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To address the challenges encountered by its members in facilitating the digital transformation of SMEs, the China Productivity Center in collaboration with the APO Secretariat organized a training course on Smart Manufacturing Productivity Specialists, 21–25 August in Taipei. This course was designed to augment the capabilities of productivity practitioners, equipping them with the necessary expertise to offer consultancy and training on smart manufacturing (SM). They will then be able to guide SMEs through the intricate process of digital transformation. It was attended by 22 participants from 15 APO members, including SME owners and senior managers, professionals in SME development agencies, and experts from NPOs.
SMEs play a pivotal role in driving economic growth and are major contributors to employment. However, the majority of SMEs cite the adoption of digital transformation as their most significant obstacle. SM encompasses the integration of advanced technologies and data analytics into manufacturing processes to optimize productivity, efficiency, and product quality. A 2020 assessment conducted by the APO indicated that the industrial structures of many member economies faced challenges in transitioning to Industry 4.0. The assessment also highlighted the difficulties faced by MSMEs in determining their starting points for SM transformation.
The training course was conducted by three resource persons from the ROC, ROK, and Malaysia who discussed key technologies driving SM and provided insights into various productivity enhancement tools and techniques. They also helped participants examine applications of SM among SMEs. Topics covered included data management and analytics, implementation strategies, smart factory design, conventional vs. digital productivity solutions, and case studies. Site visits were hosted by the Fair Friend Group and DigiWinSoft 5G AIoT Experience and Experiment Base in Taichung to enable participants to observe applications of SM technologies in factories.