Push for robots in Thailand 4.0 planning

Push for robots in Thailand 4.0 planning

CP, ThaiBev consider automation crucial

Students of King Mongkut’s International Demonstration School operate a robot they developed to be a teaching medium to help make learning science and maths more fun and, very possibly, to ensure themselves a future job. WEERAWONG WONGPREEDEE
Students of King Mongkut’s International Demonstration School operate a robot they developed to be a teaching medium to help make learning science and maths more fun and, very possibly, to ensure themselves a future job. WEERAWONG WONGPREEDEE

Thai Beverage Group and Charoen Pokphand Group, respectively owned by billionaires Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi and Dhanin Chearavanont, are planning to develop robots to respond to the Thailand 4.0 scheme.

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Heavyweights forge robots for Thailand 4.0

Pitsinee Jitpleecheep

Thai Beverage Group and Charoen Pokphand Group, respectively owned by billionaires Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi and Dhanin Chearavanont, are planning to develop robots to respond to the Thailand 4.0 scheme.

ThaiBev Group quietly set up a subsidiary called BevTech last December to develop robots, automated production technology and machinery to support its subsidiaries.

According to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the new company has registered capital of 200 million baht. Some 60 engineers were selected from its factories and companies to join the development.

Meanwhile, CP Group has teamed up with Panyapiwat Institute of Management (PIM) to offer a bachelor of engineering in robotics and automation.

ThaiBev aims to use the robots in its factories in order to boost productivity and efficiency, as well as supply them to other industries to generate income in the future.

ThaiBev said robotics is playing a more significant role in business and industry worldwide, with average demand growth of 10-15% from the industrial sector.

According to the International Federation of Robotics, 2.32 million robots will be used worldwide this year, 41,600 of them in Thailand. The greater adoption of robots is in line with the Thailand 4.0 policy, which is targeting innovation as a means of fostering development. The scheme is focused on six areas: agriculture, service, small and medium-sized enterprises, devices, internet and creative economy.

A look inside the highly-automated Honda Assembly Plant, Rojana Industrial Park, Prachinburi. (Photo from Honda Automobile, Thailand)

Assoc Prof Sompop Manarungsan, PIM's president, said the institute has welcomed 50 students to study in its engineering and robotics automation programme, which will start this June.

"Robotics is a global trend. Demand for robots will continue to increase, influenced by ageing societies, a shortage of workers and increased productivity and competitiveness globally," said Dr Sompop.

Currently, about 80% of robots are used in the industrial sector and the rest in the service sector.

"Robots may have a slight effect on workers but the latter will also have new employment opportunities, depending on how much we prepare them to be ready for these new sectors," said Dr Sompop.

Pisanu Vichiensanth, director and senior executive vice-president of ThaiBev Group and director of Oishi Group Plc, said the group uses almost 100 robots in its warehouses and factories.

This includes the company's third factory for Oishi ready-to-drink green tea, which was officially opened last week in Saraburi. The company has invested 2 billion baht in the facility.

"We will use this factory as the springboard to the Northeast, linking up to Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia in the future," he said.

Apart from the Oishi factory, more robots will also be used to make other ThaiBev products, including liquor, beer, drinking water and soda. It is expected to use about 1,000 robots in its network in the future.

"Some ThaiBev factories still rely on semi-automated production systems. The move towards automation won't have an impact on our workers because we do not have a policy to lay them off. Automation will help us double our productivity," said Mr Pisanu.

