa SA, a cutting tool manufacturer specialising in milling tools, drills, taps and indexable inserts has appointed Hi-Tech Machine Tools to market the company’s products in South Africa. “We are proud to announce that we have been appointed as agents to represent this high-end manufacturer of quality tooling. Tools and cutters are a significant aspect in the machining world,” said Peter Killian, MD of Hi-Tech Machine Tools.
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Retrofitting and modernising an ACME vertical boring and turning machine

Mention the name Dorbyl Heavy Engineering and you immediately think of what used to be one of South Africa’s largest engineering companies that made use of quality machine tools, imported mainly from European manufacturers. Most of these machine tools were large and could accommodate ultra-heavy components used in the rail, mining, energy, defence, marine, metallurgical and general engineering industries.
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Special Steels is more than just a buy-cut-sell enterprise

Takes care of your material preparation before CNC machining. For a busy manufacturer there can be fewer harder challenges to productivity in your machine shop than cutting to length hollow bar or tube in carbon steels, alloy steels or chrome, particularly when you do not have the equipment to do so. The costs and the possibility of scrap are high.
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Enclosures and DB board manufacturer turns to robotic press brake handling

When it comes to bending sheet metal to precise angles and dimensions, there is no better suited machine than the press brake. As one of the many principle pieces of equipment in the metal industry, the press brake helps deliver custom parts to a range of industries including aviation, automotive, agricultural, energy and transportation.
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B&R Metrology to distribute Scantech 3D scanning technologies and equipment and can now offer 3D printing service

Complements company’s industrial 3D printers VSHAPER equipment. Now offers 3D printing services for precision prototypes and end-use production components that give you accuracy and repeatability. B&R Metrology has announced that it will be distributing the range of Scantech products that include 3D scanning technologies and equipment.
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Sandvik acquires Mastercam developers CNC Software

Sandvik has signed an agreement to acquire US-based CNC Software Inc., a leading provider of CAD/CAM software solutions for manufacturing industries and the company behind Mastercam, one of the most widely used CAM brands in the industry. By acquiring CNC Software, Sandvik gains a world-class CAM brand in the Mastercam software suite with an installed base of around 270 000 licenses/users, the largest in the industry.
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Trumpf and Starmatik agree on strategic partnership for bending machine automation

Trumpf and Starmatik, the Italian specialist for robotic automation of sheet metal processing machines, have agreed to collaborate even more closely in the future after the two companies have recently announced that they have entered into an agreement to that effect. Starmatik will be able to supply specific modular solutions for Trumpf’s Smart Factory solutions that take into account the general trend toward automation.
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United Grinding presents a world premiere at EMO 2021

Under the brand C.O.R.E. – Customer Oriented REvolution – the United Grinding Group will unveil a revolutionary new product at EMO 2021 on the first day of the trade show at 12 noon. The United Grinding Group, a manufacturer of precision machines for grinding, eroding, lasering, measuring, and combination machining, is presenting a revolutionary innovation at EMO 2021 in Milan, Italy.
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DMG MORI to continue partnership with Red Bull Racing Honda

DMG MORI has announced that it will continue to support the Red Bull Racing Honda Formula One team. The relationship between Red Bull Racing Honda and DMG MORI has been in place since 2004, with the machine tool supplier becoming an Innovation Partner in 2012. There are currently more than 20 DMG MORI machines, predominantly 5-axis machining centers, at the Formula One team’s manufacturing facility in Milton Keynes.
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July 2021

TaeguTec’s new Sfeed-Tec family propels machining into next generation

TaeguTec is introducing an exciting advanced line of performance-driven cutting tools specifically formulated for the Industry 4.0 revolution that not only guarantees incredible machining productivity by attaining quicker speeds and higher feed rates, but achieves longer tool life and consistency. Sfeed-Tec’s tools are a premium high-speed and feed machining line that assures new winning results.
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Blackstone Tek invests in new Hyundai Wia twin spindle dual turretLM 1800TTSY multi-axis turning center to process new order from an Italian OEM

