© Universiti Sains Malaysia
WD and Malaysian university to establish new industry 4.0 lab
The USM-WD CiA Lab is established within the Western Digital premise at Batu Kawan, Penang, and will be the first of its kind in Malaysia
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Western Digital (WD) have entered into a long-term collaboration to establish the Centre of Innovation and Automation (CiA) which will focus on driving Industry 4.0 (IR4.0) design and development, prototype build-up and IP generation. The collaboration was officiated at a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signing on January 15 at USM’s main campus. This partnership aims to bridge and foster closer ties between industry players and the academic community, to drive breakthrough technology advancements in manufacturing technology, a press release reads. Under this initiative, both organisations will work together on industry-driven research projects and promote research outputs. USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dr. Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan, says in the press release that the USM is “committed to forging more industrial collaborations and also creating new ones by forming start-ups. It is therefore increasingly important to have university-industry partnerships in order to keep abreast of the latest developments and trends within the context of IR4.0.” He points to the collaboration with Western Digital saying that it is timely and appropriate; “The setting up of this CiA project is the first of its kind in Malaysia, where it puts the ‘university within the industry’ to bring the lecturers and more importantly the students, first-hand experience to equip themselves to be ‘industry-ready’.” According to KL Bock, WD Vice President of Global Flash Backend Operations, the collaboration with USM will further anchor their efforts in the area of Lights Out Automation to achieve resilient operations in dynamic environments and immense gains in both productivity and quality. “The collaboration also reflects our ongoing commitment to the community at large in the development of local talents, industrial capacity and technological co-transfer,” KL Bock says. The CiA will focus on strengthening and amplifying PRiSMS-DnA elements with IR4.0 components such as Big Data Analytics, Internet-of-Things, Mixed/Augmented Reality, System Integration, Additive Manufacturing, Simulation, Autonomous Collaborative Robots, Cloud Computing and Cognitive Computing.