News Archives

December 2018

Local Manufacturing Exhibition 2019 to take place 21 to 23 May 2019

Organised by the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC), in association with Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, and endorsed by the Premier of Gauteng the exhibition is scheduled to take place at the Expo Centre, Nasrec, Gauteng from 21 to 23 May 2019. The exhibition aims to showcase South Africa’s local manufacturing capabilities.

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Research by Wits shows buying only South African made vehicles could boost GDP by R37 billion

New research by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) shows that a government policy of buying only locally produced cars, bakkies, buses and trucks at national and provincial government level could, through various multiplier effects, increase South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) by R36.8 billion a year it has been reported after a radio interview. The policy could also have a one-off positive growth impact of 1.18% on GDP.

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ArcelorMittal South Africa looks to exports for growth opportunities

With current steel demand in South Africa almost at a 10-year low, steelmaker ArcelorMittal South Africa is looking for export opportunities in the rest of Africa. “In light of weak domestic demand, ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has implemented a strategy to enhance its short-term profitability and cashflow, thereby, ensuring the business’ sustainability and positioning it to exploit growth in the sub-Saharan Africa region,” said CEO Kobus Verster.

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Omega Sinto supplies turnkey sand casting cell solution for Advanced Metal Processing Centre research facility in UK

As part of its continued growth strategy, BCAST at Brunel University has installed a complete sand casting cell at The Advanced Metal Processing Centre (AMPC) research facility. The cell encompasses a no-bake (air-set) sand casting line, for moulds up to 1m x 1m in size, comprising hopper, sand mixer, vibratory compaction, rollover, 300kg furnace for melting aluminium, heated ladle and de-coring oven.

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Indian foundry sector likely to grow by 13-14 per cent in two years

The foundry sector in the country is expected to witness an annual growth of 13-14 per cent from the present five to seven per cent, captains of industry said in a report in India’s The Economic Times. This would see production of castings increase from 11.5 million tons to 14-15 million tons by 2021 and was set to reach 20 million tons by 2025.

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Investigating lightweight 3D printed structures for sand casting

3D printing is often used to produce moulds for casting, and in the case of sand moulds, binder jetting is typically used. However, its high costs, due to expensive materials, need to be lowered, according to the authors of a study entitled “Mechanical Analysis of Ceramic/Polymer Composite with Mesh-Type Lightweight Design Using Binder-Jet 3D Printing.”

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Elkem opens ferroalloys plant in Paraguay

Elkem ASA has opened a new plant for foundry products in Limpio, Paraguay. This plant is the first foundry plant for Elkem in Latin America, and it is a new and exciting chapter for the group. Situated in Limpio, 25km from Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, the plant has been built in alignment with Elkem’s strategy for expansion in South America. The start-up of the plant was in March 2018.

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In 2013 the South African Pump Manufacturers Association (Sapma) was requested by the dti as well as Eskom to form the South African Pump Cluster. In order to comply with the dti requirement to form a cluster, Sapma had to change from being an employer’s association to become a development association and to register as a non-profit company and as a result the Southern African Pump Systems Development Association (SAPSDA) was formed.

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October 2018

Iconic artwork welcomes diners after The Bull Run’s multi-million rand revamp

A much-loved Johannesburg landmark returns to business in style, with an iconic new addition to the Sandton street scene, as The Bull Run, the city’s quintessential grill house, reopens after three months of extensive refurbishments. The Maude Street restaurant underwent a R20 million revamp, and its reopening coincides with the launch of the massive The Marc property development on the neighbouring stand.

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Project to reproduce landmark Rondebosch fountain almost complete

In a radio interview on CapeTalk Max Teichmann, owner of Heritage Castings, has said the project to reproduce Rondebosch’s historic fountain is nearing completion. The iconic fountain was located at the intersection of Belmont and Main roads in Rondebosch, Cape Town for over a century. The fountain was also the first electric lamp post in South Africa. It was destroyed after a speeding car drove into it during the early hours of the morning three years ago.

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Automotive Masterplan close to being finalised

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and the motor industry are now close to finalising the South African Automotive Masterplan which will come into effect in January 2021 and run until 2035. This was the message given by Lionel October, the director-general of the dti, addressing delegates at the NAAMSA Automotive Conference, which was held at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and Conference Centre.

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HA Group and F. LLI Mazzon S.p.A. join forces

Effective June 2018, the HA group and the Italian company F. LLI Mazzon S.p.A. have joined forces. The names HA Group and Mazzon are well-known throughout the foundry industry, and are synonymous with foundry chemical materials. The companies have decided to join forces in order to pursue their shared goal of providing the best possible customer satisfaction across Europe and around the world.

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Foseco continues with its plan to modernise and improve competitiveness

In recent years, the casting industry in Europe has experienced notable changes in the search for a good positioning in order to face present and future challenges. These changes range from the increase in automation and the collection and management of a huge amount of process data (Industry 4.0), additive manufacturing, through to the permanent improvement of costs and competitiveness in order to maintain its leadership over other regions with cheap labour.

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US exports of scrap metal to China hit by trade war

With the trade war between Beijing and Washington escalating, US scrap exporters will likely feel the pinch of a 25 per cent duty China has imposed on copper and aluminium waste. Levies on US scrap metal, waste paper, and plastics arriving in China began on August 23 after China announced new tariffs on $16 billion of US goods earlier in August 2018. Aluminium scrap was hit with tariffs in April 2018.

