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How assistance systems ease the Industry 4.0 transition

19 Aug 2019

SME manufacturers need multicomponent system support for digital upgrading.

Since 2015, the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) has been assisting its members in building awareness, resilience, capabilities, and strategies for the transformation to Industry 4.0. Those efforts have included conducting workshops to develop an understanding of national readiness for digital upgrading and basic industrial applications for SMEs as well as providing technical assistance for pilot testing digitization.

As part of those ongoing efforts, the APO in collaboration with the China Productivity Center (CPC) organized a training of trainers on Cyberphysical Systems and Fundamental Technologies for Digital Upgrading in Taipei, 5–9 August 2019. It examined how specific technologies support the initiation of manufacturing digitization, focusing on assistance systems incorporating digital, analogue, physical, and human components.

The five-day training course gave a comprehensive overview of Industry 4.0 trends, policy programs, and good practices from the ROC, EU, and Singapore, in addition to hands-on training in applications of Internet-of-Things devices, robotics, and data analytics. It was inaugurated by CPC Director Dr. Eugene Lin, and the 18 participants from 10 APO member countries were also welcomed by APO Secretariat Program Officer Ta-Te Yang. The training aimed to develop participants’ understanding of applications of assistance systems in manufacturing and how basic systems can support manufacturers and SMEs in initiating and sustaining digitization. It was structured to provide hands-on experience to facilitate participants’ subsequent dissemination of knowledge on digital upgrading in their national settings.

In addition, participants attended the launching of the new APO Center of Excellence on Smart Manufacturing, where they observed a smart factory demonstration facility developed by the CPC and were introduced to the ROC’s policies and support for smart manufacturing by CPC Chairperson Sheng-Hsiung Hsu, ROC Minister of Economic Affairs Jong-Chin Shen, Taichung City Deputy Mayor Bruce J.D. Linghu, and CPC President Dr. Pao-Cheng Chang. They also visited the Intelligent Manufacturing Pilot Production Site in Taichung Precision Machinery Park, run by the ROC’s Industrial Technology Research Institute, where the technologies and manufacturing capacity of the cluster were demonstrated. The training course was conducted by Cosmiqo International Founder and CEO Dr. Koh Niak Wu from Singapore and European Commission Technologies and Systems for Digitising Industry Programme Officer Dr. Arian Zwegers.

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