New road maps launched to help process construction and maintenance sector digitalise

An industry digital plan to boost digitalisation efforts in the process construction and maintenance sector was launched on Aug 26, 2021.
An industry digital plan to boost digitalisation efforts in the process construction and maintenance sector was launched on Aug 26, 2021.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Local petrochemical engineering firm CYC International has seen significant reduction in manpower needs and project times since adopting robotic systems in its operations.

With time-consuming and labour-intensive tasks such as tank cleaning and painting works automated, it has seen a 60 per cent reduction in manpower needs.

The robotic systems also mean that the company is able to eliminate the use of elevated platforms such as scaffolds, thus enhancing worksite safety.

CYC International, which provides storage tank cleaning solutions, has also adopted a system to digitise employee attendance tracking and automate payroll calculations, improving the productivity of its human resource department.

The industry digital plan for the process construction and maintenance (PCM) sector was launched on Thursday (Aug 26) to help more small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) build up digital capabilities and address challenges faced in the industry.

More than 500 businesses and 30,000 employees are expected to benefit from the plan, which comprises two road maps - one for adopting digital solutions and one for employee training.

These will help PCM enterprises assess their digital readiness and identify suitable digital solutions to grow.

A total of 19 sector-specific industry digital plans have been developed and launched to date to help the likes of the early childhood, food manufacturing and logistics sectors in their digitalisation efforts.

Speaking at the virtual launch of the plan, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling noted that the PCM sector plays a critical role in supporting Singapore's key industrial sectors such as energy and chemicals, semiconductors and pharmaceuticals.

Firms in the PCM sector provide key services, such as equipment cleaning, to maintain the safety and operation of specialised equipment and machinery used in production processes.

In her speech, Ms Low said SMEs in the PCM sector here, such as CYC International and Shing Leck Engineering Services, have reaped benefits such as cost- and time-savings by adopting digital solutions in their operations.

Shing Leck, which provides mechanical, scaffolding and painting services, has seen higher operating margins with the help of a digital solution to integrate business functions such as accounting and compliance.

"We have seen the tangible benefits that digitalisation has brought to many companies," said Ms Low.

"For businesses that want to stay competitive and relevant in the new normal, the time for embarking on your digital transformation is now."

The development of the plan was jointly led by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), in partnership with the Association of Process Industry.

Ms Esther Xu, director for marine and offshore and engineering services at ESG, said that a highly skilled and productive PCM ecosystem contributes to Singapore's ability to continue to attract and grow investments in key sectors.

"PCM companies need to embrace and master digitalisation, not just to drive higher productivity, but also to transform and offer new value propositions," she added.

IMDA director for SMEs Go Digital Catherine Chong added: "To achieve sustainable development in the PCM sector, where niche skills and expertise are required in the day-to-day construction and maintenance of the production units, it is important for the industry to embrace digital tools and skills to increase labour productivity and develop improvement practices that comply with the industry's stringent safety standards."