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Mazda Innovates Automotive Electrical Systems Using Siemens’ Model-Based Generative Design Tools

Mazda Innovates Automotive Electrical Systems Using Siemens’ Model-Based Generative Design Tools

Mazda Motor Corporation has adopted the Capital electrical design software suite from Mentor, a Siemens business, to help maximise innovation in the design of next-generation automotive electrical systems. Recognised worldwide for its successful launch of innumerable innovative technologies, Mazda uses Capital for model-based generative design for the electrical and electronic systems of the entire vehicle platform. The Capital automated generative design flow helps Mazda automotive design teams manage design complexity and changes across the entire vehicle platform, minimising errors and reducing costs.

The development of safe and efficient electrical designs has become a critical task as the automotive industry moves towards large scale system developments such as electrified powertrains and autonomous driving. These designs are often based on entirely new architectures and have become so complex that advanced software tools are needed to enable development efforts.

Capital tools deliver real time feedback against target metrics such as cost, weight, and network bandwidth consumption. This allows engineers to explore alternative design approaches, which is extremely important for large scale system developments represented by electric and autonomous vehicles. Capital software also provides Mazda with extensive simulation and verification functionalities.

At Mazda, from system design, harness design and verification down to manufacturing and service documentation, outputs of each process have been generated in its natural language, requiring designers to translate between processes and fill in the missing pieces using their talents and skills. “In order to remove ambiguity while maintaining the diversity of expressions that are characteristics of these natural languages, we applied formal methods to eliminate the loss in information transfer and set a goal to build a development environment that is consistent and connected all the way through the manufacturing phase,” said Kazuichi Fujisaka, Technical Leader, Mazda Motor Corporation.

“Furthermore, we also aim to shift to a development methodology that allows us to optimise the vehicle as a whole, with all possible variations being considered in the early development stage. To make this happen, we needed a development environment to visualise the entire vehicle circuitry and standardise our language, tools, and processes without compromise, creating standard models across the company. Mentor’s Capital technologies provide this environment and make Mazda’s electric development much more efficient.”



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ExOne And Siemens Partner To Bring Industry 4.0 To Industrial 3D Printing

ExOne And Siemens Partner To Bring Industry 4.0 To Industrial 3D Printing

The ExOne Company is partnering with Siemens to bring Industry 4.0 to industrial 3D printing, benefiting industrial customers in the foundry, aerospace, automotive, energy, and other markets.

Siemens’ Digital Enterprise Portfolio of software and automation technology including MindSphere are fully implemented on ExOne’s new S-Max Pro sand printer, which can achieve print speeds of up to 135l/h (18s/layer). The S-Max Pro is being launched at the 2019 GIFA International Foundry Trade Fair this week at the Messe Düsseldorf in Germany.

“With this expanded partnership, ExOne will deliver even more value to our foundry and manufacturing customers who rely on our industrial 3D printers,” said ExOne CEO John Hartner. “We are proud to be the first industrial 3D printer to fully integrate the latest of Siemens control, sensing and motion technologies and this new MindSphere technology, which will give our customers a new level of control and plant integration.”

Dr. Karsten Heuser, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Siemens Digital Industries, said, “We are proud to further strengthen our partnership with ExOne and advance the industrialisation of additive manufacturing. Siemens brings new digital technologies and its profound industrial domain knowhow to help ExOne generate further value. The new ExOne S-Max Pro 3D printer proves that seamlessly integrated software and automation solutions result in shorter time to market, higher performance and maximum availability.”

The Digital Enterprise portfolio from Siemens comprises integrated hardware, software and services supporting ExOne to leverage the benefits of Industry 4.0. In the centre of this holistic approach stands the ‘Digital Twin’ using a shared data model alongside the entire value chain: from the machine concept over machine simulation, engineering and commissioning to operations and services. Machine operators secure their investments with shorter lead times, increased machine performance and smarter service decisions.

The ExOne APP ‘3D Live’ runs on MindSphere, the open cloud-based IoT operating system from Siemens to analyse machine data and other relevant information in real-time, providing the basis for automated or timely decision-making, turning data into value. As an example, ExOne machines enable the operator to identify anomalies for improving maintenance and repair activities so that unplanned downtime can be avoided.

“We look forward to working with Siemens to further our capabilities in delivering production solutions for industrial 3D printing. Together we will help our customers integrate our systems into new smart factories and integrate with those already deploying Siemens’ technology,” Hartner added.



