Founded by 2 UTM students + UTM Lecturer (Ping Hua Tan, Ricky Yap, Che Fai Yeong) in 2012, this is the tech company that I admired a lot. (UTM = Universiti Teknologi Malaysia)
I was a lecturer in UTM myself from 2003 till 2018, different faculty from Dr Yeong. I am in Mechanical Engineering while he is in Electrical Engineering. I know how tough it is to run a business outside of the daily lecturing life in UTM, hence am really inspired by how he can lead a company to be so popular in the eyes of startup in Malaysia.
Automation & Robotics Sdn Bhd (let’s called it DF from now onward) has won so many awards not just locally but internationally. The first time I visited DF was back in 2016 if I remembered correctly, they were still a 10+ man power company occupying a 2 storeys shop lot building. Few months later, they have rented another shop next door for production activity, and has expanded their man force to over 20+. Their growth and continuing expansion really inspired me.
I got invited by Dr Yeong for DF open house in their new factory a year later. Wow…they really grow like an Enchanted Bean!
Over 40 man power and they are still hiring! Managing 10 staffs is already making me headache as in my own company, I just can’t imagine how to handle so many! The best part is…all their staffs seems to be really happy working there (overtime, some even came at night to finish up their project)! Not to mention they are young and energetic as well!
Their open day concept is actually really good by inviting their bankers, customers and friends to visit their factory and have a sense of their scale, culture and workplace. Of course, potential investors as well. Children were welcome too!
They showcase a fleet of their AVGs during the open house, and generously showcased the internal part of their AGVs to their visitors.
We get to see various designs of AGV from 200kg load to 1 tonne load (carrying capacity). They have track / magnetic sensing type and also trackless wireless motion sensor type of AGV. The AGV is basically automated and will run by itself after initial setup, this including carrying load from one position to another, or many stop points. It will also go back to its own charging station to recharge the battery inside. There are motion sensors incorporated into the AGV for safety concern, so it will not hit by passer or wall or boundary. DF has also come out with their own software interface to control and communicate with the AGV, where user can update route, change route or give new command to the AGV for tasks. These may sound ordinary or common to some, but when you imagine all are built and designed locally by DF in house, then this is something worth applauding. As they know their product from Z to A, so they can always customize their AGV to meet client’s special need. No factories are the same, and no productions are the same. So they customize their AGVs to solve their customer’s problems. Be it reducing the use of man power, or reducing the risk of injury to their existing workers (imaging having to carry and transport 200kg load from one location to another, daily, in a factory).
Fast forward to year 2021, it has been a challenging years since 2020 for many due to the Covid-19 pandemic. DF now has TWO factories. DF as a local company in Malaysia has contributed its role to the country by designing and commissioning UV disinfection robot to be used in hospital and quarantine area within a month since the pandemic started in March 2020. This once again shows the dynamic and flexibility of DF team when coming to solving the problems for their customers.
Automation and robotic will be accelerated further in the coming years, as relying fully on physical man power has shown its weakness and uncertainty especially during pandemic time. With this, DF has definitely shown huge growth potential in the market not just locally but to the outside world as well. By the way, did I mentioned that they already sold their AVGs to Mexico, Thailand, India, and even USA?
Visit DF website if you want to know more about them, or give them a call if you want to solve some man power issue in your company.
DF Automation & Robotics Sdn Bhd
Johor Bahru (HQ)
5, Jalan Impian Emas 18,
Taman Impian Emas,
81300 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia