Taking place on 24 and 25 May 2023, the Mind Shift conference promises to explore innovation and the use of digital technologies, harnessing 4IR technologies, in both design and manufacture for better mining in South Africa.

The 4IR presents a unique opportunity for manufacturers, mines and data specialists to collaborate to develop mining solutions, says MEMSA. New technologies can transform safety, profitability and the life of mines; support environmental sustainability; and underpin quality decision making, communication and training.

This conference will bring together diverse role players from the mining and manufacturing industries, academia, government and the skills sector to build a shared understanding of challenges and strategies – to succeed together; and will delve into questions like:

  • How can the innovation ecosystem be nurtured, and who is taking the lead locally?
  • What does digital transformation in mining look like in South Africa?
  • Which new technologies are helping local manufacturers compete?
  • How are new technologies changing the world of work, and which new skills are required by managers, engineers and technicians?
  • What obstacles do innovators face in South Africa – and what makes for success stories?
  • How can collaboration catalyse innovation?

Confirmed speakers and panellists include:

  • Barry Dwolatzky – director of Innovation Strategy at Wits University
  • Alex Fenn – head of Technology and Innovation at Sibanye Stillwater
  • Beeuwen Gerryts – chief director for Technology Localisation, Beneficiation and Advanced Manufacturing of Department of Science and Innovation
  • Ahsan Mahboob – head of Sibanye-Stillwater DigiMine at Wits University
  • Tebogo Mdhluli – Principal: People Stream (Business Transformation, Organisational Culture, Future of Work, Org Effectiveness) at NextGenOpX
  • Tapiwa Samanga – group CEO of PTSA
  • Sietse van der Woude – Senior Executive: Modernisation and Safety at Minerals Council of South Africa
  • Jean-Jacques Verhaeghe – Programme Manager: Minerals Council South Africa | Mandela Mining Precinct at Minerals Council of South

Manufacturing Excellence Awards

For the 2023 edition of the Manufacturing Excellence Awards the organisation has invited entries for the following categories: Digitalised Services, Manufacturing 4.0, Future Skills Development, Smart Sustainability and People Centred Growth.

The awards will be announced on 24 May, with winners sharing the challenges they have faced in integrating new technologies and how these have strengthened their businesses.

Innovation Award categories include innovation in Hard Rock Mining (Navin Singh Award), in Soft Rock Mining, in Surface Mining and in Mineral Processing, in addition to a new category which has been added, ‘Digital Solutions for Mining’. Winners will be announced on 25 May and will share insights into their innovation journey.

To enter, go to https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YtQ3kDeHLv03vi5D2cFkbuYqpzIjUtdx/edit

Image credit: MEMSA

Image credit: MEMSA

MEMSA is a member-based cluster, with member companies ranging from established OEMs with an international presence to small and emerging enterprises who manufacture a wide range of machinery, components, software and systems for mining.

 MEMSA’s vision is to position local mining equipment manufacturers as cost competitive and innovative, and preferred suppliers to local, regional and global markets. The organisation says, “This may seem ambitious, but SA’s long, rich mining history has provided fertile ground for the development of an innovative and agile mining equipment industry, with a great depth of expertise.

“In the context of 4IR, collaboration is key, and MEMSA works with a wide range of partners to support innovation and technology development. These include the Mandela Mining Precinct, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Minerals Council of South Africa, the dtic, DSI, merSETA, universities, and research institutes.”

The South African Minerals, Extraction, Research, Development and Innovation (SAMERDI) initiative, a unique collaboration between the mining industry and government, is the main sponsor of the Mind Shift Conference, and of MEMSA’s Innovation for Mining and Manufacturing Excellence Awards in their second iteration.

In 2022 MEMSA held its inaugural Innovation and Manufacturing Excellence Awards to celebrate local expertise in technological development and manufacturing capability.