Surveys

TH-surveyD&E-Part2 – please provide :

  • the list of companies involved in the questionnaire,
  • the objective of the questionnaire
  • the set of questions asked
  • the statistics on the question results from companies
  • a conclusion

Company Long Survey
P4 and P5 are partnering to undertake an in-depth company survey or company long survey in Thailand, aiming to assess the status of PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) in the country. This initiative is geared towards tailoring our educational programs to produce graduates well-suited for Industry 4.0.
Objective
The primary aim of the company’s extensive survey is to comprehensively develop a new curriculum that aligns seamlessly with the requirements of Industry 4.0. By gaining insights into the specific needs of the company in terms of hiring graduates and understanding the prevailing trends in automation within modern industries, our educational department can proactively equip students with the knowledge and skills essential for success in Industry 4.0. This includes identifying the desirable attributes and competencies sought in prospective graduates who aspire to join the company.
The secondary objective of the company’s comprehensive survey is to inquire about the potential for providing internship opportunities to our senior students once they have been equipped with foundational knowledge of Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and PLC programming skills. Additionally, we seek to ascertain whether the company would consider offering employment to our graduates following their internship experience.
Methodology
The steps for the process of attending company long survey in Thailand.

  1. Distribution of Invitation Letters: In June 2023, we initiated the process sending out invitation letters. These letters included a survey link and were marked as Fig. 0. The total invitation letters were 30 companies located in Thailand.
  2. Outreach and Engagement: Following the distribution of the invitation letters, we took a proactive approach reaching out to these companies. This included phone calls, where we extended invitations, and in-person visits to establish personal connections.
  3. Invitation to Vocational Training Workshop: During our interactions with these companies, we extended invitations to attend our Vocational Training workshop. This workshop is hosted at our Center of Excellence and is designed to provide valuable insights and knowledge.
  4. Three-Month Timeframe: As the three-month timeframe progressed, we continued to collect responses from the surveyed companies and ensured their participation in the workshop.
  5. Data Compilation and Conclusion: At the end of the three-month period, we gathered and compiled all the survey data and responses received from the companies. With this information in hand, we proceeded to analyze the results and draw conclusions regarding the companies’ feedback and insights.

These steps reflect the process undertaken in distributing invitations, engaging with companies, hosting the workshop, and summarizing the outcomes within a three-month time frame.

Fig.0 Invitation letter to complete the survey

Lists of company
We received a total of fifteen participants actively engaged in this survey. Three out of fifteen participants prefer to be anonymous.
Table 1: The lists of company.


Survey Participants
The majority of survey participants hold management positions in engineering, business development, and research, development, and design. They belong to the managerial ranks, except for those in the information technology sector, quality control & assurance where individuals at the operational level completed the survey form.

Fig.1. Job Position

  1. Main Activities of the company.
    When inquiring about the primary activities of the company, 40% were involved in Industrial Internet of Things, while 33.3% focused on Programmable Logic Controllers and Machine and Drive Systems. There were 20% in the Automotive sector.

Fig.2. The main activities of the company.

  1. Industry Sector
    There were 21.4% of the survey participants were engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, and chemical and petrochemical processing while 14.3% were involved in Food and Beverage industry, and Process Automation.

Fig.3. Related industry sector of company.

  1. The benefit of implementing the concept of Industry 4.0
    A significant 86.7% of respondents affirmed that the implementation of Industry 4.0 concepts has been advantageous to their company.

Fig.4. The benefit of implementing the concept of Industry 4.0 to company.

  1. The challenge for industrial automation
    On a scale of 1 to 4, where 1 represents the least challenge and 4 indicates the highest challenge, energy saving and sustainability ranks as the foremost challenge for industrial automation at level 4. Following closely behind, the second major challenges, also rated at level 4, encompass competitiveness, and digitalization.

Fig.5.The main challenge for industrial automation to company.

  1. Employee’s education background
    The majority of employees hold bachelor’s degree and master degree. The vocational degree is the third most prevalent. The smallest proportion of employees possess a PhD.

Fig.6. Education background for the working staff in the company.

  1. The needs of industrial automation
    When evaluating the requirements of industrial automation in manufacturing on a scale of 1 to 4, with 1 representing low need and 4 indicating high need, 46.7% expressed that the demand for industrial automation in manufacturing is significant.

Fig.7. Rate the needs of industrial automation in manufacturing.

  1. The minimum education level in charge of PLC and automation.
    When inquiring about the minimum education requirements for employees responsible for PLC and automation, the findings reveal the following:

Fig.8. The minimum education level for the employee in charge of PLC and automation.

  1. Characteristics of required graduates
    When inquiring about the desired characteristics for prospective graduates to join the company, the top requirement is a positive mindset. Following closely as the second most important requirement is strong communication skills. Creativity ranked the third most important requirement. Emotional intelligence, and leadership abilities are all rated as the fourth highest priorities.

Fig.9. Desired characteristics of prospective graduates to work in the company.

