MIT Webinar recap: How do we rise against the challenges faced during MCO?

The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), was represented by Mr. Nizmar Mohd Nazar, Chief Information Officer (CIO) in an online webinar organised by the Malaysian Institute of Technology Academy (MIT Academy), titled – Covid-19 Massive Retrenchment and Unemployment: Individuals Upskilling & Reskilling Training towards IR4.0 Digital Transformation.

Through the webinar, Mr. Nizmar provided insights on the current job landscape while sharing some of the programmes initiated by MARii to help business owners rise against the challenges faced during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“In order to sustain business and jobs in the current situation, it is vital for business owners to transition towards online solutions. The digital economy is already permeating multiple aspects of the world economy and impacting sectors, businesses and workers by being the driver for innovation, competitiveness and growth.”, said Mr. Nizmar.

To ease the transition towards digitalisation, the government and relevant agencies have a few initiatives laid out to ease the process.

The Industry4WRD policy, led by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), is formulated based on three main foundations – Attract, Create, Transform (ACT), aimed to attract stakeholders to adapt and adopt Industry 4.0 applications and technologies, create a holistic ecosystem to support Industry 4.0 applications, and enabling the holistic transformation of the manufacturing sector to increase productivity, cost efficiency while strengthening the development of local technology and Industry 4.0-compliant workers.

The recently launched National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP2020) is also designed to guide industry players towards embracing digitalisation, as laid out in its various frameworks and roadmaps for Industry 4.0 applications such as Big Data Analytics (BDA), Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and e-commerce.

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“To ensure businesses and the workforce is sustained during MCO, it is important for business owners to focus on continuing the supply chain to secure alternative supply sources (if needed) while also emphasising on the retraining of staffs to prepare them to meet the demands of a “new normal” – focusing on online platform solutions.”, he added.

The use of technologies such as additive manufacturing, collaborative robotics (cobots), production planning tools, AI, VR and process simulation, will be the key elements in identifying a company’s readiness in operating during the MCO.

These technologies can be leveraged to construct a proper, well-equipped “work-from-home” ecosystem, enabling business owners to sustain their business without the need of retrenching staffs.

Mr. Nizmar also explained that these technologies can also be used to diversify business operations, enabling business owners to produce various products with the same equipment and technologies to ensure constant cash flow.

This can be seen in MARii’s technology partner, ORS Technologies Sdn. Bhd., where they manufactured personal protective equipment (PPE) as an initiative to aid front liners in their battle against the COVID-19 virus.

Other than that, MARii also launched the MARii Industry4WRD Technology Platform (MITP), a one-stop management solution for Industry 4.0 implementation.

MITP detects and collects data from the company’s operating cycle, and offers production planning, resource management, performance analysis, and quality management through a cloud-based solution. This enables business owners to better understand one’s business operations while continuously optimizing productivity through the tracking and gathering of data in real-time.

“Transitioning to an online platform also requires an Industry 4.0-compliant workforce. The current restriction in place due to the MCO is also a burden to skill-based workers as not all sectors are deemed essential.”, added Mr. Nizmar.

However, with the availability of online education platforms, in-depth training on Industry 4.0 technologies can be expedited to reskill the current workforce and enhance their skills and knowledge in digital technologies.

To expedite online learning initiatives, MARii has launched its own online education platform - MARii Industry 4.0 e-Learning Centre, to ensure the public, including professionals, are continuously equipped with updated knowledge on various topics.

*For more information on the e-learning centre, click here.

As robotics, AI and VR become relevant to the mobility industry, it is pivotal equip the local workforce with knowledge, skills and talents in these areas to ensure a smooth, non-disruptive transition towards Industry 4.0 applications, ensuring a sustainable future for both the industry and its workforce.

Mr. Nizmar was part of the panel of speakers comprising of individuals from relevant government bodies namely, Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (PERKESO), Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), and SIRIM Berhad.

To watch the full-length webinar, click here.

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