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Singapore’s New Plan to Help Precision Engineering Industry Digitalise

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Businesses and SMEs in Singapore can now tap on the latest Precision Engineering Industry Digital Plan (IDP) to enhance productivity and digital transformation. The Precision Engineering Industry Digital Plan provides a road map of accessible training programmes to assist these organisations’ employees in gaining necessary skills as they digitalise in stages.

These initiatives are likely to assist around 2,700 enterprises and 101,000 individuals in the industry, which supplies highly accurate designed and built machinery, parts, and components to manufacturing processes.

The IDP was launched by Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Trade, and Industry, at the Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific event, and is led by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in collaboration with the Singapore Precision Engineering & Technology Association (SPETA). The IDP intends to assist PE businesses in assessing their digital readiness and identifying appropriate digital solutions to help them develop faster.

The IDP comprises two roadmaps:

  • the Digital Roadmap maps out different digital solutions that SMEs can adopt at different stages of their business growth and digital maturity; and
  • the Digital Training Roadmap offers a corresponding roadmap of training programmes to equip employees with the right skillsets.

Despite the supply chain challenges and disruption to manufacturing activities caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Trade, and Industry, even said the precision engineering industry has grown and remains important to Singapore, contributing about $40 billion to the country’s gross domestic product. “But as the industry strives to maintain its global competitiveness, it’s very important that we continue to adopt digitalisation and different platforms,” he said.

As part of the SMEs Go Digital Programme, the IDP provides a guide on the digital solutions that SMEs can adopt at three stages of growth:

Stage 1 gets SMEs ready for the digital economy and lists the basic digital solutions that help streamline and integrate businesses operations to improve efficiency. Manufacturing operations management, autonomous mobile robots, and production resource planning are just a few examples. These enable businesses to eliminate human errors while also allowing employees to focus on higher-value tasks such as developing new and better-quality items for their customers.

Stage 2 offers digital solutions to SMEs that are ready to scale their transformation initiatives, allowing them to combine their current workflow and production processes to maximise commercial value. The predictive asset monitoring and maintenance system, for instance, monitors and forecasts the overall performance of machines and equipment. This not only assists organisations in anticipating and detecting future defects but also lowers maintenance costs and eliminates the need for additional spare parts.

Stage 3 finds innovative technology that SMEs may use to drive smart manufacturing. For example, an autonomous robot can automate high-volume, repetitive processes like product assembly as well as lifting and carrying large objects. This minimises error margins and the danger of workplace mishaps while also allowing individuals to take on higher-value activities.

SMEs might choose pre-approved solutions under the digital plan provided on the GoBusiness Gov Assist website to assist them in adopting digital solutions. These pre-approved solutions are eligible for the Productivity Solutions Grant, which provides up to 80% co-funding until March 31 of the following year.

OpenGov Asia reported, Singapore’s new Supply Chain 4.0 Initiative was recently announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat as part of a series of announcements made on the first day of the Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific (Itap) 2021 event, to integrate more technology to help smaller businesses deal with any major future disruptions in product or service supply. Mr Heng said the pandemic uncovered supply chain vulnerabilities, citing manufacturing lockdowns and border limitations as examples of issues.

The Supply Chain 4.0 Initiative is said to be funded by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and supported by two research partners, the National University of Singapore and the Singapore University of Technology and Design, with a total expenditure of $18 million over two years. The initial initiative’s goal is to create digital and automated solutions to fulfil corporate needs, as well as to employ technology to make supply chains more agile, resilient, and secure.

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