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Vietnam to restrict surging scrap imports

Vietnam has tightened control over the imports of scrap such as plastic, paper, and metals. With China banning imports of various types of scrap metal and waste products, imports into Vietnam have increased rapidly since 2017. Going forward, the Vietnamese government will only issue import licences if the importers can prove that their shipments meet the environmental standards and they have a demand and capacity to process the scrap as raw materials for their production activities.

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Aluminium scrap is becoming more and more valuable

Aluminium recycling is gaining in importance as a source of raw materials. Today, aluminium scrap is already one of the most economically valuable secondary raw materials. Around 20 per cent of the world’s aluminium requirements are covered by post-consumer scrap. Its significance is increasing in a time of shrinking raw material reserves and scarce, and above all expensive, energy.

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Indian foundries must raise castings output

Sector needs $8 billion investment to support Make in India initiative: IIF official. Indian foundries have to produce 25 million tons to 30 million tons of castings a year in the next 10 years to support the Make in India initiative. Last year, the Indian foundry industry produced 11.35 million tons of cast components in ferrous and non-ferrous categories. This year, it expected a 10% growth over the last fiscal.

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August 2018

Precious metals recycling innovation reaches Africa Prize finals

An innovation that uses a cheap and sustainable recycling method to recover precious metals has made it into the finals of the 2018 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Growing demand for platinum, palladium and rhodium made Collins Saguru decide to commercialise a metal recycling process he developed while doing his master’s degree in metallurgy and material engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand.

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Lightweight construction will continue to pose the greatest challenge for the automotive industry in future

Aluminium share per automobile to rise to between 160 and 180 kilograms by 2020. Aluminium has transformed the automotive industry, and it will continue to do so in future. It offers a better cost-benefit ratio than any of the substitute materials on offer. By collaborating even more closely in future, aluminium producers, processors and vehicle manufacturers can unlock further potential for the use of aluminium.

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Metal 3D printing and classic foundry techniques: Friends or foes?

The question is: What impact will this technology have on traditional foundries? The first question that is often asked when a new technology is introduced is: What of the old way of doing things? Sometimes the answer is that it fades into oblivion. Think fortran and floppy disks. Other times it falls out of use in mainstream society but becomes the domain of a small, especially devoted community, like calligraphy or pedal loom weaving.

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Ferrous scrap to increasingly replace natural resources as key steel raw material

Ferrous scrap will increasingly replace natural resources as the main raw material to produce steel, according to the World Steel Association (Worldsteel) head of raw materials, Dr Baris Bekir Çiftçi. This is mainly due to ferrous scrap’s increasing availability globally, as well as structural reforms in major steelmaking countries to increase the usage of electric-arc furnaces in the steel production process.

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry may be bought back from developers and reopened by royal charity

The centuries-old Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which was closed in 2016 and sold last year to developers for several million pounds, could be bought back by a royal building-preservation charity and reopened, according to the Church Times. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry, established in 1570, was one of the oldest companies in the UK, and had occupied premises on Whitechapel Road since 1738. It is the birthplace of Big Ben, Bow Bells, and the Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania.

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June 2018

TASA changes name to Production Technologies Association of South Africa

The Toolmaking Association of South Africa (TASA) was established in 2004 as a representative body for the South African tool, die and mouldmaking (TDM) industry. TASA was established to address the South African TDM and precision machining industry, which had been losing significant capacity, and with it, its global competitiveness and ability to enhance job creation – all to the detriment of the manufacturing sector and the economy as a whole.

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10th Industrial Policy Action Plan launched

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, has launched the 10th iteration of the Industrial Policy Action Plan. IPAP is the dti’s vision for the industrial development of South Africa. Despite a challenging few years for manufacturing, the IPAP 2018 has outlined programmes that have done well, with the automotive sector leading the pack. Other sectors it has supported have also made inroads.

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The Department Of Higher Education and Training launches artisan centres of specialisation

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has kicked off the campaign for the launch of 26 Centres of Specialisation (COS) aimed at prioritising 13 occupational trades in high demand to curb trade skills shortages as well as reduce unemployment and poverty in the country. The COS are located at 26 Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges across the country.

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NAACAM show to be held in Durban in 2019

The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) has announced that the NAACAM Show 2019 will be hosted by eThekwini Municipality in partnership with the Durban Automotive Cluster (DAC). This second iteration of the show will take place at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) on 12 – 14 March 2019. The inaugural NAACAM Show held in April 2017 was supported and endorsed by the Department of Trade and Industry and others.

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VW cancels contracts with Prevent Group after supply problems

What do brake parts, yachts, couches, shoes and Volkswagen have in common? Top marks if you answered the Prevent Group, a little known company of Bosnian origins and many interests that has played a big part in the recent history of the German automotive giant. For many years, the Prevent Group has supplied Volkswagen with various car parts, from gearbox components to seat covers, often via various other supply companies they bought up over the years.

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India goes ahead of the US and becomes the world’s second largest castings producer says IIF

India has overtaken the United States to emerge as the second largest producer of castings behind China, a spokesperson of the Indian Institute of Foundrymen (IIF) has said in reports published widely in India. The report comes four days after the news that India had overtaken Japan to become the world’s second largest crude steel manufacturer, which is all good news about the country’s growing production numbers.

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Indian foundries in Coimbatore area protest against rising raw material costs

400 foundries shut for two days say reports. If companies manufacturing pumps, wet grinders and engineering components were the driving force behind the thriving manufacturing sector in Coimbatore, 600 odd foundries were the backbone of all these companies. But they are facing a bleak future and the employees there are uncertain about their fate.

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April 2018

EU reintroduces anti-dumping duties on iron castings from China

The European Commission has set definitive anti-dumping duties on iron castings imported from China, in a latest trade measure against the country. The duties range from 15.5 per cent to 38.1 per cent on the imports, which are a family of products that include for instance manhole covers and grates used in street drainage, according to the European Union’s official journal.

