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Malaysian factory gets new solar tech

According to a recent report, a Massachusetts-based tech firm announced that it is partnering with the manufacturer of photovoltaic solar cells which has a factory in Malaysia.

This move makes the factory the first one to produce its proprietary solar wafers.

The wafer manufacturer originally planned to open a plant in the U.S., after receiving US$17 million in grants from the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop its technology and a US$150 million loan guarantee “to build innovative, new manufacturing facilities.” That loan guarantee ultimately went unused.

The Malaysia plant, which is owned by the with the company that manufactures photovoltaic solar cells and uses the firm’s technology, will sit next to the cell manufacturer’s cell and module manufacturing site in Cyberjaya, as part of a non-exclusive supply partnership.

The tech firm’s “direct wafer” process is unique because it significantly reduces the waste associated with cutting panels from silicon ingots. Instead, the process melts silicon into a molten bath to produce wafers.

The company says its product costs less than half the price of conventional wafers, which make up a significant portion of cell costs, because the process wastes little polysilicon. Early on, the tech firm stated its mission as making solar power cost-competitive with coal.

Driving Industry 4.0

 International collaboration is a top goal for Malaysia as it works to push it’s Industry 4.0 agenda.

According to it’s Industry4WRD Policy, notes that the overarching philosophy behind this Policy is A-C-T – Attract, Create and Transform.

  • Attract stakeholders to Industry 4.0 technologies & processes;
  • Create the right ecosystem for Industry 4.0 technologies to be adopted and to nurture innovations; and
  • Transform capabilities of the manufacturing industry to be Industry 4.0-ready

The Policy noted that transforming Malaysia’s manufacturing sector is not a short-term process, where many industries having experienced significant challenges for decades. A supportive policy environment is required over the next decade to provide businesses with stability and allow them to execute these long-term strategies.

It was noted that it is imperative that the Policy seeks to implement from the top: Industry 4.0 is expected to have far reaching impact across industries, societies and the broader economy. Thus, it is not a domain of any one Government department or agency. Governance for such initiatives should be initiated at the top most level in the country, with emphasis on strong cross-ministerial and agency collaboration.

The Government is working to increase awareness of the need, benefits and opportunities of Industry 4.0 technologies and business processes among manufacturing firms.

Another strategy that the Government aims to do is to establish digital/technology labs and collaborative platforms, especially public-private partnerships (PPPs), to create awareness and understanding, foster the adoption of new technologies, and facilitate the transfer of knowledge.

The partnerships between the two aforementioned firms will help to achieve its goals of:

  1. Supporting leading global and local industry leaders to establish digital and technology labs that showcase the potential applications, benefits and proof of concept of new technologies for industry adoption
  2. Create PPPs and collaborative programmes for manufacturing activities that foster digital adoption, collaborative deployment and development of local capabilities, especially in priority sectors and technologies
  3. Provide local firms, especially SMEs, with open access to smart manufacturing research, tools and technologies and help them understand what can be applied in the early stages of adoption

While the partnership is not a PPP it will enable greater economic prosperity as well as better, more economically friendly manufacturing processes.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com