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Technology & Communications News

Mast quality an integral concern

By: System Author     26th March 1999 R22-billion-strong telecom network provider Vodacom employs a Centurion-based inspection authority to inspect the integrity of its masts throughout South Africa. Vodacom property manager Rishaad Tayob reports that, with more than 3 500 base stations throughout the country, the function of... 

State-approved inspection authority stands tall

By: System Author     26th March 1999 Originally selected as one of two contractors to look after all Vodacom towers and masts countrywide, government-approved inspection authority Innovative Inspection Services (IIS) of Centurion, Gauteng, has been appointed the preferred contractor, and is now the only inspection authority working... 

Research in chemical and biological defence

By: System Author     26th March 1999 Centurion company Protechnik Laboratories conducts research and development in all the main areas of chemical and biological defence, as well as quality control and quality assurance of chemically protective materials, systems and equipment, and provides technological support and advisory service... 

Leading engineer at conference

By: System Author     26th March 1999 You might not expect an engineer to know much about business, but it is this profession that is generating some of the most fascinating new theories about the way business is structured and managed. And the engineer regarded as the world’s leading thinker in systems design for business,... 

Small turbines a worldwide energy source

By: System Author     26th March 1999 Worldwide micro-hydro turbine technology is winning popularity as a flexible medium-sized rural power source. Having progressed from research and development to commercialisation in just four years, former World Electricity Council chairperson John Baker pointed out at last year’s congress... 

SA can now drink its fog

By: System Author     26th March 1999 A project to build a fog-collecting system which provides drinkable water to Tshanowa Junior Primary, located in the Soutpansberg mountains in the Northern Province, was completed this month. Funded by the Water Research Commission (WRC), this project served as a pilot project aimed at assessing... 

Ensuring quality a gas for synfuel maker

By: System Author     26th March 1999 Assistance on statu- tory inspections at synthetic-fuel (synfuel) producer Mossgas has been contracted to Centurion-based government inspection authority, Innovative Inspection Services (IIS), since April 1996, when it carried out inspections on one of the company’s Synthol units.... 

New computer database launched

By: System Author     26th March 1999 The latest version of Oracle’s databases, Oracle 8i, was launched in South Africa this month. The platform represents the latest generation of the world’s leading databases and is reportedly the first designed specifically to be an Internet development, deployment and management... 

R21bn in black-empowerment trade

By: System Author     26th March 1999 R21-billion-worth of transactions in black-empowerment deals have been undertaken in 1998, reports Business Map, in this year’s black economic empowerment review. Business Map CEO Jenny Carghill said at the launch of the company’s 1999 publication, held in Johannesburg in March, that... 

R7-million contract to automate gold-mine

By: System Author     26th March 1999 An estimated R7-million three- year contract for the automation of a Free State gold-mine, has been awarded to automation, control and data-acquisition specialist Systems Automation & Management (SAM) of Petervale, Gauteng, Engineering News has learnt. It is believed that the company was awarded... 

Launch of integrated messaging system

By: System Author     26th March 1999 An integraded fax and e-mail messaging system has been launched by telecom company Orion Telecom to provide users with cost-effective messaging solutions. Known as eM@X, the system allows a single message to be fully personalised (mail-merged) and broadcast from a standard PC to any number of fax... 

South Africa lacks telecom standards

By: System Author     26th March 1999 Telecom is the fastest-growing industry in the world, but in South Africa there is currently no formal body for the generation of training standards for the industry. The field of telecom is a wide and technologically-skilled field, where technology changes at such a rapid rate that there are... 

R1-million control software for smelter

By: System Author     26th March 1999 Industrial automation software distributor Futuristix Advanced Control Systems has been subcontracted by Keops Isis, an industrial information systems consultancy, for the supply of Wonderware software for the Mozal project. Futuristix was, in fact, awarded the almost R1-million contract in... 

New philosophy takes root in process control

By: System Author     26th March 1999 The industrial marketplace is getting selective in its choice of process control information-management systems, and there is a move away from the procurement of a packaged system, argues Xycom chairperson Roger Girdler. He explains that this trend is due to clients being more knowledgeable about... 

Power-quality monitoring system

By: System Author     26th March 1999 Engineering software solution provider TLC Software has installed an electrical-power quality-monitoring system at Columbus Stainless, Middelburg, on the main incoming electrical supply from Eskom. Columbus Stainless team manager Frikkie Jordaan explains how it has lost thousands of rands because... 

R170-million cheque-processing system to be implemented by bank

By: System Author     26th March 1999 A CONTRACT to implement a nationwide image-based cheque-processing proof- of-deposit (POD) solution has been awarded to National Data Systems (NDS) by Standard Bank of South Africa (SBSA). The installation will cover 16 nationwide sites, making this one of the largest installations of its kind in... 

Trade-fair partnership formed

By: System Author     26th March 1999 The globalisation of world economies and markets requires organisers of leading trade fairs to think and act globally. This was exactly the prevailing mindset at Icam Asia, the trade fair for measurement and automation, which culminated in the foundation of a partnership between leading trade... 

Forest-worker safety sharpened

By: System Author     19th March 1999 The general conditions under which forest workers operate are receiving attention from industry-funded research and development organisation Forest Engineering South Africa (Fesa) in order to optimise productivity and reduce costs. Fesa chairperson Migal Brink defines forest engineering as... 

Steel recovery not a given

By: System Author     19th March 1999 While July this year should see the start of a recovery in global sheet steel prices, it should not be taken for granted. Commodities Research Unit of London steel expert John Johnson warns that China and Japan will have negative growth this year and fairly stagnant economies in 2000 as well,... 

