Opportunities and Challenges for Implementing Automation among Selected SMEs of Food Manufacturing Industry
Albert Feisal Ismail1, Soo-Fen Fam2, Heri Yanto3, Sri Utami4, Suhartono5

1Albert Feisal, Faculty of Technology Management and Technopreneurship, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Malaysia.

2Soo-Fen Fam, Faculty of Technology Management and Technopreneurship, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Malaysia.

3Heri Yanto, Fakultas Ekonomi, Universitas Negeri Semarang, Indonesia.

4Sri Utami, Fakultas Ekonomi, Universitas Negeri Semarang, Indonesia.

5Suhartono, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Surabaya, Indonesia.

Manuscript received on 11 December 2019 | Revised Manuscript received on 23 December 2019 | Manuscript Published on 31 December 2019 | PP: 724-738 | Volume-8 Issue-12S2 October 2019 | Retrieval Number: L112610812S219/2019©BEIESP | DOI: 10.35940/ijitee.L1126.10812S219

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© The Authors. Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication (BEIESP). This is an open-access article under the CC-BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

Abstract: The key objective of automation is to minimize human intervention in the workplace. Automation improve not only production productivity but also strengthen company competitiveness. This research presents an empirical study that uses qualitative research methods for investigating the automation level among the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the food manufacturing industry. This research investigates the opportunities of applying automation and identifying the challenges confronted the SMEs in realizing automation in the food manufacturing process. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to examine the level of opportunities and challenges of implementing automation among selected food manufacturing SMEs. The findings show that automation enhances productivity, improve product quality and increase manufacturing process efficiency. However, this research also reveals that costing, training and lack of flexibility were the impeding factors for the studied SMEs to implement a fully automated process in food production. Despite the constraints, the companies strive to automate parts of their food production processes by using second-hand automation machines instead of investing in brand new automation equipment, hiring expert technicians and implementing the lean principle. This research presents several innovative recommendations for food manufacturing SMEs to automate their production process in order to increase competitiveness in the industry.

Keywords: Automation, Challenges, Opportunities, SMEs.
Scope of the Article: Manufacturing Processes