S04E01 Harnessing AI for quality control in manufacturing with Atlantis Foundries’ CEO

Posted On: January 18, 2024

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S04E01 Harnessing AI for quality control in manufacturing with Atlantis Foundries’ CEO

In this episode, we had the pleasure of speaking with Pieter du Plessis, the CEO of Atlantis Foundries. Pieter shared his journey from aspiring to be the best foundry man to leading a major manufacturing company.

We delved into how Atlantis Foundries has practically adopted AI to drastically reduce defects, achieving an impressive three months of zero scrap in Detroit.

Pieter emphasised that AI is not just a buzzword but a tool for solving real problems. He recounted his early career experiences with data and how they shaped his approach to predictive quality in manufacturing.

We also discussed the importance of leadership, the challenges of transitioning from a technical expert to a leader, and the significance of resilience and grit in a CEO role.



Pieter du Plessis is not just any leader; he’s a seasoned Chief Executive Officer with a rich history in the field, currently leading Atlantis Foundries (Pty) Ltd since July 2020. His journey in this role, spanning almost 4 years, is marked by significant contributions and strategic leadership in Atlantis, Western Cape.

Before taking the helm at Atlantis Foundries, Pieter enriched his expertise as an Independent Consultant with MK Consulting. This role further honed his skills and provided diverse experiences in the industry.

His journey with Atlantis Foundries is deep-rooted, having previously served as the Chief Executive Officer for nearly 3 years. This period was a testament to his leadership and strategic vision in steering the company towards success. Prior to his executive role, he demonstrated his prowess in operations management as the Senior Manager of Foundry Operations. This role was pivotal in shaping his understanding of the operational intricacies of the automotive industry.

Our guest is not just about practical experience; he also comes with a strong academic background. His skill set is extensive and includes Lean Manufacturing, Foundry Management, Manufacturing Operations Management, Quality Management, and Project Management. With such a comprehensive blend of experience, expertise, and education, he stands as a towering figure in the automotive industry.


00:00 – Introduction to AI in problem solving

04:26 – Foundry basics explained

07:00 – Leadership in technical vs. business expertise

17:05 – The misconception of AI adoption

19:36 – Transitioning to leadership and team building

26:44 – Resilience and grit in leadership

29:30 – Practical applications of AI in manufacturing

32:09 – The incremental journey of AI implementation

38:02 – Advice for young aspiring leaders

42:09 – Starting the AI journey in manufacturing

50:22 – ESG priorities and solar power initiatives

57:33 – AI implementation case study at Atlantis Foundries