Dedicated space designated for disruptive manufacturing technologies research at TWIMS Institute

The Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies (TWIMS), that was opened in 2018 and is situated in Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal, has officially opened what the Institute calls the TWIMS manufacturing sandbox.

The state-of-the-art space includes technology demonstrators for VR (virtual reality), 3D printing, machine learning and digital twinning. The sandbox gives students an opportunity to learn about and experiment with disruptive manufacturing technologies, enabling a deeper understanding of the technology and discovering how they could apply them within the context of their own firm.

“I hope the sandbox becomes an invaluable generator of new manufacturing innovations in the South African and broader manufacturing ecosystem. Huge thanks to our partners, Jendmark and Rapid 3D, in helping us bring cutting edge digital technologies to the Institute,” said Professor Justin Barnes, the TWIMS Executive Director.

“This new space on our Durban campus brings to life the cutting-edge technologies which are currently disrupting manufacturing.”

The room was opened by Andrew Kirby (CEO of Toyota South Africa), Yanesh Naidoo (Executive Innovations Director of Jendamark Automation), Pauline Bullock (Director of Rapid 3D JV (Pty) LTD), Prof Theuns Pelser (Executive Director of TWIMS), Justin Barnes (Manufacturing Ambassador) and Malika Khodja-Mōller (TFG (The Foschini Group) Head of Future Manufacturing at TWIMS).

“We believe that manufacturing holds the key to the long-term, sustainable development of the South African and African economy. Unfortunately, this sector’s contribution to our gross domestic product is in decline. We hope to address that by developing a new generation of world-class, business-minded manufacturing specialists,” said Barnes.

The TWIMS campus was officially opened in November 2018. In 2019, the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) came on board to offer a manufacturing focused master’s in business administration (MBA) and a post graduate diploma in business administration (PGDip) at TWIMS.

TWIMS also facilitates and hosts a number of non-academic programmes, including executive development programmes, short certification courses, specialist conferences and thought leadership seminars.

Not-for-profit structure
TWIMS was created with funding from the Toyota South Africa Educational Trust, which in turn received its seed funding from the Wessels family and Toyota Motor Corporation Japan.

It is incorporated as a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO), which means that any retained income will be used to fund deserving, but needy students from designated groups who would like to study at TWIMS.