GIFA/GMTN 2015 – The Bright World of Metals shines brighter than ever!

According to research more than 100 million tons of castings are manufactured worldwide every year, in materials ranging from standard to exotic, including precious metals, rare materials, and emerging alloys and composites. The products and castings manufactured reveal the essential and irreplaceable function of metalcasting as an industry and, the exclusive role played by metalcasting developers and operators in the progress of civilisation.


Global industrial trends show demand for metalcastings is rising across multiple manufacturing sectors worldwide, in part because of the complexity that casting allows, as well as because of the different physical properties that can be combined in them. Small engineered parts like bone implants, complex, high-volume components for automotive manufacturing (for example engine blocks, pistons, housings, shafts and chassis parts), as well as large-dimension castings for maritime and industrial diesel engines, all these are manufactured by foundries and diecasters. In short, metalcasting is a high-tech industry with good prospects for future expansion.

More than that, foundries and diecasters are adopting aspects of all the process, material science, and technology trends that influence all industries. And, they are being shaped by commercial and financial factors, too. Development times are becoming shorter, while production batches are becoming smaller. Many products are required to be lightweight structures, and more efficient use of energy and raw materials is becoming a priority in terms of regulations, quality standards, and operating costs.

Many South Africans have visited the exhibition over the years and this year was no exception. I personally know of just over 200 that visited the exhibition, a very encouraging number. Although this figure makes up less than 0,5 percent of the total number of foreign visitors that attended the exhibition – there were in the region of 43 680 international visitors and 78 000 in total – I still believe that it is a fantastically positive move that so many of us took the opportunity to explore and see what the rest of the world is doing and, looking at new ideas to improve our businesses. The foreign visitor numbers indicate that we are not alone so we need to keep on our toes – after all they are our competitors.

The SAIF sponsored networking evening was also well attended with approximately 120 visitors enjoying the delights of some good South African wines. Thanks to those who organised the evening.

In my personal opinion GIFA/GMTN 2015 was a huge success. Exhibitors excelled in their presentations and stand displays with two well known international manufacturers/exhibitors proudly displaying large pieces of equipment that were scheduled to be shipped to South African foundries, once the exhibition had finished. The South African National Pavilion was professionally put together and I had unsolicited comments from international peers that they were very impressed.

Judging on comments from most of the people I spoke to at the exhibition, it certainly opened up their eyes, especially for those first time visitors. Percentage wise we might still be small in world terms of output but nevertheless we form an integral part of the chain and we are growing. More importantly the number of foreign people I spoke to that were very much aware of South Africa was very encouraging and can only bode well for the future, if they decide to do business with us.

The organisers, Messe Düsseldorf, confirmed that there were 2,124 registered exhibitors from around the world occupying 86 971 m² of stand space. These are the highest numbers in nearly 60 years since the events have been staged.

GIFA/GMTN is always considered a yardstick for trendsetting innovations and underlines the importance of efficient production for foundry operations. From material analysis to dimensional control, high-tech system developers are offering ‘flexibility’ as a functional way to accelerate and intensify quality control. Precision metallurgy, dimensional accuracy, structural and surface quality control – these were just some of the buzzwords mentioned at the exhibition.

Equally important, in some respects even more important, is speed without losing the proof of precision in a race against waste.

Foundry owners and operators looking for productivity and advanced manufacturing technologies for their operations had a multitude of solutions to choose from the various exhibitors. These included improved energy efficiencies, process monitoring, integrated automation and environmental considerations. The technology advancement in equipment and processes showcased at GIFA/GMTN 2015 leaves no excuses for inefficient foundries in future.

Below are a selection pictures from the exhibition, and observations and opinions made by South African visitors and exhibitors.


The South African National Pavilion impressed visitors


John Davies, CEO of the SAIF, on the South African National Pavilion

John Davies, CEO of the SAIF
“The GIFA and Newcast exhibitions provided us as visitors, an opportunity to experience once again the sheer size, technical expertise and variety of the exhibits. Equally the conference papers provided us an opportunity to share in the latest technological developments as well as the recent research trends.”

