I visited a member recently and was shocked at the difficulties they are facing. Their factory was established in 1983 and by 1989 they were employing 1000 people. Today they employ 48. Their consumption of stainless steel has dropped by 85%. It is heart-breaking to see banks of mothballed machines. We have all heard these stories before, but to witness this firsthand brings it home. The problem is that they are unable to compete with the Chinese. Imports of finished products are coming into the country at a lower price than they can source the stainless steel primary product. Added to this, they say the Chinese material is a lower grade stainless steel than is suitable for the application.
AN INTERVIEW WITH JOHN TARBOTON
The Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (sassda), one of the most active stainless steel industry associations in the world, provides a platform for members to collectively promote the sustainable growth and development of the industry. “We exist to promote the local manufacture of finished products in stainless steel, to grow the conversion of primary product in South Africa and to grow market awareness and demand for finished stainless steel products,” says Tarboton.
GRAYTEX METALS RISES FROM RIMEX METALS SA
25 years of building a business, a brand, being part of a recognised global group and overcoming challenges has been key to Graytex Metals’ success.
As of February 2016, Rimex Metals SA becomes Graytex Metals. “We are now a 100% fully-owned South African company,” says Jason Naude, director of Graytex Metals, formerly Rimex SA.
METAL TANK – TURNKEY SOLUTIONS FOR SOUTH AFRICA AND BEYOND
In the twenty years it’s been in operation, Metal Tank Industries has risen from a respectable refurbisher to the niche fabricating powerhouse it is today. What sets them apart is that, while they do supply tanks, that’s only a small facet of their unique service offering: their true field of expertise is turnkey solutions.
The industry does not lack for vessel fabricators, but where Metal Tank stands alone is in its ability to offer complete end to-end solutions – they design, build, and install entire production lines that simply drop into their clients’ existing processes.
ANATOMY OF AN AD CAMPAIGN
After a period of ‘lost focus’, sassda committed to getting back to basics under the leadership of veteran stainless steel man, Bill Scurr. With the situation stabilised, ex-Columbus Stainless metallurgist, John Tarboton, took over as Executive Director.
After a thorough study of what makes some trade associations better than others, sassda embarked on a process of redefining the brand. It was determined that associations need to engage with their members on multiple fronts, including face-to-face meetings, special interest group meetings, and through mobile friendly websites.
Producing stainless steel, building South Africa
It’s not possible to overstate the impact Columbus Stainless has had on South Africa’s economy.
For more than half a century, the company has built its success on a policy of investing in its people and its facilities, and an unwavering faith in stainless steel.
Columbus Stainless supplies about 70% to 80% of all stainless steel flat products used in South Africa, but that volume represents less than 30% of its colossal annual output – the rest is exported to some 54 countries around the world.
Efficient Engineering has been awarded a Level 2 Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) rating in terms of the newly revised DTI Codes of Good Practice on Black Economic Empowerment – a remarkable jump from the company’s previous Level 4 rating – in April 2015, according to the old codes.
The specialised engineering company has taken further steps to increase the effective black ownership of the company with the imminent announcement of its black ownership increasing to 56%, with an aim to achieve 25% black female ownership.
STAINLESS STEEL STANDS THE TEST OF TIME
In 2015, Outokumpu’s stainless solutions realized various pristine customer projects from world heritage sites to historical new buildings:
NO SACRED COWS
Once put to bed, my musings, personal anecdotes and occasional questioning of the thoughts of others, are seldom reread. And that goes for the sixteen columns I’ve written for Stainless Steel since 2011.
The last issue’s column was a little different. I requested that readers of Stainless Steel let me know what they think of my columns.
Problem is, I didn’t ask the question upfront. I waited for the second paragraph on the second page before setting myself up for a heavy fall.
SASSSDA EVENTS 2016
- Sports Days
- Columbus Mill Visits
- Stainless Steel – The Fight Against Corrosion
- SASSDA’S AGM
- Stainless Steel Awards 2016
THE SASSDA COLUMBUS STAINLESS STEEL AWARDS 2016
Columbus Stainless is the main title sponsor of the 2016 Sassda Columbus Stainless Awards. Sassda welcomes all entries to the awards in the following sixteen revised categories:
OBITUARY – GUUS MOLENAAR
One of the leading forces behind the food and beverage giant of Paarl, H.G. Molenaar and Company, Guus Molenaar, has died at the age of 77.
Guus was the son of the founder, Hugo Molenaar, who came to South Africa as a young technical engineer from the Netherlands in the 1930s.
Nocwaka Ntshangase completed her National Diploma in Engineering Metallurgy with NMMU and went on to complete her B-Tech degree in Engineering Metallurgy with the University of Johannesburg. She has also completed courses in management development and executive development programmes.