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Manufacturing News

Business confidence bounces back, contractor confidence at 3-yr high

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th March 2012 For the first time in over a year, the majority of respondents of the Rand Merchant Bank/Bureau for Economic Research (RMB/BER) business confidence index (BCI) were found to be “happy” with prevailing conditions in the economy. The BCI, released on Thursday, increased to 52 points – a jump of 14... 

NLC introduces array of laser additive-manufacturing technologies

By: Leandi Kolver     2nd March 2012 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) National Laser Centre (NLC) has introduced several new additive-manufacturing laser technologies including the Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) technology. 

PLC data can help boost industrial productivity

By: Schalk Burger     2nd March 2012 A supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada) system, which aggregates the data received from a factory’s programmable logic controllers (PLCs), can be used to fully trace every change made to the system, whether manual or automatic, says technology distributor Anytech zenon Scada specialist... 

Simulation software eliminates faults at design phase of electrical equipment 

By: Schalk Burger     2nd March 2012 The new high-technology Technology Centre of electrical equipment manufacturer Powertech Transformers hosts transformer engineers responsible for research, development and advanced technical support of its three plants, says Powertech Transformers CEO Leon Viljoen. 

GM settles with SA Apartheid victims 

By: Reuters     1st March 2012 US car giant General Motors (GM) has agreed to pay a symbolic sum of up to $1.5-millio to victims of South Africa's apartheid-era government, who are suing it and another four companies for helping prop up the white-minority state. South Africa's Khulumani Support Group lodged a US class action... 

Afrox financial director resigns

By: Henry Lazenby     29th February 2012 Commercial gas producer African Oxygen (Afrox) on Wednesday said its financial director Frederick Kotzee resigned, with effect from March 31. Kotzee is joining Kumba Iron Ore as CFO on June 1. 

SA’s beneficiation policy dialogue too narrowly framed  

By: Terence Creamer     29th February 2012 South Africa’s beneficiation policy discussions were currently too narrowly framed and should be broadened to recognised the inextricable link between the exploitation of the country’s high-quality mineral resources and the desire to stimulate a reindustrialisaiton of the economy. In fact, the... 

Despite good indicators, Manufacturing Circle still concerned about 2012 prospects 

By: Terence Creamer     29th February 2012 Notwithstanding a solid rise in manufacturing output and sales in the last quarter of 2011, as well as an improvement in business conditions and confidence levels, the Manufacturing Circle remained concerned about prospects for the sector for the balance of 2012. Chairperson Stewart Jennings... 

Afrox to focus on operational prudence, African expansion

By: Henry Lazenby     24th February 2012 LSE- and JSE-listed African Oxygen (Afrox) on Friday said it would place increased emphasis on operational prudence across all levels of the business and ‘laser focus’ on people, plants, customers and safety to achieve its turnaround strategy during the 2012 financial year. Presenting the... 

Afrox earnings up 65%, misses 2011 sales objectives

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd February 2012 Despite a difficult financial year, which saw significant plant impairments and a strategy gear-shift, JSE-listed gas supplier African Oxygen (Afrox) on Thursday said earnings a share for the full-year ended December 31, were up 65%, to 91.6c. However, South Africa’s slower-than-expected... 

German firm offers R278m for O-Line

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd February 2012 AltX-listed O-Line Holdings has received a R278-million offer from German firm OBO Bettermann, the company announced on Thursday. The offer translated to a consideration of R1.30 a share. The proposed transaction was being made at a 45.9% premium to the 30-day average price of O-Line shares, as... 

Mondi invests in energy projects as it targets 97.5% self-sufficiency  

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd February 2012 Pulp and paper group Mondi on Thursday confirmed it had put aside €170-million in capital expenditure for energy and debottlenecking projects, with the aim of achieving 97.5% energy self-sufficiency across its operations. “These are all low-risk, high-value-generating projects, with expected... 

Packaging manufacturer Transpaco delivers strong performance

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd February 2012 JSE-listed packaging company Transpaco on Wednesday said it had increased its profit from continuing operations by 10% to R45.3-million during the six months to December 31, despite a reduction of about R3.6-million in profit after tax, owing to unexpected industry-wide industrial action. The... 

Mpact earnings to increase significantly

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd February 2012 JSE-listed packaging firm Mpact on Wednesday said it expected its headline earnings for the financial year ended December 31, to increase to between 52c and 56c a share, compared with 2010 earnings of 23.1c a share. Mpact listed as a public company on the main board of the JSE on July 11,... 

Hulamin headline earnings up 7%, sales volumes rise

By: Henry Lazenby     20th February 2012 JSE-listed aluminium products producer Hulamin on Monday reported a 7% increase in headline earnings to R80-million, while its turnover for the 2011 financial year, ended December 31, was up by 20%, at R6.96-billion. Operating profit, before the metal price lag effect, increased by 19% to... 

SA company exports to China

By: Natalie Greve     17th February 2012 South African electric heating element manufacturer Hi-Tech Elements has, in a reversal of normal trade, been awarded its largest-ever contract to export 30 electric column paste heaters to a smelter group in Golmud, in the central Chinese province of Qinghai. 

Lining specialist expands African footprint

By: Nomvelo Buthelezi     17th February 2012 Pump and rubber lining specialist Weir Minerals Africa is expanding its footprint across Africa and into new industries, such as the piping industry, which has grown significantly over the past few years.  

Engineering group invests R380m in ring production line as it rebrands

By: Schalk Burger     17th February 2012 The rebranding and restructuring of heavy engineering company DCD, previously DCD-Dorbyl, is aimed at improving its international competitiveness while manufacturing products and components for the international and local markets, says DCD MD Rob King. 