“It was a privilege for me to be able to attend and be present on the SAIF stand that was part of the South African National Pavilion, which was well presented and very visible to all. The South African foundry industry can be proud of the contribution of the dti, which made this display possible.”

“With many interactive exhibits on display, the stand-out performance was the Magma exhibition stand and was, in my opinion, one of the highlights of this year’s GIFA. But there were many other exhibits, which by virtue of the size of the plant and equipment or the technology displayed, were also very impressive.”

“For me the displays in the Halls 15 through to 17, showing the large high volume production plants as well as the major players in the jobbing or semi-mechanised plants are always the most impressive, as were the furnace plant exhibits.”

“From a plant and equipment and technology viewpoint, noticeable was the trend towards:

• Improved safety without sacrificing production output
• Process monitoring for, not only, improved repeatability and traceability of products, but also for improved predictability of plant performance for maintenance purposes
• Environmental considerations
• Integrated automation, particularly the use of robotics
• Advanced manufacturing technologies, including additive manufacturing and other computational techniques, particularly the use of simulation of moulds, cores and mechanical properties for casting production
• Improved energy efficiency in all plant, but particularly in melting, was also evident. The furnace melting and pouring technology has improved so much that it now enables very good repeatability of the cycle with optimum energy efficiency”

“Of particular interest was the trend to inorganic binder systems for sand cores and moulds for aluminium casting production, which is very evident in German foundries. This revitalised binder system may eventually replace the phenolic urethane (cold box) systems owing to its lower cost and much preferred environmental friendliness. It has yet to be proven with ferrous metals but initial tests are encouraging, although the strength, breakdown and reclamation of the sand remains problematic even for aluminium castings at present. Perhaps the research work using warm air will allow wider application of this exciting process.”

“The other highlight for me was the advance in the use of sensors, lasers and digitisation for tighter process control of casting production, with automatic recalibration of production units now commonplace, and process corrective actions taken on-line from the results of the in-line analyses.”

“The continued development of additive manufacturing (3-D printing) will create new scope for prototype production as well as for low volume production requirements in the future. Some companies are already servicing the aftermarket using this technology, obviating the need for the patterns and coreboxes.”

“The Newcast exhibition revealed both the important trends to thinner sections in larger castings coupled with geometrical complexity for cast metal applications in all markets. Noticeable at the casting displays was the continuing trend for new applications of castings used in the automotive, renewable and nuclear energy, and gas sectors. Ever more stringent specifications continue to exert pressure on foundrymen to develop innovative methods to meet the requirements. This can only be achieved by using the very latest technology and computational software.”

“Once again, for me, it was an amazing experience both in seeing the exciting exhibits and the networking and fellowship opportunities with foundrymen from all parts of the planet.”


On two well known international manufacturers stands the companies had equipment on display that was destined to be shipped to South African foundries after the exhibition. This ABP Induction Systems 11 ton pouring furnace Presspour® type OCC that is used for holding and the automated pouring of ferrous and copper alloys, has been purchased by the foundry division of Ni-Holdings. Additionally ABP will supply two 10 ton induction melting furnaces as part of a major upgrade at Ni-Foundry


Omega Foundry Equipment displayed a low level shake-out reclaimer which is part of a new reclamation plant being manufactured for Steloy Castings


Robert Keshecki of Inductotherm Corp. with Scott Melville of Cerefco on the Inductotherm stand


Errol and Gillian Preston of Harchris Heat Treatment


Victor and Rui Dias and Peter Petersen, all of Endeco Omega with Andra Feynes of Omega Foundry Equipment


Eugene Rossouw with Zonda and Edwin Dreyer, all of Thos Begbie


Ronnie and Rudi Pienaar of High Duty Castings


Neville Sanders of FP Specialty with Allan and Marlene Bruggeman of Matt Cast Supplies


Erik Zimmermann and Andrew McFarlane, both of Ametex with Corinna Thomser of Magma in the centre

