Steel Best Group puts new life into Zealous
The long-established Springs-based aluminium foundry operations Zealous Automotive and Zealous Pressure Castings have been given a lifeline by the Steel Best Group, a company with manufacturing facilities in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape but with its head office in Pretoria, Gauteng. Zealous Pressure Castings was established as a zinc die casting company in 1970 before changing emphasis to the aluminium die casting industry in 1996.
Aveng enters agreement to sell rail business
JSE-listed infrastructure group Aveng has announced that it would sell its rail business to black-owned investment company Mathupha Capital for R133 million. The proposed transaction is subject to several conditions, including Competition Commission approval, but the company announcement says it is expected to close the transaction by 31 December 2018, after all the conditions have been met.
Audi optimises quality inspections in the press shop with artificial intelligence
As one of the first automobile manufacturers worldwide, Audi plans to apply machine learning (ML) in series production. The software Audi has developed recognises and marks the finest cracks in sheet metal parts automatically, reliably and in a matter of seconds. With this project, Audi is promoting artificial intelligence at the company and revolutionising the testing process in production.
Prima unveils Prima Additive brand
Prima Industrie has introduced its new Prima Additive brand, dedicated to the design, production, and marketing of metal powder bed fusion and direct metal deposition technologies, as well as application support and global service. Prima Additive becomes the third division of the Prima Industrie Group, which already includes Prima Power (laser and sheet metal working machinery) and Prima Electro (laser sources and industrial electronics).
Open Mind joins Okuma Partners in THINC initiative
Germany-headquartered CADCAM developer Open Mind Technologies AG has partnered with Okuma America Corporation, joining the Partners in THINC collaboration, founded by Okuma. “We are looking forward to collaborating with Okuma and the members of Partners in THINC to bring the most advanced, integrated solutions to manufacturers,” said Alan Levine, Managing Director for Open Mind Technologies USA, Inc.
Hexagon AB acquires External-Array Software
Hexagon AB has acquired External-Array Software, a software development company that specialises in providing user-friendly and high functionality metrology software for coordinate measuring machine (CMM) manufacturers. Established in China in 2005, External-Array joins Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence Division. With simplified programming modes, customisation capabilities and strong compatibility.
Mazak chosen for UK government flagship 5G factory initiative
Yamazaki Mazak has been chosen as one of a select few UK companies to act as a ‘testbed’ for the deployment of next-generation 5G technology, with a view to improving commercial digital infrastructures and ultimately boosting productivity across the UK industrial sector. 5G is set to become the industry standard for connectivity in the future, with potential speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second.
Trumpf increases sales to 3.6 billion euros
Machine tool manufacturer releases preliminary figures for the 2017/18 fiscal year: Sales up by around 15 per cent from 3.1 to 3.6 billion euros. Orders received rise from 3.4 to 3.8 billion euros. Biggest individual markets: Germany, USA and China. The Trumpf Group posted a significant increase in sales of around 15 per cent at the end of the 2017/18 fiscal year on June 30, 2018.
Chinese investors plan $10 billion metallurgical complex in South Africa
Chinese investors signed agreements to build a $10 billion metallurgical complex in South Africa during President Xi Jinping’s state visit recently and hope to start construction next year, an executive involved in the project and a provincial official told Reuters. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said at a joint news conference with Xi that China had committed to invest $14.7 billion in the South African economy, but neither leader mentioned the $10 billion complex.
Sassda responds to news of proposed new stainless steel mill
Chinese investment puts focus on export. Responding to the recent news of investment into a $10 billion metallurgical complex development in Limpopo’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ) by Chinese investors, the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) announced it welcomes any and all beneficiation of South Africa’s raw materials, particularly chromite.
Mercedes-Benz SA in 300 million euro (R9.47 billion) plant expansion plan
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has launched a 600 million euro (approx. R9.47 billion) expansion of its East London plant, describing the investment as a vote of confidence in the country’s new direction. MBSA said the expansion of the plant was a sign of the carmaker’s commitment to South Africa and efforts to revive economic growth.
