Category Archives: News

Quantum Change for Somta Tools at EMO 2017

The Somta team that attended EMO. From left to right: Allan Conolly (Managing Director), Dilon Mathavalla (Engineering Manager), Raj Reddy (international sales), Emily Dylan Gimpel (Translator), Farouk Ismail (international sales), Graeme Holmes (Operations Director) and Shaun Roopnarain (International Sales Manager)

Whilst Somta Tools has exhibited on numerous occasions at EMO, this show reflected a quantum change in interest and potential due to the fact that this was the first time the company had exhibited as a member of the OSG group.

In addition to the normal interaction with existing customers, the Somta booth was inundated with visits from OSG sales teams and their customers, from various countries. The exciting energy created an unprecedented ‘buzz’ on the Somta booth, which in turn attracted other visitors who normally would have walked by.

OSG will be promoting the Somta product range, under the SOMTA brand, worldwide through their 30+ sales offices – with the Somta range complimenting that of OSG and allowing for much greater market coverage.

Shaun with Norihiro Yoshitome (Export Sales & Product Manager from OSG Europe Logistics)

This show underlined again the significance of Somta being a part of the OSG family, not only through the extended reach and synergy, but also because of the immense credibility that goes with the OSG brand.

Also exciting was that Somta had 3 of its team visiting EMO for the first time. Shaun Roopnarain (International Sales Manager), Farouk Ismail (international sales) and Dilon Mathavalla (Engineering Manager) were all blown away by the size of the show, the technology on display and the number of competitors in our industry – a clear reminder of the value of being part of the world’s largest industrial exhibition. There is always a healthy mix of emotions – ranging from exhilarating to intimidating!

As the only exhibitor from Africa at EMO, Somta was also privileged to have many of the visitors from South Africa visit its booth and develop growing relationships. There is a lot to do together to develop manufacturing in South Africa and create jobs.

By the end of the show, Somta had visits from over 150 Customers (only 20 of which were existing), representing 47 different countries. The company has many new exciting leads for the sales team to follow up on. The Engineering team also came back with some fresh ideas and challenges of how to take the company into the future in terms of technology and best manufacturing practises.

It costs a lot to exhibit at EMO, but this is one show that we believe will reap many rewards.

Mathavalla (Engineering Manager), Raj Reddy (international sales), Emily Dylan Gimpel (Translator), Farouk Ismail (international sales), Graeme Holmes (Operations Director) and Shaun Roopnarain (International Sales Manager).

The Somta Stand with Shaun, Farouk and Raj

Some of the tools on display

Shaun, Raj, Farouk and Allan with Mac Ishikawa (President of OSG Corporation) and Gunnar Gambach (Export & Product Manager from OSG Europe)

Shaun, Emily and Allan with Alex Masuda (Vice President of OSG USA INC.)

Invitation to Visit Somta Tools Booth at EMO Hannover 2017

Somta at EMO 2017Somta Tools is pleased to announce that we are once again participating in this internationally renowned exhibition, EMO which is taking place from 18 – 23 September 2017 in Hannover, Germany.

EMO Hannover is the world’s premier trade fair for the metalworking sector. It is the top global trade fair of the sector and the most efficient marketing instrument in the branch, bringing together manufacturers and users from all countries.

We extend a warm invitation to you to visit the Somta team in Hall 004 on Stand E96. It will be an opportunity for us to introduce you to our full range of products, as well as some of our new innovative tooling and new logistics plans designed to give you easier and more cost effective access to our tooling.

This year is particularly exciting for Somta Tools as it will be our first solo international show as part of the OSG Corporation, which we are proud to be a part of. Those attending will be:
Allan Conolly (Managing Director)
Shaun Roopnarain (International Sales Manager)
Raj Reddy and Farouk D Ismail (International Sales Representatives)

You are welcome to contact us prior to the show with any specific queries, otherwise we look forward to seeing you there.

Somta at Metalloobrabotka 2017

Metalloobrabatka ShowSomta Tools had the pleasure of sharing a booth with OSG Russia at the Metalloobrabotka Trade Show which was held in Moscow, Russia from the 15th to 19th May 2017. Present on the booth from Somta were Allan Conolly (Managing Director), Raj Reddy (International Sales Representative) and Vladimir Volokh (International Development Partner). From OSG Russia was Dmitri Demin , Bagrat Frangulyan, Inga Makar-Silaeva , Alexander Khromov.

This was Metalloobrabotka’s 19th exhibition and had 981 exhibitors present from 32 countries and around 29 000 visitors from 53 countries over the period of its 5 days. Somta Tools was proud to be exhibiting in such a large arena, partnering with its esteemed colleagues from OSG Russia, especially since this was Somta’s first ever exhibition in Russia.

