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May 2024

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News

May 2024

COVER STORY: Iscar is about to change metal cutting… again!

Iscar is set to revolutionise metal cutting once again with its latest product launch, “LOGIQUICK”. This new brand name signifies Iscar’s new marketing theme and encompasses three key words: “Logic”, “IQ”, and “Quick”. The previous campaigns by Iscar have already highlighted the importance of intelligent cutting tools for advanced machining, providing logical solutions that meet the primary of modern production.
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Moving of the SA Navy’s Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel 3 (MMIPV3)

Blessing ceremony marks project success! On 1 March, Damen Shipyards Cape Town hosted the blessing ceremony for the third Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel (MMIPV) to be delivered as part of Project Biro. The vessels will provide a significant boost to South Africa’s capability to respond effectively, rapidly and cost-efficiently to threats from the water.
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RGC Engineering delivers Carl Zeiss GOM high-speed, accurate and precise measuring confidence to local automotive and general industry

RGC Engineering delivered its first Carl Zeiss GOM system to a client back in 2006. Since then, the company has been regularly equipping local companies, and in particular the automotive OEMs and first-tier companies, with Carl Zeiss GOM instruments and systems.
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BK Steel & Profiles eyes the future, installs 4kW JFY fibre laser

Located in the Deal Party area of Gqeberha, and near to major transport links, BK Steel & Profiles, founded in 1995, specialises in profile cutting services and offers a diverse range of steel solutions to commercial and industrial clients across South Africa. The recently opened new facility in Deal Party was made possible after a substantial investment undertaken with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
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Somta Tools celebrates 70 years and opening of new national distribution centre in Gauteng

From small and humble beginnings Somta Tools has grown into the largest cutting tool manufacturer in Africa, specialising in the manufacture and distribution of drills, cutters, reamers, threading tools and toolbits, in both solid carbide and high speed steel, with or without state of the art PVD surface coatings.
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Job losses in the metal industry may be set to continue

Minimum wage increases in the metal industry have become prohibitively high. Year upon year of awarding above-inflation increases has led to a situation where minimum wage rates, especially amongst lesser-skilled employees, have been pushed to a level where the value that an unskilled labourer is able to add to his or her employer no longer matches his or her wage rate.
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DNE Laser South Africa offers two-year Tekenso modular software subscription with your fibre laser purchase, at no extra cost, for limited period

Machine tool builder extends powerful synergy of manufacturing and fabrication knowledge expertise to eTrack – a complete management system that incorporates finance, sales, production, logistics, HR and IT (CAD/CAM/nesting software, CRM/ERP).
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South African Astronomical Observatory expands its high-precision machining capabilities with the addition of new Kitamura Mycenter-HX400iG horizontal machining center

Located in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town and founded in 1820, The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is the national centre for optical and infrared astronomy in South Africa. Its primary purpose is to conduct essential research in astronomy and astrophysics.
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Name change to Fuchs Africa reflects footprint in 37 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

As the regional responsibilities within the Fuchs Group in Africa have developed, it has been decided to rename Fuchs Southern Africa to Fuchs Africa, with effect from 1 April 2024. “Our local activities continue to be performed through Fuchs Lubricants South Africa,” said MD Paul Deppe.
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Stay abreast of industry trends, gain insight into the latest technologies at Machine Tools Africa 2024

Plan your trip to South Africa’s only metalworking related exhibition. Stay abreast of industry trends, gain insight into the latest technologies, and see hundreds of new products and innovations on display at the world-class Machine Tools Africa 2024 exhibition, taking place from 21 to 24 May 2024 at the Johannesburg Expo Centre in Nasrec.
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Volkswagen Group Africa has announced a R4 billion investment in its manufacturing plant in Kariega (Uitenhage)

The investment will be used to upgrade facilities in various areas in preparation for the addition of a third model to its production line-up from 2027. Most of the R4 billion investment will be allocated to capital expenditure for production facilities, manufacturing tooling, local content tooling and quality assurance.
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Banella Metals increases cutting capacity and steel merchant capabilities

Takes delivery of Hugong HGLX 20kW fibre laser with a bed size of 20m by 3m. Banella Metals, based in Vulcania, Brakpan, Gauteng has recently installed a Hugong HGLX 20kW fibre laser that has a bed size of 20m by 3m. The machine, supplied by TRM Supplies, was installed in March 2024 and is an important and strategic capital equipment investment.
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Kennametal announces strategic partnership with ModuleWorks

Kennametal has announced that it has joined ModuleWorks’ Strategic Partner Programme. This programme is a collective commitment to driving intelligent and integrated digital manufacturing solutions. Kennametal joins a variety of industry leaders in this programme, such as Mitsubishi Electric, AutoDesk, PTC and DMG MORI, among others.
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Machine tool maker DN Solutions starts process of listing on Korea Exchange

The company, majority owned by DN Automotive, is expected to debut on the Korea Exchange by the end of this year. DN Solutions, the world’s third-largest machine tool maker, has kicked off the process of going public on the Korea Exchange, in an initial public offering valued at around 3 trillion to 4 trillion won ($2.2 billion to 2.9 billion), according to The Korea Economic Daily.
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Mazak joins the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute as collaborative partner

Continuing its leadership role in secure digital connectivity and Industry 4.0 manufacturing, Mazak has joined major cybersecurity research universities and enterprises throughout the country as a collaborative partner with the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII).
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FEIMEC 2024 – International Machinery and Equipment Fair – São Paulo, Brazil – May 7th to 11th

The largest machinery and equipment fair in Latin America, FEIMEC, takes place in May 2024. With a record number of exhibitor brands, participating countries, and innovations in technology, equipment, and services for the industry, the event promises days of intense programming and a wealth of qualified content, networking, and business opportunities.
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Sandvik to acquire Germany-based cutting tools supplier Almü Präzisions-Werkzeug

Expands market presence with lightweight aluminium components. Sandvik has signed an agreement to acquire Almü Präzisions-Werkzeug GmbH (Almü), a Germany-based cutting tools and solutions provider within high-precision drilling, reaming, milling and tooling systems.
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March 2024

COVER STORY: In focus with Victor Taichung South Africa: Talking to Dudley

“For a strong, reliable machining solution you won’t go far wrong with a Victor Taichung machine. With millions invested in Taiwan in a new Smart Factory, which ensures efficient product development and volume manufacture, it’s easy to see why we see plenty of these robust and reliable machine tools in action all over South Africa and the world,” explained Dudley Meredith who has been with the company in South Africa since March 2002 and is the Managing Director.
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Technipunch looks after its engine room

The 2020 global pandemic was by far one of the biggest challenges that most businesses had to endure. Its long-term impact on the economy has yet to be revealed and unfortunately, some businesses have collapsed due to the unexpected pressures they experienced. Starting a business during the pandemic may have seemed impossible.
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Trax Engineering gets going as a fabricator

“Most of my career has been doing something in the engineering field and that has not been sitting behind a desk. From maintenance to manufacturing I have got some experience. Good or bad it has generally given me a head start and investing in my first fibre laser was not as daunting as I thought it would be,” explained Tom Webb.
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ITAC investigation into the alleged dumping of flat-rolled products

Trade agency the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) has, following an investigation into alleged dumping of steel products from the People’s Republic of China, determined that dumping of products originating in or imported from China is taking place.
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Duncan Macdonald appointed South Africa agent for Assfalg industrial lifting magnets and surface finishing technology equipment

Duncan Macdonald Company Ltd, an importer of engineering tools and accessories for the metalworking industry, as well as a local manufacturer of Tapmatic cutting fluids and coolants, has added German manufacturer Assfalg’s products to the list of international companies and products that they market in South Africa.
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Mintek adds a laser powder bed fusion 3D printer to array of cutting-edge technology

The acquisition of the AMAZEMET rePowder ultrasonic atomisation and alloy development machine by Mintek, South Africa’s national mineral research council, marked a technological breakthrough for the mineral processing and manufacturing industry. Mintek is proud to announce the purchase of a GE Additive Concept Laser Mlab Cusing R laser powder bed fusion 3D printer.
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Machine Tools Africa 2024 for everything that twists, turns, rotates, cuts, forms, bends or shapes

