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Connect @ i4.0 Plastics Industry Conference by Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA), connecting plastics-making entrepreneurs with technology experts [From left to right: Datuk Noraini Soltan, Vice-President of MPMA; Mr Elanjelian, Chief Executive of Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF); Dr Sumitra Nair, Vice-President of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)]

 Approximately 100 participants attended the Connect @ i4.0 Plastics Industry Conference 2019 at Zenith Putrajaya, today, an event that connects plastics-making entrepreneurs with technology experts on creating smart factories through digitalisation, advanced manufacturing, robotics, under Industry 4.0.


This one-day conference, attended by mostly by small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), is the first-of-its-kind by Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) in effort to foster an advanced and innovative industry that embraces Industry 4.0 in plastics manufacturing. 


MPMA brought together representatives from Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) for sessions with participants, and presented case studies by local and foreign companies on ‘Smart Factory and Automation’ as well as ‘What You Need to Lead in i4.0 – Talent Development’.


“Embracing Industry 4.0 is no longer a choice. The industry is grappling with rising operational cost, domestic labour crunch, increased levels of product quality and consistency, and more efficient production operations among others,” said Datuk Noraini Soltan, the Vice-President of MPMA.


“In the face of these challenges, it is crucial for all of our industry players to advance our manufacturing model into one that offers more innovation-based and high-value production, to enhance efficiency and capture long-term competitiveness at the global level,” she continued. 


Through this Conference, participants are able to understand how to digitalise their processes, explore the technology and innovation available and meet experts who would be able to guide them in the process. 


MPMA also sponsored representatives and students from government and private training institutions to join the Conference.


“This experience will give them exposure on what is happening and future advancement for the industry. The whole idea is for them to input back what is learnt into the education system,” she added.


The papers presented will cover topics such as robotic solutions for plastics-based industries, material handling automation, vision technology systems, production optimisation, workforce transformation as well as intelligent factories vs intelligent people. 


Digitalisation, advanced manufacturing, robotics, additive manufacturing are just a few of the technologies taking the industry toward industry 4.0/the Smart Factory. What does this mean for the plastics industry? What are the benefits and how does it all come together? These are some of the questions the Conference will seek to address and provide first-hand knowledge from industry leaders who are working to achieve smart manufacturing practices.


MPMA has been strongly promoting industry 4.0 models to its members through numerous initiatives. MPMA was the first association to introduce the concept of a  smart factory to its members at the Conference on Future of Innovation for the Plastics Industry in 2015. More recently, it organised the industry 4.0 technical training courses, “First Step to Injection Moulding 4.0”. The course saw a group of 100 technicians and engineers through a 12-month pilot programme that was completed in November 2018.

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