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Picasso bronzes tracked back to Parisian foundry

Elemental analysis enabled researchers to delve into art history. Researchers from Northwestern University in Massachusetts and the Musée National Picasso in Paris have traced five of Pablo Picasso’s sculptures to a second world war foundry in Paris. They revealed their findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Austin, Texas on 17 February.

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Indian foundry industry expects $3 billion of investments

The Indian foundry industry, the third largest globally, expects investment of USD 3 billion while the National Steel Policy has envisaged steel production to reach 110 million tons (mt) by 2019-20 with the assured estimated investment in the next 10 years in order to meet the potential demand of 30 million tons of castings. The Indian foundry industry is expected to double its revenues over the next three years.

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Sale of Disa core machine business to Suzhou Mingzhi Technology Co. Ltd

The Norican Group and Suzhou Mingzhi Technology Co Ltd. have announced the signing of a binding agreement whereby Suzhou Mingzhi Technology Co Ltd. has purchased the assets of the Disa Core product business, based in Leipzig, Germany. The sale is the result of close dialogue between the parties, exploring potential cooperation within complementary business areas, to better serve customers.

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GF to acquire Swiss precision casting manufacturer

GF Automotive, a division of GF, is to purchase 100% of Precicast Industrial Holding SA, the Swiss-based precision casting specialist. This is in line with the division’s strategy to increase its industrial sectors presence, in particular in the promising aerospace field. Upon closing, the division will be renamed GF Casting Solutions. Precicast Industrial SA (Precicast) is one of the only independent precision casting, also called investment casting, companies in Europe.

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The humble post box

The Pillar Box for collecting mail, known as a post box in most countries, made of cast-iron and painted a distinctive red colour, is a feature of virtually every British street. The design has remained basically unchanged for 150 years and is a touchstone of continuity in a changing world. Firmly protected from change by a loving public, these boxes affirm the ritual of communication, even as more and more people stop sending physical mail and rely on virtual communication.

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February 2018

Historic Coalbrookdale Aga foundry site up for sale

The Aga foundry shut for the final time in November 2017, with the 42 remaining workers leaving their boots and helmets on the famous Coalbrookdale Co gates as they left. Telford & Wrekin Councillor Nicola Lowery, who represents the Ironbridge Gorge ward, said she had spoken to the site owner and understands the site will be put on the market with the industrial units intact.

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Bells of St Paul’s to fall silent for first time since Second World War as they are removed for cleaning and repairs

The bells of St Paul’s are to fall silent for the first time since the Second World War so they can be cleaned and restored. A successful funding campaign raised almost £400 000 to pay for the work amid concerns that the bells could fall from their mounts if they were not repaired.

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Scania invests EUR 150 million (SEK 1.5 Billion) in energy-efficient foundry

Scania plans to invest about EUR 150 million in a new foundry in Södertälje, Sweden, in order to triple production capacity and achieve a 50 per cent reduction in energy consumption compared to the technology and methods used in the current foundry. Through more efficient materials handling and recycling, a sharp reduction will also be achieved in the transport need per manufactured unit.

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Coca-Cola sets ambitious recycling goals

By 2030, for every bottle or can Coca-Cola sells globally, the company aims to help take one back so it has more than one life. To accomplish this the company states it is investing to support the collection of packaging throughout the industry, including bottles and cans from other companies. The programme includes a multi-year investment designed to make packaging 100 per cent recyclable.

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AMRC Castings unveil largest ceramic shell titanium casting created in Europe

The Castings Group of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has unveiled the largest ceramic shell titanium casting ever created from a single pour in Europe. The casting is a milestone test piece and will become a showcase for development of the AMRC’s titanium casting facility, which became operational earlier this year.

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December 2017

10 000th SpectroMAXx device delivered

Several months ago, Spectro Analytical Instruments delivered the 10 000th SpectroMAXx metal analyser to Geely Automobile, a Chinese automotive and motorcycle manufacturer based in Hangzhou. As part of its automotive and motorcycle production, Geely has raw materials, components and parts tested to determine whether they meet its quality requirements as well as international standards – and to avoid confusion.

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73rd World Foundry Congress to take place in Poland

23-27 September 2018, Krakow, Poland: The next World Foundry Congress, organised by the World Foundry Organization (WFO) will take place from 23rd September to 27th September 2018 at the ICE Krakow Congress Centre in Kraków, Poland. The conference will cover areas like materials, technologies, digitalisation, other foundry practices and management.

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Top honours awarded at the Investment Casting Institute’s 64th Technical Conference & Equipment Exposition

The Investment Casting Institute has announced the winning castings for its 16th Casting Design Contest in October, at the 64th Annual ICI Technical Conference & Expo. The Innovator of the Year Award was given to Feinguss Blank GmbH for making an integral scheme for traceability.

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Focus on die casting processes

Euroguss 2018 (16-18 January 2018) International trade fair for die casting will show innovative solutions for the production and application of die-cast components. The international die casting industry meets at Europe’s biggest trade fair for die casting for the 12th time. The product range shows innovative solutions for die casting processes like aluminium die casting, magnesium die casting or zinc die casting.

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Thinking in terms of magnesium – magnesium pressure die casting is completely in the trend

Many metallic objects are produced by pressure die casting. One of those metals that is ideally suited for this process is magnesium. The demand is growing with the automotive industry and its continuous demand for lightweight construction acting as a driver of innovation. Other industries whose products are in demand for a low weight and a favourable strength weight ratio are also boosting the demand.

