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Hyundai Tucson is top of its class

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With more than 22,000 sales to its name the Hyundai Tucson has been a dominant player in the local crossover market for the past 12 years and in its latest guise the all-new Korean wagon is set to increase its popularity even further.
Tucson built its popularity on practicality, reliability, competitive pricing, chunky good looks and the backing of a class-leading service plan – all of which have been retained in the all-new model.
The original Tucson name makes a welcome return after being re-branded iX35 for the past six years and it has grown longer, wider and lower. It also looks a tad bolder and the ride quality has also been stepped up along with eye-pleasing new touches and features in the living quarters.

A premium feel

Because the wheelbase has also been stretched the cabin has more space for longer-limbed occupants, particularly for the back-seaters. I crisscrossed the Cape in December in the new 1.6 T-GDi Elite AWD model and the generous space was the first tick of approval from the two tall ones in the back seats.

The front seat passenger found the Bluetooth based audio system, and particularly the optional satnav system, quite user-friendly, although it took me a while just to figure out the radio settings. This reminded me of a very funny line I read recently, written by a frustrated car radio user: “One day someone will reinvent twiddling a dial to find channels and be hailed as a technological genius”.

The cabin finish is attractive and has a pleasantly solid look to it. The seats are comfortable even over long stretches. The overall looks and premium feel of the Tucson’s interior certainly elevate it into the top three, if not to the very top, of this segment.

Gutsy performance

A major component of the Tucson’s overall impressive stature is the gutsy performance of the 1.6 turbo-petrol engine under its shapely hood. It kicks out a punchy 130kW and 265Nm, which is considerably more than key competitors such as the Toyota RAV 2.5 and the Ford Kuga 1.5 ST.

Our test car was kitted with a seven-speed DCT transmission that distributes power to all four wheels with the choice of ECO or Sport driving modes. Obviously, things happen quicker and sportier in Sport mode but even when left to do its own thing in standard mode the transmission is a fine match for the power output.

Our test car was shod with 19-inch alloys which not only spiced up the wagon’s looks but also added extra grip through the corners. The steering feels solid and fairly direct and in spite of its high profile, the Korean chariot clings to the tar with tenacity, adding to its overall premium feel.

Although the Tucson is pricey there is much to praise and very little to criticise about the model we had on test. The range consists of seven models in three specification levels and a choice of engines and transmissions priced between R369,900 and R519,900 (pre-January 2017 price increases).

Tucson fully deserves the top spot on the crossover podium, particularly as it is backed by a confidence-boosting, class-leading seven-year/200,000km powertrain warranty, over and above Hyundai’s standard five-year 150,000km warranty.

Source:bizcommunity
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Manufacturing

Emmanuel Penneh set to lead the Ghanaian team that will re-assemble the first Nissan Navara made in Ghana

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Emmanuel Penneh (Image: Lusawovana Pius- edelman) 

Emmanuel Penneh arrived back in Accra this week, ready to start the next phase of a journey that’s taken three years so far and still has an intensive eight months to run. On Thursday 3 June 2021, the married 44-year-old father of three graduated with his team of 11 Ghanaians from an intense eight-week course at Nissan South Africa’s Rosslyn manufacturing plant outside Pretoria. That was just the first step for them. Now the hard work begins, getting Ghana’s brand-new Nissan assembly plant in Tema, outside Accra, ready to begin re-assembling the first ever Nissan Navaras to be built in Africa early in the New Year.

The graduation is a critical milestone in a process that began back in 2018 with the signing of the landmark Memorandum of Understanding between Nissan and the Government of Ghana, followed by the drafting and promulgation of Ghana’s automotive development policy the following year and then the appointment of Japan Motors Trading Company (JMTC), as Nissan’s preferred partner last year to ensure that the new facility will be 100% Ghana owned and run.

Penneh is up for the challenge. Speaking at the special graduation ceremony held at the Rosslyn, SKD plant, he said he and his team were proud and honoured, excited and delighted. “This is a historic evolution for Nissan Ghana, Nissan South Africa and Nissan worldwide. This is the plant where the Nissan Navara is being made for the first time in Africa, by Africans for Africa, now we are going home to re-assemble the first Navara made in Ghana for Ghana by Ghanaians!”

Penneh will be the plant manager. It’s a feather in the cap for the 10-year JMTC veteran. Before being approached to lead the team, Penneh was service co-ordinator for the group’s aftersales operations, overseeing five workshops across Ghana. He’s been in the automotive industry for 14 years, with four years at Man Truck Ghana before he joined JMTC.

“It’s exciting,” he says, “it gives a new dimension to my career. After concentrating on the after sales aspect, I’m now coming into the industry that actually builds the vehicles.”

The eight-week training that the team underwent in South Africa had been gruelling, he said, they had no idea what to expect. “It was challenging coming fresh into this industry and discovering so many processes and rules and mastering them, but it’s been exciting.”