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Siemens Launches IPP&E Solution For Aerospace And Defence

Siemens Launches IPP&E Solution For Aerospace And Defence

Siemens Digital Industries Software’s Integrated Program Planning and Execution (IPP&E) solution is designed to help companies in the aerospace and defence industry gain competitive advantages to win and execute programmes in a more effective and profitable manner. Siemens’ IPP&E solution provides a systems approach to programme planning and execution by integrating cost, schedule and technical requirements in a fully planned, resourced and budgeted programme management software solution.

Today’s aerospace and defence companies face increased cost and schedule pressures on as they execute on new programs. Companies need to provide accurate and complete bids to reduce proposal expenses and risks, and help control programme costs and schedules during program execution. A common and reusable approach to project planning uses historical data to improve basis of estimates by evaluating historical costs, schedule and risks, improving the accuracy of bids and business cases and drive improvements in overall programme performance.

Siemens’ new solution enables aerospace manufacturers to start new programmes quickly by reusing experience, risks and artefacts from past projects through a common work breakdown structure. Estimates can be created based on past performance, integrating cost, schedule, requirements, processes, inputs, and outputs for a complete work package definition. It provides a single source for all programme estimating and execution information, including risk and opportunity management to successfully deliver programmes in the current environment, ultimately improving profits, reputation and the ability to invest in and win new programmes.



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Siemens Opcenter Unifies Portfolio Of Manufacturing Operations Management Solutions

Siemens Opcenter Unifies Portfolio Of Manufacturing Operations Management Solutions

Siemens Digital Industries Software has launched Siemens Opcenter software, a cohesive portfolio of software solutions for manufacturing operations management (MOM). Siemens Opcenter expands on the heritage of Siemens’ recognised MOM software by uniting these products in a single, connected cloud-ready portfolio with a harmonised user experience that can help manufacturers meet demands for production efficiency, quality, visibility, and reduced time to production.

Siemens Opcenter integrates MOM capabilities including advanced planning and scheduling, manufacturing execution, quality management, manufacturing intelligence and performance, and formulation, specification and laboratory management. The new portfolio combines products including Camstar software, SIMATIC IT suite, Preactor, R&D Suite and QMS Professional into a single portfolio that unifies these widely recognised products and leverages synergies between them. A fully web-based, modern, consistent, adaptive and comfortable user interface implemented throughout the Siemens Opcenter portfolio offers a situationally adapted user experience and facilitates the implementation of new capabilities and additional components while reducing training efforts.

Siemens Opcenter adopts an extensibility paradigm which makes it easy to deploy, configure, extend and integrate with other systems across the value chain, including product lifecycle management (PLM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and shop floor automation solutions. It provides end-to-end visibility into production, helping enable decision makers to readily identify areas for improvement within product design and associated manufacturing processes, and to make operational adjustments for smoother and more efficient production. Fully enabled for mobility, customers can achieve high levels of operational flexibility and run the same applications on a variety of smart devices. The entire portfolio is cloud-ready and can be deployed on-premise, on the cloud or in combination, providing for potential IT cost reductions and flexible scalability. Siemens Opcenter uniquely supports the digital enterprise, leveraging the digital twins for design, production, and performance.

“Siemens Opcenter is the next logical step given our extensive technological innovation and MOM portfolio evolution,” said Rene Wolf, Senior Vice President Manufacturing Operations Management Software, at Siemens Digital Industries Software. “Bringing these components together as Siemens Opcenter and harmonising the end user experience with other parts of our Digital Innovation Platform will make it much easier for manufacturers to manage their digital transformation process.”

Siemens also announced a new version of its manufacturing execution systems (MES) portfolio: Siemens Opcenter Execution, formerly SIMATIC IT and Camstar. New features in these releases focus on smart devices, mobility, and integration capabilities to optimise data flows and availability.


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Siemens And EDAG Collaborate To Intensify Automotive Additive Manufacturing

Siemens And EDAG Collaborate To Intensify Automotive Additive Manufacturing

Siemens is intensifying its cooperation with the EDAG Group as a leading global independent engineering company for the automotive industry, in order to further promote industrial applications of additive manufacturing (AM) and to make engineering and production processes more efficient.

The “NextGenerationSpaceframe 2.0” intelligent modular system features a combination of bionically designed and additive manufactured nodes and high-strength, energy-absorbing aluminum extrusion profiles. The concept offers extremely flexible manufacturing, enabling it to support the growing number of vehicle derivatives while still taking economic aspects into account.

The collaboration has now been extended by a seamless digital engineering process chain for AM resulting in the implementation of a use case. The project presents a flexibly manufactured lightweight aluminum structure – “NextGenSpaceframe 2.0” as an automotive use case for Siemens.

