Shopfront Focus

January 2016


Diversification and capital equipment investment leads to Technipunch’s growth

Most service centres and fabricators adjust their manufacturing processes significantly to compete in today’s hotly contested race to gain new customers and keep existing clients happy, while at the same time they look for opportunities to cut production time and maintain, or even improve quality.

Read more


6-axis BLM tube laser machine adds new dimension to TW Tube Laser and Processing

The name TW Tube Laser and Processing (Pty) Ltd might not be a household name yet. That is because the company was only established in December 2014, and started to supply clients with product in August 2015, but is now processing hollow sections, open structural sections such as H, I, angle and channel as though there is no tomorrow.

Read more

November 2015


Building a business

At a time when companies are thinning the worker ranks, many people may be thinking about going into business for themselves. Freddie Visser, the owner of Stainless Plate Products, did that six years ago having previously worked for others. He recommends the latter.

Read more


Every braaier worth his “World’s best cook” apron wants the best accessories

It was not so long ago that we celebrated National Heritage Day (24 September), a public holiday in South Africa. The day is set aside for all South Africans to celebrate our rich heritage. Through various initiatives the day has been unofficially coined as National Braai Day.

Read more


Precision springs and metal shapes

Many products rely on the strength and durability of springs but, as Capewell Springs warns, it is important to ensure high-quality springs are selected in order to avoid premature spring failure, which could prove disastrous. The average mechanical watch movement for example – say, from a Swiss Rolex – contains around 135 individual parts.

Read more

September 2015


Thinking inside the box

Businesses – both large and small – have been battling to survive and many smaller firms have gone under. Eskom has taken us to the brink of an economic shutdown. This is a classic case of putting the interests of the powerful before the interests of the people. South Africa’s economy is in for a tough time as the energy crisis worsens. We simply must break the Eskom monopoly, before it breaks South Africa.

Read more


Turning it on at Turntec Engineering

There is no coincidence when you have a surname such as Turner, you are a qualified fitter and turner/machinist, you are in the business of machining and the company name you choose is Turntec Engineering. Turntec Engineering was founded in 1995 by Derrick Turner because he knew there was a brighter world out there, as against working for a mine three kilometres underground repairing pumps, winders and locomotives.

Read more


Perfection Tool and Die embraces transformation

“Perfection is a goal every business strives for, but when it’s part of your name, you feel even more responsible for it,” says Filipe dos Santos, one of the members of Perfection Tool and Die, an Anderbolt, Boksburg, Gauteng based general machining shop which over the years has serviced industries such as the armaments, motor, plastic, coal mining and gold mining.

Read more

July 2015


Chad-O-Chef braais and fireplaces

From spit-braais to potjies, shisa nyama and snoek-braais South Africans love getting together around a fire to cook some food, share some fellowship and more. All over South Africa there are braai buffs and grill enthusiasts who profess to be the best at our national pastime before the social occasion takes place, and even more so once a few alcoholic beverages have been consumed.

Read more


Racing is not a drag in this business

Fulrace Engineering specialises in the rebuilding of torque converters, fluid couplings and repair of transmission pumps, and these days takes automotive component manufacture and repair into the fast lane. The words “precision machining” conjure up images of machines and processes capable of holding tight tolerances in medium to high production part runs.

Read more


Morgan Advanced Materials increases focus on locally manufactured products in import replacement drive

Traction brush holders and slip ring manufacture among products designated under new strategy. Established for more than a century, the Electrical Materials business of Morgan Advanced Materials designs and manufactures a broad range of high performance solutions for rotary transfer systems, linear transfer systems and electrical carbon systems.

Read more


Rock solid dependability™

I take you back in time. In fact nearly five years. The world sat transfixed in front of their TV’s watching a news story unfold where 33 men were about to undergo an ordeal the likes of which few suffer, and fewer survive. The next time they saw daylight, they would be global heroes, and their lives would never be same.

