Singapore towards Industry 4.0
While Singapore’s industries gear up for Industry 4.0, a lot of attention had been given to Digitalization and Smart Factory. ATE had spent the last 6 months helping to bring a common understanding and definition of Industry 4.0 to its community of customers. Most of the questions we get in this awareness campaign centred around “What’s the most practical first step towards transformation?” and “Where do I begin?”. Fortunately for us, Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) launched the world’s first Industry 4.0 diagnostic tool, called the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index. (“SIRI” We like to call it SIRI for short-form illustration) to help answer these questions.
Seeing ourselves as a change agent for the community, ATE organised the first CalibrATE I4.0 event to assist its customers, targeting primarily C-level executives, in understanding the concept of industry 4.0 and how to embrace the use of the SIRI framework. The event keenly participated as we saw 45 senior executives from 28 different local companies attending the event.
Introduction to Industry 4.0 and Smart Industry Readiness Index
The event started off with a quick recap of the Industry 4.0 definition, and on the industry should embrace this transformation. The case was made to the audience that adoption will not only bring higher value-add to the Singapore’s businesses, but it will “Future-proof” their businesses against the changing landscape. What should be the scope of this Industry 4.0 transformation? How do I begin to assess and prioritize the areas for transformation? These were some of the key questions addressed, using SIRI as the framework for assessment.
Understanding the Transformation Framework – Technology, Process and Organizational Readiness
One of the key aspects of preparing for an Industry 4.0 transformation is adopted an industry-standard framework. SIRI assumes a framework that had been soundly researched and adapted to the Singapore context. The index assumes 3 fundamental building blocks – process, technology and organisation. And within these building blocks are 8 main “pillars” that a business needs to build – you can think of them as capabilities in the business. So how do you assess your capabilities in these 8 “pillars”? SIRI then maps out 16 dimensions for self-assessment. Each dimension addresses a specific area of capability, and SIRI then defines an index (or score) that the SME can self-assess.
Within each index, there are 6 bands, starting from Band 0 to Band 5, which means undefined, defined, digital, integrated, automated and intelligent respectively. (Please see figure below). To illustrate how to use the index, ATE picked the Process block – Product Lifecycle Integration as an example.
Applying ATE’s Product Innovation Framework, it was shown to be possible to move up the readiness index band by building the processes to be digital, integrated, automated and even intelligent.
Next, you can maximize value further by applying the right Technology with well-designed processes.
We were honoured to have RACE – Robotics Automation Centre of Excellence – help us showcase how robotics technology can enhance shop floor automation. The advancement of technology also allows more advanced robots to be well connected to IOT systems making robots interoperable, while at the same time able to make certain decisions on their own.
Being practitioners of automation and digitalization, we don’t just want to talk about the theoretical model of Industry 4.0, but with the above illustrations, we were able to engage our senior executives in the “how” as well as the “why” of Industry 4.0. We demonstrated to ATE’s customers how they can utilize the self-assessment index from SIRI to understand their process readiness, as well as explore possible technology solutions that they can adopt in their transformation journey.
Transformation RoadMap for Precision Industry by SPETA
One of ATE’s key messages to its customers is that we cannot transform alone. To explain why, and stress the importance of an industry-wide adoption, we had the privilege of having Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association (SPETA) to share the transformation roadmap for the Precision Industry which is one of the key sectors for Manufacturing in Singapore.
Did you know that the Singapore Manufacturing industry accounts for 20% of the GDP? It’s therefore critical to understand how the industry is transforming, and what help our customers can get through the industry eco-system agencies such as SPETA. In itself, this would have to be a separate topic, but the key takeaways from the transformation roadmap are to increase productivity through the adoption of advanced technologies such as robotics, deepen skillsets of the existing workforce, foster innovation and to go global.
Transformation Experience by NAC Machinery & Equipment Pte Ltd
To take our participants into a more practical level of adopting Industry 4.0, we felt that we should provide a platform for our customers who have already embarked on this brave journey to share with us their experience. It’s a way to get participants to begin the planning process through practical lenses.
We were very fortunate to have customers that have already embarked on this journey! NAC Machinery & Equipment Pte Ltd very generously shared their transformation journey of how they had undertaken Industry 4.0 initiatives to improve their maintenance reporting of their hydraulic power pack. By implementing IOT solutions onto their hydraulic power pack product, they bring a whole new area of business opportunities for their customers where now customers are able to monitor the performance of the power pack proactively and deploy expensive maintenance resources effectively and responsively. Not only does this reduce the total cost of ownership, but it enables a brand-new level of service to customers.
It’s obvious that a lot more can be said and discussed, given such a broad topic like Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing. We are just at the early stages of adoption for Singapore’s manufacturing and design industry. But there’s only so much we can discuss in a half-day event. Hence ATE is committed to organizing more of such events to provide more quality time for our customers to learn, share and exchange experiences in each of our journeys.
In keeping with ATE’s objectives to provide a practical approach to Industry 4.0 adoption, we concluded the afternoon with a roundtable discussion among all participants. We wanted to provide a way in which participants would leave the event asking more “right” questions as well as having some answers. Asking the right questions is halfway to finding the solutions. The roundtable also provided a forum from which participants could “CalibrATE” their current state against the EDB’s SIRI.
Lastly, we provided an avenue through which our customers can explore further adoption issues directly with ATE or our partners via our website – https://www.ateworks.net/contact-us/. I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged to see the number of companies not only interested but wanting to learn more about how they can embark on their own journey of transformation. We will definitely plan more events like these in the coming months for our customers and partners to share and crystalize their own plans. Stay tuned!
Wong Keat Tze, ATE