Andrew McFarlane of Ametex
“As a second time visitor/exhibitor to GIFA, 2015 is certainly a highlight for Ametex. The 2011 show was almost a blur but this time round, our communication with visitors from South Africa was well worth the effort, even though we did not see everyone we planned to. There appeared to be an increased focus on automation and electromechanical integration towards reduced costs and increased efficiency. This benefitted Magma as the Integrated Automatic Optimisation of the casting process, unique to Magma, attracted and impressed most visitors. I was intrigued by the reactions of visitors at the foundrymen’s playground where out of a seemingly infinite amount of combinations, Magma5.3 was able to automatically find the best solution in less than four hours. Visitors had the chance to pit their skills against the top 100 designs and at the end of the show, the best human attempt was ranked third.”

“Unfortunately my colleague Erik Zimmermann and I did not have time to visit more stands in detail. In some cases, it looked like exhibitors had downscaled but in Hall 12, there was plenty of activity. For about two days, the Magma stand was full and this led to a 50% increase in the visitors to the Magma stand over the entire fair, as compared to the 2011 figures.”

“My visits to the South African National Pavilion yielded many fruitful discussions and there is much to do back in South Africa for the next few years. I would like to congratulate those who exhibited at GIFA and hope all who visited found the exhibition just as enjoyable and fruitful as Ametex did.”


Hans Dachs, Derick Elliot and Fubio Ciani, all of Procor


Sidney Pond and Ajith Singh, both of Pefco with Paddy O’Dougherty of IPT in the centre


Fred Botha, Samantha le Roux and Dudley de Beer, all of Insimbi Alloy Supplies


Andrew and Patrick Ryan of Sigma Wear Parts


Cynthia Strydom and Russell Symons, both of GFE-MIR Alloys & Minerals


GIFA (GMTN 2015) presented an opportunity for visitors and exhibitors to discuss business and network, as well as an opportunity for old friends and colleagues to reacquaint themselves. South Africa is the link for these three friends and colleagues. Klaus Pampel, on the left, started off his career in the foundry industry in South Africa when he was employed by Chris Lasch, on the right, the founder of HA Falchem, which Chris subsequently sold to the SI Group and retired. Klaus had previously moved to Germany where he became Managing Director and General Manager of Hüttenes-Albertus Chemische Werke GmbH. Klaus is set to retire later this year. Gary Webber, in the centre, was also employed by Chris in South Africa before immigrating to Australia 20 years ago. Gary set up Hüttenes-Albertus Australia and is still the MD of the company


Gordon McNeilage and Colleen Boyce of SI Group HA with Philip Ingham of the SI Group who is now based in Switzerland


The future of the South African foundry industry. Damon Crawford of Castings SA, Justin Stevens of Casting and Machining Services, William Price of Prima Industrial and Greg Estman of Viking Foundry. All four are the sons of fathers that have been involved in the foundry industry for a number of years


Rob Laurent of MSP


Steve Ellis of Foundry Concepts, John Williams of Krier Africa, David Mehrtins of Autocast and Per Ejdorf of Disa Industries, with Dalmari Macqueen of Foundry Concepts

John Williams of Krier Africa
“My first GIFA was in 1999 and I have never failed to be impressed by the volume and depth of technology on show. Some thoughts on GIFA 2015:

• Robotics continues to find further applications, particularly in today’s more complex foundry equipment. In high speed sand moulding for example, this provides improved reliability and accuracy in handling and placing of filters and cores.
• Ongoing developments in IT in general and sensor technology in particular, allow more things to be accurately measured, allowing improvements in intelligent measurement and control. For example sand moulds can be assessed immediately out of the machine, reducing the chance of pouring a string of bad moulds before the fault is found.
• Local and remote diagnostics continue to develop. This is particularly relevant in South Africa where expert support from the factory can, to some extent, make up for local skills gaps. Major equipment now has the maintenance manual with fault finding built in.
• The sharing of diagnostic information by a number of equipment suppliers is enabling more comprehensive pictures of plant operation and efficiency, as well as more intelligent plant wide trouble-shooting. Disa is working with various major equipment suppliers who provide plug and play real time data, which enables robust and fast integration of data without having to rely on extensive use of external consultants.
• 3D printing is now capable of creating bonded sand cores and moulds. As a development tool, this together with other technologies such as simulation, allows improved optimisation for high performance castings.”


