On 14 March 2017, semiconductor giant Infineon Technologies announced that it is investing 70 million euros (S$105.2m) over 5 years to develop a ‘smart factory’ at its manufacturing plant in Singapore. Dubbed the Smart Enterprise Program, Infineon’s productions here will be linked in real time to other production sites, and the assembly line will be increasingly automated to boost productivity.
Infineon president and managing director Andrew Chong said: "The Smart Enterprise programme aims to take full advantage of the entire production value network capability, and improves Infineon's competitiveness via innovation, quality and productivity." As part of the programme, Infineon has already deployed robotics and automated guided vehicles in its plant, which is expected to eliminate errors in manual tasks, such as handling of materials in and out of storage, as well as microscopic visual inspection for defects.
“In the past, labour-intensive jobs led to more accidents. With the new system, it’s a lot more efficient because the robots are very precise so accidents are prevented. Manpower can also be utilised more effectively elsewhere now,” said Mr Luarent Filipozzi, Infineon’s vice-president.
Mr Lim Kok Kiang, assistant managing director of EDB said: “The adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies is a critical next step for Singapore, and a key enabler will be our workforce. We are therefore working closely with companies such as Infineon to identify the skills and training required by Singaporeans to ensure they can take on good and exciting job opportunities as we transform our manufacturing sector.”