Spurring Local Automotive Design Through The MAI Design Centre (MAIDC)
The MAI Design Centre (MAIDC), was established in August 2017, under the “Automotive Manufacturing Innovation Centre” (AMIC), a virtual centre consisting of a network of capabilities and offerings for OEMs, vendors and academia to access and utilise the services and facilities under the MAI 9 pillars of Industry 4.0.
MAIDC was launched with the aim of enhancing the implementation of Industry 4.0 in the Malaysian automotive industry, particularly in design engineering, simulation and prototyping.
Local design activities are essential in enhancing competitiveness of Malaysian businesses and the talents within them. However, enabling design capabilities requires a substantial amount of investment, which is often a challenge for SMEs operating on a smaller economic scale. To overcome these barriers, the MAIDC was established as a platform for OEMs and vendors to gain access to automotive design facilities.
MAIDC is the product of a Government-Industry cooperation between MAI, Perodua and their vendors. The design centre is an open sharing Industry 4.0 platform, whereby OEMs and vendors from various tiers can utilize the hardware and software available. These tools allow designers to fulfill their designing needs, from sketching, up to modelling.
The Design Studio consists of tools to help designers sketch their ideas. Designers will have access to sketching software such as Photoshop. These tools aid designers to develop their ideas into visual drawings. These visual drawings will then be morphed into clay models.
The Clay Modelling area facilitates the development of the a true to life depiction of the design. This area comes with equipment such as surface plates, laminating machines and clay ovens to enable accurate conversion of visuals to three dimensional representation. The clay modelling stage of a product development is important as it materializes the sketch into a life-sized model (2D to 3D).
MAIDC is also equipped with an Engineering Room. This room houses more than 50 design workstations for 3D designing. These workstations are loaded with designing software such as CATIA FSS (Freestyle Shaper) and CATIA HD (Hybrid Design). The Engineering Room is used to transfer data from the sketches, to a 3D model. This process also enables simultaneous engineering between the OEMs and their vendors in the development stage of a new product. This will ensure quality, and enhance productivity in the development of new products, thus ensuring quality user experience in a finished product.
In addition, MAIDC also houses a paint booth, Fused Deposited Material 3D Printer, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D Printer for additive manufacturing, Augmented Reality (AR), the MAI High Performance Computing Server and more.
MAI CEO Dato’ Madani Sahari said, “The process of design is a mental and physical process and methodology. It requires an understanding of mechanical, electronic and chemical functions. This step also requires extensive knowledge or materials, manufacturing process and cost efficiency. The formation of MAIDC aims to facilitate more possibilities for the local industry in achieving their design goals and translating them into more competitive vehicle production”.
He added, “The MAIDC is an important milestone in creating high-value careers and job opportunities within the automotive industry. It is time for us to take the next step towards braving the frontier of the fourth industrial revolution”.