While many people are still unfamiliar with the 4.0 Industrial Revolution in Malaysia and whether or not our nation has achieved its goal of integrating with other developed countries. In the late year of 2018, the government issued a national policy(Industry4WRD) to help prepare businesses and manufacturing sectors for the challenges of a new industrial revolution involving automation technology.The issue was also raised during the last Budget 2020 presentation.
The industrial revolution 1.0 is the mechanization of the manufacturing and processing industry using water and steam power. Industrial revolution 2.0 is the advent of assembly lines and electricity, which could produce mass production. The industrial revolution 3.0 is followed by an increase in automation, to make processes and manufacturing more efficient. So, what is the industrial revolution 4.0?
Industrial Revolution 4.0
Industrial Revolution 4.0 is a digital revolution for integrating traditional manufacturing processes and technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve automation, communication and real-time data usage.
According to Associate Professor Dr Sawal Hamid Md Ali; a senior lecturer in the Department of Electrical, Electronics and Systems at the National University of Malaysia (UKM), the industrial revolution 4.0 is about systems and cyber-physical systems that connects the digital world with humans through the internet.
He also argued that there was a bilateral relationship between humans and electronics. The revolution can be seen through the production of smartphones, smart TVs and smart homes available in the market today.
Industry 4.0 Focus Sector
There are several industry-focused sectors 4.0 under the Industry 4WRD policy. Among the sectors involved are:
Electronic and Electric
The electronics and electrical industry is Malaysia’s leading industrial sector which contributes significantly to exports and employment opportunities in our country.
- Electronic components
- Consumer electronics
- Industrial electronics
- Electric products
Machinery and Equipment
The machinery and equipment industry is one of the key areas for growth and development with a focus on high value-added and high technology M&E.
- M&E is specific to certain industries
- General M&E industry, parts and components
- Power of M&E funding
- Machine tools
The chemical industry is one of the main catalysts in the Malaysian economy with rapid growth due to the availability of oil and gas as raw materials.
- Petroleum and Petrochemical products
- Plastic products
- Rubber products
- Chemicals and chemical products
The medical equipment industry is growing rapidly through the production of various industries or products from rubber and latex, plastics, machinery and support engineering and electronics.
- Surgical instruments, clinical equipment and implants
- Healthcare equipment
The aerospace industry has been defined as a strategic sector with high growth potential in the country’s industrial and technology development programs.
- Engineering and design
- Aerospace manufacturing
- System integration
- Maintenance, Repair and Operation (MRO)
Apart from the industrial sectors as mentioned above, there are several other sectors which is part of Industry 4.0. These are as follows:
- Food processing
Malaysia as the Hub for Industrial 4.0 in South East Asia
According to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s interview with Star Online, Malaysia aims to become the hub for Industrial 4.0 in South East Asia to regain its national status as the “Asian Tiger”. Through Industry 4.0, he believes it could lead to higher GDP per capita due to increased productivity and employment opportunities.
However, there are many challenges that companies or industries have to overcome before succeeding in revolutionising industry 4.0 in Malaysia. Some of the obstacles involved include lack of disclosures and structured information by the government that could guide organisations towards ideological expectations.
Besides that, the development of Industry 4.0 depends largely on the use of internet technology and big data analysis to drive manufacturing, services and business. Therefore, without the provision of extensive internet access and limited internet speed, the development of the industry 4.0 revolution in Malaysia is slowly developing.
Enforcement of Industrial Revolution 4.0
According to a report from the World Economic Forum in 2018, 6 countries have been the catalyst for the industrial revolution 4.0. The following countries are Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia, Austria and Switzerland. Singapore has also advanced towards Industry 4.0 through the implementation of “Smart Manufacturing”, “Made in China 2025”, “Industrial Value Chain Initiative” and “Smart Nation Program”.
While there are some obstacles and challenges to be faced, our country is moving towards Industry 4.0. Currently, Malaysia is placed between Industry 2.0 and Industry 3.0. Through the national policy issued by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), this initiative will help organisations to push Malaysia towards competing with other developed countries in reaching towards the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
One of the initiatives the government can take is to implement comprehensive and well-planned policies that can be implemented gradually to secure cooperation and prepare the workforce for the Industrial Revolution 4.0 in Malaysia.
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You Jing is a content writer who writes career and lifestyle contents to inspire job seekers and employers alike on their journey to work-life balance, empowerment and transformation in their career path.
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