Given that digital and technological innovation continues to be the norm all throughout the globe, the adoption of Industry 4.0 solutions by businesses is necessary to meet global standards and expectations. The concept of Industry 4.0 may be described as the integration of newer, automated forms of technology throughout traditional facilities. By making use of technologies that Industry 4.0 entails (such as 3D printing, 5G networks, or artificial intelligence (AI) to name a few), business operations are optimized while receiving boosts in efficiency and productivity.
Industries applying Industry 4.0 measures are dominated by the automotive (36%), electronics (29%), and mining (29%) sectors, as per a 2020 survey by IoT Analytics conducted among 150 manufacturing companies. Singapore’s growing manufacturing industry is part of and is helping spearhead this global shift.
Looking to Capitalize
Currently, the Singaporean government wants to ensure that businesses are well-equipped to properly implement such strategies. As reported by The Straits Times, Workforce Singapore (WSG), in collaboration with the Singapore Business Federation, launched a program called Industry 4.0 Human Capital Initiative (IHCI), which is developed specifically for the benefit of small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs).
Since its launch in March 2020, the initiative has assisted a total of 90 companies to integrate Industry 4.0 solutions into pre-existing processes. By 2022, WSG and the Singapore Business Federation expect to support an additional 210 firms with this venture.
Of the 90 SMEs that have benefitted from the Industry 4.0 Human Capital Initiative, several have seen fruitful results in their operational processes. For example, laboratory instruments manufacturer PerkinElmer implemented a Digital Performance Engine, which in turn created a digital Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and a work order management solution that improved assembly cycle time by 10 to 20%. Meanwhile, aerospace components manufacturer AVIMAC introduced Digital Performance Management (DPM) solutions which increased machine utilization and productivity. By doing so, their annual revenue may see a potential increase of 1 million USD.
Part of ensuring the efficiency and efficacy of Industry 4.0 practices is finding the specialized solution that fits a certain business or sector’s needs. Companies who want to make the shift must learn from the success and processes of others to make sure that they implement the correct solutions.
Smooth Transitions for Small, Medium Businesses
As part of the initiative, catered businesses undergo evaluation wherein gaps within their processes are identified and subsequently improved with smart solutions. In addition, employees also undergo necessary training which prepares the workforce for the implementation of Industry 4.0 solutions. Considering that workers are upskilled and that significant changes are made to operations, traditional manufacturing roles also become subject to job redesign.
The improvement brought about by Industry 4.0 solutions are procedurally efficient, but such changes are also financially beneficial. According to data from Machine Metrics, Singaporean companies’ rapid adoption of Industry 4.0 smart solutions stands to generate 26 billion USD in total manufacturing output and revenue by the year 2024. Meanwhile, 22,000 jobs with an average salary that is 50% higher than the present are also expected in the same period.
All things considered, the steps taken by Singapore and its manufacturing industry indicate that the country will continue to benefit from the application of Industry 4.0. Such a move only stands to further strengthen the manufacturing industry and its proponents’ overall quality, potential, and capability.
For more updates on the use of Industry 4.0 solutions across Asia, subscribe to our newsletter here.