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Interview With Cas Brentjens, Vice President Solution Consulting Asia Pacific & Japan At Infor

Interview With Cas Brentjens, Vice President Solution Consulting Asia Pacific & Japan at Infor

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to speak to Cas Brentjens,Vice President Solution Consulting Asia Pacific & Japan at Infor regarding his projections on the megatrends for 2019 and the disruptive technologies that have impacted the industry in 2018.

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

Users now want to have an intuitive, mobile-app style user experience. That’s the first aspect of our focus – Infor builds complete industry suites in the cloud and efficiently deploys technology that puts the user experience first, leverages data science, and integrates easily into existing systems.

The second focus is to offer end-to-end digital solutions to help companies and enterprises outpace the digital disruption and unlock their growth potential. Companies are now in a competitive environment where most industries are being disrupted by new players with unique business models. We want to help companies by providing a platform where they can outpace the competition and the disruption that is happening in the industry.

2. What are the projects that companies within the industry are currently focusing on?

There has been a focus on upstream supply chain processes and we have been working on projects to help optimise large data centers through our asset management solutions. For the automotive industry, we are also looking at how to position companies in their journey towards establishing electric vehicle plants and the manufacturing of components for the new electrical vehicle market.

Companies are also investing in the factory of the future, which are optimized factories with connected IoT devices that are collecting data and doing smart things with that data. This could help in maximizing output, optimizing maintenance schedules or the customizing of products for the individual customer.

There is also one megatrend whereby companies are customizing what the consumer wants and individual industry players are working towards that trend.

3. What are your projections for the APAC economy in 2019?

Digital disruption will still happen with new players entering with new revenue models and new product offerings. Companies in most industries will be moving from a product-only business model to offering both products and services. A shift of focus in the industry from mass products to hyper-personalization will continue to happen and companies will shift from a horizontal or vertical play towards a functional play. Industries are also moving from one aspect that they are really good at from a manufacturing or services perspective, to servicing the customer from a holistic view.

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

What is happening with the “Made in China 2025” vision is changing the way supply chains across APAC are being organised. You can see a re-design of supply chains where factories are moved out of China to Vietnam or other emerging countries. The Belt and Road initiative has not only impacting the infrastructure in China, but it is also impacting the re-design of the supply chains in other regions. Therefore, large mega-trends like the Belt and Road initiative, Industry 4.0 and “Made in China 2025” vision are making a big impact in the industry, and we are looking very closely at those.

5. To sum up, what do you think is the key industry trend in 2019?

Dealing with hyper-personalization in the market where customers are now expecting more customized products and the industry must deal with how to meet that demand and bring it to market and with speed.


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Anglo American’s Venture Capital Spin Off Seeks Investors For Renewable Energy Projects

Anglo American’s Venture Capital Spin Off Seeks Investors For Renewable Energy Projects

LONDON, ENGLAND: AP Ventures is a venture capital fund manager that was initiated in July 2018 when Anglo American, the world’s largest platinum miner, contributed US$55 million in cash alongside six investments worth US$45 million and Public Investment Corporation contributed another US$100 million. Currently it is seeking investments to enter the fuel cell electric vehicles and renewable energy market due to the phasing out of fossil fuel usage by numerous countries as well as the rise in market demand. In particular, the company has a heightened interest in China as the country represents a large potential customer pool as well as a strong capability in reducing the cost of complex manufacturing through scale expansion. A benefit that is essential for the mass commercialisation of fuel cell vehicles. Furthermore, fuel cell vehicles have been highlighted as a key development area in Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” economic strategy and constitutes the nation’s new energy vehicles ambition. An ambition that has also spurred Chinese companies to enter the fuel cell vehicle industry through the acquisition of foreign technologies.


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“Made In China 2025”: A Look Into China’s Future Robot Economy

“Made In China 2025”: A Look Into China’s Future Robot Economy

CHINA: Based on the Chinese government’s “Made in China 2025” industrial master plan, the amount of industrial automatons operating in China would increase to 1.8 million units by 2025 and 70 percent of robots used locally will be domestically produced, as compared to only 30 percent now. A vision that has vastly accelerated developments in Foshan – China’s robotics Hub – as Midea, a local appliance maker, is to set to produce 75,000 industrial robots annually by 2024, after the construction of its new 10 billion yuan industrial estate. A growth that is further reinforced by Jaten Robot & Automation’s current projected output of 10,000 robots annually after its new 120 million yuan factory was constructed.

As estimated by Ren Yutong, Executive President of the Guangdong Robotics Association, 400 companies from the Guangdong manufacturing industry trade group would experience “double-digit” revenue growths for their robotics output due to the nationwide trend of increased government subsidies towards automated manufacturing of high technology outputs. This is further evidenced by the provision of three million yuan in government subsidies to SowoTech, a Dongguan-based producer of auto-cutting laminator robots.

