Industrial Automation Asia managed to catch up with SMC Corporation (Singapore) Managing Director, Mr David Wong, recently during the Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific (ITAP). Among the topics that Mr Wong shared with us are SMC’s involvement in helping customers move into Industry 4.0 as well as the developments in Singapore and the region’s manufacturing industry. Article by Ahmad Alshidiq
SMC Corporation is a “household” name in the manufacturing automation business. The Japanese company is a leader in its field and major global manufacturer, processor and seller of pneumatic control equipment and system. IAA interviewed the Managing Director of SMC Corporation (Singapore), Mr David Wong, at the recently concluded Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific (ITAP) exhibition at the Singapore Expo.
What is the next big thing coming down the line for the industry whether it’s a technology, market trend or something else entirely?
To me, the next big thing is the implementation of industry 4.0 by manufacturers. For example, SMC is very much involved in devices such as IO-Link products and so on.
Also, more products manufactured nowadays that are industry 4.0-compatible, therefore, we are seeing lesser people onsite at manufacturing plants. Industry 4.0-compatible products mean we can do control and do checking of manufacturing processes remotely. Products with remote access control and monitoring are making it possible.
How does SMC help customers move into Industry 4.0?
SMC is heavily involved at the device level. We manufacture advanced pneumatic components that can be used in Industry 4.0. Our R&D is based in strategic countries such as Japan and the US, in Europe, China and so on. We also have a big manufacturing plant in Singapore. Besides, SMC has subsidiaries around the world as we play a major part in the global pneumatic market. With our Smart Technology Solutions, we are very committed to help our customers embrace Industry 4.0.
Where do you see opportunities for growth in 2020?
Looking at the region, I feel in Singapore it will still be in the semiconductor and its related industries, and that’s where we are heavily involved in. In Malaysia, I would say there are plenty of opportunities in factory automation-related industry. It’s the same with Indonesia, Vietnam and even Cambodia. There are plenty of potential in these countries. SMC will continue to play a big role in these countries in the years to come. Factory automation is wide and almost all manufacturing processes are using automation, be it in food and beverage industry, electronics, automotive and so on. And those industries are where SMC will be involved in. Moreover, with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) initiative, I must say potential for growth in this region is very high.
Where is Singapore headed to in the manufacturing front?
Singapore will remain to be the place for higher value-added type of manufacturing, such as the semiconductor industry where you need really high-tech and uncompromised precision in manufacturing.
Why are events such as the ITAP important for your business?
Events like this provide us with a good opportunity to show the industry the components that SMC has to support the implementation of Industry 4.0. You can see that Industry 4.0 is a big scale from data management in the cloud to manufacturing machines and so on. At the base, you need components, and that is where SMC comes in with the IO-Link products. At this event is where you can see SMC’s technologies, whether it’s application-based or see how these components are being used in a manufacturing process. This is also a good time to get in touch with our customers, both current and future, and with the industry as a whole.
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IAA managed to catch up with SMC Corporation Managing Director, Mr David Wong, during ITAP abour SMC’s involvement in helping customers move into Industry 4.0