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Omega Foundry Machinery acquires FTL Foundry Equipment

“It is our intention to incorporate the spares and service for existing FTL customers into Omega, thereby benefitting our revenue stream, whilst at the same time increasing our exposure both in the UK and certain overseas territories where FTL is active,” said Mark Fenyes, Chairman of Omega Foundry Machinery Ltd.

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Save the date – Gifa, Metec, Thermprocess and Newcast 2019

In just over 18 months time, the four successful technology trade fairs Gifa, Metec, Thermprocess and Newcast will be held in Düsseldorf again. From 25 to 29 June 2019 everything will revolve around foundry technology, metallurgy, thermo process technology and castings in Halls 3 to 5 and 9 to 17 at the exhibition site in Düsseldorf.

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Sinto Group purchases majority shareholding in 3DCeram

3DCeram, a French company specialising in a range of ceramic 3D object printing processes and materials, has signed an agreement to take on board the Sinto Group (, a heavyweight and world renowned Japanese industrial partner. The aim of this is to turbocharge the growth of the pioneering French company, a world leader in 3D ceramic printing.

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Norican completes acquisition of Light Metal Casting Solutions Group

Norican Global A/S (“Norican”), a leading metalic parts enhancement company (by virtue of its ownership of both DISA and Wheelabrator Group) has announced that it has completed the acquisition of the Light Metal Casting Solutions Group (“LMCS”). LMCS comprises three of the leading names in the aluminium parts formation marketplace: StrikoWestofen, ItalPresse and Gauss.

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October 2017

Ruling on Eskom tariff hikes a blow for high-energy users

Eskom has been given the green light to pursue up to R60 billion in clawback tariffs. The Constitutional Court has dismissed an application to set aside the power utility’s regulatory clearing account (RCA) adjustments, clearing the way for Eskom to recover a potential R60 billion through tariffs in the next year, revenue lost over the last three financial years.

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Afrox evolves low-temperature oxyfuel combustion technology for the aluminium industry

“This technology is designed for the aluminium industry and is based on flameless oxyfuel combustion. The combustion in the process occurs under a diluted oxygen concentration. Basically, the flame is diluted by mixing it with hot furnace gases and this slows down oxyfuel combustion reactions and results in lower flame temperatures, comparable to those of an airfuel system.”

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GF acquires high-pressure die casting specialist in Romania

GF Automotive, a division of GF, has announced the acquisition of Eucasting Ro SRL, a high-pressure aluminium die casting specialist with two production sites in Romania. The acquisition follows GF Automotive’s strategy to expand its presence in the growing light metal components business. Eucasting was founded in 1960 in Italy by the Mapelli family. In 2006 the company started the expansion to Romania with a die casting foundry in Pitesti.

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A new manufacturing method combines 3D printing with traditional casting to produce damage-tolerant components

A new manufacturing method created by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Rice University combines 3D printing with traditional casting to produce damage-tolerant components composed of multiple materials. Composite components made by pouring an aluminium alloy over a printed steel lattice showed an order of magnitude greater damage tolerance than aluminium alone.

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Easy casting sprue removal leads to reduced grinding operations – Hypertherm’s FlushCut

The new flush cutting process is helpful for a number of applications including jobs that require the separation of two metals. Allows users to cut attachments, lugs, pad eyes and other positive features as close to the base as possible without piercing or damaging the workpiece. Hypertherm, a manufacturer of plasma, laser, and waterjet cutting systems, has announced the release of FlushCut™ consumables for select Powermax® air plasma systems.

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Sand castings in just a few hours

The work that EnvisionTEC has been doing to advance industry using various 3D printing solutions has not gone unnoticed, and another recent development that the company has made looks set to bolster its considerable reputation still further. In collaboration with Viridis 3D, EnvisionTEC has patented an impressive robotic 3D printing solution, specifically designed for metal casting in foundries.

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Vesuvius and thyssenkrupp CSA cooperate

The Vesuvius Robotic Casting Technology (RCT) is offering a solution that automatically carries out all tasks and supervision necessary on the casting platform. It improves safety as the operators can be reassigned to process supervision tasks in a safer, remote working place. Moreover the Vesuvius RCT provides enhanced operations traceability, increased productivity, better reliability and consistency for all casting operations.

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August 2017

Hitachi High Technologies Corporation acquires Oxford Instruments Industrial Analysis business

Hitachi High-Technologies Group has recently announced that it has acquired Oxford Instruments’ Industrial Analysis division. The Japanese manufacturer of an extensive range of scientific instrumentation that includes science and medical systems, electronic device systems, industrial systems, and advanced industrial products, has reportedly purchased the division of the UK manufacturer for £80 million.

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Omega Foundry Machinery appoints John Winter as agent

“Our partnership with Omega Foundry Machinery is our largest partnership to date and evidences our commitment to the UK foundry industry. We are continuing to expand our sales team, who will be working closely with our new partners to grow their UK sales. This relationship marks the start of a really exciting time for us at John Winter,” said Michael McMahon, UK foundry sales manager at John Winter.

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VDMA foundry machinery manufacturers expect moderate growth in sales in 2017

German foundry machinery manufacturers completed 2016 with a slight fall of two per cent in sales. In 2015, the sector had already reported a single-digit decline (minus six per cent). The outlook for 2017 is brighter as the total average value of order books was up by 18 per cent at the end of 2016, compared with 2015. More orders came especially from the non-euro countries (plus 37 per cent).

