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Increasing Productivity And Quality Gains Through Digitalisation

Increasing Productivity And Quality Gains Through Digitalisation

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Hendrie Viktor, Regional Director at ZEISS Southeast Asia regarding current trends in the manufacturing and metrology industry.

1) Could you provide us with an overview of the current trends regarding the manufacturing industry in Asia?

In an attempt to soften the effects of globalisation, productivity and quality gain drives are most evident. Competing with neighbouring companies are no longer enough to secure one’s business interests. Through globalisation and commoditisation to some degree, the bar on price and quality has been raised exponentially. As a result, some manufacturing industries were adversely affected by consolidation. In my opinion, Asia in particular has been subjected to this harshly but responded well over the past decade—a great example are the quality gains on “Made in China” over the last few years. The relentless expectations on price competitiveness and quality standards has reached a point where traditional, incremental cost and quality gains are no longer enough and reaping the benefits of smart manufacturing or industry 4.0 is crucial.

2) To keep up with these manufacturing trends, what are the newest developments or technological advancements in ZEISS’s metrology solutions?

We address our customer’s ever-increasing productivity and quality requirements through solutions that enable manufacturers to inspect or measure faster and more frequently than before. Gone are the days of random sampling in a quality lab. In-process inspection and shop floor metrology have brought significant time savings and quality gains. Multi-purpose measuring instruments have replaced the need for multiple set-up’s, and workflow solutions have brought insights into manufacturing processes and quality that were previously unseen.

ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions has been and still is at the forefront of the inspection and dimensional metrology transformation and plan to keep it this way moving forward. We continue to make significant investments, at least 10 percent of our revenue, into R&D annually in order to continue to deliver market-shaping innovations.

3) With increasing digitalisation of the manufacturing sector, what are the main challenges faced by the metrology industry?

Firstly, the sudden shift can be overwhelming and we’ve seen countless processes being digitalised for the sake of it—with huge amounts of digital data being collected, but not put to good use. Determining where, when and how frequently digital data needs to be collected as well as how it will be put to valuable use is crucial but it remains a great challenge for many since skill shortages in the field of digitalisation exists. There is also data and platform incompatibility, or rather standardisation hurdles to overcome as suppliers mostly develop their own Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms. Lastly, data handling and security still deters many companies from taking that leap.

4) How do you think these challenges can be overcome?

Relevant education and continued learning will go a long way towards addressing hesitation and will help ensure digitalisation efforts pay off. I see the need for industry and universities or technical schools to work hand in hand. That will stimulate the need for faster adoption. Alliances between machine manufacturers can address platform and standardisation issues to unlock IIoT benefits. Such an example can be seen in the recently founded ADAMOS alliance, of which ZEISS is a founding member of.

5) Moving forward, where do you think the industry is headed in the next five to 10 years?

With the pace of today’s change, it would be difficult to even predict this with some degree of certainty. I think the value-add from productivity and quality gains through digitalisation and new manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing is going to be tremendous that consolidation is going to happen on a much broader scale. I see low volume, high mix through flexible manufacturing becoming a norm and thus bringing manufacturing closer to the end user, further reducing non-value-added costs. This will call for a very different approach to metrology.

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Digital Transformation Of The 3D Measurement Industry

Digital Transformation Of The 3D Measurement Industry

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Quah Beng Chieh, Head of Marketing (Asia Pacific) at FARO Technologies regarding FARO’s achievements for 2018, the company’s aims for 2019, and the trends that will shape the industry in 2019.

1. Can you sum up your company’s focus and achievements in 2018?

FARO is well-attuned to the industry’s trends and demands, and we continually invest efforts into developing new 3D measurement technology to cater to our customers’ needs. In 2018, FARO launched several cutting-edge measurement solutions that were developed with our customers’ challenges in mind. The 8-Axis Quantum FaroArm, the world’s only eight-axis portable metrology arm solution, seamlessly integrates with any FaroArm to enable operators to rotate a part in real-time, relative to the arm. When used in conjunction with the newly launched Prizm Laser Line Probe, which scans objects in high-resolution 3D color, users can speed up and simplify the inspection of dimensional and surface character quality issues for molded parts due to the Prizm’s true-to-life functionality. Another significant product launch is the introduction of the 6Probe for the FARO 6DoF Laser Tracker — a fully integrated hand-held probe for easily probing hidden, hard-to-reach features. Together, the patented FARO Super 6DoF and 6Probe total solution addresses a wide range of large scale metrology applications across a variety of manufacturing focused industries, including automotive, aerospace, construction, heavy equipment and shipbuilding. All these have contributed to significant revenue growth on over 2018, despite a poor economic environment.