Key features of NextGenSpaceframe 2.0:

  • Shorter “time-to-market” for additive manufactured prototypes and small series components for automotive or industrial applications due to a digital engineering process chain.
  • Industrie 4.0 philosophy: combination of 3D-printed aluminum car body nodes with high-strength, energy-absorbing aluminum extrusion profiles combined as highly flexible “on-demand” manufacturing with 3D bending and jigless joining technology for automotive and industry applications.
  • Calculations and actual tests demonstrated that the crash areas can absorb the crash energy as predicted and the AM node did not fail structurally.
  • The costs for AM could be reduced by optimising the process and minimising the support structure.
  • The seamless engineering data process chain has contributed to significantly shorter development and lead times, as well as ensuring a higher level of development maturity.

The know-how provided by the EDAG Group in the field of production processes made a significant contribution to the collaboration. Tailored future factory concepts have been created, enabling the components developed for additive manufacturing to also be produced efficiently in larger batches and transferred to actual series production. An important factor in the success of the project is the competence that Siemens brings for factory automation and digitalisation with knowledge from their own manufacturing applications for gas turbines (Finspang and Worchester UK) as well as the know-how provided by EOS GmbH in the field of process technology of additive manufacturing.

Siemens and EDAG share the goal of building on their respective strengths as project-specific partners and positioning themselves as service provides in the future market for the industrial introduction of additive manufacturing for their respective customers.


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Making Custom Machine—Building Accessible To All Manufacturers

Making Custom Machine—Building Accessible To All Manufacturers

The world is going digital. That doesn’t just change how we work and learn and shop, or what we do for fun; it changes how products are manufactured. Even the smallest machinery suppliers have to be able to create modular, customisable, multi-function designs that can be tailored to exactly what their customers need to build their products. Article by Frans Adamowicz, Solutions Director for Industrial Machinery and Heavy Equipment, Siemens PLM Software.

But that level of flexibility makes it hard to reuse designs because the requirements for each customer will be very different, and very specific each time, turning every project into a custom, one-off design. How do you get that flexibility without raising costs?

Industrial machinery manufacturers also have to be able to show customers, even before they deliver new machinery, how it should work and how it will integrate with other systems; that way, they can prove it will have the high ROI and low total cost of ownership product manufacturers are looking for. They have to comply with ever more regulations that cover the entire lifecycle of machinery, from energy efficiency in use right through to the eventual cost of reuse, recycling or disposal – and document that all the relevant regulations were met. And they have to be able to build and deliver these designs faster than ever to compete with new low-cost suppliers around the world, while still taking the time to understand exactly what the customer needs and how they’re going to use it.

To cope with these pressures from customers, competitors and regulators they need integrated tools that get rid of siloes because there just isn’t time to design, build and commission a machine as separate steps that move through different departments. A sequential process like that isn’t just slow; it runs the risk of losing information and introducing errors every time a design moves from one department to another. And it doesn’t reflect the realities of modern manufacturing.

Designs are getting more complex to accommodate; they might have sensors to monitor machine performance and output, and networking to connect multiple machines into a unified manufacturing system, alongside both software-based and physical controls. That complexity affects the physical design. You can’t afford to waste time at the end of a project redesigning a part or an assembly plan because the wires and cables can’t be connected correctly. When you’re testing the physical machine is far too late to discover that, for example, the control software doesn’t take mechanical limits into account.

Solution To Complexity of Designs

In fact, with so much software, automation and electronics in modern machinery, getting a design right needs a mechatronic design platform that handles much more than just mechanical CAD because tackling a problem will often require being able to work in multiple disciplines at the same time. The solution is investing in new digital technologies to create a digital thread of information that connects all the departments involved in a project and runs through every stage of gathering requirements and creating specifications, through design, development, production and commissioning, to delivery, support and monitoring in production.

This digitalisation lets you create digital representations of the smart, connected, custom machinery that customers are demanding. These ‘digital twins’ are immediately useful because you can use them to sell new machinery even before it’s built. Once you’ve made the sale you can hand over a digital copy of the real machine, so customers can prepare to install and integrate it with their existing systems, while you use the digital twin to build the new machines faster and with fewer mistakes or delays in commissioning, because you have a functional model that mechanical, electrical and automation teams can all work from together.

Creating that digital twin requires next generation design tools that go well beyond mechanical CAD to support a multi-disciplinary process that includes modelling, mechatronics, simulation, testing and performance validation. The right design tools can also make it easier for manufacturers to reuse existing modules for these very specific new orders.

