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Dormer Pramet Strengthens Asia Capabilities With Acquisition Of Miranda Tools

Dormer Pramet Strengthens Asia Capabilities With Acquisition Of Miranda Tools

Dormer Pramet has agreed to acquire the business of India-based Miranda Tools, a manufacturer of High-Speed Steel (HSS) and solid carbide cutting tools.

The acquisition enhances Dormer Pramet’s production capabilities with a proven manufacturing platform and further strengthens the company’s round tools offer for the general engineering, automotive component manufacturing and MRO industries.

“I am very pleased to have reached an agreement to acquire the business of Miranda Tools and look forward to welcoming them into the Dormer Pramet family. We see a lot of commonalities between the two companies, with an established distribution network, long-standing customer partnerships, and a focus on product quality and service,” said Stefan Steenstrup, president of Dormer Pramet.

“It also strengthens our position in the Indian and wider Asian markets, supporting a vast array of small to medium-sized workshops, which rely heavily on HSS cutting tools. By expanding our manufacturing footprint to encompass North and South America, Europe and now Asia, we can better serve these markets.”

“At present, we see this as business as usual for Miranda Tools and I would like to reassure customers that the proposed acquisition will not impact on their ability to receive the products they need in the day-to-day running of their business,” he concluded.

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Robots On Subscription: RaaS Model In The APAC Region

Robots On Subscription: RaaS Model In The APAC Region

In 2018, two out of every three newly deployed industrial robot installations worldwide were in Asia. However, growth appears to be slowing, with just a one percent annual increase in 2018. In this context, what are the opportunities presented by the robots-as-a-service (RaaS) business model? Here, John Young, APAC sales director at EU Automation, discusses the potential impact of RaaS on the APAC region in the coming years.

Robots-as-a-service is a business model that offers the opportunity for a much quicker and more widespread adoption of robot technology across a range of sectors. Rather than acquiring the robot outright, the RaaS model gives businesses the opportunity to subscribe to use the robot as a service. Companies can pay to use robots on a yearly or monthly subscription, a project only basis, or per task completed.

The benefits of this model are obvious. Companies can avoid the excessively high capital costs of purchasing the robots and instead pay a more manageable subscription fee. This is especially attractive to smaller and medium sized businesses looking to make their first explorative forays into the world of robotics, allowing them to scale their operations much sooner than they would normally be able to.

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Secondly, the customer does not have to worry about maintenance costs because the responsibility for maintaining the robots resides with the supplier throughout the subscription period. Typically, RaaS systems are also provided with access to cloud-based software applications which lessens the burden on engineers. Finally, this model is valued for its flexibility. If the technology becomes obsolete or if the customer wants to change direction, they are not tied to a specific technology for a long period.

In the West, there has been plenty of hype surrounding the RaaS concept and its potential for facilitating a significant increase in the use of robotics. However, Asia remains the world’s largest market for industrial robots. Just five countries account for 74 percent of global robot installations and three of those are in Asia, namely China, Japan and South Korea.

The RaaS model could be one way in which the Asia Pacific region maintains its supremacy in this domain. The demand is certainly there. In many parts of the region, cultural attitudes toward robots are more positive than in the Western world and robots are valued for their emancipatory potential.

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In Japan, for example, robots are seen as a way of helping to solve the problem presented by an ageing population and there are already signs that the RaaS model is being adopted. A recent instance of this is Plus Automation, which has just won a contract to supply robots on a yearly contract to a company that is shipping apparel products.

However, there are some drawbacks to this model. While it lowers capital costs, companies that have to pay recurring subscription fees will fork out more in the long run. And although maintenance costs are included in the fee, physical fixes cannot be resolved remotely, which makes RaaS less attractive than related platforms such as software-as-a-service. This may mean that plant managers consider a mixed fleet of owned and subscription-based robots to add redundancy.

The APAC region is the world’s leading market for industrial robots. To maintain that position, it will need to embrace new and innovative business solutions like the RaaS model, which is especially attractive to smaller and medium sized enterprises. However, companies will have to weigh the costs and benefits of this particular way of doing business before deciding whether it is right for them.

