Industry 4.0 Study Tours 2018

Our General Manager, Laverne van Wyk, presented on “The Smart Factory” at two Industry 4.0 Study Tours, facilitated by B&M Analysts.

The South African manufacturing market is tough, with many having to deal with issues relating to globalization, labor relations, tariffs, distance to market, inflation, exchange rates and price decreases. In addition to this, digitization is changing the industrial landscape in a way we did not anticipate.

Recent digital transformation within the manufacturing industry is centered around Industry 4.0, IoT (Internet of Things), Big Data and Advanced Analytics. This means that manufacturing agility and the ability to deliver a product on-demand is improving. Computers, Smart Devices and Automation are driving innovation towards a “Smart Future” for “Smart Factories”.

The central concept of Smart Factory is the seamless connection of individual production steps, from planning stages to actuators in the field. Machinery and equipment will be able to improve processes through self-optimization; and systems will autonomously adapt to the traffic profile and network environment. It is clear then that connecting the shop floor to the top floor is critical!

Looking at the characteristics of a smart factory system, it must:

  1. Connect Machines and People: Real-time data enabling collaboration across departments (production/maintenance/logistics)
  2. Optimize Equipment: Increase asset uptime and production effectiveness
  3. Be Transparent: Live metrics and tools to support quick and consistent decision making
  4. Deliver Actionable Information: Reports that highlights losses

HaldanMES, a product of Haldan Consulting, is a visual Manufacturing Execution System which monitors shop floor performance and enables effective continuous improvements. For more information about this solution, visit

The Study Tours were designed to present attendees with examples of simple applications and best practices that can boost competitiveness. During the factory visits and group discussions, attendees were able to visualize and consider practical challenges and innovation opportunities which Industry 4.0 poses to manufacturing.

Lumotech hosted the South African Automotive Benchmarking Club (SAABC) Study Tour, in Uitenhage (Eastern Cape) on 9 October 2018. Attendees were exposed to aspects of Industry 4.0 and technical innovations which have been implemented at their facility, including the installation HaldanMES production monitoring software.

Rock Solid Industries hosted the Durban Automotive Cluster (DAC) Study Tour, in Pietermaritzburg (KwaZulu Natal) on 18 October 2018. Attendees were able to tour their “SmartCanopy” manufacturing facility and explored concepts about the future disruptors of Industry 4.0.

Below are the photographs taken at these Study Tours: