Energy management and automation multinational Schneider Electric and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment have unveiled a Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Experience Room on the university’s Auckland Park campus.
The room is a practical demonstration of the inner workings of 4IR, its interconnectivity and relevance in sectors such as energy, and is focused on engineering faculty students, the company said.
“The experience room offers real-time demonstrations of 4IR technologies, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and three-dimensional printers. Schneider Electric’s vendor-neutral ecosystem EcoStruxure is also on display, and the architecture encompasses connected products, edge control layers, apps, analytics and services in a myriad of sectors.”
Schneider Electric products featured in the 4IR Experience Room include the Modicon M580 ePAC, which is a controller that enables hybrid manufacturers to achieve better, measurable and earlier return on investment.
Further, the Altivar 630, which is designed for variable torque control, is featured in the room. It includes features such as pump control and monitoring, advanced drives for fluid and gas handling applications, and has embedded energy monitoring, information management and process optimisation.
Additionally, Schneider Electric’s PowerTags – compact, Class 1 wireless communication energy sensors that monitor and measure energy and power in real-time – are also featured.
“4IR entails increased interconnectivity. We are seeing it in our factories, homes and classrooms. 4IR is not a shift in technological innovation, but is an intelligence revolution. The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create,” said UJ vice chancellor and principal Professor Letlhokwa Mpedi.
“As part of the work that we do in South Africa, one of our main goals is to work with academia to bridge the gap between industry and academia. Once students exit prestigious universities such as UJ and enter the workplace, they are ready to take up the challenge and are practically trained in the technologies they find in industry,” said Schneider Electric training and education affairs global leader Zanélle Dalglish.
The 4IR Experience Room is supported by the Schneider Electric Foundation and Schneider Electric, and is the latest in a number of successful projects by Schneider Electric and UJ since the establishment of their partnership in 2016.
“The Schneider Electric Foundation’s initiatives are in line with the Schneider Sustainability Impact (SSI) targets and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. One of the SSI targets focuses on training and empowering one-million young people by 2025 and providing skills and entrepreneurial opportunities that benefit both the youngsters themselves and their local communities,” she said.