Conference awards manufacturers for 4IR innovation in mining sector

26th May 2023 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

Several manufacturers were recognised for their innovation and efforts in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) space at the presentation of the Manufacturing Excellence Awards during the first day of industry cluster Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa's (Memsa's) Mind Shift conference, titled: Innovation, Digitisation and Skills in the South African Mining Supply Chain.

The Digitised Services Award went to NTGR Engineering, which specialises in mining, steel fabrication, railway tracks and civil works.

The company was rewarded for its customer-focused and strategic approach; for identifying potential value add using existing enterprise and supply chain data; and for hiring additional staff with digital skills.

The Manufacturing 4.0 Award went to African Mixing Technologies, which provides agitators and peristaltic pumps.

The company was rewarded for engendering greater efficiency through digital and automated equipment, including a robotic welding manipulator.

Moreover, it achieved improvements in consistency, quality and turnaround times; developed an app to monitor and streamline production processes; and trained staff to operate new equipment.

The Future Skills Development Award went to Bell Equipment Company South Africa, which provides surface mining, earth moving and construction equipment.

Bell was rewarded for being an accredited training provider, boasting two well-equipped facilities, nine apprenticeships, and 170 apprentices in 2022.

Moreover, it is working with merSETA, the Department of Higher Education and Training, the YES programme; and it has a two-year graduate-in-training programme with a focus on the application of digital technology skills.

The company’s staff are also trained on how to use the digital fleet, power, fuel and equipment monitoring systems.

The People-Centered Growth Award went to Buraaq Mining Services, which is an original-equipment manufacturer and refurbisher of mining equipment and vehicles.

The company was rewarded for employing a design engineer and a junior engineer to develop a mechanised remote-controlled roof bolter.

Moreover, 13 out of 40 of the company’s staff are artisans who are exposed to digital technologies.

The Manufacturer of the Year Award went to Bell Equipment Company South Africa.

The company was rewarded for its fleet management and maintenance system which is based on data via satellite.

Moreover, it boasts a power monitoring and synchronisation system which reduces waste and maintains operations through loadshedding.

The company also has smart digital systems to monitor the effective use of equipment in the factory.

Lastly, it has a multifaceted skills development programme.