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Science Engineering Technology

Small turbines a worldwide energy source

By: System Author     26th March 1999 Worldwide micro-hydro turbine technology is winning popularity as a flexible medium-sized rural power source. Having progressed from research and development to commercialisation in just four years, former World Electricity Council chairperson John Baker pointed out at last year’s congress... 

SA can now drink its fog

By: System Author     26th March 1999 A project to build a fog-collecting system which provides drinkable water to Tshanowa Junior Primary, located in the Soutpansberg mountains in the Northern Province, was completed this month. Funded by the Water Research Commission (WRC), this project served as a pilot project aimed at assessing... 

Ensuring quality a gas for synfuel maker

By: System Author     26th March 1999 Assistance on statu- tory inspections at synthetic-fuel (synfuel) producer Mossgas has been contracted to Centurion-based government inspection authority, Innovative Inspection Services (IIS), since April 1996, when it carried out inspections on one of the company’s Synthol units.... 

Forest-worker safety sharpened

By: System Author     19th March 1999 The general conditions under which forest workers operate are receiving attention from industry-funded research and development organisation Forest Engineering South Africa (Fesa) in order to optimise productivity and reduce costs. Fesa chairperson Migal Brink defines forest engineering as... 

Steel recovery not a given

By: System Author     19th March 1999 While July this year should see the start of a recovery in global sheet steel prices, it should not be taken for granted. Commodities Research Unit of London steel expert John Johnson warns that China and Japan will have negative growth this year and fairly stagnant economies in 2000 as well,... 

Affordable security for farmers

By: System Author     19th March 1999 Violent crime against farmers has reached epidemic proportions, and numerous South African companies have risen to the challenge of developing systems that will bring an end to this worrying trend. One of the technological solutions is now available from electronics developer Analysis, Management... 

New range of robots has 20% fewer parts

By: System Author     19th March 1999 A new range of Motoman robots offering increased handling capabilities above that of its predecessors, and with 20% fewer parts, is being launched at Hanover Fair, Germany, by Motoman Robotec this month, reveals Robotic Systems SA MD Terry Rosenberg. The mechanically-simplified machine is... 

R110m for research, student bursaries

By: System Author     12th March 1999 MORE than R110-million will be allocated by the Foundation for Research Development (FRD) for research grants and student bursaries during 1999. At present more than 1 200 grant holders and a large number of team members undertaking research will benefit from these grants to be awarded by the... 

SA sink-maker in UK

By: System Author     12th March 1999 MOBENI-based sink and specialist stainless-steel sanitaryware manufacturer, City Metal Products (CMP), has embarked on a export drive to the UK following the appointment of a distributor in that country. CMP has reached an agreement with Sissons, Europe’s leading fabricator and supplier of... 

Ice-cream maker opts for new solution

By: System Author     12th March 1999 Ice-cream manufacturer Ola, part of Unilever South Africa, was the first South African organisation to implement SAP’s solution for the consumer-products industry using the AcceleratedSAP (ASAP) fast-track methodology. The company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of ice-cream in South... 

South African bread industry on the rise

By: System Author     12th March 1999 Since the deregulation of the baking industry eight years ago, there has been a considerable rise in the number of over-the-counter (OTC) and retail bakeries in South Africa. “Until 1991, the industry was highly regulated due to a bread subsidy granted by the government. “Thus it was... 

Local firm sets sights on global laser industry

By: System Author     12th March 1999 South African laser and electro-optic systems company Scientific Development & Integration (SDI), of Pretoria, is set to become an international participant in the laser industry with the announcement of a strategic alliance with global laser company Edinburgh Instruments, of Scotland. “SDI... 

Laser rangefinder is an eyeful in Europe

By: System Author     12th March 1999 Electro-optical company Eloptro, of Kempton Park, Gauteng – a division of Denel – has introduced an eye-safe handheld laser rangefinder (LRF) known as the LH-40, which will be aimed mainly at the advanced European military market, regional marketing manager Roberto Bruzzaniti tells... 

Funding a dying light

By: System Author     12th March 1999 The level of funding for laser research at South African universities is now at a crisis point, reports University of Natal Department of Physics Professor Max Michaelis. “We can only just afford to keep our laboratories running, and there is no opportunity of doing anything... 

National facility to focus SA laser sector

By: System Author     12th March 1999 The proposed national laser facility being considered by the government at present will be able to combine the laser forces of South Africa, Optical Energy Systems (OES) business unit manager Bultie Nel tells Engineering News. “Such a laser centre will support industry and promote the... 

Sorghum-quality project

By: System Author     12th March 1999 SORGHUM is a critically-important food crop in Sub-Saharan Africa due to its drought tolerance. However, a problem with sorghum is that the quality of its protein in terms of digestibility is inferior to that of other cereal foods, especially when sorghum foods are cooked. In 1996, CSIR Foodtek,... 

Flexible belt range

By: System Author     12th March 1999 A RANGE of Uni-Chain flexible modular plastic belts and accessories that meet stringent international specifications required by the food and beverage industry is distributed by Bearing Man’s belting division. The belting has approval from the US Food and Drug Administration and from the US... 

Armaments face-lift

By: System Author     5th March 1999 With even the Minister of Defence, Joe Modise, not always having been an over-enthusiastic supporter of Armscor, the organisation has the unenviable task of changing its 50-year old face into, not quite a Mona Lisa, but less reminiscent of the previous situation. Armscor is the official armaments... 

