ManufacturingSeptember 30, 2018

Innovation in the Cyber-Physical Age with SOLIDWORKS

Earlier this year, the Indonesian government officially launched the
Avatar ncoze
Pak Tekno Wibowo, Chief Commercial Officer of Polytron, with Steven Chiu, SOLIDWORKS Territory Sales Manager, ASEAN South, at the media launch of SOLIDWORKS Innovation Day 2019 in Jakarta

Earlier this year, the Indonesian government officially launched the “Making Indonesia 4.0” roadmap to prepare the country’s manufacturing industry for the onset of Industry 4.0. Manufacturing is the bedrock of Indonesia’s economy and the biggest contributor to its growth. But it is a sector also vulnerable to disruptions from the Cyber-Physical Age.

So what is the Cyber-Physical Age? It is the next phase of societal development following the Information Age, that stage of civilization characterized by human access to vast amounts of information through the Internet. Contrary to popular belief, we are already almost done with the Information Age and on the cusp of the Cyber-Physical Age where our everyday products will be infused with IoT. Manufacturing, as we know it, will become fully automated, fully digitalized.

There are several reasons why the move to digitalization is crucial for today’s manufacturers. Firstly, to improve efficiency and productivity as time-to-market can make or break a product’s success. Secondly, the rate of innovation is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Bringing innovative ideas to production faster is the only way to keep ahead of one’s competitors.

At the SOLIDWORKS Innovation Day 2019 media launch in Jakarta on 28 September 2018, I had the opportunity to co-present with Pak Tekno Wibowo, Chief Commercial Officer of Polytron, Indonesia’s largest and most respected electronics manufacturer.

Polytron – Indonesia’s undisputed “King of Audio”

Polytron has been Indonesia’s “King of Audio” since the 1980s

Polytron’s history dates back to 1975, starting with only 25 employees manufacturing small pocket radios and black-and-white televisions. It was probably one of several thousand companies in Indonesia at that time manufacturing exactly the same products. Yet, against the onslaught of similarly priced consumer electronic goods from the likes of Japan and Taiwan flooding the market in the 1980s, Polytron thrived and grew its market share and by the 2000s, it’s been operating three factories with around 10,000 employees, 19 sales offices and 65 service centres throughout Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

Even with higher incomes and brand awareness today amongst Indonesian consumers, Polytron has maintained its position as the choice electronics brand for Indonesians, especially for audio products where it has an amazing over 60% market share in Southeast Asia’s most populous country and recently became the No. 1 brand in refrigerators against strong global competitors. In fact, since the 1980s, Polytron is known as the “King of Audio” in Indonesia.

Innovation based on customers’ needs

Polytron’s Chief Commercial Officer, Pak Tekno Wibowo, speaks on how intimate knowledge of the Indonesian consumer led to many innovations in its product offerings

So how did a homegrown manufacturer secure such a huge market share, and importantly, trust amongst consumers in the electronics space crowded with major global brands?  The answer firstly lies in Polytron’s ability and agility to innovate ahead of its competitors, both local and global, and importantly, base its innovations on consumers needs. For its famous line of audio products, Polytron adjusted their sound mixers for richer bass and percussion effects – important characteristics of both traditional and modern Indonesian music – and offered warmer colours of gold and brown rather than the usual black, somber tones that coloured similar products by competitors.

This intimate knowledge of the Indonesian consumer led to many other innovations in Polytron’s products which helped it to thrive above the strongest global competitors. From the beginning, Polytron actively encouraged innovation amongst its in-house designers and engineers, incentivising them with rewards to come up with creative ideas.

Yet innovation is not always the winner in the super competitive electronics space, where new products flood the market every quarter. Innovation wins when it is able to capture market share earlier and faster. Therefore, in the early 2000s with the onset of the Information Age, Polytron fully integrated CAD technology in all its design processes to win the speed-to-market race.

“Good ideas can always be improved on.” – Pak Tekno Wibowo

SOLIDWORKS has been the choice CAD software for Polytron. Why SOLIDWORKS? Because Polytron recognizes that the modern manufacturer for the Cyber-Physical Age is a digital, model-based enterprise (MBE), where the data-driven 3D model will be the core information source for product design.

The modern manufacturer for the Cyber-Physical Age is a digital, data-driven model-based enterprise (MBE)

The digital 3D model replaces previous 2D drawings and is infused with a rich depository of design data from previous iterations of the innovation. The past data serves as a springboard for further improvements to make the product even better and more relevant to changing consumer tastes. As Pak Tekno Wibowo said during his presentation, “Good ideas can always be improved on.” That’s the essence of innovation in the Cyber-Physical Age.

Take for example, Polytron’s best-selling Belleza 3 Refrigerator. With intimate knowledge of Indonesian salad dishes which uses fruits and vegetables with a high water content, such as cucumber and okra, Polytron added enhancements such as the Shielded Moisture Compartment and Humidity Control Crisper to the Belleza 3 model to keep in the moisture of vegetables and fruits longer. The Belleza 3 Refrigerator was fully designed and tested in SOLIDWORKS, coming in an elegant design and in a colour palatte that includes gold, mauve and burgundy not seen in other brands. These are colours that complement Indonesian home décor designs that often feature warm brown and rustic orange hues on walls and furniture

Innovation cannot stand still

As you can see from Polytron’s journey, innovation cannot stand still. In fact, it has to run even faster. Polytron won the audio innovation game in the 1980s. But it has to keep on winning both in innovation and in time-to-market to preserve its “King of Audio” crown in the Cyber-Physical Age and nab the No.1 position in the hugely competitive refrigerator market.

Polytron’s next major project will be to integrate IoT in all its electronics products, which firmly places the company in the bold new Cyber-Physical Age.

Manipulating a model with SOLIDWORKS 2019 new “Touch” feature, which includes the ability to add markup on touch devices.

SOLIDWORKS is proud to work closely with innovation leaders like Polytron in integrating new, exciting SOLIDWORKS 2019 features such as “3D Texturize Body” and “Mesh Slicing” for even better, more appealing aesthetic designs for its products, and “Touch”, the ability to use touch to interact with models and add markups on touch devices. This is will be essential for Polytron as it ventures into smartphone product development and more complex IoT-integrated models.

This media briefing is a curtain-raiser to the upcoming SOLIDWORKS Innovation Day 2019 events in Indonesia which will gather together industry thought leaders and SOLIDWORKS customers to discuss key trends shaping the future of manufacturing, design and engineering. Register to attend on the links below:

VAR Dates & City Event Website

AppliCAD ID 17 Oct – Sentul PT. AppliCAD SOLIDWORKS Innovation Day

Arisma 3 Oct – Batam

9 Nov – Cikarang TBA

Grand Asia 9 Oct – Bandung

11 Oct – Semarang TBA

Hastaca 7 Nov – Bekasi TBA

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at

Stay up to date

Receive monthly updates on content you won’t want to miss


Register here to receive a monthly update on our newest content.