February 26, 2020 04:13

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Enterprises still “struggling” with smart manufacturing

09:33 | 27/10/2019

VCN - Smart manufacturing is the application of digital technology to production activities, creating a better production system, making decisions in complex conditions in order to increase productivity and quality. Therefore, all Vietnamese businesses are trying and finding solutions to transform.

enterprises still struggling with smart manufacturing
Many businesses have focused on investing smart technology in production and business operation. Photo: H.Dịu

Attempts to access technology

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is creating significant reforms in production. In particular, smart factories with breakthrough technologies have changed the traditional working method, creating many new products with differentiated and superior quality.

According to Ms. Pham Thi Huong, Director of Autotech Machinery CO. JSC, smart factories are a remarkable evolution from a traditional automation production system to a flexible and connected production system. With industrial automation, a factory could operate continuously. This would significantly increase productivity compared to the use of human labor. In addition, the automatic information collection can assist businesses in obtaining important information from production, increasing data accuracy and cutting costs of data collection.

Mr. Vo Quang Lam, Deputy Director General of Vietnam Electricity (EVN), said EVN has researched and applied digital technology, information technology and automation (including IoT, AI, Big data, Blockchain, etc.) into production activities. Accordingly, hydropower plants have been equipped with new technologies such as condition-based monitoring and reliability-centered maintenance. Thermal power plants have recently used advanced control and modern measurement equipment for operation and maintenance such as parameter monitoring, continuous operation status such as vibration, temperature, pressure of the main equipment.

Mr. Lam also said that, by May 2019, the total number of electronic meters installed and collecting telemetry data across the system was more than 12.3 million units, accounting for 44.8%. The telemetry system helped to improve labor productivity in the stage of recording meter readings, detecting abnormal operation status of the system, contributing to reducing electricity losses. EVNHANOI, which is under EVN, has researched and implemented the Chatbot - automatic answering system for the Customer Service system. All units directly under EVN have implemented the Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) system, which helped the management in the fields of finance, accounting, raw material and assets more easily.

Besides that, many enterprises also focus on developing solutions for smart manufacturing, providing for businesses. For example, EK Geographic Information Technology Joint Stock Company (eKGIS) has developed and provided solutions to apply artificial intelligence (AI) technology to the water supply industry to assist in reading the index and the status of water meters from photographs, customer care support, flow and pressure analysis.

According to Mr. Dang Quang Vu, Technology Director of eKGIS, these solutions might not reduce costs for businesses, but help businesses reduce time and manpower with accuracy and efficiency for business activities.

Still facing difficulties

Although there were typical successful businesses as mentioned above, in fact, most businesses in Vietnam were still "struggling" in digital transformation. The reason was that the number of small and medium enterprises accounts for over 90%, the conversion would be more difficult, with many businesses afraid to convert. According to a survey by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, 61% of Vietnamese enterprises were still outside the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

According to Autotech leaders, it was a fact that most enterprises in Vietnam had not been fully prepared and were not interested in investing and applying new technologies and automation machines in the process of production to toward modern technology. Currently, labor productivity in Vietnam was low compared to other countries in the region, low technology level, old-generation machines, and most human resources were still untrained. Therefore, manufacturing industries were under great pressure and must change and adapt to new trends.

The solutions for smart manufacturing required very high technical properties, take a lot of processing time. Mr. Ha Minh Hiep, Deputy Director General of the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality (Ministry of Science and Technology), said that enterprises must understand the problem to be determined to invest and renew themselves. After that, businesses have to explore and research smart production models that are suitable for their businesses, focusing on integrating digital technology and raising qualifications for workers. On the basis of its current situation, enterprises must develop their own plans to promote intelligent production in their groups through index groups and improve index groups.

By Minh Chi/Thanh Thuy