South Africa’s Leading International Trade Fair for the Automotive Industry
INNOVATION: LIFEBLOOD OF THE MOTOR INDUSTRY
The global motor industry has always been driven to act smarter, make it cheaper and make it more efficiently, all without sacrificing the quality and durability of the product or the level of customer service.This has required innovation on a variety of fronts.
Here in South Africa we are a very resolute nation with an amazing capacity for “making a plan” and coming up with innovative methods to solve a problem or to carry out a task quicker and more efficiently than at first envisaged.
Just think about many of the trend-setting achievements that have occurred in South Africa, such as Dr Barnard carrying out the world’s first heart transplant, creating a myriad of pieces of equipment to make mining safer and more efficient, as well as developments such as designing and manufacturing the Rooivalk attack helicopter, the Kreepy Krauly pool cleaner and the Dolos breakwater.
The Automechanika brand has long encouraged innovation at its various trade fairs and here in South Africa there has been an Innovations Awards contest at all three shows staged to date.
This year there are 20 entries from 14 countries which are trimmed down to 10 finalists after an initial judging.
The show organisers have appointed an independent jury of automotive experts with experienced technical journalist Wynter Murdoch as the convenor. The jury members this year are: Richard Beän, Chief Technical Advisor of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation; Chris Crookes, an independent automotive technician; John Ellmore, Chairman of the RMI’s Editorial Sub-Committee; David Furlonger, Automotive Editor of the Financial Mail; Norman Lamprecht, Executive Manager of NAAMSA; Jeff Osborne, CEO of the RMI and Roger Pitot, Executive Director of NAACAM.
As before the collective focus will be to determine what the jury members consider to be ground-breaking automotive products developed, manufactured or distributed in South Africa. They score the items from a variety of perspectives, taking into consideration design characteristics, quality standards, functionality, practicality, styling, user benefits, environmental friendliness and other perceived pioneering qualities.
Following re-assessment of the 10 products that make it to the finals, the jury determines overall gold, silver or bronze award winners, with certificates presented to representatives of the manufacturing or distributing companies at a special ceremony at the opening of Automechanika Johannesburg on May 8. All of the Top 10 products will be on display at the Innovation Awards stand for the duration of the show.
The entries for the 2012 Innovation Awards are:
- ASI Automotive’s HBC System of Smart Tools for the motor body repair industry.
- Autowatch’s Alcolock 740 WAB, a locally developed wireless vehicle breathalyser immobiliser system.
- Bosch’s fun2drive Smart Phone Application for on-the-road engine diagnosis.
- Fortron’s various fuel system treatments.
- Fuel Cop, a subscription-based fuel protection and vehicle tracking system.
- Hella’s Power Beam 1000, a powerful, waterproof, LED work light,
- Hella Tech World’s active Internet support portal for independent workshops,
- Hunter’s HawkEye Elite Alignment System, which is said to simplify wheel alignment procedures.
- Hunter’s Quick Check Alignment System, for sub-one-minute wheel alignment checking.
- Formosa Saint Jose Corporation’s MaxTrac non-slip car floor mat.
- Multicat’s Online Parts Catalogues, which have been developed using soft ware developed in Centurion.
- PPG’s DP 3000 Enviro Primer Surfacer, which includes recycled PET plastic flakes.
- Supreme Spring’s Cobra Coilover Kit, for safe suspension lowering by up to 70 mm.
- Tracker’s SkyTrax Product Range for various vehicle security and convenience applications.
- Willard IQ Battery by Powertech, which can be tracked throughout its life cycle.
Last year the First National Battery’s Raylite Ultimate, at that time the only locally manufactured, Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) battery with Absorbent Glass Matt (AGM) technology, was awarded the gold certificate.