classic | mobile


SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Industry Guide - IIoT 2018

Technews Industry Guide - Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation


Preparing for digitalisation and an era of collaborative robotics
Technews Industry Guide: Industrial Internet of Things & Industry 4.0, News

Digital transformation and its associated technologies – collaborative robots in particular – are generating enormous interest in manufacturing. Industry 4.0 will have a strong impact in the coming years in Africa, especially in the South African manufacturing industry. Scratch the surface and behind the enthusiasm generated by the technological developments lie issues for society concerning the impact and effects of this digital transformation.

Education 4.0

“For Industry 4.0 to be fully realised in the future, education systems will have to place an urgent focus on mathematics and science,” says Victor Marques, country manager of Omron South Africa. “Secondly, tertiary institutions and industry need to be closely aligned regarding the curricula of the degrees and diplomas to meet industry demands of the future. Technology is evolving at an ever-increasing pace. We as a nation cannot afford to be left behind.”

Changes in the workplace

South African industry needs to find ways of adapting and using the technologies driving the fourth industrial revolution to remain globally competitive, yet maintain and create jobs in a high unemployment environment. Industry 4.0 will influence the conditions of and requirements for employees in many areas. Driven by the application of machine-to-machine communication and an increase in the realisation of autonomous systems, the demand for qualified production controllers and managers has increased, but the demands placed on workers themselves can be reduced. The impact on the general situation of workers and unskilled labour can be positive. On the other hand, their skilled counterparts will have to come to terms with growing pressure on performance and skills.

“The world is a far more connected place with a tremendous need for data,” continues Marques. “The age of Big Data is here, and the costs for transmitting, receiving and storing it will drop as competition and market demand increase. Therefore, education remains key, as does a rapidly accelerated installation of infrastructure such as fibre coupled with cost effective and ubiquitous access. We in Africa are faced with unique challenges and opportunities. Our creative think tanks will have to come up with innovative solutions to fully utilise these to leverage benefit for all of the continent’s people.”

Discourse on Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 and the digitisation of our day-to-day lives are bringing many improvements in their wake. The increased efficiency, improvements in productivity and new services will change our society, behaviour and the corporate landscape. The transformation will mean that countries that promote digitisation will be able to defend and build on their competitive position. The change to a digital society will take place over the next 20 to 35 years. The availability of digital infrastructure, an increase in the availability of data sources and a requirement for the efficiency of services and algorithms, in line with Moore’s Law, are the prerequisites for the change to a digital society.

The effects of Industry 4.0 and the further use of robotics in the world of work are many and various, and are influenced by the availability of infrastructure in a company, as well as by digital investment strategies and cooperation between social partners. Digital transformation will change the demand for skills. More highly skilled workers with an understanding of complex relationships will be required. The knowledge surrounding these relationships will become obsolete more quickly as technology continues to develop, and will constantly have to be kept up-to-date. Society will experience a new and greater dependency on up-to-date knowledge, while at the same time processes considered monotonous and irksome will be eliminated as machines become capable of making decisions autonomously. In some cases even specialist workers will no longer be required in a production environment, and it is also possible that Industry 4.0 could bring about ‘technological unemployment’ among both specialist personnel and their lower-skilled counterparts.

Marques concludes that as South Africans, we need to start at grassroots and foster an interest in the sciences at primary and secondary level. As for industry, all the relevant stakeholders need to familiarise themselves with the concepts of Industry 4.0 and the benefits and value that this technological revolution can bring. Integration and service providers need to ensure that they are always ready to implement the latest innovations – those who do not, simply will not survive.

For more information contact Omron Electronics, +27 (0)11 579 2600,,

Supplied By: Omron Electronics
Tel: +27 11 579 2600
Share via email     Share via LinkedIn   Print this page

Further reading:

  • From the editor’s desk: Digital transformation includes people, and services
    October 2018, Technews Publishing (SA Instrumentation & Control), News
    Digital transformation, according to Microsoft, is about reimagining how we bring together people, data and processes to create value for customers and maintain a competitive advantage in a digital-first ...
  • SA researchers tune CERN’s computers for Higgs experiments
    October 2018, News
    The global CERN collaboration in Switzerland has found a missing piece in the enduring puzzle known as the Standard Model in Physics. Observation of the Higgs boson’s decay to bottom quarks marks an event ...
  • Yokogawa wins metering valve orders for oil fields off the Norwegian coast
    October 2018, Yokogawa South Africa, News
    Yokogawa Electric Corporation has received orders to provide 59 high-performance FluidCom chemical injection metering valves for two offshore oil fields that are being developed by Equinor ASA, a Norwegian ...
  • Festo opens first North American Festo Experience Centre
    October 2018, Festo, News
    Festo has opened its first North American Festo Experience Centre in the heart of Silicon Valley. With the ever-increasing linkages between making things and controlling processes through cloud computing ...
  • Fashion and data combine to create iconic African designs
    October 2018, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Indust. & Drives, News
    The power of technology and fashion has combined in a thought-provoking project that demonstrates how data can transform African cities. Technology leader Siemens used data from the cities of Lagos, Nairobi ...
  • Emerson opens flow calibration centre for Middle East and Africa
    October 2018, Emerson Automation Solutions, News
    Emerson has recently opened the Middle East and Africa Flow Service Centre at its Dubai campus. The facility will operate as a service centre for customers in the Middle East and Africa, offering internationally ...
  • Omron innovation
    October 2018, Omron Electronics, News
    At Omron’s recent Innovation Conference held at the CSIR Conference Centre, delegates were briefed on the latest developments in IIoT and the Smart Factory, and the benefits of Omron’s new i-Automation ...
  • NI continues local operations through Test Dynamics
    October 2018, Test Dynamics, News
    Following a review of the business model, National Instruments South Africa closed its doors for the last time in early 2018 as it had decided it could better serve the local market through a distribution ...
  • Comtest to represent ISC
    October 2018, Comtest, News
    Comtest has announced that it now represents Industrial Scientific Corporation (ISC), a leading global provider of gas solutions. ISC develops, manufactures and services fixed and portable gas detection ...
  • Extensive range of automation components available through Metal Work Pneumatic South Africa
    October 2018, Metal Work Pneumatic South Africa, News
    Metal Work Pneumatic S.p.a. Italy was, for many years, represented by various companies in South Africa. Recognising the need to consolidate its efforts and offer the local market a common point of contact, ...
  • SKF provides technical acumen as sponsor of the 2018 Sasol Solar Challenge
    October 2018, SKF South Africa, News
    SKF was a proud sponsor of the 2018 Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC). The eight-day solar journey kicked off in Pretoria on 22 September, finished in Stellenbosch on 29 September. This biennial competition ...
  • IoT.nxt joins leading companies as a Linux Foundation silver partner
    October 2018, IoT.nxt, News
    During June, South African IoT technology and strategy innovator, IoT.nxt, joined a community of global companies as a silver partner of The Linux Foundation. “There are great opportunities to use open ...

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.