Reviving the innovative spirit

Reviving the innovative spirit

VUTSGSTP team at 18th annual RAPDASA conference

Selina Rapulane

The Vaal University of Technology Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park VUTSGSTP team attended the 18th annual Rapid Product Development Association of South Africa (RAPDASA) conference hosted by RAPID 3D at the Durban ICC from 8-10 November.

3D printing is at the forefront of a variety of sectors − from dentistry and biomedical, to aerospace and automotive and the 2017 conference and exhibition focused on how technology improves quality of life and promotes new thinking.

It was the first time the conference was hosted in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and it was attended by world-class speakers and top exhibitors. Mr Dave Bullock: RAPDASA Chair gave the welcoming address.

During the first day of the conference, as top speakers took to the stage to present on different topics, Mr Heinrich van der Merwe: Operations Manager VUTSGSTP was the session chair for Additive Manufacturing (AM) business along with Professor Andre Francois van der Merwe.  Heinrich spoke about transforming engineering applications and methodology in AM to accommodate enterprise resource planning. He was joined by two of the three German exchange students who have been at the VUTSGSTP for the past five months.

There was also a Platform, which VUT was a shareholder and Mr Heinrich van der Merwe was one of the directors, about South African Development and Professor Deon De Beer: Chief Director: Innovation and Technology Support at North-West University was part of the panel discussion which focused on growing the ecosystem and capitalizing on existing networks.

The second day of the conference centred around AM’s challenges around logistics and machinery capacity, delivering design complexity and tapping into nature’s genius.

VUT lecturers Ms Shyline Chingowo and Ms Nkele Baloyi also had a chance to present their work.

On the last day of the conference, the session topics were: Design for Additive Manufacturing, Process Monitoring and Material Process.  During the Design for AM session, Dr Malan van Tonder: AM Specialist at VUTSGSTP, presented on utilising AM to reduce time to market for valve developments. During the Process Monitoring session, Mr Francois du Rand: Technician, presented on Development on an AM re-coater monitoring system for a powder bed system.

The function closed on a high for the VUT Team when of one of their designers Ms Jeane Bresler came fourth in the RAPDASA 2017 design competition. Ms Bresler designed a device that allows a person to make video calls while being able to move around and use both hands.

VUT and VUTSGSTP are very proud of their employees for the hard work they put in to be a part of this exciting event that attracted many key industry partners, technology demonstrators and renowned academics.

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