 

2. What are your expectations on the regional economy in 2019?

According to a report by Grand View Research, the 3D metrology market is gaining importance due to an increasing demand for improved products and services across end-use sectors such as industrial, automotive, and power generation. This rise in demand can be attributed to growing adherence to international quality standards across the entire industry domain which has also encouraged greater demand for metrology equipment and services. Likewise, we are also expecting the Asia Pacific 3D metrology market to grow significantly due to continued economic growth in emerging countries like China, India and Southeast Asia.

 

3. What business trends in Asia capture your interest for growth next year?

The 3D measurement industry is constantly evolving due to increasingly complex market needs and requirements, and thus requires constant innovation to ensure a steady introduction of varied solutions. Digital transformation of the manufacturing industry continues to gain prominence, urging manufacturers to look for solutions that will allow them to digitise information and digitalise processes in order to improve their organisation’s response to market changes. Solutions with advanced technology that empower customers to tap on data-driven collaborations for improved productivity are also expected to rise to prominence in the market.

In addition to solutions that enable manufacturers to efficiently digitise product designs and relevant 3D measurement data, FARO will also continue to introduce solutions like the FARO Visual Inspect — which offers companies new opportunities for enhanced collaboration across departments and production processes. Using complex 3D data previously unavailable in a production line, and an augmented reality function that is suitable for all working environments, 3D measurement technology like the Visual Inspect can help manufacturers streamline their processes to be more flexible and nimble, while taking into account increasing cost pressures.

 

4.What do you think is the key industry trend to watch out in 2019?

Over the last decade, manufacturers’ measurement needs have grown to become increasingly complex as the designs of their products have become more complicated. This will likely continue to be true as manufacturers push boundaries in the product development process. Effectively, we expect that customers will require even more innovative, advanced technologies that meet their sophisticated measurement needs.

Manufacturers’ preferences are also shifting from off-line quality inspection to near-line or in-line measurement techniques in order to enable higher sampling rates and shorter inspection times. This will drive growth in the integration of CMMs and optical scanners with assembly lines for greater effectiveness, efficiency, and improved quality control.

 

5. What potential and opportunity do you see in the industry next year?

The manufacturing industry is ever-evolving. Customers today are much more aware of what they want and need, demanding improved efficiency and innovative products, and this trend is catalysed by the accelerated development in technology. Organisations, regardless of their size and shape, can survive and grow if they adapt quickly and stay abreast of the current manufacturing industry trends. To better equip our customers to do just that, FARO is actively working to offer solutions with advanced technology that allow them to enjoy greater efficiency and convenience. As the economy continues to grow in Asia, companies will seek to expand their operations, optimise to reduce cost, and expand capabilities to capture new markets. We expect a rise in manufacturers’ demand for measurement and imaging solutions to tackle their evolving metrology needs, and our team will be ready to respond by educating users across Asia, about our solutions and how their businesses can benefit from incorporating our technology.

 

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The Future Of Manufacturing Lies In Transparency And Connectivity

The Future Of Manufacturing Lies In Transparency And Connectivity

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Wong Seng Yeow, Business Development Manager at TRUMPF regarding current trends in the metrology and manufacturing industry.

  1. Could you provide us with an overview of the current trends regarding the manufacturing industry?

The manufacturing industry has evolved significantly over time – from steam engines to mass production with electricity, then automation and in recent years Industry 4.0. The latest trend may be described as the digital networking of manufacturing technology with big data and analytics, autonomous robots, Internet of Things, etc. Sometimes known as the fourth industrial revolution, it signifies the combination of traditional industrial practices with digital technology.

A key driving force for Industry 4.0 applications is the increased transparency and flexibility for the manufacturing industry. In the model of a Smart Factory production line, companies may analyse and respond optimally to fluctuations in production capacity and factory utilisation. Flexible production layouts allow them to deal with increasingly individualised products and reduced batch sizes, coupled with the possibility of reducing costs through increase in the degree of automation and improved efficiency. Another advantage is production stability through the adoption of predictive maintenance. Self-monitoring and regular evaluation of machines helps in preventive maintenance which leads to increased productivity and quality.  In cases of machine breakdowns, remote servicing may be done at significantly lower cost.