Defence firm reacts to Asian onslaught

By: System Author     5th March 1999 Although powerful enough to stop an army in its tracks, the armour and artillery systems manufactured by LIW – best known for the G5, G6 and Rooikat – could not protect the company against the effects of the ‘Asian flu’. The Far East and Middle East represented LIW’s... 

R94-million roll-out for innovation drive

By: System Author     26th February 1999 Funding to the value of R93,6-million will be provided by the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (Dacst) to local innovators over the next three years. Dacst chief economist Johan Neethling tells Engineering News that the 19 projects funded by the department at present are mostly... 

Local government the key to development

By: System Author     26th February 1999 Local governments hold the key to development in South Africa, Provincial Affairs and Constitutional Development Minister Mohammed Valli Moosa said at a conference that included industry specialists from around the world, and local representatives from local and municipal government. Moosa was... 

Dolphin Coast takes lead in private water

By: System Author     26th February 1999 French water, sanitation and electricity services company Saur is on schedule with its R1-billion 30-year contract to supply water and sanitation services to the borough of the Dolphin Coast, the greater Ballito Bay area, in Kwazulu-Natal. Dolphin Coast is the first of two pilot projects –... 

Modderfontein complex faces renaissance

By: System Author     26th February 1999 A PRIME slice of real estate in the heart of Gauteng, development in Modderfontein – an explosives and chemical manufacturing complex – has resulted in development taking place around it rather than absorbing the area into the urban fabric. This is no longer the case, since more land... 

Big leisure complex plan for west coast

By: System Author     26th February 1999 Proposals are being invited for a public–private partnership to develop an estimated R50-million to R90-million hotel and resort-type complex in Langebaan on the West Coast. The 3 ha site fronting the Langebaan lagoon comprises the grounds of the demolished Langebaan Lodge, belonging to the... 

Fuel cell as big as Model T

By: System Author     26th February 1999 The fuel-cell electric vehicle, due to be produced in 2004, has the potential to make as big an impact on the twenty-first century as the Model T did in the twentieth century Ford Environmental & Safety public affairs assistant manager Sara Tatchio tells Engineering News. Motor manufacturers Ford... 

Pigment-free paint

By: System Author     19th February 1999 THE phenomenon that makes butterflies beautiful may soon be exploited to make pigment-free paints and high-visibility displays. For years, scientists have known that the colourful patterns on butterflies’ wings are created by a combination of multilayer interference, light scattering and... 

Lubricant firm will release R&D results

By: System Author     19th February 1999 Pretoria company Lubrioil is going public with the results of nine years of research and development. The company develops problem-solving products in lubrication, chemicals and coatings for specific applications in light and heavy industries. It is in the process of launching a high-profile... 

Draglines use new open gear lubrication

By: System Author     19th February 1999 A new product from Johannesburg company Lubritene has proved so successful that the main lubrication systems on 12 of the 33 draglines in South Africa have already been converted to using the Lubrene Multi Serv open gear lubrication (OGL) system. The company provides the full scope of lubricant... 

Local manufacture of belt-bends soon

By: System Author     12th February 1999 Following an agreement between JCT Conveyor Systems and UK firm Gramac, the South African company will become the first to manufacture belt-bends locally. Until now belt-bends have had to be imported, which resulted in high prices due to the exchange rate. “However, we have now been granted... 

Science festival launched

By: System Author     12th February 1999 The third National Festival of Science, Engineering and Technology, Sasol SciFest ’99, is expected to pull large crowds into Grahamstown in the eastern Cape from all over Southern Africa next month. Organisers say visitor numbers doubled from 15 000 in the first year to 28 000 in the... 

Automated goods flow

By: System Author     12th February 1999 A highly-automated flow of goods, cash and information through the entire supply chain is a prerequisite for success in today’s business environment, reports SAP Southern African logistics product manager Simon Carpenter. Studies by the Gartner Group in June 1997 show organisations spend up... 

Smooth transmission from innovator

By: System Author     12th February 1999 An infinitely-variable drive stepless transmission has been developed in South Africa which significantly reduces power consumption and smoothes gear changes. Inventor Paget Bellin says the infinitely-variable drive is a wholly-new approach to power transmission. “The mechanism of power... 

R75-million on offer for innovation drive

By: System Author     12th February 1999 The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology’s (Dacst’s) innovation fund is entering its third year of existence with a total of R75-million available for the 1999–2000 financial year to attract large innovative multidisciplinary projects. Dacst deputy... 

LPG meter purchased

By: System Author     12th February 1999 A liquid controls liquid petroleum gas (LPG) meter fitted with the Lectro count electronic register with electronic temperature has been purchased by Gasfreight from Liquid Automation Systems. Since the unit is specifically designed for the metering of LPG it provides the user with complete... 

R108m toll-road contract a ‘driveaway’ success

By: System Author     12th February 1999 The last section of the lower Kwazulu-Natal south coast’s toll-road system from Hibberdene to the existing toll-road at Umtentweni opened as expected on December 6 last year, just in time for the heavy holiday traffic. This R108-million third and final contract in an overall R231-million... 

R3m oxygen plant fuels drive into Africa

By: System Author     12th February 1999 Achieving success with the establish- ment of an on-site oxygen-manufacturing plant at the Blanket gold-mine, owned by Kinross of Canada, near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, only seven months after its establishment, Messer Fedgas sister company Messer Zimbabwe is creating a springboard for the company to... 

Master’s degree programme through Internet

By: System Author     5th February 1999 THE Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch is offering Master’s degree programmes as well as individual postgraduate modules through the Internet and interactive television on a distance-education basis. This will be the first time that Master’s degree... 

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