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Additive Manufacturing And Journey To Industry 4.0

Additive Manufacturing and Journey to Industry 4.0

Steve Bell of Renishaw Singapore discusses the additive manufacturing trend for aerospace parts, and the journey towards Industry 4.0. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Steve Bell

At the recent Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific (ITAP) 2019 event in Singapore, Renishaw (Singapore) Pte Ltd showcased an end-to-end solution involving the production of aerospace blades and its assembly into a blisk. From additive manufacturing, where the aerospace blades were manufactured (Station 1) though metal 3D printing; to the calibration station, which featured Renishaw’s XL80 and XK10 calibration products, designed to make sure that machining processes are as accurate as they can be; to Station 3, which featured a machine tool showing some of Renishaw’s probing technologies, particularly SupaScan, which is a method of using a scanning probe on a machine tool to gather data quickly, and enables set up of a part very accurately. Alongside the machine tool is the Equator gauging system, which makes sure that parts being finished on the machine tool stay within tolerance. Finally, Station 4 showcases the final assembly of the blades into a blisk, which is being inspected on a CMM using a REVO 5-axis scanning technology.

“Basically, we’re looking at a complete, end-to-end story of the part,” says Steve Bell, general manager for ASEAN at Renishaw Singapore. “All of that supplemented by Renishaw Central, a software product that allows you to gather data from the complete mix of Renishaw equipment; and from there, to use the data to make intelligent decisions about your manufacturing processes.

According to Bell, it is the first time for company to attend ITAP. “We heard good things about last year’s ITAP event, so we decided to take part this year,” he says. “What we are seeing is that it is very much focused on automation, smart factory, Industry 4.0—these are all things that are of interest to us as a company. Industry 4.0 is all about connectivity of your equipment, getting useful information from the equipment, and then using that information to make sensible decisions about how you continue your manufacturing process. And all of that is very much what Renishaw is about.”

Growing Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry in Singapore is a growing market, according to Bell. “It is very much an industry niche within Singapore,” he says.

The challenge, though, is the accuracy, the need for conformity of parts, and the need to reach the approval levels that are essential within the industry.

“The tolerances are constantly getting tighter, so, people are looking for improvements in performance, they are looking for faster, more consistent ways to manufacture parts,” he notes. “These areas are where we think we have a lot to contribute.”

An evolution in the manufacture of aerospace parts is taking place, especially with the emergence of 3D printing. In fact, the blades showcased here by Renishaw feature a hollow lattice-structured central section. “The aim is to make the blades strong, but also as light as possible,” says Bell.

Journey to Industry 4.0

ITAP covers the full gamut of industry—from top level factory management systems, all the way down to shop floor tooling.

“Industry 4.0 is meant to bring all of the diverse parts together, to bring the data on to one single platform where decisions can be made,” says Bell. “So, I think, an exhibition that reflects that, with a focus on Industry 4.0, makes a lot of sense to us.”

According to Bell, people have been talking a lot about Industry 4.0, “but the first signs of real implementation are just beginning to be seen,” he says. The picture across Southeast Asia is quite mixed. While some markets are moving rapidly to Industry 4.0, for others, it is going to take longer toward smart factory implementation.

“I look after Southeast Asia. In Singapore, a lot of the heavy lifting has been done by the Singapore government, so they are pushing the SMEs towards an understanding of Industry 4.0, and hopefully, also implementation. From our point of view as a company, our first requirement is to make sure that our own equipment can be integrated into central systems ; we need to have all the hooks in place so that the data from our equipment can be ported into other factory management systems. That’s exactly what we are trying to showcase at this exhibition.”

 

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RS Components Discuses Metalworking Industry Trends

RS Components Discuses Metalworking Industry Trends

RS Components and Allied Electronics & Automation are the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc, the global distributor for engineers. The company offers more than 650,000 industrial and electronic products, sourced from 2,500 leading suppliers, and provide a wide range of value-added services to over one million customers. With operations in 32 countries, RS Components trades through multiple channels and ships around 50,000 parcels a day.

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Syed Suroor Anwar, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Strategy, Product, Supplier, Pricing & Inventory Management for RS Components, talks about the manufacturing trends he’s seeing for the metalworking industry, and his outlook for the next year.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR COMPANY’S KEY COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES?

Syed Suroor Anwar

Syed Suroor Anwar

Syed Suroor Anwar (SA): RS offers a range of value-added services that offers customers the ability to reduce costs, improve efficiency and get the latest and market leading solutions. These include the RS eProcurement platform, which is one of the key Industry 4.0 support and assists with clients’ sourcing costs, consolidate users purchasing processes, and saves time for the users; and RS Product Plus solution, which helps consolidating users’ supplier database for long tail requirements, leverages spend, speeds up sourcing, tightens purchasing controls and sources all the products that our clients need via RS Components in build catalogue functions.

