Thursday, 29 May 2014
THE rapid transformation of automotive mobility — from fossil fuel to hybrid and fully electric vehicles — is attributed to the creativity and innovativeness of the global automotive industrial community.
The transformation pace is further expedited to fulfill the demand for global environmental improvement and energy saving.
Organisations within the local automotive industry at all levels, from parts and components manufacturing to aftermarket services, research and development (R&D) and marketing, also need to attain creative and innovative ability within their workforce to remain competitive on the global scene.
There is marked distinction between creativity and innovation.
Creativity is the ability among the automotive industrial community to generate ideas, albeit product design, product development, process selections, process improvements, production management, marketing strategies and daily shop-floor problem-solving exercises.
Innovation, on the other hand, is the ability to transform ideas into practice.
Creativity is a thinking process while innovation is a productive process that adds value to ideas.
Passionate automotive entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs will go a long way should their everyday endeavours be creative and innovative. Not only are shop-floor problems readily resolved but customer satisfaction is also achieved.
Regimented shop-floor operations are no longer valid practices today. Instead, a creative and innovative ability among the workforce is the recipe for success.
A frequent grouse among local intellectuals is the lack of creativity and innovation within the local automotive industrial community.
Simple conclusions are often put forward that the scarcity of a creative and innovative ability is gauged by the number of locally developed and manufactured automotive products in the marketplace, or the number of automotive-related patents registered.
There may be some truth in the assessments.
It is a fact that creativity and innovation must be continuously inculcated to create winnings for the present and future generations of workforce, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in the local automotive community.
Creativity and innovation within the workforce result from knowledge, curiosity and experiences, although some may view that these abilities can be taught.
The workplace environment is a top factor to inculcate creativity and innovation.
Curiosity, imagination and intuition among automotive workers can be instilled by frequent exposures to the various and latest technologies, processes and products which will encourage them towards creative and innovative thinking.
Accessibility to the vast information on social media and multimedia should be broadened for the latest automotive development and happenings.
Fostering a creative and innovative culture requires careful planning, with a clearly-defined implementation methodology, which is still receiving little attention from the local automotive industrial community.
Many global automotive original equipment manufacturers and Tier One suppliers have since given attention to creating the right environment for creativity and innovation to flourish within their organisations.
The approaches include internal innovation contests and creative awards open to all design, technology and car enthusiasts, innovative grouping for new materials and process technologies, and project partnerships with universities, businesses and R&D institutions.
The Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI), in a modest way, has regularly inserted video presentations on advanced automotive development and information via social media.
This month, MAI will launch its portal version 3.0 (www.mai.org.my) that will serve as an enhanced platform to promote creativity and innovation.
The portal will give the automotive community a collaborative platform that can help the industry connect the dots between ideas for a game-changing approach in creating a sustainable innovation.
The portal version 3.0 was developed with simplicity in mind and is more customer-eccentric.
Monday, 26 May 2014
Pembuangan kenderaan terakhir hayat atau ELV (end of life vehicle) tanpa pengawasan yang betul akan menjejaskan alam sekitar. Bahan-bahan dalam kereta seperti plumbum, asid bateri, minyak pelincir, kimia tambahan, untuk penyejukan enjin, cecair brek, pendingin hawa dan minyak kotak gear perlu dibuang dengan cara yang selamat bagi mengelakkan pencemaran alam sekitar.
Justeru itu, dengan adanya prosedur pembuangan ELV yang diawasi sebenarnya bakal mewujudkan peluang ekonomi dalam kalangan pengusaha sektor selepas jualan. Bahan buangan dan komponen dari ELV dapat di kitar semula dengan proses pengilangan semula.
Oleh itu adalah sesuai seperti yang dicadangkan dalam Dasar Automotif Negara 2014 supaya satu penstrukturan semula proses pembuangan kenderaan ELV ini diberi perhatian dan di kawal selia pihak berkuasa.
Proses yang dimaksudkan ialah 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) yang akan berlandaskan kepada konsep operasi Authorized Treatment Facilities (ATF). Rangka kerja ini akan menjadi sumber panduan bagi transformasikan aktiviti-aktiviti perniagaan di sektor selepas jualan khusus daroi sudut penghapusan ELV. Agarsemua yang dipraktikan akan memberikan perhatian terhadap menghijau alam sekitar di samping menentukan kemampanan jangka panjang perniagaan tersebut.
ATF adalah pusat-pusat penghapusan khusus untuk ELV yang diberi lesen operasi oleh pihak berkuasa. Para pengusaha ATF ini berkemampuan memenuhi semua keperluan syarat-syarat kawal selia penghapusan ELV. Di samping itu mereka juga bersedia untuk melabur dalam memastikan alam sekitar sentiasa terjaga dan meningkatkan mutu operasi mereka dalam memeberikan perkhidmatan terbaik menghapuskan semua ELV yang diterima.
