“Smart technologies will play a significant role in complementing South Africa’s infrastructure based economic recovery plan,” says Sivi Moodle, CEO of Macrocomm, in the run up to the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium 2021.
South Africa’s recently announced National Infrastructure Plan is focused on delivering critical energy, transport, water, and digital communications through a plan that is linked to the National Development Plan.
These investments, which provide capital injection and economic stimulation, also play a critical role in advancing the nations socio-economic agenda and contributes to creating a better life for all. In additional to this, the derived benefits of these infrastructure projects can also be directly linked to the Sustainable Development goals.
“However, projects of this nature are large scale can be prone to huge cost overruns and delays in delivery which in turn can also compromise the quality and timing of the associated levels of service delivery. This is where the application of smart technologies can be applied for proactive and preventative risk mitigation” adds Sivi.
The use of sensors, data, and applications to manage key construction assets such as heavy machinery is one example of how predictive maintenance can be applied to reduce downtime because of breakdown of equipment. According to Sivi, “This is not just limited to earth moving equipment, but can also be applied to generators, compressors and essential tools that are deployed and utilized on site. The ability to track these assets also mitigates the threat of downtime due to theft. Having a real time view if the location and state of these assets also means that they can be scheduled, deployed and utilized in a more efficient manner, thus reducing overall tooling costs on these projects.”
The health and safety of workers is also of paramount importance on these large-scale projects. The use of sensors to monitor environmental conditions as well as the state of equipment, such as the stress on scaffolding for example, provides site managers with the intelligence and insight to proactively monitor safety conditions on site.
Perhaps on the key highlights of the NIP is that digital infrastructure is identified as one of the critical focus areas. “This is indicative of the importance that digital and smart technologies play in supporting a sustainable future for all” notes Sivi. Technology agnostic access networks, data centers and application platforms are the foundation upon which smart technologies are built. These technologies can be applied to the new infrastructure that is deployed to ensure that we manage these assets in a more efficient manner, thereby maximizing the lifetime value that they bring to society.
“One of the things that we have done at Macrocomm is to apply technology in a manner that enables us to deliver smart facility management” adds Sivi. This enables us to simply manage the health and the performance of infrastructure and facility assets in a predictive, proactive, and preventative manner. The benefit is lower total cost of ownership but more importantly, the users of these assets enjoy more benefit from them because of reduced down time. Simply put, if you could detect a failure on a substation before it occurred and repair it before it failed, the reduced downtime would mean that businesses would not have to be disrupted, mitigating the associated economic risks.
Macrocomm is a premier innovation and technology agnostic led provider of data driven digital solutions. Our solutions are not just focused on connectivity and technology, but they aim to solve societal problems in a Smart Made Simple way. The Macrocomm group of companies play across all stages in the digital value chain including devices, connectivity, platforms, application and software development, systems integration and training and development. This enables us to innovate across the digital value chain to deliver bespoke as well as generic solutions in a manner that leverages both scope and scale. We service a range of verticals including municipalities, fleet, agriculture, facilities management, health, mining, retail and logistics. Our key partners include Vodacom, Sigfox, FAW, University of Stellenbosch, Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Orange.