It is no surprise, we are living in a connected society where most people have access to smart mobile devices. Having quick access to information has become an extension of our existence. We have begun to see internet access, among other things, becoming cheaper and far more accessible than ever before. Technology is spawning autonomous vehicles; processes and we are even seeing a rise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in every day devices.
This is the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). According to Brian Andrew MD of RS Components South Africa, if businesses don’t embrace this disruption, they will not survive. “Automation, IoT and connected devices impact all industries, it could grow business and create jobs, and already, we in SA can see its plethora of benefits. Furthermore, for South Africa to compete successfully in a 4th Industrial Revolution economy, stakeholders across all sectors must work together to drive progress in this country-Which is why we embrace opportunities to exhibit at events such as the upcoming Africa Automation Fair as it allows us to show companies, emerging businesses and individuals the impact of technology and IoT in all aspects of our lives,” he said.
RS Components SA, a market leader in the electrical and engineering component space was one of the companies that exhibited at this year’s Africa Automation Fair. “We at RS Components, pride ourselves and our brand to share our knowledge and support initiatives that promote, nurture and guide technological-driven programmes from STEM education projects at grass roots level to showcasing what can be done in this connected age at events such as the Africa Automation Fair. At RS, we promote technological thinking and this is further enhanced through our DesignSpark website for anyone of any age to share ideas, innovations, learn how to code or conceptualise designs with other users. DesignSpark has grown in leaps and bounds with more than 750 000 members-all who understand the importance of the connected age where IoT is revolutionising the way we see our lives moving forward,” he said.
At the recent biennial Africa Automation Fair, industrial automation and smart control innovations, alongside a high-level industry conference focused on the 4IR were showcased. The event, which took place at the Ticketpro Dome recently, saw an 11 percent increase in exhibitors and a five percent increase in visitors. This year, the event also saw an increase in smarter technologies being incorporated into the industrial sector of South Africa.
Marius Smit, the general manager of technology and business events at Reed Exhibitions, said the Africa Automation Fair 2019 surpassed all expectations. “This year, the event attracted over 4500 visitors and 131 exhibitors from seven countries including Australia, China, Germany, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan-who showcased their products and across a total exhibition area of 5,500 square meters. As we start to embrace the 4IR, more industry categories have begun to adopt smarter technologies in their processes and businesses. This is revolutionising how we do things and the Africa Automation Fair previewed what SA Industry can expect to see in the upcoming months,” he said.
The adoption of technology across all industries requires various stakeholders working together including government. The next Africa Automation Fair takes place in 2021.