Industry 4.0: The global transformation effect

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As most of us know, Industry 4.0 has created a whole new ballgame for manufacturing processes, integrating cutting-edge technologies into the workflow of machineries and mass production.

By S.T. Rubaneswaran

Industry 4.0 has established many intelligent ways for manufacturing industries in achieving substantial cost savings without jeopardising product quality while improving the precision of the production procedure.

This development has been a major success since its inception, lessening the likelihoods and risks of human error.

Now, with the emergence of Industry 4.0, changes can bring fruitful results as well as substandard results to the industrial sector. Looking at the pace the world is at, we will probably be seeing significant changes happening 20 to 30 years down the road.

One main aspect that is considered to be at risk is the professional professions, such as those in the medical industry. Thanks to the advancements in technology, the medical industry may not even have a specific need for doctors to be around most of the times in the near future.

Using preventative maintenance through the advent of Internet of Thing (IoT) and cyber-physical systems such as sensors, surgical scanning and medical check-ups will be made much easier for the collection of data on one’s health condition.

Doctors who operate this robotics can also make diagnosis much easier with easy access of data at hand all in a short span of time through big data and powerful analytics.

In fact, the technological possibilities of Industry 4.0 is such that we may not even need an MRI scanner; one can do it in the comfort of his or her own home through built-in monitors and software that can help give one instant and accurate information on health conditions and enable for early preventions – in case of any health problems.

On the other hand, jobs that might be relevant today may not be pertinent in the decades to come. These include jobs in the logistic industries, which are slowly being phased out with emergence of self-driving vehicles. As everything is being done in automation, the country automatically becomes more advanced and fast-paced.

Coming back to Malaysia’s current status, there has been a large influx of skilled Malaysian professionals being retrenched over the past few years. Yet, demands for foreign workers to run in many industries continue to increase every single year.

When viewed from a broader scale, one must be wondering: “How is it that these two situations are mismatched?” The most obvious answer in this case is that Malaysia still practices Industry 2.0 or a rather labour-intensive industry.

When we were first introduced to Industry 2.0, it churned out good outcomes and essentially boosted the Malaysian economy.

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However, what most manufacturers need to bear in mind is that these results won’t be able to withstand against global competitors who are constantly striving to innovate and improve the quality of productions.

Even though Industry 2.0 allows industrialists to hire cheap foreign labour, this can impinge on the whole nation in the long run. Perhaps our industries are working towards it, but changes are not being implemented as rapid as we would hope for.

Taking the world’s technology pioneers, Japan has recently introduced experimental robotic chefs at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Nagasaki. Being the early adopters of technology, Japan is hoping that these automated androids can help improve the situation at hand as well as reduce labour issues and its high costs.

This prototype sees a promising future especially looking at the current generation that are less likely to wipe tables for a living. Hence, when everyone gets more educated and tech savvy, everyone will start to lookout for their country’s own wellbeing.

This pattern began with Brexit and soon, Donald Trump’s policy of “Making America Great Again” by deporting foreign labours. Yes, it seems like a selfish move, but again, having too many foreign labours can definitely hinder growth of a country – especially when there is a heavy reliance on their efforts.

In a way, the adoption of Industry 4.0 enables the country to push for a more self-sufficient system. There is indeed progress and awareness shown by the Malaysian government, mainly HRDF (Human Resource Development Fund) towards the need of this change through their efforts of training and certifying professionals and students in polytechnics and universities to be ready towards Industry 4.0.

Through these methods, we can help encourage budding and competent professional workers in Malaysia to run these industries instead of solely relying on the use of foreign labours.

This would also provide Malaysians with plenty of career opportunities and ensure the growth and stability of our country.

industry 4.0

 

 

About the author: S.T. Rubaneswaran is an accidental entrepreneur. An engineer by qualification, he chose to begin his career as a door-to-door salesman. He successfully turned around the formerly loss-making Knowledgecom Corp Sdn Bhd to become the multi-million dollar company it is today. Write to him at: ruban@eknowledge.com.my

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