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Manufacturing News

World Bank warns of big South Africa GDP slump and first SSA recession in 25 years as Covid-19 bites 

By: Terence Creamer     9th April 2020 The World Bank is forecasting that gross domestic product in South Africa could slump by between 6.9 percentage points and 8 percentage points in 2020 when compared with a base case that does not include the anticipated economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Similar contractions are... 

AfDB creates $10bn Covid-19 response facility

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th April 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB) on April 8 announced a Covid-19 response facility worth $10-billion to assist regional member countries in fighting the pandemic. The facility is the latest measure taken by the bank to respond to the global crisis and will be the primary channel for the... 

Willowton, Al Baraka Bank launch interest-free SMME loan fund  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th April 2020 Fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer Willowton Group and faith-based financial services provider Al Baraka Bank have partnered to launch a fund to assist small, medium-sized and microenterprises with loan funding. The companies have jointly contributed R100-million to launch the Giving for... 

Government calls on local PPE suppliers to reach out to procurement office

By: Donna Slater     8th April 2020 The National Treasury, in support of the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition, is asking all compliant, particularly local, suppliers providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to direct their offers to the project management office set up for this purpose. The South African health... 

Low-cost bag mask ventilator almost ready for production in PE

By: Irma Venter     8th April 2020 A multidisciplinary team of young engineers based at the Propella Business Incubator in Port Elizabeth have developed an automatic low-cost bag mask ventilator.  The device should fill the urgent need for a low-cost non-invasive ventilator for less serious Covid-19 cases, freeing up the... 

Low-cost bag mask ventilator almost ready for production in PE
Neo Mabunda and Zain Imran with the Salutaris bag mask ventilator prototype which was developed in five days

Bosal opens new emission control systems plant in Pretoria 

8th April 2020 Automotive component manufacturer Bosal Afrika in February officially opened its new emissions control systems manufacturing plant, in Pretoria, which is supplying major original-equipment manufacturers including Ford, Nissan, Isuzu and Volkswagen, in South Africa. Marleny Arnoldi attended the... 

Bosal opens new emission control systems plant in Pretoria
Bosal opens new emission control systems plant in Pretoria

Stellenbosch University has started producing visors for healthcare workers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th April 2020 Stellenbosch University’s orthopaedic surgery division has started producing visors to protect healthcare workers against Covid-19, using three-dimensional (3D) printing. The 3D printing laboratory was originally built by the university in 2018 to assist surgeons in planning and rehearsing... 

Stellenbosch University has started producing visors for healthcare workers
Students working in a 3D printing lab at Stellenbosch University

Wits produces face shields for hospital staff

By: Simone Liedtke     6th April 2020 Teams at the University of Witwatersrand’s (Wits’) Digital Incubator at the Tshimologong Precinct, the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering (MIA) along with the Transnet Centre of Systems Engineering (TCSE) and the Transnet Matlafatšo Centre (TMC), have come together to... 

Wits produces face shields for hospital staff

Seifsa highlights health and safety through yearly awards ceremony

By: Donna Slater     6th April 2020 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) is awarding companies that invested in protecting the lives of their employees, through the sixth edition of the yearly Seifsa Awards for Excellence to be held in Gauteng on May 28. “Employees are, without a doubt, the... 

Technology, software quality assurance provides business value, supports innovation

By: Schalk Burger     6th April 2020 Companies in Africa have recognised the value and importance of quality assurance processes for technology and software, as it underpins business growth, end-user satisfaction, cost control and security, quality assurance and software testing company Africonology CEO Mandla Mbonambi said in a... 

Local ventilator production could start within a month, says Naacam   

By: Irma Venter     3rd April 2020 Much of the reverse engineering on the Penlon Nuffield 200 ventilator is complete, with prototype production imminent, says National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers executive director Renai Moothilal. “If things go according to plan, full-scale volume production can... 

Local ventilator production could start within a month, says Naacam 
The Penlon Nuffield 200

UJ Makerspace 3D printing face shields for hospital staff

By: Donna Slater     2nd April 2020 The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) three-dimensional (3D) innovation laboratory Makerspace has been mobilised to help in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 by producing face shields to be used by frontline hospital staff as cases of the virus continue to rise in South Africa, and... 

