The past two decades have seen drastic changes in the manufacturing landscape. The advent of smart computers and technology have rendered automation an essential element in gaining a competitive advantage in today’s local and global manufacturing environment.
Industrial automation has brought about major advantages for companies and economies alike. Such as demonstrating increased productivity as mechanised equipment is not likely to tire or take breaks and will usually outperform humans in production operations and efficiency. This subsequently leads to reduced production time and increased levels of output.
The manufacturing industry deems quality and precision integral factors for the sector’s success. Automated assembly processes are less inclined to make production errors or compromise production quality for speed. Machines are also able to perform tasks that the human body is incapable of. Contrary to popular belief, automated systems perform manufacturing operations with far less variability than human workmanship, leaving less room for error and yielding greater control and consistency in terms of product quality. Furthermore, improved control and consistency lead to more proficient use of materials, resulting in less wastage.
Automation is further responsible for reducing the time required to process an average production order through the factory, leading to lower production lead times and bottlenecks.
African countries need to develop capabilities for automation in the manufacturing sector by expanding access to broadband, investing in the technical upskilling of locals and endorsing technological innovation via vocational training and technology centres. Success in the aforementioned objectives will create unprecedented opportunities for the manufacturing sector and thereby overall African economies, through improving labour productivity in manufacturing industries.
Any business with a vested interest in the manufacturing sector should capitalize on this opportunity to showcase their innovative ideas, technology and solutions to manufacturers attending this year’s Indaba. In addition, the symposium serves as a platform for attendees to network with influential members of the sector. The Manufacturing Indaba 2019 is set to host a distinguished line-up of industry dignitaries, who will provide invaluable industry-related insights to a multitude of manufacturing professionals from across industries. Pertinent subjects regarding innovation and technologies as well as the best practices and case studies transforming the manufacturing space in Africa will be comprehensively explored.