There was tremendous interest from the public at the OSG / Somta stand (mainly from suppliers of cutting tools throughout Russia), making this exhibition the right forum to create greater brand awareness for Somta Tools. It was encouraging to note that the SOMTA brand already seems reasonably well known in the Russian market, and the partnership with OSG Russia, as well as the Somta catalogue being available in Russian, are likely to provide further substantial growth opportunities.

Kate , Bagrat , Dmitrii , Gunna , Vladimir , Raj and Allan in front of the OSG / Somta Stand

Kate , Bagrat , Dmitrii , Gunnar , Vladimir , Raj and Allan in front of the OSG / Somta Stand

Bagrat , Dmitrii , Inga , Gunna , Vladimir , Raj and Allan in front of the OSG / Somta Stand

Bagrat , Dmitrii , Inga , Gunnar , Vladimir , Raj and Allan in front of the OSG / Somta Stand

Somta at Machine Tools Africa 2017

Machine Tools Africa Show Pic

Somta Tools showcased it’s new partnership with OSG this year at the Machine Tools Africa Trade Show held at the Nasrec Exhibition Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa during the month of May and used the show as an arena to introduce OSG products to the local and African markets.

Mr Tony Kamiya (Director) and Mr Gunnar Gambach (Export & Product Manager) of OSG joined Allan Conolly (Managing Director), Ian Joubert (Local Sales Manager) and the majority of the Johannesburg, Pietemaritzburg, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town sales teams on the stand where a selected range of OSG products were on display. These included OSG’s high performance carbide drills, micro-sized carbide end mills and their latest ranges of indexable drills as well as their powder material A Tap Series and a variety of HSS-Co extra long drills.

Machine Tools Africa Show Pic

Ossie Patterson, the Technical Manager from Somta Head Office had the job of running some of these selected OSG Products and Somta Solid Carbide End Mills on a Haas VF2 machine that was on the stand which ensured a constant flow of interested visitors to the stand.

Somta Tools was delighted to be a part of the exhibition as there was great deal of focus on manufacturing at the show, an area which requires a high volume of cutting tools and where Somta Tools already has a strong presence. The exhibition offered us the opportunity to network with our existing customers and allowed us to bring the quality of our tooling to the forefront by showcasing the latest in innovative technology.

Machine Tools Africa Show Setup

Stand Setup

Metalloobrabotka 2017

Somta Tools will be exhibiting this year with OSG Russia at Metalloobrabotka which takes place from the 15th to the 19th of May 2017 at the Expocentre in Moscow, Russia.

Those attending from Somta will be:

Allan Conolly (Managing Director)
Raj Reddy (International Sales Representative)

If you would like to meet with either of them at the OSG / SOMTA TOOLS stand (Stand Number 72D10, Hall 7.2) then please let us know so we can set up an appointment.

Metalloobrabotka is a major international show for the machine tool and metalworking industry with over 30 years of success.

It boasts:

  • 83 000 sq m of floor space
  • 981 exhibitors from 32 countries
  • 28 300 visitors from 53 countries

Visit for more information on Metalloobrabotka.

Machine Tools Africa 2017

Somta Tools will be exhibiting this year at Machine Tools Africa which takes place from the 9th to the 12th of May 2017 at the Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Those attending from OSG will be:
Tony Kamiya (Director)
Gunnar Gambach (Export & Product Manager)

Those attending from Somta will be:
Allan Conolly (Managing Director)
Ian Joubert (Sales Manager)
Selvun Padayachee (JHB Technical Sales Manager)
Nombuso Bhengu and Stephan van der Kolff (Technical Sales Representatives)
André van der Merwe, Bianca Swanepoel, David Sekhethela, Trevor Blackburn and Jeff Mohamed (Sales Representatives)
Ossie Patterson (Technical Manager)

If you would like to meet with any one of them at the SOMTA TOOLS stand (Stand Number G04, Hall 6) then please let us know so we can set up an appointment.

Looking for the latest products and solutions to gear up your business for 2017 and beyond?

Then look no further than Machine Tools Africa 2017. It’s a revolution. A showcase of all that rotates, turns, cuts, forms, bends, shapes and more. It’s the place where you’ll find the most innovative products, technologies, solutions and services that this industry has to offer in machinery, tools, spares and technical support.

Be inspired as the industry comes to you live. Quality tools and machinery are the backbone of the South African manufacturing industry and that’s why this important sector is taking centre stage at Machine Tools Africa 2017.

Source the very best in machine tools and related products in one central location across four days. It’s a showcase of everything from the start to the finish of the Machine Tools cycle.

Visit for more information on Machine Tools Africa.

pdfMetalworking News: “Plan your trip to Machine Tools Africa 2017”

Somta Partners with Global Cutting Tool Leader, OSG

Somta Tools is pleased to announce a new partnership with OSG, a global leader in the cutting tool industry, which sees the Japanese based company taking a majority stake holding in Africa’s largest round shank cutting tool manufacturer.