RS also offers a private label product like called RS PRO that helps customers in saving costs through a high-quality range backed up with a three-year warranty and a very attractive price comparing to branded products.

All together resulting in reducing total costs of ownership and most importantly let our clients focus on what matters for them.

Last but not least, DesignSpark is RS Components’ free online design community and resource centre for makers, students and design engineers sharing content ranging from designs & prototypes to final products.

WHAT SORT OF CHALLENGES ARE YOU SEEING IN THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY?

SA: Some of the key challenges we see in the metalworking industry are related to the overall visibility and maturity of the supply chain. With increasing costs and competitive market, there is a huge pressure on our customers to operate the supply chain more effectively and take out unwanted costs like inventory, purchasing, logistics, and more. Lack of visibility can also cause long delays and unproductive downtime in facilities.

The labour situation in metalworking industries remain volatile with low retention and lack of qualified candidates, hence, pushing the companies towards usage of more advanced technologies to help operations run faster and better, and eventually move towards Industry 4.0.

RS has a significant portfolio of advanced products and technologies that can help customers in modernising their infrastructure and overcoming the risks.

WHAT NEW TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS HAVE YOU SEEN EMERGING OVER THE PAST YEAR THAT YOU THINK WILL GREATLY IMPACT THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY?

SA: Digitalisation: In order to maintain the overall operational efficiency and fully utilise the capacity, the metalworking industry is moving towards a connected digital solution. To break through the human ability bottleneck in monitoring complex systems and perform extensive real-time calculations, digitisation became, perhaps, the only solution for the current seemingly dead end.

Digitalisation, combined with the modernisation of the customer channels and usage of e-commerce to generate demand, and coordinating the supply cycle with usage of digitally generated data, will help supply chain professionals in effectively managing their supply chain from end to end.

3D printing and additive manufacturing: The advancement in this technology will help print produce prototypes, small production runs, and a variety of parts without going through a lengthy design to build cycle, hence, improving lead times and saving a lot of costs. The technology for metals is still in its infancy but has a significant growth potential in the coming years with the development of desktop metal printers.

Automation and AI: This has generally been adopted in order to drive more efficiency in operations and to improve quality and inspection with usage of imaging technology, providing customers with better lead time and higher quality products while reducing the operating costs. This can also open the doors for improving asset utilisation and 24×7 operations. This trend is going to be the biggest driver for profitability for metalworking companies in a volatile and a highly priced, competitive market.

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY NOW IN TERMS INDUSTRY 4.0?

SA: Industry 4.0 is a reality and is a being embraced by the companies in the metalworking industry, but the trend is far behind other sectors like manufacturing, semiconductor industry, and others. But with the added pressure on costs and volatility of the market, we will see a significant uptake in the coming future.

The biggest area of influence and that is lacking behind is the supply chain, and companies need to move away from the traditional ways of managing it and embrace the latest technology to provide faster production, incredible accuracy, and excellent customer service. Digitisation of the supply chain is a must in order to maintain flexibility in operations and demand supply parity.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN MARKET FOR METALWORKING DEVELOPING OVER THE NEXT YEAR?

SA: Southeast Asia is a strategic growth area for the metalworking industry due to the availability of skilled labour, cheaper overhead costs, and sustainable supply chain. Together with this, most of the companies are pushing for smarter manufacturing facilities, high-end production, and Industry 4.0, hence, making it a significant opportunity area.

These is an increasing digital uptake in Southeast Asia customers, and that provides the companies end to end visibility of their supply chain. With the push toward Industry 4.0, it is only going to increase.

Southeast Asia is also a mixed bag of geographies where markets like Singapore and Malaysia are moving towards more digitalisation and Industry 4.0 while the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are providing large companies with a good base for low-cost mass manufacturing, hence, opening the opportunity to grow and invest in metalworking sector.

WHICH INDUSTRY SEGMENTS IN ASEAN ARE YOU SEEING STRONG GROWTH IN 2020?

SA: We predict that ASEAN will be growing quiet significantly in the infrastructure industry and high-tech manufacturing industry because of the movement of industries from China to Southeast Asia due to the current political situation. We also anticipate the turnaround of the semiconductor industry that will lead to a rise in machine building demand.

As most of these industries require a lot of transportation across multiple geographies, the maritime industry will be indirectly benefitted through the process.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE CUSTOMERS WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING THE SOLUTIONS TO THEIR METALWORKING PROCESSES?

SA: I would suggest the customers to be open minded in choosing and using the new technologies as this can become your competitive advantage in the overall cut-throat industry.

 

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ITAP 2019: Stay Ahead, Stay Relevant

ITAP 2019: Stay Ahead, Stay Relevant

Stay ahead and relevant with Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC ITAP 2019 – A HANNOVER MESSE event, held from October 22 to 24 at Singapore EXPO & MAX Atria, brings together a growing ecosystem of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) practitioners and connects attendees to all aspects of their I4.0 needs, from learning and networking to problem-solving and retrofitting.

