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Manufacturing : the main driver of IoT in APAC

Manufacturing : the main driver of IoT in APAC
According to IDC, manufacturing is the sector that will lead the way in worldwide IoT spending with $165.6 billion total in 2015.

Vernon Turner, SVP and IoT Research Fellow states that “manufacturing has been connecting his supply chains, products, customers, and even workers for some time now, which makes a good fit for IoT deployments, as they really embrace the value of business outcomes”.

The main benefits for IoT applications in manufacturing according to Asia Manufacturing news are increasing production efficiency by reducing cost and achieving the desired quality product with minimal wastage, reducing time-to-market, reducing operations and maintenance expenditure, increasing asset-life and monitoring the supply chain in real-time. As this influences competitiveness of manufacturers immensely, Asian manufacturers set themselves up to invest extensively to improve their global standing and become more competitive, according to the same source.

ASEAN manufacturing market
The following takes a closer look at the ASEAN market, to gain an indication of its potential for IoT implementations. In their 2014 report McKinsey stated that even though economies in the ASEAN region are at vastly different stages of development, they all share immense growth potential.

The report illustrates that the region is already a major manufacturing hub, with three developments which will further fuel its potential:

    1. Implementation of the AEC integration plan, which aims to increase intra-regional and global trade, attracting more production from multinationals
    2. Rising labor costs in China
    3. Application of big data and mobile Internet, disruptive technologies where many ASEAN manufacturing firms lag behind their multinational counterparts.

The technology opportunity is still waiting to be harnessed in ASEAN. But manufacturers in Asia are increasingly searching for theses competitive solutions, as research by MGI stated that, disruptive technologies could increase profit margins and lower costs, potentially creating US$25 billion to US$45 billion of annual economic impact in ASEAN by 2030.

Numbers and market composition
When consulting the 2015 Frost & Sullivan IoT report, it becomes apparent, that manufacturing is one of the main IoT drivers in the APAC market. It is and will be the biggest sector in IoT spending. According to the report it contributed 30% of the IoT spending in 2014 and is expected to rise up to 32% of total spending in the APAC region by 2020, which equates to about US$ 79 billion.

The following graph displays current and expected IoT expenditure in manufacturing industries in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. We find these markets of high interest, as they are not as fiercely competed over yet, but nonetheless offer huge potential and stakeholders that look for partners and solutions to boost their competitiveness.

chart: expenditure for iot solutions in manufacturing in asean countries

In its 2014 report “Understanding ASEAN: The manufacturing opportunity” McKinsey illustrated the main manufacturing industries of these four countries who could benefit from IoT solutions. In the following these points will be summed up in brief form.

  • The Philippines other than its neighboring economies has been slow in the transition from agriculture to manufacturing, which results in lower levels of investment, which are spread across a broader set of industries. The semiconductor and electronics industry accounts for the majority of the country’s exports, led by large foreign investors such as Amkor, Canon, Samsung, Sunpower, and Texas Instruments. But due to its deep pool of skilled labor and a sizeable local market the Philippines has the potential of immense growth despite its relatively low levels of manufacturing investment.
  • Malaysia’s economic growth can be traced back among other things to heavy investments in transport equipment and electrical machinery which represents 40 percent of its manufacturing FDI from 2009 to 2013. It might be less known for being also a hub for aerospace manufacturing, with investors such as Honeywell, JMI Aerospace, and Spirit AeroSystems establishing plants in the country. In 2013 the country’s principal investment promotion agency, MIDA, identified the following key manufacturing sector industries: Aerospace, biotechnology, advanced materials and intermediate goods manufacturing.
  • Thailand is the manufacturing hub for motor vehicles and components in the ASEAN region. It currently is the 17th largest global manufacturer and number 14 in auto production, according to Industryweek. In the automotive sector the country has gained a relatively low-cost but skilled workforce through its long history of automotive manufacturing coupled with strong government support. Additionally, it has built a strong cluster of local suppliers and supporting vehicle component industries.
  • Indonesia boasts an abundance of mineral resources. Therefore its main focus is primarily on basic metals manufacturing and mineral-based production, which accounted for 42 percent of the country’s manufacturing FDI from 2009 to 2013 and triggered especially Chinese investments in iron and alumina smelters in Indonesia. Other leading manufacturing sectors include automotive, fabricated metal products, plastics, and rubber. The government has additionally been pushing for an increase in foreign and domestic direct investments in sectors such as pharmaceutical manufacturing.
As we worked with local telcos & government agencies to invite enterprises to attend our current Asia IoT Business Platform edition, we found the interest from the local manufacturing firms to be overwhelming. Manufacturing & Industrial Automation will be a big theme in 2016, especially in Thailand and Indonesia. If you would like to meet the local stakeholders or would like to discuss this issue please feel free to contact us under Jazon (at) industry-platform.com
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