In today’s world of motorsport, it is not the one second advantage that you are looking for but the fractions of seconds so as to get pole position or generating the speed needed during the race to perhaps pass another driver where it was once thought impossible.
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Jachris upgrades machine shop with the introduction of three Leadwell CNC lathes

Specialist industrial hose and couplings manufacturer Jachris has recently invested in three Leadwell CNC lathes that will be replacing 10 existing machines in the machine shop. “We manufacture and import product for fluid and material transfer, fluid power and fire suppression across a wide spectrum of industries. Most of the time our products will be required to operate in harsh conditions and in many cases they will be important components in safety critical areas,” said Warwick Bouwer CEO of Jachris.
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Anglo American explores 3D printing in South Africa

Anglo American has launched a 3D printing project in South Africa focused on using the technology to manufacture spare parts for mining and processing equipment locally. The company and its partners on the project, South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and US-based technology company, Ivaldi Group, are initially exploring the creation of a digitally distributed supply chain.
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B&R Metrology add 3D printers to portfolio

With more than 23 years’ experience in CNC manufacturing, B&R Metrology Solutions does not need to be introduced to the field of validation, verification of predefined standards, traceability, accuracy, reliability and precision, which are all elements of metrology and defined as the scientific study of measurement that establishes a common understanding of units that are crucial in linking human activities.
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Hi-Tech Machine Tools gets to grip with 5th Axis workholding systems

Innovative workholding solutions help you hold onto productivity and profit in a machining environment. Consider the cost of an up-to-date CNC machine tool, the cutting tools and toolholders in the toolchanger or tool turret, the hardware and software devoted to programming, and compare these investments to the cost of appropriate workholding equipment. Workholding usually costs only a fraction of the amount the rest cost.
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Mercedes-Benz to invest an additional R3 Billion in East London plant

Following on Mercedes-Benz’s rich heritage of over 6 decades in South Africa, the East London Plant has officially started production of the new generation C-Class. Since the investment announcement of R10 billion in 2018, the East London Plant has undergone numerous plant upgrades in preparation for the production of the new model. At an event commemorating the start of production of the new generation C-Class on 24 June 2021, Mercedes-Benz Cars announced an additional R3 billion investment.
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Ultra Lock install first Modula automated storage and retrieval system

Since its introduction to the market over 30 years ago, the Modula vertical lift system is among the most reliable and advanced storage systems available today. The Modula vertical lift system is the ideal solution to store any industrial products, components or spare parts in all possible industrial environments, industries and departments. The system allows for up to 90 000kg of capacity depending on the configuration chosen.
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Duncan Macdonald & Co develops environmentally friendly cutting fluid

Designed to keep up with advances in automated chip and fluid processing, N’VIRO Gold cutting fluids do not contain chlorinated solvents or harmful chemicals and are blended with vegetable esters and selected animal fats to ensure excellent lubrication for the most extreme pressure applications. A local company responding to the growing need for metalworking facilities to comply with environmental guidelines and to promote cleaner machining operations.
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Grinding Media South Africa makes major investment in melt shop revitalisation to reduce environmental impact

Company converts from electric arc furnace melting to induction furnace melting to reduce emissions to achieve environmental compliance, achieve quality improvements, reduce direct costs and enhance its safety incident awareness accordance. For over 35 years Grinding Media South Africa has been supplying grinding media for the platinum, gold, ferrochrome, base metals, power generation and cement industries.
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Aditiv Solutions successfully produces first component on South African developed Hyrax metal 3D printer

Aditiv Solutions, a self-funded South African company with a focus on providing affordable metal 3D printing solutions, has proudly announced that the company has printed its first component – dubbed ‘Bracketosaurus’ – on the company’s locally designed and developed metal 3D printer appropriately named Hyrax, which is nearing final stages of development.
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Knorr-Bremse (South Africa) adds Victor Vturn A20SCV to CNC turning capabilities

