SA Welding Recognition to be Boosted by Virtual Exhibition

South Africa’s national welding capabilities are critical to the upliftment of South Africa’s economy. This has potential benefits for a wide range of applications from micro-joining of medical devices, electronics and photonics to larger-scale applications such as bridges, buildings, ships, rail, road transport, pressure equipment and pipelines.

In light of this, the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW)  remains committed to boosting national economic performance through welding.  SAIW Executive Director John Tarboton comments, “Comprehensive studies across the manufacturing, construction and mining industries in which welding is a critical enabling technology found that welding contributes about one-third of a country’s gross domestic product. Direct welding costs include about 70% of which is labour costs.

“The labour costs for welding activities are about 4% of the total labour costs for those industries.  The true value added by welding technology is probably at least ten times the direct welding costs due to the added value to the economy after the implementation and use of welding technology.”

Showcasing welding excellence

The SAIW is also a founder member of the International Institute of Welding (IIW) established in 1948, which cooperates with 50 member countries to improve national welding capabilities. With continued commitments to engendering creative growth in the economy through welding technology, the IIW in association with the SAIW is highlighting welding technology innovation through its invitation to participate in the International Welded Art Exhibition taking place from 7th to 21st July 2021.

Inviting all participants young and old, professionals and youths, the IIW’s call for entrants aims to encourage the use of welding as art, trade, or profession to help improve the mental health of individuals; as a tool to improve the image of welding; and to provide an income for the future for those with the appropriate artistic skills.

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the first virtual exhibition of this annual event took place in 2020. This years’ exhibition will include the 2020 Digital Collection as well as existing and potential new artists in four other categories including graduates, technicians, welders, teachers, and children, titled Emerging Joining Technologies, Young Artists, Photography, Instructors and Students.

As part of the IIW Annual Assembly, the IIW expects 700-800 welding professionals, engineers and scientists to attend the virtual event where participants can enter an on-line room where the welded art will be displayed in photographic form and shared via a 2021 Artistic Soul of Welding Digital Collection containing all welded art photographic exhibits, including the artist’s biographies and contact details, which will continue to be promoted globally for the year.

The 2021 Digital Collection Categories include:

Welded Art Exhibits by 35 individual artists.
Emerging Joining Technologies where researchers, universities and companies are invited to participate.
Young Artists which will include 10 exhibitions from children 15 years and under who use welding as a hobby and represent the next generation of emerging young artists.
Photography where the viewer is offered a closer look at the world of technology and welding from the perspective of fine art photography.
Instructors and students which includes universities, technical colleges, art colleges and high schools where both instructors and students perform welded art.

The SAIW is working with a range of training colleges to spread the word amongst their students to foster an appreciation of welding and the potential it holds for students seeking a long term fulfilling career or those who are already involved and want to develop their current skills. To participate in this global virtual art exhibition, entrants can send an email to IIW exhibition organizer Chris Smallbone on by no later than 28th March 2021, to include:

– The title and a photograph of your chosen exhibit taken on a digital camera with good image quality and a resolution of 20 megapixels or more which will translate to high-quality A2 prints.
– A 200-word write-up on the objectives / methods / techniques / materials / uniqueness used for your welded art exhibit.
– A photograph of yourself and a short 100-word write-up on your own welded art background and contact details such as email address, website, or social media pages.

The IIW advises this exhibition is not a competition but is simply intended to be an informal and unpressured platform for individuals to show their abilities and artistic expression with the key purpose to showcase the versatility of the welding discipline, and how it is gaining acceptance as an artistic medium capable of expressing many different designs and forms. There are no charges/fees/stipends/income/proceeds/sales involved in this exhibition and all participation is voluntary. Submitted photographs will be treated with the highest integrity and no copies of submitted work will take place without written agreement.