Friday, 14 March 2014

Supply chain roadmap to elevate vendors capabilities

SMALL and medium industries (SMIs) collectively formed an important part of any industrialized economy. Statistically there are some 800 vendors within the Malaysia automotive supply chain and majority are those of medium-sized establishments manufacturing automotive parts and components with annual turnover between RM15 million and RM50 million, respectively.

The vendors, together with 11 vehicle manufacturers/assemblers and nine motorcycle assemblers employing more than 300,000 workers.

Although most of the local vendors' outputs are for the requirements of the local automotive manufacturers and assemblers, however, some of the parts and components worth about RM5 billion are exported annually.

The recently launched National Automotive Policy (NAP 2014) emphasizes on the importance of vendor development in order to create a competitive local automotive industry. The NAP 2014 has set targets to transform at least 430 vendors to become global and regional level parts and components manufacturers by 2020.

In this respect, 180 vendors are targeted to be transformed to achieve level 5 on the global vendor capability indicator, or generally recognised as the "Supplier Competitiveness Level (SCL)", with the ultimate ability to undertake their own research and development work, offering new innovative ideas and concept for parts and components requirements by the automotive manufacturers and assemblers.

At the same time, 150 vendors are to be elevated to level 4 on the SCL able to improve the design and provide technical specifications on the parts and components manufactured as required by the automotive manufacturers and assemblers. The vendors are also able to offer alternatives to the automotive manufacturers and assemblers meeting their parts and components requirements.

NAP 2014 also targets to elevate 100 vendors to level 3 of the SCL able to perform components testing on their parts and components manufactured as specified by the manufacturers and assemblers within their production facilities and provide warranty on parts and components produced.

Successful transformation of the 430 vendors will result in Malaysia able to achieve automotive parts and components export target of RM10 billion by 2020.

Currently, the local vendors are averagely at level 2 solely having the facilities and capability to manufacture, while all design details and specifications are dictated by the manufacturers and assemblers. Some have achieved level 3 requiring more efforts to proceed to higher levels.

A Supply Chain Development Roadmap has been put forward to guide the transformation process of the local parts and components industries to become the world-class vendors fulfilling the SCL requirements. The aim of the roadmap is to continuously enhance the parts and component manufacturers' competitiveness in various aspects, particularly efficiency and operational effectiveness. The roadmap consists of measures to improve quality, operational and business management systems among the vendors.

The global automotive trends and challenges assessments form the bases for the formulation of the Supply Chain Development Roadmap. The international environmental and safety legislation, raw material cost, energy cost, exchange rates and interest rates are fundamentals that influence the competitiveness of the local supply chain network.

In addition, fast model change in all automotive segments, industrial optimization and restructuring processes taking place globally and aggressive new entrance into the network further stiffen the automotive manufacturing competitive scenario.

Although opportunities remained high in automotive ventures, industry players can be subjected to challenges, such as customers demand stagnation and pricing pressure in more established markets. Customers loyalties are fading as price and technology are becoming major criteria of choice for vehicles purchases.

In addition, global over production capacity and industrial restructuring such as complex alliances, partnerships and consolidation among global automakers off late beginning to take place, and hence demanding strategic re-examination among the local vendors in order to survive within the global supply chain.

The Supply Chain Development Roadmap outlays the stages of improvements to be observed by the local vendors, generally the best practices by the global parts and components manufacturers, for them to enter the international supply chain.

Consecutively, the six stages of improvements focus on; Business Plan, Operations, People, Diversification, Marketing and Export.

Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) will collaborate with various relevant organisations with expertise to develop programmes for each of the improvement stages, making them available for the vendors to undertake their respective improvement exercises.

To date, MAI has implemented two programmes under the roadmap in its effort to uplift the capability and competitiveness of the local vendors. One of which is the quality improvement practices through the Lean Production System (LPS) under the Automotive Technical Experts Assistance programme.

