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Zebra Technologies Study: More Than Half Of Parcels To Be Delivered Under Two Hours By 2028

Zebra Technologies Study: More Than Half Of Parcels To Be Delivered Under Two Hours By 2028

Singapore: Zebra Technologies Corporation—the market leader in rugged mobile computers, barcode scanners and barcode printers enhanced with software and services to enable real-time enterprise visibility—announced on 13 July 2018 the results of the Asia Pacific edition of the Future of Fulfilment Vision Study—a body of research analysing how manufacturers, transportation and logistics firms, and retailers are preparing to meet the growing needs of the on-demand economy.

Key Survey Findings

  • The study revealed that 67 percent of logistics companies expect to provide same-day delivery by 2023 and 55 percent anticipate delivery within a two-hour window by 2028.
  • 92 percent of the respondents cited capital investment and operating costs of implementing an omnichannel operation as a key challenge.
  • Seven in ten surveyed executives agree that more retailers will continue to turn stores into fulfilment centres that accommodate product returns.
  • In Asia Pacific, 93 percent of respondents agreed that accepting and managing product returns remain a challenge.
  • Today, 55 percent of organisations are still using low-efficiency, manual pen-and-paper-based processes to enable omnichannel logistics.
  • Radio-frequency identification technology and inventory management platforms are expected to grow from 32 percent today to 95 percent in 2028.
  • Future-oriented decision makers revealed that next generation supply chains will reflect connected, business-intelligence and automated solutions that will add newfound speed, precision and cost-effectiveness to transportation and labour.

Yvonne Lim, Southeast Asia Channels Lead at Zebra Technologies, said: “Zebra’s study found that 95 percent of survey respondents in Asia Pacific agree that e-commerce is driving the need for faster delivery. In response, companies are turning to digital technology and analytics to bring heightened automation, merchandise visibility and business intelligence to the supply chain to compete in the on-demand consumer economy.”

Corresponding to the developments in the fulfilment space, Zebra has introduced a new mobile printer and RFID solution that will help drive better efficiencies both on and off-premise. The new ZQ300 Series mobile printers empower workers in the field, in the warehouse or on the retail floor with on-demand printing capabilities. Meanwhile, the FX9600 fixed UHF RFID readers will enable enterprises to keep up with high volumes of cargo movements in the warehouse or dock doors.

Simulation Advances Industrial 3D Printing

Simulation Advances Industrial 3D Printing

Singapore: EOS, a leading global technology supplier in industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers, and German start-up Additive Works announced on 29 June 2018 their close collaboration to enhance the additive manufacturing (AM) process with metal materials.

They focus their cooperation on the simulation based pre-processing software Amphyon: A solution which simulates the AM building process before it actually takes place, highlighting and optimising possible problematic areas of the part to be build. Its user-friendly software increases shape accuracy, surface quality, build productivity and stability. Companies can hence save time and costs in developing additively manufactured components.

Dr. Nils Keller, CEO, Additive Works states: “When a part is manufactured with issues, e.g. surface defects, it means a waste of machine time and material costs. With Amphyon, simulation now also becomes a solution for additive manufacturing, underlining the increased use and changing requirements of industrial 3D printing for serial production.”

Amphyon helps to predict possible build job challenges and automates the know-how based on pre-processing steps. This allows companies to optimise their parts in forefront, minimise risk of flaws but benefit from a successful build process.

Martin Steuer, Head of Product Management Software and Services at EOS said: “United by the mission to make Industrial 3D printing even more intuitive and user friendly, EOS is happy to partner with Additive Works on the subject of AM-process-simulation. ‘Simulate before you create’ really is a key factor to ensure a successful laser sintering process with metal materials, right from the start.”

Bespoke Digital Solutions For Automotive Industry

Bespoke Digital Solutions For Automotive Industry

Led by his passion for graphic design and information technology, Eng Poo Yang, Managing Director of Appvantage Asia started the business in 2011 focusing on bespoke digital solutions for the automotive industry.

