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.

The conference will bring together representatives from global tooling houses, associated industries, industry leaders and business people from 22 countries and 23 ISTMA member associations made up of 8 000 companies to discuss:

• Latest trends and technological developments in tooling manufacturing.
• Post-pandemic and post-war strategies for companies and the sector.
• International and regional trade, government regulations and international trading conditions.

“ISTMA World is the hub of expertise and a key cooperation and knowledge sharing platform for the worldwide mould, die, special tooling and precision machining industry. The event will create invaluable exposure and networking opportunities for the local TDM industry,” said Bob Williamson, President of ISTMA World.

Pictures courtesy Siemens

This year, the ISTMA 16th World Conference will coincide with the All Africa Expo – an event that aims to give African countries a platform to showcase their manufacturing and tooling abilities and make their investment case to international companies during an invest in Africa Indaba. Manufacturers on the continent will also be exposed to the world’s foremost tooling technology and influential role-players.

“The All Africa Expo will be the first platform to boast Africa’s spirit of invention and its pockets of manufacturing excellence and will offer unprecedented global networking opportunities to the continent. The All-Africa Exhibition will not only showcase African capability and capacity, but it will also enable the rest of the world to carve out opportunities and build partnerships with their African counterparts,” added Williamson.

Hosted by the Production Technologies Association of South Africa (PtSA) and managed by SBS Conferences and Exhibitions, the ISTMA World conference and the All Africa Expo will offer globally relevant technical presentations, platforms to share strategies for companies in the sector, as well as skilfully planned and matched networking sessions for the regions and the world.

Tapiwa Samanga, Chief Executive Officer at PtSA said: “Our mission at PtSA is to promote, protect and support the collective interests of the tool, die, mould and special machining industries of South Africa to continuously support the growth and development of all manufacturing sectors. If you look at the country’s tooling and machining business, it is well-defined and all it needs is assistance with resources to expand. This conference is bringing insight into those resources in which local and global companies can tap into.”

Looking further afield, Samanga adds that Africa currently lacks an industry-required home-grown skills base. PtSA’s objective is to help Africa acquire the required abilities, curriculum alignment and to facilitate the easy cross-border movement of artisans.

“Africa’s industrial development can be enhanced through the creation of business clusters, positioning the continent to gain a competitive edge – with the support of abundant resources and skilled labour, hubs located in countries like South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco will make the continent a leader in the sector,” concludes Samanga.

Pictures courtesy Siemens

PtSA has a partnership with the South African Department and Trade Industry and Competition (the dtic) the INTSIMBI Future Production Technologies Initiative (FPTI) which is a national (South African), multi-stakeholder initiative that was established to implement a turnaround strategy for South Africa’s distressed tooling industry. The Initiative is enabling government and industry to cooperate on the large-scale interventions required to rehabilitate the South African tool, die and mouldmaking (TDM) sector for the benefit of the South African manufacturing sector.

The partnership between the tooling industry (PtSA) and government (the dtic) on the development and implementation of the INTSIMBI (FPTI) Programme is governed by an overarching memorandum of agreement (MOA) and supported by an annual service level agreement (SLA) between the two parties. The local TDM industry has over the past 25 years lost considerable (80%) tooling capacity.

“Local companies currently satisfy less than 15% of the local and less than one per cent of global TDM demand as they have failed to adopt the technology and production efficiencies of their developed counterparts. Ageing skills capacity in the sector has not replaced timeously leading to a serious skills shortage in the TDM industry. The performance of the sector remained curtailed by the low demand in South Africa’s main export markets in the developed world. Since its onset the INTSIMBI FPTI, however, sought to not only halt the decline of the sector but to embark on a robust rehabilitation programme to put the local TDM industry on a firm trajectory to international competitiveness.”

PtSA has a cooperation agreement with the Werkzeugbau Akademie (WBA) in Germany which is the leading world partner of the TDM industry in the areas of consulting, further education and research for the tooling sector.

Further, PtSA has a partnership agreement with the National Institute for Metalworking Skills of America (NIMS) for the skills development leg of the management services. PtSA is a member of the International Special Tooling and Machining Association which gives the members access to a number of international associations and member companies, and also has partnership agreements with a number of national organisations for the benefit of its members.

PtSA Management Services (Pty) Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Production Technologies Association of South Africa NPO (PtSA). It is a special purpose vehicle and the operational capacity of PtSA, in addition, it is the implementation agency responsible for the facilitation and management of all INTSIMBI FPTI programmes.

For more information about ISTMA 2023, visit the website