TÜV SÜD is a technical solution provider for a comprehensive and integrated suite of testing, inspection, auditing, certification, training, and knowledge services. With a sterling record of over 150 years, TÜV SÜD aims at helping companies achieve business excellence through facilitating global market access and managing risks. As an established and internationally recognised organisation, TÜV SÜD test reports and octagon certification marks are well accepted by manufacturers, third party buyers and government authorities worldwide. Represented by more than 24,000 employees across 1,000 locations worldwide, the company holds accreditations in Europe, the Americas and Asia. TÜV SÜD is represented by several entities in Singapore including TÜV SÜD PSB as well as a Digital Service Centre of Excellence through TÜV SÜD Asia Pacific.
The Internet of Things is set to bring new digital innovations that will impact all facets of today’s business world. Also referred to as the fourth industrial revolution or Industrie 4.0, every industry will undergo some degree of digitalisation. “TÜV SÜD opened a Digital Service Centre of Excellence in 2016 to partner companies in their digital transformation journey,” explains Antonio Feraco, Managing Consultant, Digital Service at TÜV SÜD. The underlying objective of Industrie 4.0 is to achieve an environment in which components, machines and systems are able to communicate with one another autonomously, thereby creating an intelligent network along the entire value chain. To fully utilise the potential of digitalisation, companies must leverage on data analytics, whilst covering safety, security, reliability and interoperability as key enablers. Integrating latest methodologies and virtual tools into IoT based systems is exactly what TÜV SÜD’s Digital Service is working on; it enables companies to realise the potential of the digital transformation while remaining reliable and competitive.
The young Industrie 4.0 team launched the Smart Industry Readiness Index recently together with the Singapore Economic Development Board*. The Index is a world-first diagnostic tool developed by the government to drive nation-wide industrial transformation by helping companies harness the potential of Industrie 4.0 in a systematic and comprehensive way.
The Index comprises three layers. At the top are the three fundamental building blocks of Industrie 4.0: Process, Technology, and Organization. Underpinning these building blocks are eight pillars of focus, which then map onto 16 dimensions of assessment. For each of the 16 dimensions, the Index provides an assessment matrix which companies can use to evaluate their current processes, systems and structures. The assessment matrix also acts as a step-by-step improvement guide, as each dimension provides intermediate steps needed for companies to progress.
The Singapore government has funded 300 assessments* to industry and today over 90 companies have already completed the assessment by TÜV SÜD. “MNCs and SMEs can both apply. The key criterion is that they should have a manufacturing plant or logistics hub in Singapore,” explains Antonio Feraco.
The assessment takes place over two half-day workshops. All personnel responsible for the various operations within the manufacturing plant are requested to attend, to ensure that all aspects of the plant are covered. During the first workshop, assessors of TÜV SÜD explain the Index’s assessment principles and assist in conducting the evaluation across the 16 dimensions. This helps companies understand the current state of their manufacturing facilities and readiness for transformation. In the second workshop, the results are used by the assessors to identify high impact initiatives that the companies should focus on to realise Industrie 4.0.“Once the assessment is completed, we can support the client in the implementation of their Industrie 4.0 strategy to safeguard a safe, reliable and secure implementation of technology,” continues Antonio Feraco. An important point to highlight is that TÜV SÜD is impartial and independent of technologies and brands. By understanding the requirements of the client, the company assesses which technology provider is best equipped to meet the client’s operational needs. “Furthermore, Industrie 4.0 is also about deploying the right technology to enable companies to meet their targets; not all technologies are suitable for every organisation”, stresses Antonio Feraco.
TÜV SÜD itself is going through a digital transformation as well. In Singapore, it is running several R&D projects with Singapore Universities, Polytechnics and research institutes to digitalise different aspects of its operations. “For example, we are developing a platform to transfer knowledge from senior to junior professionals”, says Antonio Feraco. “By digitising the knowledge, we bridge the gap between knowledge that was built up from experience and knowledge of newcomers.”
TÜV SÜD’s commitment to Singapore was underlined by its decision to invest S$100m into a Singapore-based regional hub, expected to be ready in 2020. The flagship office will mark the company’s first major real estate investment outside Germany. This demonstrates the company’s confidence in the Singapore market and its Smart Nation vision for the future. “Digital Service has the ambition to become the leading pillar in Industrie 4.0. We believe that we can achieve this here, as the government understands that a big change is needed in the industrial sector. Hence, we are definitely here for the long run”, ends Antonio Feraco.