Read more

May 2015


Let there be light…

It is an old cliché but in the case of Lighting Innovations, a Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape based manufacturer that has recently made a multi-million Rand investment in a new manufacturing facility situated on Cape Road in Greenbushes Industrial area, the glare of South Africa’s power crisis could not shine more on this company’s products.

Read more


Finishing stainless steel blanks, tube and pipe efficiently

If you think about fabricating steps in order of process, you probably think about finishing as the last stage. Short of a final inspection and packaging, it is last. Furthermore, in many shops, finishing is an entry-level position, and although the process isn’t quite an afterthought, a nice appearance usually isn’t as critical as everything else that goes into a successful product—research, design, prototyping, testing, and so on.

Read more


Acquiring new business, machining bigger components and workpieces

Cannon Precision Engineering proves you can start in a garage! Machining bigger components was always on the horizon when Juan le Roux embarked on his own venture 20 years ago. But getting to that stage was not always an easy ride for this hands-on jobbing shop owner. However, Le Roux owes more than open capacity and capable equipment for his ability to transition.

Read more


Oak Engineering – Building on strengths established from a work-hard ethic

In 1981, with great anticipation, Brian Gardner opened Oak Engineering in a small room at the back of a café in Germiston, Gauteng, with only a single second hand conventional Colchester lathe and a Bridgeport mill. Now, 34 years later Oak Engineering occupies a 1300m² factory in Greenhills Industrial Estate, Tunney Ext 6, Germiston, Gauteng, employs 29 staff and has a shopfloor that is occupied by six high end Okuma CNC machine tools.

Read more

March 2015


MAN Diesel & Turbo South Africa invests further in South Africa

MAN Diesel & Turbo South Africa, the compressor and turbine blade manufacturing subsidiary of European multinational MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, based in Augsburg, Germany and one of the world’s leading providers of large-bore diesel engines and turbo-machinery for use in marine and power station applications, has been gearing up to seamlessly transform the local operation into a Center of Excellence.

Read more


In high gear with Mitre Engineering

For many manufacturers productivity is measured by the volume of parts cranked out in an hour or day, and keeping costs down for customers, which means chipping away at setup and machining times while maintaining tolerances. On the other side of the coin, there are shops filling small orders for large-diameter, high quality gears, which often take days or weeks to machine and cost thousands of rands.

Read more


Size doesn’t matter

Tucked away in a relatively small 350m² facility in Centurion, Gauteng is a company that thrives on the pressure of supplying a demanding industry. The company is a contract machining operation that specialises in producing complex, high-precision parts for the avionics and electronics industry that have applications in air, land, security, marine systems and defence markets.

Read more

January 2015


Vala Moya talks the torque

In a short period Vala Moya has built a reputation for machining complex components and products for the torque and tension technology industry, with batch sizes ranging from one-off to a couple of hundred. With the equipment that the company has invested in, larger batch sizes are possible but these orders are not common.

Read more


Bromley Sports keeps leading athletes at the top of their game

When not hurling himself down bob-sled tracks at 90 miles an hour on a small high-tech sled, Kristan Bromley designs and manufacturers sleds for 22 nations preparing for the next Winter Olympics, including Britain, Norway, Russia, Switzerland and Korea. He has one world championship under his belt, two overall world series titles, numerous British national titles, and is three-times European champion.

Read more

November 2014


Doing it the Weir way

Weir Minerals Africa has procured their castings from local foundries or imported them from Weir Minerals foundries located elsewhere in the world since 2006. This arrangement worked well in some respects, however, it also had its drawbacks. First and foremost, the company did not have sufficient control over the quality of material used or the processes employed at the contracted local non-Weir Minerals foundries.

Read more


Multitasking to increase your efficiencies

In the case of Strucmac, the company has built a job shop business based on flexibility and breadth. It’s a business designed to handle parts, sub-assemblies or complete products for its clients. In a multitasking operation, a milling cutter can machine a rotating workpiece. Combining milling and turning techniques has many advantages, but only relatively recently have multitasking machine tools allowed this process to display its full benefits.