Somta Tools will continue to operate as it does today but now with full support from OSG.

Through this partnership, Somta Tools will have access to OSG technologies and expertise that will help the company to improve its manufacturing process, technical capabilities, and quality of tooling – with the goal of ultimately adding greater value for our customers.

For the first time in its 62 year history, Somta becomes part of a global cutting tool organisation and we believe this will have substantial benefit for Somta’s stability, growth and advancement.

Somta employees celebrated the announcement by holding a lunch and ribbon cutting ceremony in Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg with OSG Directors;  Bobby Osawa and Massy Mashida.

Head Office and Surface Coating Division

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6 5

Gauteng Sales Office

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New Product: High Performance Tap Range

bigger-page-imageSomta Tools is proud to announce a new range of material specific taps that showcase our commitment to manufacturing world class cutting tools that deliver at the optimal manufacturing levels for all materials used.

The new tap ranges have been designed and developed to ensure high performance levels for alloy steels, stainless steels, carbon steels, aluminium alloys, aluminium, cast iron and cast iron alloys as well as a variety of hard and soft manufacturing materials.

These products are ideal for high speed tapping in a variety of materials and guarantee customer value and manufacturing excellence; characteristics that have become synonymous with the Somta brand.

Some of the products included are:



PRODUCT CODES: 5E1/5E2 and 5E5/5E6

A high performance multi-purpose tap range manufactured from HSSE-V3 with a blue finish for use in high alloy steels, stainless steel and all carbon steels.



PRODUCT CODES: 5X1/5X2 and 5X5/5X6

A high performance multi-purpose tap range manufactured from powder metallurgy and coated with a hard lube coating for high speed tapping in aluminium, low carbon steels, mold and die steels and stainless steel.




A high performance multi-purpose forming tap range manufactured from HSS-Co8 and coated with a TiCN coating for high speed tapping in soft materials, carbon steels and alloy steels up to 350HB.

Some of the benefits of using a forming tap are that they:

  • do not produce chips
  • can be run at faster speeds
  • are stronger so will outlast a machining tap
  • produce a strong uniform thread


pdfView the High Performance Tap Range Leaflet to see more.

AMB 2016

Somta recently took part in the AMB 2016 show in Stuttgart, Germany from 13-17 September. AMB is an international exhibition for metalworking and one of the leading technology shows in the world for the cutting tool industry. Somta was the only company from Africa present at this show.

The Somta stand looked exceptional and received numerous compliments from both the visitors and the show’s exhibitors. For the first time the company had a CNC machine on its booth to demonstrate the performance potential of its tools. AS there are many companies with tools that look similar, it was important to be able to demonstrate the unique features and performance of some of our tools. There was a lot of interest in these demonstrations and the company is hopeful of receiving some new orders.

The Somta team at the exhibition met with many existing and new customers and has many follow ups to make.

The Somta Stand

The Somta Stand


Rajandran Reddy, Lance Hockly, Vladimir Volokh, Thomas Múčhka, Allan Connoly and Ossie Patterson on the Somta Stand

Rajandran Reddy, Lance Hockly, Vladimir Volokh, Thomas Múčhka, Allan Connoly and Ossie Patterson on the Somta Stand

MTA Vietnam

Lance Hockly on the Somta Stand

Lance Hockly on the Somta Stand

Somta Tools had the privilege of exhibiting at MTA Vietnam from the 5th to the 8th of July this year. The exhibition was MTA’s 14th International Precision, Engineering, Machine Tools and Metalworking show and displayed tremendous growth with key role players all rallying together to create a memorable event in the industry.

This year’s MTA exceeded all expectations with a visitor count in the first two days which exceeded the previous years’ total foot count by more than 9%. The majority of the visitors and exhibitors were made up of top level management and owners of some of the industry’s largest contenders.

International brand recognition was at an all-time high with the Somta stand boasting crowds from the moment the doors were opened. Along with the many relationships which were formed with fellow industry contenders, Somta also received a huge amount of interest from possible distributors in Vietnam as well as excellent feedback from end-users who continue to use Somta Tools products.

Congratulations to Lance Hockly (International Sales Manager), Derek Walden (Technical Support Manager) and Choy Meng Chun (Agent for Asia)  on an exceptional show and the many possible opportunities which will undoubtedly be coming Somta’s way.

Lusaveiro Supplier’s Convention

Mr João Rocha, Lusaveiro sales executive (North) and Julio Baptista at the Somta stand

Mr João Rocha, Lusaveiro sales executive (North) and Julio Baptista at the Somta stand

Somta Tools was honoured to be invited to and attend Lusaveiro’s 2016 Supplier’s Convention in Aveiro, Portugal this year. The convention took place from the 1st to the 3rd of July and was hosted by Lusaveiro in order to showcase their top suppliers. Lusaveiro is one of the leaders in the Portuguese Industrial Consumables Market and distributes well over a hundred different brands from across the globe.

