Impact of industry 4.0 on Malaysian manufacturing in Refractories



Impact of industry 4.0 on Malaysian manufacturing in Refractories


As a trading nation, Malaysia continues to seek new ways to grow its market and export highly improved products. The Southeast Asian country has fully developed its manufacturing sectors over the past few years, making it the world’s leading market. This is what made Malaysia the largest industrial nation.

The country’s manufacturing industry has undergone a rapid evolution in recent decades, from scale production to the use of robots to improve efficiency. Industry experts have learned how to utilize the most efficient and sophisticated staff in all production lines and supply chains, thus allowing the industry to evolve seamlessly.

Government Trends and Initiatives

Following the emergence of Industry 4.0, Malaysia has learned to incorporate automation into its key systems and business processes. Evolution does not depend on the many technologies that the industry has. However, much depends on how well the individual uses them in their main activities.

Malaysia is among those nations that have successfully acquired the skills to use effective manufacturing technologies and to use advanced digital manufacturing to add value to their products and services. This facilitates the automation of all critical processes without human dependence, thereby increasing efficiency and productivity.

Brief Industrial Understanding 4.0 and The Importance of Change

Industry 4.0 refers to current processes of changing processes and data exchange using advanced production technology. These include Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial IoT, cyber-physical systems (CPS), cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), computer intelligence, 3D printing, storage speculation, intelligent senses, and others.

These technologies are designed to facilitate machine-to-machine communication (M2M) using human-dependent dependencies. The purpose of adopting the Industry 4.0 model is to make the complete transformation of the manufacturing company into a ‘Smart factory’, which gives it a competitive edge over other products and retailers.

Industry 4.0 transformers the way products are designed, built, delivered, used and processed. It also improves and monitors after-purchase operations such as maintenance and maintenance of the service. Overall, the 4 Industrial Revolution has the potential to transform processes, operations, machinery, procurement management, and all the trampling power of manufacturing firms to create ‘smart factories’.

With the launch of Industry 4.0, Malaysia has succeeded in growing its global market and expanding its services to overseas customers. In addition to automating key business functions, these smart technologies have allowed industries to customize their products to meet the unique needs of today’s digital consumers.

In addition, Industry 4.0 could also address a number of issues related to production methods, including good supply chain management, economic utilization of essential resources such as time, money, and labor, reducing waste, and maintaining health and safety for workers. In short, if one has the right knowledge about the use of the right technology, there can be endless potential for growth.

Status of the Malaysian Manufacturing Sector

Earlier in the world, manufacturing firms were already exploring the unlimited possibilities of Industry 4.0 and thinking about the future. Traditional production processes and equipment are being digitally developed and technological innovations to accelerate efficiency, flexibility, and speed to survive a fierce market competition.

Speaking of Malaysia, the country’s manufacturing sector is rapidly changing to digital, delivering high value products and services, efficient use of resources, and implementing advanced manufacturing resources.

In addition, the nation has seen the need for improved productivity, better job creation, higher job creation, higher skills, and social security and facilitating economic prosperity. Therefore, doing so can help the whole country to position itself as a smart manufacturing industry on a global scale.

What is Industry 4.0: National Industrial Policy 4.0?

On 31 October 2018, Industry4WRD: National Industrial Policy 4.0 was launched to drive digital transformation and Industrial 4.0 manufacturing and related sectors in Malaysia. A number of initiatives have been undertaken by the Malaysian Government and industry at the national, provincial, and regional levels.

Industry4WRD: National Industrial Policy 4.0 can pave the way for the implementation of all these Industry 4.0 styles and practices. In addition, this will enable the country to realize its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The aim is to strengthen the country’s manufacturing sector to facilitate and create a united national agenda to accelerate the transformation of the nation into a viable production system.

