Minizela makes its debut before World Cup
“We are also currently working on additional designs for the other sports,
so watch out rugby fans.”
Vuvuzela is now mentioned in the same breath, whenever it comes to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Now get the football hooter known as the Minizela. Unlike its big, cumbersome more famous cousin, the Minizela is only 14 cm in size and comes in a completely different shape. The principle of blowing to make the sound that is just as pervasive and noisy as the Vuvuzela holds true, but in the case of the Minizela, far less effort and technique is required.
As one can see by the pictures in this article the shape of the Minizela is completely different to the Vuvuzela and has been 100% patented, according to its developers Veem Engineering. Unlike some cheap product from Asia, the Minizela is also toxic-free and will also have the appeal to continue to sell past the World Cup 2010.
Veem Engineering cc was founded in 1969 and today is run jointly by equal share partners Sacha Vere and Debbie van der Westhuizen, who joined the company in 2008. The company, started by Sacha’s father who was a tool and die maker, focused initially on general engineering with emphasis on special tooling manufacture and high pressure zinc die casting. This type of work continued to occupy the company’s shopfloor until 1995 before a change of emphasis took place. Plastic products and components were making their mark so Sacha Vere decided to purchase a plastic injection moulding machine. He had the design experience to make the moulds and was soon manufacturing a variety of plastic components for a number of industries.
Sacha joined the company in 1994 and became involved in the manufacturing and marketing aspects of the business. “My Dad liked to be on the shop floor where he could get his hands dirty until he passed away.”
The business subsequently concentrated on the plastic injection moulding aspect for a number of years and soon the manufacture of the moulds and dies was being outsourced. As a result the machine tools and related equipment was neglected and soon sold off.
However there has been a renaissance in the tool room recently. “We were not getting the service that we wanted. When you are reliant on outside companies to produce or maintain moulds on time you will always have your hands tied” commented Sacha.
“The plastics side of the business is very successful and we needed to maintain our reputation so we decided last year to take control of the situation and start investing in the tool room again.”
New Hurco CNC machining centre
Last year the company moved forward in this department by investing in a Hurco VM1 CNC high speed machining centre with conversational programming.
When Sacha started looking for CNC equipment with a low-cost investment for the tool room he was not sure what he wanted. However after he saw Hurco’s VM1 at a local show, he realised that he could get machining center performance and productivity without sacrificing fast programming and setup. His decision was easy.
Hurco’s VM1 machining center hit the mark for the versatility Veem Engineering needed. Its X-Y-Z axis travels at 660mm x 356mm x 457mm, packaged on a 2 700 Kg frame that only takes up 3.5 m², made it a perfect fit for their operations. Coupled with its 15 HP 10,000 RPM spindle, 18 mpm rapids and 16-station swing arm ATC, the VM1 was ideal for the challenges that they face.
“We are now able to make and maintain our moulds again. Our tool designer also invested in SolidWorks and Autocad packages on the design side as well as MasterCAM on the machining side” explained Sacha.
“We can now provide customers the unique service of designing the required product, manufacturing the mould, designing the necessary tooling and then manufacturing the final plastic product.”