With trade tensions, slowing Chinese economic growth, and an uncertain Eurozone casting a shadow on a strained global economy, there is no better time than now for businesses to progress with transformation efforts and leverage available initiatives to enhance competitiveness through innovation, productivity growth and internationalisation.

ITAP 2019 SMEs in Asia-Pacific will not only hear from thought leaders, but will also be treated to an immersive experience through a showcase of actionable I4.0 solutions for companies looking to future-proof their businesses. Mr. Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, will be the Guest-of-Honour at the event’s Opening Ceremony.

Simon Lim, Executive Director for Manufacturing & Engineering, Enterprise Singapore said, “Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC ITAP 2019 brings together leading manufacturers and solution providers to exchange best practices, discover new technologies and catalyse partnerships in I4.0. Singapore has a strong manufacturing industry, which has enterprises in both manufacturing and the provision of manufacturing expertise and solutions. They are excited to be participating in the event, contributing to the exchange of best practices and technology in the industry. Enterprise Singapore is working closely with these enterprises to facilitate partnerships and support their move towards building smart factories of the future.”

Organised by SingEx Exhibitions and international partner, Deutsche Messe, Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC won the “Best Exhibition Organiser” award at the Singapore Tourism Awards for last year’s edition. The ITAP 2019 seminal event serves as a catalyst for the development of I4.0 thinking from awareness to driving adoption.

“With the comprehensive personalised learning opportunities provided for attendees, the show will help them – especially beginners and early adopters – find the right fit of I4.0 solutions with their stage of business development. SMEs, in particular, will find a support system where industry players can provide customisable and cost-effective solutions to help them optimise manufacturing processes or reinvent business models that satisfy client demands; and expand into new markets to grow their customer base,” shared Aloysius Arlando, CEO, SingEx Holdings. “We have also developed a digital engagement platform to help companies and practitioners learn, network and collaborate beyond the show.”

“The manufacturing industry today faces very different challenges compared to only a few years ago,” said Dr. Jochen Köckler, CEO, Deutsche Messe AG. “For example, customers want individualised products and same-day delivery at lower prices. In order to remain competitive in the global marketplace, companies need to embrace digitalisation. Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC brings together users and providers of all sizes to actively shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Singapore and the surrounding region.”

An immersive learning journey

Designed as a personalised learning journey with LIVE demonstrations, the “Gateway to Industry 4.0” is a curated gallery powered by TÜV SÜD on the evolution of I4.0. It aims to inspire delegates on how to implement I4.0 concepts by contrasting old-technology exhibits versus the new, showcasing the transformation and outcomes of practical applications demonstrating real benefits. Two new areas of interest are:

  • Collaboration Lab – Co-creation and demonstration areas for solution providers and manufacturers to discuss test-bedding and retrofitting solutions for a stepped approach towards progressive adoption of I4.0.
  • Robotics Experimental Zone – Future Lab featuring an innovative robotics display and interactive exhibits. Deepen the understanding on robotics application via talks, presentation sessions and workshops, and ideal for System Integrators, Product companies, Roboticist & Technologists, Procurement Engineers, I4.0 solution providers, Regional Robotics and automation stakeholders.

Other curated platforms that have been added to maintain momentum for I4.0 learning include: Over 60 Sandbox sessions providing practical learnings based on industry-specific challenges; a Research and Technology Zone to activate business collaborations through open innovations with technology providers and seekers; over 100 Guided Tours with 8 tracks covering 12 industries; and island-wide Technical Tours to leading R&D centres.

 

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Industry 4.0: Are Businesses Stepping Up To Be Future Ready?

Industry 4.0: Are Businesses Stepping Up To Be Future Ready?

Vincent Chong, President and Chief Executive Officer of ST Engineering shares his views on the adoption of Industry 4.0 in Asia.

The inaugural Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific (ITAP), a Hannover Messe event, concluded in Singapore recently. As business leaders, experts, government representatives and other stakeholders gathered to discuss Industry 4.0, what emerged clear to all was that technology adoption across Asia remained uneven.

Is this a case of change not happening? Far from so. Industry 4.0 is very much an evolution rather than a revolution. Even as we speak, industries are transforming. Today, it is not a question of whether businesses are future-ready; it is whether businesses realise the implications of not participating in the fourth industrial revolution when it will move on regardless of their actions.

Industry Evolution

Driven by the rising operational costs and a human resources crunch, the local industry in Singapore understands that it is imperative to adopt Industry 4.0.

Even for ST Engineering as a technology and engineering group, digitalisation of the workflow at the Aerospace business or the “Aerobook” occurred more than 10 years ago.

