“Advanced technologies such as those in automation and digitisation are making breakthroughs in manufacturing processes, creating smart factories where man and machine can work together. Given the new wave of technological change that is sweeping across the global manufacturing sector or better known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, it is timely for our industries to act quickly and steer towards this direction. The adoption of these technologies will open up opportunities for completely new and efficient business models in manufacturing, and lead to increased productivity and growth. We need to keep pace with these advances and seize the growing opportunities,” added YB Dato’ Seri Ong.
YB Minister II also highlighted that it is not easy for a company to transition into this new era of advanced manufacturing. However, the transformation is necessary even with major shifts within an organisation’s internal structure and operating processes. Companies need to invest in technology and innovation, and take on new manufacturing processes and practices. Staff up-skilling will also be essential to ensure that companies remain competitive.
“The government is also looking seriously into talent management to ensure that our people have the necessary skills and competencies advance the economic transformation agenda. Malaysia forecasts the need for at least 20,000 data professionals and 2,000 data scientists by 2020. MIDA, for example, has taken the initiative in developing an internship programme, namely ‘Malaysian Engineers – Made in Germany’. This initiative leverages on the high number of Malaysian students in Germany. It aims to enhance the employability of these under-graduates in careers related to advanced technology areas. To date, 18 German companies such as B.Braun, SGL Carbon, BMW, Infineon, Muehlbauer and Schmidt & Clemens have participated in the programme by offering annual internships for Malaysian students at their production facilities throughout Germany,” said YB Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan.
In his welcoming remarks, Datuk Phang Ah Tong, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of MIDA said, “With the theme ‘Accelerating the Adoption of Industry 4.0’, the Northern Region was chosen to host MIDA’s second Regional Supply Chain Conference as this region is synonymous with being the semiconductor and electrical & electronics hub of Malaysia. The strong presence of many multinational companies located here and the very fact that some of the big names here such as First Solar, Infineon, Osram, B. Braun, Bosch and Inari in Kedah and Penang have already migrated to Industry 4.0, hold much promise for business collaboration and opportunities within this region.”
This one day event, which attracted over 300 participants, featured a panel discussion with key speakers from Broadcom, B. Braun, Inari and Siemens, and was moderated by PSDC’s Industry 4.0 export, Mr Azhar Md. Nayan. Notably, there were business matching sessions with 28 MNCs participating in this conference. The meetings provided immense opportunities for deeper commercial collaboration between large and small companies across the board. Participating anchor companies include Jabil Circuits, Vitrox, Boston Scientific, Teleflex Medical, St Jude Medical, Jinko Solar, GE Malaysia, Bosch and Continental.
MIDA is the
government's principal promotion agency under the Ministry of International
Trade and Industry (MITI) to oversee and drive investments into the
manufacturing and services sectors in Malaysia. Starting operations in 1967
with a relatively small set up of 37 staff, MIDA has grown to become a strong
and dynamic organisation of over 700 employees. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur
Sentral, MIDA today has 12 regional and 23 overseas offices. This year as the
organisation celebrates its 50th anniversary, MIDA continues to be the
strategic partner to businesses in seizing the opportunities arising from the
technology revolution of this era.