Read more


A plan comes together at G.E Patterns & Foundry

Scaled up and ready to grow. Around the world one dream unites foundry owners, regardless of their experience or specialty: greenfield capacity. Much can be accomplished with a clean slate. However in going this route, constraints such as cost, market opportunities, plant infrastructure, inaccessibility and local zoning rules are limiting factors to a foundry’s growth opportunities.

Read more

September 2014


S&D Precision Toolmakers celebrates 40 years in business

A job shop, based in Vereeniging, Gauteng, is delivering a variety of high accuracy components including (but not limited to) tooling, dies, jigs, impellers and gears to the petrochemical, defence and mining industries. However, S&D Precision Toolmakers has also been manufacturing gear cutters, with an emphasis on the rack-type (Maag, Sunderland) and disc-type (Fellows) cutters, since the 1990s.

Read more


Scientific Engineering is more than a metal basher

The management team at Scientific Engineering has seen the manufacturing landscape change greatly over the last 25 years, including the company’s manufacturing processes and the product mix. Scientific Engineering (Pty) Ltd has been around since 1966 as a leading manufacturer of laboratory and scientific equipment in Southern Africa.

Read more


Not just a service centre

Strategic alliances and partnerships will always form the basis of a sound future for a company. However, developing your own opportunities and not just waiting for RFQ’s to come in the door via the Group structure should steer the company toward becoming proactive and discovering new business.

Read more


Steelbank unwinding the way forward

To maintain a manufacturing sector in this country, industry must continually improve upon efficiency. Manufacturers and processors can and should specify new machines that run at high speeds and allow quick setups, which are two essential ingredients for efficient operation.

Read more

July 2014


Forget caravanning – lets go camping with our 4×4 trailer

Just a few years ago Frantel Holdings’ entire business was focused on aluminium gravity die casting making the company’s success and profitability extremely susceptible to a handful of clients in the petrochemical industry, an area that the company was founded on in 2004.

Read more


Vereeniging Foundries reaches 50 year milestone

When Wilfried Kappmeier and George Whittal sat talking over a cup of tea just over 50 years ago, planning their new venture of owning and running their own foundry, they could not have envisaged that their company would reach the milestone of 50 years in business.

Read more


Embracing change

When Claudio Ferrari (Mechanical Engineer) and Sietse Walma van der Molen (Industrial Engineer) purchased Budget Sheet Metal in 2007, with the support of Ketti van der Molen, an economist, and Sigrid Ferrari, an analyst, they knew they had a challenging task ahead of them. Earning a reputation for innovation and quality is a difficult task.

Read more


Boschpick Engineering upgrades foundry operations to increase capacity and productivity

It sounds like a law or accounting firm when you say Boschpick Engineering is run by Peens, Peens & Peens. But you couldn’t be further from the connotation or perception associated with these professions when you visit or engage in business with the company.

Read more

May 2014


Machining from an early age

The story behind every startup is generally unique and Shaughn Kornau and his machine shop are no different. It was inevitable that Shaughn Kornau would make engineering and in particular, machining precision components, his career. “At the age of 10 my dad gave me a Myford 7 lathe as a present. It was the beginning of a lifetime of challenges in mechanical engineering and the fun that comes with it,” said Kornau.

Read more


Proficiency to diversify leads to growth for AAA Laser

AAA Laser recently expanded its equipment capabilities to facilitate its continuous growth. The multi-capable forming and fabricating company has drawn on its ability to diversify to grow and prosper. When Greek immigrant Dimitri Anastasiu left Greece in 1991 he had no idea that he would end up making South Africa, his choice of a holiday destination at the time, his home and run a very successful engineering business.

Read more


How Larcol Pressings reinvented itself

Larcol Pressings used to be a general engineering shop that relied on just about any work coming in through the door. In fact when the company was established it did not have a single client – just the will, hope and dream of two immigrants from Germany. This isn’t really a solid foundation for growth but somehow the company has survived and this year celebrates its 41st anniversary.