Yaskawa Southern Africa staff to ride in Berg & Bush mountain bike challenge to raise money for charity
Four staff members at Yaskawa Southern Africa have taken up the challenge to compete in this year’s Berg & Bush mountain bike event, which takes place in October 2018, while at the same time raising funds for two non-profit organisations, the Kitty and Puppy Haven and Get up Woman.
Tiso Blackstar sells non-core steel subsidiary to Macsteel
Media group Tiso Blackstar has said it had signed a sale of shares and claims agreement with Macsteel Service Centres in which Macsteel would purchase 100 per cent of Consolidated Steel Industries (CSI). In June 2015, Stalcor (established 1973) completed a merger with Global Roofing Solutions (GRS) to form Consolidated Steel Industries (CSI). Both were part of the Blackstar Group at the time.
Germany blocks china deal to buy machine tool manufacturer
Germany is joining the US and Canada in taking a tougher line on Chinese acquisitions. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government for the first time vetoed a possible Chinese takeover of a German company, signalling a toughening stance toward investments from the country. Merkel’s Cabinet voted to block the potential purchase of German machine tool manufacturer Leifeld Metal Spinning AG by a Chinese investor.
Plant expansion and diversification project announced by KLT Automotive SA
KLT Automotive and Tubular Products, the supplier of chassis frames to the Ford Motor Company’s plant in Silverton in Pretoria for the Ford Ranger, has embarked on a production expansion and diversification programme. KLT SA chief executive Paul Leonard said the company would be investing a further R20 million to increase the production of chassis frames at its Hammanskraal factory from an average of 500 a day to 630 a day.
Trumpf acquires Teufel Solutions AG
Trumpf has acquired a full stake in Teufel Solutions AG effective August 1, 2018. Founded in 2002 as an SAP systems company based in Bottighofen, Switzerland, Teufel Solutions is a development partner for the Trumpf TruTops Fab software. This manufacturing control system can be used to oversee the entire sheet metal production process, as well as monitor and manage all machine jobs. The system is modular in design and allows users to implement functions step by step.
Hexagon acquires Spring Technologies, manufacturers of machine tool simulation and verification software
Hexagon AB has announced the acquisition of Spring Technologies, a provider of machine tool simulation, toolpath verification and optimisation, and machine tool management software. Spring Technologies’ flagship portfolio, NCSimul, is a comprehensive suite of integrated solutions providing native CNC code programming, CNC simulation, cutting and tool libraries, CNC programme management, real-time machine monitoring and technical content publication.
600 UK rebrands as Colchester Machine Tool Solutions
Colchester Machine Tool Solutions is a division of 600 Group Plc and is the home to leading machine tool brand names Colchester lathes, Harrison lathes, Pratt Burnerd chucks and Clausing machine tools. The company 600 UK (Heckmondwike, United Kingdom) has rebranded as Colchester Machine Tool Solutions. The rebranding coincided with Mach 2018 in April 2018, which was held in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
BZ Bank Aktiengesellschaft acquires the United Grinding Group
Holding company Körber AG sells off group that includes Studer, Schaudt, Mikrosa, Magerle, Blohm, Walter and Ewag. The new owner structure comprises a strategically aligned pool of investors organised by the Swiss BZ Bank Aktiengesellschaft. The sale of the Group by the Körber technology group was completed at the end of June, following approval by the responsible supervisory authorities.
Yamazaki Mazak to open new machine tool museum in its 100th anniversary of its founding
Yamazaki Mazak is set to open its own historic Machine Tool Museum on the 100th anniversary of its founding. The new museum, which will open in Autumn 2019, is located in Minokamo-city, Japan, in the newly renovated underground factory of Yamazaki Mazak Optonics Corporation, currently home to the company’s laser manufacturing operations. The interactive museum will give visitors the opportunity to see, touch and learn about machine tools and their history.
DMG MORI AG reveals record first-half figures, promises more world premieres this year
DMG Mori AG, the German side of the Japanese-German machine tool giant DMG Mori, has achieved record figures, delivering the best first half-year results in the company’s history. Order intake, sales revenues, earnings and free cash flow recorded double-digit rates of growth. Order intake rose by 14% to €1,577.1 million (previous year: €1,384.2 million). Sales revenues increased by 10% to €1,215.1 million.
