The Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) Manufacturing Conference, which kicks off in Johannesburg on Friday, will give local manufacturers the opportunity to reflect on how they can grow using new technologies.
Organised by the Brics Manufacturing Working Group (MWG), the conference, which takes place at the Sandton Conference Centre, aims to help local manufacturers to leverage off South Africa’s membership of Brics by taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the grouping.
The MWG’s role is to facilitate trade and investment in manufacturing in South Africa and its fellow member countries and to encourage cooperation on projects where there is potential for collaboration or complementarity.
Brics MWG chairperson Kaizer Nyatsumba says that while access to markets is critical for growth, the manufacturing industry also needs to take advantage of new technologies to be sustainable.
He points out that it is in this context that the conference will discuss exponential manufacturing, which is one of three key projects of the working group.
The report will be presented by the MD of the Institute of Exponential Manufacturing, Johan van Tonder, who heads the exponential manufacturing investment programme in the MWG.
According to Van Tonder, the $20-billion programme spans ten manufacturing industry sectors and aims to create ten transformative industry leaders in the Brics community within ten years.
“The local industry has been facing an existential crisis because of increased automation as technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics lead to more advanced manufacturing technologies.
“However, the conference hopes to demonstrate to local manufacturers that these new technologies, coupled with exponential manufacturing, offer new opportunities for growth,” Nyatsumba notes.