Read more


A partnership that really works for Sigma Wear Parts

The company specialises in the manufacture of high integrity castings and the manufacture of atomized stainless steel shot and grit and low carbon steel shot. “I suppose it was inevitable that I would get involved in the foundry industry from an early age. My late dad Terry Ryan was a foundryman all his life and through his influence I started to work in the foundry industry from the age of 14,” said Eddie Ryan.

Read more

March 2014


Machines are only part of the story at Warren’s Way

“In order to survive in today’s competitive marketplace, general engineering workshops must find ways to cut costs and increase productivity – all without sacrificing quality. People don’t like to accept second best at all. You have to exceed the customer’s expectations, or they’re going to go somewhere else,” said Warren Petersen, Managing Director of Warren’s Way Engineering.

Read more


Growth through the new and old

Nine out of ten business owners of privately run companies really don’t know or understand what they have done to be successful, and in most cases, they have not developed a succession plan for the business. Through shear hard work and dedication to the business it has generally grown and become a prominent entity. Continuing his legacy is far from the owners mind.

Read more


Mac Brothers conquers Burger King

Mac Brothers Catering Equipment, one of the largest independently-owned catering equipment manufacturers in South Africa, has recently been awarded a contract to supply equipment and services for the roll-out of Burger King in South Africa.

Read more


A tale of two worlds under one roof

The company, which has roots in mould and die making, offers CNC punching, bending and guillotining, welding and assembly as well as the original toolroom machiningfor customers.With its recent purchase of a Hurco VM20 vertical machining center Ingmar are now able to offer more than fabrication related services.

Read more

January 2014


Somta Tools to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2014

A company that began business manufacturing chisels, toolbits, reamers and twist drills with a complement of about 20 employees is now a specialist in the design and manufacture of high performance, standard and custom carbide and high speed steel cutting tools for…

Read more


Copalcor Group streamlines itself

For decades brass and copper have been used in a variety of industries. From plumbing to aerospace, from hardware to the automotive industry and beyond. The challenge lies in finding a supplier with the skill to identify and produce the best solution for your specific requirements.

Read more


Paramount aims to leave opposition trailing

Paramount Trailers officially opened its new manufacturing facility in October 2013. They invested R150 million in a state-of-the-art facility in Kliprivier Business Park, which is situated next to the R59, the busy link between Johannesburg and Vereeniging.

Read more


Rapid Allweiler foundry starting to pump out castings

Rapid Allweiler celebrated its 80th birthday in 2012 becoming part of a select group of companies in South Africa that have proved that consistent quality and service lead to longevity. Established as a general engineering business in Booysens, Johannesburg in 1932, the company continues to grow from strength to strength.

Read more

November 2013


General machining and light fabricating shop steps up – GJ Smal Engineering

GJ Smal Engineering is a general machining and light fabricating shop that serves a variety of industries but with companies serving the mining and related industries making up the bulk of the order book. The extent of the client list and with close to 6 000 drawings of various components on hand.

Read more


Lusafrica executives constantly look at their operation to ascertain where they can be more productive

The latest equipment – an Inductotherm VIP Power-Trak and two 120 kilogram bodies –has increased capacity and productivity in its bronze melting department.

Read more


Setting new capabilities in machining at U & L Engineering

Rebuilding and reconditioning is an important line of business for users of construction, earth-moving and agricultural equipment. For the equipment owners and operators, rebuilding makes economic sense, particularly with regard to the hydraulic components.

Read more


Bringing it all together – Gear Pump Manufacturing

Machining operations complemented by the development of in-house foundry at Gear Pump Manufacturing. Gear Pump Manufacturing (GPM) is located in Cape Town, South Africa.