ArcelorMittal SA to sell Macsteel stake
The proceeds of the sale will be used to fund working capital requirements and investments in the operating businesses. ArcelorMittal’s South Africa unit will sell its 50 per cent stake in trading and shipping company MIHBV to its joint venture partner Macsteel Holdings Luxembourg (MacHold) for $220 million, the steel maker said recently. The proposed transaction, which is subject to several conditions, will be consummated through a sale of shares agreement.
Showcasing local manufacturing initiatives using the latest technology tools
The first Innovations in Industry Technical Conference will take place at Nelson Mandela University on Friday 7 September 2018. This event will focus on sharing applications of new technology being used in the South African manufacturing arena. Presentations throughout the day on latest technology will include topics such as metal additive manufacturing, designing for additive manufacturing, optimisation and automotive design and lightweighting.
Yamazaki Mazak starts assembly operations at its new Inabe Plant
While the final stage of construction is ongoing, the Inabe Plant has already begun producing new Variaxis Series five-axis machining centers and Versatech Series five-axis double-column machining centers. The facility also includes significant floor space devoted to performing test cuts for customers on these large machine tools. When the $176 million (¥20 billion) facility is finished, the 56 000m² production floor will take over operations from the current Seiko Plant.
Supervisory Board change at DMG MORI – Dr. Mori is new Chairman
The German arm of the global machine tool manufacturing company has reported a record order intake for the first quarter of the year, with the firm breaking the €800 million mark. At the recent 116th Annual General Meeting of shareholders DMG MORI Aktiengesellschaft welcomed approximately 450 shareholders. Thus some 88% of the share capital were represented.
Automotive import probe launched in US
The Trump administration has launched a national security investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 into car and truck imports that could lead to new US tariffs similar to those imposed on imported steel and aluminium in March. That could lead to tariffs of up to 25 per cent on the same national security grounds used to impose US steel and aluminum duties.
Widia releases app for access to product feeds, speeds
Widia has created an app to quickly access machining speeds and feeds for Widia tooling without interrupting production. The newly released Machining Central app scans the Widia product barcode or searches the tool’s corresponding order number or an ANSI or ISO catalog number to automatically generate product information and availability along with feeds and speeds in seconds.
Parnis manufactures large mine winder for Canadian gold mine
Engineering company, Parnis Manufacturing recently delivered a 23 ton, three metre single drum winder to a gold mining company in Canada. Parnis said the unit would be used as a man winder and service hoist, reaching depths of 2 000 metres. Manufacturing the winder using material that is safety critical, Parnis Manufacturing’s contribution was to profile and roll, fabricate and weld, inspect, machine and paint, among other specialist services.
Cape Gate fined R40 million for cartel conduct
The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a R40 million settlement agreement with wire and steel manufacturer Cape Gate, following the company’s admission of price fixing, dividing markets and collusive tendering in respect of lightly galvanised wire, nails, wire and various wire products. The Competition Commission has welcomed the confirmation by the Tribunal as an order for the fine of R40 million.
Competition Commission approves Amsted Rail Company Inc’s merger with the Cast Products Division of Scaw SA (Pty) Ltd
South Africa’s Competition Commission has approved the proposed merger, with conditions, whereby Amsted Rail Company Inc. (Amsted) intends to acquire the Cast Products Division of Scaw South Africa (Pty) Ltd (Cast Products SA). Amsted is an American company, ultimately a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amsted Industries Incorporated.
TASA changes name to Production Technologies Association of South Africa
The Toolmaking Association of South Africa (TASA) was established in 2004 as a representative body for the South African tool, die and mouldmaking (TDM) industry. TASA was established to address the South African TDM and precision machining industry, which had been losing significant capacity, and with it, its global competitiveness and ability to enhance job creation – all to the detriment of the manufacturing sector and the economy as a whole.
