Etion Create using cross pollination to expand portfolio


Defence electronics company Etion Create, formerly Parsec, is making use of the capabilities and expertise within the Etion group to expand its portfolio and develop new technologies.

Etion Create’s core business focus is on electronic solutions and covers product development, manufacturing and systems integration services. It does weapons and electronics integration and manufactures a range of products, from printed circuit board level (SRUs) to complete solutions (LRUs).

There are four divisions in the group. They are Etion Digitise (previously Ansys Rail), Etion Connect (previously Tedaka Network Solutions), and Etion Secure (incorporating LAWTrust).

Ian Esterhuizen, business development manager at Etion Create, said the company shares products and services across divisions. “There is cross pollination across all divisions which gives us a much stronger base to develop new technologies.”

An example is their cyber security portfolio which forms an important part of Etion’s business, mainly through Etion Secure but also Etion Create. Etion Secure provides trusted identity, digital signatures, authentication and encryption, and biometrics solutions to secure countries, citizens and transactions.

Etion Secure (LAWTrust) does in-house encryption solutions and runs the Identity Document card system for the South African Department of Home Affairs. One of their solutions is eDNA, which tracks changes to systems or servers and identifies who makes those changes, ensuring accountability and responsible behaviour. Tobie van Loggerenberg, business development director at Etion, said that something like this could be used for the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF’s) Persol personnel management system and could be used to combat fraud.

The other businesses in the Etion stable include Etion Digitise (previously Ansys Rail), which provides digital safety and environmental management systems ranging from sensors, asset management, telematics and IoT to robotics, mechatronics and maintenance. Etion Connect (previously Tedaka Network Solutions), offers connectivity and communications products, solutions and services including fibre wireless deployment, data and digital radio communications networks and network monitoring as well as power related infrastructure solutions.

According to Esterhuizen, having such a depth of knowledge and expertise in the group provides them with the ability to develop products that can be used across various domains and offer complete solutions to customers. An example of a product that can be used in commercial as well as military applications is its Automotive Intelligent Driver (AiDR) vehicle system. Using LPWAN technologies, it can track and monitor various parameters such as the speed, seatbelt status, vehicle position, etc. The system is used to monitor vehicles and driver behaviour at a control centre for law enforcement purposes and can warn of speeding or dangerous road conditions. Another feature is the ability to “geofence” a vehicle – alerting the control centre if a vehicle moves out of a geofenced area.

Similar technology is employed by Etion on the mining side regarding collision avoidance. By fitting vehicles and people with sensors, collisions between vehicles and people can be avoided by alerting and even cutting a vehicle’s engine should collisions seem imminent.

Looking towards the future, Esterhuizen said Etion has identified a number of technologies to pursue in order for it to ensure that the company lives up to its promise to provide digital solutions for a new age.