Posted on 2/03/2017 by Jay Banghar
I recently had a discussion with a senior business development candidate for a German Industrial Solutions Organization to understand his general thoughts of IoT manufacturing/ smart manufacturing within Singapore. He was kind enough to share with me some very interesting insights.
“Smart/IoT Manufacturing solutions have picked up momentum especially from last year. In 2015, it was more like a hype/buzz especially in Asia. I felt there is a general misconception for what IoT can do. Especially here in Asia, there is a lot of hype over Smart City application; it requires a lot of manufacturing experience to incorporate IoT into it.”
He shared that Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) has been encouraging funding for Center of Excellence for MNCs or even start-ups to train them in areas like Smart Manufacturing which has since gained a lot of traction and activities being spearheaded.
One such initiative is a collaboration from Global management consulting firm, McKinsey and A*Star Advanced Remanufacturing & Technology Center (ARTC) for “Project Lighthouse” – This collaboration is focused on advanced manufacturing to develop A*STAR’s Factory of Future platform which allows manufacturing companies to learn, test, develop and scale Industry 4.0 Manufacturing Technology solution. “Project Lighthouse” is a consortium model as an initiative for the start-up scene in Singapore to learn and co-share intellectual property with Bosch and Siemens for areas within industrial IoT/ Industry 4.0.
“Predictive maintenance, COBOTS (collaborative robots) to assist humans in mundane labor” stated my candidate as the below video featuring Ford's Cobots illustrates:
For a manufacturing company, laborers are employed to work in assembly lines so Cobots collaborate with human beings to alleviate repetitive tasks. Cobots are a unique breed of robots (not caged up robots) and are enabled to support human beings.
For auto manufacturing lines, ie Hyundai, there is a certain process the manufacturers follow, the parts has to be welded then molded into a body of a car which will be painted , assembled, tested and delivered. His employer has developed Cobots which has proximity sensors to avoid contact with humans.
Data mining – having sensors in place to sense environmental data which previously might not be able to acquire, to predict asset maintenance which could help to reduce downtime and saves unnecessary costs
When an iPhone from China is shipped to your doorstep, you can now see real time information because of embedded sensors in the cartons,which sends the data into a cloud database which provides visibility and transparency for quality assurance, efficiency and cost savings to avoid overcharging on transportation costs. This saves logistics freight costs by providing information such as the delivery route and even the driver’s behavior.
Amazon is currently pioneering drone delivery. Robots will in time replace human labor in the future, traditional layman jobs with minimal expertise and perhaps even the most skilled jobs will be replaced.
Singapore has already started looking into advanced manufacturing as labor costs here are higher and in high demand. Therefore, it is very relevant as a key market for Industry 4.0 as a services hub.
We both agreed with the fact that ultimately, it is very important to have domain knowledge of manufacturing and how IoT will change the way moving forward for a Smart Industry, and education and knowledge play an important factor in order to grow this area.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with any part of my article? I look forward to your thoughts +65 6589 8787