World’s top production engineering experts gather in Cape Town


DST funded ancillary workshops on important manufacturing and production topics such as design and modelling of production systems and processes and, techniques in cutting / chip forming to be presented and discussed during the 2015 CIRP General Assembly, which will be held from 23-29 August 2015.

The International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP), which was founded in 1951 with the overall objective to address scientifically, through international co-operation, issues related to modern production science and technology, will this year hold its 65th General Assembly, conference and workshops at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town.

“The upcoming CIRP General Assembly (GA) will be held for the first time on the African continent. Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor will address the delegates at the Opening Session. In essence it is globally the most prestigious event in the field of production engineering,” says Professor Dimitri Dimitrov who is head of the Local Organising Committee and Research Associate and IAT Project Mentor – Department of Industrial Engineering at Stellenbosch University.

“South Africa is an important player in the developing country arena and the manufacturing engineering exposure is a significant component of our economic activities now and in the future. In a partnership with DST the Stellenbosch University based Local Organising Committee developed a focused plan to increase awareness of the event amongst relevant South African stakeholders, as well as knowledge sharing and exposure to high-level research. Financially supported by the DST this plan has the sole purpose to ensure that there exists a lasting legacy in the country beyond the prestige of hosting the GA.”

“In order to achieve this goal a series of focused workshops for local academia and industry are scheduled. These workshops are planned to take place during the second part of the meeting, on Thursday and Friday, 27 and 28 August 2015 at the CTICC, alongside the GA proceedings.”

“The topics to be presented and discussed by leading industry experts at these seven workshops include:

 Design and modelling of production systems
 Processes and techniques in cutting / chip forming
 Technological and economic optimisation of forming processes – trends, advances and challenges
 Conceptual and innovative processes in engineering design
 Sustainability in manufacturing – future trends and implications
 Electro-chemical, additive and hybrid processes
 Learning factories – challenges, advantages and implications for academia and industry.”

“Over 500 leading production engineers from around the world, including a large number of representatives of leading manufacturing companies from the aerospace, automotive, tooling, biomedical and other high tech industries, have already confirmed their participation.”

“Registration fees for the local industry for the two days of workshops are partially covered by DST and delegates will only pay R700 plus VAT per day.”


“In four to five parallel sessions during the first three days the latest research and development results in various topics of the manufacturing chain are presented. Some of these topics include life cycle engineering and assembly; cutting – theoretical and experimental research in chip forming processes; design as an integral part of the manufacturing system; forming; grinding; machine systems; optimisation of the total manufacturing system; precision engineering; surfaces and electro-physical, mechanico-chemical, chemical and energy beam (additive) processes for manufacturing materials and components.”

“This often sets a benchmark, enables the direct comparison with your own research and opens opportunities for vast exchange of ideas. The ensuing workshops are conducted by international CIRP Fellows who will give a state-of- the-art overview on the selected topics and lead the discussion.”

“Unquestionably this is an ideal opportunity for the local industry to learn about what’s happening in the world of advanced production engineering from the international experts at this flagship gathering.”

“Additionally a three-day showcase exhibition, financially supported by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), will take place alongside the CIRP General Assembly. It will demonstrate a unique South African way for skills development and industry support. The showcase represents the production engineering focused Technology Stations as managed by the TIA within its Technology Station Programme (TSP).”

“The showcase includes the Technology Stations from the Central University of Technology, Durban University of Technology, Nelson Mandela Municipality University, University of Johannesburg, Vaal University of Technology, as well as the Institutes for Advanced Tooling Cluster located at Tshwane University of Technology, Walter Sisulu University and Stellenbosch University. The National Tooling Initiative Programme (NTIP) will also be represented.”

“These entities and technology stations will present their latest achievements on product development in reinforced material and plastics, automotive components, metal casting and material processing.”

CIRP 2015 is definitely a place where several immensely important themes would be discussed. Most of these are typically related to production engineering, process management, industry co-operation, modern production, engineering science and technology, manufacturing processes and systems, production equipment, automation and product design.

The CIRP currently includes around 600 members from 46 countries. In accordance with the policy of the CIRP to extend its impact and exposure to scientists and researchers in as many countries as possible it constantly rotates the location of its annual meeting, the General Assembly.

“The CIRP GA is normally closed to non-members. However, the South African organising committee has successfully negotiated with CIRP for permission to make the 2015 GA open to South African non-fellows. Hence South Africa has been allocated 50 delegate slots on a first-come-first-served basis to allow for production engineering researchers and technologists from academia and the private sector to attend this prestigious, truly once-in-a-lifetime event,” concluded Professor Dimitri Dimitrov.

For more details of the CIRP GA, registration fees and online registration visit:

For more details of the CIRP ancillary workshops for local industry on the 27 and 28 August 2015, visit