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Thailand Spearheads Automation Technology for SMEs

Under the economic spearhead programme, Thailand’s Department of Industrial Promotion recently announced the successful development and demonstration of an auto storage and retrieval system (ASRS) – a type of warehouse automation technology designed to store and retrieve products and inventory on demand.

According to Dr Nattapol Rangsitpol, Director-General, Department of Industrial Promotion, this affordable ASRS will aid SMEs in enhancing the effectiveness of their warehouse/inventory management systems and assisting Thailand’s transition to Industry 4.0. The system improves enterprise competitiveness by allowing them to reduce errors, save labour and energy, and achieve greater efficiency.

The economic spearhead initiative encouraged the development of ASRS to reduce the price of this promising technology for the benefit of Thai SMEs. Not only did the innovation follow the public-private partnership paradigm for its creation, but also for its commercialisation.

The outcome is a cost-effective, fully integrated ASRS with computer-controlled equipment and system, comprising a stacker crane, storage rack, and warehouse management system developed and produced in Thailand.

Two types of ASRS were created as part of this project. A low-rise ASRS, with a height of 12 metres, is intended for SMEs with limited space and a limited budget, whereas a high-rise ASRS, with a height of 23 metres, is appropriate for large spaces and allows for future expansion. This locally developed innovation will meet ASRS demand, which is expected to reach THB 10 billion in five years.

In addition, Thailand’s mechanism to provide technical experts from a pool of over 1,300 highly experienced and qualified technical experts from universities and S&T agencies to assist businesses in increasing their value through better product matching with the new market is known as the Innovation and Technology Assistance Programme (ITAP).

Initiatives on reskilling and upskilling of the Thai workforce

Meanwhile, Ekaphong Rimcharoen, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, announced initiatives such as digital staff development in Thailand as part of their programme to transform the local ICT learning centre into a digital community hub. He stated that the goal is to develop the digital potential and competence of digital community centre administrators for them to have knowledge and skills in using digital technology.

Thailand is keen to transfer digital knowledge to citizens so that they can use digital technology for learning, self-development, building potential, generating income, and improving the country’s quality of life. The activities will take place across the country in various sectors for the administrators of the digital community centre to receive training and bring knowledge to the public.

Furthermore, the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) Career for the Future Academy unveiled an e-learning platform to support the reskilling and upskilling of the Thai workforce. Its primary mission is to provide comprehensive science and technology training and advanced professional development to supply a quality workforce to support advanced industries.

Numerous workshops and short courses are designed and regularly offered to refresh and upgrade the knowledge of Science and Technology professionals working in the public and private sectors. This e-learning platform reinforces the commitment by providing education at any time, from any location, and at an affordable price.

Soft skills and reskilling courses are available on the platform for a variety of industries. Courses include EV technology, vertical farming, intellectual property law, human research ethics, and practical problem-solving.

On the other hand, NSTDA organises science camps on a variety of topics on a regular basis to promote STEM education among Thai children. With its core competencies in science and technology, NSTDA supports the development of learning media that can spread science education in Thailand.

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