Technologies To Simplify

New modelling technologies like generative design and topology optimisation find the best designs for components using constraints like maximum stress, size, weight and displacement, improving the performance and reliability of machinery. Single parts created with additive manufacturing could replace complex assemblies of precision components, as well as saving on weight and materials costs. Synchronous Technology makes it faster and simpler to create and change geometries while preserving design decisions, like keeping mounting points aligned or having the outer surfaces of a part stay parallel. Convergent Modelling Technology lets you work directly with facet and mesh models, without reverse engineering, alongside traditional CAD geometries. Rather than redesigning similar parts from scratch every time and increasing the amount of inventory you need to hold, you can reduce costs by incorporating existing components in a new design or designing a replacement that can be used in multiple projects.

Use mechatronic design alongside these modelling tools and you can validate design ideas quickly. Experiment early in the product development cycle, confident that you can see not just how a design looks but also how it will work, using physics-based interactive simulations of joints, actuators, motion, collision behaviour and other dynamic and kinematic properties.

For example, the faster operating speeds customers are asking for can actually lower production capacity if vibration at these faster speeds causes process inconsistencies or shortens the life of key components. Fully simulating operation of the machine running at higher speed will reveal the problem before the production line fails, and engineers can redesign parts to control noise and vibration, rerun the simulation to ensure the new design can run at full speed – and pass the details to the automation engineers to validate their machine operation routines without waiting for the new physical part. Integrated tools that use the digital thread allow you to take steps to improve the design of the machinery without slowing down the overall project.

Digital Twins

Digital twins continue to pay a dividend once the machinery is completed and delivered, because manufacturers can rely on the accurate digital representation to deliver any necessary after sales support more cost effectively. Streaming information from sensors in the machinery to monitor performance is an opportunity to deliver improvements later on, building brand loyalty, improving service revenue with predictive maintenance and uncovering needs customers don’t yet realise they have. Taken to the next step, the digital twin can lead to a whole new business model as a consulting solution provider where you make sure customers get the value from the expensive, custom machinery you’ve created for them with remote diagnostics, software maintenance and process optimisation, offering them the complete solution they’re looking for rather than an isolated machine.

The benefits of digitalisation can add up to a significant increase in production, creating more (and more efficient) machines with the same resources and either lowering costs or increasing output at the same cost. Think of it as a digital productivity bonus adding up to anything from 6% or even close to 10% of annual revenue. Investing in the next generation design tools needed to create custom machinery is the way to outpace commodity suppliers who can’t move this fast or deliver exactly what customers want, giving you a loyal customer base.


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Market Outlook 2019: An Insight Into This Year’s Industry Megatrends

Market Outlook 2019: An Insight Into This Year’s Industry Megatrends

In 2018, we witnessed the rise of Southeast Asia’s manufacturing industry as the Trade War pressured manufacturers into shifting production from China to Southeast Asia. A trend that is expected to continue on in 2019 as Southeast Asia continues to develop its manufacturing capabilities and uncertainties over a US-China truce continue to loom. Through this market outlook series, eight industry leaders share their thoughts on how the regional market will grow and develop in 2019 amidst the changing economic background and the increased presence of disruptive and intelligent technologies. 


Armin Kasper

Vice President, Asia-Pacific Area, MAPAL

2018 was a successful year for MAPAL and the company grew once again although growth in the Chinese market, which had previously been strong, flattened somewhat in the last quarter of 2018 due to factors such as punitive tariffs. For 2019, we have set a goal of generating a turnover of €650 million, and this will be achieved through free trade, the development of country specific expansions, the enhancement of digital capabilities and electric mobility machining capabilities.

Development Of Country Specific Expansions

For the companies under MAPAL Group in Southeast Asia, two new regional branches will be established in Indonesia where we are seeking to build a regional presence. While in the case of Malaysia, the country recently became our Southeast Asia production hub and has been equipped with a dedicated manufacturing facility. Additionally, we are actively investing in Malaysia and expansion is set to continue in Thailand too, where a new facility was established in 2017.

Enhancement Of Digital Capabilities

Digitalisation is a pressing issue globally, and in the face of increasing demands for efficient data management systems, we have identified this trend as a potential growth area. That was why we will be using 2019 to make further refinements to c-Com and to showcase the SaaS solution to interested parties as an open cloud platform for efficient data management.

MAPAL’s new tool management 4.0 is also based on c-Com. The interconnectivity that tool management 4.0 offers means that data can be provided consistently to all those involved – manufacturing, procurement, planning, tool managers and suppliers. That makes the overall process more efficient and digitalises tool management.

We also see great potential in our re-tooling service. Customers use this when they are setting up a new manufacturing facility for a part or re-tooling existing machinery to manufacture a new part, or when optimisations need to be made while production is running.