This began with the adoption of Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) and robotics, with other advanced technologies progressing only when the business case became clearer. Other possibilities were also adopted to redefine the company’s value proposition such as customer participation and mobile interfaces in the digitised process, improved interaction via AR between engineers and mechanics to reduce the time taken for repairs; reducing turnaround time and minimising inventory stock-keeping of aircraft parts through additive manufacturing. These have all led to productivity improvements of up to 15 percent to date. Looking forward, ST Engineering will also be certifying the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for aircraft inspection, which, when implemented will help to improve efficiency and minimise workplace accidents.

Furthermore, with technological advances in the company’s aerospace business, the company is able to drive goals to improve productivity and capture efficiencies which are essential in order to operate in higher-cost locations like Singapore, Germany and the US. This augments the company’s competitive differentiators in quality and value.

Challenges Of Transformation

Government support is not lacking for Industry 4.0. In March this year, the Economic Development Board (EDB) announced that it would be funding 300 companies to undergo assessments using the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index, so as to accelerate the industry transformation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large local enterprises (LLEs) and multinational corporations (MNCs) across various industries. This follows the launch of as many as 23 industry transformation maps, public-private partnerships like Tech Labs (ARTC and SimTech), Tech Access and Tech Depot to help SMEs test and experiment with advanced manufacturing technologies, translate research to applications and access technologies easily. There have also been numerous workforce transition programmes.

Even as the government invests time and resources to move the industry, business leaders remain pragmatic. The push to transform will happen only where there are strong drivers. Many will start on the digitalisation journey, but will invest only when they can see immediate value in doing so.

Indonesia’s Minister for Industry Airlangga Hartarto, has observed that millions of Indonesians in the workforce will require training to be digitally literate under the country’s Industry 4.0 rollout plans. Additionally, Dr. Gunther Kegel, CEO of Pepperl+Fuchs, Germany, has said that his company had spent hundreds of training hours to ready the workforce. He also added that even with buy-ins for change, it requires transforming processes from computer-assisted ones to computer-dominated ones, and changing the way people have been working for the past 20 years.

What tends to happen however, as Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing pointed out at the panel discussion, is that many companies “often get stuck” at the application stage of technologies, and “they never really go to Stage 3, which is the re-engineering part”. He was referring to the four stages of the technology industry known as DART: Diffusion, Application, Re-engineering and real Transformation. His view is that the mere application of technologies will not lead to real transformation, as it was only “mechanising, robotising and digitising current processes”.

Transforming the organisation thus requires a mindset shift from leaders and staff alike. It is Worker 4.0 who would be critical in the success of Industry 4.0, as Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon, said at ITAP.

Firstly, from constantly thinking pragmatically on just which technologies are needed on hand, managers and employees need to think more strategically and with a future-oriented view to consider the opportunities that Industry 4.0 can bring, and how best the business can harness these. They need to build the business and economic case, and not pursue technology for technology’s sake.

With the production of more proven use cases, the adoption rate of technologies will grow. It will grow even more quickly if business cases are clearly in sight and it will require senior leaders to take a top-down approach to drive implementation and overcome barriers and resistance for transformation.

Readying The Workforce

Minister Chan additionally observed that Singapore will need to compress the learning cycle; the conventional model of using the school system to churn out workers is a bit too slow for tomorrow’s needs. He added that the frontiers of learning will need to be in companies where there is constant experimentation, even as we rely on conventional learning for building fundamentals.

Similarly, organisations will welcome the development of more industry 4.0-related talents through the institutes of higher learning (IHLs) in the future. In addition to degree courses, on-demand micro-learning modules in areas such as autonomous systems, robotics, data analytics and cyber security should also be offered. This is also an area where corporates, government agencies and IHLs can work together to co-develop.

ST Engineering’s approach to training and retraining of the workforce for Industry 4.0 is multi-pronged, with the company’s top 100 managers attending data analytics and cyber security executive workshops in order to ensure that a mindset shift occurs from the top. Additionally, engineers are also put through courses that are targeted at further enhancing domain expertise.

For instance, 70 of the company’s engineers have already been trained at ST Engineering’s Cybersecurity Academy, which is a professional cyber security training school. And 350 of the company’s engineers attended a technical course in robotics and digitalisation, made possible by ST Engineering’s strategic partnership with Singapore Polytechnic, to create a bespoke Digital Transformation & Robotic course. Moving forward, the another 1,000 employees will be trained in a customised data analytics programme over the next one and a half years at the National University of Singapore.

Strategic Technology Centres have also be established to develop deep capabilities in areas such as data analytics and cyber security, to provide group-wide support in further differentiating products and solutions. Lastly, extensive collaborations with external technology partners and IHLs through Corporate Labs, Corporate Venture and Open Innovation Labs have also been carried out.

Are Businesses Ready?

Industry 4.0 is a major shift for many organisations. Are business leaders prepared to redefine and re-engineer their business models and processes by drawing from technological advances for real transformation?

If having platforms and infrastructure in place at both the country and organisation levels are not good enough an impetus for change, perhaps the reality of being left behind by competitors is.

