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Manufacturing News

Local PMI picks up, bucks global trend

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2011 South Africa’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) picked up some momentum in November, rising by 1.1 index points to 51.6, Kagiso Asset Management said on Thursday. “November was the fourth consecutive month of gains for the PMI, but the index remains below the level of 54.2, reached before the... 

Packaging firm Mpact ‘well positioned’ for growth

By: Henry Lazenby     24th November 2011 JSE-listed packaging manufacturer Mpact, which was spun off from Mondi in July, said it was “well positioned” for growth and that it was bullish on the outlook for the remaining months of the year. CEO Bruce Strong said during a site visit to the company’s paper, corrugated and plastics... 

Nampak agrees R1bn loan to fund expansion

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd November 2011 JSE-listed Nampak has secured a R1-billion, five-year revolving credit facility, which it would use fund capital expenditure for its growth plans, group manager for corporate finance and treasury Jacques Mol said on Wednesday. The funding agreement with Nedbank Corporate Banking provides Nampak... 

Productivity ethos needs to be woven in SA’s daily fabric

By: Dimakatso Motau     18th November 2011 Productivity is an enabling tool for transforming economic growth and creation of jobs, said Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant at the National Productivity Awards ceremony, held at the Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, Gauteng in October. 

Consol boosts output with new R1.9bn Nigel glass plant 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     17th November 2011 Glass packaging manufacturer Consol has increased its total manufacturing capacity by 12% across its five facilities in South Africa.  

Wine tank manufacturer reports healthy order book

By: Sinette Goosen     11th November 2011 Local wine tank manufacturer Velo South Africa reports that the number of orders for stainless steel tanks increased during the past financial year. 

Operational variance management can improve plant efficiency

By: Schalk Burger     11th November 2011 Managing the variability of process parameters in subsystems using real-time measurements will yield a higher chance of ideal running conditions and will improve plant efficiency and energy efficiency, said process control instrumentation and electrical equipment company Industrial Management... 

Air bubble lubrication for sea carrier hulls reduces emissions

11th November 2011 A new bulk cargo carrier ship, designed by Japan-based industrial machinery manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), uses the company’s Mitsubishi air lubrication system (MALS), and an efficient hull form and enhanced propulsion system, to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 25%. 

Sappi eyes bigger slice of chemical cellulose market

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     10th November 2011 Paper and packaging group Sappi said it would be looking to explore opportunities to expand its chemical cellulose business and grow its current market share of about 15%, CEO Ralph Boëttger said on Thursday. His comments come as Sappi announced a $170-million investment to convert the kraft... 

Mittal outlines November price increases 

By: Terence Creamer     7th November 2011 South African steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa confirmed on Monday that it had instituted increases to flat- and long-steel prices as from November 1, 2011. CEO Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita announced the increases during the group’s recent third-quarter results presentation and indicated... 

International JV serves as departure point for future partnerships

By: Natalie Greve     4th November 2011 South African bearings distributor Reelin Bearings believes that a successful joint venture (JV) between itself and US-based railroad solutions provider Amsted Rail will serve as a departure point for future international JVs. 

Distributor warns of bearings shortage, surge in counterfeit products

By: Natalie Greve     4th November 2011 The manufacturing, mining and automotive industries should prepare for a potentially significant shortage of bearings in the coming year, and also exercise caution when buying products amid a global influx of counterfeit products, says bearing and power transmission distributor Bearings 2000 MD... 

Bearings distributor adds housed units to product range

4th November 2011 South African bearing and coupler distributor Bearing Man Group (BMG) will add housed bearing units to its product offering, following the acquisition of bearing solutions company QM Bearings by industrial movement technology manufacturer Timken Company. 

Manufacturer wins recycling award

By: Joanne Taylor     28th October 2011 Manufacturer of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers Polypet has received the Packaging Council of South Africa award for Best Recycled Product of the Year in the Best Recycled Product competition hosted by the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) and Plastics SA. 

Nzimande sees collaborative research key to shift to knowledge-based economy

By: Schalk Burger     28th October 2011 Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande says funding for collaborative research and development programmes will take precedence over single-body project funding because universities and research bodies must help to broaden and develop the skills of students and people in other... 

Bearing supplier showcases products and services

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th October 2011 Engineering components manufacturer and distributor the Bearing Man Group (BMG) has hosted a two-day event for customers to showcase the company’s extensive product range, which is supported by solutions-based technical services throughout Southern Africa. 

Luminaire manufacturer introduces new LED streetlight  

By: Sinette Goosen     28th October 2011 Manufacturer and distributor of technical lighting products Beka has introduced a new energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) streetlight, which is specifically designed for use on South African roads. 

SA may designate Saldanha IDZ by September 2012

By: Terence Creamer     24th October 2011 A feasibility study into the creation of South Africa’s fifth industrial development zone (IDZ), at Saldanha Bay, in the Western Cape, estimates that the development could yield between 4 240 and 8 930 direct jobs over a 25-year period and add between R11.2-billion and R31.6-billion in yearly... 

Supplier offers alternative to traditional roll-up doors

21st October 2011 Industrial curtain and door manufacturer and supplier Apex Strip Curtains & Doors has designed a smart reset door, which it says is in huge and growing demand in the industry, owing to features that streamline operations and boost safety. 

