Ithraa forum to spotlight Industry 4.0 transformation

Oman’s manufacturing sector is in the midst of a major transformation. New technologies, like artificial intelligence, big data, the IoT and robotics are ushering in a fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). A revolution that is all about smart factories, flexible supply chains and seamless distribution models.
Considered by many to be the biggest shift to hit Omani manufacturing since automation, Industry 4.0 is the topic of discussion for the first Inside Stories session of 2019, scheduled to be held 7:30pm, on Tuesday, February 26, at the Public Authority for Civil Aviation Training Centre in Al Hail North.
“What we do know is that some of Oman’s biggest players in the manufacturing sector are already making changes and putting money into embracing Industry 4.0,” explained Sajda al Ghaithy (pictured), Ithraa’s Acting Director General for Marketing & Media and organiser of the popular quarterly Inside Stories initiative.
Moderated by HH Sayyid Dr Adham al Said, Founder & CEO, The Firm, panelists for the February 26 event include: Hilal al Busaidy, CEO, Gulf Energy; S Gopalan, CEO, Reem Batteries; Dr Abdullah al Mahruki, CEO, The Industrial Innovation Centre; and Dr Nadiya al Saady, Executive Director, Oman Animal, Plant & Genetic Resources Centre.
Many in manufacturing sector agree that in order to stay sustainable, local businesses must rapidly adapt to the new Industry 4.0 business paradigm, assessing its risks and predicting its likely effect on jobs, skills, recruitment, training, products, investment and exports.
“Industry 4.0 technologies enable local manufacturers to track in real time capital assets, processes, resources and products,” Al Ghaithy said, adding: “This gives firms full visibility, which streamlines business processes and optimises supply and demand. When implemented correctly, local manufacturers will be equipped with more and better information, automated processes and the ability to intervene on a predictive or preventive basis to avoid downtime or any other issues that might impact production output.”
“However, from our meetings with local businesses, we’ve discovered that many Omani manufacturers aren’t sure where to get started with Industry 4.0. There’s clearly an urgency to do something, but companies aren’t sure what that something is,” commented Al Ghaithy.