Firms urged to apply automation for improved competitiveness

14:06 | 25/12/2019 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Vietnamese enterprises have been promoting investments in automation technology and increased the use of robots. Vietnam Economic News’ Ngoc Thao interviewed Dr. Le Hoai Quoc, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Automation Association (HAuA), about the latest developments in this sector.

firms urged to apply automation for improved competitiveness
Dr. Le Hoai Quoc, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Automation Association

How do you assess the development of automation in Vietnam?

Automation projects and research in Vietnam are not inferior to other countries. Compared with Thailand, Malaysia or the Republic of Korea, research on automation technology conducted by Vietnamese scientists is considered of the same professional level. However, the development and application of those projects in Vietnam remain weak.

Several Vietnamese automation enterprises have been able to supply equipment to the world’s leading companies like GS and Samsung. In general, although Vietnamese enterprises have showed progress in their creative capacity, they are mainly involved in systematic overall designs to work out solutions but they have not reached a professionally high level.

What are your assessments of the automation application level of local enterprises in Vietnam?

At present, the application of automation in Vietnam is still at the simple stage as most of our enterprises are small and medium and their profits are still modest. Automation is used widely mainly in three areas: the beverage industry; information technology and spare parts; and the auto industry and motorbike manufacturing. The wide application in these areas is due to large stable output markets and financial resources.

To be more competitive these days, manufacturers have to cut down costs and one of the solutions is automation. With the cost of labor growing, manufacturers tend to use industrial robots. Most manufacturers having large orders now apply automation to increase capacity and create higher added values.

What measures should be taken to promote the commercialization of domestic automation products and their application in enterprises?

More and more FDI enterprises have shifted operations to Vietnam. Since Vietnamese laborers have not met their expectations, they tend to expand the application of robots to improve production capacity and increase competitiveness. Therefore, Vietnamese enterprises also need to apply high technologies and start the automation production chains step-by-step to compete with competitors. The State should also facilitate cooperation between scientists and enterprises in the automation sector.

The HAuA enables its member enterprises to link trade and promote automation application in the domestic market. In addition, it is also providing opportunities for the members to explore the global market through cooperation with RoK’s automation organizations. The two sides are developing a Vietnam-Korea Techno Park in Vietnam specializing in robotics and semiconductors. The HAuA also signed cooperation deals with the US Agency for International Development to strengthen links between its members in the fields of mechanical engineering and electronics with global suppliers.

Ngoc Thao