MPMA pushes for innovation, digitalisation with Connect @ i4.0 Plastics Industry Conference
By Digital News Asia September 23, 2019
- Connects plastics sector entrepreneurs with technology experts on creating smart factories
- Innovation-based, high-value model needed to capture long-term competitiveness globally
In an effort to foster an advanced and innovative industry that embraces Industry 4.0 the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) organized its first Connect @ i4.0 Plastics Industry Conference 2019 in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur on Sept 19.
Approximately 100 participants attended the event that connects plastics sector entrepreneurs with technology experts on creating smart factories through digitalisation, advanced manufacturing and robotics under Industry 4.0. The conference was attended by mostly small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)
MPMA brought together representatives from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) for sessions and presented case studies by local and foreign companies on smart factory and automation as well as addressing talent development needs for a 4.0 manufacturing world.
“Embracing Industry 4.0 is no longer a choice. The industry is grappling with rising operational cost, domestic labour crunch, increased levels of product quality and consistency, and more efficient production operations among others,” said Noraini Soltan, the vice president of MPMA.
“In the face of these challenges, it is crucial for all of our industry players to advance our manufacturing model into one that offers more innovation-based and high-value production, to enhance efficiency and capture long-term competitiveness at the global level,” she stressed.
Through the conference, participants were able to understand how to digitalise their processes, explore the technology and innovation available and meet experts who can guide them in the process. First-hand knowledge came from industry leaders who are already working to achieve smart manufacturing practices. MPMA also sponsored representatives and students from government and private training institutions to join the conference.
“This experience will give them exposure on what is happening and a peek into future advancements for the industry. The whole idea is for them to input back what is learnt into the education system,” added Noraini.
Topics covered ranged from robotic solutions for plastics-based industries, material handling automation, vision technology systems, production optimisation, workforce transformation as well as intelligent factories vs intelligent people.
MPMA has been strongly promoting industry 4.0 models to its members through numerous initiatives. It was the first association to introduce the concept of a smart factory to its members at a 2015 conference on Future of Innovation for the Plastics Industry. More recently, it organised the industry 4.0 technical training courses, “First Step to Injection Moulding 4.0”. The course saw a group of 100 technicians and engineers through a 12-month pilot programme that was completed in November 2018.
MPMA currently has about 750 members comprising ordinary members, which represent about 60 percent of plastics manufacturers in the country and account for 80 percent of the country’s total production of plastics products. The Association's membership also comprise Associate members which are mainly raw material and machinery suppliers.