Angus Muirhead, Senior Portfolio Manager for Credit Suisse’s global robotics equity fund in Zurich has said that “The top-down approach [for the Made in China 2025 vision] is helping, and the government is doing the right thing in promoting the protection of intellectual properties”. However, despite rapid industrial and government support in reducing the knowledge gap between China and Europe, Michael Früh, CFO of F&P Robotics, has mentioned that “Europe still has a competitive advantage through a deeper understanding of robotics and all its aspects including AI, [and] its integration and collaborative interactions with humans”.


Jack Ma’s Vision Of New Manufacturing – A Silver Lining To The US-China Trade War?

Jack Ma’s Vision Of New Manufacturing – A Silver Lining To The US-China Trade War?

CHINA: Amid the economic strain that the US-China Trade War has caused, it has also resulted in unique business transformations and immense Chinese technological evolution. An example of which would be Jack Ma, co-founder and executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Holding’s vision of New Manufacturing. A novel concept that utilises the Internet Of Things (IoT), cloud computing , artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to mass create highly customised consumer products in a market that is fast leaning towards personalisation.

Additionally, through the integration of New Manufacturing and New Retail, online and offline retail experiences can be connected to and funneled towards the manufacturing pipeline to ensure that consumer feedback are quickly relayed to manufacturing operations, outputs and inventory stocking. A proposition that Ma predicts will drive the Chinese economy forward and reinforces his statement that “If we use machines and data, to integrate and digitalise, we will change the economy”.

Hence, in the face of rising tariffs from the trade war, Ma’s vision alongside the Chinese government’s “Made in China 2025” industrial master plan aims to reduce the digital gap between China and the West and ultimately, minimise China’s dependecy on imported technologies. A goal that Alibaba is striving towards through strategic partnerships, the establishment of new technology companies as well as acquisitions – as most recently seen by the company’s progress in semiconductor R&D and its production of its own CK902 series of smart chips. A “core technology” that Ma strongly believes should be made locally as China has the largest number of internet users in the world.


Grundfos’ Intelligent Pump Technology Supports China Machine Tool Industry

Grundfos’ Intelligent Pump Technology Supports China Machine Tool Industry

Shanghai, China: Grundfos—a global pump manufacturer and solutions provider—is set to debut its MTRE pump in China—the world’s biggest machine tool industry undergoing technological transformation and innovation, where more companies are embracing Industry 4.0 to increase productivity and reduce costs.

A key demonstration feature at Grundfos’ exhibition booth (No. N5-A391) at the 10th China CNC Machine Tool Fair on 9-13 April 2018, the MTRE pump is a multistage centrifugal pump with a built-in variable frequency drive.

It has achieved the highest energy efficiency rating of IE5, and is Grundfos’ push to use smart technologies to drive energy efficiency and support the sustainable development of China’s machine tool industry.

Leveraging its variable frequency technology, the MTRE pump enables variable control of motor speed, allowing it to continuously adapt its performance to the changing flow rate or pressure demands in delicate machining processes.

Within industrial cooling systems, for example, MTRE pumps can significantly reduce heat input into cooling lubricants, allowing for safe, optimum and cost-efficient operations.

Cang Jin, business managing director of industry at Grundfos China, said that the MTRE pump is part of Grundfos’ commitment to constantly innovate to better meet the needs of the changing industry and customers.

“The machine tool industry in China is undergoing a massive transformation today, towards intelligent manufacturing, digitalisation and sustainable production. As a solutions provider in this industry, Grundfos is taking the lead with intelligent and energy-efficient pump solutions. We are committed to bringing customers tailored and integrated solutions that optimise their business, and is good for the environment,” said Mr Cang

According to him, Grundfos’ portfolio of products are widely recognised and used in China’s machine tool applications. In the past year, sales of Grundfos products in this field has increased by nearly 25 to 30 percent—with sales of the MTRE pump alone doubling from three years ago.

At the same time, another popular product, Grundfos’ MTS pump, saw a growth spurt of more than double the sales volumes over the past three years.

To support the rapid growth and rising domestic demand in China, the company has started local production of its pumps for the machine industry. Currently, Grundfos’ MTR pump is fully produced and assembled in its Suzhou factory. This significantly shortens delivery time to customers by two to three weeks, while still ensuring the high global quality standards.

Grundfos has plans to localise its entire portfolio of machine tool products by 2018.

“Grundfos has a long-term commitment to the Chinese market, which is our second home market outside of Denmark. We pride ourselves on sharing Denmark’s leading water treatment technology and pump expertise in China, and are focused on supporting the sustainable and intelligent transformation of the machine tool industry aligned to China’s ‘Made in China 2025’ goals,” Mr Cang added.

With more than 20 years’ history in China, Grundfos’ portfolio supports a wide range of machine tool industry applications. To continue to evolve its products and solutions to better meet the needs of the industry, Grundfos leverages its research and development centres across the world to drive new innovation and applications.

Each year, Grundfos invests at least five percent of its annual revenue into research and development to continue to bring intelligent, environmentally sustainable, and new products and solutions to support the industry.

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