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Manufacturing News

Covid-19 compounds challenges in Africa

By: Tracy Hancock     12th June 2020 The legislation put in place amid the Covid-19 pandemic is compounding the “exceptionally challenging” business environment already faced by companies when operating in Africa, where each country presents its own challenges, says Macsteel Exports senior branch manager Adrian Isemonger. He... 

Great demand for infection control across Africa

By: Tracy Hancock     12th June 2020 The demand for infection control solutions manufacturer SteriTech’s products has increased significantly across Africa since the Covid-19 outbreak, but so have the company’s lead times. “Demand in the rest of Africa existed prior to the outbreak and was steadily growing at a rate just slightly... 

Great demand for infection control across Africa
SOUGHT-AFTER SteriTech has increased its production capacity twenty-fold to meet demand across Africa

Pandemic dashes hopes for a domestic steel sector turnaround

By: Simone Liedtke     12th June 2020 The international Covid-19 outbreak, which has disrupted the South African and the global economy, has thrown another “a spanner in the works” for the already embattled domestic steel sector and could seriously hamper, or even prevent, a recovery. The pandemic has already ruined any hopes of a... 

Pandemic dashes hopes for a domestic steel sector turnaround

International trade declines significantly

By: Donna Slater     11th June 2020 While global trade was already slowing down prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) states that economic and social disruptions brought about by Covid-19 are resulting in a dramatic decline in trade. As laid out in Unctad’s global trade... 

South African manufacturing decreases 5.4% in March

By: Simone Liedtke     11th June 2020 Manufacturing production in South Africa decreased by 5.4% year-on-year in March, likely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The largest negative contribution was made by basic iron and steel, nonferrous metal products, metal products and machinery, which was down by... 

Future trends report points to rapidly changing business environment

By: Donna Slater     11th June 2020 Progressing from Covid-19 will require a realignment of business fundamentals, with increased demand for products and services consumers find meaningful and socially and environmentally responsible, says professional services firm Accenture Interactive’s design and innovation practice Fjord.... 

Covid-19 delays Sephaku financial results

By: Donna Slater     11th June 2020 Holding company of construction materials company Sephaku, SepHold, is finalising its financial results for the year ended March 31; however, the restrictions implemented by the South African government to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic have impacted the finalisation of the company's... 

RS Components, BARTH Elektronik unveil people-counter for retail market

By: Irma Venter     11th June 2020 RS Components, the trading brand of Electrocomponents, has joined forces with miniature programmable logic controller (PLC) manufacturer BARTH Elektronik to develop a product assembly project that aids social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project, called the ‘People Counter’, can... 

RS Components, BARTH Elektronik unveil people-counter for retail market
The People Counter, once assembled

RMB/BER Business Confidence Index falls to lowest-ever level

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th June 2020 The Rand Merchant Bank (RMB)/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) Business Confidence Index (BCI) fell from 18 points in the first quarter to a mere five points in the second quarter of the year. The BER says this was the lowest level ever recorded since the BER first began conducting the survey... 

Adoption of automation, robotics expected to accelerate

By: Schalk Burger     9th June 2020 Increasingly automated processes and the use of robotics are expected to support greater production and the provision of services safely in a contactless society, says robotics multinational Yaskawa Southern Africa chairperson Terry Rosenberg. He notes that many businesses are rapidly adopting... 

Unique Group develops Covid-19 pressure ventilator system for Africa 

By: Irma Venter     9th June 2020 Cape Town-based subsea engineering expert, MMO, a Unique Group company, has completed beta-testing of its inhouse-designed Uni-Life 100, a non-invasive positive pressure ventilation system. Developed using the technical expertise and production support of Unique Group, the system has been... 

Unique Group develops Covid-19 pressure ventilator system for Africa
The Uni-Life 100

Coega SEZ faces juggling act amid Covid-19-impacted business environment

By: Donna Slater     9th June 2020 Special economic zone (SEZ) operator, the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), like many other SEZs, is facing an unprecedented operating environment with some of its zone’s investors being operational , while others are only partially operational and others not operating at all. Operator of the... 

Concrete batchers training in the works

By: Mamaili Mamaila     5th June 2020 The Concrete Institute’s (TCI’s) School of Concrete Technology is planning to offer a special one-day course for concrete batchers and batch plant staff in the second half of 2020. 

Concrete batchers training in the works
THE WHOLE BATCH Batching ensures high and uniform quality of readymix concrete for each batch produced by a batching plant

Concrete solutions for rural roads

5th June 2020 With poor rural gravel roads causing horrific accidents, technical service provider The Concrete Institute (TCI) MD Bryan Perrie says there is substantial scope for more low-volume concrete roads to increase road safety in South Africa. 

