CATALYTIC CONVERTERS & TANK Steel... R29.95 Third Quarter, 2014 the history of CATALYTIC CONVERTERS

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  • R29.95

    Third Quarter, 2014

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  • CONTENTS third quarter, 2014

    THIRD QuaRTeR, 2014 1


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    2 Perspective A message from the executive director, Bill Scurr 30 No Sacred Cows Gary Crawford ponders competitiveness 32 Sassda & Industry News News and events from Sassda and companies in the industry 40 Personality Profile Getting up close and personal with Macsteel VRN’s Conrad Ruh

    10 Macsteel VRN This South African stainless steel stockist is proud to be a vital link in SA’s supply chain Air Liquide Columbus Stainless General Profiling Macsteel VRN Weldamax Stalcor 3M Fabrinox





    Case study: Stainless Steel Finishes Stainless steel architecture can be greatly enhanced

    using innovative finishes and surface structures

    Focus on: Numsa Strike Violent protest, intimidation and thuggery are

    increasingly being used as a bargaining technique

    Focus on: Sassda Developments A review of the developments made

    by the association in the past year

    Technical review: Structural applications An examination of the correct stainless steel

    to use for various structural applications

    Sassda is committed to eliminating corruption and unfair business practices. Are you?

    This magazine is printed on recycled, environmentally friendly paper.

    Do your bit and share this magazine with your peers. Recycle after use.


    50th ANNIVERSARY 20 22 24

    Catalytic Converters South Africa’s most prolific user of stainless steel

    Company Developments Sassda members who have stood the test of time

    Tank Containers The tank container industry’s roller coaster ride

  • pErSpECTivE second quarter, 2014

    CONTACT US Publisher Maverick Marketing Editor / Melissa Rowlston advertising Tel: 011 440 5181

    Printers Goldfields Press Tel: 011 627 7740 Fax: 011 627 7741

    Letters, comments and subscription requests to

    SASSDA Bill Scurr executive Director Reuben Pillay Financial Manager Mankabe More education & Training; architecture, Building & Construction Sector

    Lesley Squires Market Intelligence; Membership; Consumerware, Hospitality & Catering Sector; Import Sector; africa

    Michel Basson Sassda Western/eastern Cape Clive Phillpotts Sassda KwaZulu Natal Ken Dewar Import Consultant John Tarboton Technical; Fabrication & Welding Sector

    Kim Stevens events Co-ordinator

    Tel: 011 883 0119 Fax: 011 883 0183


    Stainless Steel is published quarterly and is distributed to stockists, distributors, fabricators, specifiers, consulting engineers, architects,

    mining, petrochemical and chemical industries, food beverage and pharmaceutical industries, consumer outlets, end-users,

    educational institutes and provincial and government departments. Maverick Marketing makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of

    the contents of its publications, but no warranty is made as to such accuracy, and no responsibility will be borne by the publisher or

    Sassda for the consequences of any actions based on information so published.

    all opinions, views and expressions contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the management of Sassda.

    The contents of this publication enjoy positive protection under the Copyright act and therefore copyright thereof is expressly reserved.

    any copying,publication and distribution of part or whole of the publication is prohibited unless consent is granted by Sassda.

    With my tenure drawing to a close, this is the last Perspective that I will write as executive director of Sassda. I have been at the organisation for longer than I expected, nearly three years now, but the time has certainly flown by. Notwithstanding the occasional times of frustration, I have enjoyed the challenge of realigning Sassda with some of the ideals set out by the Sassda Board. Read more about Sassda’s activities on page 18.

    To celebrate 50 years of Sassda, this magazine pays tribute to two of the South African stainless steel industry’s biggest success stories: catalytic converters and the tank container industry. Sassda’s role in both

    of these industries was, in many ways, peripheral to their evolution. Nevertheless, as major developments within the industry as a whole, I felt it appropriate that they should be included in the 50th Anniversary history.Catalytic converters remain the largest users of stainless steel in South Africa and the largest employers in the industry. The history of tank containers in South Africa is a stormy one. Chinese manufacturers now dominate the tank container market, but one South African company, Welfit Oddy, continues to fly the flag with considerable success, read more on page 24.

    We also pay tribute to members who have survived the test of time - Lockers, Macsteel VRN, Afrox and Schmoltz + Bickenbach were some of Sassda’s first members and, albeit in different reincarnations, still exist today as Sassda members. Read the full history on page 22. As part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations, this edition also has contributions from John Cluett and John Rowe, see pages 26 and 27.

    At the recent Sassda AGM, new Main Committee members were elected (or appointed where applicable) to guide the association. The Main Committee consists of the following: André Visser from Fabrinox, Andrea Basola from Conceptual Steel Engineering (also Architecture, Building and Construction (ABC) Sector Chairman), Bernard Maguire from Cronimet RSA, Bertus Griesel from Columbus Stainless, Bill Scurr from Sassda (for now anyway!), Charles Cammell from Macsteel VRN Stainless, Colin Wilson from Euro Steel, Derek McMahon from MacBrothers Catering Equipment (also Consumerware, Hospitality and Catering (CHC) Sector Chairman), Gary Crawford from Styria (also Fabsec Chairman), Graham Whitty from Energy Engineered Products (also Import Sector Chairman), Jason Naudé from Rimex Metals SA, Mike Campbell from NDE Stainless, Paul McNally from Lasercore, Paul Miot from Stalcor, and Tom Rice (also Welding Sector Chairman).

    Linked to the challenging circumstances facing the industry, as well as the imminent appointment of a new executive director, a decision has been made that Bernard Maguire should retain the Sassda chairmanship, despite having served two terms in this role, to ensure consistency and continuity. All Main Committee members were in agreement with this decision.

    Many local stainless steel industry participants face a tough time ahead. The recent strike by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) put a further dent in the economy. The increase of violence by unions is worrying, as is their desire to fight a political battle on an economic front. This is particularly concerning as it does not bode well for business going forward. Although Seifsa, the majority body representing employers, has settled with Numsa and the strike is technically over, Neasa, which represents many of the smaller employers, does not agree with the terms agreed to and believes that a 10% wage increase over the next three years will bankrupt many of their members. It is still to be seen if the government will extend the agreement to the industry as a whole, but this is expected, as is it expected that Neasa will challenge this.

    2 THIRD QuaRTeR, 2014

  • THIRD QuaRTeR, 2014 3

    These wage hikes, as well as other factors such as rising energy costs, make the economic trading situation for many members an inhospitable environment at the moment. Clearly, Sassda is not immune from the challenges facing the industry and will have to review and, where necessary, adapt to these challenges.

    At the time of writing this Perspective, apparent consumption figures to end-June 2014, indicate (at first sight) a similar year to 2013, which was a 5.8% decline from 2012. However, scratching through the detail shows a mix of good and bad regarding demand in different market sectors. The lack of major projects (in South Africa in particular) and on-going doubts regarding the government’s infrastructure investment plans, certainly remain a major concern.

    Much of Sassda’s focus over the next few months will be directed to the 2014 Stainless Steel Awards (and 50th Anniversary). Entries for the Awards will have closed by the time you read this. The focus in this edition of the Stainless Steel magazine is on the 10 Awards sponsors, see page 36, without their support these Awards would not be possible.

    On a personal note, I would like to express my thanks to the Sassda staff and consultants that I have worked with, for their support. Similar thanks to members of the Main Committee and Board. Of particular note in this regard would be the pleasure of working with Bernard Maguire, who has been the Sassda Chairman for my entire tenure. Thanks