The convention drew in an excellent amount of interest from end-users and resellers alike with Ian Joubert (Somta Sales Manager) and Julio Baptista (Somta Agent) successfully representing the Somta brand. Once again the Lusaveiro Convention delivered a memorable event and finished with over 1200 visitors being recorded for the duration of the exhibition. Once again the Somta brand was proven to be synonymous with quality and performance which is illustrated by the astounding 24% growth in the Lusaveiro/Somta market since the beginning of this year.

Lusaveiro and Somta Tools have been in partnership for many years now and with the exceptional feedback received during the exhibition it is clear that Lusaveiro and Somta Tools will continue their flourishing partnership for years to come.

AMB Messe Stuttgart 2016

SAMBomta to exhibit at AMB Messe Stuttgart 2016

The World of Mechanical Engineering…

Somta Tools will be exhibiting this year at AMB Messe Stuttgart which takes place from the 13th to the 17th of September 2016 at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre. AMB, the international exhibition for metalworking, is the leading industry trade fair in the even years and is one of the top 5 trade fairs worldwide for metal-cutting technology.

Those attending will be:

  • Allan Conolly (Managing Director)
  • Lance Hockly (International Sales Manager)
  • Ossie Patterson (Technical Manager)
  • Raj Reddy (International Sales Representative)
  • Thomas Muchka (Technical Sales Representative)
  • Vladimir Volokh (International Development Partner)

If you would like to meet with any one of them at the SOMTA TOOLS stand (Stand Number 2B18, Hall Number C2) then please let us know so we can set up an appointment and arrange a complimentary ticket.

Visit for more information on AMB Messe Stuttgart

AMB_Banner2016_728x90_EN (1)





MTA Vietnam 2016

MTA VietnamThe 14th International precision engineering, machine tools and metalworking exhibition and conferance…

Somta Tools will be exhibiting this year at MTA Vietnam which takes place from the 5th to the 8th of July 2016 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Those attending will be:

  • Lance Hockly (International Sales Manager)
  • Derek Walden (Technical Support Manager)

If you would like to meet with Lance or Derek at the SOMTA TOOLS stand (Stand Number AD6-5) then please let us know so we can set up an appointment and arrange a complimentary ticket.

Visit for more information on MTA Vietnam.

New Product: Econo Range

Somta Econo RangeSomta Tools is renowned for its commitment to manufacturing tools of the highest quality and its Economy Range is yet another example of their passion for excellence. The recently launched Econo Range offers a variety of 1E1 High Speed Steel Straight Shank Drills as well as the 2E1-2E4 High Speed Steel MTS Drills, ensuring that no matter what their customers require Somta is bound to have a tool that will guarantee quality performance for the budget minded.

Somta Tools knows that using tools of the highest quality shouldn’t prove detrimental to anyone’s budget which is why Somta’s Econo Range is still driven to manufacture world class cutting tools with a price tag that is affordable for all. With Somta there is no need to sacrifice quality and service excellence for affordability – Somta offers it all.

Econo Straight Shank Drill

Econo Straight Shank Jobber Drills

DIN 338
Type N Standard
Sizes below 3.0mm – 118° Standard Point
Sizes 3.0mm and above – 118° Split Point
h8 Tolerance on Cutting Diameter
30° Right Hand Flute Helix Angle
Blue Finish
General purpose drilling

Econo Morse Taper Shank Drill

Morse Taper Shank Econo Drills

DIN 345
Type N Standard
118° Standard Point
h8 Tolerance on Cutting Diameter
30° Right Hand Flute Helix Angle
Bright Finish Shank
Bright Finish Point
General purpose drilling

View the Econo Range Leaflet.

Moldplas e Tecna Exhibition

Somta had the pleasure of being represented by AM Tools Group at Moldplas e Tecna exhibition which took place between 28th and 31st October 2015 in Batalha, Portugal.

Since its inception in 2001, AMTOOLS has been able to conquer the market through constant innovation, dynamism, teamwork and the constant search for new products to tackle the needs of its customers and suppliers who they have developed partnerships with.

AM Tools group was prominently featured at Moldplas e Tecna with a large stand where Somta tools was represented, both in literature and tools displayed. The exhibition was well attended, mainly by professionals associated with the moulds and heavy industry market.

AM Tools Group stand at Moldplas e Tecna 2015 2

AM Tools groups stand

Mr Maia from the AM Tools Group and Julio Baptista from Somta Tools Portugal in front of some of Somta's tools on display.jpg

Mr Maia, Managing Director of the AM Tools Group and Julio Baptista from Somta Tools Portugal with some of Somta’s tools on display

Product Properties Correction

Please note:
NC Spotting DrillThe properties for the NC Spotting drills (product code:184) have been incorrectly printed in the P12 Catalogue and the August 2015 local Price List , please find the correct properties below.

