The greatest challenge for the development of the countries in Africa and Middle East is to provide fast-growing and sustainable economy and overcome poverty and adverse social conditional via the total development goals. At the top of these goals should be foreign market access which when complemented with industrialization programs and trade capacity building will result in export growth—an important growth pole. Private sector development strategies also play an important role in promoting economic diversification and structural change.
Industrialization has a critical role to play in helping the developing countries to raise growth rates. Productive development is the motive force for applying new technologies to production and the most important source and diffuser of technological innovation. It creates new skills and work attitudes, catalyzes institutional change and breeds modern entrepreneurship. It is the best way of modernizing the export structure and creating the base for sustained export growth along with higher wages. Successful industrialization helps create the employment that poor economies need as they release labor from agriculture, both directly and by stimulating the development of modern services.
Most countries Africa and Middle East rely on importing of necessary tools, jigs, fixtures, dies, moulds and spare parts. These important elements in any manufacturing process become very annoying obstacle due to its high cost and availability which reflects badly on any manufacturing business and its competence in the market. The effect of this can be seen very clear on the variety and quality of products in the local produced goods. For these nations, in order to have good share in the regional and international market, they must improve their production systems and the quality of the products at competitive prices as well. This, in our consideration is due to lack of utilization of advanced technology to limit constrains normally brought with imported plants and machineries.
Using tools such as Computer Aided Design, Manufacturing and Engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE) combined with up-to-date manufacturing practice should open the door to regional engineers and technicians to communicate with the international engineering industries to improve the local and regional enterprises. This, in addition to solving one of the problems in manufacturing engineering, it will close the gap with developed countries and give the developing nations a good platform for advanced research and development and a tool for innovations. For example, even though we cannot imagine life without plastic products and no one can escape from using them as flour and bread, the local producers are always lagging behind in modeling, design and manufacturing of the tooling required for such plastic products "no product with new ideas!”.
The Central Metallurgical Research and Development Institute (CMRDI) [www.cmrdi.sci.eg], Ministry of Scientific Research has inaugurated the first CAD/CAM/CAE and RPM department in Egypt and North Africa and Arab Region that is aimed at promoting advanced technology among local people. This will have a very good impact in the long term development process.
• Develop human resources in the area of design and manufacturing in engineering industry using computer facilities and Laser based Manufacturing tools.
• Improve the quality of engineering products made of plastics, metals, ceramics, glass, etc
• Introduce value added products for export to the global market.
• Improve the industrial environment and infrastructure to encourage foreign investors.
• Increase the variety of products that can be competitive to other imported goods.
• Increase the exporting potential.
• Improve skill and capabilities of African engineers.
• Contribute to GDP of the targeted countries by increasing export and reducing import.
• Create continental awareness of the important of advanced technology in manufacturing.
• Culture changes towards industrial society.
• Provide technology transfer, know-how, training, consultations, marketing studies and communication facilities for regional industrial companies.
• Help the SME’s in the targeted countries to produce new products and improve the add-value to their products by using the newly developed IT trends.
• Help industrial companies to improve their productivity and quality by installing new system automation technologies such as automatic control circuits, sensors, data acquisition systems and automatic handling and robotic systems.
• Help to create new generation of industrial engineers that have professional experience of IT. Those engineers are able to design, implement and maintain sophisticated IT systems by themselves to improve and modernize the industrial activities.
• Provide training in different IT related subjects for senior and junior engineers from different companies and projects in Africa and the Arab countries and these subjects include CAD/CAM, electronics and communication skills.
• Provide the tools required to design and produce complex products such as casting dies and mechanical and structural components. These tools can be used to provide the design as ready-made solutions or to provide training and technology transfer to teach design engineers from different companies how to use IT design software to develop their own design solutions.
• Provide advanced computer analysis and simulation work. For example, to predict the life and deformation of a certain component, under multiple static and dynamic thermal and mechanical conditions.
• Apply the new concepts of 3D scanning and rapid prototyping systems to produce new products and redesign defective products (Reverse engineering.)
• Collect and archive industrial and technical data in electronic databases.
• Increase the awareness of computer communications and building up new networks.