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Taiwan's ICP DAS Co eyes setting up shop in Thailand

ICP DAS Co, a Taiwanese computer product and data acquisition systems company, is studying the possibility of establishing a local office in Thailand to allow it to capitalise on the needs of Thailand 4.0 factories that want to automate their processes.

Thailand appeals because of its multiple factories and manufacturing base, says Mr Cheng.

"The company may establish a footprint in the Kingdom -- our first in Southeast Asia -- in the next one or two years. Thailand presents a strong proposition thanks to its multiple factories and manufacturing base as well as its network of infrastructure," said Frank Cheng, vice-president for sales & marketing at ICP DAS Co.

The company sells through distributors, and will increase its system integration to expand onto new markets like auto manufacturing, electronics, smart agriculture, solar energy, smart transportation, and smart building.

Higher labour costs and intense competition are driving demand from traditional factories which are seeking to transform from a collection of standalone machines, to a connected network able to integrate data from different machines.

A more integrated factory will increase overall productivity, enable more automation, and improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), said Jennifer Mao, marketing manager at ICP DAS.

"IoT [industrial internet of things] devices like sensors and communication systems result in smarter factories with a more automated setting that increase productivity without increasing the number of workers," said Ms Mao.

Implementing sensors and data gathering devices into cloud computing will enable companies to measure production time and quality of capacity in detail.

Factories looking to transition to an Industry 4.0 model should start on the production line, by using sensors to measure power consumption of each machine, and how they perform after overheating, which can help engineers tailor preventive maintenance schedules to increase availability and uptime.

In the manufacturing process, sensors can collect data on temperature and humidity quantity and quality. Ms Mao said similar temperature control sensors can be applied to diverse industries like fishing and chicken farming.

Mr Cheng said the company has been utilising industrial IoT (IIoT) since 2010 and started implementing some of its solutions in Taiwanese factories in the past three years.

"There are more rivals in the IIoT space, as demand from factories grows, but companies can still compete on price and customisation," said Mr Cheng, adding that the company spends 20-30% of its sales revenue in research and development.

ICP DAS aims to increase revenue growth in Thailand by 10-15% this year.

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