Everyone talks about the skills gap, but Rexroth is doing something about it. Their Bosch Rexroth Regional Training Centre, in cooperation with Singapore Polytechnic, is in the middle of a five-year plan to train 1,500 people from 300 companies in industry 4.0 practices.
Just as Rexroth motion control systems use modular design to create flexible efficiency, the training program uses modules in areas like business logistics and hands-on training in the Internet of Things.
Rexroth is one of 17 “queen bee” companies Singapore has identified to work with. They say that these partnerships have led to 54,000 new jobs.
Local SMEs have the opportunity to bring new projects to the Centre for proof of concept development. One example is a family business called Flexmech. Their systems and processes were “ancient,” Flexmech said, even though they sell 3D printers. They had the idea of adding sensors that could track machine wear for their customers, letting them know when it was time to replace machinery or parts.
Rexroth mentors helped Flexmech identify the kinds of sensors they needed to do the job. They’ve been trying out the new systems on their own factory floor.” In the past, I had to go and look at the production itself to try and figure out what the problem was,” a spokesperson explained. “Now, with the data, I know what the issues are, and what we need to do to solve them. For bottlenecks, we can come up with informed solutions, whether that’s diverting production to less utilised machines or buying more of them to clear the bottleneck. I can go online at any time to see how the machines are performing, and easily retrieve data from months ago for comparisons and other purposes.”
The Training Centre offers certification as Industry Specialists. Rexroth benefits from the trained workforce, while Singapore benefits from the training and improvements in manufacturing generally.
Manufacturing provides 21% of Singapore’s GDP.