The global industry 4.0 boom has brought about major changes in technology and local industrial policies. In line with this, SEGi University (SEGi) organised the International Conference on Industry 4.0 in Kuala Lumpur from 14 to 16 October 2019. Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed was the guest of honour. Cheng & Co and DSC Consulting jointly had a booth at the exhibition hall to showcase our array of solutions and services.

In his speech, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir congratulated the organiser on a successful conference and stressed on industrial changes that will affect companies and enterprises of all sizes. He also encouraged Malaysian businesses to think global in order to meet the challenges of 4.0. Failing to do so will hinder the country’s access to new industries.

Malaysia’s Industry 4.0 National Policy, launched a year ago, aims to promote Malaysia as the hub of Southeast Asia’s Industry 4.0. Initial progress has already been made thanks to Malaysia’s industrial diversification, successful SME sector and sound digital infrastructure to make the country a prime high-tech location. In Industry 4.0 digital transformation of the manufacturing and service industries and the advancement of information systemisation, is necessary to create a more favourable business environment. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir said, “We need to change from technology trading and users to technology creators.”

On research and development, he pointed out that Industry 4.0 will transform the labour market into a technology-centric one by integrating transportation technology, information technology and data analysis, complemented by the Internet of Things, advanced robotics, artificial intelligence and additives. To promote net productivity and educate the next generation, we must be prepared to move to a new generation of knowledge-based economy.

Cheng & Co’s Executive Chairman Dato Dr Chua Hock Hoo said in an interview that the strength of Malaysia’s industrial structure is mainly based on SMEs, and it opens up a lot of employment opportunities. But SME contribution to the whole of Malaysia is less than 48% of the GDP. This means medium-sized enterprises still have a lot of room for growth. On the contrary, the domestic demand market is fixed and can only go at the pace and trend of the global supply chain.

Chen Chia-Lin, Vice President of DSC Consulting’s Southeast Asia Office said that data-driven enterprises have the biggest potential for intelligent transformation among Southeast Asian enterprises. This is due to these enterprises developing rapidly under new technologies (intermediary technology, network technology, information technology), data analysis, data monitoring). Businesses need to re-examine their status quo and the future of their original core capabilities, redefine their core competitiveness, and use digital transformation to upgrade, restructure their business process, management system and production tools, to become competitive in the market.

Chen Chia-Lin further explained that information and digitalisation is crucial for the transformation of intelligence. Under the wave of this industry, many companies are still making 2.0 supplementary courses or jumping grades. According to DSC Consulting in Asia Pacific, the regional service has more than 50,000 enterprises and proposes five intelligent transformation paths: basic cognition, information construction, digital application, intelligent production, and industrial chain coordination. Southeast Asian enterprises are required to meet different application levels, solutions and services to help them develop data-driven intelligent transformation.

Oliver Chang, Project Consulting Director of DSC Consulting, who was also the keynote speaker at the Industry 4.0 Academic Forum, shared his views on Precision Manufacturing and Industry 4.0, to an audience made of of a large number of students. He believes that transformational wisdom in manufacturing needs to start with eliminating waste, followed by the academic argument of lean manufacturing and intelligent manufacturing. Intelligent manufacturing is an extended application with a solid concept. With the progress of technology tools, it reaches the overall value chain of the enterprise.

However, successful lean production can be defined as a 30% improvement in production efficiency through non-investment in asset equipment. A small and medium-sized enterprise in Southeast Asia can immediately invest in a lean project to enhance its core competitiveness.

The second day featured Malaysia’s Minister of Works, Tuan Hj Mohd Anuar, Minister of Primary Industries Teresa Kok, and Minister of Entrepreneur Development Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof. The focus of the day was on IR4.0 Challenges and Trends Presentation. The Malaysian Government promotes industry-wide incentives for SMEs by providing software and hardware-related subsidy programmes for SMEs, and to recommend firms to be accountants for related applications and financial allocation plans.

Cheng & Co will make relevant assessments and assistance, and through the strong cooperation between DSC Consulting and localized service partners, it will help enterprises accelerate their efforts towards Industry 4.0.