14 July 2014

Manufacturers go vertical to gain productivity

Two Singapore manufacturers have been able to upgrade their capabilities, increase production capacity and expand into higher value-added activities just by relocating to JTC Space @ Tanjong Kling*, a next-generation industrial infrastructure that allows renters to operate over several floors. Tenants can enjoy lower land rental without  sacrificing their gross floor area, optimising industrial land usage. 

Source: JTC website. Designer's illustration of small footprint
standard factories.

Chan Kian Metal Works designs and fabricates hydraulic manifolds with integrated circuits found in offshore / marine equipment and construction machinery. When the company decided to expand, their fabrication space at Pandan Loop was too small to allow them to take on higher value-added projects. Chan Kian Metal Works moved into JTC Space @ Tanjong Kling in January 2014, and installed a goods handling system within their three-storey factory which has enabled them to integrate their production line vertically - moving their raw materials and final products seamlessly between floors. 

This has allowed them to enjoy immediate improvement in land productivity by three times. The unit also provides them with  sufficient space to take on higher value-added activities such as the sub-assembly of hydraulics systems.

Delta Optics, on the other hand, specialises in the design and ultra-precision machining of optical mould inserts used in plastic injection moulding of lens for the optics and consumer electronics industries. Initially located at four flatted factories at Ayer Rajah, Delta Optics consolidated its operations and took up a larger production space at JTC Space @ Tanjong Kling. 

They have upgraded their capabilities by forming business collaborations with major MNCs and expanded into new higher value-added activities such as injection moulding of silicon and progressive lenses. 

The National Productivity and Continuing Education Council (NPCEC), led by Chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is also Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister visited both SMEs, and said: "The Government is actively developing innovative space solutions and infrastructure to help our SMEs transform and upgrade business processes. 

"The JTC Space @ Tanjong Kling, with its unique structural features, has enabled companies like Chan Kian and Delta Optics to configure their own space and integrate their processes over multiple floors. It also allows them to grow by building new capabilities and expanding into higher value-added activities. ”

JTC Space @ Tanjong Kling has enjoyed a good takeup rate, with 15 of its 18 units occupied to date. JTC is currently exploring the development of an improved version of the small footprint factory concept. The new development will not only incorporate the unique structural provisions, but could also provide higher building specifications including higher floor loading and ceiling height, allowing industrialists to undertake a broader range of manufacturing processes.

*Formally known as Small Footprint Standard Factories