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Insight into Manufacturing


Kunmi Otitoju - CEO of Minku

“Your job is only as secure as the time it takes for a machine to do something cheaper. If you are not in the community, you do not care about the jobs, and so there is no guarantee for a long-term solution."

"I would think maybe a more concerted effort to look at indigenous [efforts] and seeing how we can channel them into finished goods is the way to go. Doing what Africa is good at — as opposed to making us adapt to something else — is what will work."

Dr Anthon Botha - Managing Director of TechnoScene (Pty) Ltd and Executive Director of InnovationLab (Pty) Ltd

“Unsurpassed quality requirements, customisation to fit consumer individuality and fast delivery, will dominate the manufacturing agenda. Rapid transition from industrial age thinking to the digital factory supported by design-as-you-go, product visualisation, automation and integrated logistics will challenge the manufacturer of the future, large and small."

"Taking into account the future scenarios that unfold, the advanced manufacturing technology trends and the required integration of intelligence into products, the future will certainly be different, but not an impossible challenge."

Katy George - Director in McKinsey’s New Jersey office and is the global coleader of the manufacturing group within McKinsey’s operations practice.

“What we’re finding is that manufacturers need to think about what’s next. And so we urge them to think about what we’re calling next-shoring, which is about how do you think about understanding which segments need to be manufactured near demand and which segments need to be manufactured near innovative supply bases. We see these two things (proximity to demand and proximity to innovation) as the primary drivers for manufacturing-location decisions across most manufacturing sectors."

"The advances in manufacturing technologies that we are seeing are more exciting and potentially more disruptive than anything we’ve seen in a long time. These include advanced robotics, which create much more flexibility in the way automation can work in a factory than in the past. This also includes digitized manufacturing, where plant managers can monitor machines on their iPhones and make real-time decisions about how to optimize production in a factory, as well as to do much more predictive maintenance work around their assets—and going beyond managing a factory that way, to manage a whole global network of factories and suppliers with this kind of real-time information."

Dr Martyn Davies - CEO of Frontier Advisory, South Africa

“The future of manufacturing lies with automation and we must educate the trade unions to get out of this nineteenth century ‘Industrial Revolution’ mind-set and return to the global economy. Businesses, economic sectors and even countries who don’t adapt will fall by the wayside. This country is in need of ideas-driven manufacturing. The value lies in the idea, the technology, in the innovation and not in its assembly."

Coenraad Bezuidenhout - Executive director, Manufacturing Circle

“Advanced manufacturing means creating products you couldn’t create through old technology. It is a completely new way of manufacturing. Mechanisation isn’t just used to get rid of labour, but also to build more safety into the system. There will always be certain manufacturing tasks which won’t be done by machines."

"We face stumbling blocks preventing us from advancing productivity because of difficulties dealing with labour. We have these challenges because we disregard the institutional stumbling blocks, the fact that centralised bargaining and things like the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) do not work in our favour, for instance. If we don’t confront these challenges and work to reform them, we’re always going to face problems in terms of making our common vision work."

Sir John Holmes - Director, the Ditchley Foundation

"Manufacturing in the not very distant future would look very different from now, and that we were at the beginning of, or perhaps even somewhere in the middle of, a paradigm shift – moving into a “Second Machine Age”, as it had been christened by some."

"Future scarcity and cost of key materials would increasingly impose on companies the need to take back and re-use their own products. We might be moving to a situation where ownership became a thing of the past for many more items than now – they would be leased/rented to customers for periods of time and then be taken back to be remanufactured."

Dr Garth Strachan - Acting Deputy Director General: Industrial Development and Policy Division of the DTI

"Unless you have manufacturing led growth, you will not attain sustained economic development."

Heinz Derenbach - Chief Executive Officer, Bosch Software Innovations GmbH

"The next big step will be to think through the interdependencies among the machine, the production components, the manufacturing environment, and the IT that connects it all, so that the production technology controlling the machines merges with the technical data of the components. This requires a high degree of standardization so that the machine knows what it needs to do to any given component, and the components can confirm that the machine has done it. Such IT linkage goes far beyond current manufacturing systems."

