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Philippines Starts Construction Of First 3D Printing R&D Centre

Philippines Starts Construction of First 3D Printing R&D Centre

The Philippines will soon have its 3D printing R&D institution as construction is underway for the Advanced Manufacturing Centre (AMCen). Spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the centre is aimed at promoting research and development in additive manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3D printing technology.

AMCen will feature two state-of-the-art research facilities that will focus on additive manufacturing R&D. AM allows rapid fabrication of various three-dimensional objects, ranging from small parts to automobile and aircraft, and even structures as big as bridges.

The DOST tapped Dr Rigoberto Advincula, a Balik Scientist and Case Western Reserve University professor,  as consultant for AMCen.

“The AMCen presents a unique position for the Philippines as it will be one of the first government-led centers in the ASEAN region that aspires to be a game-changer leading to Industry 4.0 goals,” said Dr Advincula.

With the support of DOST-PCIEERD (Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development), Dr Advincula will lead the development of the centre together with researchers from the DOST- Industrial Technology Development Institute and the DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Centre.

AMCen is likewise seen to strengthen the country’s capabilities in 3D printing and advanced design and manufacturing in the following areas: aerospace and defence; biomedical and healthcare; printed electronics; agricultural machinery; and automotive.


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Makino Asia’s Smart Factory Meets Sophisticated Precision Engineering Capabilities

Makino Asia’s Smart Factory Meets Sophisticated Precision Engineering Capabilities

Makino Asia, a leading provider of machine tools used across various industries including automotive, aerospace, medical, semiconductor and electronics, has recently showcased its smart factory at its regional headquarters in Singapore. The facility is designed to meet the growing demand for high-quality products and sophisticated precision engineering capabilities in Asia by adopting Industry 4.0 and the principles of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The smart factory consists of an assembly factory and state-of-the-art machining factory, leveraging seamless automation and digital technologies to achieve high levels of productivity and connectivity between its robots, machines and other peripheral systems.

The combined facility is expected to increase machine production capacity to almost double its previous capacity. The new machining factory and existing assembly factory are connected by a link bridge for staff, and a canopy area for the transfer of materials between the two factories using automated guided forklifts (AGF).

The facility is also fitted with energy-saving and efficient solutions: green energy from installed solar panels within the compound helps to generate about 2,400 megawatt hours of energy annually. This is equivalent to taking 200 cars off the road, avoiding 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions over the same period. In the machining factory, a chilled ceiling system is used to ensure maximum energy efficiency of its air-conditioning system while maintaining high quality, reliability and optimum performance of Makino Asia’s manufacturing operations.

Neo Eng Chong, CEO and President of Makino Asia said, “Makino strives for a ‘Quality First’ mindset across the organisation, from the manufacturing of our products to the development of our people and the business. We are extremely proud of our expanded smart facility in Singapore that will enable Makino Asia to better support our Customers in the region and Singapore’s vision to become a global Advanced Manufacturing hub.”

He added, “The automation and digitalisation of the entire facility serves as a way for us to achieve increased productivity, capacity or energy efficiency. More importantly, it embodies our vision to provide more than just machines for our Customers, by providing the most effective and efficient solutions that meet their needs. The establishment of the IoT Centre to provide real-time support is another milestone to enrich partnerships with our valued Customers.”

The monitoring and tracking of machine conditions in real-time enables Makino Asia to provide proactive and predictive services to Customers. This ensures optimum machine performance at all times so that Customers are able to consistently deliver high quality products.

Lim Swee Nian, Assistant Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board said, “Global precision engineering manufacturing leaders are accelerating the adoption and deployment of Advanced Manufacturing technologies from Singapore, to better serve the evolving needs of their Customers. We are pleased that Makino will be deepening its 45-year presence in Singapore through the launch of its digital transformation journey. As Makino Asia focuses on building its Industry 4.0 capabilities to develop and scale new solutions, we are confident that it will create value-added roles and upskilling opportunities for Singapore to succeed in the digital manufacturing economy.”

Makino Asia embarked on its digital transformation journey in 2016 with a plan to invest around S$100 million over five years to expand and boost the capabilities of its facility in Singapore. The company also established two new departments focused on automation and digitalisation to catalyse digital transformation in the company.

Besides having “smart” machines and solutions, Makino is committed to upskilling all its employees to keep up with fast and ever-changing developments in the manufacturing landscape. Makino Asia’s new and current employees undergo a Workforce Transformation program focused on equipping them with automation skills, digital literacy skills and safety skillsets. The courses are mandatory for all employees to keep abreast of the digital technologies being used to manage automated equipment.

The manufacturing sector in Singapore remains a key pillar of Singapore’s economy. It accounts for around 21 percent of Singapore’s nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 14 percent of the total workforce. Rapid technological advancements and digitalisation are changing the face of manufacturing. Developments in Advanced Manufacturing presents opportunities for companies to leverage on new technologies to drive productivity and growth.


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Advanced Manufacturing Effort: Partnering Of Singapore & German Firms

Advanced Manufacturing Effort: Partnering Of Singapore & German Firms

Hannover, Germany: New agreements were inked on 24 April 2018 to boost cross-country partnerships and cooperative innovation between German and Singapore companies. This move is set to enhance Singapore’s manufacturing sector.

The agreement was established at the biennial Germany-Singapore Business Forum (GSBF) 2018, held at Hannover Messe—world’s largest industrial technology trade fair, where many memorandums of understanding were signed.

“Like Germany, Singapore places great emphasis on innovation. Our complementary strengths make it meaningful for German and Singaporean enterprises to be innovation partners and build deeper technical capabilities,” said S. Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry.

Enterprise Singapore (ESG) signed an MOU with the German Accelerator—which helps high-potential German start-ups to enter Southeast Asia through acceleration programmes. This MOU is expected to boost market access for both country’s start-ups, while promoting Singapore as a regional launchpad for German start-ups.

Two other partnerships were announced on that day.

To collaborate on integrating Industry 4.0 technologies and microtechnology, Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association partners with German industry association IVAM Fachverband Fur Mikrotechnik.

A third MOU was by Composite Cluster Singapore, Sakura Tech and Germany’s Covestro and Hufschmied to establish a Composite Application Centre in Singapore. The CAC will work with international leaders in composites research, providing a platform for companies to leverage latest technologies and solutions.

Advanced manufacturing, or Industry 4.0, merges machines and digital technologies like data analytics and artificial intelligence, creating the “smart factory”—a key driver of Singapore’s future economic growth.

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