South Africa’s biggest machine tools exhibition is taking place from 21 to 24 May 2024 at the Johannesburg Expo Centre in Nasrec and will be showcasing cutting-edge developments across the machine tool and related industries and the very latest global machine tool technology. Machine Tools Africa 2024 will also highlight the importance of local suppliers and their international manufacturing partners.
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Navigating South Africa’s transition from the NQF to OQSF framework – why meeting the 2024 June 30 deadline matters

South Africa is at a crossroads of a significant educational and vocational transition as it shifts from the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) to the Occupational Qualifications Sub Framework (OQSF) managed by the Quality Council for trades and Occupations (QCTO). The CEO of the QCTO, Mr. Vijayen Naidoo, has declared that the transition is imminent and that existing qualifications will not be re-registered.
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KYB Academy opens new technical training facility in Potchefstroom for artisan careers and skills in the engineering, mining and manufacturing space

TH Machine Tools supplies metal shaping and forming equipment. Kitso Ya Boleng (KYB) means “quality knowledge” in the language of Setswana and the founders of KYB Academy take the meaning of them literally in their quest to make a change in the quality of South African education offered in the North West Province.
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Mazak commences in-house production of ‘Mineral Cast’ machine tool bases

Yamazaki Mazak initiates in-house production of ‘Mineral Cast’ to mitigate parts procurement risk by utilizing machine tool bases instead of castings, offering the advantage of significantly lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions during the manufacturing process. Yamazaki Mazak has initiated efforts to internally manufacture a composite material known as ‘Mineral Cast’.
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Naamsa welcomes government’s strategy to support the transition to electric vehicles

The Automotive Business Council has welcomed the announcement made by the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana during his Annual Budget Speech 2024 to support the transition to electric vehicles through a strategic and investment driven plan. “Recognising the global shift towards sustainable mobility solutions, we welcome government’s strategy to promote the production of EVs in South Africa,” said Mikel Mabasa, Naamsa CEO.
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Glencore encouraged by collaboration between miners and car manufacturers

At this year’s Mining Indaba, Marie-Chantal Kaninda, President of Glencore in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), participated in a forum on 6 February discussing the shape of a successful business relationship between car manufacturers and mining companies. As the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market globally has driven demand for minerals produced in Africa, including cobalt, supply chain transparency and security have become crucial issues.
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Volkswagen builds 1.5-millionth export vehicle

During the night shift on Monday 19 February, the production team of Volkswagen Group Africa celebrated a milestone when the 1.5-millionth vehicle built for export in Kariega rolled off the line. The milestone vehicle, a Polo GTI destined for the United Kingdom, also marked the 21 165th vehicle built for export this year alone. The Kariega plant built 101 557 Polos for export last year.
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Denel concluding Hoefyster development but fewer vehicles to be manufactured

Denel is busy concluding development of the Badger infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) under Project Hoefyster, while revised production costs will see fewer vehicles manufactured for the SA Army according to a Defenceweb article. Armscor this week briefed Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) on the status of Hoefyster and other matters, noting that the project had stalled since 2019.
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Port inefficiency threatens to overtake load shedding as single biggest threat to national wellbeing

“Another year, another blast of hot air about the state of the nation,” said John Lawson, CEO of the Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry, in response to the latest SONA speech by President Cyril Ramphosa. “But when the sound bites are all cleared away the Province still sits with the same enormous headache smack in the middle of the regional economy: Transnet.”
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Coleus Packaging in a new PMC 500 crown manufacturing machine

“Previously, we were majority owned by SAB but in mid-2022 Astir Vitogiannis acquired 75% shareholding in Coleus, and left the remaining 25% with Nokusa Packaging, our BEE partner. We are ready to do business with everyone,” says Ian Victor, the Managing Director of Coleus Packaging.
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Major blow for one of South Africa’s biggest employers

The latest data from the Minerals Council South Africa shows that the mining sector’s contribution to GDP crashed 12% in 2023 due to the electricity and logistics crises that have hit mining companies hard. Despite this, the council said that the mining sector is still pulling its weight and fulfilling its end of the “social bargain” by contributing to job creation and higher tax revenues.
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South African platinum industry could shed up to 7 000 jobs to cut costs

South African PGM miners, home to around 70% of global mined platinum output, are discussing the need to restructure unprofitable production, the council said at the recent Investing in African Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town, Reuters reported. The Minerals Council SA (MCSA) said that restructuring of South Africa’s platinum group metals (PGM) industry in response to rising costs and falling prices could result in between 4 000 and 7 000 job cuts.
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3C Metal Belmet South Africa wins order to fabricate main frame structural steelwork for De Beers Marine’s generation crawlers

3C Metal Belmet South Africa has been commissioned by De Beers Marine to fabricate the main frame structural steelwork for two next-generation crawlers for Debmarine Namibia’s newest diamond recovery vessel, the MV Benguela Gem. The scope of work includes the steelwork fabrication of the crawler’s track and main frames, which will be delivered to the De Beers Marine Mining Systems Workshop.
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Ferrous scrap is emerging as a key strategic raw material

Decarbonisation efforts are now being ramped up across the globe, and as countries begin to implement new export restrictions to meet their key net zero goals, ferrous scrap is rapidly becoming a highly sought-after commodity. Global economists and strategists ING have produced a really interesting report on this subject. Here are some basics. To read the full report visit the link given below.
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South Africa could be a nuclear reactor exporting country

At the recent Mining Indaba held in Cape Town Dr Kelvin Kemm, Chairman of Stratek Global, stated that South Africa can be a nuclear reactor exporting country. He said that South Africa was the first country in the world to start developing a commercial Small Modular Reactor (SMR). South Africa is now a world leader in SMR development and is in a position to build the prototype immediately. This is an entirely private venture.
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January 2024

COVER STORY: The changing face of metrology

Metrology has always been vital in precision manufacturing to ensure products meet both quality and design specifications. As industry demands have increased over the years, we have seen a transformation in measurement technology – advances in metrology and improvements to manufacturing capability typically go hand-in-hand. As Renishaw celebrates its 50th anniversary, Paul Maxted, Director of Industrial Metrology Applications at Renishaw, explores the changing role of metrology in manufacturing.
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Robotic Innovations presented with FANUC sales award

FANUC is proud to announce that Robotic Innovations has been chosen as the winner of the 2023 sales award for their outstanding sales of FANUC robots in South Africa. The award was presented by Dr Kiyonori Inaba at an event held during the iREX 2023 exhibition held in Tokyo.
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Multitrade Distributors reflects on 40 Years

Multitrade Distributors, a provider of tungsten carbide cutting tools and tool holders recently commemorated its 40th anniversary, marking four decades in the industry. The company, with its head-office based in Illiondale, Gauteng, was established by Johny Hansen and a former business partner has grown from humble beginnings to become one of the leading suppliers of cutting tools in South Africa.
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Metalformers adds 12kW fibre laser, material warehouse and drilling, tapping and counter sink machine to its processing equipment

Metalformers Pty Ltd is one of three associated companies processing sheet metal from the same facility in Industria, Gauteng. Hennie van Niekerk, the inventor of the Ultra Lock, the world’s first intentional emergency locking device for security gates, started his first engineering business, Henwill Engineering, in 1989.
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Gears for Africa cuts lead times with investment in new Penta BOLT VII 6025 15kW fibre laser cutting machine purchase

Machine has the ability to cut plate weighing up to 7 tons. Years ago, whenever you visited a precision sheet metal business the talk would be about what material they were cutting, the thickness of material and what speed they were achieving on their 2kW, 3kW or 6kW CO2 laser system. Then the disrupter – the fibre laser – was introduced.
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In loving memory of Dr Paul Potgieter: A legacy of inspiration and hope

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the unexpected passing of, Dr Paul Potgieter, founder of Aerosud, a South African aerospace engineering and manufacturing company. South Africa’s aerospace community has lost a giant with the death of Dr Paul Potgieter in a motor vehicle accident, writes Linden Burns, Managing Director of Plane Talking.
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Investors approach Botswana to build a new railway line just to avoid South Africa

Botswana has received unsolicited bids from investors to build a rail line to a Namibian port that will help avoid South Africa and its disintegrating logistics network. The 1 500 km Trans-Kalahari Railway project is gathering momentum as Transnet, the State rail and ports monopoly in Botswana’s southern neighbour, struggles to ship goods, according to Transport and Public Works Minister Eric Molale.
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All Africa Expo ISTMA 2023