Knorr-Bremse SA’s 9 000m² factory in Spartan, Kempton Park is described as a state-of-the-art equipped manufacturing plant. When you visit the plant, you realise this is not an overstatement. From the spotless floors to the many DMG MORI and Okuma machines – 20 CNC machines in total – that occupy these floors, you can see that complacency and poor quality are not part of the company’s culture.
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First Nissan Navara vehicles to be manufactured in Africa by Africans

The first Nissan Navara vehicles to be manufactured in Africa by Africans have begun rolling off the Nissan manufacturing production facility in Rosslyn on their way to South Africa and the rest of Africa. The official start of production (SOP) was witnessed by Mike Whitfield, Africa Regional Business Unit Managing Director, Kabelo Rabotho, Nissan South Africa Country Director, Shafick Solomons, Nissan South Africa Plant Director and a small group of Nissan employees.
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Training on the correct and safe use of angle grinder consumables offered at PferdAcademy

The correct handling and application by operators of cutting and grinding machinery are not only critical in terms of operator safety, but also for the longevity of the machine, effective and efficient use of the consumables, as well as the quality of the overall end result. This is why Pferd South Africa is offering operator and distributor training at their PferdAcademy based in Kempton Park, Gauteng.
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DMG MORI to build new production plant in Egypt – Africa’s first machine tool factory

Made in Africa – for Africa: Joint Venture for intensified industrialisation in Africa. DMG MORI is building Africa’s first machine tool factory in Cairo. This was officially decided at a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. In the presence of Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Chairman of the Executive Board Christian Thönes and AOI President Lt. Gen. Abdel Moneam Al Tarras signed a pioneering cooperation agreement.
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EMO Milano 2021 – 4 to 9 October 2021

Green light to exhibition activity. The rules for mobility across EU countries and between the European Union and the United States are at an advanced stage. Tax incentives established by the Italian Government: A great opportunity for exhibitors from all over the world. After a two-year hiatus EMO Milano, one of the leading exhibitions for the world’s metalworking machine tool manufacturing industry, makes its comeback in Milan, Italy.
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Macsteel reaches agreement with DTIC

Settles safeguard-duty case and secures two-year reprieve. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and Macsteel have reached a legal settlement in a case brought by the steel merchant after government extended the implementation of safeguard duties on hot-rolled coil (HRC) imports in August last year, according to an Engineering News report.
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Patel looking for R200 billion in additional localisation

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel says that his department’s localisation strategy is gaining increasing traction, and has now received the support of 30 local chief executives from companies such as Clicks, Anglo American and Sasol. Presenting his departmental budget speech to parliament in May, Patel said the strategy would see the localisation of up to R200 billion of additional production over a five-year period.
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May 2021

Victor Fortune introduces the Victor Vcenter G135 vertical machining center

Continuous developments at Victor Taichung’s new Smart factory in Taiwan have kept the Victor CNC machines at the forefront of technology and enabled them to keep up with the increasing demand from world markets. Last year the new horizontal turning lathe model S26 was launched and is now the most popular of the standard machines. A recent offering is the new G 135 heavy-duty vertical machining center.
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Making the shopping experience more seamless and enjoyable for shoppers, consumers and retailers alike with Barrows Global

Top quality and delivery gets a fabricator in customers’ doors. If a company can’t produce good parts on time, it’ll have a tough time growing let alone sustaining itself. The market has become just too competitive for mediocre performance. So what causes quality and delivery problems? One answer is rework from bad parts, which is where operator skill enters the equation.
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DNE Laser, a member of Bystronic, opens subsidiary in South Africa

Bystronic-owned company, DNE South Africa, to offer economical range of sheet processing equipment as an alternative. Components processed on DNE Laser machines are widely used in the electrical, automobile, mechanical equipment, appliance, shipping transport and many other general engineering, retail and consumer industries.
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South African division of Tramper Technology increasing its presence locally and internationally

Multinational manufacturing company Tramper Technology from the Netherlands only established its South African company in Somerset West, Western Cape a short five years ago. However, in this period, the local business has made a real difference for its parent company and in the local engineering community as a high-quality CNC machining company.
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Heavy, large part CNC machining operation D.C. Technical Services acquires Durma press brake