Q: As a considerably young company, what are some of the internal factors that you would attribute your success to?

Eng Poo Yang (EPY): Everything is related to the people you have, two main factors in particular contribute to the success of a company—the talents, as well as diligent hardworking people.

The talents demonstrate how high quality and thoughtful the design is, how innovative the solution is. This comes about when the team puts our brains together and works hard at delivering solutions.

I do believe this is the main asset of the company, which has helped us stand out as a new start up in the early days.

Eng Poo Yang | Image Source: Appvantage

Q: Could you share with us the most challenging project you have worked on so far in keeping up with customer expectations in this fast moving digital age?

EPY: One of the most challenging and main projects we are involved is called ‘Digital Dealer’—it’s a tool that transforms automotive financial services from a paper process to a fully integrated digital solution. It has been challenging to develop it in a short time, matching up with the milestone delivery requirements of our customers.

We have been working on it for the past three years, and it has since evolved into a different stage in partnership with our clients. We are now executing this from one market to another, and as the project has gone along it has evolved to become more of a product. The challenge has been how fast it has picked up, and how demanding the whole development is involving quite a big team.

Q: What are good challenges for a design sprint? When should it be used?

EPY: A design sprint is a framework that helps answer critical business questions through rapid prototyping and user testing. Sprints let a business reach clearly defined goals and deliverables and gain key learnings, quickly.

So why do a design sprint? Design sprints are to define and to do a problem-solving approach. It allows the company to identify one main issue, and to filter what ideas will work and how the user is experiencing the product/service to find out the real problem. From there, Appvantage gets an idea and designs a wireframe to test the design (i.e. getting an idea of what the customer experiences). Subsequently, this gets refined to the next version.

Each sprint can last between 4-5 days. It can go longer, for customers who need to spread it out – which gives Appvantage time to work on the visuals, and be able to present something more realistic as well. Customers can learn from these test results and decide if it’s worthwhile to solve this issue or enhance a particular process, through a particular approach.

Reasons to do a design sprint include:

  • Looking for expertise in new product development?
  • Unclear on what your product will look like in real life?
  • Seeking early feedback to avoid wasted investment?
  • Struggling to accurately forecast time and cost to market?
  • Need to demonstrate commercial potential?

Q: In your opinion, is cybersecurity one of the biggest problems facing the autonomous car ecosystem?

EPY: I feel so. Professionals are in the process of finding out what works in terms of security and safety, which remain to be seen. Brands and manufacturers are also looking into it through collaborative efforts such as knowledge-sharing.

Q: What strategies is Appvantage adopting to strengthen its competitive position with digital solutions by the time it reaches its 10th year?

EPY: I foresee that we will offer a suite of products related to automotive that we can provide to customers to address their needs in terms of digitalisation – from operations and sales, to business and financial services. It can either work well-integrated with today’s system, or as a standalone new platform for customers to adopt into new businesses.

Q: On a more personal note, as important as digitalisation is in business, do you make much use of smart products outside work?

EPY: I definitely do, I’ve always been keen to get new gadgets. For example, the latest gadgets I’ve tried out are the smart home assistants – google homes, Siri and Alexa that allow home automation.

What Makes Smart Factories “Smart”?

What Makes Smart Factories “Smart”?

The fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, is sweeping across Asia Pacific with more manufacturers building smart factories. Nearly half of manufacturers in Asia Pacific will have fully connected factories by 2022, serving customers with shorter timelines and higher quality standards. This dynamic shift towards smarter factories has prompted companies to focus on technologies which deliver greater efficiencies and reduced operational costs. By Damien Dhellemmes, Country President, Singapore, Schneider Electric

Maximising Smart Factories

Damien Dhellemmes

Companies in the region are equipping themselves with solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, big data, and analytics to help drive operational excellence across the enterprise.

In the automotive industry, for example, solutions such as predictive analytics are being implemented to help companies reduce unscheduled downtime and maintenance costs. Predictive analytics can be used to forecast and diagnose problems several days or months before they occur, using advanced pattern recognition and machine learning.

