Seagate praises S'pore's engineering strength

At a time when technology companies are scaling back their operations in Singapore disk drive-maker Seagate has given the island a vote of confidence.

SINGAPORE--At a time when technology companies are scaling back their operations here, disk drive-maker Seagate has given the island a vote of confidence.

"If you're manufacturing or designing, or whatever you're doing, you have to rely on human resources to get the job done," Seagate COO William Watkins said. "I think Singapore is a tremendous place for those sort of resources."

Watkins, who is here to meet suppliers, commended Singapore for its engineering talent, calling it "the strongest engineering city in the Far East".

Indeed, instead of laying off staff here, Seagate has moved its production of desktop products from Malaysia to the Republic. Its US operations are also being trimmed, as major media manufacturing moves here.

Its plants at Woodlands, Ang Mo Kio and the Science Park will also showcase the company's "Factory of the Future" ideal, in which menial tasks such as manual assembly of disk drives are eliminated. Watkins cited the Ang Mo Kio plant as "the site that has launched our Factory of the Future".

"We want to get more drives with fewer plants and fewer people," he told The Business Times.

And, although the company has no plans to restructure in Singapore, it has been cutting its global workforce, from 57,508 last October to 45,000 now.

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