The International Special Tooling and Machining Association (ISTMA), the global representative body for tooling manufacturing, hosted its 16th World Conference and General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa in early November 2023. The event took place in collaboration with the Production Technologies Association of South Africa (PtSA). Metalworking News was invited to attend both the conference and the All Africa Expo.
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Dreams are big at TDL Engineering

A simple but powerful idiom was all it took to convince Daniël Lategan that it was time to start his own business and take a leap of faith that 12 years later is paying dividends in the form of success both personally as well as professionally for TDL Engineering, based in Triangle Farm, Cape Town. That phrase was that if your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough.
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Copper price could rise over 75% to record highs by 2025

Supply squeeze helps copper prices buck tough year for base metals. Red metal known as a leading indicator on the global economy is set to be 2023’s top-performing industrial mineral. Copper prices are set to soar more than 75% over the next two years amid mining supply disruptions and higher demand for the metal, fuelled by the push for renewable energy, according to Lee Ying Shan in his CNBC article.
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Competition Commission welcomes the Tribunal’s confirmation of settlement agreement with the Allens Meshco Group

The Competition Commission has welcomed the Competition Tribunal’s order confirming a settlement agreement concluded between the Commission and the Allens Meshco Group (AMG) in connection with collusive conduct in the wire industry. AMG has agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R5 million for its involvement in cartel conduct within the wire industry.
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Transnet stops plan to allow private companies to operate key rail line

Transnet withdrew a request for quotes for an operating lease on a freight-rail artery that connects its biggest port with its industrial hub, because changes in the nation’s transport policy have affected the scope of the project. Transnet first issued the call for private-sector partners on the so-called Container Corridor linking Durban with Johannesburg on 27 January 2023, it said in a statement.
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The dtic calls for comments on the extension of the ban on scrap metal exports

There have been many further calls for the ban to be scrapped and these calls continue to grow. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) has published a request for comments from interested parties on key aspects of the Scrap Metals Policy.
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Bell Equipment appoint Ashley Bell as new CEO

Bell Equipment Ltd have appointed Ashley Jon Bell, grandson of the company’s founder Irvine Bell, as new group chief executive officer, effective from 1 January 2024. This follows the resignation in July 2023 of Leon Goosen, who left the company on 31 December 2023 after 16 years of service, the last five and a half spent as group CEO.
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Fuchs Lubricants South Africa invests R218 million to increase local production capacity

Following the successful completion of its Phase One expansion at its Isando facility, Fuchs Lubricants South Africa is on track with the next phase of the project, which commenced in 2023 and expected to be completed in 2024 at a total cost of R218 million. Phase Two will see a 40% increase in lubricants production capacity.
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Kennametal introduces new cutting accessory to automate chip clearance

Kennametal Inc. has announced its newest metal cutting accessory – the Chip Fan. Its latest accessory to launch features a unique fan blade design activated by centrifugal force to support automated chip clearance, especially effective while operating unattended or lights-out machining.
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Machine Tools Africa 2024 set to take place in May 2024

Machine Tools Africa 2024, Africa’s only machine tools exhibition showcasing cutting edge developments across the machine tools and related industries is set to take place in May 2024. A Machine Tools Merchants’ Association of South Africa (MTMA) event, Machine Tools Africa will be taking place at the Expo Centre in Nasrec, Johannesburg, from 21 to 24 May 2024.
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IPG Photonics and Miller Electric announce strategic technology collaboration to deliver leading laser solutions to the handheld welding market

IPG Photonics Corporation, a global leader in fibre laser technology, and Miller Electric Mfg. LLC, a leading worldwide manufacturer of arc welding products, announced a strategic partnership with a goal to further promote laser solutions for handheld welding applications.
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November 2023

COVER STORY: New products from Retecon’s principles

The latest manufacturing technologies highlighted and some released at the recent EMO Hannover 2023. Leading supplier of machine tool, tooling, consumables, services and accessories supplier to the metalworking and related engineering industries, the Retecon Group, has highlighted a number of new products recently released by the companies that they represent in South Africa. Some were launched at the EMO Hannover 2023 exhibition held in September 2023.
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What can AI do in laser materials processing?

Automation and zero-defect production are important trends in machine construction. Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a major role in advancing both of them. Today, it can already detect deviations in process monitoring data and implement quality control in real time. In the future, AI will regulate many more processes and simplify process planning through assistance functions.
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Sandvik Coromant unveils new brand identity

To reflect its commitment to innovation and sustainable progress, Sandvik Coromant has launched a new brand identity. Integral to the new identity is a mindset called manufacturing wellness, highlighting the value of shaping resilient, thriving, sustainable manufacturers that positively impact their surroundings.
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Unveiling a new chapter in the history of tap manufacture – OSG announces new sustainable forming tap innovation “Green Tap”

A dominant topic of both conversation and components at EMO Hannover 2023 was that of decarbonisation in a move for industry as a whole to shift toward a low-carbon and circular economy. Celebrating its 85th anniversary, OSG gave its first ever press conference at this year’s EMO show and used the occasion to unveil one the measures it is taking to reduce its carbon footprint.
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Special Steels increases its capacity for deep hole drilling with the acquisition of Micron Technologies’ gun-drilling division

Engineering steel merchant and value-added processing company Special Steels has announced that it has acquired Micron Technologies’ gun-drilling division to expand the capacity of its existing drilling division. Through the acquisition Special Steels will add two drilling machines, one being a HTT gun drill and the other a HTT BTA deep hole drill.
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Combination Products signs agreement to represent Deed CNC machine tools

Gauteng based Combination Products has recently signed an agreement to represent Shandong Deed Precision Machine Tool, a Chinese manufacturer of CNC machine tools, in South Africa. One of the features of the product range is that all of Shandong Deed Precision Machine Tool’s machine bases and columns are cast in UHPC (Ultra high-performance concrete).
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Bell launches new Bell Heavy Industries division

Bell now offers specialist services of complex engineering, heavy fabrication and machining to all industries in the country through its newly formed division. Company says that Bell Equipment’s normal work could utilise the plant for one or two shifts, while a third shift could use the same equipment (such as plasma cutters) to make products such as railway bogies or excavator buckets.
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EMO Hannover 2023: A glimpse into the future of manufacturing

EMO Hannover 2023, the world’s premier trade fair for metalworking, has once again set the stage for innovation and excellence in the manufacturing industry with the show having taken place from September 18 to 23 2023. With an illustrious history, this biennial event stood up to its reputation as the global hub for innovations in the manufacturing sector.
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Actom invests R100 million in plant expansion in Pretoria

Actom, a leading supplier of electrical equipment, services, and balance of plant solutions to the renewable energy sector, has unveiled a significant investment plan to expand its Pretoria plant. Valued at R100 million, this investment initiative aims to bolster local manufacturing capacity in the electro-mechanical equipment industry while contributing to the growth of South Africa’s renewable energy sector and job creation.
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Benteler’s R500 million expansion in Port Elizabeth a boost for automotive manufacturing industry

The Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel, welcomes the expansion of the Benteler South Africa plant in Port Elizabeth. This development represents a significant milestone in South Africa’s thriving automotive manufacturing industry, reaffirming the nation’s growth trajectory and its status as a hub for automotive production, notably in the Eastern Cape Province.
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Centurion Systems: Automation in motion

There are many things that we take for granted in everyday life, though these are different for every person, they are still part of our daily lives and form part of the things we just don’t have to think about as we go about our daily routines and activities. Something we can all relate to however is automation, especially access automation of things like sliding gates and access controlled industrial high traffic barriers.
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Stainless steel sector fights for the right to supply local parastatal projects

The use of local stainless steel is crucial to driving demand and the subsequent beneficiation of this highly prized metal but work still needs to be done to cement the correct specifications of South African stainless steel components in key strategic projects. This is the view of the Southern African Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) which together with the local demand-creating structures of the Steel Master Plan (SMP) has identified and placed a focus on the following projects that can positively impact the local conversion of stainless steel.
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Babcock has successfully completed a complex steam air heater replacement project at one of South Africa’s largest power stations