In a nutshell, the trend toward Industry 4.0 enables digitally managed product assembly, inventory management, resources management and service maintenance. Ideally, human intervention will be considerably reduced as processes will be largely managed and performed with artificial intelligence.

  1. With increasing digitalisation, how has TRUMPF kept up with these trends to remain competitive?

Amidst challenging business environment, TRUMPF has always managed to rise above its competition by upholding one of the company’s guiding principles “Courage to transform”. From the development of plasma cutters to EUV laser, this notion has played an integral role in empowering the company to take courageous, transformative decisions over the past decades. In the same vein, it sets the right framework for an effective digital transformation.

Over the years, digitalisation has already permeated many areas of our business. An example of this trend is the conceptualisation of TruConnect, TRUMPF Machine Tool’s advanced range of solutions for connected sheet metal fabrication, comprising of hardware, software and services. The suite of products lays the foundation for production facilities to streamline control with minimal human intervention. Within TruConnect, key products such as TruTops Fab software are testaments to TRUMPF’s dedication to commercialise solutions based on its digital ambition. They are our answers to customers’ rising expectations of quality as they struggle with diminishing batch sizes, fast delivery times and low prices.

  1. What are the main challenges faced by this industry in Asia?

Key challenges for digitalisation of the manufacturing industry in Asia include inadequate infrastructural readiness, awareness and knowledge competency.

In mature markets such as Europe, the knowledge and infrastructure required to reap the benefits of technology are present. However, in regions such as Southeast Asia, the extent of adoption of new technologies is limited as information technology infrastructure is relatively underdeveloped in emerging markets such as Myanmar.

Digitalization might still be a foreign topic to some companies as well as the potential advantages that follows, such as achieving operational transparency through data analytics. To the less-informed, digital transformation is a process which translates into unsavoury repercussions such as job displacement.

The unwillingness to embrace digitalisation also stems from the fact that employees are not sufficiently trained and equipped with the necessary knowledge. Without fully appreciating the advantages of digitalisation, decision makers will not be willing to incur cost to train employees with the required skillset means placing additional strain on their tight budgets.

  1. How can they be overcome?

Adoption of Industry 4.0 applications in Asia can be successfully implemented when the government, local companies and key industry leaders such as TRUMPF work together.

On the part of local manufacturing companies, it is first important to implement the digital strategy from top down. Decision makers should proactively analyse the process, tools and benefits of digitalisation. It is also crucial to address the unfounded insecurity of employees who have concerns about being replaced by new technology. In this regard, companies may seize the chance to train its labour force to be digitally-skilled, thereby enabling them to handle higher level processes. With a supportive workforce, companies can achieve a smooth end-to-end integration of their data and operational process.

As a market leader in the manufacturing industry, TRUMPF intends to continue empowering manufacturing companies in their digitalisation journey by offering solutions and services which suit their various needs. For instance, TRUMPF is committed to develop the South East Asian industry by educating manufacturers in the region on digitalisation through the TruConnect solution. Advance production-planning softwares and Smart Factory consultancy services are designed to support customers in their digitalisation journey through a step-by-step approach – first assessing existing manufacturing layout, identifying bottlenecks and challenges, then proposing technology solutions to optimise manufacturing processes and operations. That said, digitalisation should not be perceived as a one-time process but as a continuous transformation which should be sustained.

Naturally, TRUMPF also works closely with government agencies such as the Singapore Economic Development Board to develop the market infrastructure and constantly nurture companies in the region.

  1. Moving forward, where do you think the industry is headed in the next 5 to 10 years?

Over the next years, market condition will be increasingly difficult as companies compete not only on price but on efficiency as well. In such a market environment, a company’s success will depend on its courage to transform. As digitalisation allows the creation of new businesses and growth opportunities, a shift in dynamics can be expected as the industry consolidates – only players who are able to successfully digitalise will survive and thrive.

The future of manufacturing lies in transparency and connectivity. For TRUMPF, the majority of sales is still expected to come from machinery, but software and digital services will play an increasingly significant role. With an eye on growing our market share, we will continue to be the leading provider of new digital solutions in the manufacturing industry.

