ND Engineering wins SASSDA Stainless Steel Awards 2014

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda). To celebrate, Sassda commemorated the development of the stainless steel industry in South Africa at its 2014 Stainless Steel Awards Ceremony.

“We have seen some of the strongest entries in years for the 2014 Stainless Steel Awards,” says John Tarboton, the recently appointed executive director of Sassda. “I did not envy the formidable task of choosing the winners for these awards.”

Judging of the awards was conducted by a panel of 6 independent judges.

The judges were individually selected based on their experience and expertise in various sectors of the media, design and the stainless steel industry. The judges are all highly knowledgeable individuals with diverse expertise in stainless steel. “We thank them for their time and commitment judging these awards,” says Tarboton.

The panel was made up of stainless steel stalwart Diego Sella, architect Tom Steer, media representative Peter Middleton, engineers Nicolette Skjoldhammer and Dr Janet Cotton, and designer Luke Hartdegen. Sella and Steer have also participated as judges in previous years.

The award categories include: Best Stainless Steel Project, with sub categories in art, architecture, and engineering; Best Stainless Steel Product; Innovation Award; Achievement Award; Student Award; Sustainability Award; and the overall Stainless Steel Award.

Sassda has created a set of criteria for the judging panel to use when evaluating entries. The criteria include: excellence; innovation; sustainability; efficiency; quality; the impact on the environment and job creation.

The awards could not have been made possible without the generous support of the sponsors.

This year’s sponsors are Afrox, Air Products South Africa, Columbus Stainless, Euro Steel, fischer South Africa, Macsteel VRN, NDE, ND Engineering, Rimex and Stalcor. They are all leaders in their fields and great supporters of stainless steel in South Africa.

Project Award - Engineering:

This year there were 11 very strong entries for the Engineering Project Award: RPL Engineering, Gerhard Unger Dairy Equipment, Conceptual Steel Engineering, HC Heat Exchangers, SAB Ltd, Rina Stutzer, Cloete Architects and ND Engineering with three massive projects.


ND Engineering’s massive tar separators project for Sasol scooped the Engineering Project Award as well as the overall Stainless Steel Award. “Congratulations ND Engineering, the project was an exemplary example of top notch South African engineering and fabrication at international standards,” said Tarboton.

 Gerhard Unger scooped runner-up in this category for its Tiger Brands Mayonnaise Plant. The judges were particularly impressed with the fine attention to detail; proving South African fabricators are world class.

Project Award – Art:

The two entries for the art category were Rina Strutzer with her design of the Sway fence at the Everard Read Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg and Cloete Architects for a stainless steel memorial. The judges were particularly taken with the form, implementation and choice of 3CR12 used by Rina Strutze, who won the Art Project Award.


Project Award – Architecture:

There were two entries for the architecture category. Conceptual Steel Engineering (CSE) entered its 3CR12 seven level helix spiral staircase for a water tower in Lanseria. Gutco Manufacturing submitted an entry for its mesh facade for Sanral in the Western Cape.

However, after much deliberation the judges decided not to award a winner in this category due to lack of sufficient information in the submissions.

Innovation Award:

 The judges awarded first place in the innovation category to Ecostake for their agricultural trellising. “The trellis was very innovative,” said Tom Steer. “It was cleverly designed to satisfy a real problem and had many clever features such as a plastic wire and an anti-uproot feature to prevent theft. The manufacturers also realised that stainless steel was the best material for the job. Very innovative all round.”

 The judges felt there were many innovative business solutions entered into the innovation category, even if the products themselves were not brand new. Sello’s Gutters was a great example of this. Although stainless steel gutters are not a new product, especially in the international market, Sello saw a gap in the South African market and grabbed it with both hands. His marketing and business model are truly innovative, filling a niche in the South African market. Sello’s Gutters earned a merit award in recognition of this.

Other entries included Ecovest for its Ecolite, Gerhard Unger for its mayonnaise plant, Rock Solid Industries for its canopies, HC Heat Exchangers, and Welfit Oddy for its innovation of many new products and solutions since its inception.

Product Award:

This product category was the most popular for submissions, with entries from 5 Star Stoves for its green stove; Solar Ray for its grade 444 solar tanks; Sello’s for its stainless steel gutters and facia boards; Rimex for its contribution in developing the stainless steel gutters for Sello’s Gutters; Gerhard Unger Dairy Equipment for its mayonnaise plant; Bar Keeper’s Friend for its non-scratch stainless steel surface polish; Franke’s new cost saving autopsy tables; HC Heat Exchangers’ light weight heat exchangers; and ND Engineering for its stainless steel RDA units as well as its 60 ton acid cooler in New Caledonia.

The winner was Rock Solid Industries for its revolutionary move from aluminium to stainless steel in the manufacture of automotive canopies. “This was a real winner with the judges,” said Tom Steer. “The canopies were extremely well made, high-quality, well researched and filled a market both locally and abroad.” The judges were also particularly taken with the clever flat-pack design.


Solar Primeg was awarded runner-up in the product category for its innovative development of making solar water heaters from duplex 2304, as opposed to the standard grade 444. “Solar Primeg is truly pushing the boundaries with this product,” said Tom Steer.

Franke Kitchen Systems scooped a merit award for its knee operated basin system. “This product is not exactly new,” said Steer, “but it has been rethought by Franke in such an innovative way that the final product is a great product for a multitude of industries.”


In the achievement category there were four entries, however, the two companies that entered were disqualified as the judges felt this award must be awarded to an individual. Don Maxwell of 3CR12 fame and John Cluett from SAB were both nominated. “Both the entries deserve recognition,” said Diego Sella. However, there can only be one winner.

Don Maxwell scooped the Achievement Award for his commitment to stainless steel over the decades, over a multitude of projects and with an unrivalled enthusiasm and dedication.


Five students entered this category. Two were from Franke’s Design a Bathroom Competition; Murray Farquharson and Andrew Mboyi. Siphiwesihle Memela entered with the design of a multifunctional ottoman with arm and back rest. Ming Zhang entered with a paper on the use of chromium ore in the stainless steel alloying process.

The winner was Folorunso Omoniyi for his research paper on how to spray austenitic stainless steel with ceramic oxide to form a thermal barrier. The judges said they eagerly await the results of his research.


The sustainability category was entered by Sello’s Gutters for its long lasting gutters; Ecovest for its Ecolite; Hazelton Pumps for its slurry pumps; HC Heat Exchangers; Rimex for its help developing stainless steel gutters; and Welfit Oddy for its ISO stainless steel tank containers.

 The winner was 5 Star Stoves. “5 Star Stoves created a truly sustainable product from stainless steel,” said the judges. “The stove and material used are eco-friendly and it is a great solution to many problems arising from other forms of informal cooking.”

For more information, please contact SASSDA (http://www.sassda.co.za)

Published 20/11/2014 19:35:16 Last Modified 20/11/2014 19:39:42

Related Links: