Looking back to 2000

This issue marks the beginning of 20 years of publishing Castings SA. As I ventured out to publish my very first hard copy magazine in 2000 the world had just experienced Y2K. For those of us that vividly remember the build-up to the year 2000, it doesn’t seem so long ago that the world was freaking out about the Y2K bug that would supposedly bring about the end of the world.

Nothing happened.

Aside from the possible glitch that threatened doomsday, the dawn of the new millennium felt, at the time, like entering the future. We marvelled at how far technology had advanced in the 20th century. But as the following 20 years have proved, innovation wasn’t peaking at the start of the new millennium. In fact, it was just getting started.

I looked back at the design and layout of the first issue of Castings SA and realise that, with the technical and design tools that we had at our disposal, we did very well at what we published. I had for the 18 months prior to my first issue, been publishing an Online Engineering Newsletter – hence my email address. In those days you were only allowed seven characters for your domain name so you had to be very creative with your choice to link it as closely as possible to your company name or product. I sent out the newsletter, which contained engineering information on the broader aspect of metal working and foundries with links to email and website addresses in it, via email. I was told I was well ahead of my time because many people and companies had email access but did not use it to its full potential.

There were some interesting stories in that first issue. The headline article was on the commissioning of a state-of-the-art green sand moulding facility at Eclipse Foundries, an OZZ Industries company. Jeff Weeks had just been appointed CEO of Foseco South Africa, The James Durrans Group entered into a joint venture agreement with Resistant Materials Services, the Aluminium Squeeze Casters centre had just been established in Pietermaritzburg, Zimalco had installed a radioactivity monitor, ISO/TS 16949 standard had just replaced QS-9000, Ferro-silicon was R4 190.00 per ton, Ferro-manganese was R3 360.00 per ton and LM6 was R12 211.00 per ton. These were just some of the interesting articles and reports from that issue. Foseco and Vesuvius were separate companies then and Eskom was promoting the name Industrelek as its front-line contact for industry.

Some of the names on the SAIF committee included Marc Hindle (President) Nicki Gouws, Martin Reeves, Luis Dias, George Ferreira, Richard Garrett, Ian Gibson, Terry Ryan, Richard Seymour-Wright and Stuart Smithson and Past Presidents Lesley Cornish and Chris Collins. And in May 2000 at the SAIF Annual Awards evening Tony Leon was the guest speaker. For those of you that remember these names it certainly brings back some lovely memories.

I wrote in my first ever Editors comment how much fun, coupled with the stress, it was getting all the stories together and publishing them. The whole process of taking the magazine to final print and then posting, took a lot longer then than it does today. I still have just as much fun publishing the magazine today but who would have believed that back in March / April 2000, having just beaten the Y2K bug that the world would be facing another disaster of major proportion. Together we can beat it – be sensible everyone and don’t be selfish.