From August 3 to August 5, 2021, Siemens hosted a virtual Smart Mining forum with the motto “On the road to the digital future.” The forum was an insightful, strategic event that explores the impact of technology and how it can sustainably drive transformation within the African Mining Industry.
The forum brought together the mining community, industry experts, decision-makers, thought leaders, technology providers, consumers, users, engineers and designers to discuss topics affecting the mining industry and they explored ways in which technology can drive effective change in the sector. Prior to the forum, Tim Walwyn, Head of Mineral Solutions, Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa, stated that “Covid-19 has prevented the industry from having progressive conversations about how to move the mining sector forward. This 3-day event is an opportunity for us to bring the mining community together to reignite the dialogue and share knowledge to help us sustainably transform the future of mining in Africa.” He observed that as “a partner to African mines, our electrification, automation & digitalization portfolio offers a combination of deep understanding of the mining industry with state-of-the-art technologies.”
This virtual event provided an interactive platform in which attendees had an opportunity to explore the Siemens virtual showroom, demonstrating the company’s end-to-end mining expertise, observe current and future industry trends, explore cutting-edge technologies, and participate in interactive sessions with our local and international technical experts and thought leaders, covered key topics across the digital mining value chain. During the forum, Siemens also launched its SIDRIVEIQ, industrial IoT monitoring solution for drive systems.
Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens CEO for Southern and Eastern Africa stated “Our main objective with this event was to initiate a forum for knowledge transfer to the industry and raise awareness of the opportunities created by technology. We’re excited to bring this collaborative forum, where we can showcase the latest technological innovations for the industry and explore their effects on the African mining landscape.”
Siemens invited various South African universities and introduced them to Mendix, a low-code rapid application development platform. Mendix is a high productivity application development platform that enables users to build and continuously improve mobile and web applications at scale. The Mendix Platform is designed to accelerate enterprise app delivery across the entire application development lifecycle, from ideation to deployment and operations. During the forum, Siemens also launched a hackathon using the Mendix platform. The company demonstrated the platform to the universities. The universities will be able to use Mendix to create an app to build a mining use-case. Later this year, Siemens will host a competition to determine the winning university based on their use-case.
As part of the company’s commitment to Enterprise and Supplier Development, Siemens also provided ten industrious Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s) that deliver solutions and services to the mining industry a chance to showcase their companies and expertise in a separate virtual showroom. Rita Nkuhlu, Siemens Executive Director, stated that “Our goal with the Enterprise and Supplier Development portion of this event is to explore innovative offerings developed by local enterprises and bring their ideas and solutions closer to potential clients, who could possibly assist to further develop these offerings into value-adding products, applications and services for the industry. We wanted to make these businesses visible to industry leaders.” The SMMEs had opportunity to obtain SITRAIN access, an online, flexible, continuous, and personalized digital learning platform for industry that’s available anytime, anywhere, and can be used on any device, such as via a mobile app. Its modular structure divides the content into easy-to-follow “learning nuggets” and includes checkpoints to monitor achievements.
Sabine Dall’Omo further remarked that “The future of mining and the transformation of the mining industry depends highly on staying abreast of advancing technology and industry trends. It also depends on the sustainable development of new enterprises, collaborations, and ongoing conversations among relevant stakeholders in the public and private sector and educational institutions. Now is the time to contribute to small business growth, promote job creation and develop critical job skills required for the transformation in the mining industry”.
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability, and internationality for more than 170 years. Active around the world, the company focuses on intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems and on automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Siemens brings together the digital and physical worlds to benefit customers and society. Through Mobility, a leading supplier of intelligent mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is helping to shape the world market for passenger and freight services. Via its majority stake in the publicly listed company Siemens Healthineers, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital health services. In addition, Siemens holds a minority stake in Siemens Energy, a global leader in the transmission and generation of electrical power that has been listed on the stock exchange since September 28, 2020. As of September 30, 2020, the company had around 293,000 employees worldwide.
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