 

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Increasing Electromobility In Automotive Sector

Increasing Electromobility In Automotive Sector

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Mr. Stefano Corradini, Group Director Sales & Marketing at Marposs regarding current trends in the metrology and manufacturing industry.

  1. Could You provide us with an overview of the current trends regarding metrology in manufacturing?

In general, the trends in metrology follow those in manufacturing, so the most important trends are the increase of precision, flexibility and full process control. In the automotive sector, the new challenge presented by electromobility is shifting the focus to upgraded leak test controls to protect batteries and electric components from deteriorating conditions. Marposs provides a wide range of metrology solutions and is able to give answers to all above challenges.

  1. With increasing digitalisation of the manufacturing sector, how has Marposs kept up with these trends to remain competitive?

IoT, smart factory and industry 4.0 focuses on the same objective: providing every possible information on the manufacturing process to the controller. Marposs provides measuring devices to be fitted on virtually every type of manufacturing line, including cutting and deformation machines, as well as die casting and extrusion lines; those provides electronic information to the machine controller which can be used to improve the manufacturing efficiency. Marposs also provides dedicated softwares to help customers elaborate, manage above data and improve production quality.

  1. What are the main challenges faced by the metrology industry in Asia?

Asia is not much different from other part of the Industrial world as described in the first question. Compared with other areas, some countries in Asia have a bigger growth rate in the industrial sector. This makes improved production quality even more critical since it goes in combination with production increase, thus creating a bigger challenge for every player involved.

  1. How can they be overcome?

The answer is much easy: investments! To be able to provide successful solutions and to be an appreciated partner for the manufacturing industry, it is necessary to invest in new technologies, solutions and in human resources to support the growing demand. Marposs has ventured into both paths by investing in both internal R&D and acquiring hi-tech companies providing solutions complementary with our traditional ones, thus increasing our proposal to the market as well as our organisation. Today, Marposs is a group of companies accounting more than 3,500 employees and is present in 80 locations across 25 different countries. In Asia, we are present in China (with more than 700 people and local production site), Japan (since 1970 and with 150 people), South Korea, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and also Vietnam since 2016, where the market is growing really fast. Almost 50 percent of Marposs sales per year are delivered to Asia.

  1. Moving forward, where do you think the industry is headed in the next 5 to 10 years?

Really difficult to say, given the multiple uncertainties of these days. For sure, the trend moving towards increase electromobility will contribute to manufacturing challenges in the next few years, changing not only the life of people living in the big towns, but also the industrial paradigms in all sectors relating to automotive. Marposs is also ready to face the challenge, having developed dedicated solutions to improve manufacturing of main EV components such as batteries (modules, packs, trays, etc), drive units and ultra-light chassis components.

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Interview With Asif Chowdhury, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Business Development At UTAC

Interview With Asif Chowdhury, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Business Development At UTAC

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Asif Chowdhury, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Business Development at UTAC regarding UTAC’s achievements for 2018, the company’s aims for 2019, and the trends that will shape the industry in the following year.

  1. Can you sum up your company’s focus and achievements in 2018?

2018 has been a very good year for UTAC, especially with respect to winning some key strategic customer engagements which will likely drive revenue for years to come.

For example, UTAC has achieved a very key business win with a major fabless company involving WLCSP requiring leading-edge wafer process technology, which we are now in the process of developing and qualifying.

Furthermore, we have had major lead frame business off-load from one of the top Integrated Device Manufacturer (IDM)’s internal facility which was won this year. These are just some examples of the many key engagements that we have with IDMs and Fabless Semi companies.

Our automotive as well as industrial business continues to grow and we are in line with increasing our revenue for both of these market segments this year.

In 2018, we are also very proud of our significant market share gain in power packaging, which utilises Cu-Clip technology in our Thailand factory. The demand for these power devices have been growing due to the growth in cloud computing servers and also in the automotive space. We have also made very good progress in increasing our high-end MEMS packaging business with top major MEMS players in Europe. MEMS products continue to grow, driven by the growth in IoT, automotive and mobile applications.

We have also enjoyed the highest number of RFQs, (or Requests for Quotes for new business) in 2018 which is essentially a testament of potential pipeline business. We had a record number of automotive RFQ wins in the second quarter of 2018.