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Interview With Mr. Vincent Tang, Regional Vice President Of Asia In Epicor

Interview With Mr. Vincent Tang, Regional Vice President of Asia in Epicor

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Mr. Vincent Tang, Regional Vice President of Asia in Epicor on his views on Industry 4.0 megatrends in Southeast Asia.

1. In your opinion, what are the top three megatrends that are shaping Industry 4.0 in Southeast Asia?

Industry 4.0 is a hot topic in Southeast Asia, North Asia as well as regions outside of Asia such as the U.S. The term originated in Germany and is known by different names globally. For example, in China it is known as “Made In China 2025” and in the U.S it is known as smart manufacturing.

The trends shaping Industry 4.0 does not just involve ERP systems, it involves manufacturing execution systems, the extraction of data and its translation into meaningful information, big data, product lifecycle management (PLM) and the integration of robotics into processes. This means that Industry 4.0 is a long journey and companies begin their journeys at different points. For example, some companies may begin first with the implementation of an ERP system while others may not.

In Southeast Asia, Industry 4.0 is encouraged by government support through means such as grants and funding. This has allowed the region to advance in terms of the manufacturing technologies.

2. What are the key challenges that prevent manufacturers in Southeast Asia from digitalising and integrating artificial intelligence as well as data science into their manufacturing processes?

Retaining and attracting talent is the top challenge that prevents manufacturers from digitalising. In factories that are not fully automated, factors such as the increased amount of paperwork and high surrounding temperatures and harsh external environments may contribute to staff turnovers.

Additionally, the integrated implementation of automation is a challenge to some manufacturers in the region. This can occur because manufacturers may implement automation as a phase by phase process instead of as an integrated solution. For example, the accountancy department may be automated first before the inventory control department is automated.

Finally, manufacturers may find it challenging to successfully implement ERP systems. This could be because the successful implementation of ERP systems involves more than one key user, as it is a team effort. One that involves more than monetary investments and individual contributions. For mid-market companies, they possess limited ERP resources and budgets for ERP implementation and also require ERP systems to be installed in a short period of time – typically within six to nine months. These companies also tend to require flexibility.

3. How do you suggest that the above challenges be solved?

Departments can be integrated to increase the opportunities for rapid decision making and for different issues to be highlighted.

Productivity can also be increased due to the shortage of labour globally, especially in China which is also the largest manufacturer in the world. Although labour costs in China used to be lower, factors such as the one child policy has caused labour shortages and increased labour costs. While in Southeast Asia labour shortages are less severe and labour costs are cheaper, as in the case of countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.

Overall, the solution that is applied needs to be an integrated end to end solution. For example, processes that range from manufacturing to scheduling to finances have to be integrated. The solution that is applied has to also be multi-dimensional, multi-language based and focused on multi-localisation. This is because of the differing regulations in different countries that would require localised solutions to cater to it.

4. In 5 to 10 years time, how do you think the manufacturing industry in Southeast Asia will evolve?

The industry will continue to grow. This is because of the China-US trade war, as a lot of manufacturing companies are considering subcontracting their manufacturing operations to countries outside of China, such as Vietnam, to overcome restrictions when it comes to exporting to the U.S. This can be seen in the case of South Korean manufacturer, Samsung, which has moved its operations to Vietnam.

Thus, in Southeast Asia, manufacturing will continue to grow and this will be facilitated by Industry 4.0 and infrastructural developments such as the Belt and Road Initiative that will connect Bangkok and China via a high speed train.

5. What are your thoughts on the Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific event? Do you think this is the right time for an event like this?

The event occurred at just the right time. Different countries are at different stages of their development and the delegates that attend the event are keen to find out how they can engage in Industry 4.0 and where they are in their journeys towards Industry 4.0.

The event has also attracted over 1,800 registrations and I am able to meet a lot of individuals from Indonesia, Thailand and China. Everybody is working around the concept of industrial automation and it involves areas such as PLM, big data, manufacturing execution systems (MES), robotics, ERPs and integrated solutions.

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Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Machine Advisor Unlocks The Potential Of Data For Asia’s OEMs

Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Machine Advisor Unlocks The Potential Of Data for Asia’s OEMs

SINGAPORE: Amid the rapid digitisation of manufacturing, machine builders (OEMs) need to provide a better service to improve their customers’ agility and market responsiveness. Therefore, Schneider Electric has presented its EcoStruxure Machine Advisor, a platform that allows OEMs to track, monitor and fix machines remotely as well as enable operators to predict and execute preventive maintenance schedules and improve machine availability.

Real-time Operational Awareness Is A Competitive Advantage

Driven by rapid adoption of connectivity, mobility, cloud computing and big data analytics, digitisation in manufacturing has a huge potential. According to a 2015 McKinsey survey, by 2025 digitisation will reduce time to market by 20 to 25 percent, optimise expertise by 45 to 55 percent, and reduce machine downtime by up to 50 percent.

