Sparks Electrical News March 2019

Sparks Electrical News now features a dedicated Industry 4.0 section. Turn to page 12 for more

MARCH 2019

E L E C T R I C A L N E W S www.sparkselectricalnewsmagazine.co.za

REGULARS: CONTRACTORS’ CORNER | BUYERS' GUIDE : TOOLS AND INSTRUMENTS | FEATURES : ENERGY MEASUREMENT AND SUPPLY | TOOLS OF THE TRADE | LIGHTING

INDUSTRY 4.0 TO TRANSFORM SA’S WORKFORCE

I ndustry 4.0 – smart new automation tools and technologies – is rapidly changing the face of manufacturing and industry around the world. With- out a concerted effort to change industry processes and infrastructure, and upskill the workforce, South Africa risks falling behind the world in its efforts to become a player in the global manufacturing market. How- ever, new industry initiatives are emerging to address the skills short- fall and help propel South Africa into a smarter era of manufacturing. “Industry 4.0 is having a profound impact on the electrical contract- ing industry,” writes Sarah Boisvert in her book, ‘The New Collar Work- force,’ which explores the jobs needed today in the digital world. “No longer are simple installations enough. Customers expect the industry to come fully into the digital world, incorporating technologies that im- prove performance through simulation, real-time tracking, analysis of big data, and more. Our old view of blue-collar workers has to change if we are to provide 21 st -century services to our customers. ‘New collar’ workers need to tap into digital skills, which means specialised train- ing. New digital badges and microcertifications provide just this, and the industry must support innovative programmes that will allow for our staff to rapidly adapt to a changing workplace.” In this era of control and digitisation, new technology requires in- stallation by electrical contractors. The evolution of engaging Industry 4.0 is the next chapter in global industrialisation; it will change the tempo and efficiency of how world production moves, and the elec- trical contractor is at the centre of this, ready to perform a new job: enable systems, equipment, and operations to automate with Industry 4.0, and exploit this lucrative opportunity. Speaking ahead of Africa Automation Fair 2019, which takes place in June this year, automation industry stakeholders said aligning with the global Industry 4.0 revolution would demand a great deal of change and progress in South Africa. A key priority has to be skills. Dave Wibberley, Managing Director at Adroit Technologies, notes that Industry 4.0 in itself is not a ‘silver bullet’ that will change manu- facturing. “Industry 4.0 refers to a set of tools and services. To be ef- fective, these tools and services depend on the necessary resources and knowledge being in place in processes. You need to achieve world-class manufacturing and tooling first,” he says.

Frikkie Streicher, Business Development Manager at process instrumen- tation manufacturer VEGA, says a greater effort is needed to develop the

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