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Asia Set For A Rebound In 2020

Asia Set for a Rebound in 2020

The Asian economy is set for a rebound in 2020 as some of 2019’s export headwinds ease, policymakers pro-growth policies reinvigorate domestic economies, Southeast Asia continues to emerge as a global powerhouse, and consumption remains a bright spot, according to Deloitte’s latest Voice of Asia report.

However, the report argues, three main downside risks must be contained for this predicted rebound to emerge. That is, economies should avoid excessive stimulus that could cause a boom-bust cycle, US policy needs to remain stable, and financial risks, particularly from quantitative easing, need to continue to be reined in.

In Southeast Asia, pro-growth policies have been encouraged by rate cuts in the US and Europe, and economies including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore are expected to increase spending on public projects as a proportion of GDP.

“There are also positive signs on the trade integration front,” says Deloitte Asia Pacific Clients & Industries Leader Vivian Jiang. “The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership gives its 11 members, including four ASEAN economies, enhanced market access, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will reduce export-import paperwork and has introduced a limited degree of service sector liberalisation.”

Addressing specific sectors, the report suggests the automotive and aviation sectors will be bright spots after a period in the doldrums, with electronics another highlight.

“The decline in the automotive sector since 2018 was caused by factors including new emission standards in several markets, and other restrictions on production. This decline is likely to reverse this year, with a further boost from continued luxury sales volume growth” says Vivian. “Problems in the aviation sector are likely to ease as well, and there are signs of a resurgence in semiconductor billings, which should boost the electronics sector to help drive regional exports.”

On consumption, the report suggests, Asia can look forward to increased demand driven by labor market stability, increasing remittances, and easing monetary conditions.

“China’s consumer story remains intact even as household leverage continues to increase,” says Deloitte China Chief Economist Sitao Xu. “High debt is bound to limit people’s ability to consume, and banks’ non-performing loans could rise if home prices decline, but there tends to be more willingness among Chinese parents to help out their families if debt does become an issue.”

The Voice of Asia report is also positive on prospects for the infrastructure sector, which is increasingly emphasised by governments across the region. In Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, public works spending is rising as a proportion of GDP.


Market-by-Market Outlook

Australia

Australia’s economic slowdown has been caused by home-grown factors including worsening drought conditions and house price declines. Although tax and interest rates have been cut, there may not be a meaningful pickup in the Australian economy until 2021.

China

The Chinese Mainland is regaining its balance despite a long-term, secular growth downtrend, and Hong Kong, despite well-publicised difficulties over the past several months, remains a world leading financial center, with its currency peg to the US dollar holding firm, and could benefit from government stimulus.

India

India’s economy has been suffering from the effects of the Non-Bank Financial Companies (NBFC) crisis after problems in its formal banking sector. Corporations are still highly leveraged. It should bottom out in 2019 but remain subdued despite government stimulus and amid considerable downside risks.

Indonesia

Indonesia looks set to maintain steady growth of about 5 percent in 2020, with a young workforce, increasing urbanisation and monetary policy support for demand. The economy is becoming more stable but has yet to fully take advantage of the diversion of production out of China.

Japan

Exports have contracted and business confidence is subdued, and natural disasters have further depressed economic activity, but GDP growth has been quite resilient. Economic growth is expected to sustain at about 0.5 percent over the next two years.

Malaysia

Strong domestic demand led by household spending underpin Malaysia’s economic resilience, and its exports have outperformed. Its competitive currency, growth in manufacturing activity and a resumption in infrastructure projects are expected to support continued economic growth.

New Zealand

The economy slowed in early 2019, largely due to global headwinds. It is expected to return to trend levels of about 2.5 percent growth in the next couple of years, supported by factors including a tight job market, still-strong population growth and decent export prices and volumes.

The Philippines

The Philippines economy bottomed out in mid-2019, and is set to be boosted by a revival in the electronics sector, strengthening exports thanks to an expected pick up in the Chinese economy, continued strength in remittances and policy support that should drive consumption.

