Artist's impression
Firms to adopt digital solutions, innovate at new Kranji facility
30 Nov 2021 Written by The Straits Times

Beng Hock Mechanical Engineering will be moving next year into a new facility in Kranji, where the local company will implement digital solutions projected to help it save between $150,000 and $220,000 annually.

This will be accomplished through new warehouse management solutions as well as new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which will connect the company's inventory, sales and accounting, as well as its production processes, using a single platform.

It is also looking to allow customers to remotely view their equipment when it is being serviced or repaired, in the next phase of its digitalisation journey, he said.

The company is among more than 40 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the metal, machinery and timber industries that will move to industrial landlord JTC's TimMac @ Kranji development, expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year.

 TimMac @ Kranji was conceptualised with industry associations and will offer shared services managed by Singapore Cranes Association to drive industry transformation and achieve higher productivity, said Mr Alvin Tan, JTC assistant chief executive for the industry cluster group.

 "SMEs can leverage high technical specifications such as high ceilings, heavy floor loading and wide columns that will support their operational requirements, as well as enhance their productivity and sustainable initiatives in the long run," he said.

 On Nov 16, JTC launched the Industry Connect Office @ Jurong Innovation District as a one-stop centre to help SMEs accelerate their digital transformation, in line with Singapore's longer-term objectives of grooming and growing local enterprises and talent.

 About 1,000 businesses in JTC estates have participated in Industry 4.0 outreach initiatives and about a quarter of them have embarked on digitalisation efforts, Mr Tan noted. The new Jurong office is intended to engage more SMEs on this front.

 Another company that will be moving into TimMac @ Kranji is industrial fabrication solutions provider Plony Industries.

 It will be implementing new solutions such as a radio shuttle system for more optimised pallet storage as well as a cloud-based work order tracking system.

 General manager Zee Ng said that as the company moves from a larger land area to the industrial building, space constraints will be a challenge to be addressed through these new technological solutions.

 It has committed $500,000 for its initial phase of digitalisation efforts, including ongoing efforts to implement new marketing and human resource solutions, he said.

 The radio shuttle system will help with space optimisation and reduce order loading and picking turnaround time by up to 50 per cent, said the company's operations manager, Mr Michael Chia.

 With the system, operators will not need to sort goods and forklift the racks manually, but simply unload the goods onto smart storage racks, he explained.

 Mr Chia also said that the new work order tracking system will allow the company to digitalise its process flow, eliminate hand-written orders and enable real-time communication between the office, warehouse and delivery team.

 This could lead to an improvement in labour productivity of up to 50 per cent, he noted.

 "Prior to this, drivers would need to complete their deliveries and return to the warehouse before they could be tasked with new requests. With the new platform, the supervisor can task drivers with new requests that might be near their location. This will give more flexibility in delivery planning," said Mr Chia.

 Beng Hock Mechanical Engineering's Mr Leow said that with the move to the new TimMac facility, the company hopes to create a brighter and more green environment for its workshop.

 It is also adding new production equipment such as a specialised hydraulic cylinder repair machine at the new facility.

 Mr Leow noted that traditional industries are often associated with a dirty work environment.

 "We hope to change that image and repackage the job scope to better attract younger talents in the future," he said.

 Source: The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.