Compared to older factories, maintenance in smart factories has now become a proactive strategy rather than a reactive process. Employees now increasingly play a greater role in the planning and decision-making process in the plant.

Working Smart

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) presents manufacturers with an opportunity to improve the connectivity of their plant facilities and empower workers to be “smarter”. Smart and connected devices can be used to link existing manufacturing solutions to drive improvements at a unit level. Internal quality checks for plant equipment can also be made by employees in real-time. This means employees can operate remotely with better visibility of plant operations without having to be on-site.

Companies can enable advanced workflow software allowing employees to focus their energy on their work, creating new opportunities for the business rather than spending time on repeated tasks. Automated workflows mean that employees can manage their work with little to no oversight. By streamlining processes and workflows, companies can manage their routine processes consistently and efficiently with no human error.

Leveraging Data

Smart workers for smart factories | Image Source: Schneider Electric

One way to maximise efficiency and improving collaboration amongst employees is with mobile workforce management solutions. Such solutions collect data from stranded assets that are not digitally integrated to the plant. This means that best practices can be adopted across the plant by standardising, documenting and enforcing maintenance inspections and procedures. This results in increased accuracy of executed tasks and asset performance optimisation.

With mobile access capabilities in the plant, employees involved in key decision-making process can be granted access to relevant data when needed. Providing access to data empowers them to be more active participants, making more informed decisions during the work process. The overall productivity and efficiency of the workplace is improved using actionable insights derived from the data using mobile access.

Drive Digital Transformation To Stay Ahead Of The Game

With actionable insights, employees are empowered to make better decisions in the workplace

We ourselves strongly believe in the value of smart factories. We ensure that our own factories (more than 170 worldwide) integrate latest technologies to become pilots for new industry 4.0 solutions. For instance, our factories in Batam have become a test bay for machine learning, AI, predictive and digital maintenance, connected machines and processes. This has allowed us to increase the performance of our operations, while strengthening the link between our research and development teams and operations.

The integration of big data, cloud and IoT capabilities will pave the way for companies to work towards their smart factory vision, becoming more energy efficient and sustainable in the long term. It is key to align mid to long term strategic goals with the digital transformation infrastructure of the business before embarking on the digitalisation journey. Companies need a digital strategy in place to carefully assess the organisation’s needs, before analysing whether digital solutions are able to deliver operational excellence across the value chain.

At the same time, smart factories need smart workers. Companies need to go beyond digitising their plant operations and invest in their talent to drive digital transformation of the business. When employees are upskilled, companies can fully leverage the benefits of their smart factories.

Smart Solutions Can Help ASEAN Cities Improve Quality-Of-Life Indicators By 10-30 Percent

Smart Solutions Can Help ASEAN Cities Improve Quality-Of-Life Indicators By 10-30 Percent

Singapore: Smart cities in Southeast Asia, a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), in collaboration with the Centre for Liveable Cities in Singapore, finds that cities across the region can incorporate data and digital technologies into infrastructure and services—focusing on solving specific public problems to make urban environment more livable, sustainable, and productive.

The research, studying dozens of current applications, finds that ASEAN cities could use digital solutions to improve some quality-of-life indicators by 10-30 percent.

Dozens of smart solutions are available today, focusing on every domain of city life: mobility, social infrastructure, built environment, utilities, security, community, and the economy.

“Cities need to act now to address growing environmental stresses and particularly to combat climate change and improve their resilience,” said Jonathan Woetzel, Senior Partner and Leader of McKinsey’s Special Cities Initiative.

The report notes that private sector companies that work towards public good and expand choices for urban residents can find substantial market opportunities across Southeast Asia. MGI estimates that smart mobility applications could worth up to $70 billion, while opportunities to smarten the built environment could be worth more than $25 billion.

While it is important for city governments to outline a future vision, rapid pace of technological change means that they have to retain some flexibility to experiment and recalibrate. Taking a data-driven approach that continually measures progress against quality-of-life goals can guide that process. Cities also need to consider how to pair smart technologies with complementary policies and investment in hard infrastructure.