Denel’s aerostructures business is regrouping under one roof 

By: Keith Campbell     15th February 2012 South African State-owned aerostructures company Denel Saab Aerostructures (DSA) announced on Wednesday that it is consolidating all its operations into a single building. This move, to be completed by the end of this year, will save the company R20-million a year and this will pay for the costs... 

Posco teams up with IFC to pursue African investments

By: Henry Lazenby     15th February 2012 The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and South Korea's Posco, the world's No 3 steelmaker, on Wednesday announced a yearlong memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate on business development in sub-Saharan Africa. Under the accord, the two organisations will pursue investment... 

Mondi expects headline earnings to soar

By: Henry Lazenby     14th February 2012 LSE- and JSE-listed Mondi on Tuesday said it expected its headline earnings for the 2011 financial year to be considerably higher that that of 2010. Headline earnings a share were expected to be between €0.67 and €0.72 for the period ended on December 31, which is an increase of between 40% and... 

SA-Swiss venture to build R1.6bn pharmaceuticals plant 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     10th February 2012 South Africa will set up a R1.6-billion plant to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) in a joint venture with Swiss group Lonza, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor announced on Friday. The project, dubbed Ketlaphela, would be jointly... 

Name change for DCD-Dorbyl group

By: Henry Lazenby     10th February 2012 Sixty-five-year-old component manufacturer DCD-Dorbyl on Friday said it had “condensed” its name to DCD. “The name change marks a complete group restructure aimed at expanding current supply to emerging markets and niche offerings in developed economies, including the US and China,” the company... 

Fine tolerance 3D plastics printer for rapid prototyping 

By: Schalk Burger     10th February 2012 A three-dimensional (3D), multimaterial plastics and rubber printer, made by 3D printing equipment company Objet, prints hard and soft materials in 0.6 micron layers and can be used to produce a functional prototype of a product, for example a pharmaceuticals dispensing bottle, an electronic... 

Manufacturers looking to control supply chain to curtail price rises

By: Schalk Burger     10th February 2012 Concrete-products equipment company PMSA is building a factory for steel component manufacturer TWR Steel Services, who will give preferential supply to PMSA’s equipment manufacturing division, in an effort to control its supply of critical parts, says PMSA sales and marketing manager Quintin... 

Dulux prioritises African expansion, reports East African progress

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th February 2012 International paint and associated products manufacturer Dulux South Africa reports that it is making significant inroads to Africa, particularly in growing its business in the eastern part of the continent.  

Technology breakthrough puts SA in lead in commercial laser-based additive manufacturing

By: Keith Campbell     10th February 2012 A breakthrough by researchers at the National Laser Centre (NLC) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and technologists at the Aerosud Innovation and Training Centre (ITC) promises to make local aeronautics company Aerosud a world leader in niche aerostructural components... 

Transnet unit raises price, supply concerns at Actom-Savcio hearings

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th February 2012 The Competition Commission told a Competition Tribunal hearing on Tuesday that it stood by its initial conditions on the proposed merger of electrical equipment manufacturer Actom and electrical service, repair and import company Savcio. The hearings were postponed last month to allow Transnet... 

Eskom set to roll out power buy-back pilot this month 

By: Terence Creamer     6th February 2012 South African power utility Eskom will start implementing an innovative demand response aggregation pilot programme (DRAPP) this month with the intention of securing 500 MW of buy-back contracts from as many as 1 000 industrial and commercial customers by the start of winter 2012. The initiative... 

SA pins reindustrialisation hopes on new procurement rules, but constraints persist 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     3rd February 2012 The South African Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act is a step in the right direction; however, it will need to be tied to a number of other strategies, as it will not work on its own, says Manufacturing Circle of South Africa chairperson Stewart Jennings.  

Nestlé opens Potchefstroom coffee creamer factory 

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd February 2012 A ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday morning proclaimed the opening of food manufacturer Nestlé South Africa’s new coffee creamer factory in Potchefstroom, in the North West province. The launch follows Nestlé’s recent R106-million acquisition of Potchefstroom based Specialised Protein... 

Laser centre breakthrough may give SA aerostructural firm a global edge

By: Keith Campbell     27th January 2012 A breakthrough by researchers at the National Laser Centre (NLC) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) promises to make local aeronautics company Aerosud a world leader in niche aerostructural components manufacture within the next three years. The CSIR and Aerosud are... 

Real-time monitoring software can save costs, boost efficiencies

By: Schalk Burger     27th January 2012 Real-time production and power monitoring software linked new or old equipment using direct protocol interrogation, or programable logic controllers and sensors, improves the efficient use of available time of equipment and ensures that work is performed at the expected or costing rate, says... 

TIA bioresearch facility up for lease

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th January 2012 The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, has put up its rapid diagnostics manufacturing facility, in Umbogintwini, KwaZulu-Natal, for lease. The facility housed the East Coast Rapid Diagnostics project, which manufactured and distributed... 

Proudly South African – Buy Local, Create Jobs  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th January 2012 Proudly South African is the “buy local” campaign launched in 2001 by government, organised business, organised labour and community organisations (the constituencies represented in the National Economic Development and Labour Council – Nedlac) to boost job creation and pride in “local” by... 

SA steel production falls 12.7%, world output up 6.8%

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd January 2012 South Africa’s steel output fell by 12.7% year-on-year to 6.7-million tons last year, while global production surged 6.8% to 1.53-billion tons, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) reported on Monday. South African Iron and Steel Institute (Saisi) information specialist Abrie Audie noted... 

Heavyweight industry group issues carbon tax warning 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd January 2012 An industry lobby group comprising large mining groups and mineral processing companies is cautioning against the proposed introduction of a carbon tax in South Africa until South Africa has fully charted its abatement potential and the costs implications of implementing its renewable-energy... 

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