Mr. Tan Eng Tong, VP of Strategic Management at SilTerra, was invited to give a talk on the implication of IR4.0 on the workforce at the recent SME CEO Forum themed Industrial Revolution 4.0, held on the 31st October 2019 in Penang.
In his talk entitled “The Coming Revolution – Are You Ready For It”, Mr. Tan explains that in today’s terminology, terms such as IoT, Robotics, Automation, Data Analytics, AI and Deep Learning are all considered part of the coming revolution. Not embracing these elements in some form relevant to one’s business will result in the business falling behind eventually. The workforce, however, needs to be ready for it.
Mr. Tan related this to the audience by sharing some of the insights experienced within SilTerra. As one of the most advanced Malaysian-owned technology companies manufacturing semiconductor wafers, SilTerra has had to incorporate IR4.0 capabilities from the day they opened their doors in 2001. Every wafer is individually tracked on each of its 700 or so process steps as it is processed in the clean room facility on automated conveyor belts. Data is collected from each of the 500 or so multi-million dollar tools and automated machines, reported every second and collated for real-time review by supervisors and customers alike.
Despite the advanced technology, human intervention is still needed when the production line is interrupted just like any other production line; or when customer requirements change just like any business; or when any other unexpected situation arises.
Solving problems require people to work together to understand the problem, communicate and share understandings with each other to collectively come up with an acceptable solution using the data and information provided by the systems, while dealing with – and there will be – conflicts of opinions. Mr. Tan describes these human traits collectively as ‘Emotional Intelligence’, the ability to communicate empathically, with conviction and persuasive skills using critical thinking and complex analysis. Emotional Intelligence, thus, needs to be in place to complement Artificial Intelligence.
The SME CEO Forum also included insights from government, banking and SME thought leaders on matters related to the development and assistance for the optimization of SMEs in the country. This event was graced by YB Dato’Haji Halim Hussain, Chairman of International Trade and Entrepreneur Development Committee in Penang.