The fact that the bulk of materials-handling equipment in South Africa is imported means that the industry will eventually fall in line with the global trend of increasing automation. This is according to Shumani Industrial Equipment director Victor Nemukula.

“There is a constant flow of new technology into the local materials-handling industry, in line with international trends. The growing requirement for efficiency and cost-effectiveness is a key driver in the uptake of automation,” Nemukula highlights. Other factors are increased health-and-safety and the reduction of human errors, thereby boosting overall quality.

Advanced equipment such as self-driving vehicles (SDVs) and the Internet of Things are two core technologies at the vanguard of automation in the materials-handling industry. Automation begins with how materials are received, stored, and transported from the instant they enter a warehouse.

Technological developments in this industry are critical, as manufacturers are under constant pressure to carry out tasks faster and cheaper, without compromising on quality. Simultaneously this has to be balanced by the fact that any new technology introduced must have a sound return on investment.

Shumani Industrial Equipment is a 51% black-owned and managed industrial equipment supplier. It offers a ‘one-stop’ solution for forklifts and materials handling, cleaning, access, and compact construction equipment, as well as engines, generators, agricultural equipment, and compressed air solutions.

“Our vision is to be the leading black-owned and managed ‘one-stop’ supplier of world-class industrial and construction equipment in Southern Africa. We are driven by our long-term commitment to providing our customers with ideal products for their unique requirements, supported by unparalleled aftersales service to ensure maximum uptime and quick return on investment,” Shumani Industrial Equipment National Key Accounts Manager Allesha Maniram concludes.