Negara maju seperti Kesatuan Eropah telah berjaya memastikan amalan 3R dipraktikkan dengan sempurna di bawah panduan rangka kerja ATF. Di negara-negara tersebut dianggarkan jumlah bahan buangan ELV yang dihapuskan sekitar lapan hingga sembilan juta ton setahun. Satu cadangan 'Arahan Kawal Selia' telah dibentangkan pada 1997 supaya negara-negara dalam Kesatuan Eropah ini dapat menguruskan proses penghapusan ELV yang bersifat mesra alam sekitar. Arahan Kawal Selia ini diterima pakai dan diluluskan sebagai undang-undang oleh Parlimen Kesatuan Eropah pada September 2000 dan dikenali sebagai Directive 2000/53/EC.
Arahan Kawal Selia ini menetapkan langkah-langkah bagaimana aktiviti-aktiviti kutipan , penstoran, rawatan dan pembongkaran harus dijalankan bagi ELV. Di samping itu Arahan Kawal Selia ini menetapkan dengan jelas atur cara bagi aktiviti-aktiviti guna semula dan pulih semula bahan buangan ELV dan komponen-komponen. Ini menggalakkan para pengilang kenderaan mengambil kira aspek kitar semula bagi kenderaan baharu yang dicipta dan dikeluarkan.
Arahan Kawal Selia ini juga memastikan setiap pemilik yang berhasrat untuk menghapuskan kereta supaya menggunakan khidmat ATF yang disediakan. Juga para pengilang atau pengimport kenderaan harus mempunyai ATF sendiri bagi menerima kereta ELV jenama masing-masing atau menggunakan khidmat operator ATF bebas bagi pihak mereka.
Setiap ELV yang dihantar ke ATF akan dikeluarkan sijil penghapusan dan rekod kenderaan tersebut akan dimansuhkan dalam sistem Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan.
ATF juga akan berfungsi sebagai perusahaan membekal bahan-bahan ELV yang boleh dikitar semula kepada kilang-kilang kitar semula. Di samping itu komponen-komponen yang boleh diguna semula akan dibongkar oleh ATF dan dibekalkan kepada perusahaan pengilang semula dan akan memastikan komponen-komponen terpakai ini menepati piawaian yang ditetapkan.
Sekiranya negara dapat melaksanakan rangka kerja ATF ini maka hasilnya bukan sekadar menghijaukan alam sekitar malah akan membuka peluang peluang perniagaan dan pekerjaan di dalam sektor lepas jualan automotif pada masa hadapan.
Bagi menentukan kenderaan itu mencapai status ELV, faktor umur sebenarnya bukanlah kayu pengukur. Ada dua faktor menentukan ELV iaitu: kenderaan yang sudah mengalami kehausan mekanikal, penghakisan dan karat lumrahnya berlaku apabila kenderaan mencecah jangka umur sekitar 12 hingga 14 tahun. Ia dikenali sebagai ELV semula jadi. Keduanya ialah kemalangan jalan raya yang mana tidak dapat dibaiki lagi dari sudut teknikal mahupun ekonomi.
Friday, 23 May 2014
IT is a challenging feat ahead among automotive players as Malaysia embarks on becoming the energy efficient vehicle (EEV) manufacturing hub in the region.
The call will not only demand for quality output of parts and components throughout the entire automotive supply chain but more importantly, the vendors are expected to participate as players in the components design, development and manufacturing, together with the automotive assemblers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
The vendors’ ability to participate in parts development is now more crucial as most OEMs are adopting the modular assembly concept.
The system has demonstrated better cost benefits and high efficiency in the final assembly operations.
In the modular approach, pre-assembled modules are procured by the OEMs from only a handful of suppliers, as opposed to their traditional approach in which individual components are procured from numerous suppliers for their assembly operations.
The local automotive manufacturers have in the last few years introduced the multi-tiered modular practice in their operations.
The decision has led to the division of suppliers into various tiers, depending on the types of components supplied.
The base suppliers, or the Tier-1 suppliers, pre-assemble the modules which they in turn outsource components from Tier-2 vendors. Similar arrangements proceed between Tier-2 and Tier-3 vendors.
The modular assembly approach demands high production management abilities among its Tier-1 suppliers to ensure quality modules are supplied and meet the required delivery time frame. Putting in place quality management, such as the Lean Production System (LPS), among vendors is prerequisite.
To effectively manage the entire operation, as well as be able to participate in the components development, motivation and creativity among employees in the Tier-1 companies are central to their success, both in products and processes developments and the on-line production operation.
One structural change that deserves attention, especially among Tier-1 vendors, to motivate and to inculcate creativity, among their employees is the introduction of “entrepreneurship” concept in their respective organisations.