Read more

September 2013


50th Anniversary highlights Malleable Casting’s progress, achievements

While there have been numerous changes in the foundry industry through the past several decades, Malleable Castings has been a reliable presence in this changing industrial sector. The Activia Park, Gauteng based foundry is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, with a rich and innovative history.

Read more


Bekker Steel expands and moves home

With the recent surge in plate and sheet work, there has been a huge demand for plate processors to come to the party and deliver. One such company doing just that is Bekker Steel, based in Vereeniging, Gauteng.

Read more



Passionate and motivated in believing they are second to none

A machine shop finds a winning strategy as it learns that being competitive demands attentiveness, understanding, and the resources to be available for any type of opportunity.

Read more


It’s not just about waterjet cutting

Easy Way Gadgets’ operations in Vereeniging, Gauteng have evolved as the company has steadily grown since its inception in 2006. The company occupies four facilities in the Duncanville industrial area, giving it 2 000m² of manufacturing space, eight times the size of when the company opened for business.

Read more

July 2013

Shopfront Dale 7

The final proof

It is estimated that the first bread was made around 10,000 years BC or over 12,000 years ago. Dale Automation can boast that its equipment processes 8.5 million loaves of bread and 1 700 tons of chicken a day.

Read more



B&K Foundry celebrates five-year milestone

This Carletonville, Western Gauteng foundry servicing the stainless steel castings market was established five years ago. “When we started B&K five years ago our research indicated that there was more than enough room and call for a new foundry to operate in the stainless steel castings market and time has proved this to be true.”

Read more


Drives, motors, couplings and geared units for industry

Siemens Mechanical Drives manufacturing and assembly facility in Isando, Gauteng, is the heart of the Drive Technologies Division. The Drive Technologies Division products are used in the manufacturing industry, process industry and energy/infrastructure.

Read more

May 2013


Raising the bar

Dress up any truck with a slick paint job, banks of bright lights, and gobs of chrome accessories and you’ll grab the attention of just about anyone anywhere you go.

Read more



Kennametal South Africa expands its footprint

One of South Africa’s leading suppliers of tooling, engineered components and advanced materials consumed in production processes, Kennametal South Africa, has recently completed a move to Boksburg East Industrial Sites, Gauteng that sees the company increase its area under roof by 300%.

Read more


Ulrich Engineering

True to its Swiss heritage, Ulrich Engineering makes money the old fashioned way: By earning it. This shop does so by manufacturing many different, some being complex parts, on its various CNC machines smarter and efficiently. The company also does not specialise in manufacturing components for any particular industry or machining a specific material.

Read more

March 2013

Shopfront Heri 5

Jaws for every chuck

Ways to boost operating efficiency shouldn’t stop at the machine tool.
Shops also need the right cutting tools, toolholders, and workholding. For many shops, the addition of new metalcutting technology is all about buying machine tools, with cutting tools, toolholding, and workholding dealt with as afterthoughts.

Read more


Electro-Rail on the fast track

Judging from recent activity, Electro-Rail (Pty) Ltd has been making good on its commitment to make whatever strategic capital equipment investments are necessary to improve service to customers.

Read more



Time to cut the old technology loose – Fabrication shop shapes its future

With its 15-year-old machine no longer meeting its needs, Tegmul Engineering has invested in capital equipment to make the company more competitive.

Read more



Shop constantly re-invests for the future

In a shop that turns out over 10 000 components in a month the pressure is always on to complete the orders and keep clients happy.

Read more


January 2013


PTF Manufacturers – A specialist machine shop for the pump and valve industry

To ensure prosperity the company has followed a strategy of continual investment in new equipment and capacity.

Read more



Viking Foundry thrives in new facility

The future looks bright for the Germiston, Gauteng based mixed metal foundry. The company’s recent move into a new building has freed up plenty of space to expand and organise production flow.

Read more



Staman Automatic adapts to market changes

Dealing with change and adapting to it is a survival skill most shops are learning whether they want to or not, especially when traditional machined parts markets dry up as others open up.

Read more