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Credit: Singapore Economic Development Board (Screenshot from video on EDB's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EDBsg/?ref=br_rs)

Credit: Singapore Economic Development Board (Screenshot from video on EDB's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EDBsg/?ref=br_rs)

Singapore EDB to fund Smart Industry Readiness Index assessments for 300 companies

Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of National Development, Dr Koh Poh Koon, launched the second phase of the Smart Industry Readiness Index at IoT Asia Today. Steps announced include facilitating Index assessments for eligible MNCs and SMEs across industries and development of an accreditation programme to train a pool of qualified Index assessors.

This world-first tool was launched by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) in December last year, to help industrial companies harness the potential of Industry 4.0 in a systematic and comprehensive way. The Index serves as a diagnostic tool that companies - across all industries and sizes - can use to better understand Industry 4.0 concepts, evaluate the current state of their facilities, architect a comprehensive transformation roadmap and deliver concrete, sustained value for their businesses.

Dr Koh said that more than 500 people across 200 local and international companies have attended the series of public workshops organised by the EDB since the launch of the Index, indicating strong industry interest on the subject. Positive industry feedback has been received from both multinational corporations (MNCs) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on the usability of the Index and its benefits towards driving the adoption of Industry 4.0.

However, Dr Koh said more can be done to help companies make better use of this Index. For instance, EDB received feedback from companies that having a qualified assessor could help them conduct a more robust assessment and identify priority areas for transformation.

Acting on this feedback, EDB will be funding 300 facilitated Index assessments for eligible MNCs and SMEs across industries, to help accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0 initiatives. TÜV SÜD, the technical advisor and project manager in the development of the Index, will be conducting the 300 funded assessments.

Each company assessment will be conducted over two half-day workshops, during which companies will be guided through the Index evaluation process to identify high-impact initiatives and projects to implement.

During the first consultation, assessors will clarify the Index’s assessment principles and assist in conducting the evaluation across 16 dimensions. This will help companies understand the current state of their manufacturing facilities and readiness for transformation. In the second consultation, the results will be used by the assessors to identify high impact initiatives that the companies could focus on to realise Industry 4.0.

In addition, to help scale and sustain the usage of the Index, EDB will be developing an accreditation programme to train a pool of qualified Index assessors.  More details on the accreditation programme will be released later this year.

Over the past two years, the Singapore Government has developed and launched 23 Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) in an integrated tripartite approach involving all key stakeholders to identify sector-specific opportunities and challenges at the industry level.

Companies which have taken the first step to assess their future-readiness, and have a clearer understanding of their own transformation roadmap, can continue to tap on various Government schemes and supports to catalyse their adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies.  

For example, firms which want to deploy large-scale automation can tap on the Automation Support Package (ASP) from SPRING Singapore.  The ASP supports companies in scaling up the implementation of automation solutions by leveraging on grant, tax and loan incentives.

Companies can also visit A*STAR’s two model factories to experiment with and test-bed new manufacturing technologies prior to deployment at their own facilities.

Dr Koh said that the Model Factory@SIMTech is already seeing an encouraging response since its launch in 2017, while the Model Factory@ARTC, or the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre, will be launched later this year.

“I am glad to see that several companies have already taken a proactive approach to tap on the available support and platforms to help transform their businesses. I encourage more companies to do the same.  This will in turn help to strengthen our overall manufacturing ecosystem,” he said.

He added that Industry 4.0 adoption will be a multi-year journey for companies and for Singapore, and patience and persistence will be required. He also said that the ITMs are not static and strategies will need to be periodically reviewed to ensure their continued relevance to the industry.  This will be done in collaboration with industry stakeholders including Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) and unions.

In October this year, Singapore will also host the inaugural run of Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific. As the first Asia-Pacific edition of Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade show, this is expected to be another good international platform for manufacturers and suppliers to exchange ideas on Industry 4.0, form new networks, and identify new potential partners.  

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