Pentamaster targets two sectors

  • Business
  • Monday, 05 Mar 2018

It’s to expand in auto semiconductor and intelligent automated robotic manufacturing line

GEORGE TOWN: Pentamaster Corp Bhd is working on enlarging its market share in the automotive semiconductor and intelligent automated robotic manufacturing line (IARM) industries.

Group chairman CB Chuah told StarBiz that the automotive semiconductor business should contribute more than 20% this year compared with 5% in 2017.

More than 50% of Pentamaster Corp’s revenue is generated from the smart device sector.

The automotive semiconductor market size is expected to hit US$48.78bil by 2022, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% between 2016 and 2022, according to a Markets and Markets report.

“The powertrain system of automobiles is generating the demand for semiconductor test equipment. “In 2021, the powertrain system is projected to account for 21% of the total automotive semiconductor demand worldwide.

“The improvements in advanced safety, convenience and comfort systems are the other factors driving the growth of the semiconductor content in automobiles.

“The Asia-Oceania region has the most market share of vehicle production and sales due to the growth of the Chinese automotive market,” he added. The IARM segment should generate more than 15% of the group’s 2018 revenue, compared with 15% in 2017.

“We are spending RM45mil on two manufacturing facilities this year. About RM35mil is for the Batu Kawan facility that would also produce IARM solutions on top of test equipment for the medical equipment and automotive industries.

“The remaining RM10mil is for the extension of our current plant in Bayan Lepas that would serve as a research and development centre and warehouse,” Chuah said.

The group is developing IARM solutions for two major customers in the United States. Each IARM line is priced between RM6mil and RM10mil, depending on the complexity of the functions. It takes about four months to assemble and install an IARM line for customers.

Chuah said that companies in Malaysia were also looking to replace skilled workers with IARM solutions. “There is a growing interest to use IARM where high-precision engineering and fabrication skills are involved.”

According to a Transparency Market Research (TMR) report, artificial intelligence (AI) is a fast-emerging technology, dealing with the development and study of intelligent machines and software.

“This software is being used across various applications such as manufacturing (assembly line robots), medical research and speech-recognition systems.

“It also enables in-built software or machines to operate like human beings, thereby allowing devices to collect, analyse data, reason, talk, make decisions and act.

The global AI market was valued at US$126.24bil in 2015 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 36.1% from 2016 to 2024 to reach a value of US$3,061.35bil in 2024,” said the TMR report.

Chuah added that the group would focus on producing automated equipment to manufacture disposable medical devices. “The growth areas for disposable medical devices are in China, the United States and Malaysia,” he added.

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