The Durban branch’s September technology meeting was opened by our COO, Johan Maartens, giving a brief overview of the reasoning behind the changes to the SAIMC’s organisation. He clearly and concisely explained the benefits in terms of our ability to influence policies through formation of a Suppliers Advisory Council, with us now having representation on President Ramaphosa’s working group on Industrie 4.0. The revised structure will remove the existing requirement for the majority of Council members to be ECSA Registered.
SAIMC COO, Johan Maartens (L) with branch Chairman Hennie Prinsloo.
The meeting continued with Robert Wright, MD of RJ Connect, who began his talk by observing that there is a need to look at what Industrie 4.0 can do for us in real life. There are plenty of seminars on the subject with lots of theory, but not so much about plans that exist for it to be applied or what the next step may be.
Robert Wright, RJ Connect (L) being thanked by Hennie Prisloo.
Rob focused on a practical application in which a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine’s production was optimised through the use of cloud-based systems and applications. The need for using Big Data was graphically demonstrated by the huge contrast between information obtained at very different sampling rates; only the high sampling rate making determination of cutting tool life expectancy predictable so that finished product quality remained satisfactory. In most production facilities, checking the end product is not the answer to plant optimisation if use of information from within the process can reveal where an item or procedure is nearing the point of failure. No talk on this topic would be complete without discussing the need for data security, and also the cost of implementing more extensive use of cloud-based systems, both of which were brought to everyone’s attention.
Hennie Prinsloo thanked Rob for his interesting and very informative talk before the large group of more than 60 adjourned to enjoy networking over food and drinks to the usual high standard of the Durban Country Club. It was gratifying to see that 13 students were among those benefiting from attending the meeting.
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