Concrete solutions  for rural roads
A LONG ROAD AHEAD Concrete roads have a relatively maintenance-free life of up to, and beyond, 30 years

Protection tech used at office building

By: Mamaili Mamaila     5th June 2020 Construction company Storm Waterproofing Systems’ specialists made use of the Spraylock concrete protection technology to successfully cure, increase the concrete durability of and waterproof the ground and first floors, as well as the roof of the new Deloitte head office in Waterfall City, in... 

Protection tech used  at office building
ALL CONCRETE The Spraylock concrete protection technology was used to successfully cure, increase the concrete durability and waterproof the ground and first floor, as well as roof of the new Deloitte building

Worldsteel says demand will contract by 6.4% this year owing to Covid-19

By: Simone Liedtke     4th June 2020 The World Steel Association (worldsteel) expects global steel demand to contract by 6.4% this year, as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. In its Short Range Outlook (SRO) for 2020 and 2021, released on June 4, the industry body states that steel demand is, however, expected to increase by 3.8%... 

Rockwell releases industrial cybersecurity assessment app

By: Schalk Burger     2nd June 2020 Industrial technology multinational Rockwell Automation has released a new app to help operations managers, plant floor managers and information technology/operational technology (IT/OT) professionals gauge levels of operational risk within their connected infrastructures. The Assessment Hub app... 

Production capacity rises in May but to remain subdued until demand grows

By: Donna Slater     1st June 2020 Having plunged to an all-time low of 5.1 index points in April, financial services provider Absa’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) survey rose sharply to 43.2 index points in May, propelled by many factories returning to production in May when South Africa went into Alert Level 4, the bank... 

Nissan plant rolls out INTUboxes to hospitals 

By: Irma Venter     1st June 2020 Local arm of Japanese vehicle maker Nissan and the University of Pretoria (UP) have partnered to create and manufacture INTUboxes.   The INTUbox is a transparent vessel-box which protects health professionals who have to intubate and treat acutely ill Covid-19 patients.  

Nissan plant rolls out INTUboxes to hospitals

From field hospitals to ventilator prototypes, South Africa's state of readiness for Level 3 outlined 

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2020 Cabinet’s economic cluster sought to offer assurances on Friday that significant preparations had been made to facilitate a safe transition to a Level 3 lockdown from June 1, which opens the way for the return to work of eight-million more people. The easing of the lockdown is expected to... 

From field hospitals to ventilator prototypes, South Africa's state of readiness for Level 3 outlined
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi

Bell's full-year earnings fall

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2020 Local original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) Bell Equipment achieved headline earnings a share of 80c a share for the year ended December 31, while earnings a share were 79c. This compares with headline earnings a share of 278c and earnings a share of 283c reported for the prior financial year. 

Covid-19 pall hangs over Nampak’s recovery prospects  

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2020 Packaging group Nampak announced on Friday that impairments of R3-billion, which related to its Nigerian and Angolan operations, had contributed materially to a slump in its interim results for the period to March 31. The outlook for the business was also uncertain, with the Covid-19 pandemic... 

Covid-19 pall hangs over Nampak’s recovery prospects
Nampak CEO Erik Smuts in conversation with Engineering News editor Terence Creamer on the group's interim results and its future strategy and prospects. Editing: Nicholas Boyd

This year's Electra Mining cancelled

By: Donna Slater     29th May 2020 Organisers of Southern Africa’s mining, manufacturing, automation, electrical and power trade exhibition Electra Mining Africa, Specialised Exhibitions, reports that the 2020 edition of the trade fair has been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s show had been scheduled to... 

Sector’s GDP contribution not what it should be

By: Darren Parker     29th May 2020 For South Africa’s stage of economic development, manufacturing should be contributing at least double what it currently does to gross domestic product (GDP), states industry body Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth. Manufacturing has declined from 26% of South Africa’s GDP... 

Sector’s GDP contribution not what it should be
MANUFACTURING SLOWDOWN Employment figures in the manufacturing sector are unlikely to turn around without a sustained improvement in demand to bolster industry activity

Global brushless dc motors market exhibits healthy growth

29th May 2020 Consumer demand for enhanced features in automotive products, such as motorised seats, is spurring demand for brushless direct current (DC) motors, says market researcher Fact.MR. Rising emphasis on fuel efficiency, adoption of new-energy alternatives, amid strict carbon emission regulations is... 

Company maintains drive tech support throughout lockdown

29th May 2020 Bearings supplier BMG’s commitment to ensuring industry continues to operate efficiently and safely, even during difficult lockdown conditions, encompasses the ongoing supply and support of a range of engineering components, including drive systems and frequency inverters. A critical part of... 

Company maintains drive tech support throughout lockdown
THE FULL RANGE BMG’s NORD drive systems and NORDAC frequency inverters are combined to offer a complete spectrum of fully flexible, modern frequency inverters

Drives designed to improve productivity

29th May 2020 Bearings supplier BMG’s VACON 100 alternating current (AC) drives have been designed to save energy, optimise process control and improve productivity in many sectors. Through VACON 100’s economical solutions, BMG is able to ensure a quick return on project investments for its customers, says BMG... 