NC Spotting Drills
DIN 1897
Stub Length
90° Point Angle
h8 Tolerance
20° Right Hand Helix
TiAIN Coated
Standard Point

The properties have been amended in the pdf P12 Catalogue available on our download page but the final corrections will be made in the next print so please keep this in mind for all orders in the meantime.

Art Byrne Visits Somta Tools

Art-Byrne,-Kris-Pederson-(Director-of-EY-Purpose-LED-Transformations-USA)-and-Allan-Conolly-(Somta's-managing-director)Somta Tools has undergone a number of changes since the implementation of the LEAN Transformation Initiative in March 2015. This journey was inspired by Art Byrnes, author of “The Lean Turnaround” and founder of the LEAN Initiative.  During the past 6 months Somta Tools has seen some wonderful results from implementing these initiatives and were proud to showcase these achievements when Art Byrne paid the Somta head office a visit in late September. The Somta Team was commended on their achievements and were motivated to continue utilising these LEAN Turnaround principles in order to add more value for Somta’s customers.

Art-Byrne-signing-plaqueSomta’s Value Stream Leaders also attended a 2 day LEAN roll out conference where they were challenged to continue their strategic growth according to the LEAN Turnaround principles and were also offered expert advice from a variety of wonderful speakers. The conference included some pearls of wisdom from the founder himself – Art Byrne, Kris Pederson (Director of EY Purpose-LED Transformations USA), Dr Mark Manley (Author of Change Your Thinking Change Your World), Zwelinzima Vavi (Former Head of COSATU) and Rick McCarthy (Author of LEAN in a Changing World). With the team’s new found knowledge and inspiring motivation Somta Tools is well on its way to achieving their 12 month goals set at the beginning of its LEAN Transformation Journey.

Solid Carbide Drills – Now being manufactured to DIN Standard


In response to market demand, all Solid Carbide Drills are now being manufactured to DIN Standards (previously Works Standard).

Affected codes are:
01J – Solid Carbide Jobber Drills – Now to DIN 6537L
01S – Solid Carbide Stub Drills – Now to DIN 6537K
0CJ – Coolant Feed Solid Carbide Jobber Drills – Now to DIN 6537L
0CS – Coolant Feed Solid Carbide Stub Drills – Now to DIN 6537K

PLEASE NOTE that current stock of these codes will need to be depleted before the new lengths start being distributed.

View the Solid Carbide Tooling (Standard Range) Leaflet, now showing the new DIN Standard lengths.

Somta LEAN Transformation Journey

Whilst Somta has been using LEAN initiatives for some years, the company officially began its LEAN Transformation journey on 2 March 2015, having been trained and prepared for this since the beginning of the year.

The purpose of the LEAN Transformation Journey is to create a LEAN culture in every part of the company that will be focused on continuous, daily efforts to remove all aspects of waste within every department.

A key focus of this effort targets the “Value Streams” within the company i.e. the places and processes within the organisation where we add value to the product. The goal through these efforts is to enable the value to flow quicker. If we can produce tools consistently within a much shorter lead time, then we can service the customer better.

For this to happen however, it will require the efforts of the entire team finding small ways to do things better every day – this is what is called “Kaizen”. The idea is for every department to have a Kaizen board where the teams will regularly meet to drive improvements. A Kaizen office has been created, run by Somta’s Industrial Engineering team, which will provide support for the Kaizen initiatives in each department.

Other companies who have embarked on this journey over a 3-5 year period have achieved some very exciting results.

Here are a few examples ….

  1. Lead time – reduced from 4 weeks to 2 days
  2. Productivity – improved by 162%
  3. Number of set ups – from 3 per week to 20 per day
  4. Stock reduction – reduced from 4 months of stock to 2.5 weeks

These companies started in the same place as Somta, facing similar challenges. If other companies around the world can do it, then so can we – ONLY IF …. We all are committed to this!

This is an exciting journey and together we can tell a story that no one thought possible. Maybe someday there will be books written about what the Somta team accomplished on its LEAN Turnaround journey!

image1Somta’s LEAN transformation journey started on Monday with a warm welcome for all from Allan Conolly (Managing Director).



LEAN signs had been placed throughout the Somta premises for all staff to view.


A tree planting ceremony was then held to mark the launch of Somta’s LEAN Transformation journey. Here the heads of departments who were part of the Lean Training sessions along with the shop stewards, all put some soil into the hole as a symbolic gesture that the entire company is involved in this new journey. A Nuxia Floribuna evergreen tree was chosen to signify that the LEAN Transformation Journey will not be a seasonal change but an everyday continuous change.

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Every person committed to continuous improvement… every day.

We look forward to the support of the entire team.


Somta Training and Demonstration Month


De Fruytier

During the month of October Somta was able to visit, train and demonstrate the Solid Carbide VariCut End Mill, the Solid Carbide Hard Material End Mills and the Solid Carbide End Mills for Aluminium to a few of their overseas customers.

