mobile | classic
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology Magazine





Follow us on:
Follow us on Facebook Share via Twitter Share via LinkedIn


Search...

Electronics Buyers' Guide

Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2019


 

An update on the state of the electronics industry in South Africa - Part I
28 January 2004, News

It is now some years since Dataweek first published a comprehensive review of the electronics industry in South Africa, and in that time much has obviously changed. This current review, which we are publishing over several issues of Dataweek, looks at a number of the leading players (large, medium and small) in the industry and is based on press reports, annual company reports where available and information available on the relevant websites. Obviously, only a limited number of companies can be covered but we believe that the major sectors of the local industry, including commercial, defence, security and automotive electronics, together with telecommunications, have been addressed.

To simplify presentation and avoid any perception that the companies have been 'rated' in any way, their coverage will be presented in alphabetical order.

AMS

In Part I we look at a company that today is known as Aerospace Monitoring and Systems (AMS). It was founded in 1984 under the name Analysis Management and Systems by a group of defence industry engineers. After a brief sojourn with Spescom as an equity partner (1998 to 2000) the company is again management-owned with a staff complement of some 80 people, of which more than 50% have technical qualifications.

AMS is a focused defence industry electronics company and at an early stage of its development it got involved in health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) for all types of military aircraft, getting its first big opportunity with the development, manufacture and support of a comprehensive HUMS system for Denel Aviation's Rooivalk helicopter in a programme that ran from 1987.

While civilian aircraft operate regular steady-state flight conditions and critical parts are replaced after a defined number of flying hours, military aircraft performing even just training manoeuvres are much more highly stressed and need realtime information on the status of critical flight systems which is what HUMS provides. A HUMS system includes data acquisition units, cockpit voice and data recorders as well as sophisticated on-board and ground station software. The heart of a HUMS system is the data acquisition unit capable of handling hundreds of input signals (from the aircraft's systems and sub-systems, and including comprehensive engine data). The key success factor of a successful system lies in its ability to instantly process this vast amount of data and to provide an accurate and conclusive indication of the health and usage system of the aircraft (eg, if a flight sortie of two hours high-speed, low-level flying is required, the ground system would indicate what critical components might need to be replaced before take off).

Besides the Rooivalk, AMS has developed and manufactured HUMS systems for a wide variety of aircraft types including all versions of the C-130 (Hercules) transport aircraft as used by the SAAF, the unique turboprop version of the DC-3 (used locally for maritime surveillance), the BAE Hawk lead in fighter trainer, and the Augusta 109 helicopters that form part of the local defence acquisition programme. As the work undertaken by AMS forms a very important part of BAE's Defence Industrial Participation programme, all future Hawk aircraft for other buyers will be offered with the AMS system.

The value of this business for AMS is huge, as in addition to the 24 aircraft ordered by the SAAF, the Royal Air Force is expected to take 44 new Hawk aircraft into service before 2008, while India has committed itself to 66 aircraft. The AMS HUMS system is already operational on the 22 aircraft delivered to the NATO Flight Training Centre in Canada and the 33 aircraft being delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force.

While carrying out all of its own electronics and software development only a small part of the production takes place in-house. AMS outsources the majority of the basic electronic assembly work and it is here that the company sees its opportunity to satisfy its black empowerment commitments. Obviously, with such a critical aircraft system, AMS itself carries out the final testing and integration.

Although the supply of the HUMS system to the international market began as a DIP project, the record that AMS now has as a supplier to such giants as BAE and Thales speaks for itself and the local company is receiving orders from other countries and companies. AMS has also been selected by Thales to supply its systems to the Swedish Air Force, while during 2002 AMS received a contract to supply the HUMS for an unspecified fighter aircraft in a deal worth some three times its annual turnover at that time (or about R90 million). While AMS currently has only about a 1% share of the global HUMS market it believes that it can grow this to between 5 and 10% over the next few years.

It is interesting to note that while AMS was originally a more diversified manufacturer of avionics systems it was realised that it had to focus on a niche to become internationally competitive. This niche is the HUMS that currently contributes about 95% of sales, although the company still also produces its own military aircraft 'black boxes'.


  Share on Facebook Share via Twitter Share via LinkedIn    

Further reading:

  • Wits University to feature at AI Expo Africa
    31 July 2019, News
    Wits University will be sending a high-level delegation to this year’s AI Expo Africa, where it will launch a major research initiative that is intended to bring about a step change in scientific research ...
  • Celebrating 15 years of Laser Stencil Technology
    31 July 2019, Laser Stencil Technology, News
    Since its inception in 2004, Laser Stencil Technology has grown into a prominent figure in the South African electronics manufacturing industry. Having been involved in circuit board manufacturing using ...
  • From the editor’s desk: Embedded computing drives change
    31 July 2019, Technews Publishing, News
    Mike Goodyer says it best in the title of his article on page 16: “The only constant is change.” While he meant that in relation to developments at Microtronix Manufacturing and within the local electronics ...
  • Electronics news digest
    31 July 2019, News
    South Africa The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has appointed Sipho Mbhokota as the new executive manager for CSIR Defence and Security. His career in the defence and security ...
  • Rugged Interconnect and Pentek further cement partnership
    31 July 2019, Rugged Interconnect Technologies, News
    In May this year, Rugged Interconnect Technologies hosted the co-founder and vice president of Pentek, Rodger Hosking, for a week-long visit to reinforce the two companies’ partnership in the South African market.
  • SA security manufacturers going strong
    31 July 2019, News
    Dataweek spoke to two of the leaders in the local market about what they do, what they’ve been up to, and what their plans are for the future.
  • Clearing the Static: ESD testing and monitoring – Part 3
    31 July 2019, Altico Static Control Solutions, News
    Continuous monitoring and testing are key to effective static charge control. To ensure there are no loopholes in your ESD control programme, all ESD equipment, as well as personnel operating it, need ...
  • Demand for local products highlighted at LME expo
    31 July 2019, News
    The Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo (LME), held in Johannesburg in late May, managed to draw a respectable 3473 visitors in its first ever outing. “The Expo was the culmination of a vision that ...
  • Analog Devices explores use-cases for wearable devices
    31 July 2019, Altron Arrow, News
    In general, it is not just about exercising more or better nutritional intake – there is more interest in monitoring certain vital body parameters. This is the reason why companies in the smart watch ...
  • Company profile: BAMR
    31 July 2019, BAMR, News
    BAMR is a Cape Town-based company that supplies, repairs, services and calibrates instruments, especially in the coatings, corrosion, physical paint testing and allied industries. It has been the supplier ...
  • Electronics news digest
    26 June 2019, News
    South Africa • South Africa is looking to take on a leading role in the international space weather monitoring community. Space weather events are capable of seriously disrupting modern technologies ...
  • Clearing the static: ESD testing and monitoring – Part 2
    26 June 2019, Altico Static Control Solutions, News
    Once you’ve identified an ESD protected area (EPA) and the combination of ESD (electrostatic discharge) control products your facility requires, continuous testing and monitoring need to be conducted. ...

 
 
         
Contact:
Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronics Buyers’ Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Other
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual





 

         
    Classic | Mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.