SAIMC’s prestigious annual dinner was once again held at the Montecasino Ballroom. In addition to senior council members, also present were VIP guests from the DTI and the National Technologies Implementation Platform (NTIP). Beckhoff MD, Kenneth McPherson was the MC, entertaining the guests and moving the proceedings smoothly along. Platinum and Gold sponsors were Beckhoff, Proconics RJ Connect , Endress+Hauser and ifm electronic.
SAIMC President, Annemarie van Coller set the tone with the president’s address. She described the progress made in SAIMC’s portfolio of projects: strategic projects, education and training, SAIMC growth, Industry 4.0 and First Robotics. She also highlighted the importance of the branches, explaining how much takes place behind the scenes every month and thanking the rising stars in the branches who are taking leadership roles. “It’s an honour to be part of this team, are you not proud of our industry?” she said.
Rather than having branches competing with each other, this year’s Branch of the Year awards were determined by the value each branch provided to its members. A branch earned a Platinum award if it met 100% of its target, Gold if it met 90% and Bronze if it met 80%. A Platinum award went to Durban branch, Gold to Tshwane and Secunda, and Bronze to Johannesburg.
Then COO Johan Maartens, head of the automation and training task group, talked about the need for an automation degree and the work SAIMC is doing interacting with ECSA and higher institutions to achieve this goal. He is on the board of the international Automation Federation where the role of automation is being defined globally.
The NTIP is running highly successful programmes to upskill previously disadvantaged youth and prepare them for careers in manufacturing. Inspirational testimonies by two bright youngsters who have been through the programme were testament to this. Amos Makgoba is a product of the National Tooling programme. He grew up in a shack and now has an apprenticeship in dye and mould making. “NTIP has changed my life and my family” he said.
Machoene Manana went through the NTIP programme at Denel, qualified as a machinist, and is now internal sales manager at Weco. “Apart from teaching me, NTIP groomed me to be a valuable asset and this has made a huge impact on my life,” she added. “Now I can add value to industry.”
A highlight was the presentation by South Africa’s own mentalist, Gilan Gork, who entertained guests with his powers in reading and influencing people and showed how your thoughts control your surroundings. Guests were then able to dance the night away. All in all, the evening was a very classy affair.
A tribute to the sponsors
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