Amongst them were:

Schwarz Cutting Tools
Somta’s first international training and demonstration day was held at Schwarz Cutting Tools in Stuttgart Germany. Present were Schwarz’s sales staff and customers, some from as far as Russia.


Schwarz Cutting Tools

De Fruytier
De Fruytier, a cutting tool supplier in Belgium, employs only technical personnel for their sales positions. They prefer their sales staff to have had machine experience. This being the case the training was therefore aimed at this level. The sales team were familiar with the tools and our training revolved around the technical aspect of the tools and benefits thereof.

A big thank you to all that attended these training and demonstration days. Be on the lookout for our next demo day in your area or contact your representative should you wish us to organise one at your company.

Somta AMB

SOMTA Tools recently had the privilege of being the first African company to exhibit at the AMB show in Stuttgart, Germany. AMB is one of the Top 5 trade fairs in the metal working industry worldwide and we were humbled to share the arena with the industry’s leaders. Partnered with our main European Stockist Schwartz Cutting Tools, our stand showcased our quality cutting tools and the amount of attention we received was truly outstanding!

Somta AMB

Allan Connoly , Lance Hockly, Vladimir Volokh, Rajandran Reddy and Vaughn Borragerio on the Somta Stand

SOMTA has invested a substantial amount into the European market and with our aim to enhance our service to our European customers; they will soon be able to enjoy the same speed, quality and efficiency that our African customers have become accustomed to. Our stand at AMB was just the beginning and with our staff’s ability to answer trade questions in 7 international languages we once again showcased our world class approach to customer service!

With the help of our incredible staff – Allan Connoly (MD), Lance Hockly (International Sales Manager), Rajandran Reddy and Vaughn Borragerio (Regional European Sales Managers) as well as the Somta Europe staff and Vladimir Volokh we were able to make an impact at yet another international trade exhibition.

More photos from AMB


Stand Setup


1st day AMB Show




Some of the plinths on the stand

Somta at EMO Hannover 2013

Somta at EMO Hannover 2013

David Risk, Lance Hockly and Allan Conolly in front of the Somta stand at EMO Hannover 2013

A team of 6 people from Somta Tools (Allan Conolly – Managing Director, Neil Hockly – National Sales Director, David Risk – Export Sales Director, Lance Hockly – Carbide Manager, Ossie Patterson – Technical Manager and Derek Walden – Export Sales) recently attended EMO (the world’s largest industrial tool show) in Hannover, Germany held from the 16th to the 21st September.

The company had its own booth at the show displaying its products, and had the goal of generating new business for the company. As an idea of competition, there were probably in the order of at least 200 other suppliers displaying similar products – with an increasing number coming from the East (China, Taiwan etc).

The Somta stand, whilst small compared to many, was very professionally laid out and the marketing team did an outstanding job – we can all be very proud of the excellent job they did.

We saw many of our existing customers at the show, and also met many new potential customers. Members of our team also met with many of our various suppliers, looking to understand what new technology was available and how could this benefit Somta.

The show was well attended and many people we spoke to indicated that they expected a steady but slow improvement in the world economy. No one predicted that things would get worse over the next few years which was encouraging to hear.

The key areas of potential for Somta resulting from this show are…

  1. Very good potential for new orders from a large European distributor for our new Solid Carbide VariCut End Mill in the near future. In fact this customer said that some of our tools they had been testing were outperforming the best in the world! This is likely to lead to a demand for increased capacity in the carbide plant.
  2. With key partners (Schwarz) we have recently opened up Somta Europe with stock in Stuttgart Germany for quick distribution to the European market – lots of potential and lots of interest for carbide and HSS.
  3. Good potential growth opportunities with Ceratizit – the company for whom we are carbide insert agents in South Africa.
  4. New opportunities in Canada and USA with a key partner – this could result in substantial volumes of carbide and HSS product.

In summary this was a very good show for Somta that I am sure is going to yield some exciting new business for the company. The team that was there worked very hard and you can be proud of the way they went about their business.

We hope to be able to update you with some tangible results in the coming weeks and months.

Allan Conolly
Managing Director

New Product: Solid Carbide Hard Material End Mills

Solid Carbide Hard Material End Mills

Solid Carbide Hard Material End Mills

A range of high performance finishing end mills for operation on hard materials up to 52HRC (512HB), plus Somta’s hi-feed end mill with patent pending geometry that removes the most amount of material in the least amount of time combined with extended tool life, for use on hard and super hard steels up to 62HRC (684HB).

View the Solid Carbide Hard Material End Mills Leaflet

New Product: Solid Carbide End Mills for Aluminium


Solid Carbide End Mills for Aluminium

Somta’s high efficiency carbide end mill range with optimal flute geometry provides all the required features for high performance machining of aluminium, with the added benefits of greater stock removal rates at high speeds and feeds, excellent surface finish quality and extended tool life.