NAACAM show to be held in Durban in 2019
The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) has announced that the NAACAM Show 2019 will be hosted by eThekwini Municipality in partnership with the Durban Automotive Cluster (DAC). This second iteration of the show will take place at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) on 12 – 14 March 2019. Bookings were due to open in late May 2018.
FFG acquires MHD gear-machining solutions
FFG Europe & Americas, the Eislingen-based (www.ffg-werke.com) machine tool group with a variety of German, Swiss and Italian brands (including MAG, VDF Boehringer, Hessapp, Modul, Jobs, Tacchella, Pfiffner and others), is broadening its portfolio for gear-manufacturing solutions. In March, the group acquired the bevel-gear-generating and gear-shaping machines of the Chemnitz-based gear technology and retrofit specialist MHD.
COMA 2019 – International Conference on Competitive Manufacturing
Following the success of the 6th International conference on Competitive Manufacturing (COMA ‘16), held in January 2016, the organisers are pleased to announce that the 2019 conference, hosted by the Stellenbosch University – Industrial Engineering Department, will be held in the last week of January 2019, from the 30th of January to the 1st of February 2019, in the beautiful Stellenbosch winelands.
Wohlers Report 2018 shows dramatic rise in metal additive manufacturing and overall industry growth of 21%
Industry expanded by more than $1.25 billion. Wohlers Associates, Inc. has released the Wohlers Report 2018, the global report on the state of the additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing industry, terms used interchangeably. Wohlers Associates has published its series of annual reports on AM for 23 consecutive years.
DMG Mori’s ‘Path of Digitisation’ focuses on automation solutions, new technology
The theme at DMG Mori’s open house exhibition in Pfronten, Germany this year was the “Path of Digitisation” showcasing the company’s technology, including a digital factory, holistic automation solutions and new technology. Approximately 9 000 visitors, including media members and DMG Mori customers, saw 70 high-tech machines, including the world premiere of the new NTX 3000, as well as innovative manufacturing processes such as additive manufacturing.
Sassda calls for entries to 2018 Awards
The theme for this year’s Sassda Columbus Stainless Awards is “Celebrating Innovation”. These prestigious awards serve to recognise and applaud exceptional achievements within the stainless steel industry and aim to recognise and promote excellence, innovation and entrepreneurial development as well as profile world-class thinking and success at both a local and international level.
Ford expands engine assembly operations at Struandale engine plant
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is expanding its operations at the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth as part of a wide-ranging investment in its two South African plants, announced late last year. “We are delighted to confirm that, as part of the R3 billion investment announced in November 2017, we are expanding both the capability and capacity of the Struandale Engine Plant for our current and future engine programmes,” says Jacques Brent.
BMW reveals production plans for Africa
Global premium vehicle manufacturer BMW, which has production plants in South Africa and Egypt, anticipates having another plant in sub-Saharan Africa within the next 10 years. Tim Abbott, the chief executive of BMW Group South Africa, confirmed to Business Report recently that BMW would look at establishing an assembly plant in sub-Saharan Africa “when the time is right”.
Japan machinery manufacturers with China links hit by trade war fears
Shares of Japanese machinery makers with heavy exposure to China plummeted recently as China and the United States moved closer to a trade war that could damage global growth, according to a Reuters article in The Asahi Shimbun. Shares in machinery manufacturers, which account for 20 per cent of Japan’s total exports, had enjoyed strong gains in the past year on the back of brisk demand for investment in electronics and semiconductors in China, Japan’s biggest trading partner.
India overtakes UK as car sales surge
India’s automotive sales surged at the second-fastest rate in the world in 2017, with total numbers exceeding developed markets like the UK and France and coming within striking distance of Germany. India closed the last calendar year with sales of 3.61 million units – a growth of 8.8% and putting India in fifth spot in the world behind China (25.8 million), the USA (17.23 million), Japan (5.16 million) and Germany (3.71 million).
Huge break for auto companies as China removes ownership caps
China has removed a 20-year restriction allowing foreign companies to gain a greater share of its market. China will let foreign automakers from Volkswagen AG to Ford Motor Co. own more than 50% of local ventures, removing a two-decade restriction and giving a boost to global companies seeking to capture a greater share of the world’s largest car market.
