Exactly how automation will disrupt industries is the main theme of this Computerworld Malaysia interview with KS Lai, who is responsible for developing regional strategic operational strategies across different sectors.
"There is a lot of concern about robots taking over jobs, not only in manufacturing but also in other industries," he said. "Without a doubt, robots are the key enablers of digital manufacturing and will herald the most important revolution of the decade."
As his main role is to oversee operations involving more than 12,000 employees across sites in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and India, I will also ask him for his view of what the coming of automation and robotics will mean to Malaysia and other emerging markets.
He works for the P&L (profit and loss) area of Jabil's EMS (electronics manufacturing services) factories across the region, serving customers across the High Velocity, Industrial & Energy, and Enterprise & Infrastructure segments. His role involves overall plant management, with a focus on developing operational strategies and leveraging Lean and Six Sigma practices and factory-of-the-future technologies to achieve digital transformation.
Recently, Jabil, a global provider of design, engineering manufacturing and supply chain solutions, recently secured approval from the Penang State government in Malaysia to purchase 20 acres of land at the Batu Kawan Industrial Park to support expansion plans. The new site will focus on manufacturing products for the Enterprise, Industrial, Medical and Aerospace sectors.
Photo - KS Lai, Vice President, Regional Operations, EMS, Jabil.
Let's start with a quick take overview of digital is disrupting the industry
(KSL) Since the millennium, the manufacturing industry has been evolving and progressing in the areas of manufacturing technologies and supply chain management.
Today, technology, connectivity and intelligence are advancing at an unprecedented rate, driving constant disruption and redefining the way we live, learn, work and interact.
As we move into an era of unpredictability and constant disruption, businesses will only have two options - to disrupt or be disrupted. Businesses will have to rethink their traditional strategies, redesign their structures and adopt new leadership styles to build agile and responsive organisations of the future.
What are some phases of automation in manufacturing?
The very first phase is to digitise manufacturing data and information into a database. Next would be to define the following phases, based on the manufacturing data collected:
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