The changing face of the manufacturing industry in South Africa will be given a boost in November with the debut of the first awards officially recognising innovation and excellence in Advanced Manufacturing.
The National Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards, is hosted under the auspices of the DTI co-funded, national Composites Cluster with a wide scope including the key drivers of the 4th industrial revolution.
All companies operating in the advanced manufacturing field, including 3D printing, robotics, automation, AI, laser cutting and etching, CNC machining, software, big data, IOT and composites will be eligible for national recognition.
Companies or organisations may make submissions in six categories including: Scholarly impact in advanced manufacturing, Industry advancement in advanced manufacturing, Export proficiency, Contribution to Import replacement, Composites Innovation and Most promising ‘start- up or newcomer’.
Composites Cluster MD, Andy Radford, formerly an industrialist at the CSIR, before the Composites Cluster was established with the support of the South African government, said the awards would play a key role in advancing the country’s advanced manufacturing agenda.
“As we push to consolidate and develop our manufacturing strategy, it is essential as a collective – government and private sector stakeholders identify, promote and reward innovation in the advanced manufacturing and composites industry.”
Radford said the awards, which would be made annually at the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show (with the inaugural event set to take place from November 7-9) would also “aim to showcase South Africa’s capabilities and popularise Advanced Manufacturing in industry and to learners.”
He said entries close on July 27.
The National Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards will take place as part of the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show, which will include a dynamic, interactive exhibition, conferences and factory tours.
Organisers say several international delegations have already confirmed, including leading Advanced manufacturing companies from France and Germany, while a focused campaign will draw dominant advanced manufacturers from Africa.
“While manufacturing remains an essential part of South Africa’s economy – contributing around 19% of GDP, our efforts towards Advanced Manufacturing in South Africa are highly fragmented, but we do have significant pockets of excellence,” Radford says.
“The African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show will not only bring all the key role-players and technology partners together towards a common vision, it would also inspire emerging engineers.
“Three-dimensional printing, lasers, automation and artificial intelligence 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 added the KPMG 2016 Global Manufacturing Survey, showed the extent to which global manufacturers were racing for advanced manufacturing leadership.
“Some 25% of 360 respondents said hey had already invested in three-dimensional printing and additive manufacturing technologies. An equal number had also already invested in artificial intelligence and cognitive computing technologies.
“Two-fifths of survey respondents said they would definitely channel significant amounts of their research and development investments towards robotics before 2019.
“The message is clear that certain manufacturers and manufacturing countries will ensure their sustainability and growth in Industry 4.0 where others will be left increasingly far behind in servicing an increasingly demanding global client base.
“The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium venue, alongside the North End Lake, is ideal for the outdoors demonstration of boats, vehicles, and drones all of which encapsulate Advanced Manufacturing technologies and indoor exhibits showcasing automation, computing and 3d printing, among others.
The show will be accessible to both trade and public visitors.
Radford said the organisers of the Show have a vision and strategy to ensure that the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show attracted global role-players in all areas of Advanced Manufacturing, including Composites and especially African role-players.
To this end Radford said delegations from France and Germany have already confirmed while an MOU had been signed with UK Composites and a marketing campaign would target African buyers.