The Industry Conference in the South

What is a smart plant? How is advanced technology adopted? What is advanced production? Is the transition to smart industry economically feasible? And what about the human factor? Manufacturers and experts discussed these issues and others at the first industry conference

The first industry conference in the south that focused on the transition to automation and advanced production was held at the SCE College last month. The conference took place at the initiative of the Manufacturers Association of Israel southern district and the SCE – with the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Economy and Industry, the Investment Authority and the Innovation Authority, managers of industrial parks in the Negev, representatives of industrial companies in the south and experts in automation, financing, grants, IOT, cyber and more.

About 200 participants, from industry, academia and government attended the conference to learn about the economic and business feasibility of transitioning to a smart plant, heard from industry personnel who experienced the process of preparing for the transition to integration and the advanced production line, and discussed an issue of concern to many about the role of the human factor in the advanced production process and in smart industry.

Within the framework of the conference the Manufacturers Association of Israel southern district and the SCE agreed to strengthen their cooperation in this and additional fields.

Aviv Hatzbani, head of the Manufacturers Association of Israel southern district, said at the conference: “I am very happy to see the impressive attendance of people from industry and professionals that came to learn and to become acquainted with the right way for technological advancement that is needed and integrated into industry. Israeli industry is contending with numerous challenges, the most prominent among them: low productivity, acute shortage of technological workers, financing difficulties, strong competition with imports in the local market and lack of competitiveness in the international sphere. The transition of the entire Israeli industry, and industry in the south in particular, to advanced production technologies, while integrating technological innovation, is the optimal solution for increasing work productivity and bringing about significant changes in the work environment that will be comprised of technological, advanced and innovative production lines. Alongside this, such a significant change in production lines and processes is accompanied considerable by concerns, mainly in light of the need for more accurate and focused knowledge and information, while setting priorities and making smart investments in smart industry. I am confident that the conference cleared some of the fog about the issue and will help experts in this field understand the needs of industry and will assist industrialists in gaining a better appreciation of the available possibilities. The Manufacturers Association of Israel southern district invests many efforts in helping industrial companies in the south, on this issue as well”.

Prof. Jehuda Haddad, President of SCE – Sami Shamoon College of Engineering: “Over its years of activity our college has trained thousands of graduates for industry, that make up 15% of all engineers in the Israeli economy. 6,000 students at the college are currently pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in the various engineering departments. The college was established, among other things, to reinforce and deepen the relationship between academia and industry. In academia we act to advance industry, improve work methods, advance technological developments and increase production line efficiency in plants in the south. For this reason, we are happy to host the first conference in the south on the topic of smart plants, and to serve as a source of innovation and quality for industry in the south”.