View the Solid Carbide End Mills for Aluminium Leaflet

Bull elephant Ninio gets a helping hand from Somta

Bull elephant NinioZoo keepers at Poznan Zoo in Poland called in the experts when Ninio fractured one of his tusks.

Keepers enlisted the help of Dr Adrian Tordiffe, research veterinarian at Pretoria Zoo and Dr Gerhard Steenkamp, renowned veterinary dentist of the Onderstepoort veterinary faculty, University of Pretoria.

The expert duo went to Poland to assess Ninio’s fractured tusk and treat an infection, which had developed in the affected tusk, despite the best efforts of the 13 year old elephant’s keepers. But after three hours of drilling, Dr Steenkamp had only managed to create a canal and remove the infected pulp and the team made the decision to postpone removing the tusk until a later date.

Dr Gerhard Steenkamp, renowned veterinary dentist at work

Dr Gerhard Steenkamp, renowned veterinary dentist at work

Dr Steenkamp contacted Somta after his visit to Poland. He told us that he had been working on an elephant with tusks that were 120 mm in diameter, larger than he had done in the past and with the tools that he had he could not extract the tusk. He wanted to know if we could support their efforts and, not having a large budget he was wanting to know if we could produce tools that he could use to extract a tusk. It did not take us long to agree to help.

With all of the new equipment and a multitude of plans Dr Adrian Tordiffe and Dr Gerhard Steenkamp returned to Poznan in early May 2013 determined to relieve Ninio of his problematic tusk.

“After two hours the tusk fragments I had cut were already starting to move. I was so optimistic! But by three hours into the procedure I was getting a bit dejected. We had said to one another that three hours was what we knew we could safely keep Ninio under anaesthetic for, even though he was under for about 4.5 hours the last time we worked on him, we knew that was far from ideal and things were progressing too slowly. At this point I opted for plan C.” said Dr Steenkamp.

“I have once before extracted a tooth with a winch and this was what I decided was needed in this case. The hand winch was brought in and it was attached to the most movable piece of tusk. After only about three minutes of applying traction to this piece of tusk it moved. Removing a tusk is like removing a pipe – what gives it strength is the intactness of this pipe. As soon as that first piece moved the structure of the tusk was weakened and I was able to manipulate what was left in the alveolus. The last piece I removed (with the winch) was enormous and once everything was out I wasn’t sure how I had got it out in the pieces I did! For long periods of time all I had done was focus on the immediate task at hand and silently prayed. There was lots of praying!”

“With the tusk removed all that remained was to empty the alveolus of the pulp. If left, this diseased pulp would continue to be infected and form abnormal ivory. This task took another 20 minutes of blood, sweat and tears.  At one stage (while my arm was literally up the alveolus to my armpit) I overheard Adrian say to one of the 23 people in the enclosure I could have gone into obstetrics!”

“After three hours and 45 minutes Ninio was standing. Adrian and I had discussed pain relief for Ninio in depth and it was very pleasing to see that after all that this elephant had gone through the combination used by my very able anaesthetist was working well. He started eating that same day. Within the next two days he was interacting with the other elephants, allowing close inspection of the alveolus and eating as if nothing happened.”

Metalworking News: “Bull elephant Ninio gets a helping hand from Somta”

Somta Tools – New B-BBEE Accreditation Received

Zee Zee's local carwash for all Somta employees

Zee Zee’s local carwash for all Somta employees

“In line with it’s goal of continuous improvement, Somta Tools is proud to announce that it has successfully improved its BBBEE status over the last 4 month period. As of 13 February we have been certified by AQ-Rate as a Level 6 company.

A contributing factor to this improvement has been Somta’s increased use of accredited suppliers, as well as the implementation of Zee Zee’s local carwash for all Somta employees, owned and run by Zinhle Xaba (a previous contract employee of Somta).

As a dominant cutting tool supplier to the South African market, we are committed to making further improvements in each of the B-BBEE measurements over the next 12 month period.”

Somta B-BBEE Accreditation

New Product: Solid Carbide VariCut End Mill


Somta’s new “Vari-Style” End Mill, VariCut has a new patent pending tool design. This unique design uses a new core form and a new reinforced end geometry with unequal flute spacing which enables it to remove the most amount of material in the least amount of time with an excellent surface finish. On Stainless, or Titanium, it will match or outperform any other 4 flute “Vari-Style” End Mill in the market.

View the Solid Carbide VariCut End Mills Leaflet

Somta Tools Launches Expanded Carbide Tooling Facility

Richard McElligot and Walter Mkhize cutting the ribbonAt a ceremony, held on 22nd January, Somta Tools officially opened its expanded carbide tooling facility at its factory on Moses Mabhida Rd Pietermaritzburg, where the company has been since its establishment in 1954. The event was attended by some of the company’s key customers, including many leading manufacturers, from across South Africa.

