S African materials handling industry yet to embrace automation

16th August 2019 By: Mc'Kyla Nortje - Journalist

Automation is still a relatively new concept for South Africa and has not been fully adopted by industries, especially the materials handling industry, says industrial equipment distributor Shumani Industrial Equipment director Victor Nemukula.

“South Africa imports a lot of materials handling equipment from countries that are more developed, so there is a constant flow of new technology into the country. Eventually, South Africa’s materials handling equipment will be automated and the rest of the value chain will adapt accordingly.”

He highlights that more local companies adopting automated systems will result in improved efficiency in the workplace.

“For example, when new technology is integrated into operating systems already in use in warehouses, it will minimise human error, accelerate production processes and increase accuracy.”

Although this integration will also result in many employee duties and responsibilities being replaced, it does not necessarily mean that there will be job losses, stresses Nemukula.

“Instead of retrenchment, the workforce will have to be retrained to do other jobs and receive training on the new systems and/or equipment to familiarise themselves with the new technology.”

Nemukula mentions that Shumani Industrial Equipment has not implemented any new technology yet, but is in continuous talks with its suppliers to ensure that only the latest equipment and technology is being distributed to South Africa.

“We hope to be one of the first companies to introduce any form of cutting-edge technology to provide our clients with a competitive market advantage.”

He adds that the company is responsible for the distribution of industrial equipment solutions provider Goscor Group of Companies’ entire range of industrial and construction equipment to the local mining, construction, industrial, warehousing and manufacturing sectors.

Therefore, Shumani Industrial Equipment has the full support of the group and access to its massive pool of expertise, competences and technology, thus ensuring its clients have access to the latest innovations in the industry.