Local developer wins African tech company of the year

GQEBERHA-BASED Jendamark Automation was named African technology company of the year at the Africa Tech Week awards ceremony in Cape Town on August 31.

The company, which develops digitally enhanced component assembly systems for the global automotive sector, was recognised for its technological achievements that contributed to its commercial success, while showcasing opportunities for economic transformation in Africa.

Speaking after the announcement, Jendamark Automation founder and managing director, Quinton Uren, said he was delighted that the company’s digital transformation journey had been recognised and rewarded.

“I am incredibly proud of our young and dynamic team who have led the way. Over the past few years, Jendamark has shifted rapidly from a historically automation–focused company in the manufacturing space into a diversified global tech leader. What remains unchanged, however, is our focus on understanding and meeting our customers’ needs.”

Jendamark’s digital services director, Yanesh Naidoo, said the company’s digital manufacturing technologies delivered an African-born, human-centric response to the demands of Industry 4.0.

“It’s time for Africa to shine. We understand the challenges that many developing economies around the world are facing, and we must change the paradigm on how we use technology to solve these challenges.”

Unlike more developed economies, where a shrinking workforce necessitated automation, Africa’s strength was its human capital, explained Naidoo. “By digitalising manufacturing processes, we can use tech to unlock human potential.

“We call it ‘digital ubuntu’ and believe it is the only way to bring more people into the economy and empower them to contribute to society,” said Naidoo.

Jendamark’s ecosystem of digital productivity and efficiency solutions are marketed under the Odin Manufacturing brand and encompass a range of factory functions from maintenance to quality assurance and real–time reporting on production data.

Head of Odin Manufacturing, Juane Schutte, said the win was further validation that Jendamark was solving the right problems.

“We are on a mission to accelerate digitalisation in small and medium factories in Africa at low cost, allowing semi-skilled shop floor personnel to do much more advanced work. We see human-centric factories as massive opportunities in accelerating skills development and enhancing the economic impact in Africa.”

Schutte said localised manufacturing, using digital tools for on-the-job training, was the answer to the challenging problem of unemployment.

Jendamark was also a finalist in the technology innovation of the year category for its operator guidance system, Odin Workstation, which uses animated, step-by-step work instructions to guide unskilled operators through complex assembly tasks.


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