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3D printing and foundries

Metal casting at foundries is one of many tried and true manufacturing processes that have been impacted by 3D printing. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing has for more than 20 years worked to introduce the benefits of 3D printing to numerous foundries. This experience has led the company to develop proprietary build styles and processes for superior 3D printed investment casting patterns and other important production applications.

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High pressure key to lighter, stronger metal alloys, Stanford scientists suggest

Subjecting complex metal mixtures called high-entropy alloys to extremely high pressures could lead to finer control over the arrangement of their atoms, which in turn can result in more desirable properties. Humans have been blending metals together to create alloys with unique properties for thousands of years. But traditional alloys typically consist of one or two dominant metals with a pinch of other metals or elements thrown in.

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June 2017

New greenhouse gas reporting regulations keep carbon tax on the radar

The National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Reporting Regulations were implemented recently by the environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa. Molewa issued the notice under the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, Government Gazette Notice: GN 275 in GG 40762 of 3 April 2017: Commencing Date: 3 April 2017.

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Transnet Engineering targeting 40% in third-party orders by 2021

The bulk of Transnet Engineering’s R10-billion in yearly revenue is currently derived from Transnet Freight Rail (TFR). However, newly appointed chief advanced manufacturing officer Thamsanqa Jiyane tells Engineering News that the unit has been restructured to improve its prospects of securing non-TFR work.

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Topology optimisation and new manufacturing methods enable lightweight design in agricultural engineering

Amazone develops and produces innovative agricultural technology with a high standard of quality, enabling and supporting modern and economical arable farming methods. With these standards in mind, Amazone leverages advanced development tools, processes, and manufacturing methods to contribute to its customers’ success.

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Titanium foundry at AMRC Castings about to fly

A castings facility capable of producing some of the biggest titanium aerospace components in the world is now operational at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). Construction of the furnace for the AMRC Castings Group was completed last year and in the past few weeks the first tests or ‘hot commissioning’ as it is known, have been completed successfully.

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Additive manufacturing is both growing and coping with growing pains

“Companies have to find ways to streamline polishing and other finishing processes of 3D printed parts. Such processes need more automation to improve the business case for additive manufacturing. The role of hybrid machines also needs to be sorted out,” said industry consultant Terry Wohlers recently.

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Malaysia emerging as major production center for ferroalloys

Samalaju Industrial Park is located an hour’s drive from central Bintulu in the state of Sarawak on Borneo island. Pertama Ferroalloys, a local joint venture involving foreign partners, including Nippon Denko, a major Japanese ferroalloy smelter, has spent some $400 million to build a ferroalloy plant there.

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Bumper boost for crash protection in lightweight vehicles

The Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST), a global leader in metallurgical casting research, is working closely with foundry partner Sarginsons Industries and others on the development of high-performance cast aluminium alloys as part of the Lightweight Energy Absorbing Aluminium Structures for Transport (LEAAST) project.

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Brunel research helps lighten the load for Jaguar Land Rover

Researchers at Brunel University London are developing a new generation of ultra-light car parts that will reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions. The three-year, £7.5 million project is a partnership driven by Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST), Jaguar Land Rover and others.

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April 2017

Naicker takes over from Davies at SAIF

Surprise at appointment of unknown in foundry industry as SAIF Executive Director. In what has been described as a complete surprise by industry, the Board of Directors of the South African Institute of Foundrymen (SAIF) have decided to appoint an unknown to the foundry industry, as the Executive Director of the SAIF.

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Mineral-Loy adds mechanical engineering graduate to its technical sales department

“Working with sand to form moulds (and cores) comes with numerous additional requirements these days. The operations have to be compliant with current and evolving regulatory standards, they have to fulfil the prevailing commercial standards for process reliability and productivity, as well as finished product quality,” said Mineral-Loy’s Executive Director Rob Duff.

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South Africa in talks with Airbus and Boeing to print 3D titanium parts

South African researchers developing the world’s largest machine for producing aircraft parts using lasers to melt powdered titanium are in talks with Airbus and Boeing, with the first commercial application expected in 2019. Officially launched in 2011 and backed by government, the Aeroswift research project last year produced its first three demonstrator parts.

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The 18th annual international RAPDASA Conference

The Rapid Product Development Association of South Africa (RAPDASA) will hold its 18th Annual International Conference in the first week of November 2017. This year the conference will be held in Durban, KwaZulu Natal. No further details were available at the time of going to press.

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SASSDA launches competition to promote life cycle costing app

To stand a chance to win a trip to Paris worth R125 000.00 entrants will need to download the LCC app and use it to calculate the significant long-term maintenance savings that could have been achieved had the Eiffel Tower been built from stainless steel. The app uses the standard accountancy principle of discounted cash flow.

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Europe’s biggest aerospace castings facility now operational

A castings facility capable of producing some of the biggest titanium aerospace components in the world is now operational at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). Construction of the furnace for the AMRC Castings Group was completed last year and in the past few weeks the first tests or ‘hot commissioning’ as it is known, have been completed successfully.

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Caterpillar in partnership to develop 3DP aluminium, titanium parts

Caterpillar Inc. has an agreement in place with FIT AG to design and produce aluminium and titanium parts using additive manufacturing technologies. “Caterpillar has a long history of creating innovative products designed to fit the needs of our customers, and entering into a strategic alliance with a leader in additive manufacturing will help further that tradition,” according to Stacey DelVecchio.

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Furan resin for the foundry market research report now available at Research Corridor

Research Corridor has published a new research study titled “Furan Resin for Foundry Market – Growth, Share, Opportunities, Competitive Analysis and Forecast, 2015 – 2022”. The Furan resin for the foundry market report studies current, as well as future aspects of furan resin for the foundry market based upon factors such as market dynamics, key ongoing trends and segmentation analysis.

