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Metals & Engineering News

Citing data scandal, local govt delays Kobe Steel coal plant assessment

By: Reuters     17th October 2017 Japan's Kobe Steel, embroiled in a data falsification scandal in its metals business, was dealt a fresh blow as a local government suspended an environmental assessment of its plans to build a large coal-fired plant on the site of an old steelworks. The government of Hyogo in western Japan, where... 

China factories grapple with soaring prices as pollution crackdown bites

By: Reuters     17th October 2017 Chinese exporters at the country's biggest trade fair are more optimistic about global demand now than six months ago but Beijing's crackdown on pollution is ramping up costs and product prices, hurting smaller factories and foreign buyers. At the Canton Fair where some 25 000 manufacturers are... 

Global steel demand growth to slow in 2018 after strong 2017 – worldsteel

By: Reuters     16th October 2017 Global steel demand growth is expected to slow to 1.6% next year following strong growth in 2017 that was driven by top consumer China, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) said on Monday. "The risks to the global economy ... have to some extent abated. We see the best balance of risks since... 

US demands regional steel, aluminum in Nafta auto rules

By: Reuters     16th October 2017 The Trump administration is demanding the use of North American-made steel, aluminum, copper and plastic resins in cars and trucks sold under North American Free Trade Agreement rules, as it seeks to give US industry a boost. People briefed on the matter said US negotiators issued the proposal,... 

Seifsa president laments slow pace of metals sector transformation

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2017 The slow pace of transformation in the metals and engineering sector continues to be of concern, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) president Michael Pimstein said during his presidential address in Johannesburg on Friday. He urged the sector, which represents... 

Seifsa president laments slow pace of metals sector transformation

Airbus says has not found any suppliers affected by Kobe scandal

By: Reuters     13th October 2017 Airbus does not buy products directly from Japan's Kobe Steel but is investigating whether any of its suppliers are affected by a cheating scandal, an Airbus spokesman said. "So far we have not identified any suppliers that procure materials from Kobe Steel for parts fitted on our aircraft," he... 

Boeing passenger jets have falsely-certified Kobe Steel products-source

By: Reuters     13th October 2017 Boeing Co, the world's biggest maker of passenger jets, has used Kobe Steel products that include those falsely certified by the Japanese company, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Boeing does not as yet consider the issue a safety problem, the source stressed, but the... 

Western Cape municipality begins master plan to combat water loss

     13th October 2017 The Drakenstein local municipality in Paarl, Western Cape, has begun a 20-year master plan to replace old or ageing asbestos pipes in the region with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes, which will achieve significant success in reducing water loss throughout the municipal area. Water leakage... 

Western Cape municipality begins master plan to  combat water loss
MASTER PLANNERS Willem Liebenberg and André Kowalewski (right) of the Drakenstein municipality are at the forefront of the master plan

Drainage system helps manufacturer achieve international standards

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 Drainage technology provider ACO Systems South Africa has completed the first phase of the installation of its flagship hygienic solution at food manufacturer Simba Pepsico’s production plant, in Johannesburg. 

Drainage system helps manufacturer achieve international standards
MARCO CASSOL Effective drainage systems are important for protecting building infrastructure and production plants from the destructive effects of water damage

Insurance plays vital role in construction project success

By: Simone Liedtke     13th October 2017 Owing to insurance playing a vital role in the ultimate success of a construction project, insurance provider Risk Benefit Solutions (RBS) says contractors and engineers need to ensure that a contract includes the contractor all risk policy, which includes cover against damage and any liabilities... 

Insurance plays vital role in construction project success
GEORGE DAVIS Every construction project is unique and has its own set of risks

China says EU, US trade moves lack awareness of WTO rules

By: Reuters     12th October 2017 China's commerce ministry said on Thursday that the European Union's new trade rules against Chinese imports lacked awareness of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, urging the EU to abide by those requirements. Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng made the remarks at a regular briefing in... 

Kobe Steel shares plunge as data fabrication concerns deepen

By: Reuters     11th October 2017 Kobe Steel shares tumbled a further 16% on Wednesday after it admitted it may have fabricated data on iron powder products and media reported the possible sale of its real estate business. The latest disclosure comes after Japan’s No.3 steelmaker said on the weekend it had falsified data to show... 

Global steel recovery at risk from capacity ramp-ups outside China

By: Reuters     10th October 2017 The global steel sector's recovery from a glut-fuelled slump, driven by Chinese capacity cuts, is being put at risk by surplus capacity being built in the Middle East and Asia, sources and experts say. Figures from China show it has cut nearly 100-million tonnes of legal steel capacity and... 

August manufacturing output up 1.5% y/y

By: Reuters     10th October 2017 South Africa's manufacturing output rose by a surprise 1.5% year-on-year in August after contracting by 1.1% in July, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing volumes would contract by 0.05% year-on-year in August. 

