JTC officially launched the Industry Connect Office @ Jurong Innovation District (JID), a one-stop centre to help more manufacturers, especially local SMEs, accelerate their Industry 4.0 transformation. The growing advanced manufacturing ecosystem of research institutions, technology and training enablers, and factories of the future in Jurong Innovation District (JID) will help companies start, scale and sustain their transformation journeys.
Companies can now gain access to a large pool of technology and training partners including global Industry 4.0 giants like Bosch Rexroth, McKinsey, Konica Minolta, and Siemens, as well as trade associations like Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Singapore Precision Engineering & Technology Association (SPETA) and its consortiums (SiTA, iSMART and iSAMS). They can also tap the Model Factory at the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), and the Innovation Factory at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and its partners to support their Industry 4.0 transformation and product innovation. This will allow them to develop new capabilities, embark on job re-design, and ensure long-term competitiveness.
New initiatives to accelerate the next phase of Industry 4.0 transformation
To strengthen the collaborative network, JTC and the Advanced Manufacturing Training Academy (AMTA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide consultancy and advisory services on Industry 4.0 skills and training at the new Industry Connect Office. Companies that are keen to further their Industry 4.0 ambitions will be matched with technology and training partners to identify their problem statements, pinpoint suitable solutions, and participate in upskilling programmes.
In addition, as part of the Industry Connect Office’s outreach efforts, 13 Community of Practice (CoP) partners under the Workforce Singapore’s (WSG) Industry 4.0 Human Capital Initiative (IHCI) in partnership with SBF aims to help companies with the next phase of implementation by deploying and scaling their Industry 4.0 solutions. For example, they can find the right partner to help them roll-out customised solutions, train, upskill or reskill their workers.
With the Industry Connect Office, 1,000 companies are expected to learn more about Industry 4.0 through sharing sessions and seminars over the next three years. Of which, 300 companies are expected to undergo diagnostic, consultancy, and training services to adopt new technology and upskill their workforce.
Mr Tan Boon Khai, Chief Executive Officer of JTC, said, “JTC is working with various partners to help more firms embark on digitalisation and capture new growth opportunities in Singapore and the region. The new collaboration with AMTA will strengthen our network of Industry 4.0 partners, and serves as a significant milestone to drive the next phase of business transformation. Through close industry collaborations, we hope to help more companies embark on digital transformation and accelerate the growth of the advanced manufacturing sector.”
Mr Lee Kok Choy, Chairman of AMTA, said, “To strengthen Singapore’s competitiveness in manufacturing, we have to embrace Industry 4.0 leading to advanced manufacturing. AMTA is excited with the opportunity to partner JTC in the Industry Connect Office @ JID to accelerate advanced manufacturing transformation.”
Mr Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive of WSG said, “The journey towards Industry 4.0 transformation is an ongoing one. While the IHCI provides guidance to companies during the initial scale up phase, the Industry Connect Office will bring together a community which helps companies to tap on professional expertise to springboard their business transformation efforts. WSG is committed to support the continuous creation of quality jobs as well as uplifting the skillsets for the manufacturing workforce alongside their transformation journey.”
Good progress in business transformation and talent upskilling
JTC launched the Industry Connect Initiative last year to help businesses across its estates grow through technology adoption while enhancing talent development and environmental sustainability. With over 14,000 customers, JTC can effectively promote business transformation to these companies by connecting them to solutions providers, trade associations, and government agencies. Since then, JTC has observed good progress in companies’ digitalisation and workforce upskilling efforts.
For example, Flo-line Hydraulics, a homegrown SME that provides high quality mobile and industrial hydraulic components, participated in the IHCI Enabler Programme. Through the programme, they did a trial and installed IoT devices on the machines which are connected to the analytics platform. This has helped the company to maximise production time, and provide more accurate analysis of machine performance through the new data collected. They saw an increase in productivity by about 10 to 30%, and intend to scale up their technology adoption.
Mr KL Chia, Managing Director of Flo-line Hydraulics, said, “We embarked on the Industry 4.0 programme through JTC’s introduction. This has helped us to identify areas to digitalise, redesign jobs, and upskill staff to improve business performance. We managed to look for way to resolve production bottleneck and improve productivity. Our staff were able to better understand the technology, and as they get more familiar with it, we hope that they can develop new thoughts and learnings on digitalisation.”
Yew Huat Scaffolding, a local SME specialising in manufacturing metal components and supplying scaffold, collaborated with trade association, SPETA’s consortium iSMART. Through this partnership, they embarked on a full-scale space optimisation project by implementing new technologies like automated storage and retrieval system, as well as welding robots to automate its process in steel structure modular access manufacturing. Overall output of welded steel structure modular access is expected to increase by 30%, with 50% reduction in labour required.
Mr James Tan, Project Manager of Yew Huat Scaffolding, said, “Through JTC's Industry Connect platform, we were able to embark on a smooth and effortless digitalisation journey from planning to deployment. The automated lines helped to reduce our manpower workload, and allow us to reskill and redeploy our workers to do higher value-add roles. With this transformation, we hope that this will be one of the model projects for construction industry to showcase space optimisation and productivity improvement, attracting more talents to join us.”