Jacques Swanepoel and Mike Peach of Chem Systems


Ryno van Rooyen and Mike Robinson of Durrans RMS


Piet Swanepoel of Steloy Castings with Greg Smith of JC Impellers


Johan Prinsloo of Thomas Foundry, Rentia Malan of AFSA, Ian Gibson of RelyIntracast, and Janley Kotze of Ceramic & Alloy Specialists

Clayton Anderson of Thomas Foundry
“I had four objectives to achieve at GIFA 2015.”

“Firstly, I wanted to meet with some technical “experts” to discuss a couple of sand related problems that we’ve recently been experiencing at Thomas Foundry. Whilst I was pretty certain the “experts” would give us the same advice as we’ve already received from our local suppliers, it’s always reassuring to get this information “from the horses mouth”. It was also an opportunity to get a fresh insight on possible solutions for some of these problems.”

“Secondly, I wanted to take a look at the equipment on offer to see what technological advances have been made over the past 8 years, when last I attended GIFA. A couple of things stood out for me this time round: There seems to have been a fair bit of growth on the robotics side of our industry. At this rate, it looks like fettling shops around the world will require far fewer people in future generations. I was also struck at the growth in the number of smaller players on the equipment supply side. Sure there were impressive stands by the usual suspects (Inductotherm / ABP / Electrotherm / Omega / IMF etc.) but if you looked hard enough you could find a whole host of smaller suppliers, some of whom I’d never heard of before. My final thought on the exhibition was that, in my next life, I want to come back as a die caster equipment supplier. The beer and snacks being offered at their stands were head and shoulders above the rest.”

“My third objective was to network with a couple of our local suppliers and foundrymen.”

“Finally, I wanted to spend a bit of time socialising with my four travelling companions from Thomas Foundry.”

“Mission accomplished on all four counts, with particular thanks going to one of our suppliers who kept us in the Altstadt until 2am on our final night in Germany.”


Patrick Ryan of Industrial Piping Companies and Marie Jusling of Spectro Analytical


Garry Hillier and Dwyane Peters, both of Rapid Allweiler


Jan Coetzee and Mohammed Chaal, both of FerroPem with Kulani Mageza of UJ

UJ Metal Casting Technology Station
The Metal Casting Technology Station exhibited on the GIFA Institutes Stand in Hall 13 and confirmed that GIFA 2015 was an excellent platform with customers, both existing and potential, from all over the world visiting the stand.

“In particular, the internationality of the GIFA increased significantly from 2011. The major visitor group came from iron and steel production together with plant engineering, engineering apparatus and tool making. Experts of automotive and gear manufacturing and tool making played a decisive role with the topic of energy efficiency and saving of resources being an obvious focus. GIFA demonstrated that it is the principal trade fair and the international venue of the casting industry.”

“The diverse performances of metallurgical and foundry technologies available worldwide was most impressive. Innovative solutions were exhibited, such as complete blasting machine programs to satisfy all the standard and special requirements of both large and small foundries. Countless meetings assisted us to identify market trends and numerous innovations, which were presented for the first time at GIFA.”

“The MCTS-UJ’s exhibit at GIFA strengthened personal contacts with existing international clients in Germany and potential new customers were identified. Recorded visitors to the UJ-MCTS exhibition stand included Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America and well known South African foundrymen.”


Brian Clough of Ceramic & Alloy Specialists, Joshua van Flymen of Pentagon Resources and Mike Cohen of Oreplan Commodities


Mike Wolhuter of PDC, Carlos Palinhos of Walro Flex, Zelda du Preez of Rand York and Chris Durrans of James Durrans & Sons

Mike Wolhuter of PDC
“I have been visiting the GIFA exhibition for the last 30 years and in my opinion it is the one foundry show that you must go to and I will not miss it. It’s remarkable how many new technologies and concepts we come across each time we visit, in spite of us believing that we are a techno savvy company that is constantly pushing the boundaries for innovation. As always it was a great meeting point to see past and current suppliers, and meet manufacturers of potentially new equipment and processes that we could in the future deploy in our company.”

