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Infineon, KMITL join for auto e-training centre


GERMAN semiconductor company Infineon Technologies has teamed up with King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) to open the first automotive-electronics training centre in Thailand as the government is keen on promoting the emerging electric-vehicle (EV) industry.

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Antonio Monetti, marketing director of Infineon’s Automotive Division, said Thailand was the largest automotive-manufacturing base among Asean countries, so his company decided to work with KMITL on developing human resources for automotive electronics.
Thailand currently has an annual capacity to produce more than 2 million pickup trucks, passenger cars and motorcycles, offering opportunities for both domestic and export sales.
“KMITL is considered one of the pioneers in science and technology with a proven track record of producing a great exceptional number of professional engineers,” Monetti said.
“This cooperation aims to create not only research and development in automotive electronics but also to produce skilful human resources to support eco-cars and smart cars as part of next-generation automotive [products] under the Thai government’s innovation-driven ‘Thailand 4.0’ policy.” 
According to the Finance Ministry, excise tax rates on all types of electric vehicles, including hybrids (HEVs), plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) and fully battery-powered units (BEVs) will be reduced as an incentive for foreign interests to invest in this new generation of vehicles.
Overall, the tax incentives are expected to encourage international companies to set up production facilities in Thailand to take advantage of a large ecosystem for the auto industry, which consists of numerous parts suppliers, including those for automotive electronics.
Through collaboration with KMITL, Infineon will provide advanced technologies on automotive electronics to the local training centre and transfer its know-how to trainers.
Associate Professor Dr Komsan Maleesee, dean of the faculty of engineering at KMITL, said higher education and research in science and technology were the foundations of national development.
The cooperation with Infineon is expected to support the country’s policy on research and development for the EV industry, especially with the objective of enabling development, local production, and assembly of EV parts here by 2021. 
 The framework agreement between KMITL and Infineon Technologies features a training course on development of integrated circuits and micro-controllers for automotive electronics.
In addition, it includes collaboration on product development, which covers inverters and battery management systems for use in automotive electronics and in hybrid vehicles.
The centre, which will be opened next year, will provide training for undergraduate students as well as employees of private companies.
Monetti said design work on automotive electronics, which requires electrical, electronic and software knowledge, was crucial for the EV industry and Thailand currently did not have a high-quality training centre for this field.
The centre is expected to create a new pool of human resources for the auto industry as well as its parts suppliers. 
In his opinion, the EV industry is set to grow significantly in coming years because of climate change and other factors. 

Published : June 23, 2017

By : NOPHAKHUN LIMSAMARNPHUN THE NATION