LPS is a systematic approach to identify and eliminate waste or non-value added activities through continuous improvement adapted from the Toyota Production System.

The second programme being implemented is the bench marking exercise among the local vendors with global automotive industries.

The bench marking procedure compares the local vendors' performances with those vendors in developed countries, such as Germany and Korea, which have implemented the Automotive Supplier Excellence and Improvement Programme.

The procedure highlights areas of weakness within the local vendors' business operations identifying the gaps that requires improvements to enhance their performances at par to those successful automotive companies overseas.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Automotive technology roadmap to guide EEV development

HIGH technological capability is predominant to realize the nation’s aspiration to develop the country as the hub for energy-efficient vehicle (EEV) manufacturing.

Malaysia now possesses the fundamental technologies to support the development of the EEV industry, acquired from the nation’s involvement in the conventional automotive manufacturing thus far. However, Malaysia still lacks some critical EEV-specific technological requirements.

Malaysia Automotive Technology Roadmap (MATR), one of the six blueprints recently revealed, will serve as the guidelines in steering the automotive community in the nation’s adoption and adaption of and innovative approach towards EEV manufacturing. Relating to the entire automotive ecosystem, MATR identifies the relevant technologies that are  needed to enhance the existing technologies, and  the non-existing technologies essential for EEV manufacturing  for acquisition and development.

 Vehicle weight is fundamental for EEV, especially to achieve the lower fuel consumption per specified kilometers distance traveled. Continuous import of light materials for EEV parts and components production, such as primary ingot of aluminium and magnesium, will not help in the longer term competitiveness of the local EEV manufacturing.

As such, local upstream aluminium recycling activities need equipment upgrading with metallurgical knowledge of the material, which are able to produce the right primary alloys meeting the specifications for the downstream parts and components production processes. Reactivating the installation of the earlier planned aluminium processing plant such as in Samalaju, Bintulu,  may be the long-term alternative to support the expected growing of aluminium demand by EEV manufacturing.

High-end technology, particularly the castings die design and engineering, coupled with sound knowledge in production processes and the metallurgical aspects of the material, are crucial for the manufacturing of high quality aluminium parts and components. In this respect, the present local die design and making ability in the middle-stream operation of the automotive ecosystem needs enhancement.

Magnesium alloy  is another lightweight material  that has gained  useful application for automotive parts, and little is known of the existence of this material parts being manufactured in the local automotive industrial scene. On similar account, magnesium parts manufacturing needs for further development locally to support the EEV initiative.

Metal composites, a combination within the metallic matrix with strong fibrous material, are important materials that have entered components manufacturing  for engineering applications. 

Aluminium composite has shown its potential engineering applications and more so in automotive. Adoption and adaption of this composite technology among the local automotive research and development  and engineering community is the way forward to support the nation’s EEV venture and its components demands.

Malaysia’s petrochemical industry has been in existence since the national oil production commenced. Plastic raw materials were in production, but the types of plastics produced are limited  only to those that are commonly used in the current conventional vehicles  such as dashboard and other lower-end interior fittings.

Advanced engineering raw plastic materials are generally imported, such as those of the polymeric group, and are shaped into components by   local plastic vendors. Henceforth, MATR planned the development of more advanced plastics and polymeric materials in the upstream activities for the consumption by the downstream automotive parts processes.

Composite materials, reinforced plastics or polymeric materials with strong fiber have been the alternative routes to replace the heavy metallic components in automotive application to achieve weight reduction. Processing technology and product development using composite for automotive components will be a new game plan among the local vendors to remain competitive.

Ability to process and   develop products using the above advanced materials will be futile without the supports of high technical ability of the mold and die makers. MATR identifies the importance to upgrade these middle-stream industries that not only able to design and machine, but are also knowledgeable enough to produce various sizes and quality of  mold and die with appropriate heat-treatment and fine finishing being incorporated. Enhancement of other critical technologies and engineering abilities among the industrial players within the downstream activities are also re-routed by the MATR implementation plans.

