Written by adeon

Malaysia Productivity Corporation and iPlast 40 commit to Industry 4.0

The Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) and iPlast 4.0 Sdn Bhd signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 5th October. This seals the agreement between the two parties to commit to the implementation of Industry 4.0 in the country through a programme called “Audit for Industry 4.0 Readiness and Roadmap Development toward Industry 4.0 Ready”.

Industry 4.0 refers to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and cognitive computing. Industry 4.0 creates what has been called a “smart factory” or “smart manufacturing”.

Industry 4.0 is also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution and has filled many physical systems, such as transportation, water, manufacturing, computing, and so on.

iPlast 4.0 has professionals with expertise in Scientific Moulding, Smart Maintenance, LEAN Automation and Smart Manufacturing, and is on a quest to help Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to take their 1st step towards Smart Manufacturing. iPlast 4.0 is currently working with the German Innovation Centre for Industry 4.0 to conduct the Injection Moulding 4.0 Readiness Audit for the plastics industry.

The company has successfully helped SMEs in Taiwan to embark on their journey towards Smart Manufacturing. The Principal of iPlast 4.0, Anston Tan is hopeful that Malaysia can follow suit.

“A comprehensive audit with a low baseline allows us to have a correct understanding on the starting point. This will help tremendously in formulating a suitable tailored made development road map for the SMEs,” he said at the MOU signing ceremony at the MPC headquarters.

MPC Director General Dato’ Mohd Razali Hussain also said: “We need to speed up this audit activity for the plastics industry and duplicate the success model across all other sectors such as the service industry.”

Meanwhile, MPC Deputy Director General AB. Rahim Yusoff said that the programme is in line with the goals of the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (11MP: 2016 – 2020). As of 2016, the country’s productivity level stands at RM78,218, while the productivity growth is 3.5 %.

The Industry 4.0 programme is expected to increase the national productivity level to RM92, 300 and the productivity growth to 3.7 %.

With the increase in productivity levels, skilled labour shortages in the plastics sector can be easily overcome, as well as put the industry on the right footing towards a more competitive level.

Written by adeon

Malaysian plastics firms set to embrace Industry 4.0

In July 2017, Anston Tan, Principal of iPlast 4.0 was appointed by the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) to lead its government-backed pilot programme, “First Step to Injection Moulding 4.0” #FSIM40.

Malaysia’s Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF or Pembangunan Sumber Malaysia Berhad), an agency under the Ministry of Human Resources Malaysia, has allocated a fund to four companies to participate in this programme. These companies are involved in the processing of plastic products and were selected by MPMA and iPlast 4.0.

They are: LH Plus Sdn Bhd, Plasform Sdn Bhd, Mah Sing Plastics Industries Sdn Bhd and Triplus Industry Sdn Bhd.

The Principal of iPlast 4.0, Anston Tan spoke at the Opening Ceremony of “First Step to Injection Moulding 4.0” programme at the German-Malaysian Institute in Kajang.

Tan said: “Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution. With Automation and Artificial Intelligence deployed in production, cost of production will be less location dependant. It brings manufacturing back from east to west through regionalisation and manufacturers will have to deliver smaller batch size and customised products with the least cost possible.

The challenges faced by many SMEs include a relatively messy physical world, lack of topic awareness, lack of investment, lack of digital culture and digital skills in the shop floor, thus making it extremely difficult to implement Automation and Digitalisation. Unfortunately, this transformation is not a choice but a must as Malaysia will face more competition from neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The Plastics Industry in Malaysia needs to speed up in the strengthening of basic foundations such as process stability, scientific maintenance and LEAN before embarking on Automation and Digitalisation.

iPlast 4.0 brings retired engineers from abroad (such as Germany, Sweden and Japan) to “recondition” local practitioners. The local practitioners will in turn lead a group of young motivated engineers to help to transform the local traditional manufacturing industry in Malaysia.

Empowering Malaysian workers

The 11th Malaysia Plan also aims to promote automation and to reduce the dependence of unskilled foreign workers – something Tan believes the programme can contribute to.

“While company’s owners cannot protect jobs in this coming Industrial Revolution, we can at least protect our people, who are our loyal employees. We can up skill them to strengthen their resilience for technological changes,” he said.