As an OEM of hundreds of steam boilers in Africa, Babcock participated in the build of one of South Africa’s largest power stations, mainly focused on the HP piping systems construction. However, subsequently an event occurred at the power station that damaged one of the steam air heaters.
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Four million engines in 59 years – Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant celebrates major production milestones

Ford’s long and proud history in South Africa is inextricably linked to the city of Port Elizabeth (now known as Gqeberha) – after all, it’s where Ford Motor Company of South Africa was founded in 1923. Some 41 years later, Henry Ford II officially opened the Struandale Engine Plant. With an investment of R8 million in the new facility at the time, it positioned Ford as the first motor company in South Africa to manufacture engines locally.
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Japanese agency to assist South African companies make a mark globally in manufacturing

Launch of the QPI project, also known as Kaizen. The Chief Director of Automotives at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), Mkhululi Mlota says the Quality and Productivity Improvement (QPI) training programme will help give South Africa an edge over its competitors in manufacturing in the automotive sector. He was speaking at the launch of the QPI project, also known as Kaizen, in Johannesburg.
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Paramount well positioned to take advantage of global surge in armoured vehicle spending

Driven by the Russo-Ukraine conflict, armoured vehicle spending is seeing a global renaissance, and Paramount aims to take advantage of this with its 4 by 4, 6 by 6 and 8 by 8 armoured vehicle solutions. By 2035, the armoured vehicle market will see an anticipated $25.6 billion investment in 8 by 8 wheeled vehicles, according to a new report released last month.
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September 2023

COVER STORY: Tekenso’s eTrack adopts the very latest in software expertise and development platforms to ensure that users benefit from cutting edge advances in practices and technologies

Digitisation, automation, machine learning, Smart Factory, AI, AM, 3D, Industry 4.0, and Industry 5.0 has resulted in the digital integration of objects, including machinery and systems, that ‘talk’ to each other. From quote to invoice eTrack enables the provision of fast, accurate fabrication and manufacturing operational intelligence.
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Staycold International invests in new manufacturing equipment including a coil fed fiber laser cutting machine

Staycold, a leading South African manufacturer of self-contained commercial fridges and freezers primarily for the beverage and hospitality industries, has recently installed a LASER ISSE F3000 RS Turccut LP series coil fed 3kW fiber laser cutting machine. The company has also purchased a Hugong hand-held fiber laser welder and a Cannon injection foaming machine.
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Somta’s regrind and recoat service gets dedicated Walter Helitronic tool grinding machine

In order to meet the growing demand for carbide regrinds, Somta recently purchased a Walter Helitronic CNC machine and created a dedicated regrind facility in their carbide plant, which will double the volume of regrinds possible. Somta regrinds and recoats both its own tools as well as competitor tooling.
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PTF Manufacturing purchases 7 new CNC machines in the last 18 months

“Everybody talks about reshoring and you don’t pay much attention to it especially if your machine shop is busy and the company is experiencing growth. That is until it virtually ‘smacks you in the face’ and then you have to pay attention,” said joint owner Brandon Morris.
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EMO Hannover 2023 organisers VDW give journalists an insight into what to expect at the show in September 2023

More than 70 international editors and journalists from over 30 countries were guests of the VDW (Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabrikenn – German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) at the EMO Hannover 2023 Preview held in Frankfurt, Germany on the 5th and 6th July 2023. Metalworking News was one of the invited press members.
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Denel’s 155mm T5-52 self-propelled Howitzer achieved more than 60km range

State-owned defence company Denel held a successful capability demonstration from 15 to 17 August 2023 at the Alkantpan Test Range in Copperton in the Northern Cape, showcasing the fact that the company is back in business. It also confirmed that Denel is still at the forefront of global technological advancement in the field of artillery.
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Bodor reveals details of new global headquarters

The expansive 300 000 square metre headquarters is a state-of-the-art industrial park that encompasses cutting-edge research and development, advanced production, impressive showrooms, efficient administration, and a life zone, all designed to support Bodor’s strategic vision of leading the laser industry and co-creating a better human life.
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i-Theft foils PV panel theft

Roscher van Tonder, Founder/CEO of i-Fab says: “The idea comes from the ability to create individual designs at a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing and due to the increase in solar panel theft in South Africa it was the logical add on to your solar roof bracket range. So we developed the prototype, and here we are.”
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Mintek Metallurgy invests in Amazemet atomisation, alloy development equipment

It has been announced that mining and minerals technology research organisation Mintek has invested in an Amazemet rePowder ultrasonic atomisation and alloy development system, which can be used to create metal powder from any alloy in any feedstock form, even in small quantities, according to a report in Mining Weekly.
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Naamsa releases research report on African growth and opportunity act [AGOA]

AGOA’s extension and South Africa’s continued eligibility is crucial since it does support the continued growth and development of the automotive industry in South Africa. The 20 566 vehicles exported from South Africa to the US only comprised 0.14% of the total 14.23 million vehicles sold in the US.
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Growth at underground coal mining equipment manufacturer Churston necessitates a move into a larger facility

Churston, a Baughn Group company has relocated from its previous Industries East, Germiston headquarters to Lilianton, Boksburg, Gauteng. The company’s new building includes additional office space and a much larger manufacturing, warehouse and showroom facility, allowing it to offer a larger selection of products and services to the coal mining industry.
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P&A Fabricators wins Standard Bank KZN Top Business Award

P&A Fabricators has emerged as Standard Bank Client of the Year – Larger Enterprise. The company scooped the Standard Bank KZN Top Business category, which celebrates a larger enterprise and is a client with a more than a R100 million turnover per annum.
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Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) hosts its first stakeholder dialogue

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) hosted its first Stakeholder Dialogue event at its East London Manufacturing Plant in August, bringing together multi-sectoral stakeholders with a keen interest in finding solutions to cross-cutting issues that affect the automotive industry and supply chain.
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Stellenbosch University and partners retrofit minibus taxi to run on electricity

“Electric vehicle manufacturers have a window of opportunity now to open plants in Africa to produce electric vehicles locally. Most of the locally manufactured petrol cars are being exported and this boon to the economy will end with developed countries transitioning to electric vehicles in the run-up to (or before) 2035,” said Prof Thinus Booysen.
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Steel industry is central to South Africa’s industrialisation path says government

“Steel is one of the most important materials in the world. It is present in most aspects of the economy, from transportation and other infrastructure to more simple aspects like containers. Steel is used in the production of colossal structures, as well as small components for precision instruments,” said Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola.
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Ford ramps up production of Next-Gen Ranger, continues investing in world-class manufacturing

Ford’s major investment in its South African operations for the Next-Generation Ranger is delivering on its ambitious targets, achieving record production and the highest quality levels to date for the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria. The Next-Gen Ranger was recently announced as the South African Car of the Year for 2023.
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Trumpf posts record revenue in its anniversary year

In its centennial year, the Trumpf Group generated considerable revenue growth. Based on preliminary calculations, revenue in the fiscal year 2022/23 (balance sheet date June 30, 2023) came in at 5.4 billion euros (fiscal year 2021/22: 4.2 billion euros). In the domestic market of Germany, revenue rose sharply by more than 30% to some 770 million euros.
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OPEN MIND at EMO 2023

The CAD/CAM manufacturer is more than aware of the importance of the world’s leading trade fair for manufacturing technology, which is why this year’s booth has been upgraded to be larger than ever before. Located in Hall 9 Booth A05 at the Hannover Exhibition Grounds, the stand covers 150 m² and will give visitors a chance to learn everything there is to know about the hyperMILL® CAD/CAM suite.
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Hurco to focus on automation and simple programming at EMO

Hurco’s focus at this year’s EMO on stand D68 in hall 12 will be on automation and simplification of programming processes. The company will demonstrate how freeform surfaces are easy to programme at the machine using the Hurco control system. Tried-and-tested parts handling systems will also be exhibited.
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Sandvik acquires CAM post processing software developer Postability

Sandvik has acquired Postability, a Canadian-based global software firm developing NC (numerical control) post processors for Mastercam. Postability’s offering will complement and strengthen Sandvik’s existing portfolio of Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) solutions. Postability will be a part of business unit Mastercam and be reported within business area segment Sandvik Manufacturing Solutions.
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July 2023

