CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT IN THE SA TOOLING INDUSTRY
Keywords:clustering, tooling industry, benchmarking
This paper explores the concept of clustering in general, analysing research and experiences in different countries and regions, and summarising factors leading to success or contributing to failure of specific cluster initiatives. Based on this, requirements for the establishment of clusters are summarised. Next, initiatives especially in the South African tool and die making (TDM) industry are considered. Through a benchmarking approach, the strengths and weaknesses of individual local tool rooms are analysed, and conclusions are drawn particularly about South African characteristics of the industry. From these results, and from structured interviews with individual tool room owners, difficulties in the establishment of a South African tooling cluster are explored, and specific areas of concern are pointed out.
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