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Viewpoints from Omron Electronics Singapore MD

Source:International Metalworking News for Asia- February 2019

Date Published:3/14/2019 10:03:18 AM

While businesses are increasingly aware of the value derived from advanced technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence, a shadow of uncertainty continues to loom in the workforce

Mr. Lieu Yew Fatt

Omron Electronics Singapore Managing Director Mr. Lieu Yew Fatt shared with International Metalworking News for Asia some of the challenges and milestones he saw in the industry starting from looking back on 2018, including key trends for 2019.

According to Lieu Yew Fatt, 2018 was the year that saw Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative gather significant pace. Many industries have benefited from some of the initiatives rolled out last year as part of the government’s efforts to encourage businesses to harness the potential of advanced technologies and digitalisation. These initiatives have reaped rewards on an industry and a national scale as Singapore was recognised as the most innovative country according to the Global Innovation Index. One of the areas that Singapore excelled in was high-and medium-high tech manufacturing, an industry earmarked by the government last year through The Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index.

While businesses are increasingly aware of the value derived from advanced technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence, a shadow of uncertainty continues to loom in the workforce. Some businesses continue to face resistance from employees who feel threatened by automation. Businesses also face a skills gap in the advanced technology sectors such as robotics, data and artificial intelligence

Top three trends for 2019

Firstly, the manpower shortages and increased competition will continue to impact industries such as manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality. Robotics and automation will be key in alleviating the pressures experienced by businesses in 2019.

Secondly, businesses and industries will start leveraging on automation at a much higher level than before. Automation has already helped alleviate many laborious and menial tasks undertaken by humans such as transportation and packing. Moving forward, advanced technologies will be able to take on higher level tasks with systems becoming more intelligence. For instance, smart adaptive algorithms, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence are equipping robots with the ability to analyse and process data with quick efficiency. Robots in factories will be more aware of control crucial production factors such as manufacturing accuracy while robots in retail shops will have enough information to understand when to replenish shelves when merchandise runs out.  In the services sectors such as hospitality and security, mobile robots will not just be used for simple autonomous delivery services from point A to point B. It will evolve to incorporate environment sensor, vision recognition, highly flexible collaborative robot arms so that it can perform multiple tasks.

Lastly, as businesses continue to digitalise, the demand for people with technical skills such as data analytics, robotics and artificial intelligence, will continue to grow. Institute of higher learnings (IHL) will step up efforts to equip students with the skills needed to be relevant in the workforce. In order to stay competitive, businesses will also tap onto the initiatives introduced by the government to upskill workers.
 

About Omron

Omron Corp is a global leader in the field of automation based on its core technology in sensing and control plus think. Omron’s business covers a broad spectrum, ranging from industrial automation and electronic components to automotive electronic components, social infrastructure systems, healthcare, and environmental solutions. Established in 1933, Omron has about 38,000 employees worldwide, working to provide products and services in more than 110 countries and regions.

 

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