DRB-Hicom unit launches high-tech paint shop in Pekan

PETALING JAYA: Hicom Automotive Manufacturers (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd launched its high-tech paint shop in Pekan, Pahang, yesterday, as part of efforts to strengthen its position as one of the preferred automotive assemblers in the region.

“The establishment of this high-tech paint facility will enhance our standing as one of the region’s most prefered component assemblers in the automotive industry,” said DRB-Hicom Bhd group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar.

Hicom Automotive, a fully owned subsidiary of DRB-Hicom, has been operating in Pekan for the last 30 years and has assembled close to 500,000 passenger and commercial vehicles from 20 international marques, including C class, E class, S class and GLC class, Fuso and MB Actros under the Mercedes-Benz banner.

The new facility will increase its production capacity from 25,000 units to 50,000 units annually, driven by the paint shops’ ability to operate around the clock.

“The new paint shop features a robotic paint system for the primer and top coating application; the feature that has allowed us to decrease production time by as much as 50% compared with the manual application method previously employed,” said Hicom Automotive CEO Ismail Pandak.

Syed Faisal said the facility is part of the group’s commitment to ensure its readiness to face Industry 4.0, which has seen the development of “smart factories” around the world, as industry players innovate and improve their business processes to minimise cost.

“Industry 4.0 requires us to develop a knowledge-based economy in our efforts to become a high-income nation. By increasing the technology involved in the production line, we are encouraging Warga DRB-Hicom to increase their technical knowledge and ensure their skills are at par with their international counterparts,” he said.