It is commonly accepted that employees with entrepreneurial drive are the ones that are passionate in their work as well as most motivated and creative.
Entrepreneurs are inside entrepreneurs among employees in organisations that undertake to solve problems without being asked to do so.
They are the driving force behind the innovation and creativity in the companies and help to transform ideas into savings.
Those that are engaged in special projects, such as component design and development, should be encouraged to behave as entrepreneurs in their modes operand, even though they have the resources, capabilities and security of the company to draw upon.
They are rewarded accordingly for being able to deliver results, meeting the set criteria and time frame.
It is therefore extremely important for the institutes of higher learning to teach the basics of entrepreneurship to undergraduates. Whether every graduate becomes entrepreneur is immaterial.
The entrepreneurial spirit and skills can help to mold the graduates into becoming entrepreneurs at their workplace upon entering the employment market.
Bi-model University is one academic center in the country for both entrepreneurial and entrepreneurial courses.
The university can be the reference point for automotive vendors to initiate their entrepreneurial development within their organisations.
Saturday, 3 May 2014
ON RECORD there are some 10.3 million vehicles owned by Malaysians, and out of which more than five million are more than ten years old.
It is reasonable to assume that the majority of this category of vehicles are owned by those that would prefer used parts and components in their vehicle maintenance plans.
Despite the uncertainty on the safety aspects of the used parts and components, for economic reasons and common believe that it is only logical to use used parts since the cars are old, the local used parts sales have mushroomed of late.
Regulating the usage of used parts is necessary for safety reason, and yet it is difficult to implement as both repairers and consumers are in favor to replace their failed vehicle parts with cheaper used parts.
Realizing the importance of the used parts industry, the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2014 is determined to transform the sector to become the regional hub for used parts production through a more organised “remanufacturing” structure.
The recently introduced “remanufacturing road map” outlined detail criteria of remanufacturing as well as the standards and best practices that will be used by the local industry players in transforming Malaysia as the hub for automotive remanufacturing activities within its aftermarket ecosystem.
In addition, the road map also explains measures to optimize recyclability and recoverability levels of used components in order to support the NAP’s aspiration to “green” the supply value chain of the local automotive industry.
Remanufacturing, an emerging industry of strategic importance, is a process where used parts are disassembled, cleaned, repaired and reassembled to be used again on vehicles. In comparison to the manufacturing of new parts, remanufacturing is estimated to save energy by 60 per cent and raw materials cost by 70 per cent.
Remanufacturing ensures the same product quality, durability and performance comparable to those of new components. In addition, accessibility to “cheaper but like new” components will be the main benefit gained by users through remanufacturing implementation. A remanufactured part normally costs between 50 and 70 per cent that of a new one, and usually carries some warranty offers.
Components that are remanufactured within the global automotive industry include air-conditioning compressors, alternators, engines, fuel system components, rack and pinion steering, starter motors, steering system, transmission system, turbochargers and water pumps.
The remanufacturing road map will focus on resolving the need to regulate and standardize the remanufactured components by distinguishing them from those of the salvaged components from the scrap yards which are reused, refurbished or repaired without undergoing proper testing and quality assurance procedures. The remanufactured components will be fully tested in accordance with specified standards, fulfilling similar function with warranty offer as the original components.
Malaysia has the potential to build a strong remanufacturing industry with the existing manufacturing base with the availability of an established and sound parts recycle industry.
The NAP 2014 initiatives will support skills development for remanufacturing, establish a quality control framework within an official remanufacturing definition and quality seal for remanufactured products, clarify trade conditions for remanufactured goods, and promote the supply and demand for remanufactured products via environmental policies.
Enhancing the role of research institutions and companies in pushing forward remanufacturing technological innovations is key to successfully promoting the development of remanufacturing sector.
Remanufacturing requires support from other activities such as parts collectors, professional recyclers, disassemblers and cleaners to ensure consistency and sustainable business operation.
The demand will boost the development of more organised recycling activities within the aftermarket ecosystem.
Remanufacturing activities are closely linked to the End-of-Live of vehicles (ELV) as inputs. ELV is associated with two aspects of a vehicle lifespan. A “natural” ELV is one that has ended its road usefulness due to natural factors like wear and tear, while a “premature” ELV is due to accident that is beyond repair, either economically or mechanically.
ELVs can be the main inputs to the remanufacturing ventures, particularly those of the premature category. However, there are needs for the establishment of centres to efficiently extract reusable components. The centers will also be able to dismantle and assort those natural ELVs for remanufacturing purposes.
On this account, the development of automotive authorized treatment facilities (ATF) framework has been proposed under the NAP 2014 aftermarket enhancement initiatives.
The ATF framework will serve as a guideline to transform the automotive after-sales businesses in relation to efforts in developing a green and sustainable automotive industry within the sales, services, spare parts supply and repair sectors.