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On-The-Air (06/12/2002)
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6th December 2002
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SAfm anchor John Perlman:
It is that time again on a Friday when AM live engages in techno talk with Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly.

Martin a very good morning to, Africa is exporting lasers to NASA that is scarcely believable.

Martin Creamer:
It never ceases to amaze me how South Africans can achieve in the high tech arena and we now have a group of scientists who have turned entrepreneurs and the company in question is Scientific Development and Integration of Pretoria. There are seven doctorates among them they have put there heads together after their work dried up at the Atomic Energy Corporation and they started making pulsed carbon dioxide lasers and they managed to secure orders from one of the most fastidious customers in the world that is NASA. Up to now they have sold R10-million worth, they are looking at R20-million next year. NASA uses them to determine trace gases in the upper atmosphere. They are also very useful in chemical warfare situations they can pick up the chemicals in the atmosphere.

They also struck a deal with aeronautics industry. They supply these same pulsed CO2 lasers to do non destructive testing on composite materials. The latest one is that they can remove paint from aircraft bodies. Up to now they have been using very aggressive chemicals, which has resulted in protests from environmentalists so aeronautic companies are now looking to use these lasers to remove paint from the aircraft bodies.

John Perlman:
From up in space to deep down in the ground, piping systems manufactured in Gauteng, being exported to Iraq. Now presumably the UN has to get in there in some capacity as well.

Martin Creamer:
Yes a Gauteng company is making irrigation piping systems with the blessing of the United Nations these go into United Nation projects and some of them are already blooming the Arab farm lands of Iraq. The company in question is the House of Irrigation. Last year they supplied R12-million worth of irrigation piping. They are waiting for an order five times bigger, R60-million also into Iraq; in fact they would have to increase the capacity of the plant including R37-million on a new galvanising plant. They see quite a demand on these quick flexible irrigation piping systems, particularly with the smaller farms which to be promoted through Nepad.

John Perlman:
Good news is being rolling off the automobile industry production lines regularly, and I believe you have some more.

Martin Creamer:
Yes, a Pretoria company is looking to treble, by the end of next year, the export of stainless steel exhaust components into the global market. The company in question is Bosal Africa. They are preparing right now for the first batch of stainless steel exhaust components for supply to none other than General Motors in the United States. Their plant in Canada will be taking these components and assembling them for the after market. This is assisted by the good pricing they can get from Columbus Stainless in South Africa. Because of this price regime they see a tremendous gap and the ability to use South Africa as a big export base for stainless steel exhaust components.

John Perlman:
Great stuff as always from the Coal phase. Martin Creamer is the publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly. Martin back with us at the same time next Friday.
Edited by: Darlene Creamer

 

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