Electric Mobility Machining Capabilities

Alongside digitalisation, another significant trend at the moment is electric mobility and we have a diverse array of innovative machining solutions available for manufacturing the various parts within the different electric drives. The importance of the automotive industry is growing all the time, as is the number of vehicles being produced with electric drives.


Carsten Haecker

Head of igus Asia Pacific, igus Singapore Pte Ltd

The Asia Pacific region will remain as the growth driver for us in 2019 but we may see regional differences in development. This is due to uncertainties related to tariffs and trade, Brexit discussions and regional tensions may cause some interruption on a global scale. However, in terms of long term sustainability, the opportunities in Asia far outweigh the challenges and we will continue to invest into new markets or expand existing manufacturing facilities.

Combining Digitalisation With Industrial Development

The world is changing faster than ever before, new trends are coming up and past solutions may disappear. Artificial intelligence, complete process automation, remote monitoring of machine performance, intelligent robotics and driverless vehicles are some of the trends in which we see a potential in. The clear objective for us moving forward is to concretely implement automated processes that range from online configuration to digitally supported manufacturing for all product categories. This is a difficult path to take because ready-made solutions usually cannot be bought but have to be developed individually.

Additionally, IoT continues to drive development. And igus as an early adopter, has developed the intelligent cable, energy chain and linear guide which are able to monitor their own condition during use and open up new possibilities of predictive maintenance.

Additive Manufacturing And Low Cost Robotics

Additive manufacturing would be another key trend to mention, with 3D or SLS printing being good examples of the technology. Also, low cost robotics are another trend to watch out for in 2019 and the igus robolink modular robotic system is an example of this.


Israel Gonzalez

Asia Pacific Regional Director, Hypertherm

2018 marked Hypertherm’s 50th year and we have grown from a manufacturer of plasma systems to a global provider of cutting solutions. Moving forward, our continued investment in research and development is part of our efforts to bring more breakthrough technologies to the market, such as the recently released X-definition class plasma system.

In 2019, Asia Pacific will continue to be a promising region for the industry due to rapid population and economic growth, industrialization and business-friendly measures introduced by governments. Besides the major markets in Oceania and Japan, the rapidly growing industrial manufacturing sector in India and Southeast Asia are also expected to contribute significantly to the region’s economic growth.

Change In Business Models In The Metal Cutting Industry

The metal cutting industry will shift from a demand driven model to a more competition driven model, where the key driver is automation and customers are increasingly looking to reduce reliance on labour. In fact, automation will continue to be the biggest development in the metal cutting industry as manufacturers in the region continue to balance technology with capacity and competitive demands.

Industry 4.0 Innovations

IIoT will continue to shape the manufacturing industry in 2019. Rising technologies such as machines, robots and other equipment on a production floor will be able to communicate with each other and gather data in the cloud for analysis. And with the data, a manufacturer will have greater insights which allows for predictive analysis to occur. This aligns to the shift in the industry from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.

In the future, fluctuating raw material prices will also impact the industry and transformations within the manufacturing sector will also be further propelled by the rapid evolution of technology. To achieve growth targets in the coming year, manufacturers will increasingly see the need to prioritize investments in technology that will enable them to improve their business agility.


Terence Oh

Senior Vice President. EOS, Singapore

The additive manufacturing (AM) market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 27 percent between 2018 (USD 1.73 billion) and 2023 (USD 5.66 billion). In fact, AM in Asia Pacific is expected to have the highest CAGR due to the region having the fastest growth for the automotive and printed electronics sectors. This offers more opportunities for AM adoption in the manufacturing industry.

Decentralised, Distributed And Domestic Manufacturing Models

Rising protectionism and trade conflicts will increasingly push global supply chains towards decentralization and regionalization when it comes to manufacturing. And this, coupled with the digitalization of manufacturing and AM will serve as an enabler for distributed manufacturing. Businesses that adopt smart technologies like AM to 3D print parts and components will also be able to reduce production costs, processes, and time through part redesign and integration. This makes domestic manufacturing more practical than importing from abroad.

Continued Innovation And Adoption Of AM Across Industries

AM is reported to have a global economic impact of USD 250 billion by 2025 and the aerospace and defense industry is expected to continue leading AM adoption. Moreover, the global aerospace AM market is reportedly expected to register a CAGR close to 22.3 percent during the forecast period of 2018 to 2023.