UJ Makerspace 3D printing face shields for hospital staff
The face shields made by UJ Makerspace laboratory

South African school group develops, 3D prints face shields to protect healthcare workers

By: Donna Slater     2nd April 2020 JSE-listed independent education provider Curro Holdings is assisting several healthcare organisations around the country by offering the services of its three-dimensional printers, as well as its staff, to aid in the printing of protective face shields for medical workers currently fighting... 

Altron seeks unbundling, London listing for subsidiary Bytes UK

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd April 2020 JSE-listed Allied Electronics (Altron) is pursuing a potential unbundling and separate listing of its UK subsidiary, Bytes Technology Group. Following a strategic review, Altron is mulling a listing and potential share offering of Bytes UK on the London Stock Exchange, with a secondary listing on... 

Airbus manufactures protective equipment for Spanish healthcare workers

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd April 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus reported on April 1 that most of its facilities in Spain were cooperating in the production of visor frames, for use in personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare personnel fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. The frames are being... 

Business activity in manufacturing picks up slightly in March

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st April 2020 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has welcomed the latest Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) outcome, which reflects an increase in overall business activity in the broader manufacturing sector for March. The composite PMI data for March shows that... 

Business activity in manufacturing picks up slightly in March
Photo by Creamer Media
Seifsa economist Marique Kruger

Self-sanitising coatings may help curb the spread of Covid-19 in hospitals

By: Donna Slater     1st April 2020 An innovative antimicrobial coating innovation developed locally by the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) researcher and inventor Michael Lucas, could provide a supplementary sanitising solution to help control the spread of the novel coronavirus in hospitals and other medical facilities. The... 

Self-sanitising coatings may help curb the spread of Covid-19 in hospitals
Michael Lucas

Clothing, textile industry in project to produce face masks locally 

By: Irma Venter     31st March 2020 A project is underway to produce a homegrown mask for use by all South Africans, close to the standard of the FFP2 and N95 facemasks. FF2 and N95 masks are medical standard masks, often provided to hospital staff working on the frontline of infection control. They offer between 94% and 95%... 

Clothing, textile industry in project to produce face masks locally

Standard Chartered commits $1bn to companies at forefront of fighting Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     31st March 2020 International banking group Standard Chartered will commit $1-billion in financing for companies that provide goods and services to help in the fight against Covid-19, and those planning the switch into making products that are in high demand to fight the worldwide pandemic, the bank announced on... 

Factory of the Year competition postponed

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 The Factory of the Year competition that culminates in an awards ceremony held at the Manufacturing Indaba every year has been postponed. Event organisers nationwide have, for the last month, had to postpone or cancel events to reduce the risk of further Covid-19 infections.  

Factory of the Year competition postponed

Nampak expects Covid-19 to further hinder already burdened economies

By: Simone Liedtke     30th March 2020 As economies shift their focus towards containing the spread of and the eradication of the Covid-19 virus, packaging products manufacturer Nampak on March 30 lamented that the pandemic was expected to further hinder an already burdened economy, and that it would put further pressure on consumers’... 

No impact of Covid-19 on Illovo, other ethanol alcohol producers

By: Donna Slater     30th March 2020 While sugar and related products manufacturer Illovo Sugar South Africa (Illovo SA) reports no impact on production as a result of measures implemented to contain the spread of Covid-19, it also reaffirms its commitment to refocus the business towards meeting the growing demand for alcohol used... 

Department publishes guidelines for Debt Relief Finance Scheme, Business Growth Facility

By: Simone Liedtke     30th March 2020 The Department of Small Business Development has published, on its websites, the Guidelines for Application for the Debt Relief Finance Scheme and Business Growth/Resilience Facility. The online application form will be available from April 2; however, only small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs)... 

Solidarity Fund sets aside R100m to procure protective equipment for frontline health workers 

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2020 The Solidarity Fund announced on March 30 that it would be using a portion of the R500-million raised during its first week of operations to facilitate the emergency procurement of the personal protective equipment – including five-million face masks – that was urgently required by public and... 

Solidarity Fund sets aside R100m to procure protective equipment for frontline health workers

Seifsa encourages re-industrialisation, development of artisans

By: Donna Slater     30th March 2020 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) says that while South Africa remains a dual economy with one of the highest levels of inequality in the world, part of addressing the unemployment challenge can be tackled through re-industrialisation of its economy.... 

Nel Hydrogen’s Wallingford plant resumes operations

By: Simone Liedtke     30th March 2020 Hydrogen company Nel Hydrogen US has been defined as “essential manufacturing business” by the Connecticut state and the plant in Wallingford has, therefore, been allowed to resume operations amid the outbreak of Covid-19. However, revenues and operations will still be negatively impacted by... 

