Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) are encouraged to use smart manufacturing technologies to reduce cost, and improve productivity and business agility.
Department of Science and Technology’s (DoST) Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) senior science research specialist Glen Espeña said available technologies that can be applied by these firms to their production are sensors, robotics and automation, including 3D printing.
According to Espeña, robotics is now used in industrial environments when lifting heavy objects with the use of machines is needed over humans, or for tasks that are dirty or dangerous for humans.
He said 3D printing is employed for rapid prototyping or making a concept of a product before this is mass produced.
Espeña said the government has initiated to help the MSME upgrade the level of their productivity, efficiency and safety of employees with the use of new technologies in their production lines through the Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics and Industrial Automation Laboratory (AMERIAL) project.
He explained that the project aims to establish an industrial automation laboratory and provide consultancy services for MSME regarding automation.
He said the laboratory housed at the MIRDC compound can be used by the academe, industries, students and others to
conduct research activities related to automation.
It also offers automation, robotics and software training to everyone, he added.
For consultancy services, the AMERIAL team visits a company usually endorsed by DoST regional offices, and assesses or checks their production plant or line for possible automation projects, he added.
Espeña said AMERIAL consultancy services also include troubleshooting and repair, facility upgrade and product development.
“We already gave 52 proposals to various companies that is why we are waiting for their responses if they will implement it already. There are now potential automation projects that we target, we have ongoing discussions with the companies that intend to improve their plants with the use of automation,” Espeña said.