In terms of the healthcare industry, AM adoption is expected to increase and with the aging population expected to rise, this trend is set to continue due to an expected increase in demand for personalized healthcare and treatments, as well as customized 3D-printed medical devices. For the automotive industry, AM’s ability to decrease production lead time, increase efficiency in logistics management, and ensure effective use of components/materials will result in its increased adoption. This trend is set to continue and the global automotive 3D printing market is predicted to be valued at over USD 8 billion by 2024. On the other hand, tooling and robotics are also expected to drive AM’s market share in APAC from 2018 to 2023.


Douglas Foo

President, Singapore Manufacturing Federation

The manufacturing industry in Asia is polarised into three categories – the “factories of the world”, the factories supplying to “factories of the world”, and the “middleman”, where most manufacturers in Asia are a part of. In Singapore, the industry is undergoing a two-part transformation – digitalisation and servitisation.

Due to Singapore’s relatively high labour cost compared to the region and talent shortage, the industry is also moving up the value chain and exploring the use of AI, IoT, robotics, automation and other digital tools to keep costs low and to increase productivity. Digitalisation itself is expected to quite significantly alter and remake the landscape of the industry.

Digitalisation Of Manufacturing And Supply Chains

To be digitalised is to implement these few technologies – additive manufacturing, AI, advanced manufacturing, blockchain, cloud computing, big data, e-commerce and future technologies (robotics, advanced automation, etc.).

Therefore, as manufacturing becomes increasingly digitalised, supply chain models must also become increasingly digitalised by implementing the above technologies. And this will lead to end-to-end integration. Furthermore, with this evolution of the supply chain model, shorter lead times, increased flexibility through real-time optimisation, increased efficiency and increased transparency and personalisation of services will be observed. A digitalised supply chain model is one in which processes are connected through a sensor network and managed through a central data hub and analytics engine.

Adopting The Right Technologies Amidst Economic Uncertainty

Due to the ongoing trade war, there is a fear that demand and investments will shrink. Protectionist attitude and interest rates are also on the rise. Thus, manufacturers can make use of technologies and innovate their business models to improve their productivity, efficiency and competency in order to overcome the adversities ahead. With the right technologies, the industry may even disrupt and affect other sectors, causing a ripple effect that could accelerate the advancement of businesses embracing Industry 4.0 sooner rather than later.


David Chia

Automation Charter Chair, The Singapore Industrial Automation Association Managing Director, Beckhoff

In 2019, at the mass market stage, enterprise digitisation will penetrate deeper into the manufacturing floor. This will cause enterprises to look towards obtaining data from as many machines and sensors as possible, which is a trend that has continued on from past years.

Overcoming The Barriers To Digitalisation

In order to digitalise more effectively, companies have more to gain from standardisation than competition. Currently, Germany is leading the effort to create common industry wide standards and they have done quite well as the VDMA is leading the machine standardisation for Germany. Countries in the ASEAN region may need to follow on their footsteps. Next, governments across the region should also help in funding digitisation initiatives and this is especially important for SMEs.

Finally, re-training and upskilling the workforce is needed. We are facing shortages in data engineers, data scientists, data analysts in the region and re-training and upskilling is especially important as older manufacturing jobs disappear and newer ones are created in their place.

The Importance Of Data Collection, ML And AR Technologies

On top of sending data over standardised communication protocol, companies will increasingly look towards getting standardised information from each machine type. This so called “information modelling” and is relevant to a production line today as there is hardly a “homogenous” production line containing the same machine model from the same manufacturer.

Another focus for the metalworking and CNC world will be the use of AR technologies. While still a cutting edge technology today, this technology holds a lot of promise from speeding up operators to training, to advancing maintenance work. At the bleeding edge, we are seeing an increasing trend of ML implementation directly on a premise or machine. While this is on early stages, we feel that this would be the internal focus of many bleeding edge suppliers moving forward.


Alex Teo

Managing Director and Vice President, Southeast Asia, Siemens PLM Software

The outlook in Asia Pacific continues to be favourable in 2019. With a dynamic economy and an extremely fast-growing internet population, Southeast Asian markets are good options for companies looking to diversify and add to their operations in China. Especially as rising labour costs and increasingly volatile market conditions in China cause more firms to relocate their production in order to spread out risk and gain access to new markets.

The Growth Of Mass Customisation Focused Technologies

The shift towards a knowledge-intensive economy in Southeast Asia is a by-product of the global movement towards a more individualized and personalized consumption economy. Therefore, the region is expected to transit from the age of mass-production, to one of mass-customisation which is a trend that has been highlighted at the ASEAN Summit. Due to this, we are expecting manufacturers to adopt and implement technologies such as cloud-based product lifecycle management solutions, as well as Digital Twin technologies, in order to be able to produce meet the level of rigour and scale that is required for mass-customisation.

