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Technology & Communications News

Gearless transmission systems developed

By: System Author     18th June 1999 Fuel savings of more than 17% compared with conventional manual gearboxes have been achieved with the infinitely-variable transmission (IVT) system developed by UK specialist Torotrak. This, and a number of other key advantages claimed over conventional manual, automatic and... 

New diesel engine era powers ahead

By: System Author     18th June 1999 The transformation of the South African diesel engine environment has been taken a step further with the creation of a new company in South Africa dedicated to supplying internationally-renowned products. Known as Perkins Power, the company, which is headquartered in Boksburg on the East Rand,... 

Contactless smart-cards with new features

By: System Author     18th June 1999 Not only do computers become smarter day by day, but so do cards. With the Philips Mifare contactless smart-card and reader, a myriad of applications is now possible, where the card can be used, not only as a ‘money purse’, but for other applications such as access control.... 

The bug stops here with local solution

By: System Author     18th June 1999 Listed information-security company Securedata has announced the availability of a locally-developed hardware solution to the millennium crisis, namely a personal computer (PC) add-in card which automatically corrects year 2000 (Y2K) problems associated with the real-time clocks (RTCs) and basic... 

Small firms are ignoring big bug problem

By: System Author     18th June 1999 lthough South Africa is considered one of the top year 2000 (Y2K)-ready countries in the world, many smaller firms are not yet aware of the implications of the problem, and live under the false impression that they will not be affected once the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 1999, reveals... 

Do not hide your money under the mattress . . .

By: System Author     18th June 1999 South Africans need not hide their money under the mattress as the new millennium approaches, with most large banking corporations having taken precautions against the year 2000 (Y2K) bug well in advance. This is largely due to the fact that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has taken an... 

Transport sector urged to brake hard for bug

By: System Author     18th June 1999 South Africa’s transport industry should take great care to ensure that computers and systems can handle the year 2000 (Y2K) format, warns Cargo Carriers information technology (IT) director Dawid van Rensburg. The consequences of failure may include delays, lost productivity, spoilt goods,... 

New optical communication centre

By: System Author     18th June 1999 OPTICAL transmission technology leader Marconi Communications is helping to plant the seeds for a new generation of expert personnel and technological innovations in South Africa, with sponsorship of a new centre of cxcellence in optical communications (CoE). Set up by Rand Afrikaans University... 

‘Business as usual’ for telecom in 2000

By: System Author     18th June 1999 Members of the South African telecom industry have completed a year 2000 (Y2K) tripartite interconnect test, demonstrating that it should be ‘business as usual’ as the world enters the next century. Three telecom companies – Telkom, MTN and Vodacom – have carried out a... 

Y2K bug could threaten automatic billing systems

By: System Author     18th June 1999 Consulting engineers who use telephone-management systems which bill clients automatically for consulting time may find that year 2000 (Y2K) millennium bugs in these systems will render this facility useless come January 1, 2000. However, problems can be avoided if steps are taken to ensure that... 

No disruption to stock exchange

By: System Author     18th June 1999 Good progress is being made to ensure that the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) will be able to trade as usual in the new millennium, Engineering News can today report. Customer testing, involving selected parties that either receive data from the JSE or provide data is also being performed,... 

New foolproof concept in dropsafe security

By: System Author     18th June 1999 Anew and virtually foolproof concept in dropsafe security using advanced recognition software that automates the counting of money deposits has been launched onto the local market by the security products business unit of Analysis Management & Systems (AMS). The patented Dropsafe system promises... 

R11m in projects for Cape Town airport

By: System Author     11th June 1999 Projects to the value of R11,3-million have been announced by Cape Town International Airport (CIA) to improve parking facilities and enhance traffic flows. To be implemented by September, the upgrade includes the installation of a pay-on-foot system, 900 additional parking bays, shade netting... 

Brazil, SA co-operate in defence

By: System Author     11th June 1999 GREATER co-operation between the defence industries of Brazil and South Africa in the fields of research and development is needed, announced South African Minister of Defence Joe Modise . Modise, who was leading a high-level defence delegation on a visit to the Latin American Exhibition (LAD... 

Composite material technique developed

By: System Author     11th June 1999 RESEARCHERS at a UK university have developed a way of creating composite materials with shapes that were previously impossible. The research enables materials reinforced with glass fibre to find new uses in cars and construction and could pave the way for making composites in space. Composite... 

Lasers throw light on pollution

By: System Author     11th June 1999 Ultraviolet lasers are being used to determine levels of pollution in English rivers and to monitor discharges from chemical works and sewage into the country’s waterways. The laser technique, which has so far been successfully tested in river trials, has been developed by Dr Rafi Ahmad of... 

Robot repairers in sight

By: System Author     11th June 1999 ROBOTICS researchers at Loughborough Univeristy, in central England are studying a system that will overcome many of the problems involved in putting mobile robots to use in complex environments such as nuclear power stations. The Teleman project uses a laser and infra-red link to control the... 

Maritime safety authority launch a success

By: System Author     11th June 1999 The transformation of the Department of Transport’s (DoT’s) chief directorate: shipping into the partially self-funded South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa), which has the task of ensuring safe shipping practice and pollution-prevention control around the country’s 2... 

