“Hack for the Farmer” was Joannah Nanjekye’s rallying message to the audience at the engineering event “Smart Automation 2016” that was held at the Michael Joseph Centre on September 2nd and 3rd
Joannah and her co-presenter Keziah Naggita, both from Uganda were presenting a paper on Precision Agriculture in which they demonstrated how sensors, apps and drones can and are being used to great effect in Africa and elsewhere to change and improve agricultural practices.
SMART AUTOMATION 2016, the first process control, industrial control and building automation event brought together engineering professionals, engineering students, resellers of automation products and automation solution providers to the foremost forum for sharing ideas, discussing technological advances in automation practices as well as showcasing of automation projects and solutions.
Smart Automation 2016 comprised innovative exhibitions by firms such as Davis & Shirtliff and technical presentations by engineering professionals and entrepreneurs providing automation solutions. In addition, student engineers had an opportunity to showcase their innovations and obtained feedback and evaluations from industry professionals and technical lecturers.
Other themes that were explored in the technical presentations over the two day period included: Automated Poultry Farming by Charles Kagwe [pitcured left], an entrepreneur who is changing the way poultry farming is undertaken. His company, Liki Poultry Solutions sells automated poultry cages imported from China.
Charles Githuka, Asset Care Manager with EABL enlightened the students on what to expect on the job market while Lina Owino, the Chairman, Mechatronics Dept at JKUAT explored the theme Automation, Friend or Foe. Helen Odegi, CEO of Skylon was hugely resourceful as she discussed pertinent issues to do with registration and patenting of innovations and the protection of intellectual property. She also spoke on how engineers can re-invent themselves in the increasingly automated world. Albert Muthee, an expert on building automation and product sales manager in IET spoke about Building Technologies.
Why Smart Automation?
The importance and benefits of smart automation in manufacturing cannot be overstated. Automating the manufacturing process results in increased production output, as well as increased consistency of output. At the same time, it releases workers to take on other roles that do not involve hard physical and monotonous work. These benefits translate to increased bottom line for the organization.