Speaking at the official launch of the Africa Automation Fair 2019 in Johannesburg recently, stakeholders noted that South Africa was emerging from turbulent times, but said that through collaboration to drive progress, the automation sector could help fast-track economic growth and development.
The automation sector, now moving toward a digital Industrie 4.0/IIoT era, is poised to drive greater efficiencies and make South African enterprises internationally competitive, which will ultimately benefit all South Africans, they said.
Oratile Sematle, President of the Society for Automation Instrumentation Measurement and Control (SAIMC), noted that the industry had already progressed to a point where its voice as a collective is now heard in government, institutions and various sectors. “But knowing that if we use automation in the right ways, we can ultimately change the landscape of the South African economy and improve the lives of all people, we need to continue to collaborate to drive further progress and make South Africa great again,” he said.
Marc Van Pelt, Chairman of the Industrial Instrumentation Group (IIG) and MD of Pepperl+Fuchs, noted: “as we seek to bring the country to new levels economically, we need to look to automation and smart manufacturing to make our industries competitive on a global basis. At the Connected Industries conference earlier this year, the sector started the Industrie 4.0/IIoT discussion, and the next question is: who is using it? Is the sector ready? As a country, we still have a long way to go.”
Sematle and Van Pelt encouraged industry stakeholders to step up collaborative efforts through forums such as the Africa Automation Fair and Connected Industries conference, where the sector is able to assess the automation industry’s challenges and seek solutions to support progress.
The Africa Automation Fair, which marks its 21st anniversary in 2019, and the Connected Industries conference, will expand its scope and reach in 2019, delivering Africa’s largest showcase of industrial automation and control technologies. The event, incorporating the Connected Industries conference (Industrie 4.0/IIoT), is a focused networking platform for the Automation and Control Industry and works closely with industry associations including the IIG and SAIMC.
Africa Automation Fair 2019 is organized by Reed Exhibitions.