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To address member countries’ needs to respond to the opportunities and challenges brought by the widely anticipated Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) organized a workshop on Readiness for Industry 4.0: Assessment and Steps for Manufacturers in Taipei, 25–29 June 2018, in collaboration with the China Productivity Center (CPC).
The five-day workshop was inaugurated by Secretary General Pei-Li Chen of the Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Republic of China, followed by a warm welcome from CPC President Dr. Pao-Cheng Chang and remarks by APO Secretariat Program Officer Ta-Te Yang. The workshop, attended by 20 participants from 13 APO member countries, introduced various assessment tools that estimate the level of readiness for Industry 4.0. It also reviewed the opportunities and challenges that APO member countries face when moving toward Industry 4.0, which provided a foundation for the development of national strategies in relation to digitization, innovation, and creation of an ecosystem to enable industrial upgrading.
A common difficulty that governments and enterprises face when formulating strategies for Industry 4.0 is in understanding their current status and identifying starting points for this movement. Measuring readiness and then developing strategies are thus the first, indispensable steps to begin the Industry 4.0 journey. This workshop provides opportunities and references for APO members to assess their readiness for Industry 4.0 and assists in upgrading their industries in a practical, incremental manner.
The delegates visited Sha Yang Ye Industrial Co. Ltd., an innovative robot maker transformed from a traditional gear manufacturer. They observed how an SME started its journey of digital upgrading with the support of simple digitization, CPC consultancy on productivity enhancement, government programs, and collaboration with academia.
The workshop was conducted by three APO international experts: Founding Managing Director Dr. Eva Diedrichs, IMP3rove Academy, Germany; Head of Infocomms and Media (Digital) Yinghui Xu, Singapore; and Senior Lead Ben Ong of Cities, Infrastructure and Industrial Solutions, Economic Development Board of Singapore. Director of Integrated Business and Training Services Slone Chen and Director of Technology Service Business Paul Hung-Mo Lin, both of the CPC, also explained the CPC’s self-developed assessment tool and complementary consulting services that support the digital upgrading of SMEs.