2021 Conference and Exhibition

(IEEE accreditation has been applied, for publication in IEEE Xplore)

The Rapid Product Development Association of South Africa
proudly announces its
22nd Annual International Conference
03 – 05 November 2021
At the CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria


It is with great pleasure that we announce that RAPDASA will be joined by the 14th Robotics and Mechatronics (RobMech) and the 32nd Pattern Recognition Association of South Africa (PRASA) conferences.

Following the success of the hybrid 21st Annual International Rapid Product Development Association of South Africa (RAPDASA) conference hosted by STIAS Stellenbosch University, the Central University of Technology and Aerosud in November 2020, we are pleased to announce the first call for papers for the 2021 RAPDASA, RobMech and PRASA hybrid conference at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria, South Africa.

For the first time, this will bring together experts from industry, academics and students in additive manufacturing, electrical engineering, pattern recognition, robotics and mechatronics to present research, network and expand the fraternity that has been built by the three conferences.

This conference theme:

Digital Manufacturing Industrializing Africa

is a call to arms to everyone in advanced digital manufacturing industry to accelerate Africa’s inclusive economic growth, increase the competitiveness of its economies, and improve the livelihoods of its people.

The conference will offer opportunities for participants from industry, R&D institutions, academia and government to connect and collaborate to grow the next generation of advanced manufacturing enterprises across the continent.

The RAPDASA tracks cover topics such as (but not restricted to):

  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Computer-aided Design
  • Product Engineering
  • Reverse Engineering
  • Simulation and Modelling
  • Process Modelling
  • Structural Analysis
  • Materials Selection for Design
  • Materials Engineering
  • Materials Processing
  • Tooling Design and DevelopmentAerospace

The PRASA track covers topics such as (but not restricted to):

  • Classifiers and related topics
  • Speech processing
  • Natural language processing
  • Computer vision and image processing
  • Bioinformatics
  • Signal processing
  • Remote sensing
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine learning
  • Computational analytics
  • End-user applications and systems

The RobMech track covers topics such as (but not restricted to):

  • FMS Artificial Intelligence
  • Knowledge Based Systems
  • Information Technology Applied to Manufacturing
  • Computer-Aided Engineering Education
  • Sensors and Applications
  • Robots and Automation
  • Lean Manufacturing Logistics
  • Modelling and Simulation Scheduling
  • Management of Technology
  • Operations Management
  • Education and Training using Robotics
  • Agile Manufacturing
  • Mechatronics
  • Distributed Control Systems
  • Energy
  • Manufacturing Neural Networks
  • Mobile robotics
  • Mining robotics

Who should attend?

The Organizing Committee, on behalf of RAPDASA, RobMech and PRASA, invites product designers, toolmakers, production staff, technical directors and managers from industry involved in design, development and manufacturing of products and components to participate or simply attend the conference. In addition, participants from international product development communities, academia, national R&D and educational institutions are also invited to attend and participate in the conference. Furthermore, AM, Robotics and pattern recognition are becoming important for general managers and CEOs and the world of finance and investment. Ample opportunities will be available to meet with experts in the field.

Important dates deadlines

  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: 4 June 2021
  • Extended deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 June 2021
  • Deadline for industry abstracts (non-peer reviewed): 31 August 2021
  • Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 26 July 2021
  • Deadline for submission of full papers: 16 August 2021
  • Feedback on paper reviews: 27 September 2021
  • Deadline for early bird registration: 03 October 2021
  • Submission deadline for final revised papers: 08 October 2021

Please see Conference abstract & paper submission for instructions on how to submit an abstract to the conference.

Conference Package

The physical conference fee of R5,300.00 (excluding VAT) per delegate (Student fee R3,800.00, excluding VAT) excludes accommodation, which will have to be booked and paid by delegates. The conference package includes:

  • Full conference participation
  • Lunch
  • Refreshments (tea/coffee breaks)
  • Cocktail and Gala Dinner

For the Online Only Conference Attendance, the fee will be R1,000.00 excluding VAT.

For further information please contact Mrs Rynette Coetzer at info@rapdasa.org

Publication of papers

Abstracts first have to be approved before submission of a full paper will be accepted. All papers accepted for the conference will be subjected to a blind peer review process. The peer review process will be led by the Technical Committee. Selected papers will be submitted for publication in an ISI accredited, South African Journal of Industrial Engineers (SAJIE).

Industry presentations

As an alternative to the peer-reviewed papers, industry partners have the opportunity to present what their companies do in an Elevator Pitch session. The Elevator Pitch sessions are for Entrepreneurs and Businesses in the Product Development / Additive Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing industries and interested parties are required to:

  • Prepare a 5 to 10 minute elevator pitch to present at the Annual RAPDASA Conference held from 3-5 November 2021.
  • To qualify you have to register either for full conference attendance or online attendance.
  • Send a brief description (paragraph) of the business to Rynette Coetzer at info@rapdasa.org with subject line: RAPDASA Elevator Pitch.

Please note the business must be situated in South Africa. The benefits for companies are:

  • Get added as a Service Provider on the RAPDASA website to showcase your company profile and details.
  • Reach hundreds of potential customers in the industry.


There are two primary options for exhibition stands, with options to add conference attendance packs for delegates, and additional attendees for exhibition stands. Please email info@rapdasa.org to request more information on the exhibition.

A pre-conference seminar will be hosted on Tuesday, November the 2nd 2021. Click here for more details.