Change the world

News

27/08/2018

This article appeared in The Herald of 27 AUgust 2018, written by Guy Rogers: 
rogersg@tisoblackstar.co.za

Bring on the revolution!

That is the rallying cry from NMU mechanical engineering lecturer Clive Hands, who is organising the upcoming 2018 Innovation in Industry Technical Conference at the varsity.

This would be the first edition of the conference, on September 7, and it promised to be a blast, Hands said on Friday.

“We are in the middle of a technological revolution.

“The aim of this event is to showcase the new technology being implemented in our industrial sector, to demystify it and to show how it is being harnessed to improve current outputs,” Hands said.

“We will show that these are not pie-in-the-sky innovations, but real world and applicable, being actively deployed in current operational scenarios by our own local industry.”

One of the presenters will be top Port Elizabeth racing driver and ace engineering student Michael Stephen.

Besides having won eight national karting championships and five championships in various other classes, including two in the premier GTC class, Stephen also holds a master’s in mechanical engineering from the Port Elizabeth Technikon, and the Eskom Award for SA’s top technology student.

He will be speaking about data analytics, focusing on his own experience, Hands said.

“Information on multiple driver and car performance aspects are captured by a device in the vehicle to allow for analysis afterwards to help them to race faster.”

Jendamark representatives Jaco Heunis and Yanesh Naidoo will be speaking about the use of virtual reality to help them improve their designs and better showcase their automation products especially to overseas customers.

The application allowed the Jendamark team “to enter the world they are designing” and thereby more easily check for manoeuvring space, for example, and how well parts dovetailed, Hands said.

“It also offers customers a conduit to see exactly what they are considering buying.”

Prof Anton du Plessis will be speaking about microCT scanning which allows for an x-ray inspection and analysis of 3D prints of metal parts.

The technology could be used in industry but also in a range of other fields from palaeoanthropology to medicine and Du Plessis managed one of the best microCT scanner facilities in the world, Hands said.

Dr Royston Jones, formerly global chief technology officer with engineering giant AltairProductDesign, is scheduled to close the conference via a streamed presentation on trends in the UK auto industry.

Big data (large data sets that may be analysed with the aid of computers to reveal patterns and associations especially relating to human behaviour) and edge intelligence (where data is grouped and analysed in a spot close to where it is captured without it having to be centralised) are two of the other issues on the agenda.

About 100 delegates were scheduled to attend the event and the public was welcome to enjoy an exhibition which would be erected in the foyer of NMU’s North Campus Conference Centre, Hands said.

“There will be plenty to touch and feel,” Hands said.

“I think the virtual reality and augmented reality exhibits especially will be a hit.”

The conference would be good for PE, he said.

“We’re sometimes considered a backwater, but companies here are applying cuttingedge tech. We will be shining a light on that success.”

Contact information
Mr Clive Hands
Lecturer
Tel: 27 41 504 3375
Clive.Hands@mandela.ac.za