The focus this month is African Automation Fair, Connected Industries and Transforming the Automation Industry in Africa for the 4th Industrial Revolution SAIMC breakfast. It is therefore fitting to refresh the memory of our long-standing members, and also to provide a brief summary to the visitors and potential partners that are planning to attend the above-mentioned events.
SAIMC’s main line of business
Our overarching theme is to develop the automation industry in Africa. At the epistemological level, this involves enabling the industry to learn (new ways), unlearn (obsolete old ways) and relearn (what is required for the future). At the higher educational level this means reshaping the educational pipeline to produce the type of skills that are demanded by the private and the public sector. Consequently, this petition for the private and the public sectors is to provide the resources (scholarships, training facilities, platforms for educational dialogue) as the cultivation mechanisms that will allow this framework to be constructed. Given the emerging industrial revolution (Industrie 4.0), cohesiveness between the SAIMC, the private and the public sectors and civil society remains an imperative.
From the economic perspective, our daily work seeks to answer the question: “How do we position automation as an economic driver in South Africa, and Africa at large?” This involves, among other things, changing the landscape of the local manufacturing sector to increase its competiveness, thus reducing the dominance of the import intake from Asian markets. The central issue is to change the life of South Africans, i.e. using automation to create safe jobs, transform old ones and create new ones. The intention is to direct implementation of technologies in a manner that seeks to increase the employment rate by positively impacting on multiple industries. One example is to use technology to drive manufacturing costs down, thus enabling business to grow more rapidly.
SAIMC’s current top priorities
Our priorities are not static and are driven by the emerging socio-economic and technological forces. At this stage, the core remains to transform the automation industry for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa. The Industrial Internet of Things is reshaping the face of industry, connecting everything to everything, and leveraging the emerging computing capacity to automate industries. Multiple dimensions emerge from these priorities:
• Registration of automation as a separate engineering discipline.
• Working with tertiary institutions to align education and training to the needs of industry.
• Working with SABS to customise industry standards for the South African environment (given the changing landscape).
• Assisting members to register as Professionals with the Engineering Council of South Africa.
• Assisting educational institutions to reshape curricula as demanded by the emerging socio-economic forces.
What will SAIMC showcase at the above events?
The SAIMC remains a catalyst and the driving force behind transformation of the automation industry. We are a partner of the Connected Industries event and the already famous African Automation Fair. The SAIMC president, vice president and ECSA president, together with a representative from the educational sector, in an open communication platform, will construct and deconstruct the challenges faced in the industry and share their thoughts on how the industry can proceed into the future. The engineering fraternity at large, individuals and organisations, are invited to partake in this dialogue that seeks to create new knowledge, and reinforce some of the existing thinking with the intention of nudging the automation industry forward. Be on the lookout for the following:
• Progress on work done with the SABS.
• Progress on work done with tertiary institutions.
• Progress with work done in partnership with ECSA.
• The SAIMC Times newspaper, which will inform members (potential and existing) with what they need to know about the Society.
Lastly, come and join us at our stand and have some cake to celebrate our 60th birthday, and stand a chance to win great prizes. While you are at it, connect with the SAIMC leadership that is longing to engage with you.
Yours in automation,
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