THE second National Advanced Manufacturing Innovation awards recently recognised various Propella incubatees for their exceptional work.The innovations range from a breakthrough in rubber technology to an energy-saving egg incubator. All the innovations are being developed through the Propella Business Incubator, based in Port Elizabeth.The awards, presented at the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show hosted in Port Elizabeth, went to Rubbernano (gold for industry advancement in advanced manufacturing); Rhino Lighting (silver for innovation in advanced manufacturing); Provolution (silver for most promising start-up or newcomer) and Tofaa (most promising start-up or newcomer finalists).“We are thrilled that Propella played a role in the success of these ventures,” said Propella business incubation manager, Anita Palmer. “We applaud the winners for their tenacity, innovation and obvious passion for their technologies, and look forward to continuing our support of their growth and commercialisation.” Rubbernano Products (RNP) has developed processes which reduce the amount of zinc oxide and zinc used in the production of rubber used for automotive tyres and other applications.For tyre manufacturers the advantages of the RNP products include a reduction in the amount of time needed for curing, and lower power consumption as the rubber cures at a lower temperature. According to research, tyre wear particles contribute to around 10 - 15% of the global amount of plastics in our oceans.Rhino Lighting’s EndoCube reduces the power consumption of fridges and freezers by between 10% and 30%.The EndoCube can be retrofitted to the temperature sensor, which then measures the temperature of the products rather than that of the air in the fridge, which changes every time the door is opened. Tofaa has designed an energy-efficient egg incubator called WillHatch, which consumes 40% less energy than incubators currently on the market. This means that it is able to run off solar power and can be used by farmers in rural areas. Provolution is expanding its operations from the design and prototyping of components using 3-D (or additive) manufacturing to semi-mass production. The company recently installed one of the first resin 3D printers in the Eastern Cape.