M a r k e t N e w s

African steel wire manufacturing incorperates European and American manufacturing standards

Posted on : Friday, 19th December 2014

 Stainless steel metal and inert gas (MIG) welding wire, locally produced by stainless steel bar and wire producer Wire Products Stainless Steel (WPSS) since 2010, was tested by the Italian Welding Institute, in Genova, in the past two months and found to be similar to products of European quality and standard, WPSS director Clinton Lautenberg tells Engineering News.

 
“The results from the Italian Welding Institute . . . indicated favourable quality, welding ability and penetration,” he adds, noting that a key aim of WPSS is to increase the marketing of this wire in the local market.
 
“WPSS produces a product that has European quality, but competes with global prices, as they are similar to the price of wire imported from countries such as China and India,” Lautenberg says.
 
The wire includes the 430LNB, 307Si, 308Lsi, 309L, 309Lsi, 310Lsi and 316Lsi grades of stainless steel and is currently supplied to industry in 15 kg wire baskets.
 
In addition to stocking locally manufactured products, WPSS also stocks the imported products from its holding company, Novametal SA, headquartered in Switzerland. WPSS received the first batches of imported stock in July, while another batch will be supplied soon.
 
Locally produced products include spring wire, general-purpose wire for wire fencing, welding wire and core rods, as well as cold-drawn round, hexagon and square bars. The products also include fine wire for automotive components, which conform to American Welding Society and American Society for Testing and Materials standards, currently known as ASTM International standards.
 
WPSS also stocks and distributes stainless steel flat bar, angle bar and large-diameter round bar of up to 400 mm in diameter.
 
However, Lautenberg notes that the current challenge is to shift the mindset of industry from using imported products to using locally manufactured products.
 
“This is a significant stumbling block, owing to the perception and attitude of the market that a locally manufactured product is inferior in quality, compared with imported products,” he says, noting that, in light of this, the company offers free samples to customers to test the quality and use of the wire.
 
He adds that, while a significant period was required to change the mindset of the automotive industry, WPSS finally received the stamp of approval from the major catalytic converter manufacturers as a supplier during this year.
 
Lautenberg believes that about 100 000 t/m of stainless steel MIG wire can be supplied to the catalytic converter industry alone.
 
Further, WPSS aims to supply at least 10 t/m of locally manufactured MIG wire to the industry by mid-2015, he says, pointing out that the company has a production capacity of 50 t/m.
 
Lautenberg emphasises that, to increase local support, incentives should be created and made available in all industries to encourage more buying of finished products of locally manufactured content.
 
Local industry should support locally manufactured content as much as possible and not only focus on the benefits gained from cheaper imported products.

Source : www.engineeringnews.co.za
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