Meeting customer demand for both quality components and consistent, on-time delivery is essential for any business’s competitiveness. However, having to subcontract work that can’t be done in-house can add weeks or months to delivery times and compromise on quality standards. This was the issue faced by D.C. Technical Services, a company specialising in medium and large-sized machining and fabrication.
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Metal Chip Machinery appointed agents for nitrogen generation company AAG Makina

Fiber laser cutting assist gas technology evolves. “Assist gas generation for laser cutting has come a long way during the past decade. As more shops expand their laser cutting capacity, they often take another look at assist gas consumption. More operations are looking at alternatives for delivered gas, and this includes generating gas on-site, specifically nitrogen,” said Malcolm Moriarty of Metal Chip Machinery.
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Alfeco Group acquires Hulamin’s Gauteng aluminium extrusions business

Integrated, South African metals company, Alfeco Group has recently acquired the Hulamin Extrusions plant based in Olifantsfontein, Midrand. The extrusion assets which are now part of the Alfeco Group’s new aluminium division with a design capacity of 20 000 tons per annum has been renamed, Veer Aluminium. “The acquisition of the aluminium business signals further growth and commodity diversification to include in the Alfeco Group’s ferrous and non-ferrous metals portfolio.
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Sad passing of Gary Willis

It is with deep regret and sadness that we announce the passing of Gary Willis at the age of 51 in April 2021. Gary was Sales Director of First Cut at the time of his passing after having fought a brave and courageous 18-month battle with cancer. Always a positive man he remained so up until the end. Gary attended Randfontein High School in the west of Gauteng between 1983 and 1987 before joining his late father’s tungsten carbide tool tip business.
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Unique Off-Road Concepts – built to conquer

We all had plenty of extra time on our hands during the early stages of the initial nationwide lockdown that was put in place by the government as part of the non-pharmaceutical interventions designed to stop the spread of COVID-19. I’m sure you will look back in years to come and remember exactly what you were doing during those early stages of the pandemic that rocked and continues to rock the world.
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ArcelorMittal vows to address South Africa’s steel shortages

ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) said in its 2020 integrated annual report that it was committed to addressing the country’s steel shortages. Chief executive Kobus Verster said recently the group had experienced considerable delays with starting the N5 blast furnace in Newcastle. Verster said the N5 setbacks were frustrating, particularly because of the group’s intense focus on addressing customers’ steel shortages that had been building up since before COVID-19.
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Trumpf acquires Lantek to promote open communication standards

Lantek to maintain current agreements with machine vendors, customers. Trumpf has announced that it has acquired the software house Lantek and is focusing on software in sheet metal processing that runs independently of the machine manufacturer. “Trumpf is opening up to customers’ production eco-systems with this acquisition,” said Tom Schneider, managing director of machine tool development at Trumpf.
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Mazak helps McLaren Racing get set for new season with rapid 5-axis installation

Yamazaki Mazak has helped the McLaren Formula 1 team step up its preparations for the 2021 season by supplying and commissioning a brand new fully-simultaneous 5-axis machining center in just four weeks. The new machine, an Integrex i-100S Multi-Tasking machining center, was ordered in December 2020 and became fully operational at McLaren’s Technology Centre in Surrey at the end of the same month.
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Does AMSA bully its customers?

“NEASA recently received complaints from numerous AMSA customers to the effect that AMSA is employing bullying tactics towards them. The following are examples of complaints we have received,” said Gerhard Papenfus is the Chief Executive of the National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA). “One NEASA customer complained that they haven’t received deliveries for six months.”
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DMG MORI strengthens presence in China as the company outlines plans for a new 5-axis milling machine factory

DMG MORI will strengthen its presence in China by building a new plant as part of a €75 million investment in a 5-axis milling machine factory in Pinghu. The company said it plans to start construction of a 35 000m², highly automated and consistently digitised production plant for 5-axis milling machines near Shanghai.
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March 2021

Scientific & Precision Solutions thriving as it nears one-year anniversary

A one-stop supplier of instruments, equipment and consumables for all your metals, minerals and material testing requirements as well as a solutions provider for your laboratory. In little more than two months, the 15th May will mark the one-year anniversary of the formation of Scientific & Precision Solutions (Pty) Ltd (SPS). SPS has continued to provide the same range of equipment as before and continued to service and warrant all products previously provided.
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Local steel industry remains on the brink of implosion: Why is government not helping?

