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Metals News

Working-at-height training programme incorporates VR tech

By: Nadine James     23rd February 2018 Steel and mining company ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has incorporated virtual reality (VR) technology into the apprenticeship and training programmes at its Vanderbiljpark plant. The VR training solution, which has been operational since December last year, is currently used to determine... 

Solar systems company dismisses takeover rumour

By: Dylan Slater     23rd February 2018 Solar photovoltaic (PV) mounting systems company Schletter South Africa is seeing positive growth in line with industry developments, with high hopes of renewed interest and demand in 2018.  

EU warns it will retaliate if hit by US trade curbs

By: Reuters     22nd February 2018 The European Commission said on Tuesday it had expressed its concern to Washington about possible measures to curb imports of steel and aluminium and warned that it was ready to react if its industry was hit. "We have made it clear to the US administration at the highest level that we would be... 

Seifsa worried about potential impact of proposed US steel import tariff increases

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2018 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has warned that the difficulties facing the local steel industry would continue to worsen in the year ahead if the US Department of Commerce's recommendation for a tariff of at least 53% on all steel imports from 12... 

Commission recommends tribunal approve Southern Palace Group's Genrec buy

By: Simone Liedtke     19th February 2018 The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that Southern Palace Group's (SPG's) proposed acquisition of steel fabrication and manufacturing business Genrec Engineering, from construction and engineering company Murray and Roberts, be approved without conditions. SPG,... 

Japan's steel industry urges Trump to make careful trade decision

By: Reuters     19th February 2018 Japan's steel industry said on Monday the US Commerce Department proposal to President Donald Trump to impose curbs on steel imports violate the principles of free trade, calling for Washington to make a careful and appropriate decision. The US Commerce Department recommended on Friday that Trump... 

Tribunal approves amendment to payment terms of AMSA’s R1.5bn settlement agreement

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved a variation agreement allowing ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) to pay the first R300-million instalment of its R1.5-billion fine in three tranches.   In late 2016, AMSA concluded a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission in terms of which it... 

Any US tariffs could spark trade war, cut growth, Germany says

By: Reuters     15th February 2018 The German chamber of commerce said on Wednesday that US import tariffs on steel could trigger a trade war with major trading partners, which analysts say could cut growth in Europe's largest economy by up to one percentage point. US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was considering a... 

Sasol Chemicals completes alumina capacity expansion project in Germany

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th February 2018 Sasol Chemicals' inorganics and catalyst division has completed a 15 000 t/y expansion of alumina capacity at its  Brunsbuettel site, in Germany, enabling the company to meet growing global demand. The expansion involved debottlenecking the alumina slurry feed capacity by installing an additional... 

TFR transports record chrome volumes from mines to ports

By: Schalk Burger     14th February 2018 State-owned Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has transported a record 5.77-million tons of chrome by rail from mines to the ports in the first 47 weeks of the current financial year. This exceeds the 5.75-million tons of chrome transported by rail in the prior financial year. 

China urges US to rein in 'trade remedy measures' for steel

By: Reuters     13th February 2018 China has expressed concerns over excessive protectionism in the steel sector by the United States, and urged it to show restraint in using trade remedy measures, an official with Chinese Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) said on Tuesday. Wang Hejun, the head of Mofcom's Trade Remedy and... 

Entries for Seifsa Awards for Excellence now open

By: Anine Kilian     12th February 2018 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has invited manufacturers operating in the metals and engineering sector to submit their entries for the 2018 Seifsa Awards for Excellence. Entries are open to all companies in the sector, including those which are not... 

India's Tata Steel Q3 profit surges on volume growth

By: Reuters     9th February 2018 India's Tata Steel on Friday posted a five-fold rise in third-quarter profit, boosted by strong volume growth in India and increasing steel prices. "Global steel prices have been buoyant with improved trade position in China along with cost push from raw materials," Chief Executive Officer T V... 

Multistage line a first for South Africa, to reduce scrap rate in automotive industry

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     9th February 2018 Steel supplier and processing company Allied Steelrode will later this year test the prototype model of a custom-built, multistage slitting and blanking line. Once the full-scale line has been built and commissioned it will achieve average scrap rate reductions of between 5% and 25% and improve... 

