Meeting Local and International Requirements

There are numerous reasons that goods off a production line can be sub-standard. A major one is a lack of structure in terms of systems and processes, but it could also be that workers on the line have not been given effective training, including performance guidance. Furthermore, when there is little to no communication, employees […]

Factory of the Year 

The Factory of the Year competition is a global benchmarking contest for companies in the manufacturing sector, initiated by the global management consultancy Kearney in 1992 and debuted in South Africa in 2018 through a collaboration between Kearney, the DTIC (Department of Trade, Industry and Competition), the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), Manufacturing […]

Choosing the Wisest Course

I had the opportunity to attend the recent launch of the publication: “Engineering Ethics in South Africa”, together with our Editor, Susan Custers. Held at the Juta offices in Sandton, author Dr Lorrainne Doherty, took guests through the need for South Africans to be keenly aware of their actions and decisions in light of competing […]

John Orr Lecture: No Time to Lose

Despite the rise of Uber for example, the idea that you don’t have to own an asset outright to be successful is not new. Prof Pat Naidoo, who gave the SAIMechE John Orr lecture late last year, in fact took delegates to circa 1900 when the famous British economist, John Maynard Keynes argued that government’s […]

Manufacturing Excellence Programmes

South Africa’s manufacturing industry has to keep evolving to remain competitive in the face of global competition in recent years. While there has been a longstanding battle between effectively producing products against demand and maintaining a sustainable cost base, a key modern day challenge remains — the reality that agile manufacturing is becoming more cumbersome […]

SAIMechE Appoints CEO

The South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering announces the appointment of Uncel Mhelembe as the new Chief Executive. He has taken up the role, effective February 2023, a year after the departure of the previous CEO, Vaughan Rimbault. Uncel was appointed to the Institution as General Manager in February 2020. He comes with a great […]

23 Business Tips for 2023

The end of a year and the beginning of the next is when thoughts turn to New Year’s resolutions – time to lose weight, return to the gym, improve one’s health. The same applies to small business owners, according to Denzil Steyn, president of the Durban Chapter of the global peer-to-peer network, the Entrepreneur’s Organisation […]

Fastest Train-maker

Gibela produced a staggering six train sets in August and another six in September, the most it has produced since the start of production in 2018, crowning it one of the fastest locomotive manufacturers in the world.  In the past three years, the company has ramped up production, from one train set every two months […]

From Invention to Medupi

A recent visit to the Medupi Power Station at Lephalale, organised by SAIMechE and Eskom, reminded me of how long it takes to take your invention to the marketplace. In 1995, the late Prof Detlev Kröger filed one of his last patents on Air-cooled Heat Exchangers and Cooling Towers during his academic career at Stellenbosch […]

Manufacturing Sector’s Readiness for Industry 4.0

The fortunes of our members and readers are closely allied to the manufacturing sector. A recent report from PwC provides some insights.  The manufacturing sector is South Africa’s fourth largest sector and a key driver of economic growth. However, industrialisation challenges in recent decades and the relatively slow adoption of new technologies have hampered the […]