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South Africa conference

Exploring Digitalization in South Africa

Companies Share the Impact of Digital Innovations

Digitalization is a hot topic in South Africa and last week’s conferences in Johannesburg brought an enthusiastic response. The events’ key themes have relevance across businesses and geographies as companies move toward strategic digital activities. Local economic challenges provide an additional sense of urgency as the country endured another year of tepid growth - the fifth year in a row of less than two percent GDP growth, according to the Financial Times - and has struggled with water and power supply issues in recent months. 

More than 300 people joined sessions hosted by AspenTech and our local service partner BluESP. Attendees came from companies across South Africa and neighboring countries, primarily representing the mining and chemicals industries. 

The Thursday conference, “Operational Excellence in a Digital World,” opened with a discussion of key trends for digital technologies, then took a deeper dive into the technical applications. AspenTech experts and business leaders Vikas Dhole, Steve Williams and Justin Eames gave detailed reviews of how our digital solutions and strategic implementation are enabling improved design, greater operating efficiencies and more reliable asset performance.

Two customers shared their successes with AspenTech solutions in the mining sector. Curt Hardy, business integration manager at Impala Platinum, talked about the value the data historian Aspen InfoPlus.21® provides by ensuring “one version of the truth” in monitoring performance across their sites in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Anglo American shared their experience in using advanced process control technology to improve production capability in the major processing steps of concentrators, smelters and metals refining. Lead control engineer Chris Steyn highlighted the step change in stability and performance through several case studies, including a 30 percent boost in throughput at one unit and overall better quality control. 

Vince Raseroka, CEO of 4Sight Holdings, the owner of BluESP, closed the event by reinforcing the power of the technologies shared and with an awareness of local economic environment, noting that “digital is the tool to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”

The audience was very engaged throughout the sessions and energetic discussions continued during breaks and into the reception that evening. 

South Africa CXO breakfast 2019A CXO Series breakfast featuring AspenTech COO Gary Weiss (pictured at right) followed the day after the conference. The CXO series is a unique forum where C-suite executives can discuss digital implementation strategies and challenges across industries. When considering the combined constituencies, the executives represented more than 500,000 employees across a broad range of sectors including financial, mining, packaging and chemicals. 

This group has been meeting quarterly for the past few years, and the 2019 series is focused on the integration of operation and information technologies, the so-called IT/OT convergence. Gary shared the AspenTech experience with this convergence as stages of digital maturity and offered a view of key high-value outcomes of digital transformation. 

Gary told audience that "digital means something different for everyone." Regardless of how your organization defines digital, AspenTech has the breadth of portfolio solutions and industry expertise to deliver performance at any stage along the maturity curve.

Learn how improving haul truck reliability can boost mining operations in this recent blog post
 

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