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Singapore helps SMEs in manufacturing sector prepare for Industry 4.0

Nurdianah Md Nur | May 3, 2017
By providing SMEs access to digital and advanced manufacturing solutions, as well as offering training programmes.

cartoonised factories
Credit: GraphicStock

Singapore is doing more to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector digitally transform themselves for Industry 4.0.

Firstly, local SMEs can now access the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*STAR) advanced manufacturing equipment and expertise through the Tech Access programme.

Available equipment ranges from inspection tools to more advanced equipment, including robotised 3D scanners and high-pressure cold spray for additive manufacturing, Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of A*STAR, said.

A*STAR will also provide user training and advice on how to use such machines, new processes, prototyping and testing.

"If successful, SMEs could then go on to acquire their own equipment to scale-up and capture new business opportunities," Lim added.

Secondly, SMEs can leverage Tech Depot to digitalise their operations.

Offered on SPRING Singapore's SME Portal, Tech Depot is a whole-of-government initiative that offers SMEs a suite of readily adoptable technologies that can help improve productivity. "It is targeted at enhancing enterprises' operations such as inventory management and business process automation," Lim explained.


Developing talents for Industry 4.0

Having talents with relevant capabilities is also essential to thrive in Industry 4.0.

The Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC) is thus grooming talents for future manufacturing jobs through workshops and on-the-job training. "At any one time, ARTC has at least 30 interns from various universities and polytechnics," said Lim.

ARTC has also partnered McKinsey & Company to jointly conduct training sessions that will cover the intricacies of Industry 4.0. The sessions will leverage the McKinsey Digital Capability Centre Singapore's learning modules across themes such as predictive maintenance, digitised performance management, procurement and supply chain.

Besides that, ARTC plans to work with Workforce Singapore (WSG) in future to deliver master classes that will enable SMEs to deepen their skills in advanced manufacturing, said Lim.


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