Artificial intelligence in manufacturing

  By Florian Güldner, vice president, ARC Advisory Group.   Depending on your perspective, your thoughts on artificial intelligence (AI) probably fall somewhere between the technology being an abstract threat or possibility, and a real-world solution with concrete use cases where you may not even know the technology is at work. This article summarises the case studies presented at the AI workshop at ARC’s recent virtual European Industry Forum and shows potential usage of AI in machinery applications within today’s smart factories.     One of our key findings is…

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Multibillion-rand plan to boost south Durban economy and create hundreds of jobs

Durban – MULTIBILLION-RAND plans to develop areas south of Durban, including the development of an automotive supplier park special economic zone (SEZ) to attract Japanese and other investors and a R4 billion logistics park, are expected to revive the region and create hundreds of jobs. Among the plans include the possible manufacturing of the first hybrid vehicle by Toyota South Africa in Durban next year and the development of a locally branded vehicle. Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Edtea) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said the government had been negotiating with…

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Can the IDC finance SA’s economic recovery?

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is a critical state-owned enterprise (SOE). It is tasked with providing industrial funding to South African and African businesses to spark the economic growth the country so desperately needs. It also has an explicit statutory mandate to promote the economic empowerment of historically-disadvantaged communities and persons. These are very important goals, which if achieved, will improve the lives of millions of South Africans. But to achieve this, the group needs to be financially sound and managed in accordance with the highest levels of efficiency and…

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Covid-19: Quantifying the impact of the alcohol ban on SA’s agricultural sector

  By Thulasizwe Mkhabela JOHANNESBURG – According to Milton Friedman, one of the great economists of the 20th century, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results”. Just because a policy intervention is intended for the greater good of society does not mean that there will be no unintended consequences. When assessing these policies, we should not look at the good intentions that produced and necessitated them, but at their actual effects at addressing the problem at hand and on…

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ArcelorMittal SA says it’s addressing the steel products shortage

  Says all three of its blast furnaces will be operational again from January. By Roy Cokayne 11 Nov 2020  00:01 Ready to increase production – ArcelorMittal South Africa. Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg JSE-listed steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa is implementing a number of measures to address the critical shortage of steel products, which has severely negatively impacted the building and construction and manufacturing sectors. ArcelorMittal SA group manager stakeholder engagement and communications Tami Didiza said the company aims to significantly reduce the temporary supply backlogs during December, which is traditionally a quieter period…

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Critical shortage of building and construction materials in SA

  A threat to government’s plan to stimulate the economy through infrastructure investment. The manufacture of bricks was halted for three months during the Covid-19 lockdown, and it’s four- to six-month process. Image: Shutterstock Critical shortages of building and construction materials, including cement, steel, bricks and timber, are suffocating the sector’s recovery from the Covid-19 lockdown and diminishing its impact on the recovery of the economy. David Metelerkamp, senior economist at construction market intelligence firm Industry Insight, said the shortages, if they continue for an extended period of time, have…

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The investment case for SA drug manufacturing

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently addressed the nation about his economic reconstruction and recovery plan. One of the proposals for job creation is a focus on reversing the decline in local manufacturing. The pharmaceutical sector has sadly been a prime example of this trend. Although the economic argument for reviving local manufacturing is a compelling one, it is not the only one. Alarmingly for us, over the past 15 years, South Africa has seen 40 pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities close. Most of these facilities were owned by multinational companies and manufactured their…

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SA manufacturing decline slows

South African factory output contracted less than forecast and at the slowest pace in seven months in September on increased production of food and beverages.Output fell 2.6%, compared with a revised 11.1% decline in August, Statistics South Africa said Tuesday in a report published on its website. The median estimate of nine economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a 7.7% drop. Production rose 3.2% in the month. . The largest positive contribution came from food and beverages in September, the first full month that alcohol was allowed to be…

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