Keeping informed

I had done my household chores for the day and decided to watch a bit of the third T20 cricket game at the Wanderers between South Africa and Sri Lanka, which was live on TV. It was Sunday so I was allowed some downtime. Some time into the game and the cameras focused on one of the spectators wearing a Proteas cricket shirt. The image was screened on the big screen at the ground and the relatively large crowd was going mad. It puzzled me because it was in-between overs so there was not much action. I had not watched from the beginning so I presumed that the image was that of one those instantly made heroes in the crowd who had actually managed to take the catch when one of the cricketers had hit a six. It is a rare feat and I would love to know the figures of the successful fans that complete the task. I must admit there was a great one-handed catch taken by fan a few days earlier at the Centurion ground. The guy even managed to hold onto his beer and not spill any.

That aside the commentators even mentioned the fan’s name of which, I did not take much notice of. This episode was repeated every now and again so my presumption was that there must be some competition and this fan Ed Sheeran was in line to win it as the only successful fan to take a catch in the crowd.

I did not watch the end of the game because the rain came down and I had other things to do, so I did not find out who won the fan competition. Low and behold though, when I looked at my social media pages on the Monday, there were a few posts of the face of this cricket fan with some of my mates raving about him. The name sounded the same too so I thought he must be someone special. On investigating a bit it turns out he was performing at the FNB Stadium. He really must be special if my mates and their families – grown up children in their 30s – had left Durban to attend the concert. Now as we all know it is quite a feat to get the Durbanites out of their coastal comfort, so this fan must be really special. As it turns out, and I now know, he is a global musical superstar.

It might be an age generation thing but that was discounted because my mates of the same age were at the concert and posted videos and pictures to brag about the fact. The reality is they were well informed as were the executives of the Pietermaritzburg aluminium and brass foundry Pressure Die Castings (PDC). PDC executives had attended the GIFA 2015 exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany where they discovered a manufacturer that is involved in manufacturing melting and vacuum dosing furnaces for high-pressure die-casting. The company had just launched a unique dosing system that fits onto melting and holding furnaces.

The system is unique in that it allows for filling of a container by sucking in the melt and the precise filling of the melt into the shot sleeve of the chamber of a die-casting machine. In the traditional variant a suitable amount of the liquid alloy is ladled out of a holding furnace and then poured into the shot sleeve. This new process has numerous advantages that fit into PDC’s manufacturing process and could result in them saving thousands of rands going forward. See the story further on in this issue of Castings SA.

As one South African visitor said after attending an international exhibition in Germany: “It was an eye opener for young and old alike and ranks as one of our best business trips that we have ever been engaged in. Words cannot do the exhibition any justice and the only regret that we have is not having gone there years before. If we may offer one piece of advice to anyone that is involved in the metalworking industry and in any position they might hold we would recommend that at least once in their lifetime they make the effort and visit the exhibition.”

There you have it. With the upcoming GIFA 2019, it is a must that you attend to keep yourself informed on what new technology is available.