CIRP CMS 2023 > 24 – 26 October 2023 > Cape Town International Convention Centre

Invited speakers


Keynote Speaker: Prof Lihui Wang

Professor and Chair of Sustainable Manufacturing Department of Production Engineering
KTH Royal Institute of Technology – Stockholm, Sweden

Keynote Address
From Technology Development to Value Creation in Future Factories

Lihui Wang is a Professor and Chair of Sustainable Manufacturing at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. His research interests are presently focused on human-robot collaborations, brain robotics, cyber-physical production systems, real-time monitoring and control, predictive maintenance, and adaptive manufacturing systems. Professor Wang is actively engaged in various professional activities. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, Journal of Manufacturing Systems, and International Journal of Manufacturing Research. He has published 10 books and authored in excess of 650 publications. Professor Wang is a Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering, CIRP, SME and ASME, as well as a Professional Engineer in Canada. He was the President (2020-2021) of North American Manufacturing Research Institution, and the Chairman (2018-2020) of Swedish Production Academy.

Industry 4.0 has become a globally adopted term in the past decade. Many countries have introduced similar strategic initiatives, and a considerable research effort has been spent on developing and implementing some of the Industry 4.0 technologies. At the ten-year mark of the introduction of Industry 4.0, the European Commission announced Industry 5.0 in January 2021. Industry 4.0 is considered to be technology-push, whereas Industry 5.0 is more value-driven. The co-existence of two Industrial Revolutions invites questions and demands discussions. On the other hand, smart manufacturing closely relates to both Industry 4.0 and 5.0. It depends on the timely acquisition, distribution, and utilisation of data/information from machines on manufacturing shop floors. For the sake of the audience with diverse background, the following topics will be covered in this keynote talk: (1) current status and movements towards smart manufacturing, (2) latest advancement and future opportunities in smart manufacturing, and (3) showcases of relevant applications along the direction. Finally, challenges and future trends will be identified and highlighted.

Keynote Speaker: Mr Thorsten Achenbach

Director: Digital and Global Solutions
BMW Group IT HUB South Africa

Keynote Address
Production of Tomorrow: The BMW iFACTORY: How the DevOps Hub South Africa delivers  global solutions for BMW’s automotive production of the future

Thorsten Achenbach joined the BMW Group in 2011. He held various executive positions in the IT Industry and BMW IT.  He was involved in managing a multi project program which included 3 main departments, Engineering, Production and Procurement. His most recent position was that of Vice President IT, Engineering and Quality. Thorsten is a seasoned global citizen who lived and worked in New York, Japan, France, China, Germany and now South Africa. He worked for various international companies before joining the BMW Group. Thorsten studied in Germany where he qualified in the fields of Mechanical Engineering as well as Business Administration.

The BMW IT Hub, based in South Africa, develops, and maintains IT Solutions for the BMW Group globally. The IT Hub supports leading edge-cutting technologies in addition to legacy systems built on traditional platforms and development languages. The unique positioning of the IT Hub as an internal partner of the BMW Group, ensures that the IT Hub also delivers on core for the BMW iFACTORY. To stay up to date with the current technology trends the collaboration between the IT Hub and the University of Stellenbosch, aims to foster innovation and drive technological advancements.

With the BMW iFACTORY the BMW Group is focusing on three areas:

  • LEAN: a new, efficient, precise, and highly flexible production.
  • GREEN: the latest technologies – resource-saving and circular.
  • DIGITAL: a new dimension of data transparency.

The result: We use digital innovations to create effective use cases in production which will be discussed in this keynote talk.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning – AIQX

The impact of BMW Group IT on the BMW iFACTORY is also evident in visual quality assurance – thanks to AIQX (Artificial Intelligence Quality Next). AIQX is a new IT platform that uses cameras along the production line to focus on various elements and details of a new car, such as the BMW badge on the bonnet or the door locks.

