Galactic Advance Engineering wants to help manufacturers embrace IR4.0

02 Mar 2020 / 22:36 H.

PETALING JAYA: Galactic Advance Engineering Sdn Bhd (GAE), an industrial automation solutions provider, aims to help manufacturers adopt IR4.0 solutions, in support of the national agenda to move towards automation and innovation.

In an interview with SunBiz, GAE CEO

N Sakthivel explained there is still a huge gap when it comes to automation in Malaysia, as there is still a heavy reliance on foreign labour.

“However, whatever has been automated or whatever is in the process of being automated, IR4.0 definitely helps, right down to semi-or lightly automated processes because it [employing IR4.0 solutions] helps to identify cycle times, wastage and productivity,” he said.

In terms of whether SMEs are making an effort to embrace IR4.0, Sakthivel said there has been progress made, albeit slow.

“Before [the launch of Industry 4WRD], it was difficult because trying to get companies to understand and embrace IR4.0 was a hard sell process. Now, the situation is reversed because companies actually make the effort to find out what they can do to introduce automation solutions to their businesses.

“Of course, this did not happen overnight. There are results, but it is a little subtle to realise,” he said.

Industry 4WRD was launched by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in October 2018 to facilitate companies to embrace enhanced technologies in a conducive and comprehensive manner.

Industry4WRD’s Readiness Assessment (RA) is a national programme that aims to assist SMEs’ migration of technological capabilities towards IR4.0.

Currently, more than 500 SMEs have been approved through the RA, but it should be noted that this is a very small percentage of the over 50,000 SMEs in Malaysia.

GAE’s solution, known as Genie Smart Factory, is a cloud-based process intelligence system that provides real time information and predictive alerts using artificial intelligence.

The system consists of an industrial internet of things (IIoT) sensor as well as the cloud-based software. The software obtains process values and parameters of a company’s operations via data acquisition, aggregating, analysing and sharing which is then projected onto a dashboard interface to allow continuous monitoring of processes or machinery.

Sakthivel explained that the sensor is only needed for legacy factories that are not automated, or for factories that have limitations on installing machines.

The system installation costs RM30,000, which is affordable for most SMEs, but as Sakthivel pointed out, most companies only seek solutions when there is a problem or when they are experiencing financial losses.

“Often for businesses, the first question they tend to ask is, ‘How much will it cost me?’ but in this case, once we have demonstrated how effectively Genie zeroes in on where breakdowns are happening, the savings speak for itself,” he added.

GAE’s clients in Malaysia are primarily in the food production industry, but also in the pharmaceutical, palm oil and steel industries.

The company has also expanded to other countries in the region, namely: Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and most recently, Thailand.

In Indonesia, GAE’s clients are mostly in the textile and vehicle manufacturing industries, while in the Philippines, they are in the power generation industry.

“Indonesia is quite hungry for IR4.0 solutions, and their readiness is on par with Malaysia,” said Sakthivel.

As for further expansion plans, he said that for this year, GAE plans to stick with the Southeast Asian markets they already have a presence in and will focus on solidifying their brand presence in these countries first.

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