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IMF Group assets up for auction

The woes of the Italian foundry equipment manufacturer have finally come to a head with the company’s assets due to go up for auction towards the end of April 2017. Rumours of the company’s financial troubles that started back in 2014 eventually led to the company applying for business rescue protection at the beginning of 2016.

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February 2017


Altair wins Airbus benchmarking competition

Altair has won a benchmarking competition, and as a result Airbus will implement a new pre- and post-processing tool based on Altair’s solutions HyperMesh and HyperView as the new platform worldwide. The benchmarking competition, which was initiated by Airbus in early 2016, has led to this agreement between Altair and Airbus.

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Küttner Schwingtechnik and Savelli Technologies complete Küttners global foundry platform in the field of green sand moulding and vibrating equipment

Küttner Group has expanded its global foundry platform by adding two new companies for vibrating and moulding equipment that perfectly complete the key activity of Küttner.

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Industry supports Machine Tools Africa 2017 as sales exceed 70%

With a few months still to go and the two allocated exhibition halls largely booked, industry has demonstrated its strong support for Machine Tools Africa 2017, taking place at the Expo Centre in Johannesburg from 9-12 May 2017. Exhibition space sales have exceeded 70% of overall square metres available and many other stands have been provisionally booked.

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Whitechapel Foundry to close

The world’s oldest bell foundry, which made Big Ben and Liberty Bell, is closing after 500 years in business. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry, based in London’s Whitechapel area, has long been the international centre for bespoke bells but the family run business has announced it is now set to close due to the “changing realities” of running a niche business.

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StrikoWestofen Westomat Plus+ dosing furnace wins award

The dosing furnace “Westomat Plus+” recently won the renowned “Good Design Award” of the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, putting it in line with lifestyle products such as Apple’s “iPhone”. “Demands can be made to improve the working environment in light metal foundries too,” said Rudi Riedel, manager of the StrikoWestofen company that makes the furnaces.

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Hüttenes-Albertus’ 20-year success story

Twenty years ago, researchers at Hüttenes-Albertus achieved a decisive break-through in improving the environmental properties of the cold box binder system. By using biodiesel as a solvent, benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX) emissions could be significantly reduced – an invention that is continuing its success in foundries to this day.

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Allied minerals

Allied Mineral buying monolithics, precast shape manufacturer

Refractories manufacturer Allied Mineral Products Inc. has announced it plans to buy Pryor Giggey Co., a manufacturer of monolithic refractory products and precast shapes. No price has been reported for the purchase. Both companies are employee-owned. The buyer indicated that business would continue to be conducted without change for both companies in the near term.

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December 2016


UIF commits nearly R12 million to training scheme for Scaw Metals employees

Scaw Metals has received the first payment of R1.99 million from the UIF, which will be used to pay the salaries of 325 workers participating in the training lay-off scheme (TLS). The UIF will pay 75% of an employee’s basic salary up to a maximum amount of R 9 358 a month.

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Electra Mining Africa 2016

More than 850 local and international exhibitors from the mining, industrial, electrical and power industries showcased their products and services across a 38 000m² indoor and outdoor exhibition area of Electra Mining Africa 2016 held in September at the Expo Centre, in Johannesburg.

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Aluminium in cars up 30%

This surge is mainly from rolled and extruded products, where Auto Body Sheet leads the growth with an expected increase of 110% over the same period. The growth is largely attributed to aluminium’s role in lightweighting cars, thereby contributing to low emission mobility.

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Every second aluminium closure in Europe is now recycled

Aluminium closures, mainly used on bottles of wine, spirits, water and olive oil, can be collected either with the mixed packaging fraction or together with the glass collection stream. Thanks to modern processes the aluminium is easily extracted and recycled, from both material streams.

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ICI’s 15th Annual Casting Design contest

The annual contest seeks to identify the best work of the preceding year, works that succeed not only by the aesthetic achievement but equally or, more importantly, by the function they serve. The contest also expresses the necessity of investment casting in industry and society.

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Robot optimises induction heating process

Ambrell Corporation, a leading manufacturer of innovative induction heating solutions worldwide, unveiled the world’s first induction heating “cobot”. The announcement took place at IMTS 2016 in Chicago, which is America’s largest manufacturing trade show with more than 2 000 exhibitors and attendance estimated to exceed 115 000 visitors.

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Grainger & Worrall pioneers engine block innovation together with JLR

High performance casting specialist Grainger & Worrall (GW) is working in conjunction with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to develop a new type of cylinder block that uses plasma coatings to reduce the weight and size of engines.

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New book: Induction Heating – Knowledge for practitioners

Induction heating processes and technologies are used in many industrial sectors. Due to the permanently increasing requirements on the reliable high quality of the products, on the effectiveness of the whole process chain, on the level of flexibility and automation, on the environmental sustainability of the heating processes…

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October 2016


New alloy promises to boost rare earth production while improving energy efficiency of engines

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and partners Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Wisconsin-based Eck Industries have developed aluminium alloys that are both easier to work with and more heat tolerant than existing products.

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World’s first metal 3D printing technology combining printing, casting and forging developed by Chinese scientists

The technology combines metal casting and forging technology to considerably improve the strength and ductility of metal moulds thereby expanding their service lives and reliability. Combining 3D printing, casting and forging also contributes to stronger parts strength and toughness, improved product lifecycles and better reliability, according to the inventors.

