Govt will use tech to help firms: Iswaran

Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran speaking at the launch of the Siemens Digital Factory Manufacturing Design Consultancy.
Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran speaking at the launch of the Siemens Digital Factory Manufacturing Design Consultancy. ST PHOTO: GERALDINE GOH

Using advanced manufacturing and tech trends will help them stay competitive

The Government will keep making the best use of technological trends and invest in advanced manufacturing to transform the sector and strengthen the competitiveness of local companies.

The Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran outlined the commitment at the launch of the Siemens Digital Factory Manufacturing Design Consultancy held at the Shangri-La Hotel yesterday.

Mr Iswaran noted that the manufacturing sector serves as an important pillar of Singapore's economy, contributing about 20 per cent of the country's gross domestic product last year.

"We have established global leadership positions in several key industries, such as electronics, biomedical sciences, energy and chemicals, and transport engineering," he said.

He underscored the Government's allocation of $3.2 billion to support research in advanced manufacturing and engineering under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 plan.

"Manufacturing is a globalised and highly competitive sector, and we must continue to adapt to technological trends that are fundamentally transforming it," he said.

"Advanced manufacturing technologies such as the Industrial Internet of Things, additive manufacturing, robotics and cloud computing are not only disrupting industries, but also creating new opportunities for companies. These technologies will allow manufacturers to increase productivity and reduce operating costs by enabling predictive maintenance, remote monitoring, real-time supply chain optimisation and efficient energy consumption."

He stressed the importance of partnerships as an enabler of growth in the advanced manufacturing sector for its successful transformation and navigation of technological developments.

Siemens' new technical consultancy, he said, will partner Singapore-based manufacturing companies to develop technology road maps to digitise their factories.

"Siemens' new consultancy, which is a first for Singapore, will plug a critical market gap in helping companies make the transition towards a digital future. This project is also aligned with Singapore's efforts to anchor more high-value manufacturing-related services, which will add vibrancy to our manufacturing ecosystem and catalyse the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies."

Mr Joe Kaeser, chief executive officer of Siemens AG, who also spoke at the launch event, said his company's technological expertise is aimed at improving processes and productivity.

"The advantages are shorter time to market by up to 50 per cent, increase in flexibility in customisation and mass production, and improved efficiency, while driving down costs and the quantity of resources.

"This translates into better and more affordable products."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2016, with the headline 'Govt will use tech to help firms: Iswaran'. Print Edition | Subscribe