Most of us think of tyres when the ‘Continental’ brand is mentioned because we don’t see this German company’s other end products such as air spring systems, driver assistance systems, fuel management systems, hydraulic brake systems and infotainment systems as its own.
Some of its products are designed and produced in the Continental Automotive Components facility in Penang, particularly the instrument clusters, both digital and analogue versions of various brands inside and outside of Malaysia including Kawasaki, Perodua, Proton, Suzuki, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
This R&D and production facility in Penang is scheduled for a state-of-the-art upgrade with Continental’s investment of €7 million (approximately RM32 million) to get it ready for the group’s Industry 4.0 initiative i.e. the digitalisation of supply network, engineering, factory and the development of people and IT infrastructure. The aim is to turn the Penang facility into a smart factory with better integration of people and robotics for more efficient supply management, material handling, product development and production. This facility upgrade will also mean that Continental in Penang will see an additional 150 engineers in its R&D department by 2020.
Dr. Hans-Jürgen Braun, Senior Vice President and Head of 30 Central Electronic Plants worldwide at Continental said, “I am very excited about the transformation of our new manufacturing facility at Penang Plant. The new facility will further enhance quality and agility supporting the market requirements which not only strengthens the base for our business growth in Malaysia. It also demonstrates our strong confidence and commitment to our local customers and business partners. This is aligned with our vision and mission for Operational Excellence in our Global Manufacturing Network.”
“We are striving for continuous operational excellence, the future smart factory will have one continuous shop floor that ensures more efficient people access and process flow, with reduced production space to strengthen cost efficiency. The optimized production layout will enhance the manufacturing capacity and leave more space for the plant to receive more new businesses. The transformation will provide for long term viability, with more innovations and digital solutions for tomorrow”, said Mr Luciano Oliveira, Managing Director of Continental Automotive Malaysia Sdn Bhd.