Local steel manufacturer, Duferco, has again raised the red flag over the local steel industry, saying its imminent collapse is one fateful step closer. Ludovico Sanges, MD of Duferco Steel Processing, says that President Ramaphosa’s emphasis in his recent State of the Nation Address on the need to accelerate South Africa’s economic recovery and grow jobs is at odds with the way in which local steel manufacturers’ pleas for help are being ignored.
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MBO offers huge opportunity for Infinity Diamond Wheel Manufacturing

Core business for new company will constitute diamond wheel manufacture for grinding operations, manufacture of ceramic shapes and sizes and general engineering. Infinity Diamond Wheel Manufacturing, which only began trading on the 1st January 2021, has been established as a result of a management buyout (MBO). Although, MBOs have been popular for a long time there have not been many publicised in the current economic climate.
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CRPM – Building Additive Manufacturing ecosystems in Botswana

The Central University’s Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (CRPM), once more managed to break more ground in their attempt to transfer Additive Manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) knowledge and skills, to industry and the community. Through the Southern African Innovation Support (SAIS) initiative, funded from Finland through its Project Management office in Windhoek, Namibia a successful bid was made under the SAIS2 programme, to establish an Additive Manufacturing (AM) Ecosystem in Botswana.
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U&L Engineering’s onsite machining and overlay welding solutions just got bigger

Onsite machining and repairs to mechanical equipment using portable line boring and rotary welding machines is an essential mechanical procedure to overhaul and repair many components, machinery and equipment in-situ so as not to incur costly down time and without having to disassemble equipment and usually transport it long distances to be fixed, if you are in the mining and construction industries.
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A tribute to Ronnie Graham

It is with deep regret and sadness that we announce the passing of Ronnie Graham (58) in February 2021. At the time of his sudden and unexpected passing was the General Manager and Director of Widatech, the official distributors of Widia tooling products and systems, a brand that Ronnie was very passionate about. Ronnie who had over 28 years of experience in selling cutting, forming and related tools in South Africa was a friend a colleague to many people in our industry.
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Metallurgical and Manufacturing Services develops its wire arc additive manufacturing capabilities

“Metal 3D printing or machining metal parts can be a costly process. Some say 3DP for metal parts offers more advantages than other techniques, including CNC machining. But that is where a lot of confusion sits. Metal 3D printing like any other manufacturing technique or process, has its own specific advantages and drawbacks that need to be weighed up in relation to the task at hand,” explained Christo Botes, Director and one of the original founders of Metallurgical and Manufacturing Services.
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Specialist CNC machining center manufacturer MAPLE-tech Co appoints 600SA Machine Tools as their agent for South Africa

600SA Machine Tools has announced that it has been appointed as the agents to market and distribute MAPLE-tech Co products in South Africa. The MAPLE-tech Co specialises in the development and manufacture of automated vertical, horizontal, bridge type and gantry type machining centers for the machining of complex workpieces at minimal costs. MAPLE-tech Co., Ltd. was established in 1989 and is located in the Sha Lu district of Taichung City, Taiwan.
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Chemical Solutions & Innovations appointed sole distributors of Quaker Houghton metalworking fluid range

Chemical Solutions & Innovations (Pty) Ltd (CSI), one of the largest service providers of the bespoke Chemical Management Services (CMS/’Fluidcare’) to the manufacturing sector, as well as a leading metalworking fluid supplier to the South African market, has announced that they have been appointed the sole distributors of Quaker Houghton, a global leader in primary and metalworking industrial process fluids.
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Medical device additive manufacturing technology in South Africa – robust and reliable and up there with the best in the world

