The long-awaited TANDM Community Connect 2022(TCC22) broke all records this year with an attendance of 160 people between the Pretoria and Stellenbosch events. These events, held on 15 and 24 November, scored an 86% Nett Promotor Score, based on the post-event survey, a clear indication that this event is well received by the Test and Measurement Community of South Africa.
Our international speakers, who all joined via remote connections, again contributed to the success of the event. The ever-popular Dr Andrew Halfpenny, Chief Technologist at HBM Prenscia, again stole the show with an excellent presentation on the topic of Accelerated Fatigue Qualification Testing. The presentation on how to avoid Electro Magnetic Interference when measuring strain gauges by Patrick Ott, Trainer at HBK, and the review of sensor technology for the measurement of shock and blast events in Aerospace, Defense and Satellite testing applications by Dr Carmine Salzano from PCB Piezotronics, were also well received. This year, it was great to have a change from the regular Application oriented agenda with the introduction of new, groundbreaking technology. In this presentation, Dr James Dean, the CEO of Plastometrex, introduced the conference to Indentation Plastometry, a revolutionary new approach to the mechanical testing of materials. This generated a lot of interesting questions and debates. The attendees will still be discussing this technology’s merit for weeks to come.
Our local speakers did not give an inch, with equally impressive presentations, reporting on their recent measurement projects. It was great to see that Engineering in South Africa is still solving many problems in our industry. We had excellent presentations from Prof. Hannes Gräbe, dept. of Civil Engineering at the University of Pretoria and Nelson Tapala of Transnet Freight Rail, who showcased their railway projects. Hennie Klopper, Klopper Engineering Consultancy and Dr Michiel Heyns, Investmech, both dealt with the topic of measuring under challenging conditions to quantify input forces in Simulation related projects. These measurement projects dealt with, amongst many other challenges, the difficulty of High-Temperature Strain measurements in mining and Acceleration measurements for the qualification of amusement rides. Diaan du Toit, from Filmatic, brought new perspectives on using Digital Weighing Technology, when used in Bottle Filling applications. It was also great to see the progress in the local Space Industry, with a presentation by Christie Engelbrecht, from Dragonfly Aerospace, on developing and testing a locally built Minisatellite. This 100-200kg satellite is the largest satellite ever developed and produced in South Africa and is scheduled to launch on 18 December this year.
This year’s TCC is just another confirmation that Engineering and the Test and Measurement field are alive and well. This event again afforded attendees the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new contacts across disciplines. Our community is growing yearly; we hope to see you at TCC23 to share a coffee and connect.