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Additive Manufacturing Metrology Seminar Held By Zeiss Singapore

Additive Manufacturing Metrology Seminar Held By Zeiss Singapore

Singapore: Industrial metrology providers Zeiss Singapore recently held a seminar at the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre in Singapore, focussing on measurements in additive manufacturing.

Participants found out more about imaging and measurement technologies in the following areas of the 3D printing workflow:

  • Materials characterisation.
  • Non-destructive evaluation.
  • Reverse engineering.
  • High accuracy metrology.
  • Data management and analysis.

3D printing processes, also known as additive manufacturing, are increasingly becoming part of industrial production chains. This is especially true in safety-critical areas such as aerospace, medical technology and automotive industries where demanding standards apply. The biggest challenge is to prove the reliability of 3D printed parts.

Infrastructure & Rail Developments For Indonesia Totalling US$1.9B

Indonesia: South Korea and Indonesia have recently signed five memorandums of understanding (MOUs) that are worth a total of US$1.9 billion.

Covering both public transportation and infrastructure, the signing was attended by South Korean Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mi, Indonesian Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi and Indonesian Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono.

Korea Rail Network Authority is to be in charge of the second phase of Indonesia’s light rail transit project for reducing traffic congestion in the capital of Jakarta. In addition, the two countries plan to launch a water supply project in Karian, while cooperating for similar future projects and the completion of the hydroelectric power generation project in Bongka.

Furthermore, Hanwha Engineering & Construction is slated to participate in Indonesia’s public housing projects worth US$230 million. Regarding the first phase of the new city development project in Lido, POSCO Engineering & Construction and Indonesian MNC Group will be cooperating with each other.

Stefan Hantke Tapped As Schneeberger CEO

Stefan Hantke Tapped As Schneeberger CEO

Roggwil, Switzerland: Stefan Hantke will take over as chief executive officer of Schneeberger in Roggwil with effect from January 1 2018. In his new position, Mr Hantke will be chairman of the management team of the company and will be responsible for the linear bearings, system technology and mineral casting production business.

He is succeeding Dr Hans-Martin Schneeberger, who will continue serving as chairman of the board of directors of Schneeberger.

Mr Hantke has more than 25 years’ experience in mechanical engineering, specifically in the area of bearings and linear technology. After completing his degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Applied Sciences for Engineering and Economics in Saarbrücken, Hantke started his professional career in 1992 with the Schaeffler Group in the INA Linear Application Technology in Homberg.

After holding several management positions within the Schaeffler Group and other companies, in 2005 he took over management of the linear technology business unit at Schaeffler for which he was responsible for all industrial business in North America for two years. Hantke then took over management of worldwide sales and engineering for Schaeffler Group Industry in 2015, and became a member of the industry executive board.

Asia-Pacific To Be Dominant Driver In Global Infrastructure Investment

Asia Pacific: International law firm CMS released a report which found that Australia, Singapore and China are driving momentum and interest for infrastructure investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

The report ranked 40 jurisdictions in order of infrastructure investment attractiveness according to six key criteria, including economic status, sustainability and innovation, as well as ease of doing business.

Four of the top 20 spots for investment attractiveness were secured by Asia-Pacific countries in the report, with robust economic growth across the region, ambitious renewables plans, and the world’s largest infrastructure project—China’s Belt And Road—set to reshape the continent’s landscape over the next decade.

Top Asia-Pacific countries by ranking. Image Source: CMS

The Netherlands claimed top spot overall, despite a prolonged period with no government at all, after seeing the highest GDP growth since 2007, around 3.3 percent in 2017. The country’s success was in part down to its transparent and efficient procurement process, and its healthy multi-billion euro pipeline in road and water public-private-partnerships. Other countries in the top five included Canada, Germany, the UK and Australia.

Co-head of infrastructure and project finance in the UK and CMS partner, Kristy Duane, commented, “From China’s Belt and Road to the UK’s Brexit bump in the road, politics and policy remain central to shaping infrastructure investment flows globally.”

China’s Belt And Road initiative continues to deliver on the promised infrastructure boom in Asia. Given the longevity of this project, changes in the balance of infrastructure investment in the region are likely to be profound. Though ranked at 20th position in the Index, China is primed to become a global engine of investment, with close to a trillion dollars expected to flow through the initiative by its completion, whilst highly ranked countries such as Australia and Singapore continue to benefit from stable and prosperous economies.

Australia’s federal target of 33,000 GWh generated from renewable sources by 2020 has led to increased investment in solar and wind projects, and Singapore’s multi-billion-dollar development of Changi Airport’s Terminal 5 and the Tuas shipping megaport will solidify its position as a premier transport and trade hub globally. Further afield, opportunities in the likes of Malaysia and India are plenty— with renewable energy set to play a central role in future projects.

Adrian Wong, Partner at CMS Singapore said, “The Asia-Pacific region is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies and most ambitious infrastructure projects, and the spread of four countries within the Index top 20 reflects an ever developing opportunity for investment. While key success factors like government stability and political certainty cannot be ignored, the potential impact of the Belt And Road Initiative alone promises to stimulate economic growth through the continent and far beyond.”

Indian Automaker Mahindra Group Opens US Plant

Detroit, USA: Indian multinational automaker Mahindra Group recently announced plans to open an automotive manufacturing facility in Auburn Hills, near Detroit.

