Twenty-five first year BEngTech students from the Department of Industrial Engineering benefitted from a training workshop provided by the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) in collaboration with The Japan International Collaboration
Agency. The training took place at the Gibela Research Chair offices at Ditsela Place in Hatfield. The focus of the training was the implementation of the Japanese Kaizen philosophy in the operation of the automotive industry in South Africa. Kaizen is a Japanese originated philosophy of continuous improvement of all business functions through the involvement of all in the organisation. The implementation of the Kaizen philosophy is important to ensure the availability of competent and reliable suppliers in terms of cost, quality, Students were shown practical evidence of inefficient operations and given tasks to improve them through process capacity planning, waste elimination and standardisation of work. As commented by Prof. Khumbulani Mpofu, “efficiency “Efficiency is a key component of future work therefore the implementation of intelligent approaches needs to be accelerated.“

According to the Senior Project Manager at the AIDC Mr Claude Pillay, they plan to roll out these workshops regularly to improve the work readiness of students, thus bridging the gap in the competitive working world. The workshop falls in line with the approach of the Department of Industrial Engineering to collaborate with industry to deliver a wellrounded
graduate to the job market. This notion also falls in line with RMCERI’s goal to develop technopreneurs to participate in the fourth industrial revolution. The students were also taken on a tour of the Ditsela Place facility to acquaint them with the research and business incubation activities taking place there.