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Gold, silver and bronze

Gold, silver and bronze are what Olympic dreams are made of. However, the medals for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 have been made from extra special materials. They’re a source of pride and joy when they’re draped around the neck of an athlete who’s trained for years to achieve their goal – they’re the medals of the Olympic Games.

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ArcelorMittal has invented more than 250 grades of steelafter investing US $2.5 billion in R&D

On 1 August 2006, Arcelor and Mittal Steel merged to create the world’s leading steel company. Now the company is marking its 10-year anniversary. ArcelorMittal, the global behemoth that swooped in and took over many of Northwest Indiana’s big steel mills after the domestic steelmaking industry collapsed, marked its 10-year anniversary recently.

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Research ‘error’ leads to metal processing breakthrough

While working with the molten semiconductor, antimony sulphide, it found that by adding another layer that is a very good ionic conductor on top of the material, electrolysis began to work very well, separating the metal out of the sulfide compound to form a pool of 99.9% pure antimony at the bottom of their cell. Antimony can’t normally be processed using the electrolytic method, which is used to produce aluminium by applying an electric current.

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August 2016


3D printing for innovative mould making combined with simulation driven design inspiration pushes the limits for high performance castings

Blending engineering technologies leads to innovative design and manufacturing process. Altair, Click2Cast, HBM nCode and voxeljet have combined design optimisation, casting simulation, fatigue analysis, and 3D printing to create better performing, lightweight vehicle components.

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NAACAM launches automotive component show

The National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers of South Africa (NAACAM) has announced that its inaugural NAACAM Show will take place at the ICC Durban, KwaZulu Natal from April 5-7 2017. The overall objectives of the NAACAM Show are to showcase the capability of the South African automotive industry and in particular the component sector.

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Does Siemens want to build gas-fired power plants in South Africa?

The South African government wants to reduce its nation’s dependence on coal for power and end an electricity shortage that has curbed economic growth for close to a decade. Enter Siemens and a possible gas-fired plant. Siemens AG is interested in bidding to build gas-fired electricity-generating capacity in South Africa as the German engineering company boosts its presence in the country and the government seeks to end power shortages.

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Voxeljet launches 8m² capacity sand casting 3D printer

What is claimed to be the world’s largest 3D printed sand mould system has been commissioned in Canton, Michigan, USA. No other 3D printing system for sand moulds offers larger continuous build volumes, the company states. At 4,000 by 2,000 by 1,000mm (length by width by height), the build space more or less corresponds to the size of a VW Golf automobile.

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Refiner master for magnesium alloys

Scientists at Brunel University (London) perfected a patented niobium-based master alloy that filled the missing gap in grain refiners for magnesium alloys and offered significant advantages over titanium in aluminium silicon alloys. Led by Dr Hari Babu Nadendla of the Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Science (BCAST), the team’s discovery of a patented niobium based master alloy has won the Institute of Materials Charles Hatchett Prize and Medal and the Cast Metal Foundation’s 2016 Innovation Award.

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John Winter acquires CAT International’s manufacturing facility

UK-based supplier to the foundry industry, John Winter, has acquired CAT International’s manufacturing facility in the single largest investment in the company’s 50-year history. In a progressive move that will see John Winter cement its position as one of the leading UK manufacturers and suppliers to the foundry industry, the independently-owned company will take on CAT’s Warwick manufacturing facility, products and existing employees.

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Turning war scrap into steel for construction in Angola

The remnants from a brutal 27-year civil war in the southern African country of Angola are still littered throughout its capital city, Luanda. Under a new project, an abundance of scrap metal from decommissioned tanks and weaponry is being collected and recycled into steel at the country’s first steel mill — and the largest in west and central Africa — which recently started operations at the $300 million Aceria de Angola (ADA) facility, about 25 miles north of Luanda, reports CNN.

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June 2016


RAPDASA 17th Annual International Conference

The Rapid Product Development Association of South Africa (RAPDASA) will hold its 17th Annual International Conference from 2 to 4 November 2016 at the Vaal University of Technology, VUT Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa.

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Eighth Ipap requires break from the past

There is an “even more pressing need for structural change in the economy”, to break out of commodity dependence and move to a more diversified base, said Minister Davies in launching the latest Industrial Policy Action Plan. Ipap 2016, considered a “higher impact Ipap”, envisages nothing less than a massive, concerted and focused national industrial effort.

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Sacrificing the steel industry to save Mittal

This opinion piece is written by Gerhard Papenfus, writing in his personal capacity, as the Chief Executive of the National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA). I do not claim to fully understand what’s currently happening in this space and the reasons for it. The Steel Industry is in troubled waters. There are many indicators to this effect, but job losses are an important one.

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Oscar returns to bronze

The original Oscar statuette was sculpted in 1928 by Los Angeles artist George Stanley. The first statuettes were cast in bronze by Guido Nelli at the California Bronze Foundry. For the past 33 years the statuettes have been manufactured at a Chicago trophy company where they were cast in britannia metal and gold plated. The statuette’s base was made of black, nickel-plated spun brass.

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Endress+Hauser completes takeover of Analytik Jena

Swiss measurement and automation engineering specialist Endress+Hauser has completed the takeover of German analytical instrumentation provider Analytik Jena. The remaining minority shares of Analytik Jena were legally transferred to Endress+Hauser on 30 March 2016 following the entry of the transfer resolution in the commercial registry that was previously adopted at the extraordinary general meeting in February.

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High quality cast impellers made using Cti’s advanced technology Replicast® process

Increasing pressure to improve the performance of critical pumping equipment and reduce costly down time is creating opportunities for a novel method for making one of a pump’s key components. Impellers play a crucial part in a pump’s overall efficiency, but ensuring their blades are perfectly balanced and of a suitable surface quality, thickness and geometry to ensure a long service life, delivering maximum flow rates, is difficult to achieve using traditional casting processes.

