14 May 2018

Nelson Mandela Bay will host the inaugural African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show - a showcase of Africa's advanced manufacturing capabilities.


The three-day event, which includes an exhibition, conferences, factory tours and national awards function and which was officially launched this week (Friday 4 May) is anticipated by the organisers to inject R34.8m into the local economy when it runs from November 7-9 at the iconic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.


Four thousand visitors both trade and public, including 100 international buyers are forecast to attend, including leading Composites companies from France and Germany and dominant advanced manufacturers from Africa.


Former Council for Scientific and Industrial Research scientist Andy Radford who now spearheads a cluster for South Africa's composites role-players, said the event would create synergy and opportunity for advanced manufacturing business.


"While manufacturing remains an essential part of South Africa's economy - contributing around 19% of GDP, our efforts towards Advanced Manufacturing in South Africa are highly fragmented, but we do have significant pockets of excellence.''


"The African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show will not only bring all the key role-players and technology partners together towards a common vision, it would also inspire emerging engineers."


"Three-dimensional printing, lasers, automation and artificial intelligence are exciting tools to encourage a new generation of engineers and scientists but we need to expose them and industry to these technologies and there is no time to waste," Radford said.


Radford said government policy like the National Research and Development Strategy (NRDS)and the Integrated Manufacturing Strategy (IMS) recognize that South Africa’s future competitiveness will depend on the capacity of the manufacturing sector to master advanced technology domains.

Radford said the KPMG  2016 Global Manufacturing Survey, showed the extent to which global manufacturers were racing for advanced manufacturing leadership.

"25% of  360 respondents said that they had already invested in three-dimensional printing and additive manufacturing technologies. An equal number had also already invested in artificial intelligence and cognitive computing technologies.

Two-fifths of survey respondents said they would definitely channel significant amounts of their research and development investments towards robotics before 2019.

"The message is clear that certain manufacturers and manufacturing countries will ensure their sustainability and growth in Industry 4.0 where others will be left increasingly far behind in servicing an increasingly demanding global client base."

Radford said the inaugural African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show would take place at the iconic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

'It is driven by the Mandela Bay Development Agency and hosted at the iconic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium with the support of the dti, CSIR and TIA, among others," Radford said. 

"The venue for the event, alongside the North End Lake, is ideal for the outdoors demonstration of boats, vehicles, and drones all of which encapsulate Advanced Manufacturing technologies and indoor exhibits showcasing automation, computing and 3d printing, among others.

The show would be accessible to both trade and public visitors.

Radford said the organisers of the Show had a vision and strategy to ensure that the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show attracted global role-players in all areas of Advanced Manufacturing, including Composites and especially African role-players.

To this end Radford said delegations from France and Germany has already confirmed while an MOU had been signed with UK Composites and a marketing campaign would target African buyers.

Radford also announced the introduction of annual Awards which would recognise excellence from local companies in Advanced Manufacturing and incentivise with market access opportunity, new start-ups and innovators.

Between 10 and 20 award winning new entrants would attend JEC World - a prestigious show as part of a "South African Pavilion" in Paris during March 2019, Radford said.

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