The Mumbai-based automaker established itself in the US in the tractor business behind John Deere and Kubota, and in 2015 launched Mahindra-branded agricultural utility vehicles. According to executives, the automaker has been seeing 70 percent annual growth in a flat category.

The automaker is also India’s largest sports utility vehicle (SUV) maker, but it does not sell cars or SUVs in the US yet. It is also one of a few companies in the running to supply the US Post Office with a new vehicle for letter carriers. It opened a technical centre in Detroit in 2012, and expects to have up to 250 employees in Michigan.

Volkswagen Group To Invest €34 Billion By 2022 To “Reinvent The Car”

Frankfurt, Germany: Over the next five years, carmaker Volkswagen Group plans to invest more than 34 billion euros (US$40.31 billion) in order to develop electric and hybrid cars, as well as self-driving cars, new mobility services such as car-sharing, and digitalisation.

In a meeting of the group’s supervisory board, chief executive officer Matthias Mueller said that they are “reinventing the car”. The group, which owns 12 brands including Audi, Porsche and Skoda, announced in September 2017 that it planned to electrify its entire fleet by 2030—this will see electric or hybrid versions of some 300 models.

The group recently signed off on an overall five-year spending plan totalling “more than 70 billion euros (US$83 billion),” according to a spokesperson. That is slightly lower than the 2015-2019 investments announced in 2014, when the group pledged to spend nearly 86 billion euros ($101.41 billion).

This focus on the cleaner, smarter vehicles of the future mirrors other traditional carmakers, and is especially important for Volkswagen as it seeks to shake off its global emissions debacle in 2018, which has cost 25 billion euros (US$29.64 billion) in fines, recalls and compensation.

Could The Autonomous Plane Tech Race Change The Aviation Industry?

Could The Autonomous Plane Tech Race Change The Aviation Industry?

Worldwide: Plane manufacturers including Airbus and Boeing are aiming to develop artificial intelligence that could one day mean teaching computers to fly planes autonomously.

Currently, commercial flights commonly have at least two pilots in the cockpit—a common practice for several decades. As such, completely autonomous planes might be some time away.

Chief technology officer of Airbus Paul Eremenko has said that the company is developing autonomous aircraft and technologies that will allow a single pilot to operate commercial jetliners.

“The more disruptive approach is to say maybe we can reduce the crew needs for our future aircraft. We are pursuing single-pilot operation as a potential option and a lot of the technologies needed to make that happen have also put us on the path towards unpiloted operation,” said Mr Eremenko in a recent interview with Bloomberg Television.

In addition to autonomous aviation technology being in its preliminary stages, there is also currently no aircraft certified for a single pilot or pilotless flight. Passengers (or their insurers or carriers) might also prove hesitant to accept such technology.

The company is also exploring technologies that will bring more automation to the cockpit of planes that could help resolve the shortage of pilots. This is especially important in emerging markets such as China, which is on track to become the world’s biggest aviation market in less than a decade. Mr Eremenko added that discussions are being held with Chinese companies such as Baidu to find ways to apply self-driving vehicles to the aviation industry.

With an estimated 637,000 pilots needed to fly commercial aircraft globally in the next two decades according to Boeing, Mr Eremenko said that the industry needs to find ways to produce more cockpit crew as only 200,000 pilots have been trained since the start of the aviation industry.

The aerospace industry is seeing a similar trend as the car market, where automakers are investing in or acquiring autonomous driving companies. The venture arm of aircraft manufacturer Boeing, HorizonX, recently acquired Near Earth Autonomy and Aurora Flight Sciences, which specialise in self-driving vehicle technology and autonomous aircraft systems respectively.

Uber Buys 24,000 Cars From Volvo In Autonomous Driving Deal

Uber Buys 24,000 Cars From Volvo In Autonomous Driving Deal

Stockholm, Sweden: Carmaker Volvo has signed a framework agreement with ride sharing company Uber to sell 24,000 sports utility vehicles (SUV) between 2019 and 2021.

“The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. No financial details were disclosed for the purchase.

The carmaker’s engineers have worked closely together with engineers from Uber to develop the XC90 SUVs that are to be supplied. The base vehicles incorporate safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies that are required for Uber to add its own self-driving technology.

Another ride sharing company, Lyft, has entered into a research partnership with Alphabet Inc’s unit Waymo in 2017. The company also secured deals with Ford and startups Nutonomy and to incorporate self-driving cars into its fleet.

Forecast For 2017 Indonesia Car Sales Revised

Indonesia: Car sales target of 1.1 million have been revised to 1.06 million, according to the Association of Indonesian Automotive Industries (Gaikindo).

According to the figures released by Gaikindo, for January to October 2017, a total of 898,218 cars were sold in Indonesia, the largest car market in Southeast Asia. This was a 2.5 percent year-on-year increase from the nation’s car sales figure in the same period in 2016. Association chairman Jongkie Sugiarto said the Indonesian economy has not shown significant acceleration in 2017 and therefore consumers’ purchasing power has not improved markedly.

Of note was that sales growth of more expensive car models was higher than sales growth of those vehicles that are more affordable. Fransiscus Soerjopranoto, executive general manager at Toyota Astra Motor, added that tighter policies surrounding car credit may have been a reason for the mild sales growth this year.

Due to rising non-performing loan ratios at financial institutions, they have become more cautious when disbursing credit to consumers, especially for cars that are priced below IDR 200 million (US$15,000). Mr Soerjopranoto added that the majority of car sales in Indonesia involve deals that are priced below IDR 200 million, which include the popular low cost green car models.

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