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Caterpillar uses AM to shorten lead times and save costs

Much of additive manufacturing’s appeal comes from the long-term promise of new products, new designs and new ways of thinking about production. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t practical, effective ways to put additive manufacturing to work right now, today. While additive manufacturing for large-scale production is a way off for almost every manufacturer, current 3D printers are well-suited for many shopfloor applications, including creating tools, gauges and other manufacturing aids.

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Globe Specialty Metals and Grupo FerroAtlántica clear regulatory process and complete business amalgamation

Globe Specialty Metals has recently announced it has completed its amalgamation with Grupo FerroAtlántica, finalising the creation of the new company Ferroglobe PLC. The business amalgamation, which was first announced on February 23 2015, was completed following receipt of all required regulatory clearances and approvals.

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April 2016


ASK Chemicals reaches 50 year milestone

The roots of the present ASK Chemicals GmbH in Hilden, the headquarters of the ASK Chemicals Group, go back to the founding of ADM Giesserei Chemikalien GmbH with participation in Kernfest KG in 1966. Only four years later, the company changed its name to Ashland-Süd-Chemie-Gießerei-Chemikalien GmbH & Co. KG.

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MRA oppose ITAC on amendments to PPS policy guidelines

The Metal Recyclers Association (MRA), representing over 100 members making up 80% of the metal recycling industry, have made a formal submission to the International Trade Administrative Commission of South Africa (ITAC) opposing amendments to the Pricing Preference System (PPS) guidelines on the Exportation of Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Waste and Scrap.

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Policy over scrap metal requires industry input

In August 2013, amid vociferous protest and unsuccessful legal challenges from the metal recycling industry, the Economic Development Department pushed through a new directive that gave the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) the power to bar exports of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal unless it is offered first to domestic purchasers at a 20% discount to the prevailing international price.

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Scaw Metals is supporting the proposed amendments to the price preference system (PPS)

Steel manufacturing major Scaw Metals is supporting the proposed amendments to the price preference system (PPS) policy guidelines for local scrap metal it has said in Engineering News. The PPS will govern future exports of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal from South Africa through one harbour – Port Elizabeth.

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Corrosion-resistant magnesium could replace aluminium in decreasing vehicle weight

Magnesium is the lightest construction metal, but also the most reactive. This means that it is very sensitive to corrosion, making it difficult to use in corrosive environments. For more than a hundred years, magnesium producers have strived to improve its corrosion characteristics by developing new, more corrosion-resistant alloys, and developing various coatings.

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ACTech invests in innovative 3D cold printing technique ExOne machine

The ExOne Company, a global provider of three-dimensional (“3D”) printing machines and 3D printed and other products to industrial customers has announced the installation of the first machine running with the new binder agent, cold hardening phenol (“CHP”). The printer was installed at the ACTech GmbH premises in Freiberg, Germany.

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February 2016


Steel mill construction hinges on feasibility study, says Patel

A final investment decision to establish a new steel mill will depend on the outcome of a prefeasibility study under way and a later feasibility study, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel insists, according to a report in Business Day. China’s Hebei Iron and Steel Group and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) agreed in September 2014 to undertake the prefeasibility study into the creation of a new low-cost steel plant.

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New on-line price benchmarking service is radically transforming metals purchasing

Supply Dynamics LLC, a provider of innovative supply chain visibility software solutions, has announced the launch of Price Dynamics™ ( Price Dynamics harnesses the power of the crowd to help anyone purchasing industrial metals to understand true market price for many common ferrous and non ferrous metals.

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Four “Bright World of Metals“ trade fairs are switching to a three-year cycle

GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST are switching to a three-year cycle. The next time that the leading international trade fairs for foundry technology, metallurgy, thermo process equipment and castings will be taking place in Düsseldorf is from Tuesday 26 June to Saturday 30 June 2018.

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Chinese foundry orders 41 Westomat dosing furnaces from StrikoWestofen

When a foundry company converts its production to a completely new system, it has to be 100 percent convinced of its benefits. This is true for the Chinese Hongbang Die Casting Company (Nantong City, Jiangsu Province). In addition to the switch, the company used the occasion of the opening of a new production location to order 41 Westomat dosing furnaces from StrikoWestofen Asia (Taicang).

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Ankiros / Annofer / Turkcast 2016

The trade shows Ankiros 2016 – 13th International Iron-Steel and Foundry Technology, Machinery and Products Trade Fair, Annofer 2016 – 12th International Non-Ferrous Metals Technology, Machinery and Products Trade Fair, and Turkcast 2016 – 7th Foundry Products Trade Fair will be organised by Hannover-Messe Ankiros Fuarcilik A.S. and take place from 29th September to the 1st October 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Norsk Titanium 3D printed parts for jet structures score high on Aerospace Technology Readiness tests

Norsk Titanium’s 3D-printing technology has been used by an Airbus subsidiary to produce structural components for the jet builder’s A350 XWB wide-body aircraft, in Ti-6Al-4V (the most commonly used titanium alloy in industrial applications, sometimes known as Ti64).

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IMF installs giant manipulator capable of handling big flasks and castings up to a weight of 20 tons

Foundry equipment manufacturer IMF Group, with headquarters in Italy, has recently manufactured a tele manipulator capable of handling big flasks and castings up to a weight of 20 tons. The giant Automa K20 manipulator has been installed at the Italian VDP Schio foundry and is believed to be the biggest manipulator ever manufactured worldwide.

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