Digital engineering and prototyping, foundry practices, “green” power train design and development, new processes and advanced manufacturing are among technologies identified for further development or enhancement.

On the other hand, recycling and remanufacturing technologies are among  priorities identified for adoption and adaption within the aftermarket sector of the automotive ecosystem. Testing technologies applicable at various stages of a vehicle life span, from prototyping, pre-production to post production; Vehicle Type Approval  and Vehicle End-of-life  are highlighted in the MATR with the acquisition and development route proposed.

Automotive vehicles are evolving from the current conventional internal combustion engine to hybrid to electric, and finally to fuel-cell power train. MATR suggests the possible entrance time frame of those vehicles types into the local marketplace. Accordingly, it is essential that the local automotive industrial community to acquire the essential technologies in anticipation of the vehicles future presence in the local scene. Coordinated manpower development planning to support the technology acquisition processes is essential for Malaysia to embark on the manufacturing of those types of vehicles in the future.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Kaji semula secara berkala

KEMENTERIAN Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri (Miti) pada 6 Februari melancarkan satu lagi dokumen hala tuju (roadmap) automotif yang akan menyokong perlaksanaan Dasar Automotif Nasional, (DAN 2014) yang diumumkan 20 Januari lalu.

Hala Tuju NAP 2014 dibangunkan oleh Miti dan Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI).

Semua perlaksanaan program yang dirancang akan diselaraskan oleh Miti sementara MAI akan berperanan sebagai agen koordinasi, perlaksanaan dan pengawasan.

Hala Tuju 2014 akan berperanan sebagai dokumen garis panduan bagi pihak industri, jabatan kerajaan, institusi pengajian tinggi, institusi latihan dan organisasi-organisasi dalam ekosistem automotif tempatan, agar segala usaha yang dirancang semua pihak akan menuju ke satu matlamat perindustrian automotif EEV yang disarankan dalam DAN 2014.

Hala Tuju 2014 telah dibangunkan serentak dengan DAN 2014. Informasi-informasi yang diperlukan bagi merumus kandungan dokumen hala tuju tersebut dikumpulkan semasa perbincangan dan dialog dengan berbagai pihak, khususnya pihak industri automotif tempatan dan pengusaha pengeluaran komponen automotif, dalam merumus DAN 2014.

Justeru perlu ditekan di sini, Hala Tuju 2014 adalah hasil usaha dan kerjasama antara anggota kerja Miti yang berkenaan dan MAI tanpa pelantikan mana-mana konsultan mahupun persediaan belanjawan khusus daripada kerajaan.

Selaku dokumen garis panduan kepada semua organisasi yang berperanan dalam ekosistem automotif tempatan dan juga organisasi lain yang terlibat secara tidak langsung, Hala Tuju 2014 juga bertujuan sebagai sumber asas untuk perbincangan lanjut bagi mendapatkan lebih idea-idea, program-program dan inisiatif tambahan sesuai untuk perlaksanaan.

Justeru, Hala Tuju 2014 adalah satu dokumen yang dinamik dan akan dikaji semula secara berkala selaras dengan arus pembangunan automotif tempatan seterusnya. Oleh yang demikian, MAI dalam waktu terdekat ini akan menjelajah untuk memberikan penerangan kepada organisasi-organisasi terlibat, secara langsung atau tidak langsung dalam aktiviti automotif bagi mendapatkan maklum balas, pendapat dan pandangan serta maklumat lanjut berguna untuk membangunkan perusahaan automotif tempatan.

Enam dokumen

Hala Tuju 2014 mengandungi enam dokumen berasingan yang memberi fokus kepada bidang-bidang yang perlu diberi keutamaan dalam proses transformasi ekosistem automotif tempatan agar hasrat menjadikan Malaysia sebagai hab automotif EEV dapat dicapai.

Malaysia Hala Tuju Teknologi adalah salah satu dari enam dokumen Hala Tuju 2014.

