Malaysian Companies called to Step Up their Readiness for IR 4.0

There are no companies in Malaysia presently ready for Industry 4.0 (IR 4.0) as they need to have the intelligent information and communication technologies capability of a smart factory. 

This was revealed by¬†Assoc Prof Ts Dr¬†Khairur¬†Rijal¬†Jamaludin,¬†auditor¬†of¬†the¬†Industry4WRD Readiness Assessment (Industry4WRD-RA)¬†programme¬†to¬†help firms¬†assess their capabilities and readiness for¬†adopting¬†Industry 4.0.¬†He was¬†speaking to¬†over 50 participants at the webinar titled¬†‚ÄėTowards Smart Manufacturing in IR 4.0‚Äô¬†on 11 November 2021.¬†¬†

Dr Khairur audits companies under the Industry4WRD programme.

The event was organised by WOU’s School of Science & Technology, the Technological Association of Malaysia Penang Branch, the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia, Penang Branch, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Malaysia Section. 

Dr Khairur urged companies in Malaysia to improve and be equipped with cyber physical systems for intelligent automation, horizontal integration and vertical integration. He said industries in Europe and US have started adopting IR 4.0, while the Japanese already had big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence as far back as 10 years ago. 

The speaker, Dr Khairur (profile pic).

He highlighted¬†that¬†‚Äúnone¬†of¬†the¬†SMEs¬†in Malaysia¬†so far¬†are interconnected with¬†cyber physical system that is intelligent enough to be called 4.0‚ÄĚ,¬†adding that even¬†the most¬†advanced industries¬†here only have¬†automated production¬†using¬†robots.¬†

With 2035 being the¬†maturity¬†deadline¬†for¬†IR 4.0,¬†Malaysia¬†has¬†introduced the¬†national¬†policy¬†for¬†IR 4.0,¬†known as¬†Industry4WRD,¬†to¬†assess¬†the readiness level¬†of the manufacturing¬†organisations¬†and related services. Under Industry4WRD, the government provides incentives to help transform the Malaysian manufacturing industry to be ‚Äúsmarter, more systematic and resilient‚ÄĚ for migration to IR 4.0.¬†

Assessment of the IR 4.0 readiness of companies towards transformation.

He defined IR 4.0¬†as,¬†‚ÄúCurrent trend of¬†digitalisation¬†of data and information exchange using advanced technology where everything is connected and collaborated in real-time through a cyber physical system.‚Ä̬†He said¬†many companies have¬†lots of¬†data¬†but fail to translate¬†these¬†into¬†useable¬†information¬†for solutions¬†in real-time.¬†

He said¬†cyber physical system¬†(CPS)¬†is¬†the¬†hardware for¬†IR¬†4.0.¬†‚ÄúCPS¬†is¬†enabling technologies that bring the virtual and physical worlds together to create a truly networked world in which intelligent objects communicate and interact with each other.‚Ä̬†

Understanding the cyber physical system.

Dr Khairur explained further,¬†‚ÄúThe customers,¬†suppliers, design engineers,¬†the shop¬†floor, the vendors¬†are¬†all¬†connected¬†to the product development.¬†Information can be changed, converted,¬†in the system¬†in real-time¬†and the outcome¬†is¬†a product that fulfils¬†the customer‚Äôs¬†needs.‚Ä̬†

He mentioned the need to beef up the industries in Malaysia so that they will translate customer’s data into useful information, e.g., to identify the source of a problem, make predictions for prevention, find solutions, or know what future plans to adopt. 

Dr Khairur speaking at the webinar.

He stressed that IR 4.0 can solve common industrial issues related to manpower, machine, material and method, such as manual handling and documentation, workers’ competency, machine breakdowns, wear and tear, spare parts availability, inventory control, traceability of equipment, parts supply and management, production control intelligence, marketing intelligence, and the trends of data. 

He encouraged companies to equip themselves with the enabling technologies for Industry 4.0, namely big data analytics, AI, augmented Reality, additive manufacturing, cybersecurity, IoT, simulation, system Integration, cloud computing, autonomous robots and advanced materials.  

Potential solutions provided by IR 4.0.

Dr¬†Khairur¬†warned,¬†‚ÄúIf our industries do not¬†improve¬†the¬†cyber¬†physical systems¬†in¬†preparation¬†for¬†industry 4.0, they will be left behind¬†in 2035.‚Ä̬†¬†

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