Digitalisation is enabling a reinvention of manufacturing. It is a core component of a new Industry Renaissance — the merger of automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, business processes, big data, and cloud computing. It is reshaping how manufacturers innovate and respond to customer demands.
One of Malaysia’s homegrown digitalisation proponents is IME Group of Companies. Founded in 1980 by Mr. JK Teoh in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, IME is the most established CAD, CAM and CAE solutions provider in Malaysia. As industries evolved and digitalisation took flight, IME also innovated, expanding their range of solutions to meet industry and market demands.
A New Business Imperative
Founded with the mission to provide innovative design and manufacturing solutions and services to ensure Malaysian industries and education institutions fulfil their design and manufacturing needs faster, better and in a cost-effective manner, IME has stayed true to its commitment and continues to drive digitalisation amongst the local industry.
Since its inception, IME has never stopped striving for innovation and evolved from being a CNC machine repair centre, to enabling digital transformation through CAD/CAM/CAE solutions, to starting their own research and development (R&D) in 3D Printers and Software Developments, to championing Industry 4.0 adoption and implementation.
IME Group is now helmed by Executive Vice President Mr. JY Teoh, who noted that the group has seen a new business imperative among Malaysian manufacturers since the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The adoption rate of Industry 4.0-enabling technologies has gained traction especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, pressing businesses to transform digitally and automate processes in order to maintain competitiveness and to stay resilient. Being a technology advocate for the past four decades, IME promptly adopted the all-digital new normal, and assisted many clients in future-proofing their businesses through technology,” he said.
Reshaping Manufacturing Post-Covid
As testament to its own innovation and evolution from CNC service and repair centre to now digitalisation design and engineering consultancy, IME has amassed industry awards and other recognitions for their efforts. In 2015, IME was named among the SME100 Fast Moving Companies. The group has also received the Digital and Technology Business Excellence Award for three years from the Sin Chew Business Excellence Awards.
Post-pandemic, IME has made extensive efforts to embrace their new role as digitalisation champion in the reshaped Malaysian manufacturing sector. Teoh explained: “Engineering is all about optimisation, to obtain the best solution with the resources available. IME aims to deliver these solutions to assist especially local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in their digital transformation journey.”
“Industry 4.0 and IoT is often perceived as inaccessible and involves hefty costs. We play a role to de-myth this perception, by identifying the problem, and matching SMEs with suitable solutions, all while staying within the client’s budget. ”
“In one case study, we connected 21 CNC machines on a client’s shopfloor so that real-time data could be displayed on an in-house developed dashboard. This allowed real-time monitoring, in terms of operator’s productivity, as well as analysis of overall machine effectiveness (OEE). With absolute visibility, the client improved their productivity by 20%, and now their management can make informed data-driven decisions,” Teoh said.
JY Teoh, Founder
Partnering for Success
Teoh said IME believes in teamwork and synergy and has always worked closely to support government agencies as well as trade associations. IME often co-organises events and collaborates in projects with Government Agencies such as the Ministry Of Science And Technology (MOSTI), MIMOS (the national applied R&D centre under MOSTI), MIDA, and SIRIM (an industrial research and technology organisation under MITI) to get their message out to SMEs.
In addition, IME has been advocating adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies through the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Industry 4.0 Committee. It is also a member of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Committee for the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM). Working through and with these organisations amplifies IME’s message to as many Malaysian SMEs as possible, so that they can stay competitive within global supply chains.
Embracing Change, Disruption
IME’s in-house solutions help dispel the perception among SMEs that embracing Industry 4.0 is prohibitively expensive. Innovation is ever present within IME.
For over 42 years, IME has brought in different advanced technologies into Malaysia and over the years, the group started to develop its own solutions to cater for the changes that Industry 4.0 brings to manufacturers. In essence, IME is walking the talk on innovation and putting its own Malaysian spin on solutions and technology.
IME believes that constant change and evolution is essential to ensuring competitiveness and sustainability of the organisation. Since its inception, IME has constantly explored the latest technologies, and expanded its footprints to ASEAN and India. With founder Mr. TK Teoh having passed the reins of IME to Mr. JY Teoh, the group will continue to bring innovation and cost-effective design and manufacturing solutions to the industry.