August manufacturing output up 1.5% y/y

Transnet locomotive corruption probe extended as Parliament gears up for inquiry

By: Terence Creamer     9th October 2017 Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry Dean Macpherson is preparing a list of witnesses to appear before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Trade and Industry inquiry into the failure of China South Rail (CSR) to meet local-content obligations as part of its supply of... 

Transnet locomotive corruption probe extended as Parliament gears up for inquiry

China steel rises as market eyes winter cuts; iron-ore, coal slide

By: Reuters     9th October 2017 Shanghai steel rebar futures jumped nearly 3% on Monday as Chinese markets reopened after a week-long holiday, with investors anticipating production cuts in the world’s top steel producer as the country fights smog. Prices of steelmaking raw materials iron-ore and coking coal fell, reflecting... 

Numsa ends strike at South32 aluminum smelter

By: Reuters     6th October 2017 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said on Friday its members were ending a strike at mining and metals group South32's aluminium smelter in KwaZulu-Natal province after they accepted its latest wage offer. Numsa said in a statement that its more than 600 members who had... 

Steel producing nations to discuss overcapacity in Berlin in Nov

By: Reuters     6th October 2017 Germany is inviting ministers and senior officials from leading steel producing countries to a meeting in Berlin in late November to discuss overcapacity in the sector, the economy ministry said on Friday. "We want to discuss together how we can prevent overcapacity on the global market and... 

EU sets dumping duties on steel from four countries

By: Reuters     6th October 2017 The European Union (EU) has decided to set duties on hot-rolled steel from Brazil, Iran, Russia and Ukraine after a complaint by EU manufacturers that the product used for construction and machinery was being sold at excessively low prices. The EU will levy antidumping tariffs of between €17.60/t... 

Routine mechanical maintenance emphasised as preventive measure

     6th October 2017 UK-based pump supplier SPP Pumps has emphasised the importance of routine mechanical maintenance, among other preventive measures, to improve pump reliability. SPP Pumps’ products comply with mandatory UK and European regulations and approvals, which guarantee extensive testing of all pumps. 

Routine mechanical  maintenance emphasised  as preventive measure
QUALITY IN CONFORMING SPP Pumps conforms to various UK and European standards to ensure quality and longevity in their pumps products

Companies to benefit from work apparel innovation

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2017 Ongoing innovation in fabric manufacturing has led to greater durability and flexibility in the material used for work apparel, and companies need to ensure that workers wear such apparel consistently and correctly to benefit from these innovations, says personal protective equipment (PPE)... 

Companies to benefit from work apparel innovation
CLEAR UNDERSTANDING A clear understanding of health, safety and environmental (HSE) challenges is essential for proper HSE management and procedures

Work apparel company sees further growth in sales

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2017 Since the beginning of the year, industrial supplier and solutions provider Total Blasting – a subsidiary of Total Product Solutions Group – has sold more than 50 sets of water blast and water jet personal protective equipment (PPE) and the company foresees this number steadily growing at a... 

Work apparel company sees further growth in sales
SPECIAL DESIGN The personal protective equipment was designed to not restrict operator movement and flexibility

Geospatial products distributor launches world’s smallest image laser scanner locally

By: Mia Breytenbach     6th October 2017 Geospatial products distributor Aciel Geomatics has officially locally launched the Leica BLK360 imaging laser scanner – the world’s smallest and lightest image laser scanner. Aciel Geomatics, the appointed distributor for Switzerland-based Leica Geosystems AG, launched the scanner at the... 

Geospatial products distributor launches  world’s smallest image laser scanner locally
EASE OF USE The integration of the Leica BLK360 laser image scanner and Autodesk software streamlines the reality capture process

Closed steel mill discovering new life as an industrial park

By: Mia Breytenbach     6th October 2017 Following the implementation of the business strategy to convert Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium complex, in Mpumalanga, into an industrial park, the park is capitalising on its strategic location, says Highveld Industrial Park CFO Andrew Maralack. Highveld Industrial Park is situated close to... 

Closed steel mill discovering new life as an industrial park
CAPITAL LOCATION in less than a year of being operational, Highveld Industrial Park has set up a sustainable business

Sassda promotes the use of stainless steel water pipes

     5th October 2017 The Southern African Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) is, along with the Drakenstein municipality in Paarl, in the Western Cape, and South African stainless steel product manufacturers, evaluating the use of stainless steel pipes to reduce water leaks. Sassda states that as much... 

Absa PMI rises slightly in September; remains below 50

By: Anine Kilian     2nd October 2017 The Absa Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI), compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research (BER), nudged slightly higher to a still weak level of 44.9 in September from 44 in August. The index has been well below its neutral level of 50 for four consecutive months. 

