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  • Writer's picturePrachi Patil

Western Digital factory named World Economic Forum Sustainability Lighthouse


4 Industrial Revolution

The World Economic Forum has recently recognized and awarded Western Digital's factory at Batu Kawan, Penang, Malaysia as a Sustainability Lighthouse. By leveraging its vertically integrated smart factory model and implementing 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) technologies such as IoT sensors, digital twin modeling, analytics-powered plant management system, and lights-out automation with machine learning, the site achieved:

  1. Normalized (per unit) reduction in energy by 41 percent,

  2. Reduction in water consumption by 45 percent and

  3. Material waste reduction by 16 percent, while growing 43 percent (Compound Annual Growth Rate) in the last four years.

Key highlights of the strategies implemented at the site are:

  • The site has implemented the Lights-Out manufacturing concept, which transforms the entire manufacturing system with the use of advanced 4IR technologies. This concept creates an environment where manufacturing processes can operate more efficiently without the lights on, allowing the site to reduce energy consumed per unit produced.

  • The site is equipped with an advanced Building Monitoring System (BMS) that is integrated with a proprietary optimizing model to effectively manage the use of energy throughout the facility.

  • The site is reserving water and recycling wastewater generated from its operations via a multi-layer recycling system with the use of algorithm-based control models.

  • The facility's second building was designed and constructed with a roof-top solar farm that generates 1MW/Hr solar energy to supplement the overall energy requirement for the site

Western Digital relies on 4IR technologies to drive its eco-efficiency. These technologies have helped boost the productivity and efficiency of their operations.

They have deployed more than 1000 Industrial IoT sensors to more than 500 pieces of equipment and 15 utility systems to gather data and generate analytics insights. This allows them to optimize energy consumption across the entire factory.


Western Digital is setting up a good example of how the latest technology can be used to accelerate on the path toward sustainability.


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