Given that there is no other facility on the African continent that boasts the combined manufacturing, measuring, coating and testing capabilities in this new expansion, the opening ceremony was not only significant for Somta Tools and its customers, but is a boost for South African manufacturing which has been struggling to stay competitive.

The quality and uniqueness of the tooling produced from this facility is winning contracts in Germany and other European countries. On the South African market, the company’s tools are outperforming many of the leading international brands and creating the rare ability for users of this tooling to buy local whilst still improving their tooling performance and reducing costs.

In this expansion, Somta Tools have not only quadrupled their capacity, but have created space for further growth in years to come. The expansion was funded in partnership with the IDC who were in attendance to officially open the facility.

Metalworking News: “Somta Tools launches expanded tooling facility”

The Witness: “Somta playing in big league”

“Somta Tools raising the bar” editorial in the Natal Witness

New addition to carbide facility under construction

New addition to carbide facility under construction

DRIVEN by production excellence centred on high quality products and the need to enter new markets, Edendale-based manufacturer of cutting tools, Somta Tools, has embarked on a major expansion.

The Witness: “Somta Tools raising the bar”

Metalworking News: “Somta Tools quadruples capacity at its Pietermaritzburg manufacturing plant”

Somta awarded business of the year award

Allan Conolly (Managing Director) receiving the award from Jenny Goddard, regional head of Nedbank Business Banking

Allan Conolly (Managing Director) receiving the award from Jenny Goddard, regional head of Nedbank Business Banking

BUSINESS leaders and dynamic entrepreneurs from Pietermaritzburg gathered yesterday evening for the city’s premier business function, the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB)/Nedbank annual banquet, which honoured the remarkable achievements of business people in the city.

Winning recipients and runners-up in the categories Business of the Year and Champion Entrepreneur received their awards from Jenny Goddard, regional head of Nedbank Business Banking. Winners and runners-up in the categories Small Business of the Year and Emergent Black Business Person of the Year were presented their awards by Simiso Mkhize, regional manager, Nedbank Retail Relationship Banking.

The Business of the Year 2011 went to Somta Tools and the award was received by managing director Allan Conolly. In presenting the award, the PCB recognised the company’s visionary leadership in an economically challenging environment and their implementation of significant productivity improvements and application of sound management principles.

Melanie Veness, PCB chief executive officer, said the Somta team proactively addressed the challenges that they were facing as a result of the world economic crisis, and implemented an effective turnaround strategy. “Not only has there been an impressive improvement in sales, but there has also been a remarkable turnaround from a significant loss situation to one of profitability.

“The company has managed to effectively balance real empowerment with managerial control, and the increase in sales due to greater demand and the introduction of new product ranges has resulted in the employment of an additional 45 people over the last year. “Somta enjoys between 55% and 60% of the high-speed steel market share in South Africa and exports to 72 countries worldwide. They are leaders in their industry and in business, and are most deserving of this award,” said Veness.

The runner-up for Business of the Year 2011 were Talbot & Talbot. The award was received by Dr Bernard Talbot. The Champion Entrepreneur for 2011 was Rick McCarthy, owner of Hair Sole’ in Victoria Road and Sole’ Hair Design at the Liberty Midlands Mall, as well as Training Leadership Consulting (TLC) — a professional services business focused on business improvement.

The runner-up for Champion Entrepreneur 2011 was Nobuhle Patricia Mbanjwa, owner of Jailbreak Caterers. The Small Business of the Year 2011 was Coffeeberry Café. Runner-up for Small Business of the Year 2011 was Lock & Key Solutions.

The Emergent Black Business Person of the Year was Johannes Nene, owner of Nene Haulage. The runner-up for Emergent Black Business Person of the Year was Sandeep Seeth of African Intellect.

The Witness: “Visionary: Somta is named business of the year at awards ceremony”

Somta Workers get 7.5% stake

Somta Tools, has launched an empowerment initiative through the establishment of the Somta Employees’ Trust, which will give the company’s 500 employees a collective 7,5% stake in the company.

The aim of the Somta Employees’ Trust is to provide employees with a sense of real ownership of the company. This all transpired when through a management buyout, the company was purchased from its main shareholder, SCMB (Standard Corporate Merchant Bank) by the Somta management team.

The employees trust scheme was part of the company’s broad-based black economic empowerment strategy in which part ownership is placed in the hands of the staff, with the aim of making employees understand that they determine their own economic future.  This has been one of the factors in the successful BEE accreditation of Somta Tools.

The Witness: “Somta workers get a stake”

Allan Conolly (Managing Director) and Nishani Parshad (Inventory & Outsourcing Manager) with the share certificate

Allan Conolly (Managing Director) and Nishani Parshad (Inventory & Outsourcing Manager) with the share certificate