HI ALLOY CASTINGS 11092023Foundries are traditionally depicted as being dirty, dark and dangerous but the current General Manager of Hi-Alloy Castings, Dalmari Mc Queen, is focused on transforming the company into a “foundry of the future” which is digital, intelligent, clean and green. Mc Queen is an industrial engineer who has a long history of working and consulting in the foundry sector..


Company profile 1 15082023At first glance on entering the Prestige Clothing TFG factory in Epping, Cape Town you get a sense of a traditional clothing manufacturing company. However, beyond the rows of machinists you get a glimpse of a different world emerging – a world of automated cutting machines, automated stitching machines, and increased digitalisation. It is these technological advances that have contributed to the success of this operation.


ROBOTICS IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR 29032023A robot is a programmable machine that can complete a task typically performed by a human. Robots have different levels of autonomy, ranging from human-controlled to autonomous bots that perform tasks without external influence. The field of study focused on developing robots and automation is called robotics.
Industrial robots are typically seen as a replacement for labour, while collaborative robots, or cobots, possess the innate ability to work in tandem with humans.


Profile4 AR 12012023Augmented reality (AR) technology allows digital content to be overlayed or superimposed onto the real world. AR is only partially immersive as digital content is integrated as a layer onto the real world, whereas virtual reality is closed and fully immersive. The costs of applying augmented reality are much lower than the costs of virtual reality because AR typically combines a visual feed with a data layer; it does not involve the creation of a complete virtual world.
A major benefit of AR is that it reduces users’ cognitive load and provides technical staff access to relevant (and digitally updated) records, data and information.


profile3 14082022

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be described as the ability of digital systems to acquire and apply knowledge, and to autonomously execute tasks associated with intelligent beings. This includes a variety of cognitive tasks such as sensing, processing, language, reasoning, learning or even making decisions or self-correcting. AI combines sophisticated hardware and software with elaborate datasets and knowledge-based processing models to demonstrate characteristics of effective human decision-making.
It would be a mistake to think of AI as a technology of the future, because it is already used in our smartphones, on websites, in aircraft, for traffic navigation, in the finance sector, and increasingly in manufacturing.


PROFILE1 3D 24112021Over the past 10 years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has slowly crept into the daily lives of consumers through smartwatches, vehicle tracking systems, public transport apps, home alarm systems and food delivery services. These technologies offer many conveniences, such as tracking transport schedules, parcel deliveries, the location of assets like vehicles, or local weather conditions. It takes existing expert domains, such as smart factories, process automation, flexible manufacturing and process control, and combines these with the extensive reach of internet and telecommunication technologies.
For industry, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) offers increased oversight and connectivity between different manufacturing and business processes, and closer integration with suppliers, logistics providers, warehouses, and even clients. It allows for improved efficiency and better analysis of process flows, often over large distances. At the same time, it allows for new services to be offered to clients such as predictive mainte-nance, management systems, analytical services and software updates.
At the heart of IoT technology is the capability to integrate the data streams from distributed sensors into management systems and user interfaces. While some sensors mainly collect and transmit data, other sensors could be programmed to automatically trigger programmed functions. As these different sensors and devices perform their functions, rich data is collected that allows for improved process management and efficiency, data analysis and value to be offered.

TECHNOLOGY PROFILE 1 (Updated April 2022)

PROFILE1 3D 24112021Additive layer manufacturing describes a manufacturing process in which a digitally controlled head with a laser deposits a fine layer of raw material to construct a three-dimensional object. Additive manufacturing is sometimes also called 3D printing.
3D desktop printers are already available to consumers at computer retailers and hobby shops. The performance and functionality of desktop 3D printers are increasing rapidly, while the cost of ownership is falling rapidly. Desktop 3D printers usually deposit a layer of molten plastic on a bed to create a three-dimensional shape.

In the industrial domain, rapid advances are being made in the melting of metals, alloys, high performance plastics and polycarbonates using lasers. Likewise, in the medical field, different technologies are being developed that allow for the combination of cells, growth factors, biomaterials and tissue to grow organs. Additive manufacturing technologies are also used to print complex sand moulds, or to create wax moulds for investment castings. The metal objects made by 3D printed moulds are basically ready-for-use and require almost no further grinding or processing.