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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 -- The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) launched the Automation Project Initiative (API) at MIDA Sentral here today.
The government’s principal investment promotion and development agency, which is under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), said the initiative aims to enable businesses to adopt automation and smart manufacturing technologies in their business processes and operations.
MIDA chief executive officer Datuk Azman Mahmud said the automation of activities enables businesses to improve performance by reducing errors and improving quality and speed, sometimes achieving outcomes beyond human capabilities.
"Automation also contributes to increasing productivity. At a time of lacklustre productivity growth, this would give a needed boost to economic growth and prosperity," he said in a statement.
Among the 11 participating companies and 20 system integrators at the event were Continental Resource Sdn Bhd, Ecava Sdn Bhd, XTS Technologies Sdn Bhd, Sky-Tag Robotics Sdn Bhd, Vepro Group Sdn Bhd, TXMR Sdn Bhd, I-Stone Group Bhd, IME Group, and Packaging Sales & Service (M) Sdn Bhd.
The event included a comprehensive presentation from MIDA regarding various automation and Industry4WRD facilitation initiatives offered by the government.
These include the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF), Industry4WRD Intervention Fund, Automation Capital Allowance and the Digital Technology Acceleration Programme (DTAP) that are in place to assist companies in their automation journey.
According to the statement, a total of 318 applications have been approved for the automation capital allowance as of this month.
Companies that have leveraged on these facilities have experienced the tangible benefits of automation, MIDA said.
It added that based on the impact analysis of 245 projects approved as of Dec 31, 2019, these companies have invested more than RM430 million in automation, machinery and equipment.
As a result, companies reported an average of 180 per cent improvement in production volume as well as cost savings from the reduction of over 3,600 unskilled workers.
Azman said among the biggest misconceptions surrounding automation are the high cost of adoption and the scale of undertaking that requires the revamping of the entire production line.
"Companies can start with simple devices to enable data collection, analytics and gradual enhancements to sophisticated machinery and equipment which are adaptable to artificial intelligence and other Industry 4.0 technology.
“MIDA will do our best to support and facilitate these automation undertakings,” said Azman.
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