SAIMC


SAIMC: Durban branch

March 2022 SAIMC

During the Durban branch’s AGM in February, the following people were appointed (with portfolios) to the management team:

• Mark Calvert – general manager.

• John Owen-Ellis – secretary.

• Kevin McElroy – treasurer.

Other elected members of the management team, based on electronic voting by the branch members, are:

• Dean Trattles.

• Jane van der Spuy.

• Howard Lister.

• Luckmore Penduka.

The practice of co-opting other members to the management team has worked well in recent years and will be continued through 2022 as part of the succession plan going forward. The co-opted members are as follows and have been allocated shadow portfolios:

• Prof. Akshay Saha.

• Siyabonga Mbamali.

• Marthel Mhlanga.

• Siphamandla Mthembu.

For their March technology meeting, Robert Wright – the managing director of RJ Connect – treated Durban branch members and guests to an entertaining and informative presentation entitled ‘Optimise your control system through flexibility of multiprotocol remote I/O’.


Rob Wright, managing director of RJ Connect.

Despite the limitations of using Zoom for holding the attention of an audience, Robert took the large and attentive group through the essentials, starting with the need for multipoint I/O to be developed. By doing so, end-users can retain a large part of their legacy systems in the field and still interface in a compact and versatile manner with modern communication systems. This allows system integrators to take advantage of advanced features which are available using a wide range of communication protocols.

Robert showed an example of the use of network adaptors to save panel space which would otherwise be required if dedicated interfacing devices were required for each communication protocol. The reduced footprint, cost-effective software and reduced spares-holding contribute to cost savings. Another advantage is elimination of the need for gateways (which could be another potential point of failure) to connect between bus systems.

Robert never disappoints, with his knowledgeable and infectiously enthusiastic approach. After answering a variety of questions, he was thanked for sparing the time to give his lively and thought-provoking presentation.


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