Promoting local manufacturing in South Africa creates opportunities for the local welding industry, says South African science institution Agricultural Research Council and Agricultural Engineering (ARC-AE) renewable energy, agricultural infrastructure and agroprocessing research team manager Petrus Britz.
“With South Africa being in a recession, replacing imports with locally manufactured products will not only stimulate job creation but subsequently also grow the local manufacturing and fabrication industry.”
The welding industry will benefit, as welding is a critical technology for the manufacturing sector, Britz points out.
“Like any other metal manufacturing process, good welding techniques are important for strength and stability.”
Moreover, Britz highlights that, owing to increased agroprocessing in rural areas, the agriculture sector has the biggest potential to help grow the welding industry, as there is a need for the construction of agroprocessing factory structures and the manufacturing of agroprocessing equipment.
“Many engineering items in agriculture and agroprocessing require corrosion resistance and food-grade stainless steel, which is a specialised form of welding.” ARC-AE has skilled artisans to manufacture its prototype designs.
He states that it is essential for everyone in the welding industry to acknowledge and understand the importance of “good, strong welding and the required skills for good weld penetration”.
If good welding standards are not adhered to, failures, “usually caused by ignorance” are inevitable, often with catastrophic results, Britz concludes.