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Several organisations leading South Africa into the Fourth Industrial Revolution were recognized at the inaugural African Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards at the Tramways in Port Elizabeth last night (November 7).

Awards were made to 25 organisations in six categories, according to the organisers, as a means to identify, promote and reward innovation in the advanced manufacturing and composites industry, including 3D printing, robotics and automation.

Prof Gerrie Booysen of the Central University of Free State received the Gold Award for Scholarly Impact in Advanced Manufacturing for the work done by the centre for rapid prototyping and manufacturing (CRPM) around patient-specific titanium printed facial implants.

Working with state hospitals and doctors, the high tech work of the University has transformed the lives of hundreds of patients with muscular-skeletal irregularities.

Vaal University of Technology, earned a Gold Award for Industry Advancement in Advanced Manufacturing through the VUT Science and Technology Park. 

The Park is an ambitious Additive Manufacturing project with cross-sectoral industries, working within communities via the collaborative program for additive manufacturing (CPAM).   

Small and big industry has access to technology, including Laser Sintering (LS), Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) and polymer powder-based binder jetting, as well as fibre-reinforced polymer based additive manufacturing, at the Park.  

A Silver Award for Industry Advancement was earned by Lonmin Plc/Western Platinum Refinery for Development of 3D printable pure platinum powder. SA is the first country to produce 99.9% pure platinum.

Other top award winners were Jonker Sailplanes in the Export proficiency in Advanced Manufacturing category and Aerosud Aviation in the Import Replacement Category for producing Insulation blankets for cargo linings for the Airbus A400 which were previously imported from Canada. 

The DTI Composites Floating Trophy for Displaying Innovation was awarded to Gelvenor for producing a solution to theft-prone truck tarpaulins using high tenacity steel threads sewn into PVC coated fabric, which is believed to be a global first.

The Most promising “start- up or newcomer” award went to Innovative Dental Solutions for prototyping an impact detection, smart mouthguard.

Full list of Award Winners:

Please download file HERE.