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Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2015


 

SA gets the smarts
13 November 2013, News

Initiated by Seemahale Telecoms and CZ Electronics (in which Seemahale has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire a 51% stake), this project is aimed at bringing mobile Internet accessibility to the masses in both South Africa and the rest of the continent. "Most smartphones and tablet computers are affordable only to the affluent consumer, with those people in rural areas and with lower incomes not able to afford this 'luxury'," said Pillay.

Sagran Pillay
Sagran Pillay

He explained that the technology is being jointly designed by a team of 20 engineers at CZ Electronics and an engineering team in Taiwan. “For the interim we will be supplied with semi knockdown kits by the same Taiwanese company. We will then assemble all the components at our facilities in Boksburg, Gauteng. Full training will be provided by the Taiwanese team for a period of approximately three months to ensure our employees are fully up to speed.”

Once the local team is completely familiarised with the placement of components onto the printed circuit boards, the kits will then be supplied in a complete knockdown form. “We anticipate that this will take place after approximately six months,” Pillay clarified. “Depending on demand, we will be in a position to increase our current employee capacity of 180 to a targeted 280. Our initial goal is to produce 100 000 units per annum, so with our current capability of placing 200 000 components per hour, we are presently able to meet demand.

“However, we are confident that the demand for both the tablet and the smartphone will be such that we would need to add to the current equipment that we have available in our facilities. As needed, we will also increase our local team and provide in-house training for them,” added Pillay.

He pointed out that the beta versions of the products are currently undergoing testing by ICASA and, once approvals are supplied, they will be ready to enter the production stage. “We will be officially launching a demonstration version of the technology at the Africom show in Cape Town in mid-November to allow consumers to look at and ‘test drive’ the products. Once we go into full production of the completed products early next year, we will use the South African market as a barometer for introducing the technology into other African countries,” Pillay said.

Initially, the company will produce a 10,1” tablet and a 5” smartphone, both running on Android without overlays and with the ability to run on Wi-Fi, 2G or 3G. Both devices have a 5 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera. Because the devices run on Android, consumers will be able to visit the Android App Store to download the apps they require. The devices will include a number of standard apps such as Facebook, Google and Twitter at launch.

The tablet employs a quad-core Cortex A7 1,2 GHz core processor with 1 GB of RAM and between 4 and 16 GB of internal memory. It also includes a mini HDMI port and a SIM slot. Weighing in at approximately 580 grams, the device is powered by an 8600 mAh battery for competitive uptime. “The expected selling price is approximately R3500, which will allow an increasing number of consumers to acquire a device,” said Pillay.

Similarly, the phone will enter the market at approximately R2500 and will feature a 960x540 pixel LCD capacitive touchscreen, 4 GB of Flash-based storage and a 1,5 GHz processor. “The beauty of the phone is that it comes standard with dual SIM cards, making it a great option for prepaid phone users,” enthused Pillay.

The issue of power in remote areas has been considered: “We are aware that in some of the more outlying areas, charging the devices could be problematic given the intermittent and even absent suitable infrastructure available. We will therefore be looking at solar energy and other alternative energy sources to ensure that connectivity is not interrupted,” Pillay explained.

He believes that the biggest challenge the company will face is changing the mindset of the South African public in terms of resistance to locally manufactured technology. “South Africa has pioneered many technological advancements over the years and CZ Electronics Manufacturing has been involved in a number of joint ventures with local and international companies to bring high-tech products to market. One of these is the ISDN units manufactured under licence to third parties for Telkom. We are certainly in a position to produce quality technology that will allow affordable connectivity and access to the Internet.

“Our intention with the introduction of these two devices is therefore twofold: Firstly, we want to make the advantages of information and communication technology available to as many people as possible. Secondly, through the creation of jobs, we would like to increase the development of skills in an increasing number of people to ensure a sustainable future through social investment,” Pillay concluded.

For more information contact Sagran Pillay, CZ Electronics Manufacturing, +27 (0)11 914 5240, info@czelectronics.co.za, www.czelectronics.co.za


Credit(s)
Supplied By: CZ Electronics Manufacturing
Tel: +27 (0)11 914 5240
Fax: +27 (0)11 914 4533
Email: info@czelectronics.co.za
www: www.czelectronics.co.za
       

Further reading:

  • ICASA publishes RF spectrum assignment plan
    20 May 2015, News
    The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has published an outline for regulatory and technical conditions on the use of radio frequency bands.
  • Local invention contesting top African award
    20 May 2015, K Measure, News
    An integrated hardware and software system to assist in teaching aspiring electronic engineers, developed by Johann Kok of K Measure, is on the shortlist for the 2015 Innovation Prize for Africa.
  • Actum installs anti-static flooring at Microtronix
    20 May 2015, Actum Electronics, News
    Microtronix gave the nod to Actum Electronics’ specialist ESD division – Altico – to install more than 2000 square metres of static dissipative flooring at its Randburg facility.
  • DTI minister to address Manufacturing Indaba
    20 May 2015, News
    Dr. Rob Davies will brief the audience on the DTI’s strategic objective to facilitate transformation of the economy through the promotion of industrial development, investment, competitiveness and employment creation.
  • RS adds new wireless module range
    20 May 2015, RS Components (SA), Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, News
    RS Components and Allied Electronics, the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc, have introduced a new range of wireless modules and system-in-package (SiP) devices, under an exclusive distribution ...
  • Ranking of 8-bit MCU market shows Microchip back on top
    20 May 2015, News
    Microchip Technology has reclaimed the top spot in worldwide 8-bit microcontroller (MCU) revenue, according to industry analyst firm Gartner’s recently published 2014 rankings. While many MCU vendors ...
  • National Electronics Week embraced by national and provincial government
    20 May 2015, News
    National Electronics Week South Africa came to KwaZulu-Natal’s shores for the first time ever on 20 May. Organised in partnership with the Association of Representatives for the Electronics Industry (AREI), ...
  • Electronics news digest
    29 April 2015, News
    South Africa • Following the sale of its Commercial Products (Compart) business to former CEO, Dr Andre Fourie, Poynting Holdings recorded a 101% increase in turnover for continuing operations for the ...
  • Super-strong robot pulls heavy loads
    29 April 2015, News
    The force is strong with this one.
  • Q&A with Yusuf Timol: electrotechnical director at the DTI
    29 April 2015, News
    Dataweek’s exclusive interview with the man who’s working to deepen the DTI’s engagement with the electronics sector.
  • PIC32 Bluetooth starter kit up for grabs
    29 April 2015, Technews Publishing, News
    Microchip is offering Dataweek readers an exclusive opportunity to win a PIC32 Bluetooth Starter Kit featuring the PIC32MX270F256D microcontroller (MCU).
  • Global design contest now open for entries
    29 April 2015, TRX Electronics, News
    The grand prize winner of the 13th annual ‘Create the Future’ design contest will receive global recognition and a cash prize of $20 000 for an innovative product that benefits society and the economy.

 
 
         
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