Not only is access to medical device technology improving in South Africa, but innovations in health care technology are helping to provide medical care and solutions to those living in poverty. There are more cases than there are not these days where it is not so much the accessibility to the equipment in Africa, and South Africa in particular, but that the equipment is not suited to African environments and the day to day living conditions that the majority of the population endure.
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EMO Milano 2021: The metalworking machine tool manufacturing industry exhibition is still scheduled to go ahead from 4 to 9 October 2021

Luigi Galdabini, General Commissioner of EMO Milano 2021 stated: “We are very confident of the success of the exhibition. Availability of vaccines, forecasts of demand growth in all the main areas of the world and important incentive measures for investment in new production technologies in Italy: These are all elements that make up a really favourable context for EMO Milano 2021.”
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Swasap invests R20 million in new equipment to boost productivity and quality

“Manufacturing safety critical axles for the rail transport industry is demanding in terms of increasingly stringent standards being applied worldwide, especially in passenger rail vehicles. Growing trade liberalisation over the past few decades has afforded Swasap the opportunity to expand its export markets, especially into Europe and North America. This in turn has resulted in Swasap developing new methods and manufacturing processes to ensure it meets the expectations of its clients,” said Derek Anderson, Managing Director of Swasap.
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January 2021

A bright future will rely even more on training

Change the culture, fill the skills gap. Many organisations in the manufacturing sector have had to hit the pause button during the COVID-19 pandemic. Others have taken the option of the reset button. However, no matter what – don’t focus on the negative. There are too many positives out there for you not to take hold of, so use this time to optimise your business.
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Duferco Steel Processing’s MD lashes out at Arcelor Mittal South Africa and the government

“Bureaucratic red tape and anti-competitive practices are driving the local steel industry into the ground. What hope of economic recovery if we are at the mercy of a single supplier? It’s ironic that, at this very moment, our steel industry, which is crucial to fulfilling our undoubted economic potential, should be teetering on the brink of catastrophe. We still have a tiny margin of time to save it, but it is ticking away,” complains Ludovico Sanges, MD of Duferco Steel Processing.
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Stalcor looks set to be a victim of Consolidated Steel Industries’ business rescue plan

Stalcor, once one of the top three Tier 1 distributors of stainless steel and aluminium products in South Africa, servicing customers in the fabrication sector and steel merchants, looks set to be closed as a result of parent company – Consolidated Steel Industries (CSI) – going into business rescue and a subsequent legal demand by a creditor, as well as trading complications during COVID-19.
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NEASA calls for suspension of all steel duties with immediate effect

In its latest newsletter NEASA has called on the government to suspend all duties imposed on steel imports with immediate effect. “As a result of the steel downstream’s uninterrupted appeal for the scrapping of import duties protecting AMSA, the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) recently referred a request to have all duties suspended to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC),” said CEO Gerhard Papenfus.
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TDM Solutions develops temperature reducing case for Raspberry Pi 4 computer processor

Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in association with Broadcom. Early on, the Raspberry Pi project leaned towards the promotion of teaching basic computer science in schools and in developing countries. Later, the original model became far more popular than anticipated, selling outside its target market for uses such as robotics. It is now widely used in many areas.
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600SA Machine Tools appointed agents for bar feeding manufacturer LNS Group

600SA Machine Tools has announced that it has been appointed as the agents to market and distribute LNS products in South Africa. For over 45 years, LNS has been based in the commune of Orvin in the heart of Switzerland’s Jura region, the hub of the bar turning industry. Since it was founded, LNS has been devoted to helping optimise the performance of machine tools, whilst increasing their productivity and safeguarding their operators.
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Mecad Systems celebrates 35 years of CAD/CAM innovation and automation

It was only a short three years ago that Ben TerreBlanche, founder and CEO of Mecad Systems, celebrated the 25-year mark of his revolutionary product SigmaNest. TerreBlanche had developed the CAD/CAM nesting software product to enhance the efficiency and profitability of flat material and tube cutting here in South Africa before moving to the US to market the SigmaNest software and establishing SigmaTEK in Seattle in the state of Washington.
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Machine Tool & Design Technology to offer Sodick EDM machines