Affordable security for farmers

By: System Author     19th March 1999 Violent crime against farmers has reached epidemic proportions, and numerous South African companies have risen to the challenge of developing systems that will bring an end to this worrying trend. One of the technological solutions is now available from electronics developer Analysis, Management... 

New range of robots has 20% fewer parts

By: System Author     19th March 1999 A new range of Motoman robots offering increased handling capabilities above that of its predecessors, and with 20% fewer parts, is being launched at Hanover Fair, Germany, by Motoman Robotec this month, reveals Robotic Systems SA MD Terry Rosenberg. The mechanically-simplified machine is... 

African trade opportunities outlined

By: System Author     19th March 1999 For South African businesses, real opportunities exist in Africa, especially in the infrastructure, telecommunications and agro-industrial sectors, Engineering News can today report. “Many infrastructural projects in Africa are funded by the World Bank, the African Development Bank (ADB),... 

Potchefstroom software for nuclear project

By: System Author     19th March 1999 A program devel oped by Potchef- stroom University’s School for Mechanical and Materials Engineering, known as Flownet, is playing an important role in South Africa’s pebble bed modular reactor (PBMR) project. Developed over the past ten years, the unique code is able to solve... 

R110m for research, student bursaries

By: System Author     12th March 1999 MORE than R110-million will be allocated by the Foundation for Research Development (FRD) for research grants and student bursaries during 1999. At present more than 1 200 grant holders and a large number of team members undertaking research will benefit from these grants to be awarded by the... 

SA sink-maker in UK

By: System Author     12th March 1999 MOBENI-based sink and specialist stainless-steel sanitaryware manufacturer, City Metal Products (CMP), has embarked on a export drive to the UK following the appointment of a distributor in that country. CMP has reached an agreement with Sissons, Europe’s leading fabricator and supplier of... 

Ice-cream maker opts for new solution

By: System Author     12th March 1999 Ice-cream manufacturer Ola, part of Unilever South Africa, was the first South African organisation to implement SAP’s solution for the consumer-products industry using the AcceleratedSAP (ASAP) fast-track methodology. The company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of ice-cream in South... 

South African bread industry on the rise

By: System Author     12th March 1999 Since the deregulation of the baking industry eight years ago, there has been a considerable rise in the number of over-the-counter (OTC) and retail bakeries in South Africa. “Until 1991, the industry was highly regulated due to a bread subsidy granted by the government. “Thus it was... 

Local firm sets sights on global laser industry

By: System Author     12th March 1999 South African laser and electro-optic systems company Scientific Development & Integration (SDI), of Pretoria, is set to become an international participant in the laser industry with the announcement of a strategic alliance with global laser company Edinburgh Instruments, of Scotland. “SDI... 

Laser rangefinder is an eyeful in Europe

By: System Author     12th March 1999 Electro-optical company Eloptro, of Kempton Park, Gauteng – a division of Denel – has introduced an eye-safe handheld laser rangefinder (LRF) known as the LH-40, which will be aimed mainly at the advanced European military market, regional marketing manager Roberto Bruzzaniti tells... 

Funding a dying light

By: System Author     12th March 1999 The level of funding for laser research at South African universities is now at a crisis point, reports University of Natal Department of Physics Professor Max Michaelis. “We can only just afford to keep our laboratories running, and there is no opportunity of doing anything... 

National facility to focus SA laser sector

By: System Author     12th March 1999 The proposed national laser facility being considered by the government at present will be able to combine the laser forces of South Africa, Optical Energy Systems (OES) business unit manager Bultie Nel tells Engineering News. “Such a laser centre will support industry and promote the... 

Sorghum-quality project

By: System Author     12th March 1999 SORGHUM is a critically-important food crop in Sub-Saharan Africa due to its drought tolerance. However, a problem with sorghum is that the quality of its protein in terms of digestibility is inferior to that of other cereal foods, especially when sorghum foods are cooked. In 1996, CSIR Foodtek,... 

Flexible belt range

By: System Author     12th March 1999 A RANGE of Uni-Chain flexible modular plastic belts and accessories that meet stringent international specifications required by the food and beverage industry is distributed by Bearing Man’s belting division. The belting has approval from the US Food and Drug Administration and from the US... 

Cutting-edge features

By: System Author     12th March 1999 The advanced technical features of the Mazak computer numerically controlled (CNC) laser cutting machines have made this equipment the best-selling system in the world, maintains Skok Machine Tools MD Bobby Skok. The integration of advanced electronic and mechanical technologies delivers a... 

Enlightened IT listing empowers

By: System Author     12th March 1999 NEWLY-named black-empowerment technology group Ukukhanya, which means enlightenment, is surging towards its listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in May this year. Speaking at the official launch of the group’s new name, Ukukhanya chairperson Lungi Sisulu explained that it represented... 

Sale for electronic giant

By: System Author     12th March 1999 Electronics giant Altech has announced the sale of its 50% shareholding in African Defence Systems (ADS) to Thomson-CSF, the French-based leader in defence electronics. The multimillion-rand deal for the change of ownership took place on February 19 this year, and gives Thomson-CSF sole ownership... 

Local pigments-maker turns to IT

By: System Author     12th March 1999 IN a move to streamline production and management processes, and thus boost profitability at its Kwazulu-Natal-based plant, pigments manufacturer Tioxide has turned to information technology for a solution. In a multimillion-rand deal, it has selected an object-orientated business process... 

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