We are very pleased with our higher level of engagement with customers and growth in our focus areas in 2018 and beyond.

  1. What business trends in Asia capture your interest for growth next year?

The semiconductor sector is a very global business even though many of the activities, especially manufacturing, are focused here in Asia. With the waves of consolidations in recent years, one trend that UTAC follows in Asia is the consolidation of IDM factories located here.

The streamlining of manufacturing activities by IDM factories provides opportunities for OSATs to gain market share. In fact, UTAC’s last acquisition was three Panasonic assembly and test facilities in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. We will continue to follow and keep our eye on such trends, particularly in Asia.

Beyond that, we are also following the trade issues between the United States and China closely. With eight assembly and test manufacturing locations in Asia but outside China, we will be focused on taking advantage of or perhaps even help facilitate our customers who are looking to decrease their footprint for assembly and test in China if the tariffs continue.

  1. What do you think is the key industry trend to watch out for 2019?

As we exit in 2018, there are some concerns about how the semiconductor market will perform in 2019 and also perhaps in 2020. The industry has been enjoying consecutive growth for the past few years with double-digit growth in 2017 and also 2018. However, there is a sense of overall pessimism – which is apparent from the negative performance of many of the semiconductor companies’ stocks during the last month.

The memory market is cooling especially from a pricing standpoint both for DRAM and Flash. Additionally, even though the inventory level for IDMs and fabless companies have steadily come down, it is still on the high side. While the Q4 numbers are not out yet, we expect that the average inventory days will still be well over 100 days.

From the semiconductor market performance and overall market chatter, it seems like we might be going into a market slowdown in 2019 – the question is how significant this will be. Our industry is cyclic, however, the amplitude of these cycles has come down significantly since 2014. We are optimistic that even if 2019 turns out to be a down market, it will be a low single digit. We will be watching our customers’ forecasts and overall market demand very closely as we go into 2019.

  1. What potential and opportunities do you see in the semiconductor industry next year?

Despite the possible market slowdown, there will be pockets of opportunities in 2019 and beyond. Analog products continue to show the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR), in the high single-digit through 2022 driven by demand for semiconductor products in the Automotive, Industrial, IoT market and Power products.

UTAC is well-positioned in all these segments with both packaging and test solutions. Automotive semiconductor products are estimated to grow by over 10% CAGR through 2022, especially with the potential of the proliferation of both electric and autonomous vehicles. Despite the current slowdown, we expect automotive semiconductor demand to continue to be relatively strong.

From a technology perspective, we will be keeping a close eye on the deployment of both 5G infrastructure and handsets towards the end of 2019. UTAC has been investing in the development of packaging and test technologies which are key for the 5G wave.

The server market will also continue to grow in 2019, fuelled by continuous demand in cloud computing. Our Cu-Clip power package solutions are well suited for this as well as automotive power application.

Finally, we are also keeping an eye on wafer technology such as silicon carbide (SiC) which could be a potential growth engine for the semiconductor industry.

 

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Interview With Andrea Ceretti, CEO At Faccin S.p.A

Interview With Andrea Ceretti, CEO at Faccin S.p.A

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Mr. Andrea Ceretti, CEO at Faccin S.p.A regarding current trends and outlook of the manufacturing and metal forming industry.

  1. Could you provide us with an overview of the current trends regarding the manufacturing industry?

There will be an increase in the demand of metal formed products in the market, but due to the current geopolitical situation, the high volatility will push metal fabricators to be as flexible and as reactive as possible. The metal industry will attempt to standardise as much as possible with measures like industry 4.0 in order to maximise the production capacity of each equipment, to apply energy saving measures and lobby/demand the governments for more tax reforms and incentives to stay competitive and improve the workforce development.

 

  1. With increasing digitalisation, how has Faccin kept up with these trends to remain competitive.

It is our core business to develop top technology to help manufacturers maximise from our machines and we realise industry 4.0 is one of the ways to capitalise on the technology we already provide. Our machines are ready for industry 4.0 thanks to SMART packages that offer features like systems diagnosis, teleservice, management control, drawing imports, rolling and production lot statistics and flexible network solutions between others, helping the manufacturers of today, face the challenges of tomorrow. Indeed, we have started thinking about industry 5.0 as our company attitude.