Metalworkers to intensify wage strike at South32 smelter in South Africa

By: African News Agency      2nd October 2017 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Monday vowed to intensify the strike against Australian miner South32 in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, after a marathon negotiation session to resolve the strike was deadlocked. The global mining company has an aluminium smelter in... 

NSBE-SA to host AGM, conference in October

By: Anine Kilian     29th September 2017 The National Society of Black Engineers of South Africa (NSBE-SA) will hold its annual general meeting (AGM), conference and gala dinner on October 20. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘20 Years of transforming the Engineering Profession and Making the National Development Plan (NDP) a... 

Recovery rate growth lies in metals from landfills

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th September 2017 With South Africa already boasting a recovery rate of about 72% for used beverage cans, metals packaging industry body MetPac-SA believes that further potential lies in diverting other metal packaging such as aluminium foil, containers and empty tin cans from landfills. “With regards to aluminium... 

Recovery rate growth lies in metals from landfills
CAN-DO ATTITUDE Many households in South Africa already undertake excellent work in recycling components such as beer and soft drink beverage cans

Small businesses remain optimistic, despite volatility and uncertainties

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Despite economic volatility, South African small business owners remain optimistic and are actively pursuing growth, according to research from cloud based accounting software company Xero.   The research report, titled ‘State of South African Small Businesses’ surveys the challenges facing the... 

Small businesses remain optimistic,  despite volatility and uncertainties
Photo by Bloomberg
HELPING HAND Some small business owners want the government to provide more funding and some believe government should grant tax breaks for their business

Expanded steel services firm eyeing specialist construction, industrial markets

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2017 Stainless steel fabricator and welding services firm Hlakani Engineering aims to provide end-to-end services for specialist construction and industrial projects after it acquired Middleburg-based structural steel company F&K Engineering, says Hlakani director Gerhard Holtshauzen. The acquisition... 

Expanded steel services firm eyeing  specialist construction, industrial markets
Photo by Victor Moolman
STEEL SKILLS Hlakani is focused on the internal development of expert welders and artisans

Turbine installations at wind project completed ahead of schedule

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Khobab Wind Farm, in the Northern Cape has completed all 61 wind turbine installations, ahead of schedule this month. Further, Khobab, together with its adjacent wind farm, the Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, in the Hantam municipality, in the Northern Cape province, have achieved more than two-million... 

Turbine installations at wind project completed ahead of schedule
SOARING CONSTRUCTION The 100-m-tall Siemens wind turbines, which allow for optimum energy production, take between one and three days to construct, assuming favourable weather

BMG invests R400m in Joburg distribution centre 

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Technical solutions provider BMG, which is part of Invicta Holdings, has officially launched its BMG World site, in Johannesburg, which is the culmination of a consolidation and supply chain re-engineering strategy that began nearly ten years ago. “The company’s R400-million investment to upgrade... 

BMG invests R400m in Joburg  distribution centre
BMG MD Gavin Pelser discusses the upgraded BMG World site facility in Johannesburg. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Aluminium company achieves positive results

     29th September 2017 Aluminium supplier and exporter Hulamin delivered a strong manufacturing performance and improved financial results for the half-year ended June 30, despite difficult market conditions and the rand being 14% stronger compared with the corresponding period in 2016, says Hulamin CEO Richard Jacob.... 

Aluminium company achieves positive results
Photo by Bloomberg
STRONG RESULTS Aluminium supplier and exporter Hulamin’s unaudited interim results for the half-year indicated noteworthy headline earnings a share up 17% to 56c a share

Company provides solutions to facilitate progress in industry

     29th September 2017 Aluminium has a “brilliant” future, as the light-weight material offers impressive solutions for sustainable mobility, durable packaging or urban construction projects, and the SMS group is perfectly positioned to further growth, avers systems supplier SMS group aluminium business head Michael... 

Company provides solutions to facilitate progress in industry
MICHAEL SCHÄFER The aluminium industry benefits from the fact that the SMS Group knows its material, its products and all its complex production processes

China steel futures rise as winter cuts kick in early

By: Reuters     27th September 2017 China's iron ore and steel futures climbed on Wednesday after some cities in the north of the country announced an early start to winter restrictions on mill output, though coke and coking coal both continued to fall on worries over faltering demand. The most-traded construction steel futures... 

Strategic review at Aveng likely to trigger noncore disposals

By: Terence Creamer     26th September 2017 Aveng executive chairperson Eric Diack, who has stepped in as acting CEO at the construction group following Kobus Verster’s surprise resignation, says a “no-holds-barred” strategic review is currently under way in a bid to improve the company’s immediate liquidity position and position it for a... 

Strategic review at Aveng likely to trigger noncore disposals
Aveng executive chairperson Eric Diack
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