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Industry 4.0 gathers pace in Saudi Arabia
MODON qualifies 58 Saudi factories for Industry 4.0 initiative
The Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON) revealed this week that it has identified 58 factories for its 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗡𝗣𝗣) - which helps transform industrial plants to 𝗜𝗻𝗱𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘆 𝟰.𝟬 - using the Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI). Owned by the International Centre for Industrial Transformation (INCIT), the index comprises a suite of frameworks and tools to help manufacturers start, scale and sustain their manufacturing transformation journeys. It is also the only index approved by the World Economic Forum to measure the adoption rates of industrial facilities for Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies.
NPP falls under the National Industrial Development and Logistics Vision Realization Program (NIDLP), which is part of Saudi Vision 2030, and aims to transform the Kingdom into a leading industrial power and an international logistics platform. Saudi Arabia aims to increase non-oil gross domestic product by more than 4 percent from 2017 to 2030, generating 1 trillion Saudi Riyals ($266 billion) in new revenues. The NIDLP focuses on bringing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, processes and frameworks to the manufacturing, mining, energy and logistics sectors. Digitisation is naturally a key pillar of the industrial development plan.
MODON itself was established in 2001, and is driving industrial development, supervising industrial cities and integrating infrastructure. Today, the authority oversees 36 existing and under development industrial cities, in addition to other private industrial cities and complexes, which combined, account for a total of more than 4,000 factories across the Kingdom. MODON is really playing a critical role in facilitating the digital transformation and modernisation of the industrial sector.
According to IDC, many manufacturers in Saudi Arabia have already embraced Industry 4.0 and have embarked on digital transformation journeys. In fact, in a 2019 IDC survey, 75% of large manufacturers in Saudi Arabia stated that they had current digital transformation programmes. Even so, Saudi manufacturers contend with significant challenges in planning and implementation due to available skills, talent and resources such as; creating an effective digital transformation roadmap; defining the right KPIs (key performance indicators); and building the right digital transformation teams. Making it a lucrative sector for global consulting firms that are able to get contracts with the biggest and fastest moving players.
MODON and GE Digital launched NPP in 2019 with the goal of helping factories located in industrial cities to fast-track ther digital transformation journeys. The programme is run in partnership with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund - SIDF and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). The factories transformed by the programme then become 4IR models for other manufacturers in the Kingdom to follow.
GE Digital provides a range of services to selected NPP candidates, including helping them assess digital maturity and transformation readiness,, develop digital roadmap and governance models, and helping industrial plans plan effectively to realise the outcomes to moving to Industry 4.0. The $74 billion American multinational is also able to help factories in the programme maximise overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), improve production scheduling, ensure product quality, reduce work-in-process (WIP) and streamline the overall supply chain.
Education and training is also a key element of MODON's National Productivity Program and to-date more than 450 leaders from 76 factories have received training on 4IR concepts in cooperation with both GE and McKinsey & Company.
The NPP was planned by MODEN and GE to be rolled out in a number of phases, the first identifying 20 priority factories for digital transformation, based on their readiness for smart industry technologies, and the second identifying 40 factories. So, the selection of more than fifty plants using SIRI could signal an exciting new phase of the programme.
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