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. By Hazel Koh
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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