 

  1. What are the main challenges faced by this industry in Asia

The fluctuations in the market and the struggle to find skilled workers are driving fabricators to replace their old equipment with high quality gear, principally looking for accuracy and automation to increase their production output, which is precisely what our group proposes. We focus in providing metal forming companies with equipment that is of the maximum quality, powerful, cutting-edge and most importantly, accurate.

 

  1. How can they be overcome?

As steel prices increases and the margins grow smaller, accuracy is the answer. We design our machines to offer a return of investment centered on the accuracy of the forming process and avoidance of metal waste, always integrating powerful forefront technology that increases the output cycle and return of investment.

 

  1. Moving forward, where do you think the industry is headed in the next 5 to 10 years?

The metal forming industry in general is subject to the cycles of the market economy like any other industry. In today’s world, these cycles are much shorter than in the past and companies that do not adapt and do not prepare beforehand with the latest technology will struggle when the markets fluctuate. Today, it is emerging regions and their rising demand in energy like Asia that are backing the global growth in the demand for the metal forming industry.

 

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Interview With Jun Chie, Vice President & General Manager At Keysight

Interview With Jun Chie, Vice President & General Manager At Keysight

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Jun Chie, Vice President & General Manager at Keysight regarding Keysight’s achievements for 2018, the company’s aims for 2019 and the trends that will shape the industry next year.

 1. Can you sum up your company’s focus and achievements in 2018?

 Keysight’s focus in 2018 revolved around 5G technology, automotive & energy, network visibility.

Asia saw greater demand for research & development for 5G, particularly in the wireless ecosystem. We also saw a growth in data center next-generation 400GbE and high-speed digital tests.

Automotive & energy-related orders from our customers have also increased over the past two years. Additionally, driven by our robust 5G solutions, we are pleased that network security orders from our customers such as leading mobile operators in Japan, Korea, China and the United States have surged too.

Some key offerings Keysight launched in 2018 include PathWave and KeysightCare to enable customers to not only accelerate innovation and product development from concept through manufacturing and deployment but also offers design and test engineers dedicated, proactive support for instruments, software, and solutions. In 2019, Keysight will continue to transition from being a product-focused company to a solutions-led one, and our new solutions embody this move.

Our strength in network security has also extended to our visibility solutions, following the acquisition of Ixia in 2017. This has allowed for an expansion in both the depth and breadth of our portfolio. With the combined strength of Keysight and Ixia’s solutions in network testing, visibility, wireless and physical layer test and measurement, we can deliver full end-to-end solutions across the communications workflow for our customers.

 

2. What business trends in Asia are of interest to your company in 2019?

In 2019, we will continue to focus on these key areas in Asia – 5G, Automotive & Energy, Network Visibility.

Our broad portfolio of 5G solutions coupled with the engagement with leading market makers strengthens Keysight’s leading position in this fast-growing market. Countries like South Korea, Japan and Singapore are leading the way; with South Korea’s commercial roll-out of 5G services in this year. Operators in Japan are also trialling pilot services on schedule towards full 5G operation at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Singapore is no stranger to 5G as well. Companies and education institutions like Singtel, Ericsson and Singapore Polytechnic are partners in the development and build of a local 5G ecosystem. With the digital infrastructure in place, we will see an increase in commercial enterprises leveraging on 5G technologies for their services/products.

In terms of automotive and energy, Keysight believes that by 2025 every car on the road will be connected in some way. Access to wireless communication networks will be critical for safer and autonomous driving. More than ever, we are committed to work and serve customers to support innovative projects that will drive the automotive and energy industries. In fact, Keysight established four Automotive Customer Centres in the world, with the most recent center opened in January 2019 in Nagoya, Japan. The center includes customer electronic test and measurement labs, technical experts, and state-of-the-art test equipment, as well as a customer training facility for hands-on workshops and seminars.

 

3.What do you think is the key industry trend to watch out for 2019?

We are currently witnessing an unprecedented boom in data volumes following the proliferation of connected devices and the move from 4G to 5G communications.

By 2020, there will be 20 billion connected devices, with each individual predicted to be connected to an upwards of 10 devices, thus resulting in a predicted trillion gigabytes of stored data.

The huge data boom in turn spells tremendous growth potential in the 5G technology market – this data will require ultra-fast transmission and low latency rates that our current 4G technology is not equipped to handle.

