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SA manufacturing supported by national CAD/CAM/CAE skills development drive

14 February 2001 News

The CSIR National CAD/CAM/CAE Training Centre was established in April 1999 as a national initiative, supported by the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST). As part of the CSIR National Product Development Centre, the training centre builds human resource capacity and provides development services in product design, materials engineering, prototyping and intellectual property protection during product development.

The training centre comprises a national network of regional resource centres with a central hub at the CSIR in Pretoria. All activities are aimed at supporting the drive for increased global competitiveness of the South African manufacturing industry.

Short courses and workshops

The CSIR says the centre offers short courses and workshops in Concurrent Product Development, introducing participants to specific methodologies and technologies (such as CAD/CAM/CAE) applied in new product development. Particularly CAD packages from existing local software suppliers - Automated Reasoning (Pro/ENGINEER), CNC Design Consultants (CATIA), Comega (AutoCAD) and TriCAD (TurboCAD) - are used in collaboration with the suppliers.

Short courses on these CAD packages are presented regularly in the training facilities of the Centre in Building 19B, CSIR, Pretoria. More than 250 designers, engineers, project managers and design educators from across the country have attended these courses over the past two years.

Other software vendors are being encouraged to join the venture and strengthen the national drive to raise the level of local competence in these technologies, says CSIR. Most participating tertiary training institutions have already agreed to make on-campus training facilities available across the country for decentralised courses.

The application of CAD/CAM/CAE software packages as enabling technologies in the product development and product engineering process is the focus of various workshops, training courses and seminars. To embed the learning, the training centre has also initiated a number of joint R&D projects with technikons and universities, providing students the opportunity to get to grips with these technologies and approaches in real-world projects. The centre also provides experiential training opportunities to technikon students.

The CSIR National CAD/CAM/CAE Training Centre has a website at http://n3ctc.mtek.csir.co.za with details of offerings and online booking functionality. For more information contact Dr Willie du Preez, (012) 841 4955, wdupreez@csir.co.za





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