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Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider EG Industries Berhad (EG Industries) is set to build a RM180 million Smart ‘Lights-Out’ Factory 4.0 in Batu Kawan, Penang, which is expected to be a game-changer for the Northern Peninsular. The factory will be producing new 5G Advanced High Speed Optical Signal Transmitter and Receiver for 5G wireless network (“Optical Modules”), using photonics and semiconductor technologies through technology transfer from its US-based customer Cambridge Industries Group (“CIG”).
The Batu Kawan plant, which commenced construction in January 2023, will initiate the first pioneer technology transfer in South East Asia. This is expected to raise the skillset and competitiveness of the local workforce and is set to hire approximately 1,000 high-skilled talents upon completion in the first half of 2024.Today, EG Industries hosted a delegation from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) in Sg. Petani, led by Ms. Lim Bee Vian, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Investment Development), in conjunction with their expansion plan announcement. Also present at the event was YB Dato’ Wira Dr. Ku Abd Rahman, Senior State Executive Council Member (Kedah) and Member of Parliament Kubang Pasu, Kedah.
EG Industries, who currently employs 3,000 staff representing about 1 per cent of the Sg. Petani population, intends to actively collaborate with local universities and colleges to train fresh graduates to become industry-savvy. With its ‘hire local first’ policy, EG Industries prioritises employing Malaysians from the surrounding vicinity, enabling it to reduce dependency on foreign labour.
Ms. Lim Bee Vian, DCEO (Investment Development) of MIDA congratulated EG Industries, said, “We are pleased to see that EG Industries is actively collaborating with local universities and colleges to train fresh graduates to become industry-savvy. With their ‘hire local first’ policy, we applaud the company for providing job opportunities to Malaysians in the surrounding area, reducing dependency on foreign labor, and therefore helping our locals to increase their source of livelihood. Certainly, EG Industries’ expansion plans align with the National Investment Aspirations (NIA) of attracting high-value investments to deliver sustainable and holistic economic growth.”
“We welcome EG Industries’ expansion project leveraging on cutting-edge 5G technology, which is in line with the government’s mandate for MIDA to spearhead rapid digital transformation in the manufacturing sector. This will pave the way for enhancement on productivity, job creation, and the deepening of Malaysian’s skill set,” added Ms. Lim Bee Vian.
The new plant will deploy Lights-Out methodology, creating a fully networked environment that digitises material flow for autonomous manufacturing. This will be managed by a remote team of highly-specialised experts responsible for data management, production planning and quality control.
Apart from Batu Kawan, the EMS player is extending its presence further to build Smart Warehouses and an International Procurement Centre featuring Kedah’s first Vendor Management Inventory (VMI) system to serve its own increasing requirements as well as that of the surrounding industrial cluster in Sg Petani, Kedah and Batu Kawan, Penang. The RM40 million facilities are slated for completion in 2024.
EG Industries’ Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dato’ Alex Kang said that the smart facilities were timely given the Group’s expansion journey, from providing Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) and full-product box-build assembly, to producing upstream 5G routers and soon 5G optical modules.
Dato’ Alex Kang, Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of EG Industries Berhad said, “Even before COVID, EG Industries had put strategies in place to improve our standing, by building our team’s mindset to emphasise on excellence, safety and innovation; serving more international customers to become their EMS partners; and improving efficiency of resource planning and sourcing, especially from local vendors. This has helped us to build our profile to retain our position as top 50 EMS players in the world today. While we are proud of our track record, we believe in enabling our fellow industries in Sg Petani to move forward as a collective unit. This is why we chose to build the Smart Warehouses and IPC, so that every industry player can utilise system-based technologies and have opportunity to scale up their operations.”
“We would like to cooperate more closely with Government authorities and agencies like MIDA to bring up the economic value in the state. Thus far our current plant in Sg. Petani has benefitted from grants to encourage exports and innovation, and we are hopeful for the continued support for future expansion plans. Apart from grants, we always appreciate open sessions for dialogue and feedback on current policies, so that Government agencies are kept abreast of latest developments and challenges of industry players, and formulate a mutually-beneficial solution,” added Dato’ Alex Kang.
Having achieved more than RM1 billion in annual revenue in the financial year ended 30 June 2022 (FY2022), the EMS player currently contributes approximately 2 per cent of Kedah’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).