Monday, December 22, 2014

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What's the PneuDrive Challenge About?


The aim of the PneuDrive Challenge, a competition which was set up in 2008, is to give the best mechanical, electronic and mechatronic engineering students a chance to use their talent to bring together engineering theory, the latest technology in drive engineering, pneumatics and business reality.

The sponsors of the 2014 competition, SEW-EURODRIVE and Pneumax recognise the importance of business in partnering with higher education institutions to help address the enormous pressures that they are under to prepare skilled engineering students for the labour market.

What's Up For Grabs?

The prize for 2015 is an all expenses paid trip for four students and their lecturer to the Head Offices of SEW-EURODRIVE in Germany, and Pneumax in Italy.

The "winning university" also has an opportunity to order R 100,000 worth of SEW-EURODRIVE and Pneumax equipment.

Universities who submit final entries qualify for R 40,000 worth of free SEW-EURODRIVE and Pneumax equipment for their universities.

Endorsement Partners


The following industry associations endorse the competition, and believe in this initiative of building bridges between engineering students and business:

South African Institite of Electrical Engineers


The South African Fluid Power Association

South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering


Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Measurement and Control

Follow us on Social Networks


Join the competition's Facebook Group to connect with people who are interested in the PneuDrive Challenge and engineering competitions in general.

Follow the competition's LinkedIn company page to stay in touch with competition updates and news. You'll also be able to make contact with business people who support and endorse the learning and business objectives of the competition.

Each year competitors load interesting project videos to the PneuDrive Challenge YouTube channel. Product information is also made available when appropriate. 

Instagram is used to capture and share interesting visual images of products, competition experienes and ideas that may come through from competing students.


Training Sponsor - SEW-EURODRIVE Drive Academy


SEW-EURODRIVE runs a nationwide geared motor and drive technology training programme known as Drive Academy®. Based on the same in-depth technical training syllabus used to educate SEW-EURODRIVE’s own engineers, Drive Academy® provides end users and system integrators with a comprehensive set of skills required to get the most out of applications.

Click here to view the list of courses they make available. 


Recent News


10 December 2014 - Engineering News posts online article

Yearly challenge bridges gap between lecture room and workplace  

Engineering companies, SEW-EURODRIVE and Pneumax say its yearly competition, the PneuDrive Challenge for engineering students, goes a long way towards bridging the gap between the skills produced by the higher education system and the skills that business needs.

Click here to read the full article.

December 2014 - SAiMC add their endorsement to the competition.

Vinesh Maharaj, President of the Council, and Johan Maartens, Director of the Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Measurement and Control, have added their endorsement to the competition.


They agree  that it is an important tool for addressing the need to support engineering students as they make their way into industry, and we are excited to be able to access their enthusiasm and support for the competition.

November 2014 - Competition videos uploaded to YouTube Channel.

Click here to view some vidoes from the Stellenbosch and NMMU teams that have been uploaded to the PnueDrive Challenge YouTube channel. Cool and inetresting stuff.


07 November - Winners Announced

Results for the 2014 competition are in:
1st: Stellenbosch University – Movipal
2nd: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University - TetraStack
3rd: WITS University – The Out-The-Box-Palletiser
NMMU - TetraStack were also awarded the Innovation prize.

Click here to access additional news.

Media Partners


A range of media partners have been gathered around the competition in order to communciate the progress and efforts of universities and students that come through the competition.

An important element of the experiential learning opportunity that is created by the PneuDrive Challenge is that it also introduces to students the value of generating press and media information about their designs and efforts. This in turn helps students create an online presence for themselves which will be valuable when they finally graduate and start the business end of their careers.


Click here to access the latest competition press information.

Training Sponsor - Pneumax


In a rapidly changing industry environment, success depends on employees keeping up-to-date with advances in technology and methodologies, whilst also participating in relevant training. Pneumax offers accredited courses that engage interest and educate and in turn increases productivity. These courses are also beneficial in reducing costs associated with the incorrect usage of technologies and the damage of components. Their highly experienced technical team also provides on-site support - a valuable aspect to any organisation or institution.

Click here to access their training information. 


The 2014 PneuDrive Challenge winners are:


Stellenbosch Wins Green Warehousing Logistics Challenge

After two intensive days of judging and deliberation the panel, made up of a range of local engineering experts, concluded and agreed that the "MOVIPAL" from Stellenbosch University was the winning design entry.



Click here to review a summary of the entry.








1st Place – Stellenbosch University – MOVIPAL

This year’s competition, which had as its theme – Green Warehousing Logistics – called on students to analyse and then design a solution for a specific operational problem in one of the following areas of a warehouse: Retrieval, Conveying, Placement, Packing, Palletising and Loading.

Students Landolf Theron, Herman Nieuwoudt, Jos Van der Westhuizen and Stefan Nel proposed a mobile palletising solution. Their design addresses the problems associated with two warehouse operations, namely palletizing and local transport, and combines the functionality of a gantry style palletiser and a forklift, providing a mobile palletizing solution. The target of the MOVIPAL is small to medium sized warehouses in the production and logistics industries.

Stellenbosch University's winning team:

Jos van der Westhuizen, Herman Nieuwoudt, Landolf Theron and Stefan Nel.

2nd Place – Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University - TetraStack

TetraStack™, an Ultra High Throughput Warehouse Defragmentation System designed by Adriane Bestic, Shuldham Peard, Ashley Naude and Christopher Sephton was an idea based on the popular Tetris game. Their design mirrors the sorting action of the game by continuously rearranging crates within a racking matrix so as to consume the least amount of space, as low down in the matrix as possible.

Click here to review a summary of the entry.

3rd Place – WITS University – The Out-The-Box-Palletiser

Students Gareth Krisch, Adam Bartels and Eitan Kassuto presented a design that could be a solution to manual labour palletising problem by proposing a stand-alone, mobile and flexible palletising device. Their design could provide warehouses which mainly make use of manual loading with an alternative application that could reduce running costs, increase productivity, improve worker safety and has the potential to be flexible enough to fit in with most line palletising operations.

Click here to review a summary of the entry.

Copyright 2014 SEW-EURODRIVE