Oct 19, 2012
SA tooling sector positioning for growthBack
Engineering|Africa|Education|Africa|South Africa|Automotive|Equipment|Ron MacLarty|South Africa
© Reuse this
He states that, to ensure growth, the industry must aim to be internationally competitive, adding that a step change is needed to create positive thinking.
MacLarty further points out that local automotive manufacturers are struggling to find toolmakers to produce new moulds or to make modifications and adjustments to newly delivered moulds.
He believes the training of more toolmakers, together with the rejuvenation and modernisation of the country’s toolrooms, would assist in building the capacity of the local sector, enabling toolrooms to competitively make their services available to the country’s automotive sector.
“Training programmes are in place and are showing positive results. We must remember that one toolmaker provides 28 downstream jobs,” he notes.
Meanwhile, MacLarty believes that professional business management and job placement are key to the tooling industry’s growth and suggests that newly trained people should be placed in productive positions.
“Apprentices need more on-the-job training, exposing them to the sharp end of the business at an early stage. This will ensure better trained toolmakers.
“There is a reluctance in the industry to take ‘Mr Average’ from a further education and training college and put him or her on an expensive computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine. “This is one reason why jobs are hard to come by,” he says.
Further, MacLarty says each toolroom needs to target a particular area of specialisation.
Traditional toolmaking companies, of which South Africa still has many, would tackle the complete mould manufacturing process. Today’s modern toolrooms concentrate on cylindrical work and have the mould bases prefabricated by a mould specialist or specialise in sculptured die-sinking, which involves a lot of computing time to get the contours to customer requirements.
“Toolmaking must be run as a production, precision machining unit to make it world-class. Costly CNC equipment needs to run on a two- or three-shift basis to be competitive,” MacLarty states.
Tasa hosted this year’s AfriMold conference at the international trade fair exhibition for application development through tooling, engineering, mould-making and design, in Midrand, Gauteng, earlier this month.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Manufacturing News
Bucking a global trend that has seen a number of pharmaceutical firms withdrawing their manufacturing capabilities from emerging countries, Sanofi South Africa told journalists on Thursday that the group was “serious” about maintaining its production facilities...
AECI’s explosives arm AEL has branched out into Australia as it teams up with undisclosed customers for the supply of explosives into this new market. An AECI office had been established in Brisbane, while preparations were under way to ship a bulk emulsion plant...
Society needs to debate solutions to strikes that last too long, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday. "Such a debate must not be seen as an attack on workers' rights and an affront on the right to strike but rather an important step towards...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Updated 7 hours ago South African construction company Group Five says work on the rehabilitation of the 800 km stretch of the Plumtree–Mutare highway, in Zimbabwe, should be completed by the end of this year. Giving evidence before the Parliamentary Porfolio Committee on Transport...
Updated 7 hours ago The Space Operations division of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) revealed on July 17 that it had supported the successful launch of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite on July 2. The...
Updated 7 hours ago Phase 1A of Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system should carry around 42 000 people a day, while it was been expected that Phase 1B, rolled out last year, would add another 60 000 daily passengers. However, the entire system is currently carrying...
Updated 7 hours ago A stormwater project in Bedforview, east of Johannesburg, has stalled for eight months after project managers in the Ekurhuleni municipality resigned and municipal managers were placed on special leave without designating replacements. Construction to reinforce the...
Updated 7 hours ago The design of the Beit Bridge border post is the biggest impediment to efficient freight movement between Zimbabwe and South Africa, says Cross-border Road Transport Agency CEO Sipho Khumalo. Beit Bridge is the busiest border post in Africa. A research study on the...