SBF and JTC sign agreement to help more manufacturers transform to Industry 4.0

(From left) Mr Tan Boon Khai, Mr Alvin Tan, Ms Joanne Guo and Mr Ho Meng Kit.
(From left) Mr Tan Boon Khai, Mr Alvin Tan, Ms Joanne Guo and Mr Ho Meng Kit.PHOTO: JTC

SINGAPORE - More manufacturers can get help in their efforts to transform to adopt Industry 4.0 solutions, with a partnership inked between the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and JTC Corporation on Wednesday (Oct 21), as part of the Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific event.

"This new collaboration will allow JTC and SBF's combined network of companies to more easily access relevant Industry 4.0 resources across JTC and SBF's networks and platforms," said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, who witnessed the signing.

"Together with partners, they will also conduct joint engagement sessions for companies, and work closely to share their experience and further strengthen the various initiatives."

Industry 4.0 is about using automation and smart solutions to improve processes in manufacturing.

He added that by combining forces, SBF and JTC can also connect participating companies to a larger pool of technology partners for solution matching, and who can follow up to help companies develop the know-how to implement and scale Industry 4.0 solutions in their production settings.

The initiative will provide companies access to relevant resources, such as curated workshops, capability building initiatives tailored to companies' digital readiness, and link-ups to a larger pool of technology partners, such as Siemens, Bosch Rexroth, Konica Minolta and Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association (Speta).

More than 300 companies are expected to be supported under this initiative and undergo Industry 4.0 transformation in the next two years.

Industry partners like trade associations are critical in supporting manufacturers in transformation efforts, said Mr Chan.

"Working closely as a community, they help equip companies with capabilities and partners that will take their businesses forward."

He cited the example of how JTC recommended manufacturer Seng Hua Hng Foodstuff, popularly known for its Camel Nuts products, to participate in an SBF programme.

It helped the company to put in place a digital performance engine to enable real-time data collection and monitoring of its automated production line, which eventually helped them increase output by 16 per cent.

"For our manufacturing sector to remain globally competitive and continue creating quality jobs, businesses must be able to integrate these technologies into their innovation and production processes," he said.

"Those that have been able to do so can have greater visibility and control over their operations, allowing them to respond more nimbly to any changes."

Mr Chan noted that with more than 14,000 industrial tenants, JTC can effectively promote transformation to many companies by connecting them to solutions providers, trade associations, and other government agencies.

More than 1,000 businesses in JTC's estates have been engaged through various industry outreach initiatives, with around 200 companies embarking on their Industry 4.0 journey.

JTC chief executive Tan Boon Khai said: "SBF is an instrumental partner to drive the next phase of Industry 4.0 transformation by companies.

"With our large base of customers, strong network of partners, and robust advanced manufacturing ecosystem in Jurong Innovation District, more companies can become the forerunner in Industry 4.0. With this new partnership, we hope to see more businesses in Singapore transform and capture new growth opportunities in the region."

SBF chief executive Ho Meng Kit added: "The Covid-19 situation has brought disruptions to economies, making businesses rethink strategies, relook operating models and recalibrate resources.

"This has led to an accelerated need for a better understanding and adoption of Industry 4.0 to help local enterprises emerge stronger from the pandemic.

"With the present downturn expected to be protracted, we hope that through this JTC-SBF partnership, we can further encourage more companies to take a holistic view at how Industry 4.0 solutions can help their businesses transform and thrive in the future economy."