KUALA LUMPUR: The timber industry stands to benefit from the government's Factory Transformation Programme (FTP) initiative, geared to meet the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0).
Deputy Primary Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng, who launched the programme on Friday (April 9), said the FTP grant valued at RM1.4mil will benefit 14 timber companies in the furniture industry sector.
He added that the FTP was implemented last year in December and will last for a year.
"Sirim STS Sdn Bhd will fund 80% of participation fees for those who join the programme while the remaining 20% will be funded by the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC)," he said at the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) office at Menara PGRM.
The FTP Memorandum of Understanding was signed by MTIB, MTC and Sirim STS.
Wee said the programme will support and help timber industry companies to be involved in conducting plant evaluations and diagnostic studies to identify inefficiencies and wastage through Green 5S tools and techniques, and Lean Management.
He added that FTP will also train manufacturing companies to improve the use and implementation of Green 5S, quality of tools and techniques, management and innovation.
It will also identify and develop guidelines and practices that can be adopted by companies, and guide them to identify relevant information technology platforms and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in collaboration with solution providers, he said.
Wee added that the use of technology is the best solution for the timber industry to remain competitive locally and internationally.
"The industry can no longer rely on conventional methods and has to shift towards digital in its production systems.
"Apart from being able to reduce labour dependency, the usage of high technology can also help companies manage operating costs more efficiently and effectively," he said.
Wee noted that the new challenges facing the timber industry in the country require change in line with digital transformation to remain competitive in the global market.
As such, he said, the strategic cooperation among MTIB, MTC and Sirim STS is a good initiative and timely to enhance the usage of automation and innovation in the timber industry, in line with the government’s efforts and the development of IR4.0.
Also present at the event were MITB director-general Mohd Kheiruddin Mohd Rani, MTC CEO Muhtar Suhaili, Sirim Berhad president and group chief executive Datuk Dr Ahmad Sabirin Arshad, and Sirim STS CEO Raja Yahya Raja Ariffin.