“Our business has a strong export component and so it is critical that we keep abreast with technology and the innovations that are on display. The down side on these shows is that the inevitable cheque book is never big enough and we have to be selective on the equipment that we choose to help us through the next few years.”

“We definitely believe that our visits to GIFA have been invaluable and are instrumental in the success that we enjoy at PDC, as well as taking the company forward with a strong and robust growth.”

“If you compare the knowledge and experiences we acquire during the show versus the costs of attending, we can certainly justify our visit many times over.”


Darren Brown of Ni-Foundry with Byron McCall of ABP Induction South Africa


Joubert and Maurie Groenewald, Paul Malone and Jaco Breytenbach, all from Thos Begbie


Paul Mitchell from Sidermet


Kobus van der Berg, Hayden Johns and Enno Krueger all of Foseco South Africa


Maik Eckelmann of Saveway Furnace Monitoring Africa


Alex Saam of Silca South Africa and Klaus Tile of Silca


Jonathan Oldnall and Brendyn Fahy, both of Thermopower Furnaces. The company was an exhibitor on the South African National Pavilion

Jonathan Oldnall of Thermopower Furnaces
“The 2015 GIFA show was an incredible opportunity generously subsidised and supported by the dti. The South African stand as a whole was first class in its aesthetics and captivating branding, delivering a very professional and proud impression to the world.”

“In conversation with the foundries, there was a sentiment that South Africa is archaic with its technologies, specifically within the melting, shaping and forging processes. The new high tech developments in Europe are significantly more efficient giving a huge competitive advantage. The feelings towards adapting the new technologies is that it is simply too expensive for South African foundries to adopt.”

“Specifically within the furnace manufacturing industry, the fundamental designs and principles are similar, but the European furnaces come standard with all the “bells and whistles” regardless of the furnace size (elaborate digital processing systems, monitoring and reporting systems and the likes). While the generation and analytics of data has become a trend in the 21st century, these extras do add significant cost to the product. The South African market does not demand such features and instead prefers robustness and simplicity. This “Keep It Simple” design philosophy in conjunction with the exchange rate makes for a huge competitive advantage in the international markets.”

“South Africa has a huge challenge in competing with the world leaders in the metal industry, not only is keeping up to date on technological advances a challenge – we also have to consider the impact of our energy crisis, as well as alternatives to building immunity to our energy shortfall.”

“Regardless, GIFA was an incredible experience from a networking and marketing perspective. Touching base with previous clients, interacting with current clients and developing relationships with prospective clients are all attributed to being present at the show. We were genuinely surprised by serious inquiries made from foreign countries including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, India and Switzerland. While the results do not show themselves immediately from partaking in this event a phone call in three months’ time for an order in Saudi Arabia will be full testament to the effectiveness of the exhibition.”

“Lastly to the dti, Hans and the staff of ladies who made the exhibition most comfortable and accommodating. Thermopower Furnaces would like to thank you for being exceptional hosts. In contrast to the recent Paris show, where we exhibited, GIFA was paradise. We are most grateful for the privilege and opportunity granted to us, and we look forward to representing South Africa at many more shows to come as a Proudly South African company.”


Money and Brian Naidoo of Microfinish / Factocode, also exhibitors on the South African National Pavilion


Fochem International was an exhibitor on the South African National Pavilion. Julia and her father Axel Bastian, Lerato Hlongwane and Anton Mostert, all of Fochem International

Julia Bastian of Fochem International
“Fochem International would like to thank all our visitors who came to see us at GIFA Düsseldorf 2015. We owe special thanks to the dti, sponsors of the South African National Pavilion, for their organisation and support.”

