Smart manufacturing technologies applicable for MSMEs

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are encouraged to use smart manufacturing technologies to reduce cost, and improve productivity and business agility.

In a webinar, Glen Espeña, senior science research specialist at the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC), said available technologies that can be applied by these firms to their production are sensors, robotics and automation, and 3D printing.

Espeña said robotics is 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 MSMEs 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 added the project aims to establish an industrial automation laboratory and provide consultancy services for MSMEs regarding automation.

Espeña 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.

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.

“Last year, we 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 in FIlipino.

He said the corresponding cost involving the implementation of automation solutions is not part of the services ng AMERIAL project.

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