Specialised Tooling Key to global manufacturing growth says new ISTMA World President

Bob Williamson – ISTMA World President

“The design and manufacture of Tooling Systems will remain a critical force in growing manufacturing output in both advanced and developing economies” says Bob Williamson, President of the International Special Tooling & Machining Association (ISTMA).

“Tooling is a key support function for global manufacturing which contributes 15.2% or 11.6 trillion US$ to the global economy, according to World Bank Statistics”.

Williamson, Executive Chairman of the South African National Tooling Initiative was elected as new President of ISTMA World for a three-year term at the recent ISTMA World General Assembly in Brazil.

He says it is imperative that ISTMA, which represents associations from 20 countries, enhances the organisation’s position as the centre of expertise for the worldwide special tooling and precision machining industry.

Collectively, ISTMA member associations represent over 8,000 companies with an estimated $70 billion US$ in annual sales.

ISTMA World is responsible for the central coordination and organization of all international activities and assists national industry associations and their member companies to achieve business success in the global economy through advocacy, networking, information, programmes and services.

Williamson says the ISTMA World Europe forum will continue to promote itself as the centre of influence for the tooling industry within the EU and the newly established ISTMA World BRICS forum will further extend the ISTMA World global footprint.

Brazil, China and South Africa are already working together to maximise the economic opportunities to the tooling industry of the BRICS association.

Under the leadership of outgoing ISTMA World President, Dave Tilstone, the organisation committed to a strategy of becoming fully inclusive which has resulted in the membership of Japan (JDMA), Iran (ISTM) and China (CDMIA) and the development of the Global Partner Programme.

Williamson who plays a pivotal role in a highly successful turnaround strategy established to rehabilitate the South African tooling industry for the benefit of the local manufacturing sector says being elected as the President of ISTMA World is not only an honour and privilege but an acknowledgement by the international tooling industry of the pioneering work done by the South African National Team.

“The recognition by our Government and all key industry sectors of the strategic importance of a strong and vibrant tooling industry to the development and maintenance of a manufacturing economy along with the need for talent driven innovation is without doubt the building block that has led to its success” says Williamson.

The new elected members of the ISTMA Board of Directors for the period 2017-2020 are:

President: Bob Williamson (South Africa)

Vice-presidents: Christian Dihlmann (Brazil) and Joaquim Menezes (Portugal)

Board Members: David Tilstone (USA) and Markus Heseding (Germany)

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