Major news for manufacturing at GM Thailand as first Thai national takes VP position
Amnat Saengjan will be the first Thai national to occupy the top manufacturing leadership position at GM Thailand, once his promotion to the vice president of Manufacturing at GM Thailand takes effect next month.
In his new role, he will be responsible for both the GM Thailand and GM Powertrain Thailand plant operations.
He will report directly to Robert Parcell, Manufacturing Manager for GM International Operations, and indirectly to Marcos A Purty, managing director of GM Thailand and Chevrolet Sales Thailand. Michael O. Perez who has served in that role as well as the role for GM Southeast Asia Operations for the past 18 months will move to another senior position within GM to be announced at a later date.
" Our manufacturing operations at Rayong are assured a smooth transition with the appointment of Amnat. He has proven his leadership capability as Assistant Plant Manager, Vehicle Operations, GM Thailand, effectively overseeing the entire plant operation in Rayong since 2010," said Tim Zimmerman, president of GM Southeast Asia.
During Perez's tenure, GM Thailand celebrated its 1 millionth vehicle built and its Rayong Truck assembly plant achieved the US Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry by reducing energy intensity within its operations by 20 per cent.
Before the promotion, Amnat was an assistant plant manager of vehicle operations as well as Shop Director, overseeing Press & Body and General Assembly operations from 2004 to 2007. Prior to that, he was the project implementation manager for the first Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck in Thailand in 2002. In 2000, he acted as shift manager for the General Assembly shop. Amnat joined GM in 1998 as process engineer on the Zafira programme.
During his career at GM, Amnat has managed over 3,000 people at facility level. He also took the lead on implementing facility-wide adaptation of safety processes. He has implemented Built-In Quality processes, including leadership reviews and audits, and coordinated with a joint venture OEM partner to meet launch timing, quality and cost targets for vehicle programmes.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.