In this conversation, Prof. Justin Barnes provides a comprehensive explanation behind the creation of the TWIMS Management Sandbox demonstration space within TWIMS.
The future of manufacturing is poised for remarkable disruptions driven by emerging technologies, evolving customer preferences, and shifting market dynamics. Several pivotal trends are expected to shape the manufacturing landscape in the coming years. These include the rising wave of digitalization and automation, the pressing need for sustainability, the demand for personalized and customized products and services, as well as new manufacturing models fueled by the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence (AI), Virtual and Augmented Reality, Additive Manufacturing, and smart materials. To thrive in this rapidly evolving environment, manufacturers must devise effective business strategies that enable them to adapt to emerging trends and overcome challenges. They need to leverage technology to optimize their existing processes and products, while also exploring innovative changes to their fundamental approaches. For instance, harnessing the power of AI can enhance quality assurance processes, while integrating Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality can revolutionize production and product development methods.
Drawing on years of research within the manufacturing sector, TWIMS has identified a crucial need for a dedicated demonstration space in KwaZulu-Natal. This space will serve as a platform where diverse technologies can be showcased and experienced firsthand. In response to this need, TWIMS has invested in establishing the Future Manufacturing Management Sandbox at its Campus in Kloof.
The Management Sandbox was launched in September 2022. The primary objective of the Sandbox is to introduce students and delegates from visiting firms to the cutting-edge manufacturing technologies that are currently reshaping the industry. This innovative space features a fully IoT-enabled assembly line, complete with Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Visual Recognition Technology, and Radio Frequency Identification demonstrations. Additionally, the Sandbox allows for 3D printing of components using Additive Manufacturing equipment, further showcasing the possibilities of this transformative technology.
We firmly believe that the Management Sandbox at TWIMS will play a vital role by providing a safe and supportive environment for management to experiment, innovate, and gain practical knowledge about Industry 4.0 technologies that will reshape their organizations significantly and enhance the competitiveness of the local industry.