Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) is a modern method of production incorporating highly automated and sophisticated computerized design and operational systems. AMT aims at manufacturing high quality products at low cost within the shortest delivery time.
Manufacturing is the strength of any industrialized nation. Although large segments of the population may be employed in service industries, it is manufacturing that produces the wealth of a nation. In 1979, Gross National Income (GNI) was about $780 per capita. In 1999 GNI was less than $365 per capita. Despite huge investments in the oil and gas sector of the nation’s economy, with an annual average investment of US$10 billion, its contribution to the GDP has been minimal. This is largely due to the low Nigerian Content in the industry, evidenced by the over 80% of work value which is broadly hi-tech and executed abroad. Likewise in the auto industry, local content is still less than 15% and in fact, only simple components such as batteries, tyres, tubes, wire harnesses, oil filters and seat covers, can be regarded as locally manufactured components.
Manufacturing around the world is changing rapidly. The processes, equipment and systems used to design and produce everything from automobiles to computer chips are undergoing dramatic changes in response to new customer needs, competitive challenges and emerging technologies. The situation in Nigeria is that all of our manufacturing processes are still based on conventional methods of operation. Recent advances in Information Systems, business practices, engineering techniques and manufacturing science now enable companies to produce new and better products more quickly and at a a much lower cost than every before. This makes it increasingly difficult for underdeveloped nations to get into the game of quality manufacturing. Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) is an effort to minimize this effect and slip Nigeria inside as one of the players.
The use of Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) machine tools has spread rapidly during the last decade. Almost 80% of machine tools in modern manufacturing industry are computer controlled. Products can now be made better, faster and cheaper and no manufacturer can afford to do otherwise, else such a manufacturer will produce goods that are not globally competitive.
The manufacturing sector in Nigeria is not making the expected contribution to the GDP, while there is an inherent high level of importation. For Nigeria to be ranked among the 20 richest countries by 2020, the use of AMT for economic prosperity is the way out.
Therefore, the focus of NASENI in the last few years has been on Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT). This is a paradigm shift from conventional manufacturing technology, for global competitiveness of industrial products, hence rapid industrial development. The ultimate purpose of AMT is to create wealth in Nigeria.
As mentioned earlier, the objective of AMT is to create wealth in Nigeria. This mechanism for wealth generation could deliver the following results:
- Increased industrial productivity to reduce importation of goods, equipment, raw materials and services that translates to increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Gross National Income per capita (GNI), and reduction in the fleeing of foreign exchange.
- Export of goods, equipment, raw materials and services that generate foreign exchange.
- The combination of results 1 and 2 to generate value added employments with the capacity for living wages.
- Boost the performance of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN).
NASENI has held series of workshops and training programmes to sensitize stakeholders on the need for a paradigm shift from conventional manufacturing methods of AMT and highlighted the various AMT processes to fast-track manufacturing processes in Nigeria. As Nigeria is battling with the development of what the developed world may regard as conventional technologies, the rest of the world is moving ahead with emerging technologies, thus further widening the technological divide. It has been estimated that when Nigeria reaches the goal of becoming one of the twentieth richest nations in the world by the Year 2020, manufacturing activities will account for over 50% of the National GDP and Nigeria will mainly export finished products. This dream will remain a dream unless urgent steps are taken to focus our attention on Advanced Manufacturing Technologies so that our manufacturing industries can produce goods and services that will not only meet the world standards but also be competitive in the global market.