  1. The technical skills required for graduates
    When inquiring about the technical skills expected from graduates working in PLC and automation, the most crucial skill is proficiency in communication networks. Ranking second in importance is expertise in the Internet of Things (IoT), and control systems, while the third highest priorities are competency in computer programming, big data, and artificial intelligence.

Fig.10. Required technical skills of prospective graduates to work in PLC and automation at the company.

  1. The recruitment method for PLC and automation personnel
    When inquiring about their methods for recruiting PLC and automation personnel, they indicated that 50% of their hires are sourced through the company website, and 28.6% are directly hired.

Fig.11. Recruiting method of PLC and automation personnel

  1. The salary range for personal working with PLC experience.
    When inquiring about salary ranges, the findings indicate the following
    :

Fig.12. Salary range for personnel working with PLC experience.

  1. The needs of PLC training of current staffs
    The demand for PLC fundamentals, and PLC programming basics stand at 85.7%, PLC implementation at 71.4%, and PLC hardware and operation is 64.3%.

Fig.13.The needs of PLC training for current staffs in company.

  1. The frequency of PLC personnel get trained
    When inquiring about the frequency of training for PLC personnel, 64.3% mentioned that training occurs when there is a new installed system, while 35.7% stated that PLC personnel receive training annually.

Fig.14. Frequency of PLC personnel training.

  1. PLC manufacturing brand
    When inquiring about the preferred PLC manufacturing brands, the distribution is as follows:

Fig.15. PLC brands.

  1. The satisfication of current PLC manufacturing brand
    When inquiring about satisfaction with their current PLC systems, 53.8% of respondents expressed satisfaction. There are 46.2% planning to upgrade to a new model from the same PLC manufacturer.

Fig.16. Satisfaction with the existing PLC.

  1. The method of PLC maintenance
    When inquiring about how they maintain or update their existing PLC systems, 71.4% indicated outsourcing the task, while 50% mentioned handling it in-house.

Fig.17. Maintenance or revamping existing PLC.

  1. The country who supplies outsource to maintain or revamp their PLC system.
    The outsourcing for maintenance or revamping of their PLC systems is entirely from Thailand.

Fig.18. The country of outsource company

  1. Student Internship Opportunity
    When inquiring about student internship opportunities, 76.9% responded affirmatively.

Fig.19. Company offering student internship.

  1. The advertisement of student internships
    When inquiring about how student internships are promoted, 50% mentioned that students can directly contact the company. 42.9% can apply directly through the company’s webpage.

Fig.20. Student internships advertisement channels.

  1. The student internships offering
    When inquiring about the likelihood of the company offering student internships to CU/MFU students, there is a 71.4% probability.

Fig.21. Offering students for internship.

  1. Procedure for applying student internship
    When inquiring about the procedures the company provides for student internship recruitment, 76.9% stated that students can directly apply to the company, while 38.5% mentioned that students apply through the university’s placement center.

Fig.22. Procedure for the internship recruitment.

  1. The perspective employee
    When inquiring about the company’s interest in hiring intern students after their internships, 50% expressed a definite interest, while 35.7% indicated a possibility.

Fig.23. Company interest in employing intern students after the internship.

Summary from Company Long Survey
In conclusion, the feedback and advice taken from industry professionals and employers highlight the strong demand for PLC skills, including fundamentals, programming basics, and implementation expertise. It is evident that integrating practical programming experience into our curricula will enhance the employability of our students. Moreover, the opportunity for internships and potential post-internship employment underscores the industry’s willingness to actively engage with and support our educational initiatives in the field of PLC and Industry 4.0.

  1. Strong demand for PLC Skills: The survey results emphatically affirm the high demand for PLC skills in the industry. Specifically, 85.7% of respondents highlighted the necessity for students to possess a solid foundation in PLC fundamentals, and PLC programming basics. Additionally, 71.4% stressed the importance of students having a grasp of PLC implementation. Approximately 64.3% of professionals underlined the need for expertise in PLC hardware and operation.
  2. Programming Proficiency: Industry stakeholders emphasize that students would greatly benefit from not only understanding PLC concepts but also having practical knowledge of programming. This dual proficiency is seen as highly advantageous in preparing students for real-world challenges and making them more attractive candidates for employment.
  3. Technical skills and soft skills: Desirable characteristics for prospective graduates to join the company include a positive mindset as the top requirement, followed strong communication skills. Emotional intelligence, leadership abilities, and creativity are also highly valued. In terms of technical skills, proficiency in communication networks is the most crucial, followed expertise in the Internet of Things (IoT), and competency in control systems.
  4. Recruitment method: Recruitment of PLC and automation personnel primarily occurs through direct hiring (50%), and the company website (42.9%). Salary ranges vary based on experience, with those having more than three years of PLC experience earning between 30,000-60,000 Baht.
  5. Internship Opportunity: Encouragingly, many companies are willing to bridge the gap between education and industry offering student internships. These internships provide a platform for students to apply their PLC knowledge and programming skills in a professional setting.
  6. Future hire after internship: Furthermore, the positive outcome is that companies are open to considering these interns as potential future hires, showcasing a commitment to nurturing talent within the industry.