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EEC targets automation of all 10,000 factories


The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) has set a new target for all 10,000 factories in the zone to adopt robotics and automation.

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Of the total factories in the EEC, about 1,000 are large, 2,000 medium-sized and 7,000 small.

The target will see 3,000 large and medium-sized factories pilot the robotics and automation systems from next month, said Djitt Laowattana, EEC special adviser on education/human capital and technology development.

He added that the EEC Office and SMEs Promotion Office would fund half of the Bt500,000 automation cost for each of 50 small and medium-sized enterprises.

The SMEs will take three months to complete the transition and another three months to test whether the system can help them boost production capacity and reduce costs.

Djitt added that the EEC Office will produce 50,000 workers with robotics knowledge over the next five years to support the EEC’s automation switch.

The EEC will also coordinate between manufacturers and Thai and Japanese developers of automation and robotics systems.

The manufacturing sector must adopt advanced technologies because Thailand was facing a labour shortage as it became an ageing society, he said.

EEC Office secretary general Kanit Sangsubhan said robotics and automation was already extensively deployed in the corridor’s automative, petrochemical and food business sectors.

The EEC has also adopted 5G technology to support the new systems. It will launch a campaign to encourage all 1,000 factories to utilise 5G to support their adoption of automation and robotics.

Last year, Thailand ranked 14th in the world for adoption of industrial robotics, he said, adding that much more had to be done before the country entered the top 10 or top five.

Published : December 16, 2020

By : The Nation