In this ultra-competitive environment, OEMs need solutions that will improve the connectivity of their machines, giving them real-time operational awareness, and access to their machines in order to optimise their operational efficiency while developing new business opportunities such as in their services business. These benefits need to be passed on to operators, while guaranteeing safety and data security.

Maximising The Value Of Data With EcoStruxure Machine Advisor

Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Machine Advisor is able to convert data into key insights for machine builders. “With EcoStruxure Machine Advisor, OEMs gain real-time remote access to their machines, allowing them to add and modify new services to each installed machine at any production site worldwide,” explained Xing Jian Pang, industrial commercial vice president, global OEM and Asia Pacific, Schneider Electric. The device is also able to provide a fully connected framework for reliable machine operation through three key functionalities:

  • Track: OEMs can visualise the location of all their machines, with real-time access to documentationand history, such as bill of materials, manuals, maintenance logs and task management schedules.
  • Monitor: The cloud-based software allows OEMs to collect and visualise machine data in real time,giving a comprehensive analysis of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), widgets for performance against key KPIs and other trends, and dashboards to monitor machine availability and output quality.
  • Fix: A service enabled by a mobile app to facilitate maintenance and operations with contextualinformation, the help of step-by-step procedures and remote expertise by leveraging augmented reality. Furthermore, this service also provides remote access to the engineering software in the cloud, enabling service technicians to use “Software-as-a-Service” to always have the right version and libraries by hand.

While these functionalities allow OEMs to improve customer satisfaction and innovate with new service offers, EcoStruxure Machine Advisor also gives immediate benefits to operators by leveraging the EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor app. This allows the EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor to put real-time information at their fingertips, whenever and wherever it is needed. Additionally, the custom application can improve operational efficiency with augmented reality, enabling operators to superimpose the current data and virtual objects onto a cabinet, machine, or plant.

EcoStruxure Machine Advisor pilots

The EcoStruxure Machine Advisor has been piloted successfully with many OEMs in Europe and Asia. In Taiwan, Leadermac, a manufacturer of four-side moulders, has incorporated the technology as a digitised solution to improve its service offers and the company is now able to execute early diagnosis and preventive maintenance of its machines, and sell better-connected, more flexible, more efficient and safer machines.

“EcoStruxure Machine Advisor is the future,” said Leadermac president, Michael Chang. “It helps OEMs like us provide better services, such as remote preventive maintenance, alarm monitoring, tooling usage and IoT applications.”

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Hitachi & Microsoft’s Connected Field Service Solutions Showcased At The Industrial Transformation APAC Conference

Hitachi & Microsoft’s Connected Field Service Solutions Showcased At The Industrial Transformation APAC Conference

SINGAPORE: Hitachi Solutions Asia Pacific, a provider of purpose-built industry solutions powered by Microsoft Cloud, is currently participating at the Industrial Transformation APAC conference which is held from 16 to 18 October, 2018.

The Industrial Transformation APAC conference brings together Asia Pacific’s advanced manufacturing community for the exchange of digital transformation journeys and knowledge. This event will be the platform for more than 10,000 industrial leaders from over 30 countries from the region where they can share insights and best practices on their industrial digital transformation initiatives and network with other thought leaders. And it is through this platform that Hitachi Solutions Asia Pacific will feature the latest field service solutions in partnership with Microsoft.

Currently, Hitachi Solutions Asia Pacific delivers field service solutions that are designed to help companies realise their digital transformation journey. This enables companies to advance from being a cost centre to a profit centre and develop from being a preventative maintenance model to a predictive maintenance model.

During the event, David Bishop, Senior Vice President and Head of R&D at Hitachi Solutions America, and Tushar Parashar, Senior Sales Director at Hitachi Solutions Asia Pacific, will be demonstrating these solutions that are built on Microsoft Dynamics 365:

  • Hitachi Solutions Extended Field Service helps field service organisations increase customer satisfaction by moving from a costly break and fix model to a more efficient predict and prevent model, increasing first time fix rates. With this service, field service companies willreceive full warranty management and remote asset monitoring capabilities, as well as the ability to streamline processes with enhanced mobile timesheets.
  • Hitachi Solutions IoT Service Hub enables companies to connect and monitor devices and analyse the data in real time to create new predictive maintenance capabilities. Companiescan also use these capabilities to dramatically improve operational efficiencies, which enables them to transform it into data-driven services businesses.
  • Hitachi Solutions’ Augmented Reality Remote Assistance (ARRA) for Field Service enables technicians to use augmented reality and live videosto interact with in-office experts via smart glasses, smart phones or tablets.

“Hitachi Solutions has a long history of success in Field Service Automation. Our services team has more than 14 years of collective experience building and implementing FSA systems for clients in different vertical industries.” said Michael Strand, Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing at Hitachi Solutions America. “Hitachi Solutions Asia Pacific leverages its field services expertise from a more regional perspective and aims to help customers solve business challenges, increase operational efficiency, and improve support and service.”