World Cities Summit 2018: Dassault Systèmes Signs MoU For Future Development Of Padang Pariaman Smart City Implementation Project

World Cities Summit 2018: Dassault Systèmes Signs MoU For Future Development Of Padang Pariaman Smart City Implementation Project

Singapore: Dassault Systèmes and the District Government of Padang Pariaman signed today a memorandum of understanding, utilising the 3DEXPERIENCE platform for future development of the “Padang Pariaman Smart City Implementation Project”, at the World Cities Summit 2018.

The partnership leverages Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCity solutions to support the digital transformation of the District Government’s various portfolios for document and project management within local government agencies.

Padang Pariaman, Indonesia, is home to seventeen districts in West Sumatra. In recent years, it has successfully modernised its agricultural system, producing superior agricultural commodities while supporting the growth of urban centres.

The leaders of Padang Pariaman are now looking to establish the regency as a smart city, sustainable and livable with balanced rural-urban development. The partnership will bring to the regency Dassault Systèmes’ technological expertise and experience that have proven crucial in smart city projects in cities like Singapore or Rennes, France.

“We are seeing increasing internet and smartphone penetration in the population due to urbanisation in our regency and it is vital for us to drive IoT technology adoption at the public policy level to connect with our people and understand their needs,” said Mr. Drs. H. Ali Mukhni, Regent of Padang Pariaman.

“Smart city management is about understanding the local character of the city in relation to its environment and being able to customise the technology for these unique requirements. The collaborative aspect of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform makes it the perfect fit,” continued Masaki Sox Konno, Managing Director, Asia Pacific South, Dassault Systèmes.

Software AG Unveils New Enterprise Digital Twin Framework

Software AG Unveils New Enterprise Digital Twin Framework

Singapore: Software AG announced on 10 July 2018 the availability of a new Enterprise Digital Twin framework, built on the company’s ARIS platform and enables enterprises to create a digital model mirroring the characteristics, interdependencies and interrelationships of their processes, systems and assets.

By using Software’s ARIS Process Transformation and Management platform as foundation for an Enterprise Digital Twin Framework, Asia-based enterprises can gain end-to-end visibility and visualisation of their operations, gaining the transparency required to make better business decisions.

The ARIS-based Enterprise Digital Twin Framework ensures that processes are tightly linked across the enterprise with real-life data. ARIS is an integral part of the Digital Business Platform and has gained substantial customer adoption, supporting enterprises throughout their digital transformation.

Dr. Wolfram Jost, Chief Technology Officer, Software AG, said: “This combination of virtual and physical worlds enables enterprises across Asia to more efficiently manage the critical interdependencies and interrelationships fundamental to coping with complex challenges associated with digital transformation.”

Software AG’s Enterprise Digital Twin Framework is applicable to several use-cases, e.g. supply chain management, quality management, risk and compliance.

The Digital Business Platform is an adaptable technology layer that fits into, but does not replace, an organisation’s existing IT landscape.

“As more organisations in Asia embrace digital transformation, our new Digital Business Platform ensures rapid adoption of current and future technologies and market disruptions and grow sustainably with enhanced visibility and control,” said Anneliese Schulz, Vice President, Asia, Software AG.

Digital Transformation Of Manufacturing To Add US$387 Billion To APAC’s GDP By 2021

Digital Transformation Of Manufacturing To Add US$387 Billion To APAC’s GDP By 2021

Singapore: Asia Pacific’s GDP is expected to gain additional US$387 billion by 2021 with extra one percent growth annually—if the region’s manufacturing sector embraces digital transformation, according to new figures released by Microsoft on 23 April 2018.

Results for manufacturing are outlined in the study, “Unlocking the Economic Impact of Digital Transformation in Asia Pacific”, produced by Microsoft in partnership with IDC Asia/Pacific. It was based on the survey of 615 business leaders from the manufacturing sector across 15 markets in Asia Pacific.

