SAIMC


SAIMC: Richards Bay branch

July 2014 SAIMC

MUT students site visit Umfolozi Sugar Mill

On 25 May, The Richards Bay branch organised a site visit for Mangosuthu University of Technology students to Umfolozi Sugar Mill in Mtubatuba, facilitated through the efforts of Charles Jalazi with support from USM Management. A group of about 25 were accompanied by their instrumentation lecturer Mr J Rwafa and Dr Owolawi, HOD for Electrical Engineering. They were taken through the process of making sugar from the cane tipping, shredding, juice extraction, clarification, removal of water from the juice as well as the process of growing the grains.

The group pose for a photo before the factory tour.
The group pose for a photo before the factory tour.

Emphasis was placed on the importance of the process instrumentation used in each step of the production process. Most of the students had never set foot in a real life plant and this was an eye opener not only for the students but for the lectures as well. The students had the opportunity to visualise the theory they had leant as they witnessed how the instruments work in reality. The students were also shown how industrial networks are employed to acquire data from the plant floor to the controller and how the scada is tied in to create a complete process control system.

USM donated some decommissioned instruments to the university which were handed over by Charles Jalazi. Dr Owolawi and Mr Rwafa thanked USM for the donation and pointed out that a new lab had been provided by the University for the Electrical Department and that these instruments would be instrumental in changing the teaching process. They also explained that to align the educational curriculum with new technology trends, there is a need to involve organisations like the SAIMC in an advisory capacity. The branch is in the process of arranging more site visits both for students and members before the end of this year.

Forthcoming events: 3 July – Technology Evening presented by Endress+Hauser at Umhambi lodge, Meerensee.



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