“Fochem International, exhibiting for the first time as part of the South African National Pavilion, embraced the opportunity to introduce its specialised portfolio. Regarding our products and services, we received excellent feedback from our customers. Visitors were in particular interested in Fochem International’s graphite-based wax plunger beads and release agents.”

“We focus on the development and production of aluminium die casting release agents, forging lubricants, products for aluminium refineries, the power/electricity industry, and other applications. At the core of our highly specialised products is the processing of very fine graphite. We export our products worldwide, especially to Europe, the USA and Japan.”

“GIFA is the most important international exhibition for the metal casting industry and sets global benchmarks. Fochem International reached its target of exploring new ideas for product improvement and in particular networking with international contacts. For our company, GIFA 2015 was a huge success as we were able to cement relationships with our existing agents from the European market and interact with new prospective customers, especially from the growing Asian markets. Since we intend to expand into those markets, the trade fair was an important event for us to connect on an international and professional level.”

“We were very pleased to see that many South Africans took the long journey to the exhibition in Düsseldorf. We will definitely be exhibiting at GIFA 2019!”


Gus Allan and Kumaran Poonan of Spectrum Technical


Andrew Du Plessis and Johan Grobbelaar, both of MG Casting Suppliers & Patternmakers


CJ Lindeque, Kevin van Niekerk and Stephen O’Reilly, all of Lauds Foundry Equipment, who were exhibitors on the South African National Pavilion

Kevin van Niekerk of Lauds Foundry Equipment
“First and foremost to all our valued clients and friends, thank you for making GIFA 2015 the best to date. The exhibition gave us the opportunity to launch a new product range and our patented secondary reclamation unit.”

“In addition to this we showcased a Lauds Compact 3TPH reclamation plant, a 6TPH pneumatic conveyor and our fully portable 6TPH continuous mixer. We are pleased to announce all items were sold at GIFA into Europe.”

“I could not have imagined that we would have had the positive response we received from all that passed our stand. At the end of the show we had no more brochures and three full books of enquiries!”

“I must thank the dti and SAIF for facilitating the South African Pavilion. Without them we would not have had the opportunity to showcase our proudly South African manufactured foundry equipment.”

“This year saw a huge amount of interest in the Lauds brand and our associated group of companies. As a result we have signed some very exciting new agreements and are in the process of final negotiations with a well known, listed supplier to represent us exclusively outside the borders of South Africa.”

“We have also signed an exclusive agreement for the European and Sub Saharan Africa markets with General Kinematic, who we believe have an exciting product portfolio and will complement our range of products for the future. Our companies share the same vision and with the combined efforts we should take General Kinematic and Lauds Group of Companies into a new league for years to come.”

“Lauds is being taken very seriously as a major contender in the global market. We have already seen the response from the market. Good, high quality equipment is what they require. Machines that deliver what they state in terms of performance and stand the full test of the guarantee period. Lauds qualifies on all levels.”

“I would like to thank my team CJ Lindeque and Stephen O’Reilly for their efforts in ensuring all enquiries big and small were documented, as well as the Lauds Team both in South Africa and Germany for the support and dedication to take us to the next level.”

“Will we attend again…absolutely!”


Tony Martingano of Thomas Abrasives


Corrie Theron, Steve van Wyk, Lenn Swanepoel and Jaco van der Merwe, all of the Scaw Metals Group, who were exhibitors on the South African National Pavilion


Ash Roopchand and Lance Deysel, both of PDC


Louis Geeringh and Fred Venter, both of High Duty Castings


Eddie Short of Morgan Advanced Materials


Andrew Killian and Morne Becker, both of Borbet


Sydney Pond of Pefco, Joe Rodrigues of Thomas Foundry and Emile Timmins of Scaw Metals Group


Thos Begbie exhibited on the South African National Pavilion and also had a number of staff visit the exhibition


Graham Evans, Brett Proctor and Ernest Mberi, all of Itshe Resources who had their own stand


Mark Krieg and Rentia Malan, both of AFSA with Graham Knight of Metallurgical Testing Labs. Both AFSA and MTL were part of the South African National Pavilion

Mark Krieg Executive Director of AFSA
“The dti’s South Africa pavilion, which was where AFSA had a stand was absolutely stunning and the on-stand service unobtrusive, but excellent. The hospitality that the South African Embassy, Berlin team arranged was very well received and added to the smooth running of the stand.”

