Collaboration and partnerships are critical to pushing forward the agenda and growth of the instrumentation and automation industry. This was envisioned by industrial automation, electrical control, and instrumentation supplier, Referro Systems at its recently held Automation University event, in Hotazel, Northern Cape.
South Africa’s leading automation industry suppliers came together to showcase their insights and knowledge to the mining sector in the Northern Cape. Adrian van Wyk, MD at Referro Systems, explains that the Northern Cape is home to several mineral resources, including 75% of the world’s manganese deposits and about 85% of the country’s iron-ore, which is significant to the growth of the South Africa’s mining industry and the economy.”
He added: “Hosting the Automation University event in this province (reconfirmes) our commitment to the region, and leading the efforts that supports growth , and realising potential of the mining sector within this region. The automation and instrumentation sectors have a substantial and critical role to play in supporting the growth of the mining industry in the Northern Cape. Through collaboration with our partners, we were able to bring expertise and insights from around the country directly to our customers, to delve deep into innovative technology solutions that can help drive efficiency and productivity in the mining industry.”
The Automation University focused amongst others on mining companies in the Northern Cape, with great attendance from the surrounding mining community. The programme included presentations, informative exhibitions, and live demos of cutting-edge automation technologies. In addition, the event allowed attendees to learn and gain valuable insights into new products, industry experts and peer networking, and knowledge-sharing opportunities.
“Events like these are impossible without premium partners,” adds Van Wyk. In this case, Allpronix, showcased their latest high-quality instrumentation products. Rockwell Automation displayed their wide range of specialised Allen-Bradley automation products. Throughput Technologies showed their robust and secure industrial data communications equipment that makes connectivity easy, reliable, and dependable. And Comtest displayed their class leading Fluke test and measurement, communications, and specialised systems.
Referro and Rockwell Automation ran simultaneous sessions, every hour, throughout the two days. This way attendees could choose which presentation and/or live demo’s they wanted to attend, ensuring they could attend all of the exciting and informative sessions. Francois du Toit, of Rockwell Automation, kicked off the daily sessions with FIXX-Asset management performance, focussing on Mining Operations Management and optimisation.
The Referro Systems sessions hosted industry expert Alan Roycroft, from Rockwell Automation, who provided an overview of the Powerflex Low Voltage drives portfolio and an introduction to installation practices. Roy Plotz, of Rockwell Automation presented Machine Safety, including Prosafe trapped key interlock safety systems and LifeLine 5 safety cable pull switches. In parrallel, Tshepho Sebaeng, also of Rockwell Automation, introduced thin client management software, ThinManager.
Plotz further introduced the audience to the Smart Motor Control solutions SMC Flex and SMC 50 Digital Softstarters. Finally, Gerrit Barnard, from Comtest, showcased the innovative SoundSight Technology, Visual Ultrasonic Measurement – Fluke ii900 and ii910 Industrial and Precision Acoustic Imagers.
Meanwhile, at the Throughput Technologies sessions, Anton van der Westhuizen, discussed and showcased Secomea; remote access and commissioning hardware platforms. Gerrit Barnard of Comtest showcased and demonstrated Fluke 1770 Series Three-Phase Power Quality Analysers, while Anton van der Westhuizen presented the ‘Right person, at the right moment, with the correct information’ session about alert-alarm notifications. Finally, Marcel Koekemoer, of AllPronix, introduced the audience to Non-Nuclear based Rhosonics Slurry Density Meter (SDM) and Almag4000 electromagnetic meters.
The Referro Systems Automation University was a resounding success, evidenced by the many attendees from the surrounding mining houses. “The premier brand exhibitions, presentations and live demos were a welcomed sight to attendees who usually must travel to the major metros to experience these class-leading products and events of this calibre. The attendees could learn about the latest automation technologies, as well as see it in action, in the heart of the Northern Cape. This event has showcased that we have the capacity and skills to continue to grow and support our existing services in the Northern Cape,” concludes Van Wyk.
Referro Systems is a sales and distribution company for many of the world’s leading electrical, automation and global software and hardware brands across industrial and commercial sectors. The Level 2 BBBEE company supplies best-in-class industrial automation, electrical control and instrumentation fit-for-purpose and provides cost-effective solutions.
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