Export competitiveness will boost local component manufacturers

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 Replacing imports with locally manufactured components and materials can sustainably improve local supplier development. This is possible if quality standards remain within global benchmarks and if manufacturers can produce sufficient volumes to ensure their costs are competitive for the... 

Export competitiveness will boost local component manufacturers
ARTHUR MTOMBENI collaboration among stakeholders in the automotive value chains and original equipment manufacturers in countries will allow for the creation of a strategic supply base

Automotive industry transformation focused on future of mobility

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 Automotive industry transformation initiatives, as captured in the Automotive Masterplan 2035, are aimed at radically transforming the industry to meet the future demands of human mobility, in addition to sustaining and growing the industry’s economic outputs and associated socioeconomic... 

Automotive industry transformation focused on future of mobility
MIKE MABASA There is significant scope for cooperation on skills development, value-chain transformation and supplier development to ensure the sustainability of the automotive industry

Tyre manufacturer building retail markets to secure growth

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 With export and original equipment demand in the automotive industry in Africa growing year on year, it is critical for companies to expand their reach into high-growth markets in Africa to secure long-term growth, says Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop) CEO and National Association... 

Tyre manufacturer building retail markets to secure growth
NEW TYRES The performance standards, wear characteristics and manufacturing requirements of tyres used on electric vehicles are different to those used on internal combustion engine vehicles

Distributor’s experience makes for sweeter projects supply

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 With more than 60 years of servicing the sugar industry, power transmission products distributor Bearings International (BI) has gained meaningful expertise, which enables the company to continue being a “dependable supplier” in the industry. 

Distributor’s experience makes for sweeter projects supply
SWEET RIDE Bearings International supplies the complete drive chain – from the feeder tables where the sugar cane arrives from the farm to the pack house where the product gets distributed

Equipment design vital for sugar industry

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 A critical aspect of servicing the sugar industry is equipment design, says integrated engineering technology and project management company Bosch Projects sugar sector director Steve Rosettenstein. 

Equipment design vital for sugar industry
DIVERSE OFFERING For the sugar industry, Bosch Projects provides front-end cane offloading, cane preparation, juice extraction, sugar processing, sugar drying and refining equipment

Components provider extends offering for sugar industry

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 Engineering components provider BMG has extended its range of power transmission components to include its recently upgraded Fenagrid Premium range. 

Components provider extends offering for sugar industry
SOAKING UP BMG’s new Fenagrid Premium taper grid steel flexible couplings absorb considerable torque overloads, achieving smoother running, with consequent reduction of wear and tear on machinery

Mill equipment advances essential for industry

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 With the local sugar industry being more than 150 years old, advances in equipment critical to the milling process add “immense value”, as they improve the operational efficiency potential of the sugar mills, says industrial equipment supplier Verder Pumps MD Darryl Macdougall. 

Mill equipment advances essential for industry
ALLEVIATING THE DEFECTS Sucrose losses can be significantly reduced – if not mitigated altogether – if the correct advanced and integrated pumping solution is used

Company transforming amid difficulties

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 JSE-listed sugar producer Tongaat Hulett is striving to reconstruct its business to be innovative, resilient and cost effective. 

Company transforming  amid difficulties
TRANSFORMATION IN SIGHT The three main shareholders in Uzinzo hold 65%

Exports can support greater local automotive development

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 Local economic headwinds may potentially be offset by increasing exports under the African Continental Free Trade Area, says industry body National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) CEO Mike Mabasa. The South African automotive industry currently exports to 155... 

Exports can support greater local automotive development
Photo by Donna Slater
QUALITY WORK Ensuring that buyers gain sufficient value and quality of components and services from the value chain drive demand and local manufacturing

Policy certainty to support automotive manufacturing growth

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 The broad support for the Automotive Masterplan 2035 by companies across the value chain and the certainty that it creates supports local vehicle-manufacturing growth and, consequently, for the automotive components industry to increase supply, says Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop)... 

Policy certainty to support automotive manufacturing growth
PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY Sumitomo Dunlop has grown its local tyre production and capacity on the certainty created by original equipment manufacturers’ plans

SA automotive manufacturing long-term planning, growth supported by policy

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) has been part of the fabric of the South African automotive manufacturing landscape for over 40 years. In that time the sector has evolved from a highly protected, inward-focused production base that exclusively... 

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