COVER STORY: Win-Sfeed is metalworking’s winning solution

A few years ago, TaeguTec introduced its advanced line of performance-driven cutting tools specifically formulated for the Industry 4.0 revolution. Just a short three years later, TaeguTec went further and improved upon the incredible performance of the Sfeed-Tec line with its next-generation cutting tools.
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Why wait? Ask an automation trainer for guidance

As a company dedicated to parts production automation, we estimate that the current automation rate of CNC machine tools tops out at 30 per cent. It seems surprisingly low, doesn’t it, for all the talk about it? For most CNC machine tool users, 30 per cent usage, or even a more realistic 50 per cent, begs the question: Why isn’t something that most manufacturers talk about happening in practice?
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BMW Group announces R4.2 billion investment to produce the new X3 in South Africa

The next generation of the BMW X3 will be produced as a plug-in hybrid from 2024. BMW will invest R4.2 billion over the next five years in its Rosslyn plant in South Africa to build the new-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle, including a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
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Uno Engineering purchases Okuma LB4000 EX II turning center

Uno Engineering’s latest investment is an Okuma LB4000 EX II turning center that is built on Okuma’s Thermo-Friendly Concept to ensure minimal thermal growth and the slanted box bed construction translates into high rigidity. The machine is the first of its kind to be installed in South Africa.
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Turnstar upgrades sheet and tube cutting options

Turnstar is one of Africa’s largest manufacturers of secure physical access control products, offering a host of solutions, ranging from turnstiles and revolving doors to vehicle barriers. As such the company has invested in a new Bodor 12kW flat-bed fiber laser and a Bodor 3kW tube laser cutting machine with a loading system.
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Elegen increases sheet and tube cutting capacity as load shedding embeds into our society

One of South Africa’s largest privately-owned generator manufacturers and suppliers, Elegen, has had to make some smart investments coupled with putting in place strategic plans so as not to ‘drop the ball’ while trying to keep up with supply and demand for the Cummins and Perkins powered generators that the company supplies to Blue Chip companies, government and other private and corporate entities.
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Machining intelligently for better profitability at Iscar

A group of 15 South Africans involved in the engineering field of machining and metalworking visited Iscar’s Global Headquarters and Central Manufacturing Facilities, which are located in Tefen, Israel, to attend the Iscar customer seminar programme, hear about the latest trends and innovations in cutting tool technology and to view what it entails to manufacture world-class products that machine shops use every day.
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PFERD-South Africa’s Phillips outlines future trends driving metal fabrication

Dennis Phillips, National Sales Manager at PFERD-South Africa, outlines the future trends driving the local and international metal fabrication sectors and says the company’s CC-Grind Robust solution, recently developed by PFERD, will help to meet modern production needs.
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Aveng divests of Trident Steel to eliminate South African debt

“Post the closing of the sale of Trident Steel Aveng’s South African legacy debt has been fully cleared from a previous high of R3.3 billion. Specifically, the transaction proceeds have been partially used to fully settle the remaining South African legacy debt of R278 million and to fully settle the Trident Steel short-term trade finance facility of R450 million,” said the company.
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Planning on purchasing a new machine? Hein Nel of Sandvik Coromant explains why you should first consult with all the relevant suppliers

Optimising machine tool investment through cooperation: Manufacturers that purchase the right machines and cutting tools from the start save valuable time and maximise their return on investment. There are many factors to consider when making a decision to purchase a new CNC machine tool or another large capital equipment investment to process metal shapes or sheet into a component or product.
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Why not combine a visit to EMO Hannover 2023 and Schweissen & Schneiden

Visitors to either the EMO 2023 and Schweissen & Schneiden exhibitions taking place in Germany in September 2023 have the opportunity to visit both exhibitions. Schweissen & Schneiden takes place in Essen from 11 to 15 September 2023 and EMO Hannover 2023 takes place in Hannover from 18 to 23 September 2023.
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Mazak to exhibit 19 machines and 12 automation systems at EMO 2023

The Yamazaki Mazak exhibition stand at EMO 2023 in Hanover from 18 to 23 September this year, will showcase a total vision for modern machining that will enable machine users from across Europe to drive productivity and profitability. Located this year in Hall 15, Stand B14, Mazak will be showcasing a total of 19 machines and 12 automation systems.
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JA Engineering launches new continuous miner

JA Engineering launched its new low-mid-seam continuous miner machine at its headquarters in Boksburg recently. This locally manufactured continuous miner (JAE38 Wildcub) is a radio remote-controlled, highly productive continuous mining machine. Alongside this machine, two shuttle cars were also launched on the day.
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Competition Tribunal confirms Cape Gate settlement agreement in long steel cartel case

The Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) has approved, as an order, a settlement agreement whereby Cape Gate (Pty) Ltd (Cape Gate) agrees to pay a R1.3 million administrative penalty for alleged anticompetitive practices in the market for the production of long steel products in South Africa.
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Weldamax to acquire EWNS Enterprises

The Competition Commission has approved the proposed transaction whereby Weldamax intends to acquire EWNS, without conditions. Weldamax, which was purchased by Air Products South Africa last year, is directly controlled by Air Products South Africa (Pty) Ltd (APSA). APSA is jointly controlled by Air Products and Chemicals Incorporated (APCI) and Remgro Ltd (Remgro).
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May 2023

COVER STORY: Victor Taichung – suppliers of CNC machine tools and robotic handling equipment

With decades of expertise in the machine tool industry, Victor Taichung in South Africa has been supplying the Victor range of CNC machine tools, plastic injection moulding machines and robotic handling equipment to the local engineering market since 1986.
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Building trust in automation

Just as a personal trainer can help you meet personal goals, the same can be said about adopting new manufacturing methods for your business. Investing in an automation system – and partnering with key suppliers to customise a plan that fits your needs will result in leaner, more productive operations with more efficient outcomes.
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Cape Town to host 16th International Special Tooling and Machining Association World Conference (ISTMA 2023)

The City of Cape Town in South Africa will host the 16th International Special Tooling and Machining Association World Conference (ISTMA 2023) from 6 to 10 November 2023. The theme of the conference will be sustainable development, technical advances in tooling manufacturing and skills development.
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Competition Commission says it is launching a new market inquiry into the South African steel industry

On 7 April 2023, the Competition Commission (‘the Commission’), under the auspices of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), published a notice in the Government Gazette regarding the conducting of an inquiry into the steel market. In the said notice, the Commission invites the public to “provide information to the market inquiry”.
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WD Hearn Machine Tools appointed agents for multitasking mill-turn machine manufacturer Nakamura-Tome

“Unlike many machine tool brands, Nakamura-Tome has specialised in mill/turn centers and their pedigree stands out. Nakamura-Tome has an enviable history of developing modern machining methods and technological solutions, which are now used in machines all over the world,” commented Graeme Cooper, MD of WD Hearn Machine Tools.
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Axiom Hydraulics invests in Amada THV460 double head milling machine to process its Dura-Bar continuous cast ductile iron bar

Investment adds value-add service for customers wanting squared to size material that will save valuable machining time as the material arrives as machine-ready blanks and can be machined as soon as it is received.
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Scientific Engineering upgrades and increases fibre laser capacity with introduction of 6kW Hugong fibre laser

Scientific Engineering, a leading manufacturer of commercial appliances in Southern Africa, has recently upgraded and increased its laser cutting capacity with the installation of a 6kW Hugong fibre laser that was supplied by TRM Supplies. The company designs and manufactures its own range of products and product sales are generated through a worldwide dealer network.
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35.9% duty on certain steel products gazetted

The government has gazetted a 35.9% duty on certain steel products that are originating in or imported from the People’s Republic of China. This amounts to a total duty payable of 45.9% if the existing 10% custom duty is added. The products concerned are galvanised coil – flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel of a width of 600mm or more, clad, plated or coated, otherwise plated or coated with zinc, of a thickness of less than 0.45mm.
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Lack of maintenance funds hits Rooivalk and Oryx serviceability

Major underfunding means that two of the most important helicopter types in the South African Air Force – the Oryx transport and Rooivalk attack helicopter – are largely grounded, with only a handful serviceable at present writes Guy Martin of Defenceweb. Cuts to the defence budget mean there is little prospect of the situation improving.
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Somta Tools flies South African flag at EMO Hannover 2023