The National Policy on Industry 4.0’s Goals


Industry 4.0’s main goals are as follows: A-C-T, or Attract-Create-Transform, is the acronym for the national policy on Industry 4.0. Let’s take a closer look at each of them individually:

1. Lure


Malaysia’s manufacturing sector is focusing on drawing stakeholders to Industry 4.0 technological trends and operations in order to establish the country as a major manufacturing hub. It also seeks to increase SME participation in 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) adoption. In a nutshell, the following are the most important tasks to complete:


Ø Industry 4.0 adoption

Ø Inclusion of SMEs

Ø Malaysia becoming a desired manufacturing hub


2. Build


Industries should endeavor to establish the best environment possible for embracing 4th Industrial Revolution technologies, ensuring that they are compatible with current infrastructure and procedures, and also future development projects. This implies that the right ecology should be created for:


Ø Future potential for advancements

Ø Investigating the talented workforce and skills that are required

Ø Infrastructure for the digital world

Ø Data accessibility and sharing, i.e. data availability

Ø Assistance with funding

Ø Platforms for collaboration

3. Evolve


Manufacturing companies must upgrade the country’s industrial potential quickly and comprehensively. It entails:


Ø Increasing worker productivity

Ø High-skilled occupations should be shared.

Ø Improving cost-effectiveness

Ø Technology development in the area

Ø Capabilities in innovation and technology

The National Policy on Industry 4.0 Framework (Industry 4.0).


The following is the framework for the National Industry 4.0 Policy:



1. The Objectives


The country’s manufacturing industry vision for the next ten years is to become:


Ø Across Asia Pacific, we are a strategic partner for intelligent manufacturing and other comparable services.

Ø The primary location for launching high-tech businesses.

Ø Provider of complete solutions for all high tech 4IR technologies.

2. The National Goals

The policy aims at setting specific goals to measure and drive the progress of transformation, which ensures:

Ø Labour productivity growth

Ø Innovation capacity

Ø Manufacturing contribution to the nation’s economy

Ø Providing high-skilled jobs

3. The Factors That Cause Shifts

Malaysia’s industrial sector requires a balanced optimization of a number of shift parameters, including:

Ø Individuals

Ø Growth

Ø Technologies

The facilitators are the people who make things happen.


Certain facilitators are required for the nation’s manufacturing enterprises in order to develop and analyse their guidelines, tactics, and orderly and systematic plans. The facilitators are termed as F.I.R.S.T., and they include:

Finance: Developing financing options for R&D and the transition to Industry 4.0 technology.

Ø Infrastructure: Providing a smart industrial ecosystem and an optimized digital infrastructure.

Ø Guidelines: Raising awareness of the importance of adopting Industry 4.0.

Ø Skills and talent : Training and developing current human resources and developing future talent are two of the most important goals.

Ø Technology : Increasing access to smart technologies through technology.



Problems and Challenges Facing Malaysia


“While it is the backbone of the Malaysian business, SMEs are doing worse than digital production. There is a digital divide between businesses in Malaysia ”


Common challenges facing Malaysia include:


Ø Awareness of the need and the impact of technology on Industry 4.0, especially for SMEs, thereby reducing the likelihood of exploring the potential and disruption of business models.

Ø Lack of access to important information to understand industry best practices and to analyze appropriate operating conditions.

Ø Lack of required skills, talents and knowledge to use Industry 4.0, especially in areas such as AI, IoT, robotics, cybersecurity, and many more.

Ø Higher acquisition costs and longer recovery time for 4IR processes and technologies.

Ø Lack of proper understanding of the benefits and costs associated with the transformation of Industry 4.0.

Ø Determining different customer needs and expectations to customize products and facilitate faster delivery.

Ø Identification of cyber threats and technological attacks and further connections, especially IoT.

Ø Limited use of acquisition and low digital transformation in the manufacturing industry, especially in SMEs.

Ø There are few visible Industry 4.0 success stories acquired by local companies.

Ø Limited interaction between stakeholders to work towards a common goal.

Ø Lack of running appropriate training programs to develop skills and competencies, both for existing and new employees.

Ø Lack of proper co-operation with research institutes, industry leaders and universities.



To address the above challenges and challenges that Malaysian manufacturing companies often face, the government has established a National Industrial Policy 4.0. In addition, a series of government agencies and sector-specific workshops were conducted to engage with and reach out to the community board of stakeholders and industry experts.

The Future


From the above analysis of the challenges and common challenges, five key themes emerge that promote the growth of the final 4IR system in Malaysia. These include:


Ø Capacity building and re-engineering of all current and future skills.

Ø Significant evolution in cooperative platforms and new skills to develop and access effective and cost-effective technologies to meet specific customer needs.

Ø The inclusion of SMEs to promote better participation in product development.

Ø Focused funding strategy and support are needed to implement Industry 4.0 fast and efficient.

Ø Strong digital infrastructure is needed to protect 4IR performance, thereby increasing reliability and security.