He’s exceptionally proud of the team he led to South Africa and the way they’ve conducted themselves. “This (the creation of a Nissan assembly plant in Ghana) is going to be a game changer for ourselves, but also for our country, creating jobs, upskilling people and creating opportunities for local brand ownership.”

 

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BGI Ethiopia Gets New keg tracking solution- Keg Track&Trace

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BGI Ethiopia (Source: 8Sigma)

Montelektro, a leading system integrator in the brewing industry, and 8Sigma, a premium MES provider delivered solution KegTNT (Keg Track&Trace) to a brewery in Addis Ababa.

KegTNT is a software solution that tracks kegs throughout their life stages while inside the brewery and within the whole supply chain.

In addition to the mentioned brewery, during 2021, KegTNT will be implemented in two more breweries owned by the same company, BGI Ethiopia, whose long brewing tradition dates to the first half of the 20th century. The BGI Ethiopia’s owner is French Castel Group, one of the largest African and among the world’s ten largest beer producers.

The Ethiopian customer required a new, modern solution that will enable them to better manage its keg fleet, reduce costs related to the ownership of kegs, improve quality control, ensure better maintenance supervision, and to prevent possible keg losses.

Montelektro and 8Sigma’s scope of supply included the implementation of KegTNT solution that collects and saves all the data about kegs’ lifecycle, tracking it by using the RFID technology.

Its main purpose is to provide real-time tracking and traceability of each keg in the fleet, and better maintenance and quality control.

The scope also included a tablet application for tracking operations inside the brewery and a smartphone application for the sales agents. From now on, maintenance, laboratory, and warehouse staff can use tablets equipped with an RFID reader to manage everyday tasks related to the keg fleet. Sales agents can also report, track, and resolve all complaints through the application on their smartphones. All information is available in real-time, so staff can react immediately and identify potential problems even before they happened.

Within this project, KegTNT was also integrated with a keg filling plant (capacity of up to 900 kegs/h) that is fully automated and robotized. This integration enables the brewery to automatically collect and analyze data about kegs’ filling, like production rates, reject rates, downtimes, and other elements required for an efficient production.

These features of KegTNT should help BGI Ethiopia not only to improve resource utilization and the management of keg fleet, but also to preserve its good reputation and a desirable market position.

“Last year was very challenging for the whole world. The brewing industry, just like all others, was in turmoil. We are satisfied because we have managed to conclude the project in one of the three contracted breweries in the circumstances of travel restrictions. On this occasion, we would also like to thank Montelektro for their trust and partnership on another project we have successfully delivered together.”, said Vladimir Lukić, director at 8Sigma.

Apart from the mentioned project, 8Sigma and Montelektro continue to cooperate. The most important common project is the development and implementation of MES (Manufacturing Execution System) solution for the brewing industry, named BeerVision.

BeerVision schedules, tracks, and manages all production activities inside a brewery, from raw materials to the finished product – beer.

During production, this Industry 4.0 solution collects and analyzes data about the brewing process in real-time and provides fully integrated data for all operational activities. It connects and integrates the process control system (PCS) with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

With BeerVision, companies can make decisions faster and easier and manage their businesses much more efficiently. It also helps them improve their product quality and reduce costs.

Issued by 8Sigma

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Egypt, Toyota Tsusho discuss manufacturing natural gas-powered microbuses

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CAIRO – 13 October 2019: Egypt and Toyota Tsusho discussed on Sunday how the giant Japanese company can contribute to the government’s plans to manufacturing natural gas-powered microbuses.

During his meeting with President and CEO of Toyota Tsusho Mr. Ichiro Kashitani, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli emphasized Egypt’s keenness to best utilize its resources by reducing diesel exports’ expenses and transferring diesel-fueled vehicles to natural gas-powered ones or to bi-fuel vehicles that are capable of running on two fuels (natural gas and gasoline) through offering payment facilities.

Mabdouli further stressed that the transfer process needs to be implemented through manufacturing companies that working on Egypt’s soil, in order to enhance local manufacturing, and transfer expertise, according to a cabinet press statement about the meeting. He also ensured that the government is serious in its plans to implementing the transfer process through providing funding programs and incentives to encourage owners of old microbuses.

These ambitions go the lines with the government’s latest unveiled plan in August, aiming to turn 50,000 vehicles into gas-powered annually.

Mabdouli also stressed the government’s readiness to discuss the details of the implementation of the program and accelerate the process according to a specific schedule.

For their part, Toyota Tsusho delegation presented their proposal of “manufacturing high quality microbuses in a way that will meet the Egyptian government’s converting the fuel-powered vehicles.”

Also Read Switzerland’s Head of Economic Cooperation, Development at SECO to visit Cairo

In a previous interview with Business Today Egypt magazine, Toyota Tsusho Kashitani explained his company’s strategy about using diversified fuels, based on the global trend to electrification, while maintaining an environment-friendly technology.

“In order to realize the fuel transfer plan by government, natural gas field development would be necessary to be accelerated and we are ready to support it by expansion of the offshore rig project as referred above,” Kashitani added during the interview.

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