One wonders

One of the main stories in this issue covers recent developments at the Auto Industrial Group. The Group consists of two foundries, one in Isando and the other in Wadeville, and a forge – Hubco Forgings – also based in Wadeville. By South African standards the foundries are large, in terms of production figures.

The company has for a long time had the philosophy of being in control of its own destiny, and the key components to feed the numerous CNC machines at its large machining facility in Spartan are the castings and forgings that are manufactured at the two foundries and the forge. Within all of these facilities there are the latest quality, inspection and measuring tooling and systems that are utilised either prior, post or inline to ensure the utmost accuracy of the components that the company delivers to clients.

Constant spending on new equipment, upgrades and adding new processes to the manufacturing capabilities within the Group now makes it one of the most comprehensive manufacturers in the country and one that we can be proud of, especially as the Group supplies components to the ever demanding automotive OEMs. It certainly can stand tall in the face of international competition.

The Auto Industrial Group is a multi disciplinary manufacturing company within the metal processing and metalworking industries. From castings and forgings to complete machining of components. It even has a toolroom situated at the Spartan operation where tooling is made for the CNC machines as well as the design and manufacture of patterns for the foundries.

Other stories in this issue include those on the Altair Group, which supplies proprietary software across a broad industry spectrum including foundries and machine shops. I also have a story on the Pangborn Group that supplies surface preparation equipment to many different metalworking companies, including foundries and machine shops.

There are also articles on GOM optical measuring systems, a Vulcan handheld metal analyser, the Equotip metal hardness tester, the Spectroport portable arc/spark OES metals analyser and a Synchro ERP system, a complete integrated production control and management information system for scrap metal that is being developed. All of these products and systems are used in a broad spectrum of metalworking industries that as we all know are reliant on each other to manufacture products and components for a broad range of industries.

The common denominator is the processing of metal, ferrous or non ferrous, into an end product that is used in our everyday lives.

Besides direct selling, advertising in magazines, websites and promotional events amongst many others, one way for a supplier, whether it be for equipment, tooling, raw materials, testing and measuring equipment and systems trying to get their message across to potential buyers is the exhibition or conference platform. Both of these platforms provide opportunities for visiting companies and their personnel to find out about the new processes and a broad range of machinery, equipment, products and services involved in the metal processing cycle, all under one roof.

A complete exhibition, in my opinion, is one that has an influential conference running alongside. Coming up in the next few months there are a number of exhibitions and an international conference, all of them linked to the metal processing and metalworking industries that are taking place in South Africa. In fact there are four that I know of.

I use the example of the Auto Industrial Group because of its multi disciplinary involvement in the metal processing cycle. As a company it could attend all four of these events and in one case could even exhibit. My question is then why are these three events and the conference not co-located? We all know that it is very expensive to partake in these events and it is only the location hosts, event organisers, PR companies and the stand builders that make sizeable profits. Would you not want to visit an event that offers information on a casting from start to finish? Imagine the time and costs that would be saved for all concerned.