Industrial sector upbeat

2011-06-10 00:00

THE industrial sector is steadily emerging from the recession with renewed hope that the next two years will deliver buoyant activity levels in the sector.

This is the prevailing mood evident at this year’s KZN Industrial Technology Exhibition, a four-day event in Durban that enters its final day today.

Event organiser Lofty Eaton told The Witness that although the sector has stabilised, many firms were reluctant to pump money into marketing efforts.

However, he added, there is already significant interest in the next exhibition, which takes place in Durban in 2013.

“When you look at their budgets, many firms would have liked to have bigger stands, but were reluctant to commit the money.

“However, we already have about 40 new companies that missed out on the 2011 show but will exhibit in 2013.”

Despite the challenging economic conditions, sales worth millions of rands were secured during the first three days of the event.

Luis Torres of CML Machine Tools told The Witness that although the foot-count appeared to be softer, the inquiries he received were relevant to the business.

Torres said his firm concluded the sale of a R1-million press brake machine to a Pinetown-based company during the show.

Sectors represented by exhibitors include bio-technology, chemical and plastics technologies, electrical and electronic technologies, engineering supplies, information and communication technology, logistics and supply chain management, mechanical and materials handling technologies, automation and electronics, and robotics.

Matthew Harvey of Electro Mechanika, a supplier of industrial automation and motor control switchgear, told The Witness that although business remains challenging, the show has attracted significant exposure.

“Business is volatile, as you can have two good months followed by two bad months. But we’re keeping our heads above water,” Harvey remarked.

The sales director of Future Packaging and Machinery, Maggie Govender, told The Witness that her firm had had an excellent response from visitors.

“We’ve had many inquiries from potential clients, a few sales and some visitors who are interested in purchasing machines in the future. We will now follow up these leads,” Govender said.

Visitors to the exhibition included high-level decision makers within firms.

A number of companies launched new product ranges while other firms used the event to lift their public profile in the trade.

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