GEORGE TOWN, Nov 21 -- National Instruments (NI), the provider of a software-defined platform that helps accelerate the development and performance of automated test and automated measurement system has set aside RM170 million (US$40 million) for its multifunctional facility expansion.
Asia Pacific Manufacturing vice president and NI Penang managing director P. Rajesh said the expansion on about 2.4 hectares of land next to its current facility in Bayan Lepas would create 250 additional job opportunities in the next three years.
He said the broad-based expansion involves investment in key areas like research and development (R&D), 5G manufacturing and Asia Pacific sales shared service centre.
"We are expecting the construction work to begin in the third quarter of 2021, then the project will take about 12 months to complete," he told reporters at the expansion announcement here today, during which Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow was present.
He said the site was a critical hub for NI's global operation as it is the third largest facility for NI globally after Austin, Texas in United States of America and Debrecen in Hungary.
"To enable this growth, we are planning to build a new state of the art wing at this site that will be a mixed-use building housing the shared service centre and a distribution hub," he said.
However, Rajesh said the investment should not be measured by its capital alone.
"What really we are adding is the Malaysian employee gaining critical knowledge in the Industry 4.0 application. That is the future and most important element we bring to the people," he said.
Meanwhile, Chow said he was pleased with NI’s reinvestment which is in line with the Penang government's emphasis on high quality, sustainable as well as knowledge and technology-intensive investment.
"Many of the products that will be built in this facility are related to Industry 4.0, 5G and autonomous vehicle markets. It makes me proud to see Penang on the world map of cutting-edge products and technologies," he said.
NI is headquartered in Austin and has approximately 1,000 employees in Penang. Over 70 per cent of them are in managerial, technical and supervisory positions. NI produces testing and measurement equipment and software for scientists and engineers.
In 2018, the company reported a revenue of close to US$1.4 billion.