PH industries’ automation level remains low (Manila Bulletin)

The automation level among manufacturing firms in the country has remained low, but the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that various initiatives are in place to help local firms catch up.  

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez divulged a study at the Manufacturing Summit 2020 which showed that technology utilization of manufacturing enterprises in the country in 2019 remained low.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez
Source: Manila Bulletin/Alfred Frias/Presidential Photo File Photo

According to the DTI study, most are still making the transition from Industry 2.0 to 3.0.

Among the study’s key findings were: 44% had no maintenance system; 35% collect and manage data through paper documents; 46% have no established cybersecurity; more than 50% had no manufacturing equipment connected to a network.

From the private sector, D & L Industries, one of the most diversified manufacturing firms in the country engaged in the production from food and non-food, said it has not reached the Industry 4.0 automation level yet. 

Franco Diego, Lao Group Supply Chain Director of D&L Industries who was also a resource person on the session “Accelerating Technology Adoption and Innovation Among Philippine Enterprises” at the third day of the  Manufacturing Summit said his company is spending almost at equal footing for product innovation and manufacturing innovation.

Aside from these two, Diego said the company is also building up other aspects of the supply chain from warehouse to logistics and other core systems. 

”We will be linking everything all these initiatives and investments together, and that will be our 4.0,” he said.

Diego noted that while D & L is innovating, they don’t have the latest technology yet adding that companies would be encouraged to upgrade given government financial support or fiscal incentives. Obviously, he said, when companies invest in automation in their line they do expect a payback to justify the expenses.

He said that D & L is looking at a timeframe of four to five years to attain Industry 4.0, although this will depend largely on the improvement of business confidence.

Lopez, however, said that the pandemic’s disruption of business and the use of digital tools have pushed the emergence of significant innovation among Philippine enterprises.

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Manila Bulletin

14 December 2020

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