Terrific turnout

Terrific turnout

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022, Electra Mining Africa saw thousands of buyers and sellers come together at the Expo Centre in Nasrec, Johannesburg from September 5 to 9. Attendees flocked to meet in person and see the latest innovations and the new products, services, and technologies on display at the show.

During the five days of the event, over 30 000 people connected across industries; thousands of products were on display and innumerable face-to-face interactions took place. Live demonstrations and competitions also kept visitors enthralled. Buyers were able to get up close to the products, see and feel the quality, and speak to technical experts. The show also offered visitors the opportunity to compare products and brands together under one roof.

“It was amazing to be back after four years and we were blown away. The industry came out in full force in support of the show, with over 650 exhibitors occupying just less than 30 000 m2 of indoor and outdoor exhibition space, and with over 30 000 visitors through the gates,” says Gary Corin, managing director of Specialised Exhibitions (a division of the Montgomery Group).

“Although we’ve come out of a very tough period following the pandemic, the sense of anticipation and the positivity that has been expressed on the floor of the exhibition throughout the show has been enormous,” he continues. “It was back to meeting face-to-face, making connections, and people loving the exhibition environment that has been missed. It’s been great to welcome people to Electra Mining Africa again from all parts of the globe, including many visitors from neighbouring African countries.”

Corin adds that the quality of stands was exceptional, with exhibitors representing large and medium companies as well as start-ups and SMMEs, each wanting a chance to be at this year’s Electra Mining Africa. “Some of the companies have exhibited with us for the 50 years of Electra Mining Africa, many starting with a 9 m2 stand and some of them now having a couple of hundred square metre designer stands,” he notes. “What better way to bring a brand to life than on the floor of an exhibition, where you are engaging with your target market and your potential target market? It’s really a unique value-proposition to come to an event like this, to bring your brand to life.” 

There were many innovative new products, services, and technologies launched at the exhibition. Congratulations went to ABC Ventilation Systems, overall winners of the Electra Mining Africa 2022 Innovation and New Products Awards for their latest innovation. They were also winners of the Local Manufacturing Innovation: New Product Mining Category Award. On receiving the awards, Terry Pearce, MD of ABC Ventilation Systems, said that “running a business in South Africa is tough and an award like this makes the last 16 years worthwhile”.

The new product that won top honours is a modified HDPE polymer material converted into ducting for ventilation underground. It overcomes safety, logistical, and installation issues associated with traditional steel ducting. “The inside of the product hardline is smooth and offers a low friction factor compared to other ducting. It is also fire retardant and has a low toxicity index rating,” Pearce explains. “In addition, it is easy to move logistically, and the product can be recycled when the mine is finished with it.”

The awards were presented in a partnership between Electra Mining Africa and the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC). Recognising the high levels of innovation at the show, this year’s Electra Mining had 21 judged entries, with 18 winners and runners-up named across various local and international manufacturing categories, including the overall winner. The awards were adjudicated by CEO of SACEEC, Eric Bruggeman.

The new forklift driver competition – organised in conjunction with Lifting Africa and the Lifting Equipment Engineering Association of South Africa (LEEASA) – saw many forklift operators competing for the coveted title of Forklift Driver Champion. Exceptional forklift driver skills were put to the test, with the competition aiming to recognise and reward highly skilled and safety conscious operators in possession of a valid forklift licence. The winner of the competition was Ian Roux, who received the champion’s trophy and a cash prize of R15 000. 

The automation technology hall was a major addition to the show and, as expected, drew a lot of interest. The automation focused, free-to-attend seminars hosted by the Society for Automation Instrumentation Mechatronics and Control also proved popular amongst visitors.

Also well received were the South African Institute of Mechanical Engineering free-to-attend seminars, which saw over 40 speakers presenting a variety of content-rich topics aligned with the show’s theme days of automation, innovation, safety, and future skills. Connections were made and knowledge gained at the Women in Mining South Africa Workshop and at the LEEASA Conference, both of which also took place at the show.

International participation included the Austrian, German, and Italian Pavilions, as well as exhibitors from India, Chile, France, Australia, the US, Taiwan, Turkey, Switzerland, the UK, Poland, and Canada.

“We are so thankful that exhibitions are taking place again. We are grateful for all the effort our exhibitors have put into their stands, which are of a very high quality, and to all the visitors who took the time to come to the show. As a five-in-one trade show experience, it covered everything from mining, electrical, and automation to manufacturing, power, and transport,” says Charlene Hefer, portfolio director at Specialised Exhibitions.

“The feedback that we’ve been getting is so positive, with the message that ‘business is back’. The energy seen from exhibitors and visitors – everyone involved – was palpable. The exhibition stands, the halls, and the outside exhibit areas were pumping the whole week!” she continues. “We had high expectations but were also mindful that we were coming out of Covid. However, we really hit the mark with over 30 000 visitors!”

So where does Electra Mining Africa see itself in the next few years? “We are a people business,” says Corin. “We go where the industry takes us. Where the trends emerge, we follow, and express those trends at our events – emerging trends out of mining, manufacturing, automation, and all the industry sectors that are the crux of the South African economy. Every two years, those industry sectors gather together under one roof at Electra Mining Africa; we look forward to our next show in 2024 where we will again showcase the latest trends, innovations, and new products to all industry stakeholders.”

Electra Mining Africa 2024 will once again take place at the Expo Centre in Nasrec, from September 2 to 6, 2024.

Published by

Jaco de Klerk

JACO DE KLERK is editor of SHEQ MANAGEMENT and assistant editor of its sister publication FOCUS on Transport and Logistics. It’s nearly a decade later, and he is still as passionate about all things SHEQ-related since his first column, Sound Off, which he wrote for this magazine as well.
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