Message from Managing Director, Mr David Wong, SMC Corporation (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
I hope this message finds you well. As we look back on the year 2022, it will be remembered as a year greatly impacted by the Post Covid-19 pandemic. This global crisis has tested our resilience and ability to overcome unprecedented challenges, resulting in the loss of many lives and significant disruptions to the supply chain.
As we move into the year 2023, the global growth outlook remains uncertain and subdued. Global inflation, escalating costs of energy and food, the ongoing war rivalry between Ukraine and Russia, and geopolitical tensions between China and the US contribute to the challenges we face. Factors like investment costs, integration complexities, and concerns about job displacement further add to the complexities of today’s market. However, despite these challenges, there are still pockets of growth and opportunities for us to explore.
The increasing adoption of Industry 5.0 concepts, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and big data analytics, with a focus on human-centricity and sustainability, is driving the demand for industrial automation solutions. Manufacturers are embracing automation to enhance operational efficiency, optimize production processes, and gain a competitive edge.
In the manufacturing industry, high labour costs and workforce shortages have been persistent challenges. To address these issues, companies are turning towards automation to streamline operations, reduce labour dependency, and improve productivity.
The growing focus on safety and regulatory compliance in manufacturing facilities has also led to increased investment in automation technologies. By reducing human errors and providing controlled work environments, industrial automation helps improve safety standards. Stricter safety regulations and the need to ensure worker well-being are driving businesses to invest in automation as a means to mitigate risks and comply with compliance requirements.
The advancements in robotics, digitalization, and AI have opened new opportunities in industrial automation. Collaborative robots (Cobots) are becoming more prevalent, offering flexible and safe human-robot collaboration in manufacturing environments. AI-powered systems enable predictive maintenance, quality control, and intelligent decision-making, further driving the adoption of automation.
The demand for increased productivity and efficiency in industrial automation is a significant driver for the market. By automating repetitive and labour-intensive tasks, manufacturers can achieve higher output, reduced cycle times, and improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).
Energy efficiency is a critical consideration for many industries, given the environmental concerns surrounding carbon footprints and the need to reduce operational costs. SMC can seize opportunities in this area by offering energy-efficient solutions. For example, the use of pneumatic systems operating with 4 Bar-concept (with booster regulator) can optimize air consumption and reduce air energy wastage. Additionally, SMC can provide energy-saving and ecological products that offer efficient solutions through SMC AMS, air management system. These initiatives can help position SMC as a one-stop-shop, solutions provider, further enhancing our market position.
Aligning corporate values, such as sustainability (CO2 emission reduction) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), along with a robust Business Continuity Plan (BCP) with data centres and more manufacturing sites, can differentiate SMC in terms of customer service, technical support, and after-sales services. By offering comprehensive support to customers, including design engineering support, critical spare parts support, high usage spare parts analysis, inventory assessment, maintenance expertise, compressed air energy savings assessment, machine analysis assessment, and training; SMC can build long-term relationships with customers, and enhance customer loyalty.
SMC places immense importance on collaboration with suppliers located at our supplier parks in fostering a resilient supply chain with our distributors and customers. Actively managing supplier relationships and engaging in supplier diversification strategies help mitigate risks associated with a single source, and ensure a resilient stock supply, even in the face of supplier disruptions. Close collaboration with suppliers from SMC supplier parks also helps ensure reliability, quality, and continuity of supply, minimizing disruptions and maintaining a consistent stock supply.
Embracing advanced technology and automation in more manufacturing sites and supply chain operations is another focus area for SMC. By leveraging digital transformation, SMC enhances operational efficiency, reduces lead times, and improves supply chain visibility. These technological advancements contribute to a more resilient and responsive stock supply.
SMC Corporation has robust business continuity plans in place to address various scenarios that could impact the stock supply. These plans outline strategies for maintaining operations during emergencies, such as natural disasters or pandemics. By having contingency plans, SMC can minimize disruptions and swiftly recover operations, ensuring a resilient product stock supply. The formation of the SMC GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) team aligns with this approach, enabling effective communication and information sharing to anticipate potential disruptions and protect our operation.
Through these initiatives, SMC Corporation strives to support an uninterrupted operation and a resilient supply chain, ensuring that customers can rely on a consistent availability of SMC products even in challenging circumstances.
Finally, let us remember that this has been a year filled with opportunistic challenges. We all hope for better times ahead. On behalf of SMC, I would like to express my sincere wishes for the safety, health, and positivity of all our customers, suppliers, business partners, and staff. Let us remain resilient and focused as we look forward to more successful years ahead.
Updated in June 2023