The Department of Science and Technology-MIMAROPA (DOST-MIMAROPA) organized and facilitated the conduct of an onsite assessment and consultation for selected Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Oriental Mindoro to promote the application of mechatronics and automation technology in businesses operations last April 18-22, 2022. The assessment and consultation were led by a team of experts from the Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics, and Industrial Automation Laboratory (AMERIAL) in collaboration with Mindoro State University (MinSU).

AMERIAL is the newest, state-of-the-art facility and unit of Metals Industry Research and Development Center of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-MIRDC). AMERIAL and its services will drive local industries particularly MSMEs to higher levels of productivity using cutting-edge technologies with improved capabilities to advance business interests; having a more competitive local business sector with enhanced skills in mechatronics, robotics, and industrial automation; and having a workforce equipped with knowledge and skill adaptive to the Industry 4.0.

A total of 14 DOST-assisted MSMEs and community-based enterprises (CBEs) were visited. MSMEs and CBEs come from various industries including food processing, aquaculture, agriculture, furniture, and information and communications technologies. The team conducted free assessment and consultation on the automation of business processes that may contribute to the enhancement of the firms’ productivity and efficiency. In addition, the team also provided free troubleshooting and checkup of equipment for MSMEs.

During the assessment, experts from AMERIAL conducted maintenance and repair of one of the JM@JM Furniture equipment (multiple-use woodworking machine) which was inoperative for the past month due to lack of needed expert-technician and spare parts.

The AMERIAL Team while troubleshooting the multiple-use wood working machine of JM @ JM Furniture 

“Sa wakas ay magagamit na ulit namin itong machine na halos natengga ng isang buwan dahil wala kaming makitang mekaniko na gagawa at karaniwan ay nanggagaling pa sa Maynila.  Malaki ang na-save ko sa pagpapagawa nito dahil sa libreng serbisyo na ipinagkaloob ng AMERIAL Team. Nakakamangha na may ganitong programa ang ating gobyerno. Malaki ang tulong nito sa katulad kong negosyante na limitado ang kaalaman sa pagkukumpini ng aming mga makinarya. Maraming salamat sa mga tulong na ipinagkaloob ng DOST at AMERIAL team” said Mr. Pepito de Ocampo, owner of the JM @ JM Furniture.

The AMERIAL Team with Mr. Pepito de Ocampo of JM @ JM Furniture.

The working-visit included a Ceremonial Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DOST-MIRDC and MinSU to strengthen partnership to promote industry automation and to intensify the implementation of AMERIAL in the province. The MOA signing was participated by MinSU President Dr. Levy B. Arago.

Ceremonial Signing of MOA with Dr. Levy B. Arago, Jr., MinSU President, and Mr. Macario Masagca, MinSU-Main Campus Research Director

After the visit, the AMERIAL Team is expected to prepare assessment reports and proposals for all identified potential automation interventions and to be virtually presented to the selected MSMEs for review and approval.