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Jabil, a global manufacturing solutions provider, recently hosted an “Automation and Digitalisation Workshop” in Penang designed to strengthen its automation capabilities for greater operational and resource efficiencies.
The event, held at its Batu Kawan facility, showcased the benefits of automation and machine self-optimisation in augmenting human labour, thus driving manufacturing productivity. It was organised in partnership with leading equipment providers and supported by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).
This first-of-its-kind, two-day scenario-based workshop saw Jabil Penang project leaders submit automation and digitalisation proposals which were then put through simulations and demonstrations by equipment partners and subject matter experts. Raising awareness and building a greater appreciation of the advancements in Industry 4.0 (IR4), the application-based approach enabled interactive knowledge exchange sessions that produced action plans for potential future developments.
Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman, Chief Executive Officer of MIDA applauded Jabil Penang’s efforts and contribution to accelerating automation and digitalisation initiatives through its partnership with local vendors in Malaysia.
“Following Jabil’s lead, I hope to see more collaborations, within and across industries, to fully harness the potential of technology in optimising their operations. The digital economy is expected to contribute 22.6 per cent of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) and create over 500,000 jobs by 2025. Through innovations and contributions in the areas of IR4.0 technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, the Internet of Things, and big data analytics, the manufacturing sector plays an empowering role in building a digitally driven, high-income nation and a regional leader in the digital economy,” said Datuk Arham.
Future-ready workforce is critical to building connected factories of the future
“Jabil Penang’s digital transformation journey began in May 2019. While automation and digitalisation enable Jabil to unlock new potential in the areas of operational excellence, people or human labour continues to be a critical element in our ability to deliver the most progressive factories. With proper upskilling, development, and training programs, our trained and certified automation engineers and technicians will continue to give us the edge in technical competencies, so we may deliver differentiated customer, supplier, and employee experiences,” said Tan Siew Jin, Managing Director, Jabil Penang.
Automation and digitalisation to offer multiplier-effect in operational excellence
The pandemic has created a community of engineering and operations leaders who are now armed with a greater understanding of modern enterprise solutions, collaboration tools, and cloud-based capabilities.
“We have seen the strengthened ability to enhance production systems and the manufacturing value chain since furthering our adoption of automation and digitalization. With a predictable operating environment where skilled talents work safely alongside machines that can learn, think, and act, I am heartened that our initiatives across manufacturing, industrial and test engineering are in line with MIDA’s push towards high-end manufacturing and services. Additionally, Jabil looks to continue playing a visible role in collaborating via public-private and academia partnerships, creating employment opportunities for Malaysians, and actively leveraging technology transfer opportunities across our global operations,” concludes Tan.
Attended by over 500 employees, the workshop focused on common process automation and digitalisation in the areas of soldering, screw fastening, transitional manual assembly, dispensing, and pick-and-place, following the recent implementation of an AutoStore solution last year.
The workshop is part of a series of curated, specialised programmes that empower the existing workforce to upskill and reskill to meet evolving market demands and establish digitally-led creative approaches to address common operational issues on the shop floor. Other initiatives include the “D2L Test Engineering” programme which trains and upskill production operators to move into technician roles.