Western Digital’s factory at Batu Kawan, Penang, has been recognized and awarded as the first World Economic Forum Sustainability Lighthouse in Asia.

Western Digital Sustainability Lighthouse featured

The site achieved a normalized (per unit) reduction in energy by 41%, water consumption by 45%, and material waste by 16%, while growing 43% (Compound Annual Growth Rate) in the last four years by leveraging its vertically integrated smart factory model and implementing 4IR technologies such as IoT sensors, digital twin modeling, analytics powered plant management system and lights-out automation with machine learning.

The site has implemented various strategies such as using the advanced 4IR technologies to create 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.

Western Digital Batu Kawan also focused on preserving water and recycling wastewater generated from its operations via a multi-layer recycling system with the use of algorithm-based control models. This enables wastewater to be tested in real-time and converted to re-usable water for operations, reducing the water consumed per unit produced.

Renewable energy is another key area for Western Digital Batu Kawan. 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. These concerted efforts also enabled the site to achieve the Malaysia Green Building Index (GBI) certification.

Personally, I think that’s a commendable effort from WD to make the world a better place. Hopefully, we’ll see more implementation of these green energy technology in large buildings here in Malaysia, not just from the tech giants of course. Leave a comment in the section below and let us know what you think!


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