Drives designed to improve productivity
COMPATIBLE AND EFFECTIVE VACON 100 AC drives allow its customers to use the most efficient motor for each application, with the ability to run new motor technologies

Company provides energy efficient solutions for customers

29th May 2020 Electric motors company Vert Energy – exclusive distributors in Southern Africa of electric motor manufacturer Leroy Somer – is committed to providing energy-saving solutions for its diverse customer base. Critical challenges facing industry include finding the most efficient ways to minimise... 

Company provides energy efficient solutions for customers
HIGH EFFICIENCY The Dyneo motor-drive unit ensures high efficiency levels over the whole operating speed range, especially at speeds below the synchronous speed

R&D on hold to keep doors open

By: Tracy Hancock     29th May 2020 Stainless steel cylinder manufacturer Jooste Cylinder & Pump Company has implemented various measures, such as delaying research and development (R&D) projects, to assist staff as much as possible and “keep the doors open” amid the Covid-19 crisis. “Jooste re-invests much of its income in new... 

Local tanks on track for delivery to Zim mine

29th May 2020 Ten large steel tanks for diversified miner RioZim’s Cam and Motor gold mine, in Zimbabwe, are on schedule to be installed by South African stainless steel fabrication and erection specialist Betterect, as part of the mine’s gold processing plant expansion. This is notwithstanding inherent... 

Local tanks on track for delivery to Zim mine
SIGNIFICANT SUPPLY Columbus Stainless supplied 250 t of grade 2304 duplex steel for the RioZim steel tank fabrication project being undertaken by Betterect

Lockdown further strains stainless steel recycling

By: Tracy Hancock     29th May 2020 Prior to the national lockdown, South Africa’s stainless steel recycling industry was under strain, facing a dramatic drop in available recycling material and increasing input costs, says Johannesburg-based stainless steel recycler Cronimet director Bernard Maguire. The stainless steel recycling... 

Lockdown further strains stainless steel recycling
SIGNIFICANCE OF SCRAP The cost of recycled stainless steel is much less than that of virgin primary alloys

Expedited change in stainless steel industry expected

By: Tracy Hancock     29th May 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic will have long-term ramifications, including permanent change in the South African stainless steel industry, Southern African Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) acting executive director Michel Basson tells Engineering News. “The stainless steel industry could... 

Expedited change in  stainless steel industry expected
ADDED STRESS The national lockdown has compounded the challenges faced by the already stressed stainless steel industry

Agility needed in sector transformation

By: Darren Parker     29th May 2020 The world is rapidly changing, with the onslaught of Covid-19 catalysing and concentrating the drivers behind this change. Consequently, manufacturers need to be agile in adapting their systems and processes, remain lean and use digital enablers in a digital transformation to remain relevant and... 

Agility needed in  sector transformation
CONNECTING THE DOTS Digitalisation leads to connected plants and connected supply chains, which provides immediate benefits of reliability, stability, immediacy and agility

Manufacturers can use lockdown to fine-tune ERP

By: Darren Parker     29th May 2020 The priority for many manufacturers amid the Covid-19 lockdown involves “getting back to basics” in terms of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management, says ERP systems provider Syspro professional services head Doug Hunter. “This includes ensuring visibility of what is... 

Manufacturers can use lockdown to fine-tune ERP
TAKING STOCK OF THE SITUATION The lockdown has provided a good opportunity for companies to check their ERP systems and ensure that they are being used properly and to their full potential

Manufacturer receives increased interest in face mask concept

By: Darren Parker     29th May 2020 Mine ventilation equipment and working-face consumables manufacturer Terramin has seen increased demand for its full-head precautionary respiratory protection solution named the Koplap as demand for face masks has increased on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, Terramin CEO Martin van Schoor... 

Manufacturer receives increased interest in face mask concept
AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION The Koplap comes in several iterations with the some versions including mesh eye pieces and a non-return valve over the mouth

Precast-concrete manufacturing complements construction sector

29th May 2020 The precast-concrete manufacturing sector is complementing conventional in-situ building methods by helping to accelerate strategic infrastructure projects and reducing construction costs. It is also augmenting the public sector’s drive to use infrastructure projects to create employment and... 

Precast-concrete manufacturing complements construction sector
PRECAST PREFERENCE The elements are manufactured in a controlled factory environment and then transported to site where they are assembled

Reindustrialisation of manufacturing critical for growth

By: Darren Parker     29th May 2020 Measures to stimulate economic growth in South Africa after Covid-19 should include policies and interventions that will result in the reindustrialisation of the manufacturing sector, says industry body Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth. She tells Engineering News that... 

Reindustrialisation of manufacturing critical for growth
SPARKING SECTOR GROWTH It is critical to implement measures to stimulate the reindustrialisation of the manufacturing sector
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