Singapore

Singapore is also expected to enter a recovery in 2020, supported by improving global growth and stronger electronics and precision engineering demand. There are also green shoots in finance, insurance, essential services and the “new economy”. The outlook for investment growth is also positive.

South Korea

We are upbeat about prospects for the South Korean economy in 2020, with an expect increase in demand for its manufactured goods. Government measures including a record budget of KRW513.5 trillion (US$4.36 billion) for the year should protect against downside risks.

Taiwan

Taiwan’s economy was resilient in 2019 despite being caught in the crossfire of the US-China trade war and the step-down in the global electronics cycle. We expect the economy to be outperform in 2020 on rising private investment, government policy to attract high-end manufacturing and other factors.

Thailand

After a slow start, Thailand’s economy is expected to pick up in 2H20, with export growth likely to have bottomed out, increasing tourist arrivals, rising farm incomes, positive fiscal policy and a recovery in private investment.

Vietnam

Vietnam is expected to remain one of Southeast Asia’s outperformers in 2020. It is one of the main beneficiaries of the relocation of production from China, which is prompting a surge in foreign investment. Its main challenges are manpower constraints, supply chain frictions and an infrastructure gap.

 

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TRUMPF Reports Higher Sales, But Decline In Orders Received

TRUMPF Reports Higher Sales, But Decline In Orders Received

The TRUMPF Group recorded a renewed increase in sales in the 2018/19 fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019, while orders received and profits declined. Sales rose by 6.1 percent to 3.78 billion euros (3.57 billion euros in the 2017/18 fiscal year). Orders received decreased to 3.68 billion euros (3.80 billion euros in the 2017/18 fiscal year). This equals a reduction of 3.1 percent. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)amounted to 349.3 million euros, which was 34.7 percent below the prior year figure (fiscal year 2017/18: 534.7 million euros). The EBIT margin was 9.2 percent (fiscal year 2017/18: 15.0 percent).

Development in the business divisions

In addition to the high backlog of orders from the previous year, the expansion of the EUV business field was a key driver of the TRUMPF Group’s growth in sales revenue. TRUMPF supplies special lasers to ASML, a customer in the Netherlands. These lasers are integrated into systems that use extreme ultraviolet radiation to expose chip surfaces for the computer industry.

The Machine Tools and Laser Technology business divisions were, by contrast, unable to maintain the high growth rates achieved in the previous year. Revenues for the Machine Tools division rose by a slight 1.2 percent to 2.39 billion euros (previous year: 2.36 billion euros). The Laser Technology division posted revenues of 1.38 billion euros, marginally (-2.1 percent) below the prior-year level of 1.41 billion euros. This decline was attributable to the slowing market in Asia (in particular in China and South Korea) as well as to the automotive industry’s reluctance to invest.

Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller, TRUMPF President and Chairwoman of the Managing Board, explains: “As a company operating in the investment goods sector, we are particularly exposed to the impact of cyclical highs and lows. That is currently the case. Given the uncertainty due to the U.S.–China trade conflict and the structural change in the automotive industry, many customers have become more cautious and are postponing investments.”

Investments and acquisitions

TRUMPF further pursued its strategy to enhance its technological expertise with new acquisitions. Effective April 1, 2019, TRUMPF completed the acquisition of Photonics GmbH from Philips, which it had announced in December 2018. As of the same date, the company set up a new business field, TRUMPF Photonic Components. In May 2019, TRUMPF acquired the remaining shares in the Chinese subsidiary JFY and now owns the company outright. To reflect this change, TRUMPF introduced a new organisational structure with a CEO China.

Investments in climate change mitigation: CO2-neutral production by the end of 2020

TRUMPF aims to achieve a CO2-neutral energy balance at its production sites worldwide by the end of 2020 and therefore intends to increase investments in measures to protect the climate. By its own reckoning, the company currently emits around 90,000 metric tons of CO2 worldwide per year. Of this amount, 80 percent is accounted for by electricity consumption. In this area, TRUMPF is pursuing a policy of concluding further green power contracts and purchasing certificates under carbon trading schemes to offset emissions from the combustion of heating oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. A similar approach is being applied in markets with limited availability of renewable energies in the electricity mix. All TRUMPF sites in Germany already cover 100 percent of their electricity needs through green power contracts. Worldwide, 60 percent of the electricity needs are covered by green power contracts.