This year marks the 12th time that KwaZulu-Natal-based Somta Tools will participate at the international metalworking exhibition. Somta Tools will once again be flying the South African flag by exhibiting at the internationally renowned EMO exhibition, which is taking place from 18 to 23 September 2023 in Hannover, Germany.
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Industry stakeholders gather to map decarbonisation challenges and opportunities in the iron and steel value chain

On 18 April, the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (the dtic) in South Africa, within the ambit of the Steel and Metal Fabrication Master Plan 1.0, hosted a workshop to discuss challenges and opportunities to decarbonise the country’s iron and steel value chain.
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Bell Equipment gears up to become a lean, mean global machine

The company raises German production to increase efficiencies. Bell Equipment CEO Leon Goosen says ramping up production of its flagship trucks in its German factory will increase efficiencies as the product will be closer to its main market and free up space in the SA factory for the manufacturing of new product ranges.
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CSIR appoints industry experts to the manufacturing advisory panel for alignment with sector priorities

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has appointed a manufacturing industry advisory panel to align its manufacturing efforts with industry priorities. The appointment is part of the CSIR industrialisation strategy, which is aimed at driving economic growth and job creation in South Africa.
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What the new European ban on fossil fuel-powered cars means

With exports on the rise, South Africa has solidified its status as a key participant in the global automotive market. However, in March 2023 the European Parliament officially approved a law to ban the sale of new fossil fuel-powered cars by 2035 to combat climate change and transition to electric vehicles, with a mandate for carmakers to achieve 100% CO2 emission cuts by that date.
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CBAM could be a huge blow for exports in South Africa

R27 billion a year of South African exports are at risk after the European Union (EU) introduced the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). As reported by City Press, the CBAM is a strategy for reaching the EU’s 2050 carbon emissions goal. It will impact South Africa’s steel, aluminium, iron, cement, fertiliser, electricity and hydrogen exports.
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Sassda questions why stainless steel not first choice for local projects

Creating increased demand for South African stainless steel within key sectors such as mining, automotive and food and beverage is a key area of focus for the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) in 2023. This was the view of Sassda Executive Director Michel Basson in a recent webinar on the ‘State of the Stainless Steel Nation’.
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Apex Metrology Solutions brings the latest quality management software and scanning solutions to South Africa

The world is expanding and becoming even more connected. New markets are opening and environmental pressure is being put on governments and multi-national companies. As a result it is changing the way components and products are manufactured. There is no place to hide and lack of knowledge is not taken lightly.
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March 2023

COVER STORY: The promising segment – Iscar

It is apparent that 5-axis machining is becoming increasingly popular in modern metal cutting. 5-axis machining provides significant advantages such as machining complex-shaped parts by use of one setup without changing the location of the workpiece, high-machining accuracy and reduced cycle time.
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Hallspeed navigates toward a new future

It is pedal to the metal at Hallspeed, located close South Africa’s famous Kyalami race track (Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit) in Midrand, as new owner Shameer Variawa gets behind the wheel of his new venture of steering the company who helps build the vehicles he so loves to race.
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SAHPRA gets tough on license regulations for the safe use of industrial fibre laser machines

All fibre laser machine owners have to register with the authority and obtain a license. The benefits of fibre laser processing in manufacturing have been widely demonstrated over past decades and recently, fibre laser welding has received increased interest. Now more than ever, the concept and practice of laser safety is a moving target.
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TRM Supplies install 40 fibre laser welders in the last 14 months

A few years ago TRM Supplies recognised the potential of the fibre laser welder and began importing the Hugong HGLW fibre laser welders, which are available in 1kW, 1.5kW and 2kW power source and have a maximum thickness weld of 8mm. The machines are a compact design and are fully assembled before shipment.
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ArcelorMittal South Africa says profit fell 62% on weak steel prices, demand

ArcelorMittal South Africa’s full-year profit declined by 62% due to weaker steel prices and demand at a time when costs were driven up by significant price increases of key inputs such as coal, the company said at the release of its latest financial results.
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Alstom has supported over 9 000 jobs in South Africa, according to EY report

Alstom, a global leader in sustainable and green mobility solutions, has released a report in collaboration with Ernst & Young (EY) capturing the company’s socio-economic contributions from April 2021 to March 2022. It highlights the support of over 9 000 jobs and R3.9 billion injected into South Africa as Alstom continues to grow its local presence.
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PFERD’s Dennis Phillips gives his top five trends for the metalworking industry in 2023

“As metalworking industries develop, so do associated industries and products. One such industry is abrasive manufacturers, and it is expected that numerous new initiatives and developments will be seen throughout 2023. These are my five predictions for the year ahead,” commented Phillips who is the National Sales Manager at PFERD-South Africa.
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Matthew And Son Engineering links into transport industry

Six new DN Solutions CNC machines have been purchased. Matthew And Son Engineering’s recent impressive growth can mostly be attributed to its success in the rail transport industry. “We have had clients in this sector for a number of years and they have been very good to us.
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EMO Hannover 2023 focuses on current production technologies

Want to learn about the latest in production technology? Production experts visiting EMO Hannover 2023 will be doing just this in September 2023. They can experience live and on site the latest trends at a total of four joint booths.
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Neasa says the steel industry is dying a slow death: Some might differ

In a recent communication to members and industry Gerhard Papenfus, Chief Executive of NEASA (The National Employers Association of South Africa) said the steel industry is dying a slow death. “The contribution of South African manufacturing to our GDP has declined, from its peak around 23% in the early 1980s, to its current level of approximately 12%.”
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Approval given for Trident Steel’s buyout of Aveng subsidiary

The Competition Commission has approved the proposed transaction whereby Trident Steel subsidiary Trident Steel Africa (TSA) intends to acquire Aveng subsidiary Aveng Trident Steel (ATS), with conditions. The commission says it is of the view that the proposed transaction is unlikely to substantially lessen or prevent competition in the steel processing market within South Africa.
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US Treasury secretary visits the upgraded Ford Motor Company’s Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria

US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen recently visited the upgraded Ford Motor Company’s Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria. The plant is one of two in the country. Earlier that day, she met the Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana. Yellen’s stop in Pretoria was part of her three-country tour of Africa that began in Senegal.
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China Baowu Steel Group Corporation Limited acquires Sinosteel Group Corporation Limited

Samancor Chrome Holdings, Aquila Steel and Baosteel Mining are some of the companies involved in takeover. The Competition Commission has recently approved the proposed transaction whereby China Baowu intends to acquire Sinosteel, without conditions.
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Chart Industries Inc acquires private company that owns Howden Group South Africa

The Competition Commission has also approved the proposed transaction whereby Chart Industries intends to acquire Granite Holdings II B.V., without conditions. The primary acquiring firm is Chart Industries, a public company incorporated in accordance with the company laws of the State of Delaware, USA.
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West Rand Engineering (WRE) and Malleable Castings swallowed up in acquisition by the Baobab Industrial Group

The Competition Commission has approved another proposed transaction whereby Holdco intends to acquire DLM and WRE, without conditions. The acquiring firm HoldCo (Baobab Industrial Group), a newly incorporated private company, does not conduct any business operations and is not directly or indirectly controlled by any other firm.
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RAPDASA Conference will again be joined by the Robotics and Mechatronics, PRASA and Advanced Materials Initiative conferences

The Rapid Product Development Association of South Africa (RAPDASA) has announced that it will be joined for its 24th Annual International Conference by the 16th Robotics and Mechatronics (RobMech), the 34th Pattern Recognition Association of South Africa (PRASA) and the 4th South African Advanced Materials Initiative (CoSAAMI) conferences for its annual conference that will be held later this year.
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Naamsa’s review of automotive business conditions: New motor vehicle manufacturing industry for 4th quarter 2022

New vehicle sales increased by 16% compared to the corresponding quarter 2021 but only by 0.1% compared to the previous quarter 2022 highlighting the above expectations performance in 2022 but at the same time the impact of supply chain disruptions and economic pressures on the new vehicle market.
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Only one of the South African Navy’s four frigates operational. No submarines serviceable

The majority of the South African Navy’s primary combat vessels are not operational, with the frigate SAS Mendi’s seaworthiness prioritised for Armed Forces Day and Exercise Mosi II, writes Guy Martin of Defenceweb. This is according to an Armscor presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) on 15 February, which detailed the maintenance status of the SA Navy’s frigates and submarines.
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January 2023