5G connectivity is the solution to this. Autonomous driving is a case in point. In a sudden emergency-brake scenario, the safety features of the autonomous car system will immediately emit a real-time warning to vehicles that are following it to prevent a chain collision. To achieve this, the signals from the lead car must be received ultra-fast for the following cars to take the necessary action.

 

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Interview With Mr. Tim Sladden, Vice President Of Operations – Asia At OGP

Interview With Mr. Tim Sladden, Vice President of Operations – Asia at OGP

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to interview Mr. Tim Sladden, Vice President of Operations – Asia at OGP regarding OGP’s achievements for 2018, the company’s aims for 2019, and the trends that will shape the industry in the following year.

1) Can you sum up your company’s focus and achievements in 2018?

Throughout 2018 our focus was to help our customers in the Asia Pacific region meet their rapidly increasing manufacturing capacity goals.  Many manufacturers in the Electronics, Medical, Automotive and Aerospace industries were increasing their capacity, while others were upgrading existing systems with the latest electronics and software to meet unprecedented demand for advanced products which required advanced metrology solutions to help assure design and quality goals. OGP was proud to deliver a record number of optical and multisensor measurement systems and a great many system upgrades in the region in 2018.

2) What are your expectations for the regional economy in 2019?

In 2019, we expect that the rate of investment in new manufacturing capacities to begin to level off, but customer expectations for increased efficiency will continue to rise. With metrology being one of the key contributors to manufacturing efficiency, it is expected that as the trend of increased part complexity and tighter tolerances continues, demand for new metrology systems and upgrades will continue to be high throughout the year.

3) What business trends in Asia are of interest to your company in 2019?

Increased interconnectedness of all manufacturing systems from design through quality via IoT, and new 5G mobile technology will begin to impact a wide range of industries and markets.  The shelf-life of technology will become shorter as consumers continue to demand the next new thing.  Advances in medical technology and greater access to health care for patients in many parts of the world will make their mark on the industry as well.  While there are a few clouds over parts of the global economy, the general outlook for 2019 remains quite sunny.

4) What do you think is the key industry trend to watch out for 2019?

Rising expectations for makers of manufacturing equipment to provide ”process” expertise along with equipment and services will be one very important trend in 2019.  Following more than a year of significant manufacturing capacity increases, customers at all points in the global value chain will have heightened expectations for faster services that are more specialised. Manufacturers will also have to improve their production quality as well as their capacity for making products.

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Interview With Mr. Pierre Teszner, President & Regional Director, Southeast Asia At Rockwell Automation

Interview With Mr. Pierre Teszner, President & Regional Director, Southeast Asia at Rockwell Automation

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to interview Mr. Pierre Teszner, President & Regional Director, Southeast Asia at Rockwell Automation regarding Rockwell’s achievements for 2018, the company’s aims for 2019, and the trends that will shape the industry in the following year.

1) Can you sum up your company’s focus and achievements in 2018?

Rockwell Automation is the world’s largest company solely devoted to industrial automation. The Connected Enterprise, which is how we implement smart manufacturing capabilities for our customers, is at the heart of everything we do. In 2018, our focus at Rockwell Automation has been to bring The Connected Enterprise to life for our customers.

With every action we took in 2018, we grew the strength of our distributors, system integrators and machine builder partners to bring the best automation and information solutions to our customers. Our partnership with PTC and the launch of our new branding towards the end of our fiscal year 2018, position Rockwell Automation tremendously well to bringing the Connected Enterprise to life for all customers and adapting it to local markets regardless of customer size, industry or geography.

2) What are your expectations on the regional economy in 2019?

The outlook for the regional economy of Southeast Asia for 2019 is positive. Factoring the risks inherent in the global trade and tariff arena, we do see a high likelihood for continued growth in the region supported by government investments (e.g. EEC Corridor in Thailand).

We also expect the FDI/ODI gaining strength into industries such as CPG (including companies involved with food production, packaged goods and beverages) and Oil & Gas.  Customers are particularly investing in Southeast Asia as a regional manufacturing hub as they perceive has fewer risks and less tariff exposure.

3) What business trends in Asia capture your interest for growth next year?

Next year, we’re focused on helping our customers take the first steps to digital transformation, or continue their journey, as companies are looking at digitisation to unlock increased productivity.