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  • adoption (noun): starting to use something new - การนำมาใช้, การรับเป็นของตน
  • ageing: growing old - สูงวัยขึ้น
  • agriculture: the science or practice of farming - เกษตรกรรม, การเกษตร
  • aim: to have as your purpose or goal - มีเป้าหมาย มีจุดมุ่งหมาย
  • automated (adj): done by machines or equipment instead of people - ปฏิบัติการหรือควบคุมโดยขบวนการอัตโนมัติ
  • average: an amount calculated by adding several amounts together, finding a total, and dividing the total by the number of amounts - เฉลี่ย, ค่าเฉลี่ย
  • bachelor’s degree: the first degree that you get when you study at a university. Bachelor’s degrees include Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) - ระดับปริญญาตรี
  • billionaire: having more than a billion pounds, dollars (or a billion baht in Thailand) - คนที่รวยมากๆ มีทรัพย์สินพันล้านดอลล่าร์
  • competitiveness: trying very hard to be better than others - ความตั้งใจในการแข่งขัน; ความสามารถในการแข่งขัน
  • creative: involving a lot of imagination and new ideas - ซึ่งมีความคิดริเริ่ม, ซึ่งมีความคิดสร้างสรรค์
  • currently: at this time; now - ในปัจจุบัน
  • demand: the amount of a product or service that people want - ความต้องการ
  • development: the gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced, stronger, etc - การพัฒนา
  • device (noun): a machine or piece of equipment that does a particular job - อุปกรณ์ เครื่องมือ เครื่องจักร
  • director: one of a group of senior managers who run a company - กรรมการบริษัท
  • economy: the relationship between production, trade and the supply of money in a particular country or region - เศรษฐกิจ
  • efficiency: the ability to work well and produce good results by using the available time, money, supplies etc in the most effective way - ความมีประสิทธิภาพ
  • employment (noun): when a person has work that earns them money - การจ้างงาน, การงาน
  • engineer (noun): a person whose job involves designing and building engines, machines, roads, bridges, etc. - วิศวกร
  • enterprise: an organisation, especially a business - กิจการ, บริษัท,อุตสาหกิจ,วิสาหกิจ
  • facility (noun): a building, equipment, etc., used for a particular purpose - โรงงาน, สถานบริการ, สิ่งก่อสร้าง, สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก
  • factory: a building or group of buildings where goods are made - โรงงาน
  • federation: a large organisation made up of several smaller organisations or groups that share similar aims - สหพันธ์, สมาคม
  • forge: to work hard to achieve something - สร้างอย่างมานะพยายาม
  • foster: to encourage something to develop - สนับสนุน
  • generate: to produce - ก่อให้เกิด
  • global: throughout the world - ทั่วโลก
  • heavyweight (noun): someone or something that has a lot of influence, status, or knowledge - คนหรือสิ่งที่มีอิทธิพลมาก, หนักเป็นพิเศษ
  • impact (noun): an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ
  • in line with: following a rule or system; also in accordance with and consistent with - สอดคล้องกับ
  • income: money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้
  • industrial sector: the part of the country’s economic activity that involves industry - ภาคอุตสาหกรรม
  • industry: the people and activities involved in producing a particular thing, or in providing a particular service; the production of goods from raw materials, especially in factories - อุตสาหกรรม
  • influence: to affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves or thinks - มีอิทธิพลต่อ, ชักจูง อำนาจบังคับ
  • innovation: the introduction of new things, ideas or ways of doing something; a new idea, way of doing something, etc. that has been introduced or discovered - นวัตกรรม, การคิดขึ้นใหม่, สิ่งที่นำเข้ามาใหม่
  • institute (noun): an organization that has a particular purpose, especially one that is connected with education or a particular profession; the building used by this organisation - สถาบัน,องค์การ,วิทยาลัย,สถาบันหนึ่งของมหาวิทยาลัย
  • invest: to spend money on something in order to make it better or more successful - ลงทุน
  • latter: used for referring to the second of two people, things, or groups that have just been mentioned - อันหลัง,ครึ่งหลัง,ส่วนที่สอง
  • lay off (verb): to stop employing somebody because there is not enough work for them to do - เลิกจ้างงาน
  • linking: connecting - เชื่อมต่อ เชื่อมโยง
  • management: the act or skill of dealing with people or situations in a successful way - การจัดการ
  • means: methods; ways - วิธี, วิธีการ
  • meanwhile: at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน
  • opportunity (noun): a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something - โอกาส
  • policy (noun): a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย
  • production: the process of making goods or materials, especially large quantities - การผลิต
  • productivity (noun): the rate/speed at which goods are produced, especially compared to the time, money, and workers needed to produce them, e.g., how much of something is produced in an hour by a worker or compared to the amount of money invested - ผลิตภาพ; การเพิ่มผลผลิต; ความสามารถในการผลิต
  • registered capital: the total of the share capital which a limited company is allowed to issue to its shareholders - ทุนจดทะเบียน
  • respectively: in the order in which they were mentioned - ตามลำดับ
  • respond: to say or do something as a reaction to something that has been said or done - ตอบสนอง, ตอบรับ
  • robotics: the science of designing and operating robots - การออกแบบหุ่นยนต์
  • role: the position or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship - บทบาท
  • scheme: a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people - แผนการ โครงการ
  • selected (adj.): specially chosen - ถูกคัดเลือก
  • senior: with a high rank or position - อาวุโส
  • shortage (noun): when there is not enough of something - การขาดแคลน
  • slight: small in size or amount - เล็กน้อย
  • society (noun): people in general, living together in communities - สังคม
  • springboard (noun): something that helps you start an activity, especially by giving you ideas - จุดเริ่มต้นทางความคิดหรือการกระทำ
  • Stock Exchange of Thailand: the main institution in Thailand where shares in companies are bought and sold - ตลาดหลักทรัพย์แห่งประเทศไทย
  • subsidiary: a company that is owned by a larger company - บริษัทลูก
  • trend: a gradual change or development that produces a particular result   - ทิศทาง แนวโน้ม
  • warehouse: a large building for storing things - โกดังสินค้า, คลังสินค้า, โรงพัสดุ
  • worldwide: throughout the world - ทั่วโลก
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