Multistage line a first for  South Africa, to reduce scrap  rate in automotive industry
WARNE RIPPON The new multi-stage slitting and blanking line will be a first for South Africa

Signs of manufacturing recovery, despite ongoing metals industry pressures

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th February 2018 The latest preliminary production data for the metals and engineering sector, released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Thursday, reflected a slowdown in production in December, despite a 2% increase in the broader manufacturing production during the same period, Steel and Engineering... 

Signs of manufacturing recovery, despite ongoing metals industry pressures

Steel Authority of India swings to profit in Dec quarter

By: Reuters     8th February 2018 Steel Authority of India Ltd posted a profit for the three months ended December on Thursday, snapping ten straight quarters of losses. Net Profit was 431.6-million rupees ($6.72-million), compared with a loss of 7.95-billion rupees in the year-ago period, the company said in a statement.... 

China aims to meet 2020 target for steel capacity cuts this year, warns on resumption

By: Reuters     7th February 2018 China aims to meet its target for reducing steel production capacity two years earlier than planned, the industry ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, as the world's top steel producer ramps up its years-long push to reduce excess output. The original plan called for reducing 150 million... 

Stronger rand deals blow to Hulamin's FY17 earnings

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th February 2018 Despite achieving record sales volumes of 233 000 t for the 2017 financial year, local aluminium supplier Hulamin's operating profit is expected to dip below that of the prior year, owing to the significantly stronger rand. "The strengthening of the currency had a negative effect on profits,... 

Stronger rand deals blow to Hulamin's FY17 earnings

EU steel sector sees demand growth in 2018, import threat

By: Reuters     6th February 2018 European steel demand is set to rise in 2018 with continued strength in most steel-using sectors, European steel association Eurofer said on Tuesday, while warning of a threat of rising imports. Apparent steel consumption, which excludes the impact of inventory changes, is set to rise by 1.9% in... 

Steel workers approve Thyssenkrupp-Tata Steel labour deal – source

By: Reuters     5th February 2018 Steel workers at Thyssenkrupp have voted in favour of a labour agreement that will safeguard jobs and plants in a planned joint venture with Tata Steel, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday. About 20,500 members of German union IG Metall had been asked to vote on the... 

Albeit modest, metals sector poised for second consecutive year of growth 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2018 South Africa’s metals and engineering sector is poised for a second consecutive year of modest growth, with the Steel and Engineering Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) forecasting a 1.1% expansion for 2018. The sector grew by 2.7% in 2017, breaking a streak of three consecutive years of... 

Albeit modest, metals sector poised for second consecutive year of growth
Seifsa chief economist Dr Michael Ade on the outlook for the metals and engineering sector in 2018. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling. Recorded: 2.2.2018

New coal terminal planned for Beira could be a gateway to the east

By: Kim Cloete     2nd February 2018 A coal terminal planned for construction at Mozambique’s Beira port could be a gateway for imports and exports from the landlocked countries of Zimbabwe, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Botswana and could greatly boost coal exports to India. Essar Ports CEO Tej Nargundkar... 

Showcase of SA's manufacturing prowess to debut in 2019

By: Dylan Slater     2nd February 2018 To showcase the best South Africa has to offer in terms of local manufacturing and South African-produced capital equipment, capital equipment manufactures lobby group the South African Capital Equipment Exporters Council (Saceec) has partnered with exhibition organisers Specialised Exhibitions... 

Swedish steel plant to run on hydrogen

By: Reuters     1st February 2018 Steelmaker SSAB plans to build the world's first fossil fuel-free steel plant powered by hydrogen, backed by utility Vattenfall and miner Luossavaara Kiirunavaara, the Swedish firms said on Thursday. The pilot venture will aim to develop technology to later make SSAB's entire production... 

AMSA weighs asset disposals as losses mount, debt rises and rand strengthens 

By: Terence Creamer     31st January 2018 ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) is considering various asset disposals as part of a plan to strengthen its balance sheet, which remains under pressure as a result of a protracted period of lossmaking, which has endured since 2010. The JSE-listed steelmaker declared another headline loss of... 

