The Global Lighthouse Network (GLN) is an initiative by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with McKinsey & Company. It honours manufacturing leaders that have shown successful adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies to transform factories, value chains and business models.
This initiative was founded in 2018 to bridge the lag in the adoption of 4IR among the global manufacturing community and to accelerate a more comprehensive approach to manufacturing.
Today, only 90 manufacturing Lighthouses have been identified worldwide. As Malaysia's first Lighthouse, Western Digital's Batu Kawan facility in Penang is proud to be recognized as an icon of global standard for smart manufacturing.
This recognition also solidifies Malaysia's position as a country with advanced manufacturing capabilities, human capital, policy and infrastructure supportive of businesses.
Western Digital Batu Kawan is also proud to be listed in the Malaysia Book of Records as the first Lighthouse in the country certified by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The journey to revolutionize Western Digital's manufacturing process was an arduous 3.5 year commitment into advanced technological solutions and people.
Operations have been transformed to drive productivity, sustainability and agility. Via our "Lights-Out" initiative, operations were automated with the use of advanced analytics and proprietary artificial intelligent solutions. This combination proved to be key enablers for the successful "Lights-Out" manufacturing operation.
These changes have brought about a 360% increase in labor productivity. It also saw 32% factory cost improvement and a transition to build-to-order with an intelligent planning system, thereby reducing product inventory and order lead time by 50%.
We are now able to produce more with less. Higher capacity levels with lower electricity and gas consumption which make us sustainable and cost effective.
Beyond technology, workforce development is another key focus area for Western Digital factories. The Western Digital Batu Kawan site rolled out a comprehensive IIOT Academy programme to nurture its talent to cultivate a new way of thinking with the adaptation of 4IR technologies.
The IIOT Academy programme includes strategic partnerships with local universities and international platforms to upskill employees at all levels, from the shop floor to the technical professional workforce.
As Malaysia's first Lighthouse, Western Digital is proud to help play a role in revitalizing the nation's manufacturing industry alongside other industry leaders.
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) as the country's principal investment promotion agency, together with the Penang State Government and Invest Penang aims to raise awareness of the application of technological innovations to achieve transformational change for our manufacturing peers.
These include leveraging artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, advanced analytics and the Internet of Things. Western Digital looks to be at the forefront to pave the way for cognitive manufacturing taking shape in the near future.
For more information on Western Digital, please visit https://www.westerndigital.com/