Penang’s manufacturing landscape is ready to take on the next big thing.
Major changes are coming. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the integration of physical and digital technologies, is underway. Within the manufacturing industry, it’s called Industry 4.0 – the use of cyber-physical systems through the likes of automation, robotics and the Internet of Things for producing goods. Daniel Bernbeck, director of the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, considers it to “embody everything in society, changing everything from the type of jobs we have to the lifestyle decisions we make.”
Penang is aptly positioned to embark on Industry 4.0. Ironically, this stems from the state’s manufacturing industry being a latecomer to technology: the manufacturing landscape here is such that it is built on multinational companies that offshored low-end, labour-intensive assembly and production functions to the region.
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