The Development Of Disruptive And New Technologies

Disruptive technologies such as robotics, computer numerical control (CNC) machines, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, scanning technology and smart devices will persist and will be ubiquitous across the product value chain. In the case of additive manufacturing, markets such as Singapore, China and South Korea have already identified it as a growth potential and are actively investing in the technology to create high-end jobs and services.

Additionally, Dyson has also announced plans for its first electric car, to be built in a new automotive manufacturing facility in Singapore that is set for completion in 2020. The selection of Singapore as a site for this facility – which has not seen automotive manufacturing since Ford closed its factory 40 years ago – is a surprise for many. This investment which is part of Dyson’s USD 3.3 billion global investment drive in new technology, is a game changer for the electronics and heavy machinery industries in the region.


Ian Roberts

Regional Executive Director, UBM

In 2019, the ASEAN region will remain as an attractive area for investment. The ongoing trade war between China and the USA is creating problems and opportunities within the ASEAN region as although foreign investment companies are starting to relocate their manufacturing plants away from China, countries within ASEAN particularly Vietnam and Indonesia, are benefiting from the relocation of manufacturing plants into their countries.

The Rise Of Indonesia And Vietnam 

Most of UBM’s trade shows have continued to grow, particularly in Vietnam where there are numerous opportunities in both HCM and Hanoi. Currently, the biggest problem for the organisation of events in Vietnam is the size of the venues in both HCM and Hanoi which restricts UBM’s expansion plans. However, this also reinforces Vietnam’s position as UBM’s strongest market since 2018.

In Indonesia, the economic growth in the short term will be modest due to the Rupiah depreciation as we all as the impact of the upcoming presidential elections in April.  This will affect overseas investment as investors take a “wait and see” approach. Thus, investments will be halted for at least the first half of the year. For this reason, Indonesia is expected to rely on domestic consumption and household spending to drive the economy. However in the long term, Indonesia remains a strategic and lucrative market for investors as it continues to offer strong economic fundamentals to spur the growth of the middle class and fuel consumer spending which is a key driver of growth.

Growth Of Smart Factories And Smart Manufacturing In Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s main selling point can no longer be its low wages if it is to remain competitive. Implementation of new technologies are needed to help close the productivity gap. This means factories will need to integrate technologies such as robotics to maximise productivity, minimise human failure and prevent work-related accidents. Aside from that, companies could integrate AI and data analytics to make automation processes more intelligent and to improve efficiency.

A report by McKinsey & Company has highlighted that Southeast Asia needs to embrace Industry 4.0 to unlock its potential in manufacturing. Through this report, it is stated that disruptive technologies associated with Industry 4.0 would have an impact on productivity on a scale that is similar to the introduction of the steam engine had during the first Industrial Revolution. Globally, if the digital technologies of Industry 4.0 were to be embraced and integrated efficiently, it is forecasted that it could contribute between USD 1.2 trillion and USD 3.7 trillion in business profits. Meanwhile in ASEAN, the impact of Industry 4.0 could see productivity gains of between USD 216 billion to USD 627 billion.



Norbert Seo

Senior Vice President, Market Division Asia & Australia, Bystronic Pte Ltd

2018 was one of the most successful years for Bystronic due to numerous product launches in the gold, silver and bronze segments of the market as well as international business expansions.

In 2019, the economy is uncertain because of market turmoil and currency slumps but sheet metal continues to have a wide application in industries that are set for growth such as the automotive, semiconductor and electronic industries. Additionally, governments across Asia are continuously building and developing infrastructure and new industrial areas which create indirect opportunities for the sheet metal fabrication market.

The Growth Of Automation

The industry is currently in the age of automation. This is because automation allows for shorter lead times, greater accuracy, higher quality and competitive pricing. In the field of laser cutting, automation makes it possible to process not only large series but also small batch sizes, while maintaining the flexibility that users require to always respond to changing order situations.

Implementation Of Networked Production

With automation drastically changing the outlook of the sheet metal industry, Bystronic is systematically driving forward the vision of “World Class Manufacturing”. This is based on a comprehensive range of new products and services with which Bystronic is gearing its users’ process landscape towards networked production. It features innovative solutions that go far beyond the conventional idea of a machine tool. It’s about fusing the individual processes relating to laser cutting and bending into a network of intelligent components.



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Vietnam’s First Domestic Car To Be Available In August 2019

Vietnam’s First Domestic Car To Be Available In August 2019

VinFast, a unit of Vietnam’s largest conglomerate Vingroup JSC VIC.HM, is set to become the country’s first fully-fledged domestic car manufacturer as the company is projecting to have its first car available commercially in August of 2019.