AMSA weighs asset disposals as losses mount, debt rises and rand strengthens
New AMSA CEO Kobus Verster on the immediate outlook for the group and initiatives under way to improve prospects for a return to profitability. Camera Work & Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 31.1.2018

Zimbabwe to take over steelmaker's $500m debt

By: Reuters     31st January 2018 Zimbabwe plans to take on about $500-million of debt owed by state-owned steelmaker Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco) to allow a new investor to revive the company. Zisco ceased production in 2008 at the height of Zimbabwe's economic meltdown, but under the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company... 

Dalian iron-ore near 1-month low, limited impact from icy weather

By: Reuters     30th January 2018 Chinese iron-ore futures ticked higher, but kept near one-month lows on Tuesday, as ample supply of the steelmaking raw material countered transport disruptions caused by heavy snow in the country. Rebar steel prices slipped, touching their lowest in nearly a week at one point. 

Swiss steel firm Schmolz + Bickenbach chosen to buy France's Ascometal

By: Reuters     29th January 2018 Swiss company Schmolz + Bickenbach has been chosen by a Strasbourg court to buy troubled French steelmaker Ascometal, the court said on Monday, with Schmolz + Bickenbach's bid prevailing over a rival one from Liberty House. Ascometal, which makes specialty steel and employs around 1 300 workers,... 

Economisers the key to boiler success

     26th January 2018 Fitting an economiser on a boiler is a small addition that can provide big results in terms of helping companies reduce their operating costs and decrease their environmental impact, says heat and energy generation equipment provider Steam Generation Africa MD John Rundle. 

Growing global trend for small, compact and cost-saving VSDs

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 Owing to a global trend in cost efficiency and going green, drive engineering specialist SEW-Eurodrive sales engineer Sean Tibbott foresees the demand for a small, compact and cost-saving variable-speed drives continuing to grow worldwide. 

Growing global trend for small, compact  and cost-saving VSDs
MOVIGEAR MECHATRONIC DRIVE UNIT The units are able to reduce installation and start-up efforts and costs

High-performance chain offers enhanced strength and reliability

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 To ensure greater strength and durability, engineering consumables and components distributor BMG’s range of Tsubaki high-performance product chains now includes the robust Workhorse elevator series. 

Increasing energy cost prompts need for drive systems

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 The ever-rising cost of energy and the increasing pollution associated with power supply systems are continuously driving the need for alternating current drive systems with low harmonics and power regeneration, says Midrand-based variable-speed drive (VSD) and automation equipment supplier... 

Increasing energy  cost prompts need  for drive systems
U1000 MATRIX DRIVE The U1000 matrix drive does not require any additional filtering to achieve low harmonics

Misaligned pulleys affect belt efficiency and life span

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 Misaligned pulleys are one of the biggest contributors to premature failed belts, negatively affecting drive efficiency and shortening the life of the belt significantly, states engineering consumables and components distributor BMG power transmission GM Carlo Beukes. 

Misaligned pulleys affect  belt efficiency and life span
FENNER DRIVE ALIGNMENT LASER The Fenner Drive Alignment Laser is designed for accurate pulley and sprocket alignment

Motor solutions ensure simpler, more compatible installations

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 Owing to the installation of electrical products onto panels and enclosures being time-consuming and costly, electric solutions provider Magnet Group MD Brian Howarth says product installations need to be made simpler and more compatible with existing wiring through the supply of cost-effective... 

Motor solutions ensure simpler, more  compatible installations
EASYPACT TVS The EasyPact TVS range encompasses nine sizes of contactors that cover a broad range of current ratings

Multifunction vibration meter redefines vibration screening

     26th January 2018 Sandton-based distribution centre Comtest is offering electronic test tools manufacturer and distributor Fluke’s latest vibration meter, the Fluke 805, which provides quantifiable information on a bearing and the overall health of motors and other rotating equipment. 

VFD adoption triggers need for bearing protection rings

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 As the adoption of variable-frequency drives (VFDs) increases, so too will the need for the reliable mitigation of destructive shaft voltages, which will lead to increased demand for bearing protection rings, says bearing protection solutions provider AEGIS sales and marketing manager Adam... 

Global crude steel output up 5.3% y/y in 2017

By: Schalk Burger     25th January 2018 Global crude steel production increased by 5.3% year-on-year to 1.69-billion tonnes in 2017. Output increased in all regions except for the Commonwealth of Independent States, where production remained flat at about 102.1-million tonnes, the World Steel Association reported this week. 

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