Rodney Brooks - Chairman and CTO of Rethink Robotics

“I think the face of manufacturing is going to change over time. We’ll have systems where manufacturing can be done much closer to where the goods are consumed—not halfway around the world—because all the CAD1 systems, all the understanding of what needs to be manufactured, will be able to be transported around on the network. And then people locally can decide they’re going to manufacture where they are, cut down costs, have much shorter supply chains matched to demand much more quickly."

Professor Göran Roos - Honorary Professor at Warwick Business School in the UK and the founder of Intellectual Capital Services Ltd.

“A healthy manufacturing sector is a must for any advanced economy with ambitions to maintain economic and social wellbeing."

"The role of Government in ensuring the future of the manufacturing sector, in a small economy showing early signs of Dutch Disease, is critical."

Jeff Immelt - CEO of General Electric

“Industrial machines have always issued early warnings, but in an inconsistent way and in a language that people could not understand. The advent of networked machines with embedded sensors and advanced analytics tools has changed that reality. For the first time in history, remotely distributed machines across the globe from MRIs to wind turbines to aircraft engines can be monitored in real time, unlocking the language of machines and opening tremendous benefits."

Professor Wolfgang Wahlster - CEO and Scientific Director of DFKI (German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence)

“The Internet of Things is finding its way into production. Semantic machine-to-machine communication revolutionizes factories by decentralized control. Embedded digital product memories guide the flexible work piece flow through smart factories, so that low-volume, high-mix production is realized in a cost-efficient way. A new generation of industrial assistant systems using augmented reality and multimodal interaction will help factory workers to deal with the complexity of cyber-physical production and enable new forms of collaboration by digital social media. Since on-demand production of highly individualized products like cars or kitchens requires short logistic chains in the markets where they are used."

Dr Raj Sinha - Orthopaedic surgeon and Co-founder of Star Orthopaedics in La Quinta.

“What 3D printing will allow in medicine is individualization and customization of patient care."

"We can take the technology of CT scans, model the patient's own anatomy and build a device specific to them. So it's no longer a compromise of size or shape or fit."

Paul Pasquier - Vice President, Global Technology at The Boeing Company

“Direct Manufacturing technologies that have been developed over the past decade have been interesting to engineers in the aero- space, automotive and electronics industries because of their potential to significantly reduce parts production and process costs, shorten cycle times, and better enable demand-driven production of spare parts. As opposed to common, milling technologies that “subtract” raw material away in order to create a finished part, Direct Manufacturing can eliminate the waste of raw material by “adding” or building-up parts in layers using lasers and other techniques with little or no tooling. Direct Manufacturing can be an economical and viable alternative for fabricating complex assemblies for specific requirements."

Bruce Anning - Owner, Advanced Composite Structures (ACS)

“For the repairs and short-volume production work that we specialize in, tooling often constitutes a major portion of the overall cost. Moving from traditional methods to producing composite tooling with Fused Deposition Modeling has helped us substantially improve our competitive position."

Jeff DeGrange - Vice president of direct digital manufacturing for Stratasys and formerly of Boeing

“Bringing together 3D printing and printed electronic circuitry will be a game changer for design and manufacturing. It has the potential to completely streamline production by requiring fewer materials and steps to bring a product to market."

Eric Redifer - Managing Director, Advisory Strategy & Operations KPMG

“We find there is increasing need to bring new and innovative products to market quickly. This is changing manufacturing on a few fronts: First we see domestic manufacturing making a comeback due to a variety of factors: shrinking cost differentials; shorter supply lines; intellectual property issues with offshore manufacturing; and increased demand for locally produced products. Second, the need for increased personalization has driven a new level of design for adaptability – platform designs with adaptability or customizations built in to accommodate a wider variety of colors; sizes and functionality without increasing the complexity of the supply chain. Finally, the advent of low cost 3D printing is beginning to impact the manufacturing business model as consumers are printing spare parts or customizations at home or at 3D printing centers, rather than buy them direct from the manufacturer."

Thomas Kloc - Managing Director, Advisory Sustainability KPMG

“Nonmanufacturing is enabling manufacturers to capitalize on the unique physical, chemical, mechanical and optical properties of materials thereby creating an entirely new platform to design processes and solutions with the potential to address many of the pressing environmental, energy, health and economic problems facing the world in the near future."


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