Currently, the company already has established a new plant in the northern Vietnamese port town of Haiphong, where two models will be built. And for a start, VinFast is looking to manufacture 250,000 cars annually in the next five years of production. This is equivalent to 92 percent of all the cars sold in Vietnam in 2017 according to data collated by the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA). To add to this, the company has earmarked about USD 3.5 billion for the project and has even debuted two vehicles at the Paris Motor Show in 2018. Commenting on the company’s ambitions, Jim Deluca, CEO of VinFast has said that, “[VinFast is] looking to expand both within ASEAN and outside.”

Beyond these vehicles, VinFast also intends to move forward with a city car through a partnership with General Motors that will also extend to automotive sales, where General Motors has given VinFast exclusive distribution rights for Chevrolet-branded vehicles in Vietnam. Other technology agreements are also underway between VinFast and General Motors and this will add on to VinFast’s expanding portfolio of partnerships such as the company’s current partnership with Siemens for the development of domestic electric buses.

As of now, a majority of the cars sold in Vietnam are foreign brands assembled in the country from kits. However, a series of free trade agreements have reduced import duties and this has opened up the market for domestic manufacturers. For example, a 30 percent import tax on cars from other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries was removed in 2018.


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EOS To Intensify Collaboration With Siemens For Metal-Based Serial Additive Manufacturing

EOS To Intensify Collaboration With Siemens For Metal-Based Serial Additive Manufacturing

EOS and Siemens are constantly intensifying their cooperation. Following the official market launch of the EOS M 300 series in September 2018 at the IMTS in Chicago, Materials Solutions, a Siemens business will test the first system of this new platform for metal-based serial additive manufacturing in a pilot phase.

EOS M 300-4 with a transfer station M expands the proven portfolio of EOS systems for Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). With a build volume of 300 x 300 x 400 mm, its modular design and a scalable, flexible concept, the new system is designed to meet the highest customer requirements for additive manufacturing in production environments. At the same time, the system offers full-field overlap with four scanners, enabling the lasers to reach all spots on the build platform and flexible component orientation. Compared to the EOS M 290 system, the EOS M 300-4 with its four 400 watt lasers increases productivity by a factor of 4 to 10 and results in considerably lower costs per part. The system is designed for automation and (software) integration into existing and future manufacturing environments.

Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President Region Export at EOS has said that: “The EOS M 300 series is currently the only 3D printing solution for digital industrial production and it especially meets the high demands of production environments. It offers industrial quality as well as an integrated data, powder and parts flow for easy integration into manufacturing plants.” He further continued that: “As one of the key drivers for the intelligent factory of the future, additive manufacturing plays an important role and as such becomes an integral part of global digitization strategies. We are pleased that Materials Solutions has decided to intensively test our new system in a pilot phase, giving us important impulses for the continuous further development of our manufacturing solutions.”

Markus Seibold, VP Additive Manufacturing of the Siemens Power and Gas division has also commented that: “Ever since we started using Additive Manufacturing in the Siemens Gas Turbine division nine years ago, we have relied on EOS technology. We expect the new system to deliver high reliability, increased productivity and integration in our digital production systems. Based on the four-laser system, we will further reduce our unit costs for Additive Manufacturing. This makes the business model behind it attractive for even more applications.” He further added that: “At Materials Solutions we will use this system to continuously expand our additive manufacturing services for the aerospace and automotive industries and other sectors.”


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Siemens Honours 2018 Industry Innovations

Siemens Honours 2018 Industry Innovations

Siemens has honoured 12 resourceful researchers as Inventors of the Year 2018. Together, these global scientists are responsible for some 590 inventions and 589 individual patents. Two of the inventors are from Germany, three from Austria and one each from Norway, France, Poland, Mexico, China, India and the United States. Their inventions range from new software that revolutionise component design with 3D printing to an ingenious window coating that significantly improves the reception of cellular communication signals in trains.

“Our inventors share the aspiration of enabling progress in technology and society, helping to make real what matters and creating value for customers and all our stakeholders,” said Roland Busch, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Siemens AG. “That’s the purpose of Siemens. And our inventors live this purpose.” Every year since 1995, Siemens has been presenting the Inventor of the Year Award to its outstanding researchers and developers, whose inventions have made major contributions to the company’s strong performance. Since 2016, the award has also been presented to researchers from outside the company.

In fiscal 2018, Siemens filed around 3,850 patents worldwide – an increase of 200 patents over the previous year. Worldwide, Siemens holds about 65,000 patents. In fiscal 2018, Siemens employees submitted about 7,300 invention disclosures. On a basis of 220 workdays during the year, this figure corresponds to about 33 inventions per day.


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