Digital Twin

The digital twin developed by the IT Hub in South Africa has become a key strategic enabler for AI powered circularity and a major contributor to BMW achieving its sustainability targets.


Keynote Speaker: Dr.-Ing. Johannes Pötschke

Group Leader: Hardmetals and Cermets
Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS – Dresden, Germany

Keynote Address
Additive Manufacturing for Subtractive Manufacturing – Production of Future Tools

Dr.-Ing Johannes Pötschke is leading the research on hardmetals, cermets and super hard composites at Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden, Germany. His primary research interests are in the fields of materials developments of novel compositions for cutting, drilling and forming tools and in the development and optimization of manufacturing techniques for composite materials like hardmetals, cermets or ceramics. Within the last years his special focus was on the development of special additive manufacturing processes for the tooling industry. He further works within the centre of smart production and smart materials on the topic of multi-material additive manufacturing. Dr. Pötschke is author of more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and several patents and patents applications. He is a member of the European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA) program committee of both euro and world powder metallurgy conferences, the association of German engineers (VDI), committee for cutting tools and within the German society for material science (DGM), member of the committee of experts for powder metallurgy.

Additive manufacturing – one of the most disruptive technologies within the manufacturing sector has not only changed design and geometry of products but also who can produce what. This change in process chain had and still has large impacts within manufacturing of products made from polymers and common metals. For special alloys, ceramics and especially ceramic metal composites like hardmetals or cermets, processing by AM is however much more complex and not yet in the industrial stage. Within the presentation a general overview of AM for the different material classes will be presented and their current development status discussed. Special focus will be on AM of tool materials, which play an important role in the securement of raw materials (mining tools) and machining of conventional as well as additive manufactured parts (machining tools). Next to powder bed fusion-based processes, mainly sinter based AM technologies like binder jetting and fused filament fabrication will be discussed and a conclusion about possible processes and materials for future AM manufactured tools discussed.


Keynote Speaker: Mr Johan Steyn

Managing Director: Aerosud Aviation (Pty) Ltd
Pretoria, South Africa

Keynote Address
Building an ever-flourishing Commercial Aerospace Manufacturing Business in a Disrupted Industry

Mr Steyn became the Managing Director of Aerosud Interiors in 2001 and later the Managing Director of Aerosud Aviation at its formation in 2007. Currently the Managing Director of Aerosud Aviation and a Director of Aerosud Holdings and ANDTc and serves on a number of advisory boards. My Steyn has completed various Program Management courses, and Continuous Improvement strategies such as LEAN and Theory of Constraint and Logical Thinking courses. He is registered as a professional engineer (Aeronautical) with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), and served as a Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) member for from 1996 to 2005. Aerosud Aviation employs 500 people in Commercial Aircraft parts Design and Manufacture for the likes of Boeing and Airbus, which requires world class business and manufacturing systems to demonstrate compliance and operational performance. The company is often represented at international events and conferences, including ToC conferences. Under his leadership, the company developed and implemented world-class business systems and digital solutions ranging from fully integrated PLM-digital design to integrated supply chain solutions, using ToC as the fundamentals. The company has recently also spun-out a number of digital businesses after initial incubation.

The speaker will expand on the building blocks that are necessary to build a world class manufacturing entity in commercial aerospace. This will include the journey of establishing business systems, operational and quality certification as well as implementation of Lean and Theory of Constraint in the organisation and its supply chains.  The need for business systems automation and higher degrees of integration with both customers and suppliers, and well as technical advancements, automation, and digital transformation to support the business needs. Over time Aerosud identified opportunities for digital business expansion, which eventually lead to the formation of several spinouts and diversification activities. The major disruptions in the global commercial aerospace market necessitated yet another major strategy adaptation to address the longevity and sustainability of the business, including the a major drive to reposition the business as part of a global partnering arrangement.

More information


A variety of hotel accommodation is available within 200 meters of the venue.

© 2022 SBS Conferences & Exhibitions. All rights reserved | Terms & Conditions