COVER STORY: Stillam Group Holdings – smart manufacturing solutions for a bright future

This month’s cover features the Stillam Group of companies, a group that consists of Stillam CNC Programming Solutions, B&R Metrology Solutions, iKusasa CNC Training Centre and Trading Places Manufacturing Recruitment. Despite the diversity of application, the Stillam Group of companies have one thing in common. They all address the rising challenges of achieving manufacturing efficiency and bring huge value to the operations where they are deployed.
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A tribute and farewell to Burkhard Herrmann

Born on the 19th July 1944 in the town of Neustadt in the Principality of Schleswig Holstein, Northern Germany Hans-Burkhard Erik Horst Herrmann sadly passed away on the 16th December 2022 following a short, serious illness. A fulfilled life has come to a peaceful end in the presence of close family and friends.
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ROVD Engineering manufactures large salt harvesting machine for Botswana client

Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha), Eastern Cape-based ROVD Engineering have manufactured a large salt harvesting machine that is capable of harvesting 600 tons of unprocessed salt per hour. The machine has been manufactured for Botswana client Botswana Ash, which is a joint venture company formed between the Botswana government and private investors.
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Steel import tariffs destroying local manufacturing efforts

Tal-Tec’s Greg Talbot, MD of the Brits-based local manufacturer of modular farming solutions for managing livestock, describes how South Africa’s steel import tariffs are impacting the competitiveness of his business. “For manufacturers of steel products in South Africa, 2021 was dismal, triggered by unprecedented shipping delays out of China,” said Talbot.
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JIMTOF 2022: They say seeing is believing or go and do the Gemba walk and Genchi Genbutsu – go see for yourself

Genchi Genbutsu is the Japanese principle of going to and directly observing a location and its conditions in order to understand and solve any problems faster and more effectively. The phrase literally translated means “go and see for yourself” and is a part of the Toyota Way philosophy.
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EuroBLECH 2022 returns to live event format

The 26th edition of the International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition, EuroBLECH 2022, took place from 25 to 28 October 2022 in Hanover, Germany. Following the easing of Covid restrictions the world’s largest trade event for sheet metal processing went ahead as planned.
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Can South Africa’s steel master plan revitalise the local steel sector?

The World Steel Association has lowered its forecast for steel demand for 2022, anticipating that demand will have contracted by 2.3% this year as the global economy struggles with macroeconomic headwinds. South Africa’s steel industry has been under pressure for years as a result of a prolonged period of economic decline.
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Machine Tools Africa 2024 set to take place in May 2024

Machine Tools Africa 2024, Africa’s biggest and only machine tools exhibition showcasing cutting edge developments across the machine tools and related industries was announced in November 2022. A Machine Tools Merchants’ Association of South Africa (MTMA) event, Machine Tools Africa will be taking place at the Expo Centre in Nasrec, Johannesburg, from 21-24 May 2024.
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PRASA welcomes ban on trade of scrap metal

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has welcomed government’s decision to ban the trade of scrap metal, as it will significantly improve its ability to run trains and protect the rail infrastructure. “The theft of cables and metals have badly damaged our network. It is more than theft, it is sabotage of economic infrastructure,” said PRASA’s Acting Group CEO Hishaam Emeran last year.
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Transnet welcomes measures by the government to restrict and regulate trade in scrap metal products

377 export coal trains cancelled and 742km of cable lost nationally from April 2022 due to theft and resultant security risks. Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has welcomed measures by the government to restrict and regulate trade in scrap metal products to limit damage to infrastructure and the economy.
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Titanus Slew Rings buys huge DMG MORI machining center

Recently installed is a high-speed 5-axis DMU 340 P machining center. Today’s manufacturing customer demands world class precision tooling and exceptional customer service, says Titanus Slew Rings (TSR), formerly known as Titanus Engineering, who says it is perfectly positioned to deliver those requirements to customers from its facility in Meadowdale, Isando, Gauteng.
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Archie Engineering adds capacity and size to their CMM measuring window

For a company that depends on its reputation for manufacturing safety critical components and other products for the mining industry, the quality department plays a pivotal role in the day-to-day tasks in the measurement of components, surface inspection, linear dimension measurements, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing analysis to monitor production quality from the shop floor.
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WD Hearn Machine Tools appointed the agent for E-tech surface, cylindrical and rotary grinders

WD Hearn Machine Tools has announced that it has been appointed the agent for E-tech surface, cylindrical and rotary grinders in South Africa. E-tech is a Taiwanese manufacturer based in the Daya District of Taichung City, Taiwan and also has a subsidiary in California servicing the US market. Established in the 1950s, E-tech has been working in the sector of machinery for over 70 years.
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Scrap metal ban: My business will not survive the six months

The Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition announced recently that it was imposing a six-month prohibition on the export of scrap copper and ferrous metals. But not everybody was as happy though with the Metal Recyclers Association (MRA) holding the opinion that the new rules would not yield the desired results.
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DA rejects Patel’s announcement to ban the export of scrap metal

In a statement released by the opposition party in South Africa, the Democratic Alliance, in early December 2022 the DA has rejected the ban on the export of scrap metal. The statement read: “Yesterday the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, joined by the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, and Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, delivered a briefing on the regulations put forward by the Government which will supposedly curb the theft of copper and ferrous metals.”
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Barnes Group to increase Scaw’s steelmaking capacity

Barnes Group CEO Doron Barnes, whose company acquired Scaw Metals, together with its Haggie and McKinnon Chain units in May 2018, has announced in an Engineering News article that it is to invest in new steel making plant to increase Scaw’s steelmaking capacity from about 500 000 tons per year to 650 000 tons per year.
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November 2022

COVER STORY: How Trumpf is making sheetmetal fabrication simpler, more productive and more sustainable

Trumpf showcased a range of solutions to make sheetmetal fabrication more sustainable at this year’s EuroBLECH trade fair. The high-tech company aims to leverage its position as a solution provider to help customers make their factories more competitive and eco-friendly.
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Capacity enhancing strategies in a tight labour market

With the current headwinds buffeting the manufacturing industry and economy in general, it’s imperative that shops evaluate and optimise their manufacturing processes to improve productivity and profitability. Even with supply-chain challenges and a shortage of skilled labour, there are steps shops should take to maximise performance.
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Somta Tools appointed agent for Korloy indexable cutting tools

Somta Tools has announced that the company has been appointed as an agent for South Korean company Korloy, a manufacturer of indexable cutting tools, tooling systems and clamping devices. The agreement was effective the beginning of November 2022 and it allows Somta Tools to market Korloy’s extensive range of products throughout the region.
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New player in simulation software solutions arena – Simutron – appointed as channel partner for Altair products

“No, we are not the latest AVR simulator or aviator game developer. The only association we have is that we all work in the software space but Simutron is on another level compared to those products. We present products that give you the opportunity to unlock your future, offering you access to superior simulation and high-performance computing, no matter the size of your business,” said Quintin Burger, Director of Simutron.
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Tysica Laser takes delivery of 12kW Bodor fibre laser

“We were one of the early adopters in South Africa when it came to recognising the advantages and benefits of using fibre laser cutting for processing metal. From the establishment of our company back in 2000 we had used CO2 as the source for our Bystronic lasers. It was the recognised medium used universally in the laser cutting world but, in the background changes were developing in the laser cutting world,” said Colin Dallas.
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Ultrafab installs fifth hand-held fibre laser welding system

“In our business it is not just about making products, it is about making the best products in the most effective way. Early in 2021 we invested in a Penta Swan hand-held fibre laser for welding. Laser welding isn’t new. The technology has proliferated for years in select industries like automotive, medical, defence and aerospace,” said Derrick van Niekerk of Ultrafab, one of two brothers working in the family business established by Dad Hennie.
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WD Hearn Machine Tools appointed agents for Glorystar Laser Technology cutting systems

Cape Town-headquartered WD Hearn Machine Tools have announced that they have been appointed the agents for Glorystar Laser Technology, a worldwide operating, Chinese manufacturer of flat sheet and tube fibre laser cutting machines. Headquartered in the Niushan International Industrial Area, Dongguan, Guangdong, China Glorystar was established in 2002 and is a manufacturer of laser cutting equipment, laser welding machines, marking equipment and laser cleaning machines.
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Steel Report shows that protecting ArcelorMittal is not benefitting South Africa