Buoyant German machine tool industry
The German machine tool industry’s order bookings increased by 24% in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with the same quarter in 2016. Domestic orders were up by 48%, while orders from abroad rose by 13%. For 2017 as a whole, there was an overall increase of 8%, with domestic orders climbing by 10%. Orders from abroad ended up 7%, with euro-zone nations the driving forces here.
Isuzu Motors takes over GMSA plant
Japan’s Isuzu Motors made its official debut in Port Elizabeth after taking over General Motors South Africa facilities around the country and 1 000 GMSA employees. Trading as Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSA) since the start of 2018, the debut also served as a platform to reveal the company’s new SUV segment contender‚ the Isuzu MUX (Multi Utility Crossover).
Mercedes-AMG with V8 power rolls off the line in East London
The integration of the three new models (Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC, Mercedes-AMG C 63 and Mercedes-AMG C 63 S), was smooth with absolute minimal interruption to the current production in the East London plant. More than 1 700 Mercedes-AMG C 43 units have been exported as part of the normal export plan from the plant, which once again reached record levels in 2017.
19th International Annual RAPDASA Conference
7 to 9 November 2018, University of Johannesburg and Resolution Circle. Following the success of the 2017 International RAPDASA conference, the organisers are pleased to announce the 19th Annual International RAPDASA conference. This event will be jointly hosted by the University of Johannesburg and Resolution Circle, on behalf of RAPDASA, and will be held from 7 to 9 November 2018 in Johannesburg.
Evraz Highveld Iron Plant 1 at Highveld Industrial Park up for sale
Not long ago, the Highveld Steel iron plant was a place of flames, fire, thunder and lightning. That was until it was placed into business rescue in April 2015. However, a business strategy was set in motion to convert the steel complex into the Highveld Industrial Park and to see the park capitalise on its strategic location and key facilities.
Recycling your metals matters
South Africans used more than 198 000 tons of metal cans, foil trays and aerosols during 2016 alone. MetPac-SA, the material recovery organisation representing the steel, tinplate and aluminium packaging industries in South Africa, is reminding South Africans that recycling their metals matters to the thousands of schools, collectors and convertors who earn a living from recycling this material.
Latest stats reveal top 10 most automated countries
The automation of production is accelerating around the world, according to new figures published by the International Federation of Robotics, which shows global robot density is on the rise. The 2017 World Robot Statistics have revealed that 74 robot units per 10 000 employees is the new average of global robot density in the manufacturing industries, up from 66 units in 2015.
ASF Metrology to acquire Nikon Metrology CMM business
Nikon Metrology has announced that ASF Metrology intends to acquire Nikon Metrology’s coordinate measuring machines (CMM) business. The closing of the transaction is expected to take place in about two months. Nikon Metrology’s CMM activities, with offices in Belgium, France, Germany, the UK and the USA, represent approximately 25% of the total Nikon Metrology worldwide consolidated turnover.
Trumpf acquires Amphos, a manufacturer of ultrashort pulsed lasers
Amphos develops and produces ultrashort pulsed lasers with high output power for manufacturing and research applications. Ultrashort pulsed lasers are especially important in electronics manufacturing where they are used to produce items such as printed circuit boards, displays and cover glass. The key to Amphos lasers is InnoSlab technology, which was co-developed by the company’s founders while still a part of ILT.
Tungaloy partners with MachiningCloud
Metal cutting tools manufacturer Tungaloy and product data provider MachiningCloud have partnered to provide Tungaloy product data on the cloud. Tungaloy and MachiningCloud have jointly announced their partnership to provide Tungaloy product data on the Cloud. Tungaloy is a manufacturer of a diverse range of products, including metal cutting tools, such as indexable inserts and steel products.
Hardinge Inc. to be acquired by Privet Fund Management
Total transaction value of approximately $245 million. Hardinge is a manufacturer of CNC machine tools developed for hard-to-machine metal parts and a producer of workholding accessories. Under the terms of the agreement, Privet will acquire all shares of Hardinge common stock not currently owned by Privet for $18.50 in cash, for a total transaction value of approximately $245 million.