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Schneider Electric Unveils Smart Manufacturing Solutions At Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific Conference

Schneider Electric Unveils Smart Manufacturing Solutions At Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific Conference

SINGAPORE: Schneider Electric has unveiled its latest smart manufacturing solutions for the Asia-Pacific region during the launch of the Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific Conference (ITAP) on 16 October 2018. This builds upon the company’s history in Singapore that began 40 years ago and which saw the company launch its East Asia and Japan headquarters in Singapore.

Mr David Orgaz, Senior Vice President, Process Automation, Schneider Electric Asia-Pacific has commented that, “Schneider Electric is at the forefront of helping companies in their digital transformation journey. Using cutting-edge Industry 4.0 technology, our customers can make informed, data-driven decisions that bring about improved profitability, operational efficiency and a smarter productive workforce – while keeping the operations secure and environmentally sustainable.”

During the ITAP, Schneider Electric will also be showcasing simulations of next-generation Control Command Centres in Oil & Gas, Digital Factory, Consumer Packaged Goods and Water & Wastewater environments and this includes:

EcoStruxure Machine Advisor

Machine builders sell machines to smart factories around the world. These machines are typically deployed with annual maintenance contracts. Thus with this technology, machine builders can track, monitor and even fix remotely deployed IoT-enabled machines from a single dashboard.

Similarly, smart factory operators can gain a bird’s eye view of all their running machines, be instantly alerted if any machine is not operational and analyse collected data in real-time to see if the machines are performing up to par.

EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor

On-site operators can speed up machine maintenance and reduce human error by using augmented reality (AR) to view superimposed data over the different parts of the machines.

By simply holding an AR-powered tablet over the machine, the operator can instantly view data relevant to each machine part.

EcoStruxure Profit Advisor

This IoT-based solution lets companies measure the profitability of their industrial operations, by considering both historical data and real-time data analytics.

EcoStruxure Profit Advisor helps businesses to concentrate and refine efforts which provide the greatest financial returns and savings, predict the profitability of the change processes and minimise potential project risks while eliminating waste.

EcoStruxure Triconex Tricon CX v11.4

The EcoStruxure Tricon CX helps industries achieve safe and available production while improving output and profitability. It is quick and easy to install, configure and operate. This in turn reduces customers’ total cost of ownership by up to 8 percent with its triple redundant, high-availability architecture, inherent redundancy management, online module replacement and change/modification capabilities. It is also proven to help process manufacturers increase ROI by 11 percent.

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Accenture’s Research Report Provides Insights On Effective Digital Technology Adoption

Accenture’s Research Report Provides Insights On Effective Digital Technology Adoption

SINGAPORE: Accenture’s “Delivering Digital Dividends” report identifies value-gaps that organisations should address when adopting and implementing digital technologies. This research report builds on Accenture’s “Combine and Conquer” report from last year, which identified the best combinations of digital technologies to drive maximum business impact. “Combine and Conquer” calculated that companies that implemented those technologies effectively could boost their market capitalisation by 28 percent, on average.

The goal of this new research report is to help clients realise such gains by becoming what Accenture refers to as “Industry X.0” businesses which are defined as organisations that combine digital technologies to drive exceptional efficiency gains, create new, hyper-personalised experiences and enable new business models to drive both top and bottom line growth.

While the report focuses initially on five technologies (artificial intelligence (AI), augmented/virtual reality, big data, blockchain and robotics) found to be widely relevant and applicable across industries, it can be applied to a variety of other digital technologies, including mobile computing, 3D printing and digital twin, among others.

The report has dentified five broad areas related to technology implementation, referred to as “value-triggers,” along with a series of sub-elements for each trigger. The five value-triggers are:

  1. Value Potential. This focuses on the potential costs savings and gains in market cap value that the technology can deliver.
  2. Talent Readiness. This looks at both the existing workforce — in terms of the availability of talent and skills required for development, integration and maintenance of the technology — as well as the current demand and supply for talent with the specific technology skillset.
  3. Capital Adequacy. This considers the growth in venture capital investment, as well as the number of mergers and acquisitions related to the technology over the past three to five years.
  4. Ecosystem Maturity. This analyses the availability of widely accepted standards and protocols for the technology,efforts made to address interoperability challenges, the number of consortiums (academic and industry-specific) formed to advance the technology and the number of start-ups focused on advancing the technology.
  5. Adoption Intensity. This considers a variety of sub-elementssuch as the number of use case applications built using the technology, the number of use cases that have made it to commercial deployment, the estimated growth in technology spend, the number of companies investing in and/or developing the technology or related offerings and C-suite perception of the technology’s ability to improve efficiencies and deliver new experiences.

