http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.20Change: -0.08
R/$ = 10.57Change: -0.05
Au 1304.46 $/ozChange: 1.94
Pt 1488.50 $/ozChange: 0.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Oct 24, 2003

Mechatronics

Back
Helsinki|Africa|Components|Education|Electrics PLC|Festo Didactic|System|Systems|Africa|Europe|Finland|Germany|South Africa|Switzerland|Automotive|Control Systems|Equipment|Fluid Simulation Software|Mining|Multi-media Training Material Enablespeople|NamelynElectronics|Software Program|Systems|International Vocational Training Organisation|University Of Dortmund|WorldnSkills Foundation|Power|Tom Webster|Olympics|Simulation
|Africa|Components|Education|System|Systems|Africa|||Automotive|Equipment|Mining|Systems||Power|||
helsinki|africa-company|components|education-company|electrics-plc|festo-didactic|system|systems-company|africa|europe|finland|germany|south-africa|switzerland|automotive|control-systems|equipment|fluid-simulation-software|mining|multimedia-training-material-enablespeople|namelynelectronics|software-program|systems|international-vocational-training-organisation|university-of-dortmund|worldnskills-foundation|power|tom-webster|olympics|simulation
© Reuse this Control systems training company Festo Didactic plans to present its latestversion of fluid simulation software as its main drawcard at the Blue IQ exhibition to be held at the Sandton Convention centre from October 23 to 25.

The software program, called FluidSIM, was designed by Festo in conjunction with the University of Dortmund, in Germany, in order to train people in the field of fluid power.

Fluid power is an importantcomponent in the relatively new vocational training field of Mechatronics.

Mechatronics is a combinationof several disciplines, namely electronics, pneumatics, hydraulics and mechanics, all the main components of this new vocational trade.

“FluidSIM facilitates the design and simulation of fluid powersystems by computer.

“The software can train users in the fields of hydraulics and pneu-matics with the possibility tointerface to electrics and programmable logic controller (PLC) technology,” says Festo Didactic manager Tom Webster. He adds that the exhibit at the event will contain hardware (training modules) and software, in order to expose people to the latest equipment and technology in the control and mechatronics field.

According to Webster, multi-media training material enablespeople the flexibility to train innumerous disciplines. Mechatronics has become a trend in Europe, due to the synergy between previously unrelated fields enabling people to become multiskilled. He adds that the International Vocational Training Organisation and World Skills Foundation hosts a biennial international Skills Olympics, testing teams from a number of countries in theirprofessional fields, of which themechatronics competition is the highest-attended event.

This year, the three-day event was held in Switzerland in June, with 23 mechatronics teams present from different countries around the world.

Each team had to complete a range of exercises in automation, which included the connection,testing and commissioning ofhydraulics, pneumatics, robotics, electrics, PLC and softwaresystems, The next Skills Olympics is scheduled to take place in Helsinki, Finland, in 2005.

Webster is confident that a South African team will be able to participate in the event.

“We are sure that a South African mechatronics team will be established in time, although we are still in the development stages of formulating a team,” says Webster.

He adds that mechatronics has developed into a professional field worldwide, with a range of diplomasand learnerships being offered at tertiary education institutions and training centres, with over six thousand people trained to date in Germany alone.

However, the field is still in itsinfancy in South Africa.

Webster is confident that mecha-tronics will develop as a profession in South Africa over the next few years. “South Africa is currentlylagging behind the rest of the world in mechatronics, and this situation must change, since the field could prove to be beneficial to the country as a whole.

“Developing mechatronics locally will enable multinational companies to supply state-of-the-art technology,knowing that the equipment will be operated and maintained by qualified individuals,” says Webster.

He adds that mechatronics is used in a variety of sectors, including the automotive, manufacturing and mining industries, enabling indi-viduals to know the fundamentalaspects of the machinery and plant.

Webster says that thecountry faces a number of challenges in terms ofmechatronics, including the education system and technology.

“One of the challenges presented is that the South African education system is slow to implement learnerships and create unit standards, due to the fact that the education system is still largely in a stage of transformation from the old system to the new.

“In addition, the existing training facilities must invest in new technology in order to accommodate the field.

“If there is no equipment available for training, it should be con-sidered a transfer of knowledge, rather than training,” says Webster.

He adds that mechatronics could be seen as a possible solution to overcome the skills shortage in the country.

“It is essential that we establish mechatronic centres of excellence, using state-of-the-art learningsystems in order to facilitate andaccelerate this new training discipline.

“This will supply industry with qualified employees, resulting inincreased productivity and foreign direct investment,” says Webster.

He hopes that, in future, training institutions and industry will form strategic partnerships to ensure that mechatronics is introduced as a live discipline with new technology being introduced on a regular basis.

Webster says for the last 20 years, training in South Africa has been neglected in terms of exposure to new technology, due to the transition in the ten years before thenew government and the ten years after.

This is as a result of government concentrating on more immediate priorities.

“Now is the right time to introduce real-world technology into the country, especially with the growing importance of the Blue IQinitiative, which requires multiskilled people, to attract moreforeign investment to Gauteng. “Mechatronics is the way forward for many countries,” says Webster.

Edited by: zeena isaacs
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other ICT News
Despite the continued reconfiguration of the new Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS), “things are not going to fall through the cracks”, DTPS director-general Rosey Sekese has assured Parliament. Presenting the department’s strategic...
Jose Dos Santos
As South Africa’s third-largest mobile operator Cell C reported revenue and subscriber growth during the second quarter of the year, the maturity date of a €160-million senior debt facility has been extended. CEO Jose Dos Santos said in a statement that the...
Blue Label Telecoms, in conjunction with online partner Prepaid24, has launched a new mobile app to enable users to recharge electricity and airtime on the go and at any time. The Prepaid24 Mobile App, which is available for Android, Blackberry or Windows device...
More
 
 
Latest News
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim
South African engineering union Numsa has agreed to end a four-week strike after accepting a wage increase offer from employers, union leader Irvin Jim said on Monday. Numsa, South Africa's largest union, has accepted a 10% annual pay rise fixed for three years for...
Trade union Solidarity on Monday accepted the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa’s (Seifsa’s) revised wage offer. The three-year wage agreement, settled within the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC), comprised...
Rob Davies
South Africa will use the upcoming US-Africa Leaders' Summit, which will also encompass the 2014 edition of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) Forum, to appeal for a 15-year extension of the nonreciprocal trade arrangement, as well as South Africa’s...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
GARYN RAPSON Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will open the door for court battles to determine who will be held liable for the remediation
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks