From Left: Jason Ullbricht(Vice President Marketing for Schneider Electric Anglophone Africa) ; Dr Joe Molete (Executive Director VUT Science Park); Mr Wiseman Jack (Executive Director International Relations at VUT); Dr Veronique Briquet-Laugier (Head of Cooperation – French Embassy); Mr Albert Fuchet: Cluster President of Anglophone Africa; Ms Zanelle Dalglish (Head of Sustainable development for Schneider Electric Anglophone Africa ) and Professor Alexandre Sebastiani (Director of FSASEC VUT)
By Staff Reporter
Newly Launched PLC Automation Laboratory at the Vaal University of Technology
20 April marked a significant occasion at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), as the French South African Schneider Electric Centre (F’SASEC) officially launch their PLC Automation Laboratory. The automation lab boasts 24 Schneider Electric PLC M340 stations which will be available to all F’SASEC students.
The automation lab is a training lab committed to teaching F’SASEC students programmable logic controllers (PLC). PLC is a digital system used in industry for the automation of industrial electromechanical processes. It’s often used in manufacturing industries for controlling machinery, such examples would be machinery on factory assembly lines.
Esteemed guests such as Mr Albert Fuchet: Cluster President of Anglophone Africa; Dr Veronique Briquet-Laugier: Head of Cooperation – French Embassy; and Professor Riana van der Bank –Executive Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences at VUT who represented the Vice-Chancellor were all present to witness the official opening of the laboratory.
F’SASEC was developed through a partnership between Vaal University of Technology, the French Ministry of Education, Department of Higher Education and Training and Schneider Electric which is a French company that specialises in the field of energy solutions. This program is dedicated to training underprivileged students who cannot afford to go to TVET College or University in the field of electricity, energy and automated systems control. The training centre provides the necessary training and skills that aim to prepare students for the South African workforce, and to this end satisfying the country’s demand for vocational training.
The opening of the automation lab is a milestone achievement for F’SASEC, fully equipped with state of the art Schneider Electric equipment it’s ready to upskill students and provide quality training in the field of electrical engineering. F’SASEC has six centres in South Africa, with plans to expand across Africa.
Dr Veronique Briquet-Laugier (Head of Cooperation – French Embassy), said as the French Embassy, they highly value their partnership with Schneider Education. “It is important that we contribute towards the growth of the South African economy. I congratulate F’SASEC for their achievement of providing an electrical engineering training centre that has a positive gender balance mix, for turning ideas into working innovations, thank you to the Basic Education Ministry in France, Schneider Electric and VUT,” she added.
Prof Alex Sebastiani, Director of FSASEC said he wouldn’t have made it without the common support from Ms Zanelle Dalglish, he further said that Ms Dalglish had been there from the beginning and to the end. ‘”With her help, the automation lab today is accessible to those who would like to use it,” he added.