The value-triggers form the core of the Accenture Digital Dividends Diagnostic, a tool that measures the advancement of the technology against each of the value-trigger sub-elements on a scale of one to five. In which the smaller the number, the lower the advancement of that technology in the context of the particular sub-element of the value trigger. The value-trigger scores can be assessed for specific industries. This enables an enterprise to take necessary measures toward bridging value-gaps in the context of technologies adopted. For instance, a company adopting a technology with a low ‘Talent Readiness’ score can start investing to either build the necessary talent pool within its organisation or tap ecosystems to acquire the talent.

“When investing in a new technology, businesses often focus inward within their enterprise and ignore external factors — such as the available talent pool or industry investment in the technology — that could help them decide if the implementation of the technology is viable or feasible within their organisation,” said Raghav Narsalay, a managing director at Accenture Research, who led the Delivering Digital Dividends research. “The Digital Dividends Diagnostic we developed as part of our research takes the guesswork out of where the roadblocks to technology adoption might be and provides a clear understanding of what you will need to do to manage the implementation of the technology.”

The report notes that disregarding even a single value-trigger can be costly. For instance, the research found that companies that managed the ecosystem value-trigger particularly well are known as “ecosystem engagers”  and could achieve cost reductions per employee that were 2.4 percentage points greater, on average, than those of other companies. Therefore, for the three year period between 2013 and 2016, this translated to cost savings of US$844 million for the ecosystem engagers, on average.

“Given that nearly half of executives surveyed as part of last year’s ‘Combine and Conquer’ research cited an inability to combine rapidly evolving digital technologies as a key obstacle to successfully transforming their business, our new research should help ease their implementation concerns,” Narsalay said.

Aidan Quilligan, a managing director at Accenture and global lead of its Industry X.0 practice, said, “Executives don’t have to understand all the ins and outs of a technology to get the most value from it, but they must understand the broader business landscape around the technology. While there are many excellent frameworks for assessing the internal digitisation readiness of a company, until now you were on your own if you wanted to run an assessment of the external factors that might influence your digital transformation. Our Digital Dividends Diagnostic now makes this possible, providing a framework to help you get maximum value from digital technologies.”

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NTT Com And AVEVA Launch Smart Factory Package To Spur Digital Transformation In Southeast Asia

NTT Com And AVEVA Launch Smart Factory Package To Spur Digital Transformation In Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE: NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com) and AVEVA announced the launch of the Smart Factory Package in Singapore on 16 Oct 2018. The solution which is powered by AVEVA’s leading industrial software, Wonderware and the NTT Com cloud computing platform ‘Enterprise Cloud’, offers an effective, data driven and cost-efficient approach for manufacturers of all sizes to embark on their digital transformation journeys and aids in streamlining and simplifying operations.

The manufacturing sector in Southeast Asia and globally is undergoing a period of disruption, with industry players looking to exploit advanced technologies to improve productivity and transform business processes. McKinsey recently reported that 96 percent of manufacturing companies in Southeast Asia believe digital transformation will create new business models, yet only 13 percent have begun their transformation journeys. Common obstacles that prevent adoption include a lack of information, internal integration and talent.

By combining the cloud platforms offered by NTT Com and AVEVA, the Smart Factory Package addresses these challenges by allowing Southeast Asian manufacturers to seamlessly kickstart their digital journeys in a cost-effective and scalable manner. The Smart Factory Package takes advantage of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and combines pervasive network sensors, a scalable cloud platform and advanced analytics capabilities to unlock the value of industrial data. Manufacturers can then leverage the industrial data for business intelligence or decision support, resulting in greater intelligence, efficiency and opportunity.

“The Internet of Things is a major force driving digital business strategies on a global scale. Manufacturers in Southeast Asia cannot risk failing to capture the plethora of opportunities made possible by this technology. The Smart Factory Package is a ready-to-go solution that allows manufacturers to start small and scale up as quickly as needed to help successfully navigate their digital transformation journeys. Partnering with AVEVA marks our continued commitment to meet growing customer demands for disruptive digital solutions, further strengthening our presence in the smart manufacturing market,” said Kiyoshi Matsumoto, Director Cloud and Managed Services, NTT Singapore Pte Ltd.

The launch of the Smart Factory Package is the next step by NTT Com to provide industry leading technology solutions for businesses of all sizes. Manufacturing customers, such as equipment manufacturers, have already reaped the benefits of the NTT Com Enterprise Cloud Computing platform through improved product reliability and reduced maintenance costs.

“The leading Cloud solution by NTT Com complements AVEVA’s asset and operations management software portfolio by offering manufacturers a robust suite of analytics, mobility and IIoT technologies, meeting the basic industry principles of simplicity, fast turnaround and cost control. The Smart Factory Package streamlines how manufacturers can monitor and control their current state of operations – either within a single plant or across the enterprise – with easily consumable and actionable intelligence. By removing information silos, it is possible to improve efficiency and profitability, while maximising return on capital across the manufacturing value chain,” said Doug Warren, Vice President of Strategic Partnership, AVEVA.

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