SAS, Nanyang Polytechnic to deploy IR 4.0 solutions for SMEs 

  • Platform that enables manufacturer to boost productivity, growth
  • Solutions to increase operational effectiveness through predictive analytics

L-R: Lim Hsin Yin, Managing Director (Singapore), SAS Institute & Dr Vinn Prabhu, deputy director, School of Engineering, Nanyang PolytechnicAnalytics software and services company SAS Institute has announced a collaboration with Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) to help Singapore's small and medium-sized manufacturers maneuver headwinds via advanced analytics. 

In a statement, the firm said by leveraging its data analytics and visualisation capabilities, the team at NYP’s school of engineering has developed an enterprise-to-shop floor platform that helps precision-engineering manufacturers boost productivity and growth. 

The platform features a predictive analytics system to help enterprises conduct near-accurate supply and demand forecasting.

SAS Institute said using past data and analytics, the system helps forecast raw materials required during specific time periods, allowing a smooth product delivery process through just-in-time purchase and delivery and optimised warehousing. 

Secondly, it has also developed a real-time machine-vision solution that inspects production parts for defects as part of quality control management. Through digital automation, product quality assurance is also enhanced.

Lastly, the company said it co-developed an enhanced manufacturing execution system (MES) that is fully customisable to enable companies to optimise manufacturing operations and increase production efficiency.  

Harnessing artificial intelligence and cloud technology, SAS Institute claimed the new platform which is currently undergoing production trials, has shown a significant increase in operational effectiveness through predictive analytics and forecasting, and enabling a 100% sampling of parts. 

It added that the platform will also offer Industry 4.0 solutions that incorporate open-source low-cost devices to connect two networks, resulting in cost-effective and scalable solutions. 

With every additional volume of data acquired by the devices, the modelling and training of the AI models will concurrently improve, it said.

Presently, SAS Institute said the prototype MES is being tested at Sanwa Plastic Industry to manage and schedule jobs for machining components and plastic injection moulds.

Previously, a mould usually required 100 or more machined metal components, with each component undergoing a stringent quality control check before use, it said.

Through the MES prototype, Sanwa Plastic Industry claimed to have reported a 15% increase in machine utilisation, which was brought about by more efficient scheduling of jobs on the shopfloor. 

Dr Vinn Prabhu, deputy director, school of engineering, Nanyang Polytechnic said, “As SMEs strive towards achieving Singapore’s Smart Nation goals, we are excited to partner SAS to help local manufacturers seize business opportunities in their digitalisation journey and uncover ways to optimise their operational efficiency.

“Through this collaboration with SAS Institute, we aim to co-create meaningful solutions to propel the next generation of manufacturing technologies, while concurrently mentoring our learners to be better prepared for the future workplace.”

Lim Hsin Yin, managing director of SAS Institute Singapore, said the company is glad to partner with NYP in supporting the digital transformation journey of manufacturers. 

“Through this project, we have seen how analytics has successfully helped to improve the machine utilisation rates for an SME manufacturer whilst significantly boosting their productivity.

“We are also proud to have developed the AI machine vision to improve quality control in manufacturing and will continue to offer innovative AI and cloud solutions to help empower manufacturers with data-driven insights in their decision-making,” said Lim.


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