Machine Tool & Design Technology has announced that the company has been appointed to market and distribute Sodick EDM products in South Africa. Sodick products and technologies wire-cut EDM, die-sinker EDM, hole-drill EDM, injection moulding machines, high-speed milling machines and one-process additive manufacturing machines.
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The Competition Commission conditionally approves Macsteel’s application to acquire certain assets of Robor

The Commission has conditionally approved the proposed merger whereby Macsteel Service Centres SA (Pty) Ltd (MSCSA) intends to acquire assets from the liquidation of Robor (Pty) Ltd. MSCSA produces and distributes a broad range of steel products including carbon steel, stainless steel, speciality steels and aluminium products. MSCSA’s tubes and pipes division (MT&P) is the most relevant for this transaction.
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Naamsa says launch of automotive master plan postponed to July 2021

The plan was to be launched in January 2021 but both the industry and the government are not ready due to COVID-19. The launch of the new South African automotive master plan, which will govern the local motor industry from 2021 to 2035, has been postponed for six months. The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) said that the plan, which was due to be launched on January 1, will now start in July 2021.
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EuroBLECH postponed to 25 to 28 October 2022

Mack Brooks Exhibitions has announced the postponement of EuroBLECH, which was scheduled to take place at the Hannover Exhibition Grounds in Germany from 9 to 12 March 2021. The next EuroBLECH, the 26th International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition, will return to its normal event cycle and run from 25 to 28 October 2022. This decision was taken in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and following conversations with all exhibitors and partners.
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The tooling industry will be required to innovate – ISTMA President Bob Williamson

Bob Williamson, President of ISTMA (International Special Tooling and Machining Association) World and President of PtSA – Production Technologies Association of South Africa, recently gave an interview to ETMM, a European-wide magazine focused on sourcing solutions for the tool and mould making industry, reflecting on the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic for tooling companies. He outlines the challenges of the industry in the light of the global pandemic.
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Fanuc and CNC Software introduce 5-axis postprocessor

Fanuc and CNC Software, developer of the Mastercam CAM software, have released a new postprocessor designed to optimise 5-axis capabilities in Fanuc CNC machines. The new postprocessor allows advanced machine tool operators to reduce their cycle times while boosting part accuracy, particularly for CAD/CAM-generated 5-axis simultaneous contouring part processes. A growing number of manufacturing industries, such as aerospace, medical and mould and die job shops, are incorporating 5-axis simultaneous processing in their operations.
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BIEMH postponed until May 2022

BIEMH, Spain’s International Machine Tool Exhibition that usually takes place every second year, will now hold its next edition in May 2022. The event’s organising team has decided to postpone the event, which was to be held in November 2020, after collecting the views of exhibiting companies once the preferential reservation period ended. The doubts generated by the pandemic make it difficult for organisers to guarantee the quality of BIEMH as a meeting point for the sector.
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VDW and VDMA debut new OPC UA interoperability standards

The VDMA and VDW have developed OPC UA specifications for machinery and machine Tools. These open communication standards are free on the VDMA’s website. The VDW and VDMA have published OPC UA for Machinery and OPC UA for Machine Tools specifications, which deputy executive director of the VDMA Hartmut Rauen says is “an important step closer to our goal of creating a ‘global production language.’”
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ESAB and Yaskawa sign collaborative agreement for pre-engineered robotic welding cells

The ESAB Group Inc. and leading robot and robot system company Yaskawa have announced the signing of a global cooperation agreement to jointly develop and market a line of pre-engineered robotic welding systems called XCellerator. The XCellerator systems will be engineered and built by Yaskawa and marketed by ESAB through its global sales channels.
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ArcelorMittal restarts Blast Furnace C at Vanderbijlpark Works

Africa’s biggest primary steel producer, which is majority-owned by Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal SA MT.LU, ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has said in a SENS announcement that the company has decided to restart Blast Furnace C at its Vanderbijlpark Works operations since steel demand has progressively recovered in the last two months. This follows after the company had put the furnace and its Vereeniging Electric Arc Furnace on idle in July 2020 amid low demand.
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