The recent publication of the first Steel Report by the South African Iron and Steel Institute (SAISI) confirms what Duferco has been arguing for a while: The government’s attempts to use tariffs to protect the local steel industry in the person of ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) have backfired spectacularly. As a result of this flawed approach, argues Duferco CEO Ludovico Sanges, government has effectively gutted the country’s ability to produce its own steel, at a huge cost in jobs.
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JHPE Precision Engineering takes delivery of the first Fanuc Robocut α-C400iC in South Africa

Contract manufacturer of precision mechanical components for various industries JHPE Precision Engineering has taken delivery of the first Fanuc Robocut α-C400iC in South Africa. The Robocut α-C400iC was launched internationally in May 2021 and is built on the success of its Robocut predecessors but with an updated design and many more powerful features.
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Flexilube develop multi-functional hydraulic, slideway and gearbox lubricant

NanoTritech set to minimise and rationalise stock holding in machine shops. Flexilube, a leading South African manufacturer of metalworking fluids has developed and launched a multi-functional hydraulic, slideway and gearbox lubricant that will minimise and rationalise stock holding of three standard products that are traditionally used in machine shops.
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Over 30 000 visitors at this year’s Electra Mining Africa

Celebrating 50 years this year, Electra Mining Africa saw thousands of buyers and sellers coming together at the Expo Centre in Nasrec, Johannesburg from 5 to 9 September 2022 to meet in-person and see the latest innovations and new products, services and technologies that were on display at the show.
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Simteq Engineering’s 2022 Users Conference

Simteq Engineering recently held its annual Users Conference at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria, Gauteng. The conference aims to bring together clients and suppliers based around the MSC Software platform. The conference was first held in 2019 and has now turned into an annual event.
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[WATCH] High-tech Ford frame line commences manufacturing for Next-Generation Ranger

The final and largest piece of Ford Motor Company’s R15.8 billion investment puzzle for its South African operations has slotted into place with its new Frame Line commencing operations in preparation for the start of Next-Generation Ranger production later this year.
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Former Highveld Steel structural mill revived

ArcelorMittal’s acquisition aims to supply railway resurgence in South Africa. Given significant potential to modernise and expand the rail network in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa, steps are being taken to revive the former Highveld Structural Mill which was the sole producer of mainline rail in sub-Saharan Africa.
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JIMTOF 2022 announces record number of exhibitors

The Japan International Machine Tool Fair, JIMTOF 2022, is one of the largest machine tool exhibitions in the world, organised by the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association (JMTBA) and Tokyo Big Sight Inc. It will be held at Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo, Japan from 8 November to 13 November 2022.
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VW Group shows faith in Fanuc with order for 1 300 robots

The majority of the robots will be installed at Volkswagen’s manufacturing facility in Bratislava, Slovakia. “We are delighted that we can now extend our longstanding and trusted cooperation with Volkswagen to the Bratislava plant,” says Ralf Winkelmann, Managing Director of Fanuc Deutschland GmbH.
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Lamiera 2023 to take place at Fieramilano Rho from 10 to 13 May 2023

This morning, a preview of the 22nd edition of Lamiera was presented to the international press. The international exhibition for sheet metal processing and sheet metal forming machines and related technologies is scheduled to take place at fieramilano Rho from 10 to 13 May 2023.
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Blaser’s high-speed videos analyse machining processes in fine detail

Blaser Swisslube captures the machining process, chip formation and behaviour of its Synergy 735 metalworking fluid through high-speed, macro photos and videos. Swiss metalworking fluids experts Blaser Swisslube conducted an extensive series of tests at its in-house technology centre to analyse machining processes down to the finest detail.
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September 2022

First Cut: Total cutting, welding and grinding solutions

Servicing industry for over 65 years. After building its history and reputation on a solid base of manufacture and distribution of hacksaws, bandsaws, butcher saws and various hand tools, First Cut has evolved into a company that now offers a total solution and a focused range of products providing cutting, welding and grinding solutions for a wide variety of industries – including steel, timber, meat and food, foam, plastics, composites, textiles and the DIY trade.
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Hi-Tech Machine Tools to represent milling cutter specialists Hofmann & Vratny and the Freddy Products family of industrial recycling vacuums and coolant filtration machines

Hofmann & Vratny (H&V Tooling) a leading manufacturer of solid carbide milling cutters based near Munich, Bavaria, Germany and UK company Freddy, a manufacturer of industrial recycling vacuums and coolant filtration machines have both recently appointed Hi-Tech Machine Tools to market and service their products in South Africa.
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Digital ERP/QMS/MES systems are valuable tools to recruit and retain employees

The job landscape has changed significantly in a Covid- 19 world. While people are returning to the office or the shop, the experience is somewhat different. They now return to hybrid work environments, fewer people on the shop floor, and supply chain issues among other things. Digital systems have helped companies stay afloat during the pandemic, connecting employees working remotely to the workplace and to each other.
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Adding a Hugong HGLW hand-held fibre laser welder to job shop environment makes sense to Davox

One-time seller of fabricating equipment now runs a shop aimed for present-day, upcoming challenges. “We regard ourselves as an industrial design and manufacturing company. We like to do R&D work with our customers to improve their products and improve our processes so that we have a more productive and profitable manufacturing base,” explains owner Stig Rasmussen, who took control of Davox in 2016.
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Fibre laser cutting making a difference at Budget Sheet Metal

Company embraces technology to increase production velocity and quality. While lasers are not the answer for every application, they can provide flexibility, efficient material use and a repeatable, controlled process. In the past, material considerations had to be taken into account as laser cutting became less effective when material thickness increased.
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MAN Energy Solutions SA powers up its manufacturing capabilities in Vanderbijlpark

MAN Energy Solutions SA is the local arm of the global engineering entity MAN Energy Solutions responsible for converting energy into sustainable progress and prosperity. Manufacturing and servicing energy equipment, and providing industry-leading technical support, has always been at the forefront of the local arm but this was heightened when the company acquired local rotating equipment manufacturer Elca Engineering, in 2014.
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Bodor confident of expansion in South African market

Nowadays, with the rapid development of the Chinese market, many Chinese laser equipment manufacturers are making their presence felt in the global market, a market where the competition is extremely fierce. Leading the way in South Africa is Bodor, a company that has now turned its full attention to the manufacture of fibre laser cutting machines in its 27 000m² facility in Jinan, Shandong, China.
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Sandvik Coromant hosts clients at networking event

In July Sandvik Coromant held a networking event where invited clients and suppliers to the industry attended. The aim of the event was to offer an opportunity for comprehensive customer and partner engagement. The Swedish engineering group moved its South African headquarters to a new, purpose-designed facility in Kempton Park, near Johannesburg, to enhance its commitment to the southern African region.
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Ceratizit Group expands its reach in South Africa with partnership agreement with Multitrade Distributors

Multitrade Distributors now offers the full range of The Ceratizit Group products to the South African market. The Ceratizit Group, a high-technology engineering group specialising in cutting tools and hard material solutions, and Multitrade Distributors, a tungsten carbide cutting tool supplier based in South Africa have officially partnered in order to better support the South African engineering and metalworking industries.
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Transnet takes on China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation in court to make available spare parts

Transnet has launched an application at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to compel the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) to make available imported spare parts and components which are critical to service and maintain certain locomotives. CRRC is one of four original equipment manufacturers that were lined up to supply 1 064 new locomotives to Transnet.
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Six-month scrap metal ban to combat cable and metal theft proposed by the government

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has gazetted its draft policy proposals to regulate and restrict the trade of scrap metal in South Africa for public comment. The draft policy changes are a direct outcome of president Ramaphosa’s 2022 State of the Nation Address, where he promised to tackle growing instances of criminality in the scrap metal value chain, particularly with copper theft.
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South Africa’s steel consumption will miss the 5 ton target says SAISI

“After an exceptional recovery in steel consumption post Covid-19, apparent steel consumption was 5.1 million tonnes for the year in 2021. This was a 36% year-on-year increase in the country’s steel use. Included in the steel consumption however was the unexpected 1.6 million tons of imported primary steel products, equalling 31% of the country’s overall steel consumption. The reason for the high import levels was ascribed to limited local supply to address pent-up demand caused by the pandemic.”
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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 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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