With its motto: ‘On the road to the digital future’, Siemens hosted its virtual Smart Mining forum from 3-5 August. This is an insightful, strategic event that explored the impact of technology and how it can sustainably drive transformation within the African mining industry.
The forum was supported by key industry leaders, including Sietse van der Woude, Minerals Council of South Africa; Andrew Lane, Deloitte Africa; and Ian Gebbie, DRA Global.
The forum brought together the mining community, industry experts, decision-makers, thought leaders, technology providers, consumers, users, engineers and designers to discuss topics affecting the mining industry and ways in which technology can drive effective change in the sector.
“Covid-19 has prevented the industry from having progressive conversations about how to move the mining sector forward,” said Tim Walwyn, head of mineral solutions, Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa. “This event was an opportunity for us to bring the mining community together to re-ignite the dialogue and share knowledge to help us sustainably transform the future of mining in Africa. As a partner to African mines, our electrification, automation and digitalisation portfolio offers a combination of deep understanding of the mining industry with state-of-the-art technologies.”
This virtual event provided an interactive platform in which attendees had an opportunity to explore the Siemens virtual showroom, observe current and future industry trends, explore cutting-edge technologies and participate in interactive sessions with local and international technical experts and thought leaders. During the forum, Siemens launched its SIDRIVEIQ IIoT monitoring solution for drive systems.
Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens CEO for Southern and Eastern Africa said: “Our main objective with this event was to initiate a forum for knowledge transfer to the industry and raise awareness of the opportunities created by technology. We’re excited to bring this collaborative forum, where we can showcase the latest technological innovations for the industry and explore their effects on the African mining landscape.”
Universities and SMMEs
Siemens invited various South African universities and introduced them to Mendix, a low-code rapid application development platform. Mendix is a high productivity application development platform that enables users to build and continuously improve mobile and web applications at scale. The Mendix Platform is designed to accelerate enterprise app delivery across the entire application development lifecycle, from ideation to deployment and operations.
As part of the company’s commitment to enterprise and supplier development, Siemens provided 10 industrious SMMEs that deliver solutions and services to the mining industry a chance to showcase their companies and expertise in a separate virtual showroom.
“Our goal with the enterprise and supplier development portion of the event was to explore innovative offerings developed by local enterprises and bring their ideas and solutions closer to potential clients,” said Siemens’ Rita Nkuhlu. “We wanted to make these businesses visible to industry leaders.”
The participating SMMEs were given access to SITRAIN, an online digital learning platform for industry that’s available anytime, anywhere. Its modular structure divides the content into easy-to-follow ‘learning nuggets’ and includes checkpoints to monitor achievements.
“The future of mining and the transformation of the mining industry depends on staying abreast of advancing technology and industry trends,” concluded Dall’Omo. “It also depends on the sustainable development of new enterprises, collaborations and ongoing conversations among stakeholders in the public and private sector and educational institutions. Now is the time to contribute to small business growth, promote job creation and develop critical job skills required for the transformation in the mining industry.”
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