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Eye on Malaysian Manufacturing: The disruptive nature of technology

Rosalind See | June 16, 2015
70 IT professionals from Malaysia’s manufacturing sector tackle the latest technology and design shifts at an inaugural event, the first of a new industry vertical series organised by Executive Networks Media.

IT professionals gather for ENM Manufacturing forum - KL

Photo - Malaysian manufacturing sector IT professionals start to gather in the morning at ENM's first Manufacturing Forum in Malaysia.


Technology's role in driving innovation, productivity and efficiency within the competitive manufacturing sector was the subject of the inaugural Manufacturing Forum 2015. Organised by Executive Networks Media (ENM), with Computerworld Malaysia and CIO Asia as supporting media, the event was the first of ENM's series of industry-focused events.

Close to 70 invited participants made up of information technology (IT) leaders and specialists attended the event held at St Giles The Gardens, Kuala Lumpur on 11 June 2015. Speakers at the forum represented a mix of industry and technology specialists, as well as enterprise leaders who had themselves experienced the result of changing technology within their own organisation.  

"Manufacturing's ability to generate employment is one reason why it remains economically important," said Frost & Sullivan associate director, Automation & Electronics, Tim Chuah in his keynote address. "Manufacturing also generates 60% of global research thereby opening up new economic and business opportunities. With global competition becoming fiercer, governments and enterprises are looking towards technology offering a competitive advantage in manufacturing."  

The Internet of Industrial Things (IoIT) is one such initiative. Known also as the Industrial Internet or Industry 4.0, it is based on the integration of virtual and physical production systems.

"IoIT encompasses embedded technology within machines, facilities or fleets, combined with Internet and analytics," explained Chuah. "This is machine-based analytics which combines physics, deep domain expertise, automation and predictive analytics. It enables a whole array of possibilities."

ENM Manufacturing forum delegates prepare for first keynote

ENM Manufacturing forum delegates prepare for first keynote.

IoIT creates a link between real and virtual worlds. "Cyber-Physical Systems or smart systems transform technologies for managing interconnected systems between its physical assets and computational capabilities," said Chuah. "As a result, we have seen industry convergence with a cross-pollination of ideas, technologies and processes between worlds of IT and operations. This has led to a new service paradigm with new avenues for service innovation and potential new profit centres."

At the same time, it has created a fresh business ecosystem where new inter-relationships and interdependencies are paving the way to unexpected business collaborations and partnerships in value creation and realigning synergies. "In the near term, IoIT will be an efficiency booster in reducing operational costs, maximising asset utilisation and enhancing operator productivity. In the longer term, its impact will lead to disruptions in business models and the spread of self-managed systems which focuses on maximum resource optimisation," said Chuah.

He added, "The supply chain, together with the extended supply chain of logistics and services, will be critical aspects of smart manufacturing. The existing supply chain networks will be disrupted."


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