Sandvik invests in metal powder plant
Sandvik has announced plans to invest about $25 million in a new plant for manufacturing titanium and nickel fine metal powders. Sandvik will invest about 200 million SEK in a new plant for manufacturing of titanium and nickel fine metal powders within the business area Sandvik Materials Technology. The investment will complement the existing powder offering and strengthen Sandvik’s position in the rapidly growing markets for metal powder and metal additive manufacturing.
Prima Industrie marks 10th anniversary of Finn-Power purchase with new headquarters
Prima Industrie S.p.A, a manufacturer of laser systems, sheet metal working systems and electronic components for industrial applications, is celebrating 10 years since the acquisition of Finn-Power. That acquisition, which allowed the Group to assume an increasingly global dimension, was followed by a phase of deleveraging and financial strengthening.
Mazak Partners with MachiningCloud to provide easy access to machine tools
Japanese machine tool manufacturer Mazak has partnered with MachiningCloud, a provider of product data content for the machining industry. The partnership will in future enable Mazak customers to have direct access to complete and up-to-date cutting tool product data from cutting tool and workholding manufacturers.
Mastercam and Widia announce new fast and simple tooling data solution
CNC Software, Inc., developers of Mastercam, have collaborated with Widia, the original German tungsten carbide tool developers, to provide a solution that enables CAM users to quickly import tool assemblies from Widia Novo directly into Mastercam 2018.
Bystronic forms partnership with TTM Laser
For many laser sheet metal processing companies, the expansion of their production portfolio to include tube processing is a logical step in to differentiate themselves from their competitors, thanks to a wide production range. Bystronic, based in Niederönz, Switzerland will support this by entering a strategic partnership with laser-based tube and profile processing specialist TTM Laser, based in Cazzago San Martino, Italy.
Yaskawa to increase production capacity by 25 per cent in China
Overactive Chinese manufacturers of smartphones and computers have driven Yaskawa to the point of increasing production capacity by 25 per cent. Yaskawa says it will increase its monthly output from its current 1 200 units per month to 1 500 units per month to meet frenetically increasing demand from Chinese electronics manufacturers, according to a report on Nikkei.
Trumpf presents ‘fastest 3D printer in the world’
Trumpf presented what it says is the world’s fastest and most productive medium-format 3D printing system. TruPrint 5000 works according to a so-called multi-laser principle with three beam sources and is equipped with optics specially designed by Trumpf. In combination with the exposure strategies developed by Trumpf and the optimally adjusted process parameters, the TruPrint 5000 cuts exposure time per job by a factor of three.
DMG MORI ups its automation game by establishing a new joint venture company with German company Heitec AG
Also announces joint lubrication development with Fuchs. DMG MORI has upped its automation game by founding a new joint venture company with German company Heitec AG. DMG MORI Heitec GmbH represents an extension to the two companies’ collaboration over recent years.
Tooling specialist Walter AG acquires cloud platform firm Comara
The two companies have, in fact, been working together since 2012. Upon the acquisition, an official statement read: “Walter AG is expanding its expertise with Comara and will therefore be able to connect tools with greater sophistication and optimise them using real-time data in future. Combined with the existing Walter ToolID, this will give rise to the production of ‘Smart Tools’ in future.”
GF buys machine connectivity software developer
Machine tool developer and manufacturer GF Machining Solutions is buying Symmedia GmbH, a privately owned software developer that specialises in machine connectivity systems. Connecting machines with security is “the basis of the future development of industrial processes,” according to GF’s statement, in which it also described the acquired company as “a key player in factory digitalisation.”
Trumpf acquires majority stake in Access Laser
Access Laser Company (ALC) and Trumpf GmbH have announced that they have entered into an agreement where Trumpf will acquire an 85% share of ALC. Trumpf is a global technology leader in lasers, with a reputation for delivering world class manufacturing solutions. By acquiring a majority stake in ALC, Trumpf has secured a key player in Extreme UltraViolet (EUV) photolithography.