Global 4IR experts for South African trade show

Issued by Mandela Bay Development
Johannesburg, Sep 2, 2019

Twenty-three presenters, including several European-based advanced manufacturing experts, will address the impact of the fourth industrial revolution on South Africa's manufacturing sectors at the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show on 27 and 28 November.

The international line-up includes Grafton LSR Engineering Director Mark Chapman, whose team has engineered the Bloodhound, the most advanced straight-line racing car ever built, to attempt to set a new world land speed record, currently at 1 227.985km/h.

Germany's Frank Henning of Frauenhofer, regarded as one of the world's foremost light-weighting authorities, and Kjelt van Rijswijk, CEO of Netherlands company SAM|XL, housed at Technical University Delft, and JEC World International Sales Director Yohann Cailleau, based in France, also add an international perspective to the event.

Six workshops over two days will address the impact of 4IR on the automotive, maritime and general manufacturing sectors and focus on the rise and applicability of composites and advanced materials and manufacturing technology and process.

Other confirmed speakers include Retail Motor Industry COO, Jan Schoeman, Progressus platform manager Dr Harry Teiffel, South Africa Fraunhofer senior advisor, Oliver Damm, and former Director of the Centre for Polymer Technology, Bernard Reeksting.

Co-ordinator Andy Radford of the Mandela Bay Composites Cluster said the speaker line-up is likely to also include Toyota MD Andrew Kirby, the CSIR's Director for Advanced Manufacturing Martin Sanne, Jendamark CEO Quinton Uren, and Dr Anton du Plessis of the University of Stellenbosch, among others.

The show, which includes an exhibition, factory tour and Gala Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards and Banquet, will take place at the iconic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth with the support of the DTI and Mandela Bay Development Agency.

The show, according to Radford, represents the largest gathering of 4IR roleplayers in southern Africa.

It injected cash flows of R42.8 million into the city's business community in its inaugural edition, with Nelson Mandela Bay retaining host status for the second edition on 27 and 28 November this year.

The show is hosted under the auspices of the DTI-supported, national Composites Cluster, in collaboration with government, industry and academia.

Radford said the participation of over 3 000 influential roleplayers positioned the inaugural show as "Africa's premier initiative in the field supporting the triple helix model of innovation, which involves interaction between academia, industry and governments, to foster economic and social development.''

Radford said plans announced by the AIDC EC to establish a globally interconnected Smart Industrial Academy in the province "attached to the prowess of global 4IR companies like Jendamark" positioned the Eastern Cape as a suitable host for the 2019 edition.

"The advanced manufacturing sector is highly fragmented in South Africa. Many associations and industry bodies promote advanced manufacturing, but generally there is a lack of integration and awareness of even our own capabilities, which are substantial,'' Radford said.

"Over 100 exhibitors showcasing three-dimensional printing, lasers, automation, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, drones and materials of the future are exciting tools to encourage a new generation of engineers and scientists, but we need to expose them and industry to these technologies and there is no time to waste," Radford said.

The show includes the exhibition, workshops, tech demos, factory tour, a drone demonstration and the National Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards.

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