Dokumen ini membentangkan arah teknologi yang perlu diberi perhatian supaya dapat menyokong penglibatan negara dalam bidang pengeluaran EEV.

Hala tuju ini juga mencadangkan beberapa panduan ke arah rasionalisasi teknologi rangkaian industri pembekal “hijau” automotif tempatan.

Dokumen Hala Tuju Pembangunan Rangkaian Bekalan automotif pula bertujuan mempertingkatkan rangkaian industri pembekal komponen yang berdaya saing, dari sudut efisien dan operasi pengilangan yang berkesan.

Antara kandungan hala tuju ini merangkumi aspek peningkatan kualiti keluaran, pengurusan operasi pengilangan dan perniagaan, di samping meningkatkan kemampuan kerja-kerja ujian dan pengesahan komponen-komponen yang dihasilkan.

Garis panduan ke arah membangunkan sumber tenaga manusia di semua peringkat yang relevan kepada industri automotif tempatan, khusus di bidang teknologi EEV, adalah kandungan penting dalam dokumen Hala Tuju Pembangunan Sumber Manusia.

Hala tuju ini juga menyediakan perancangan ke arah pembangunan khusus tenaga mahir tempatan dalam bidang kejuruteraan pengeluaran automasi bagi komponen-komponen, termasuk enjin serta sistem transmisi, kenderaan hibrid dan juga elektrik.

Penekanan adalah diberikan bagi mengurangkan tenaga kerja asing yang berkemahiran rendah dan diganti dengan tenaga kerja tempatan yang mahir.

Perancangan ini diharap akan meningkatkan pekerja mahir tempatan ke arah taraf pekerja berpendapatan tinggi.

Di antara aktiviti aktiviti dalam sektor selepas jualan, hala tuju khusus bagi membangunkan industri pengeluaran semula, komponen-komponen kenderaan diberi penekanan.

Dokumen hala tuju ini membentangkan garis panduan operasi bagi industri pengeluaran semula, serta mengenal pasti bentuk piawaian dan amalan terbaik yang akan digunakan oleh pengusaha tempatan sejajar dengan rancangan transformasi Malaysia sebagai hab pengeluaran EEV dirantau ini.

Dokumen hala tuju ini juga menyarankan garis panduan dalam mempertingkatkan tahap kitar semula komponen automotif terpakai dalam membantu kerajaan menjayakan rangkaian industri bekalan  tempatan bersifat “hijau”.

Di samping itu pembangunan susun atur “Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATF)” bagi automotif juga diberi penekanan.

Dokumen hala tuju bidang ini memberikan garis panduan ke arah transformasi industri dan perniagaan dalam sektor selepas jualan beroperasi sebagai industri “hijau” iaitu di bidang servis, bekalan komponen dan aksesori dan baik pulih kenderaan.


Bagi mempertingkatkan daya saing syarikat-syarikat Bumiputera dalam industri automotif, satu hala tuju juga dibentangkan dengan rancangan peningkatan mereka dalam bidang teknologi, pembangunan sumber manusia dan penyertaan dalam rangkaian bekalan komponen dengan lebih efektif.

Telah dijelaskan, semua dokumen hala tuju yang dibentangkan adalah bersifat dinamik yang mana garis panduan disarankan akan sentiasa dikaji semula dan diadaptasikan dengan keadaan semasa dalam perkembangan industri automotif serantau.

Ia seumpama peta perjalanan dari satu tempat ke tempat lain.

Walaupun jalan yang sesuai telah dipilih, tetapi mungkin pemandu menukar arah separuh perjalanan sekiranya jalan yang dipilih tersebut ada rintangan seperti kemalangan, banjir, jalan ditutup dan sebagainya.

Kaji semula secara berkala ini akan memastikan DAN 2014 dapat dilaksanakan dengan mencapai matlamat untuk menjadikan Malaysia sebagai hub industri pengeluaran EEV dirantau ini.