A Joburg factory hits a milestone

11 September 2015

Skyworth Digital’s Joburg factory had successfully completed its first shipment, delivering a total of 70 000 set-top boxes across South Africa, it was announced earlier this week.

A set-top box is a device that usually has a TV-tuner input and displays output on a TV. It turns the source signal into a content form to be shown on a TV set. It is used by satellite television, and over-the-air television systems.

The devices are necessary as South Africa migrates its broadcasting services from analogue to digital – a process called Broadcasting Digital Migration. The main focus is Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), which will enable South Africans to receive free-to-air digital television signals via satellite.

When DTT arrived, City Press explained in a report unpacking the issue, we would all need decoders to receive the new TV signals. These were the decoders that all pay TV customers already had. Other viewers would have to buy new ones; yet others would receive theirs for free.

Once the migration happened, said the newspaper, if you wanted to keep watching free-to-air TV (SABC, e.tv and community TV), you would need a decoder, or set-top box.

“Skyworth Digital invests in its customers, their countries and the local people in order to foster long-term relationships, and so our strategy is to put our factories as close to where our customers are as possible,” said Angelique Boissy, the vice-president of global sales at Skyworth Digital.

The company calls the strategy “edge manufacturing”. “It not only allows us to contribute to our customers’ local economies, but also speeds up time-to-market and reduces operating expenses: savings which can then be passed on to our customers,” Boissy said.

The Johannesburg factory is the first in a series of new manufacturing centres Skyworth Digital plans to open as it looks to implement its edge manufacturing concept across the business.

“Through partnering with local companies such as Bua Africa and increasing involvement in community initiatives and charities in South Africa, we have created hundreds of local jobs for underprivileged men, women and people with disabilities,” added Boissy.

“We provide training and educational services to our staff to further develop their skill sets and provide them with tools for the future.”

Partnerships

Skyworth Digital has partnered with various organisations in South Africa, including the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), which helps people access vital government services, and Disabled People South Africa (DPSA), which helps to promote disability awareness.

Currently, Skyworth Digital produces about 150 000 shipments a month, but it plans to increase this number to 400 000 shipments a month.

About the company

Shenzhen Skyworth Digital Technology Company provides solutions for the smart home through various devices.

“With a strong background in consumer electronics, Skyworth Digital delivers more than 20 million units annually to more than 90 countries by partnering with customers to provide value-added, end-to-end solutions with the highest quality products and services.”

SAinfo reporter