X-Change 2023 focuses on sustainability, building connected industrial ecosystems

IS3 MD Dion Govender

IS3 MD Dion Govender

5th June 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


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Building on last year’s theme of “creating digital champions”, software company Industry Software Solutions and Support (IS³) has turned its focus to sustainability at this year’s X-Change 2023 conference.

Aptly, as it is set to highlight the importance of sustainability and how economic growth, environmental care and social wellbeing should be balanced, the conference has for the past two years been hosted in the Drakensberg.

IS³, as a business unit of Digital Industries and authorised distributor in sub-Saharan Africa of global industrial software giant AVEVA’s software, has hosted the yearly X-Change conference for the past 29 years.

The conference, which is arguably the premier industrial software showcasing and networking event in South Africa, continues to showcase the latest innovations and trends that simplify and revolutionise the development of high-performance applications and help businesses add value to their operations.

X-Change promises in-depth presentations on current operational technology trends and detailed end-user presentations that unpack how AVEVA has helped transform their operations.

The event also offers a Collaboration Expo, where delegates can meet the IS3 ecosystem of partners and hardware and software vendors that contribute to efficient productive processes, in support of the digital transformation journey.

The organisers hope this year’s conference will inspire Digital Champions to shape a sustainable future, with the help of tailored software to design better, operate more efficiently and use the world’s resources more responsibly.

The exhibitors at the X-Change 2023 conference offer the technology layers from edge to enterprise and sustainable industrial development. IS3 considers X-Change's exhibitors as key to the success of the conference, with their solutions and expertise being world class and able to solve challenges in the automation landscape.

This year, the exhibitors included technical and software solutions providers i-RAMS, Nozomi Networks, Schneider Electric, Oculus, Stratus, ifm South Africa, Control Systems Integration, SCAN RF Projects, 4Sight Holdings, RJ Connect, Endress+Hauser, ProcessVue, CSi3 and PCS Global.

The exhibitors are structured in a clockwise, edge-to-enterprise manner to represent the layers of digital transformation an organisation would typically include in the strategic roadmap.

At the centre of the expo area is the AVEVA technology showcase, including a column for each of its design and build, operate and optimise portfolios.

The expo venue also boasts a training lab that provides quick “crash courses” on AVEVA’s Process Vue, Edge, Process Simulation and Reports solutions.

The keynote line-up features some of the world’s most prominent voices on digital transformation and software development, including IS³ MD and digital industries CEO Dion Govender, AVEVA global sustainability head Lisa Wee and AVEVA digital portfolio strategy director Tim Sowell.

Moreover, the breakout sessions focus predominantly on global customer references, with customers explaining how AVEVA has helped their organisations undertake impactful projects or increase operational efficiencies.

Some of the local customer references include testimonies from independent power producer Globeleq, diversified miner Exxaro Resources, manganese ferroalloys producer Transalloys, platinum miner Anglo American Platinum, printing and promotional services provider Integ and automation specialist Big Wave Automation.

The breakout sessions also share sustainability stories from around the world and explain how AVEVA’s technologies are able to address industry challenges to yield meaningful business results.

For example, in the pharmaceuticals space, AVEVA is targeting the deliverance of health and wellbeing for all, as well as the acceleration towards net zero emissions for organisations.

A journey to zero hunger is unpacked in the food and beverage breakout session, following which AVEVA zooms in on the mining industry and discusses some of the current imperatives of the industry’s evolution to sustainability.

On the sidelines of the conference, X-Change strives to have delegates experience the world that needs to be kept alive.

Particularly, Govender emphasised during the opening session the importance of adaptability that will shield organisations from changing global conditions and help champion their digital transformation journey.

He urges delegates of the conference and the broader industry to become connected industrial ecosystem ambassadors, for the sake of business continuity, future generations and the planet.

The X-Change 2023 conference is being held in the Drakensberg from June 5 to 7.

In concluding the event, a gala and award dinner was hosted to recognise the excellence of AVEVA's partners. PCS Global was named the best exhibitor, 4 Sight OT partner of the year and Paul Kotze the best presenter. The Planning and Operations X-Cellence award went to Pepsico and SI Integ, while Globeleq took the crown for Asset and People Performance X-Cellence. 

AllianceOne and SI IA Control Solutions were lauded for their Operations X-Cellence, and Mafube Coal and SI Rifle Shot for the best business value. 

Sibanye-Stillwater and Anglo American took home the CEO Award and the Innovation Award, respectively. 

*Marleny Arnoldi attended the X-Change 2023 conference as a guest of IS3 and AVEVA.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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