Between now and June 2021, in addition to efforts to close this gap and become 100 percent green, if necessary, by purchasing certificates, TRUMPF intends to invest some 6.4 million euros in improving energy efficiency.

 

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Growth Of The Global Metal Stamping Market

Growth Of The Global Metal Stamping Market

The global metal stamping market 2019-2023 is expected to post a CAGR of nearly five percent during the forecast period, according to a report by Technavio.

Precision metal stamping is generally used to produce large volumes of metal products. The automated process reduces labour and enables the production of precise parts with tight tolerances at high accuracy. Precision metal stamping can also be automated to include secondary operations in both die and press. This process is also suitable for several customized applications. Hence, the increasing demand for precision metal parts from end-user industries has increased the adoption of precision metal stamping. This is one of the key drivers that will fuel the growth of the global metal stamping market during the forecast period.

The advent of 3D printing and additive fabrication is expected to positively impact the growth of the global metal stamping market. Additive fabrication can produce complex shapes and reduce the wastage of raw materials. This process can manufacture different parts and reduces the need for other tools. The additive fabrication can also be integrated with existing manufacturing processes to reduce time and production costs.

APAC led the market in 2018, followed by Europe, North America, South America, and MEA respectively. The dominance of APAC can be attributed to the growth of the automotive manufacturing industry and the expanding consumer base.

 

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Asia To Soar In The Commercial Aircraft MRO Market

Asia To Soar In The Commercial Aircraft MRO Market

The commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) market is estimated to register a CAGR of 4.35 percent during the forecast period, 2019-2024, according to a report released by Research and Markets.

With the growing air traffic, carriers are more inclined toward maintaining the health of their current fleet, going for new aircraft only if they have no other option, since the cost of buying a new aircraft is considerably higher than the cost for the maintenance of the current fleet. Different airports have introduced improvement processes to enhance efficiency, and several are using new technological systems to gain additional upgrades and prepare for the bigger data requirements of next-generation aircraft, and this shall lead to the growth of the market in the near future.

Asia Pacific is expected to see the highest growth in the MRO market. At present, Asia Pacific is generating the highest revenue in the commercial aircraft MRO market, with Singapore dominating the market in the region. In the recent years, several other Asian countries have also increased their investment in MRO facilities. The market for aircraft maintenance is also changing, as companies in countries like Indonesia and Thailand are also entering the market to challenge the dominance of established Singaporean players.

Government policy also plays a key role, and the Singaporean government has been very forward-looking in supporting the aerospace industry. With the growing frequency of flights to and from the Asian countries, the demand for MRO centres is expected to rise in this region in the coming years. Moreover, due to the huge potential of the Asia-Pacific aviation market, several global players are establishing new centres in the region to cater to the growing demand.

 

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Almost Every Second Industrial Computer Was Subjected To Malicious Cyber Activity In 2018

Almost Every Second Industrial Computer Was Subjected To Malicious Cyber Activity In 2018

In 2018, Kaspersky Lab detected and prevented activity by malicious objects on almost half of Industrial Control System (ICS) computers protected by the company’s products and defined as part of an organisation’s industrial infrastructure. The most affected countries were Vietnam, Algeria and Tunisia. These are some of the main findings of the Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT report on the industrial threat landscape in H2 2018.

Malicious cyber activities on ICS computers are considered an extremely dangerous threat as they could potentially cause material losses and production downtime in the operation of industrial facilities.

In 2018, the share of ICS computers that experienced such activities grew to 47.2 percent from 44 percent in 2017, indicating that the threat is rising

According to the new report, the top three countries in terms of the percentage of ICS computers on which Kaspersky Lab prevented malicious activity were the following: Vietnam (70.09 percent), Algeria (69.91 percent), and Tunisia (64.57 percent). The least impacted nations were Ireland (11.7 percent), Switzerland (14.9 percent), and Denmark (15.2 percent).