Recession lessons have created lean global manufacturers

21st October 2011 The lessons learned from the economic uncertainty, political instability and historic natural disasters of the past few years have taught companies they can survive these challenges with lean, agile operating structures, enhanced risk management practices and a focus on innovation, says advisory... 

Seifsa expects fresh support for manufacturers in Gordhan’s mini-Buget

By: Terence Creamer     14th October 2011 South Africa’s metals and engineering sectors signalled on Friday that they anticipated that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan would unveil an “enhanced support package for the manufacturing sector” in his Medium-Term Budget Policy Framework, to be released on October 25. In an address to members... 

Local support can assist in countering imports

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     14th October 2011 A decline in local work apparel manufacturing owing to a rise in labour costs in recent years, has led to an influx of imports from the East, says uniform solutions and management specialist Kit Group CEO Joe Pereira. 

Trade fair stimulates new business in international industry

14th October 2011 An order volume of at least €4.5-billion was reached during the Exposition Mondiale de la Machine Outil (EMO) Hannover international trade fair, held in September, says German Machine Tool Builder’s Association (VDW) executive director Dr Wilfried Schäfer. 

Trade fair boost for tooling industry

14th October 2011 The trade fair for mouldmaking, tooling, design and application development AfriMold boosted the South African tooling industry and highlighted the significant growth potential for local companies. The exhibition was held in Johannesburg at the end of September. 

New range of CNC lathes introduced to local market

By: Joanne Taylor     14th October 2011 A new range of computer numerically controlled (CNC) lathes is available on the market and is three times quicker than conventional CNC lathes, according to lathe manufacturer FAS Machine Tools. 

Eskom seeks transition from rebates to contracts to bolster solar-geyser roll-out  

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2011 State-owned power utility Eskom has indicated that it favours a transition to a competitive bidding, or contractual, model for the large-scale procurement of low-pressure solar water heaters (SWH) ahead of a continuation of the current rebate scheme, or the deployment of a so-called ‘standard... 

Altron eyes top-line growth despite economic turbulence 

By: Terence Creamer     4th October 2011 Despite the prevailing economic uncertainties, electrical, electronics and information technology group Altron says it plans to shift its focus from efficiency improvements and cost control to restoring top-line growth, which it aims to achieve through the acquisition of new customers and... 

Africa should target Asian-type intraregional trade levels – Gigaba

By: Terence Creamer     3rd October 2011 Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has called for a new “ethic of international collaboration” to tackle Africa’s material infrastructure backlogs, which remain an impediment to intra-African trade and investment. Addressing the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Mazimbu, Tanzania, on... 

Benchmarking study highlights the competitiveness of SA PET facility

By: Schalk Burger     30th September 2011 South African manufacturers can be globally competitive, the CEO of diversified industrial company KAP International, Paul Schouten, has argued, highlighting results from a recent polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production benchmarking exercise, which compared the performacne of its facility... 

Noshcon celebrates 50 years

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th September 2011 NOSA's fiftieth international occupational safety, health and environmental risk management conference and exhibition (Noshcon) attracted close to 700 visiting delegates. 

Bank cuts SA growth outlook, says stimulus may be needed to preserve growth

By: Terence Creamer     29th September 2011 Banking group Absa Capital, which has typically maintained a more optimistic view of South Africa's growth prospects than many other commentators, has not only lowered it growth forecast for 2011 and 2012, but is also now cautioning that the downside risks to it's current 'baseline' have... 

GE committed to job creation in sub-Saharan Africa 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     28th September 2011 US industrial group General Electric (GE) chairperson John Krenicki, also president and CEO of GE Energy, said on Wednesday the company remained committed to job creation in sub-Saharan Africa. Speaking at the launch of its expanded manufacturing facility in Midrand, he said the energy division... 

GE says further expansions on the cards as it opens switchgear plant 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     28th September 2011 The energy division of US industrial group General Electric (GE) has invested some R10-million into expanding its technology manufacturing center in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, and future expansions were in the pipeline, GM for its Industrial Solutions business in sub-Saharan Africa Ross Boyd... 

Manufacturing jobs vulnerable to yet more power price increases 

By: Terence Creamer     27th September 2011 South Africa’s increasingly influential Manufacturing Circle, which has increased its membership to over 50 firms, plans to make representations to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to urge it to prevent Eskom from receiving yet more double-digit tariff increases beyond the... 

Bank ‘missed opportunity’ to consolidate rand competitiveness 

By: Terence Creamer     27th September 2011 The recent weakening of the South African rand would offer some short-term relief to embattled manufacturers and exporters. But the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) “squandered” an opportunity last week to consolidate currency competitiveness by holding interest rates unchanged, the economist... 

Local innovation key to international competence

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     16th September 2011 To retain their relevancy as international manufacturers and service providers, South African aerospace companies must continuously invest in innovation and explore new product spheres, says privately owned aerospace company Aerosud programme director Rob Jonkers. 

Manufacturing confidence falls, employment under pressure

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th September 2011 Manufacturing business confidence fell sharply from 51 to 36 index points in the third quarter of 2011, with employment in the sector under significant pressure, the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) said in its latest manufacturing survey, released on Monday. The deteriorating confidence... 

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