KITE — demystifying the automation process

Keeping pace with technology in the era of Industry 4.0 (also known as 4IR) is a daily challenge for industrial operations management. The KwaZulu-Natal Industrial Technology Exhibition (KITE), being held at the Durban Exhibition Centre between 18 and 20 July 2023, helps to demystify topics such as automation and robotics.

While the adoption of robotics in manufacturing within South Africa has been slower than global standards, the value of robotics is being increasingly recognised. Along with manual automation methods, robotics is a crucial component in the drive to increase productivity, reduce downtime, and to a great extent, eliminate labour issues.

According to a blog on Visual Components’ website[1]: “It’s clear robotics and automation technology are growth enablers. However, manufacturers must be willing and able to adapt to an environment that continues to evolve rapidly. The principal issues to address are:

The company cautions that successful adoption of automation and robotics will depend on deploying technology where it can have maximum benefit. “This means taking a careful look at opportunities and options. Manufacturing simulation is a powerful tool for supporting this effort. Rather than relegate people to the role of machine minders, it will be important to integrate them into the system of hardware and software automation.”

Focus on automation and robotics at KITE

“Each of our exhibitors has a proven track record in the industry and offers a diverse range of industrial technology solutions to aid the market in finding optimal technology and services for their specific applications. Together with a multitude of industrial technology offerings, several KITE exhibitors specifically provide automation and robotic solutions,” says Charlene Hefer, Portfolio Director at Specialised Exhibitions — a division of Montgomery Group.

Beckhoff (Stand C14) implements open automation systems using proven PC-based control technology. The main areas that the product range covers are industrial PCs, I/O and fieldbus components, drive technology, automation software, and control cabinet-free automation. Product ranges that can be used as separate components, or integrated into a complete and mutually compatible control system, are available for all sectors.

OMRON (Stand C12) has launched a new palletising solution for collaborative robots, responding to the need for more flexible production processes whilst reducing programming time. The PLC-based cobot palletising solution is created on OMRON’s NX1 series modular machine controller that is equipped with a specialised Palletising Function Block. Palletising solutions with collaborative robots can fit into small spaces and work safely side by side with people, without additional safety fencing, whilst relieving operators from heavy lifting and repetitive tasks.

LS Electric’s HVAC dedicated drive, the H100 series (supplied by Elonics), supports specialised built-in functionality to operate master-follower pumping applications with no external control device such as a PLC, by connecting up to 8x H100 drives together via the built-in RS485 communications. This feature offers both flexibility and redundancy, whilst reducing pump wear, increasing efficiency, and improved reliability. Visit Stand C22 to see the H100 series.

Together with a multitude of products and services showcasing at KITE, visitors can find out more about current trends and regulations within the industry at the free-to-attend SAIMechE Seminar Theatre.

KITE has partnered with several recognised industry bodies, including SAIMechE, Saiosh, SACEEC (SA Capital Equipment Export Council), and LEEASA (Lifting Equipment Engineering Association of SA).

Register for free attendance at KITE here:

To book a stand at KITE 2023, visit the website at or contact:

Christie Nigrini — or

Steven Burmeister —

Engage with KITE 2023 on social media:

Facebook: KZN Industrial Technology Expo

Twitter: @KZNIndustrial

LinkedIn: KZN Industrial Technology Expo Instagram: @kznindustrialtechnology


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