Construction begins on retail centre in techno park

By: System Author     11th June 1999 CONSTRUCTION has started on a R23-million retail centre at Capricorn Technology and Industrial Park in Muizenberg, Western Cape. Scheduled for completion by the end of November, the centre’s anchor tenant is Pick ‘’n Pay, whose supermarket will occupy 2 400 m2 of the 5 000 m2 of... 

Swazi sugar-mill expansion

By: System Author     11th June 1999 The Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation is in the throes of the Simunye expansion project to increase the mill’s capacity to 400 t of cane an hour. As part of this expansion the company has decided to increase and improve the mixed juice screening process by removing the old static... 

Market shines through for mobile X-ray unit

By: System Author     11th June 1999 A MOBILE X-ray system conceived a few years ago by Armscor at the request of the South African Medical Services (SAMS) is to be further developed and manufactured for civil as well as military use, Engineering News can today report. This will be the result of an agreement recently signed between... 

Virtual gas gives robots fresh powers

By: System Author     11th June 1999 Neuroscientists and those specialising in artificial intelligence, working together at Sussex University, southern England, have made a world-first discovery which could revolutionise the sciences of robotics. By using nitric oxide, a gas integral to the neurology of the human brain, the workings... 

R188m solar project lights up rural towns

By: System Author     11th June 1999 Twinkling lights, the sound of up-to-the-minute television news broadcasts and lilting radio music are becoming part and parcel of nights in the rolling hills of rural northern Kwazulu-Natal. This follows the launch of a R188-million solar power project that is set to provide power to 60 000... 

Global strategy for chem firms

By: System Author     11th June 1999 A strategy to enable chemical companies to achieve a maximum return on their investment in information technology (IT) has, for more than two years, been consistently worked through and executed by SAP, a developer of enterprise-resource planning (ERP) systems. At present, more than 12 000... 

R2m information technology contract

By: System Author     11th June 1999 LOCAL company Datacentrix has been awarded a R2-million contract by TolLink to supply various information technology (IT) components for the South African side of the Maputo corridor toll-road system. File servers, personal computers (PCs), printers, network switches and routers have been... 

SA follows global trends

By: System Author     11th June 1999 ELECTRONIC commerce service provider, ECnet (a member of PQ Africa’s Electronic Commerce Division) is seeing a steady increase of South African companies actively conducting electronic business using the Internet and cellular media as transactional platforms. The value of business conducted... 

Italian equipment chosen for third cell licence

By: System Author     11th June 1999 Mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has entrusted Hiross with critical aspects of its tender submission for the third cellphone operator’s licence to be awarded by the government in July. With confidence gained from global experience, Nokia demonstrated its faith in the Italian leader in... 

Countdown starts for telecom network No 2

By: System Author     11th June 1999 A local telecommunica- tions expert believes there are three main scenarios that could unfold as the race hots up for the development of a second network operator to compete with Telkom when its monopoly expires in May 2002. However, he warns that the South African Telecommunications Regulatory... 

Dect installation

By: System Author     11th June 1999 Aluminium producer Bayside Aluminium has invested in digital enhanced cordless technology (Dect) to facilitate mobile communications at its Richards Bay operations. Implemented in two phases, the project incorporated the supply of private automatic branch exchange (PABX) equipment developed and... 

New industrial software

By: System Author     11th June 1999 New software ‘functionality’ for the engineering and construction industry has recently been launched by German software giant SAP, Engineering News can report. This is the latest functional addition to SAP’s R/3 software, for the engineering and construction (E&C) industry,... 

Army guns to be fired virtually

By: System Author     11th June 1999 BRITISH soldiers are using a virtual reality (VR) simulator for their training in tank warfare, with sophisticated computers and software incorporated into the Warrior observation post vehicle trainer (OPVT). Developed for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at a cost of  

‘Mock’ hazchem accident tests mettle

By: System Author     11th June 1999 Plastics, chlor-alkali chemicals and mining reagents manufacturer Polifin staged one of two yearly mock incidents at an intersection just outside Fochville in the North West Province last month to ensure it maintains high safety and environmental standards in line with its Responsible Care... 

SME financier exceeds its own targets

By: System Author     11th June 1999 The financial services group which invests in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), Business Partners, has exceeded its own targets by approving a record R445,3-million to SMEs countrywide in the 1998–99 financial year. In comparison, last year’s approvals amounted to... 

Ring-rail system to revitalise Pretoria area

By: System Author     4th June 1999 Although an estimated 325 000 passengers commute on the Pretoria rail network daily, it is generally agreed that the facility is under-used. “We have identified a section within the existing Pretoria rail system that forms a circle and could be developed to benefit all in an attempt to... 

Fly ash producer is one of world’s largest

By: System Author     4th June 1999 Producing 1,2-million tons of fly ash a year from three plants based at Eskom’s Matla, Kendal and Lethabo power stations, Ash Resources is one of the world’s largest, GM Bert Dijkema tells Engineering News. Fly ash is used as a partial replacement (or extender) for cement in concretes... 

Good design promoted

By: System Author     4th June 1999 The Design for Development Awards organised by the South African Bureau of Standards Design Institute, now in its third year, reflects the importance of good design as a contributory factor in the success of products manufactured to enhance the lives of people in rural and urban communities, and... 

UK to lead euro-machinery initiative

By: System Author     4th June 1999 The UK is to lead a European initiative for industry to share information on new research and development in reconfigurable machinery for manufacturing. The Amtri organisation, which specialises in engineering projects, technical consultancy and machinery research, will bring together nearly 20... 

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