“Despite the common myth, the main source of threat to industrial computers is not a targeted attack, but mass-distributed malware that gets into industrial systems by accident, over the internet, through removable media such as USB-sticks, or e-mails. However, the fact that the attacks are successful because of a casual attitude to cybersecurity hygiene among employees means that they can potentially be prevented by staff training and awareness – this is much easier than trying to stop determined threat actors,” said Kirill Kruglov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT.

Threats Against Industrial Computers In Singapore And Southeast Asia

When it comes to the regions worldwide with the highest proportion of ICS machines on which malicious activity was prevented by Kaspersky Lab, Southeast Asia came in second, with 57.8 percent of infected machines in H2 2018, following closely behind the most infected region, Africa at 60.5 percent.

In Singapore, the distribution of detected infection rate was 20.7 percent, and this figure was also the lowest across Southeast Asia. Within Asia Pacific, Singapore had the second lowest distribution of detected infections in H2 2018, edging behind Hong Kong at 15.3 percent.

“From 23 percent of ICS machines almost infected during the first six months of 2018, Singapore recorded a nearly three percent lower infection rate against their critical systems for last year’s final half. We commend the government and the enterprises’ significant strides in prioritising cybersecurity, and our latest figures undoubtedly prove the fruits of their labour. We are hopeful that Singapore will continue to be mindful that large-scale cyberattacks against critical systems have the potential to cripple manufacturing and disturb the nation’s operations, especially as the country continues to embark on its Smart Nation Initiative,” commented Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia, Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT Recommends Implementing The Following Technical Measures:

  • Regularly update operating systems, application software on systems that are part of the enterprise’s industrial network.
  • Apply security fixes to PLC, RTU and network equipment used in ICS networks where applicable.
  • Restrict network traffic on ports and protocols used on edge routers and inside the organisation’s OT networks.
  • Audit access control for ICS components in the enterprise’s industrial network and at its boundaries.
  • Deploy dedicated endpoint protection solutions on ICS servers, workstations and HMIs, such as Kaspersky Industrial CyberSecurity. This solution includes network traffic monitoring, analysis and detection to secure OT and industrial infrastructure from both random malware infections and dedicated industrial threats.
  • Make sure security solutions are up-to-date and all the technologies recommended by the security solution vendor to protect from targeted attacks are enabled.
  • Provide dedicated training and support for employees as well as partners and suppliers with access to your network.
  • Use ICS network traffic monitoring, analysis and detection solutions for better protection from attacks potentially threatening technological process and main enterprise assets.

 

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Renishaw & Infosys To Accelerate Metal Additive Manufacturing Use

Asia: Engineering and IT services company Infosys and Renishaw, metrology and additive manufacturing provider, have announced a strategic partnership to offer an end-to-end product development service using metal additive manufacturing (AM) technology.

The two companies are combining their engineering expertise and global resources to help customers accelerate their deployment of AM, also known as 3D printing, for volume production of end-use metal components.

When adopting any disruptive new manufacturing technology, firms will go through a rigorous assessment process to understand the potential benefits, and to prove the reliability and capability of the production process. The investment in time, resources and equipment to achieve this can be significant.

Applying its efficient engineering processes and design for AM knowledge, Infosys will manage product development projects from concept through to launch. Application engineering expertise, post-processing capability, and metrology will be providing by Renishaw in the form of its Additive Manufacturing Solutions Centres network.

Whilst additive manufacturing is changing the way that components are made, its bigger impact is on the design of products themselves. AM enables products that are lighter and more efficient in their use of resources, that facilitate exceptional heat transfer, that are integrated with fewer joints for greater reliability, or that are customised to adapt perfectly to a specific application. These gains in product capability are transforming AM into a mainstream manufacturing technology, used in series production of high performance parts for aerospace, medical, automotive, oil and gas, as well as mould and die.

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