“Those organisations that had already embarked on their digital transformation journeys gained improvements in the range of 13 percent to 17 percent last year. They will see at least 40 percent improvements in three years, with customer advocacy registering the highest improvement rate,” said Victor Lim, vice president, IDC Asia/Pacific.

The Study identifies the top three benefits of digital transformation that have a direct impact to bottom line performance:

  • Improvement in productivity
  • Improvement in profit margins
  • Costs reductions

Businesses are seeing long-term benefits in embracing digital transformation. Increased revenue from new products and services and improved customer advocacy rounded up the top five tracked benefits.

The Study identified key traits of Manufacturing Leaders against other Leaders, including the former’s higher likelihood to have a key executive leading their Digital Transformation efforts. It also recommends organisations to adopt a three-step data strategy to become a digital transformation leader—including collection of data, optimisation of existing products and services through data, and creating new business models with data.

Advanced Manufacturing Effort: Partnering Of Singapore & German Firms

Advanced Manufacturing Effort: Partnering Of Singapore & German Firms

Hannover, Germany: New agreements were inked on 24 April 2018 to boost cross-country partnerships and cooperative innovation between German and Singapore companies. This move is set to enhance Singapore’s manufacturing sector.

The agreement was established at the biennial Germany-Singapore Business Forum (GSBF) 2018, held at Hannover Messe—world’s largest industrial technology trade fair, where many memorandums of understanding were signed.

“Like Germany, Singapore places great emphasis on innovation. Our complementary strengths make it meaningful for German and Singaporean enterprises to be innovation partners and build deeper technical capabilities,” said S. Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry.

Enterprise Singapore (ESG) signed an MOU with the German Accelerator—which helps high-potential German start-ups to enter Southeast Asia through acceleration programmes. This MOU is expected to boost market access for both country’s start-ups, while promoting Singapore as a regional launchpad for German start-ups.

Two other partnerships were announced on that day.

To collaborate on integrating Industry 4.0 technologies and microtechnology, Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association partners with German industry association IVAM Fachverband Fur Mikrotechnik.

A third MOU was by Composite Cluster Singapore, Sakura Tech and Germany’s Covestro and Hufschmied to establish a Composite Application Centre in Singapore. The CAC will work with international leaders in composites research, providing a platform for companies to leverage latest technologies and solutions.

Advanced manufacturing, or Industry 4.0, merges machines and digital technologies like data analytics and artificial intelligence, creating the “smart factory”—a key driver of Singapore’s future economic growth.

Singapore’s PMI Eases In May, Still Seeing Expansion

Singapore’s PMI Eases In May, Still Seeing Expansion

Singapore: According to the latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI), Singapore’s manufacturing activity dipped a notch in May, in line with economists’ expectation of a gradual slowing of the sector’s growth since last year’s high.

A further 0.2-point dip, based on the barometer of industrial activity, will see slower expansion of 52.7.

For 21 months consecutively, the sector has maintained in expansionary mode despite the recent slightly lower reading. While a reading above 50 indicates growth, below it illustrates contraction.

“While some signs of caution can still be felt to date, manufacturing momentum remains intact and is likely not facing a sharp moderation,” said Barnabas Gan, economist at OCBC.

Manufacturing constitutes one-fifth of Singapore economy, being one of its key growth driver.

Recent PMI has arisen from slower growth in factory output, marginally flatter growth in new orders, employment, exports, and inventory. A 52.3 reading was clocked on the indicator for stocks of finished goods—highest since February 2011. Order backlog metric was recorded at its lowest, 50.3 from June 2017.

PMI of the electronic sector conversely inched up by 0.1 point, to a record reading of 52.3—the 22nd month of improved conditions.

The PMI was released shortly after a separate factory output data for April, indicating 9.1 percent of accelerated growth in industrial production.

Mixed PMI performances were recorded throughout the Asia Pacific region, seeing neutral or softer readings in China, India, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan. Economies with strengthened manufacturing conditions include Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

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