Rockwell Automation has a single-minded commitment to bringing the Connected Enterprise to life for all customers Together with our partners PTC and Claroty, we’re well positioned to bridge companies’ digitisation gap through scalable solutions that suit their unique business needs – either on a CAPEX or an OPEX (infrastructure or software as-a-service), or any combination needed.

4) What do you think is the key industry trend to watch out for 2019?

The key 2019 industry trends for Rockwell Automation are digital transformation and cybersecurity protection for our customers.

The key driver for digital transformation is the need to keep pace with the competition. Digital transformation enables organisations to optimise their existing processes and increase productivity and efficiencies within the business.

When it comes to cybersecurity, the best defence for companies is a good offence with a robust prevention and response plan to protect industrial control systems from ever-increasing cyberattacks.

5) What potential and opportunity do you see in the industry next year?

“To drive growth in the next 3-5 years, Rockwell Automation is focused on continuing to develop deep industry and country expertise and building our supplier and distributer networks. Additionally, with the region’s need for digitisation and cybersecurity we also see opportunities to help our customers to understand the world of digital transformation and the benefits that it offers.

“Through partnerships with the best universities, local governments, and Industry 4.0 agencies, Rockwell Automation is committed to elevating the industry and its needs by up-skilling students and re-skill working professionals so that the digitisation journey brings benefits to everyone.”

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Updates On The Progress Of Thailand 4.0

Updates On The Progress Of Thailand 4.0

Industry 4.0 has transformed the way in which manufacturing is conducted and with buzzwords such as artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, cobots and cybersecurity dominating the industry. This has resulted in emerging markets such as Thailand developing innovative solutions in order to prosper. Article by Hazel Koh.

According to the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI), Thailand 4.0 is a result of the Thai government’s vision of a new economic model, aimed at pulling Thailand out of the “middle-income trap”. And through this vision, robotics and automation technology is expected to play an increasingly important role in manufacturing. This builds on Thailand’s progress in the last three decades whereby the country grew in global rankings in terms of its automotive, electronics and electrical appliance industries, which are also the main industries that drive global robotics and automation growth. Hence, as the world’s sixth-largest commercial vehicle producer, Thailand has been using robotics and automation technology at an increasing rate.

Growth In Industrial Machinery

Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of Thailand BOI, said at the end of 2017 that, “Advanced technologies are changing the business landscape, especially in the manufacturing sector.” And he further added that, “We now see many companies transitioning into Industry 4.0, making use of AI, big data management and the Internet of Things (IoT) to seamlessly work together to exponentially increase both production and productivity.”

Therefore, it can be observed that over the past few years, manufacturers in Thailand have increasingly automated manufacturing processes and adopted the use of machinery in order to remain competitive globally. In addition, 50 percent of Thai manufacturers are considering the adoption of automation systems within one to three years while medium-sized businesses will be ready in three to five years, followed by small companies in five years or more.

This has resulted in a dramatic expansion of the Thai industrial robots industry and between 2013 and 2018, Thailand’s exports of industrial robots has increased by 133 percent.

Infrastructural And Ecosystem Support

In order to facilitate the development of Thailand 4.0, Thailand has invested in numerous support networks. For example, educational institutions are playing a role in supporting research and development as well as human resource training and this can be observed in the case of the Institute of Field Robotics (FIBO) of King Mongkut’s University of Technology, Thonburi, which is currently offering undergraduate and graduate programmes in robotics and automation engineering.

To top this off, The BOI offers a consortium of tax and non-tax investment incentives for projects that meet national development objectives in automation and robotics. For example, machinery and import duty for raw materials that are meant for export production can attain up to eight years of corporate income tax exemption while for projects related to assembling robots or automation equipment and/or automation parts, investors will be exempted from corporate tax for five years. And investments relating to robotics and automation in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) will also be given another 50 percent corporate income tax reduction for an additional five years.

Future Outlook And Challenges

As Thailand builds on its vision of advance manufacturing, the workforce has to be trained in order to meet the changing industry requirements. And it has been estimated by the ILO that 56 percent of Thai-based jobs are at high risk of being automated during the next two decades. Therefore,as the government continues to focus on the development of robotics, mechanics, AI and automation, Thailand has to invest on its workforce in order to remain competitive.

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