Western Digital plans for expansion,buoyed by WEF recognition
08 Oct 2021
Western Digital Corp is planning to expand operations in Malaysia after its factory in Batu Kawan Industrial Park, Penang, has been recognised as the latest entrant to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Lighthouse Network.
Global Flash Back-End Operations senior vice-president Bock Kim Lee said the United States based hard drive disk manufacturer plans to expand its manufacturing facility here to build a control tower to house offices, a multi-storey carpark that would also house finished goods and a warehouse, as well as another two development currently known as Building 3 and Building 4.
“Within the next three years, I will say that expansion up to Building 3 has been solidified and capital expenditure (capex) has been allocated. For building 4, the capex will depend on the progress for the next five years.
“We have been discussing with InvestPenang on what other opportunities we can look at for the next 10 years because we will probably need more space as we have big plans for Malaysia, especially for the flash back-end operations,” he told a virtual joint press conference with Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow on its Global Lighthouse Network entrant.
Also present was Special Investment Advisor to the Chief Minister of Penang Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon; and Invest Penang chief executive officer Datuk Loo Lee Lian.
The WEF Global Lighthouse Network recognises production sites and value chains that are world leaders in the adoption and integration of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies at scale.
Western Digital Batu Kawan is one of the 90 sites globally recognised as a global leading Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing facility.
Bock said Western Digital Batu Kawan, being the first company to receive this distinction in Malaysia, is hopeful that this success story would motivate the rest to embark on this journey and change the landscape of the country’s manufacturing sector.
He said the company welcomes industry captains to reach out and visit its facility to learn their approach and methodology.
Meanwhile, the chief minister said the significant advancements in technology have enabled businesses to be placed at new heights with solutions that not only boost productivity but also ensure sustainability.
“The recognition of Western Digital as one of the Lighthouses is a great testament that serves as a yardstick for future-proof strategies.
“We are on our journey to a new age of manufacturing where the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics are becoming the key components in the production chain,” he said.
According to Chow, Western Digital’s principle and practice are also in tandem with the Penang2030 vision of ‘A Family-focused Green and Smart State to Inspire the Nation’.