M’sia will trail be­hind if it ig­nores In­dus­try 4.0

The Borneo Post - - BUSINESS -

KUALA LUMPUR: The Fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion, coined as In­dus­try 4.0, is hap­pen­ing glob­ally and Malaysia is bor­der­ing on dan­ger of be­com­ing a strug­gling econ­omy if in­dus­tries are not ready.

In fact, emerg­ing economies like Viet­nam, Myan­mar, Laos and Cam­bo­dia could catch up and beat Malaysia through this in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion.

Knowl­edgeCom Cor­po­ra­tion Sdn Bhd chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, S.T Rubaneswaran, said most of the Malaysian in­dus­tries were still on the labour-based In­dus­try 2.0 and would need to skip a level to get to 4.0.

While the first in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion cen­tred on the use of steam to power ma­chines and the sec­ond on elec­tric­ity to trans­form assem­bly lines, the third re­volved the use of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy (IT) to fur­ther au­to­mate pro­duc­tion lines.

How­ever, the fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion will see the In­ter­net of Things (IoT) over­haul not only busi­nesses, but nearly all as­pects of daily lives.

It is the cur­rent trend of au­to­ma­tion and data ex­change in man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nolo­gies that cre­ate a ‘smart fac­tory’, in which ma­chines are aug­mented with web con­nec­tiv­ity and con­nect to a sys­tem that can vi­su­alise the en­tire pro­duc­tion chain and make de­ci­sions on its own.

Rubaneswaran said In­dus­try 4.0 would be based on nine pil­lars – au­ton­o­mous robot, sim­u­la­tion, sys­tem in­te­gra­tion, IoT, cy­ber se­cu­rity, cloud com­put­ing, ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing, aug­mented re­al­ity, big data an­a­lyt­ics, and hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal sys­tem in­te­gra­tion.

He said a Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers’ sur­vey on 20,000 com­pa­nies in 29 coun­tries from Asia, Europe and

This will help in­crease their rev­enue at an an­nual rate of 4.3 per cent and cost re­duc­tion of 3.4 per cent. S.T Rubaneswaran, Knowl­edgeCom Cor­po­ra­tion Sdn Bhd chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer

the US, re­vealed that in five years’ time, th­ese com­pa­nies would in­vest close to US$1 tril­lion a year to trans­form into In­dus­try 4.0.

“This will help in­crease their rev­enue at an an­nual rate of 4.3 per cent and cost re­duc­tion of 3.4 per cent.

“For man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries, those which man­age to re­duce cost by 18 per cent in five years, can elim­i­nate com­pe­ti­tion eas­ily as their mar­gins are tight,” he said.

Malaysia’s econ­omy is the fourth largest in South­east Asia, af­ter the much more pop­u­lous In­done­sia, Thai­land and the Philip­pines, and the third rich­est by gross do­mes­tic prod­uct per capita val­ues, af­ter Sin­ga­pore and Brunei.

How­ever, Rubaneswaran said econ­o­mists’ fore­cast pointed out that th­ese could change soon when emerg­ing economies like Viet­nam, Myan­mar, Laos and Cam­bo­dia beat Malaysia through In­dus­try 4.0.

For the last 10 years, th­ese were agri­cul­tural based coun­tries with lit­tle in­dus­try, he said.

“Now as they are mov­ing to­wards in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, the com­pe­ti­tion lies be­cause they are start­ing fresh with no legacy is­sue to ap­ply the lat­est in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion faster, in build­ing their man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­duc­tion in­fras­truc­ture,” said Rubaneswaran.

In his view, the rea­son for the shift­ing of for­eign in­vest­ments to neigh­bour­ing coun­tries was also not due to cheap labour fac­tor but rather on the eas­ier adop­tion of new in­dus­trial prac­tices.

Hence the need for Malaysia to pre­pare its hu­man cap­i­tal to­wards this new tech­nol­ogy to sus­tain and at­tract more for­eign in­vest­ments into the coun­try, he ex­plained.

Although Malaysia has un­der­taken mea­sures to­wards mov­ing into the tech­nol­ogy, Rubaneswaran said more ef­forts were needed as the na­tion’s big­gest chal­lenge still lay in the lack of sup­ply of tech­no­log­i­cally trained work­ers.

“The coun­try has three lay­ers of work­force with three dif­fer­ent tech­nol­ogy and gen­er­a­tions -- the older gen­er­a­tion ( aged 40 and above), mid-, new gen­er­a­tion com­ing out of the uni­ver­si­ties .

“So to trans­form all of them es­pe­cially the mid- and the older gen­er­a­tion to use new tech­nol­ogy to go up and com­pete with the younger ones com­ing out from uni­ver­si­ties is a chal­lenge,” he said.

Knowl­edgeCom, a home­grown IT train­ing provider for more than 10 years has also evolved over the years from pro­vid­ing train­ing of one tech­nol­ogy, namely In­dus­try 3.0 to In­dus­try 4.0.

For In­dus­try 4.0 train­ing, Rubaneswaran pointed out that the com­pany would fo­cus on four pil­lars in­clud­ing cy­ber se­cu­rity, big data, IoT and cloud com­put­ing.

In an ef­fort to up­skill the cur­rent and next gen­er­a­tion of work­force, he said the com­pany had part­nered with seven states with the sup­port of the Fed­eral gov­ern­ment to open Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence Train­ing (CoET) in Kuala Lumpur, Se­lan­gor, Pe­nang, Perak, Jo­hor, Sabah and Sarawak.

Knowl­edgeCom has started its CoET pro­gramme in Pe­nang and Perak and is ex­pected to start op­er­a­tions in Sabah, Sarawak and Jo­hor in Jan­uary this year. — Ber­nama

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