Apply and Adapt – How to Stay Relevant in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

In ATE Shout Out by ateworks


The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018 predicts that “…the prominent technologies of the future will live in the “real world.” They will transform not only what we do on the web, but also what we do outside of it, and sectors affected will include transportation, healthcare, heavy manufacturing, agriculture, and many more real-world industries”.

If this prediction is correct, it would mean that the impact of these technologies (and hence the Fourth Industrial Revolution) will change the way we live, work and play. It will render invalid existing products and usher in new ones. Business models, and yes, even fundamental business assumptions, may have to be reassessed. Here are some data points from the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018:

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us.

With technology advancing at breakneck speed, the competitive landscape has been significantly flattened. Funding and resources are flowing to where the ideas and talents are. Think HAX, the world’s largest hardware accelerator in Shenzhen. Where does that leave Singapore companies, especially the SMEs?

At ATE’s Innovation Day 2019, this was the premise of our discussion and sharing. The event aimed to draw attention to the changing technology and competitive landscape, challenging Singapore companies to formulate their response in order to remain relevant and competitive.

The rapid adoption of technologies has levelled the competitive playing field, resulting in startups like Xaircraft, Nio, and many more around the world revolutionizing their industries. In many of these successful startups, one of their critical success factors we see is in their application of Industry 4.0 technology onto deep domain or business challenges. Once they are able to resolve these industry-domain challenges, the result is DISRUPTION.

Case in point is Xaircraft – an agricultural drone company that developed state-of-the-art Agri-UAV to perform a comprehensive suite of plant protection services, including precision spraying. These drones can fly autonomously as individual aircrafts or as a fleet, intelligently recognizing crop-type, and applying their chemical sprays with high-precision. This means larger area covered, optimized application of chemicals (no wastage) at exactly when and where they are needed. The result? A revolution in the agriculture industry.

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How Can Singapore Companies Compete? 4 Winning Strategies

Technology is the easy part. In Singapore, we are fortunate to have many of the world class technologies and best-practices available to us, thanks to a world-class government and a global economic network. But adoption and application of these technologies require some guidance and prodding. At ATE’s Innovation Day, we shared 4 very specific strategies or best-practices, showing how these strategies can help turn ideas into executable plans, based largely on SOLIDWORKS suite of products:

Integrated Product Design

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An opportunity to increase productivity

Simulation Driven Design

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An opportunity to improve Product Quality and Reliability

Model-Based Enterprise

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An opportunity to Repurpose Data

Digitalized Engineering

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An opportunity to Integrate engineering teams

For more info on these, please visit our post: Enabler for an Integrated Product Lifecycle

But technology is only as effective as the people who apply them. Hence we advocate Apply and Adapt – Apply the technology you have to a small and manageable scope in your business, and Adapt it through iterations to find the best fit. To help our audience understand how and where to apply these technologies, we were fortunate to have Ben Ong, Senior Lead in Advanced Manufacturing from EDB, to explain the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index (SSIRI). This framework provides us a holistic yet easy-to-apply framework for any business.

Ecosystem – Winning Together

In our connected global economy, no man is an island. In fact, research has shown that business leaders who are more connected to their local and global ecosystems have a higher chance of success than those that don’t connect with their ecosystems. As a technology enabler, ATE actively encourages our customers and partners to get connected to at least the local community. We outline at least 5 pillars of the ecosystem –
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The True Power of A Revolution

If this is a great idea, why not spread it? That’s the question we ask our clients and partners. Good news must be shared. So must great ideas. The Industry 4.0 revolution cannot be contained. We’ve seen how it has exploded in markets such as China, Korea and Japan and Europe. How did they do it? By getting the entire supply chain to join in the revolution. The true power of the revolution can be unleashed when your material suppliers, logistics service providers, equipment makers, sub-contractors, all make the transformation together.


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Great ideas need to be communicated clearly and efficiently for them to be materialized. When your entire supply chain operates out of a seamless, secure and common digital platform, and can be communicated via a common visualization tool such as a 3D model, they free your engineers to be creative and to focus on the solution rather than the problem. Couple it with tools such as Simulation Systems and Additive Manufacturing, great ideas can be fine-tuned, improved and materialized even faster.

Right Now Counts Forever

What we do now will determine our future – our jobs, our businesses, our career, our income, our economy. We believe this message is so important that it’s worth repeating in our ATE Innovation Day. Our technology landscape is changing so rapidly that we cannot afford to remain status quo. So we proposed a framework on how we can move forward as an ecosystem – Understand our competitive playing field and technology landscape, Apply and Adapt what’s available to us, transform as an ecosystem together, and integrate our supply chain. We believe that if we take this approach together, our customers and partners can indeed take the reigns of technology to shape our world in the coming years.

Cheers, 

Wong Keat Tze
Executive Director

Contact ATE if you wish to discuss more specifically about how to make the transformation, or how to adapt the 4 strategies we proposed.