October 7, 2011 – ACN Newswire — To encourage productivity, Singapore has launched the Manufacturing Productivity Technology Centre (MPTC) at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
GlobalFoundries has signed a 5-year Manufacturing Productivity Enhancement master plan agreement with SIMTech, and 7 other companies have signed memoranda of understanding to initiate productivity improvements. SIMTech and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Singapore Pte Ltd’s work will enable the full-service semiconductor foundry to apply cutting-edge productivity improvement technologies and strategies: Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) to automate the movement of wafers in the fabs; implementing precision inspection capability into the fabs’ existing inspection tools; exploring the potentials of recycling materials and refurbishment of fab tools; and adopting RFID technology for more efficient production tracking.
The MPTC offers SIMTech-developed technologies, tools and capabilities in automation, processes and systems. Companies can use the center to identify productivity gaps and develop or adopt technologies to fill them. Professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) will have access to training on these technologies in an interdisciplinary environment. The Centre houses prototypes, implemented systems, and other supporting products that create enhanced efficiency, effectiveness, and value. The new Centre will share success stories of partner companies that have realized productivity gains of up to 100%.
One sample productivity tool is Manufacturing Energy MOnitoring (MEMO), a software system from SIMTech that automatically tracks machine power usage in a fab and enables manufacturers to reduce energy wastage and suboptimal power usage settings. A precision engineering components manufacturing enterprise that has experimented with the software has demonstrated that energy savings of up to 50% is feasible.
The Centre will also facilitate interdisciplinary research on manufacturing productivity/training, said Dr Lim Ser Yong, SIMTech executive director. The goal is to share this task among partnerships, knowledge transfer and technology transfer.
For the personnel training aspect, SIMTech collaborated with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) to implement the new Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Operations MaNagement and Innovation (OMNI) Programme. This enhanced programme rides on the success of the WSQ SME Manufacturing Excellence (S.M.E.) Programme launched in 2010, which has trained 47 managers from 26 companies that then raised productivity from 30% to 230%.
OMNI Programme was enhanced and customized to address the operational challenges of different manufacturing industries. Funding support (a grant of up to 50% of implementation costs) is now available to companies implementing operations improvement strategies.
The Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) is a research institute of the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). SIMTech develops high-value manufacturing technology and human capital to contribute to Singapore’s competitiveness. For more information, please visit www.SIMTech.a-star.edu.sg and to learn more about A*STAR, visit www.a-star.edu.sg.