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Science Engineering Technology

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... 

Argentinian sand filters for South Africa

By: System Author     5th February 1999 TECHNOLOGY first applied in Argentina may be used in South Africa to purify water inexpensively and effectively for rural communities, reports the Water Research Commission (WRC). South African researchers have undertaken intensive tests to determine whether the revolutionary cross-flow sand... 

From ‘hot-strip’ dynamics to ‘smart’ houses

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Thicknesses of materials such as metals, plastics and glass are measured accurately and easily by a pocket-sized digital gauge developed by UK company Wylam Hill. Measuring only 100 mm by 60 mm by 22 mm, and weighing 160 g, the robust Portagauge VV (which stands for ‘variable... 

Technological wonders tax common belief

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 Many people have heard that, if you stand at the bottom of a deep well or mine shaft, and look up in broad daylight, you will see stars. People have also heard of the ‘dark side of the moon’. Well, the mine shaft and stars story is bunk! All you will see if you look up is blue sky.... 

From the bottom of the sea to a giant waterbag

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 In July last year Norwegian geologists descended to a depth of 5 600 m to investigate the mid-Atlantic ridge west of Svalbard, known before as Spitzbergen. For this venture, the scientists were lowered to perilous depths by the Russian mini-submarines MIR 1 and MIR 2, which were used to film the... 

Auto company goes ‘live’

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 AUTOMOTIVE company Land Rover South Africa has gone live with a big information technology project involving a move to an integrated SAP R/3 software solution designed to deliver business benefits such as allowing business volume growth. “Installation and customisation of R/3 Materials... 

Pasteur and the limbo of forgotten plagues

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 In 1854, Louis Pasteur was given a professorship and made dean of the new faculty of sciences at Lille and here, in the centre of the brewing industry, he turned his attention to the mysteries of fermentation. One day Pasteur was invited to go over a brewery and give an explanation of why the... 

Hi-tech shopping trolley rolls in

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 A NEW range of ergonomically-designed lightweight shopping trolleys has been launched locally. Speaking at the launch of the Galaxy range in Johannesburg, Cape Gate, Fence & Wire Works MD Robert Kaplan said the products were in line with international consumer trends to offer customers a... 

‘Green’ plastic from UK for home and heavy industry is a wrap

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 THE environment-unfriendly method of manufacturing the kind of plastic used in things such as buckets and rubbish bins could soon be as dated as horse-drawn streetcars. Scientists have discovered a new way of producing the plastic, which has thousands of uses from around the home to heavy... 

SA enters space race with second satellite

By: Archivist     29th January 1999 The University of Stellenbosch is planning to design and manufacture a second micro-satellite with enhanced imaging and communication capabilities, following the successful design and manufacture of Sunsat I. In an exclusive interview with Engineering News, University of Stellenbosch electrical... 

‘Smart’ cricket bat being developed for Jonty

By: Archivist     15th January 1999 If you are a technophobe, you’d better not be thinking of taking up a career in cricket, because the scientists are coming in to bat, bowl and field. Even the old willow bat, that very symbol of a game filled with tradition, could be hit for a six as a result. As for the umpire –... 

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