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Malaysian Crane Maker Gearing Up For Industry 4.0

Established in 1989, Top-Mech Provincial Sdn. Bhd. has been making cranes for more than three decades. Having delivered over 3,000 units of cranes domestically and globally, it is one of the pioneers and leading crane manufacturers in Malaysia. When Top-Mech started to export to Vietnam and Pakistan in the mid-1990s, it became among the first crane makers in Malaysia to go global. Today, Top-Mech has an established network of dealers in 14 countries including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, UAE, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Brunei, Singapore, and Indonesia.

Top-Mech’s manufacturing facility in Klang has the capacity of churning out 150-200 units of cranes each year. Being in an industry that demands prompt after-sales services, Top-Mech has established service stations in major cities nationwide and internationally through appointed dealers. Its notable track record spans across landmark projects from MRT1, MRT2, SUKE, DASH, ECRL and LRT3 to various power plants, waterworks, precast yards and a wide spectrum of industrial projects.

As a hallmark of quality, safety and environmental commitment, Top-Mech has been accorded the ISO9001, ISO14000 and ISO45001 certifications. The company’s efforts were also recognised by SME Corporation Malaysia where they were among the top 3 winners for the Enterprise 50 Award.

Through a technology transfer programme by MIDA and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Top-Mech acquired more than 100 years of crane technology and best practices from its joint venture partner, Provincial International Cranes of Niagara Falls in Canada. It was subsequently granted the Pioneer Status from MIDA in the early 2000s for being the first in Malaysia to design and manufacture the Electric Wire Rope Hoist, which is a key component of Overhead Cranes.
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Top-Mech continues to innovate new technologies such as semi-automatic goods hoists, overhead cranes for corrosive environment, extra high lift wire rope hoists and polar cranes through its in-house Research and Development (R&D) team.

In line with the company’s environmental aspirations, Top-Mech has also embarked on R&D of energy-saving cranes by utilising regenerative braking technologies. Last year, Top-Mech successfully commissioned this crane technology for a Japanese automotive maker in Sendayan, Negeri Sembilan. In recent years, it has been working on incorporating Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies into its cranes. This will enable real-time monitoring of crane performance on a cloud platform, as well as provide a predictive maintenance tool to predict the life span of crane components.
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Top-Mech aims to stay ahead of the competition by being the first in Malaysia to design and manufacture Explosion Proof Cranes which have a niche market in the Oil and Gas industry.

Embracing the Ambitious Industry 4.0 Roadmap

“Industry 4.0 is not a choice. It’s either you adopt it to stay ahead, or be prepared to go out of business one day,” said Ir.Ter Leong Leng, CEO of Top-Mech who firmly believes that Top-Mech has to move the company towards Industry 4.0.

“Each time I set foot on our factory floor or visit our installation sites, I see so many opportunities for digitalisation and automation. We just have to start somewhere, take baby steps and move towards our goals slowly but surely. In fact, we sat down in 2019 and developed our own Industry 4.0 Roadmap from scratch. We prioritised on projects that would bear low hanging fruits as well as those that would bring the highest gain in terms of productivity and efficiency,” he further added.

On MIDA’s support and assistance, he shared, “We have been very fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries of the Industry4Wrd Readiness Assessment programme and subsequently MIDA’s intervention fund. Through this project, we are now embarking on the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform to improve our Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) as well as implementing real-time monitoring of our manufacturing processes through IoT technologies.”

Under the Digital Transformation Acceleration Programme (DTAP), which is a joint initiative of MIDA and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the company has recently commissioned its ‘WMLite Digitised Inventory Management’ which was developed by Robert Bosch. The system, which utilises QR Code scanning technologies is expected to greatly improve the company’s inventory management efficiency. Top-Mech also plans to introduce robotic welding by the end of the year to improve their turnaround time and bring quality consistency to the next level. With these ambitious Industry 4.0 plans, the company expects an exciting and rewarding journey. In the long term, Top-Mech aims to continue flying the Malaysian flag high and be counted among the best crane brands on the world stage.