News


From the editor's desk: What’s in, what’s out

February 2023 News


Kim Roberts, Deputy Editor.

Welcome to this bumper issue of SA Instrumentation & Control. It has been a privilege to be able to put together this issue and I’ve really enjoyed being involved with such a respected magazine while we wait for our new editor.

It’s still early in the year so my attention was attracted by a report from ABI Research entitled ‘74 technology trends that will − and will not − shape 2023’. It has a wealth of information, here are few of the highlights.

ABI expects that there will be a revival in VR in manufacturing, with innovative new applications in the workplace.

In the consumer area the wealth of new gadgets and gizmos we can enjoy is growing. Foldable devices, wearable technology for health and fitness, and smart homes are the order of the day. If you don’t already have a foldable phone you probably will soon. This is made possible by more sophisticated sensors to measure health data, with better algorithms that instantly interpret huge amounts of data.

AI is with us. From healthcare to self-driven cars and from manufacturing to entertainment and smartphones, it is being touted as the single most game-changing invention in the history of mankind. I am wary of hype but I couldn’t help noticing ChatGBT. In a mind-blowingly short time, like since December 2022, ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. I asked ChatGPT what it does and this was the answer:

ChatGPT is a language generation model developed by OpenAI. It is based on the Generative Pretrained Transformer architecture and was trained on a large corpus of text data to generate human-like responses to natural language text inputs. ChatGPT is designed to be used in applications such as chatbots, customer service, and question-answering systems to generate text-based responses to user queries.

I thought this was a bit bland, but it told me the basics. I also thought I would see how it handles an editor’s letter. The result is too long for this column, but it didn’t do a bad job, although it was a bit generic. But it left me wondering what it would produce next month. As an editor you can’t write the same thing every time. One area where it is causing huge disruption is in the academic world, where it can generate abstracts of scholarly articles or write a student’s term paper, while scoring 100% on a plagiarism detector.

Aerospace is always inspiring. Who hasn’t gazed in awe at the incredible images that emerged from the Webb-Ellis telescope last year; and low earth orbit satellites quietly make our internet world possible. Starlink has 3500 satellites in orbit, including those making a difference in the airspace over the Ukraine. `The number of LEO satellites approved for deployment will reach more than 30 000 by the end of the decade.

There are other trends generating huge hype such as the industrial. This time last year the world was excited about NFTs, crypto and the metaverse. By last September, NFT markets were down 90% and crypto was in freefall. In 2023 the metaverse is still more dream than reality.

Despite last year’s hype, companies won’t be investing vast sums in the metaverse in 2023. Your staff won’t be creating avatars and solving challenges in the virtual world. The current economic climate demands investments with a clear road to value. They will be investing in digital twins that mirror machines and facilities to optimise their operations. The metaverse is for another year.

When it comes to lights out manufacturing, it looks like the lights will still be on for a while. Most manufacturers are at level 2 or 3 out of 5 in their digital transformation. Typically they have started to connect some wireless assets and integrate data sources. Most still need to retrofit sensors and manage the machines they have relied on for years. Apart from ‘factories of the future’ like the Mercedes Factory 56 and the Tesla Gigafactory in Germany, level 5 lights out manufacturing is still coming.

In 2023 the challenge will be creating new possibilities when these technologies are used together − what Harvard Business Review calls combinatorial trends. Leaders will have to do more with less and strategically invest in technologies that are hitting a tipping point.


Credit(s)



Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Moore Process Controls is moving ahead
Moore Process Controls News
Moore Process Controls was established in South Africa in 1985, migrating from a local agent for Moore Products in the USA to a multi-faceted company with a wide range of automation and optimisation capabilities.

Read more...
From the editor's desk: Never again
Technews Publishing (SA Instrumentation & Control) News
The recent building collapse in George shook me as it was just down the road. I experienced first hand the impact that it had on people’s lives, and the devastation caused by the loss of loved ones, ...

Read more...
Reflecting 30 years of growth
WEG Africa News
Starting out in 1994 to serve the metropolitan area with a range of low-voltage electric motors, WEG Africa’s Cape Town branch has grown. Testament to this is the fact that it has again outgrown its premises, and last year relocated to larger, well-equipped facilities in Richmond Business Park.

Read more...
Danfoss strengthens presence in Africa
News
Danish multinational engineering group, Danfoss has finalised its acquisition of BOCK. The completion of the acquisition reinforces Danfoss’ position as a preferred provider of energy-efficient compressor solutions.

Read more...
Steinmüller Africa showcases plant lifecycle maintenance and power generation at Enlit Africa
News
Steinmüller Africa, a proud Silver Sponsor Partner of Enlit Africa 2024, recently attended the event at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The company presented its comprehensive range of solutions for high-pressure heaters for energy generation plants, including design, drawing, fabrication, commissioning, plant erection, and maintenance.

Read more...
Rich rewards result from investing in WearCheck’s training
Wearcheck News
A priority for condition monitoring specialist, WearCheck, is to ensure that customers whose maintenance staff undergo technical skills training earn significant returns from their investment into the training. Maintenance crew members can choose from more than 15 courses that are conducted by WearCheck’s experts in various categories of condition monitoring.

Read more...
Empowering the next generation of innovators
News
As South Africa commemorates Youth Month, we need to shine a spotlight on the remarkable contributions of young minds in the technology and engineering sectors. At Yaskawa South Africa fledgling technicians are not only driving innovation, but are also embodying the company’s commitment to youth development.

Read more...
Bosch Rexroth Africa participates in WAMPEX 2024
Bosch Rexroth Africa News
Bosch Rexroth Africa recently participated in the West African Mining & Power Expo in Accra, Ghana. As a key participant, the company engaged with mining houses, contractors and other industry sectors to promote its comprehensive offerings.

Read more...
SKF South Africa celebrates 110 years
SKF South Africa News
Established in 1914, SKF South Africa is proudly celebrating its rich 110-year heritage of delivering premium value solutions to customers across southern Africa.

Read more...
SKF South Africa celebrates 110 years
SKF South Africa News
Established in 1914, SKF South Africa is proudly celebrating its rich 110-year heritage of delivering premium value solutions to customers across southern Africa.

Read more...