Manufacturing sector here leading in Industry 4.0

The article "S'pore lags behind regional peers in Industry 4.0" (Nov 30) paints an inaccurate picture of manufacturing in Singapore.

Far from lagging behind regional peers, we have a strong manufacturing base that is leading the adoption of Industry 4.0, which refers to the digitalisation of manufacturing. It implies greater connectivity and intelligence in industry operations, made possible by new smart technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence.

Today, Singapore is the fourth-largest exporter of high-tech goods (by value) globally.

Manufacturers in this sector are lead adopters of Industry 4.0 globally.

We continue to see sustained interest by these manufacturers in basing their Industry 4.0 hubs here, given our vibrant ecosystem of Industry 4.0 hardware and application providers, and our workforce which is skilled, reliable and productive.

They are also attracted by the Government's agenda in driving the adoption of technologies in industry and in the workforce, through various schemes such as the National Robotics Programme and the SkillsFuture Series for Advanced Manufacturing.

Next year, we look forward to hosting the first Asian edition of Hannover Messe, which is the world's largest industrial trade fair, to further catalyse Industry 4.0 adoption in Singapore and in the region.

We agree with Mr Brandon Lee, chairman of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation smart automation industry group, that Industry 4.0 is a multi-year journey.

We believe that in Singapore, Industry 4.0 is not just for large enterprises, but also for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Hence, with the support of multinational corporations and local SMEs, the Economic Development Board launched the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index, a world-first diagnostic tool to help companies harness Industry 4.0.

Companies can use the index to understand Industry 4.0 concepts, evaluate their facilities, design comprehensive road maps, and deliver concrete value.

To help companies understand and use the index, we are running a series of workshops in the next few months.

We also look forward to partnering our trade associations, like the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and the Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association, to drive Industry 4.0 adoption here.

Lim Kok Kiang

Assistant Managing Director

Singapore Economic Development Board

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2017, with the headline 'Manufacturing sector here leading in Industry 4.0'. Print Edition | Subscribe