“We estimated that 200 people visited the AFSA stand, ranging from members, countrymen, academics and interested international delegates. Many of course were interested in accessing the South African market and to investigate opportunities to sell product, appoint agents or source castings. There was interest in local foundries that have the capability and qualifications to supply drive train components to the automotive industry. Several interesting enquires were received, which have been passed onto the local producers for further follow-up.”

“As we were manning the stand, there was not much time to visit other stands. However, we believe that some of the highlights of the exhibitions included:

• An interactive working model, showing a simulation of runners and risers in a pattern. These posed an interesting challenge for experienced foundrymen wishing to test their ability in pattern optimisation
• A model that used water to demonstrate casting degasification and allowed close control of the hydrogen level
• A high pressure die-casting manufacturer presented an interesting spacial interactive visualisation system that allows the engineer to accurately design the machine for optimal operation, position the machine in the factory and can be used as a training tool for operation and maintenance teams.”

“Numerous companies exhibited 3D printing solutions. While this technology has a particular niche in one offs, possibly two to three pieces, technical advances are enabling the leading suppliers to project cost effective triple digital production runs. One can only say ‘Watch this space…’”

“What struck me is the manner in which the casting industry has re-invented itself to face the dual challenge of environmental requirements and competition from low cost producers. This was achieved in part by investing in mechanisation and digital solutions. Innovative use of technology and IT enables ever tighter process monitoring and control with automation. Reduced energy use per ton and better quality castings (less scrap) result, making the process more environmentally friendly and competitive.”

“It is further evidence of the changes to the work content on the shop floor which is now gaining traction in the foundry industry. Work content is becoming more polarised, with the emphasis on the one hand on low skilled tasks e.g. packing, unpacking, loading machines, and on the other hand very highly skilled jobs in quality control, process design, programming and automation. The traditional tasks are being performed by robots, backed by computer based monitoring and process control.”

“In conclusion, GIFA truly highlighted the importance of investment in innovation and new technology to stay in the race … for that is what it is. It was a valuable opportunity for AFSA to represent its members and their capabilities and we express our great appreciation to the dti for once again making this possible. Support from AFSA’s members providing samples and visiting the stand is highly valued.”

Graham Knight of Metallurgical Testing Labs
“As this was my first international show I must admit that I did not know what to expect. I was very apprehensive and did not fully understand how an event like this would benefit my company. My initial impression was that this show would not benefit my company at all but, after some thought, I decided that it was a risk worth taking.”

“I arrived a day early in order to setup my stand. My expectation was that I would have a little table stuck in a small corner somewhere. However, this was most certainly not the case. The South African Pavilion (where I was located) was absolutely amazing! It seemed like no expense had been withheld to ensure that all the South African stands on the National Pavilion were world class and in my opinion they were slightly better. So I believe that a “job well done” should be conveyed to the powers that be.”

“From the very first day of the show I was impressed with the potential and interest that was shown in South Africa. It seemed to me that this was an impressive location where decision makers who were looking for solutions/services/products could interact directly with potential suppliers. At no stage did I get the feeling that I was merely being courteous or a person who was potentially wasting time. It seemed that each visitor to the event came through with a specific mission in mind and armed with that, they visited the stands that were pertinent to them where they carried out meaningful meetings.”

“My experience was a good one – no doubt about that. As far as being able to gauge if it would yield a return, only time will tell. What I am able to say is that from all the interest that I received on my stand, should a mere 10% of the total potential shown turn into a sale/business relationship, it would have a significant effect on the turnover and profitability of my company, or cover the total costs of attending the show 15 times over.”

“In conclusion, I believe that if you were planning to attend GIFA and then opted out at the last moment, you lost out. If you think that attending only one of these shows is necessary, I think that you run the risk of missing out on a significant amount of potential.”