SINGAPORE: A total of 300 Singapore-based companies across all industries can get a free evaluation of their readiness to move into Industry 4.0, as part of the Government's efforts to drive the adoption of advanced manufacturing and help manufacturers build smart factories of the future.
Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon announced on Thursday (22 Mar) that the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) will be funding the evaluation. He was speaking at the IoT Asia 2018 conference where over 6,000 industry participants were present.
Called the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index, the tool will allow companies across industries to evaluate the current state of their facilities, identify the gaps and opportunities present, as well as better understand Industry 4.0 concepts and the rise of new manufacturing technologies.
These will provide the companies with information on the steps needed to progress and also aid them in designing a comprehensive transformation roadmap.
Asked how much the assessments cost, EDB said it was unable to disclose the amount due to confidentiality agreements.
'ONE OF THE LAST PIECES OF THE ENTIRE ECOSYSTEM OF CHANGE'
The index was first launched in November last year by EDB in partnership with TÜV SÜD, a global testing, inspection, certification and training company.
It will assess companies' processes and the technologies they employ, as well as their organisation structure, among other things.
Dr Koh said: “Enabling our industries and supporting our companies and workers in their efforts to adopt Industry 4.0 solutions will be a key priority for Singapore. This will help to keep Singapore as a globally competitive Advanced Manufacturing hub to attract strategic investments and anchor our position in the global value chains.”
He described the index as “one of the last pieces of the entire ecosystem of change” that will help companies figure out where their gaps and needs are.
“It is the piece that helps companies to first make that diagnosis," Dr Koh said. "A good analogy would be that if you don’t know what is wrong with you, you can’t begin to go about to do the treatment.”
APPLICATIONS WILL BE CHOSEN BASED ON CERTAIN CRITERIA
Manufacturer Thong Siek, which is the distributor and retailer of seafood products such as the popular DoDo brand of fishballs, had undergone the assessment and told Channel NewsAsia that it has helped them to better visualise their plans in adopting new Industry 4.0 manufacturing technologies.
Ms Lim Xiao Fei, the company’s deputy chief operating officer, said: “It’s easier for us to put together a more comprehensive plan in terms of digitalisation of our production floor and automation projects. So it will be easier to come up with a proposal to talk to SPRING Singapore and other agencies for support in terms of funding.”
Companies can register their interest for the funded assessments at EDB’s website. The agency said that applications will be chosen based on certain criteria.
Dr Koh said that the government will work closely with Trade Associations & Chambers to drive the use of the index, as well as to deepen engagements with companies and extend the necessary support and guidance to help businesses transform.
“Because them being the industry experts in the cutting edge and leading front of change would know what’s over the horizon and what the needs of their member companies are,” he said.
“So by working with them, we can better decipher where the trends are heading, plus they can become the critical aggregator of their needs and the first mover of change to get companies to come aboard this journey.”