The recent three-day afrimold Exhibition at the Sandton Convention Centre achieved a distinguished debut in South Africa. The 77 exhibitors were visible to more than 2 100 visitors and 80% of the foreign exhibitors have already re-booked for the 2011 show, taking up treble the space they occupied this year.
afrimold has confirmed 27-29 September 2011 as dates for next year’s’ exhibition at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Officially opening the show, Gauteng Economic Development MEC Firoz Cachalia said a positive outcome of the global financial crisis was that Government is recognising that future economic development will be dependent upon the manufacturing industry. afrimold was therefore timely, serving to highlight the role of the tooling industry as the most critical component behind manufacturing industry development.
Exhibition director Ron MacLarty commented that the spirit of the show and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from visitors and exhibitors alike took the tooling industry by surprise.
“Personally, I am over the moon. It has been a triumph for all who were involved and it has given the industry both direction and confidence for the future. This exhibition should have been held years ago, such has been the impact. Not only has it demonstrated the excellence of the local tooling industry but it has created an environment of forward thinking and progression that was lacking before.”
MacLarty added that an exhibitor involved in industrial, mechanical and electrical design, who had never before ventured into the public arena in this way, ended the exhibition with more than 20 highly positive leads for new business.
“We also had 100 University students and apprentices in training come through the show and they were able to see that there is a world out there in which they can be assured of good jobs, not just in South Africa, but anywhere in the world.”
Dr Eberhard Döring, CEO of DEMAT Fairs and Exhibitions, the founding organisation of the MOLD exhibition concept, said afrimold had confirmed that there is a good future for general industry in South Africa.
“The World Cup led to a paradigm shift in the international perception of South Africa and afrimold has got off to a wonderful start. I am amazed that it was able to attract so many quality visitors after such a limited time was available in which to prepare the show.
“The tool-making and design industry is critical for South Africa and with this show we now have the full backing of the DTI (Department of Trade & Industry) and the support of the industry itself. It has been a great success.”
The representative organisation for the South African tool, die and mould industry, TASA, was strongly visible at the show. TASA Gauteng Secretary Henk Snyman said: “This is long overdue and TASA supports the event 100%. Our aim is to co-host afrimold in the future and our involvement will be to assist with the organisation and management of the conferencing side of the event.”
TASA’s objective is to reverse the 80% of tooling that is presently imported into South Africa by increasing local tooling skills and providing platforms for sustainable, well paid job creation. Each qualified toolmaker can create or at least preserve 15 downstream jobs and up to 25 jobs if the total supply chain is included.
Russell Oosterlaak, managing director of 3D Solids Additive Manufacturing Technology, a specialist in Direct Digital Manufacture was one of the very first exhibitors to sign up for afrimold. “As our tooling industry grows and takes on international competition, it will be well-placed to lead in job creation and growth of our local skills base,” he said. “The tooling sector is the future. This show has a great engineering atmosphere. We’ve already sold 3 Dimension 3D Printers for immediate delivery to plastics design companies and a Foundry Pattern Maker. We have confirmed orders for system delivery in September, which proves the right quality people are coming through the door.”
Plastixportal, which provides an on-line plastics and packaging directory for local business, has created a huge global network and scores 6000 000 hits on its site a month. “We have nine customers on the show and all of the others are going to become part of it afrimold organisers have vision and next year will undoubtedly be both bigger and better because the word is quickly getting out there.”
Industrial heating and control specialist Unitemp was impressed with the amount of people coming though its stand where it was promoting hot runner systems for multi-cavity plastic injection moulding and injection blow moulding. Gauteng branch manager Andrew Semple said the show had created opportunities and new leads for follow-up as well as facilitated renewal of old relationships. "We are very seriously considering coming back next year."
Applied Imaging, a supplier of large Format printers and scanners for the CAD and Graphics Industries, and high-end computers for 3D graphics, found the show a valuable experience. “We have obtained good leads for new business,” said managing director Tony Bartlett. “There has been lots of interest in what we offer and we have definitely benefited and are pleased that we made the decision to participate.”
CNC-Step, a specialist in CNC milling and routing machinery found serious interest and attracted visits from new and existing customers. “We’ve had a very good experience on afrimold,” said CNC-Step co-owner Heike Werhahn. “We have confirmed a number of sales and taken other strong leads so we will come back next year as we believe it impacts positively on our business.”
For more information: http://afrimold.demat.com/index.php?id=55