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AfriMold, the exhibition focused on Tooling, Mould-making, Design and Application Development, attracted 84 exhibitors from South Africa, Germany, China and Portugal with more than 2850 visitors to the show at the Sandton Convention Centre from 27-29 September.

According to AfriMold Exhibition director Ron MacLarty, more than 65% of the returning exhibitors from the 2010 inaugural exhibition, many of whom increased the sizes of their stands, contributing to the overall impressive look, feel and atmosphere of the show.

“AfriMold definitely reflected the buoyancy and pick-up in the economy and there was a general atmosphere of optimism. We experienced a lot of interest from Asian countries and it was pleasing to note that more than 30% of exhibitors were international companies. We can realistically expect this percentage to increase next year.”

MacLarty added that all partners had been strongly supportive and it was clear that the exhibition is maturing and gaining wide acceptance.

“Visitor traffic increased over last year and exhibitors generally noted that the show has the right focus and is delivering value to them. Next year we will draw on our exhibitor experiences and ensure that we once again have a show that delivers value both directly to the industry and indirectly to the overall South African economy.”

The Tooling Association of South Africa (TASA) was prominent at AfriMold as the driving force behind initiatives to significantly increase the numbers of students learning and apprentices training to become involved in the industry.

Aligned to this TASA initiative was AfriMold’s three-day conference, “Tooling Technologies 2011 and Beyond” which conference co-ordinator Bob Bond of the Institute for Advanced Tooling, said was well attended and very successful with a very high calibre of speakers.

“Some very strong messages were delivered at the conference and it is clear that the industry generally is singing from the same hymn sheet,” said Bond. “Speakers included senior representatives from respected German institutions such as the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology and the RWTH Aachen University Chair for Laser Technology.”

Bond added that it was pleasing there was a high level of student involvement from local Universities such as the Central University of Technology Free State, The University of Tshwane, the Vaal University of Technology, the Institute for Advanced tooling within the Department of Industrial Engineering at Stellenbosch University and the National Laser Centre of the CSIR.

“This show has proved its worth,” commented Victor Stiehler of Hestico,  a major local supplier of plastic and rubber processing machinery, mould die components, cutting machinery, plastic machinery, skin packaging and vacuum forming solutions. “There is greater interest in the show and we have had more visitors to the stand. There are also a lot of overseas suppliers here giving the show a cosmopolitan atmosphere. We’ve had quality enquiries and leads for business opportunities.”

KwaZulu Natal exhibitor Zimmerman Grinding, a manufacturer of quality Tungsten Carbide cutting tools and the only tool and cutter operation in Africa with CNC grinders dedicated to the grinding of tungsten carbide, experienced a steady succession of visitors not only from Johannesburg but also from Cape Town, Durban, Nelspruit and Zimbabwe.
Owner Paul Zimmerman said Sandton was a good venue, attracting top people and decision-makers. “The Gautrain has been a huge advantage and the conference set high standards. We will be back next year.”

Precision engineering works REBHAN Werkzeugbau GmbH, based in Kronach Germany, is a specialist in the manufacture of vehicle part injection moulds ranging from 50kg up to six tons specifically for parts suppliers to Mercedes Benz, BMW, VW and Audi. Rebhan CEO and managing partner Uwe Wirth said the company also provides blowmoulds to suppliers servicing the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and packaging industries. “AfriMold has brought us in touch with some very good contacts as well as providing opportunities for potential alliances with SA toolmaking shops. It has been an interesting first experience for us.”

Additive Manufacturing Technology specialists, 3D Solids Additive Manufacturing Technology of Pretoria used AfriMold to launch its new product, the Fortus 250mc Manufacturing Centre, based on the Stratasys FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) Technology, and owner Russell Oosterlaak said it had attracted a lot of interest. “Exposing new technology to the industry at the show was a high point for us. We have seen a lot of people that weren’t here last year so we’ll certainly be back next year.”

Marco Schülken, managing director of Ruhla Werkzeugbau based in Seebach, Germany, said AfriMold had made an impact. The company specialises in complex moulds for the medical and cosmetics industries, offering in-mould labelling (IML) and multi-cavity moulds to the German, Polish and Russian markets. “We see potential in the South African market for our products, particularly the automotive industry, and we have met a lot of new people, obtained good contacts and also had interaction with TASA (Toolmaking Association of South Africa).”

Dave Owen, general manager sales and marketing at specialised steel solutions provider Schmolz & Bickenbach said the quality of the stands and the offerings were very good. “We also had a lot of traffic coming through on the third day after a fairly slow start on the opening day.
Perhaps the month-end timing of the show was a contributor to the slow start.”

Aztech Designs, the local distributor of CAD/CAM solutions from Delcam of the U.S., exhibited a wide range of engineering tool and die software solutions, including solutions for modelling and manufacture, metrology inspection and reverse engineering. Managing director Shailen Nagesar said the company found the show very targeted and had picked up quality leads. “Visitors seemed to know what they wanted and from whom they could get it. It was good to see University students at the show, asking pertinent questions. For us it was a significant improvement over last year.”

Hans-Peter Neth, managing director of machine tools supplier Retecon
(Pty) Ltd, said the overall standard of the exhibition was very good.
“We will be back again as we’ve had some excellent leads from the two AfriMold shows. Our principals from DMG Deckel Maho, Hexagon and GF Agie Charmilles were pleased with the attendance and interest shown in their respective equipment and shared their knowledge and experience with the customers attending.”

Bernhard Vogt of Centurion-based 3D printing technology specialists CAD House said the AfriMold show was very impressive and had delivered more feet through the doors this year. “We have received good leads, our stand has been kept busy and we anticipate new business as a result. We were able to sell a number of our smaller printers at the show and we will be back next year as we can’t afford not to be here.”
It was great to show that 3D Printing technologies are now affordable to anyone.
We would also like to congratulate Marius Vermeulen who was the winner of the RapMan 3D printer in our lucky draw competition.

Krugerdorp based UTP Mould &Die, a supplier of mould bases, components, press tool die sets and other products to the tool-making industry, was on AfriMold for the first time. “The show has met our expectations and we’ve made a lot of good contacts with people from the Cape and KwaZulu-Natal,” said UTP manager Kim Eliot. “It has been a good networking experience for us and we’ve been able to distribute new catalogues. The show has helped us focus on adding value and becoming more competitive. We will be back next year.”

See you at AfriMold 2012 July 12 - 14

About AfriMold

AfriMold is the leading trade exhibition for the tooling, die, design, application development and mould-making industries. It is affiliated to EuroMold - one of the most respected exhibitions of its type in Germany, which was introduced to the market in 1994. In addition, successful sister exhibitions include DieMould India, RosMould Russia, AsiaMold China, AmeriMold USA and EuroMold Brasil.

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