Cognizant has agreed to acquire TQS Integration, a privately owned global industrial data and intelligence company. TQS delivers manufacturing data intelligence, global technology consulting and digital systems integration to help manufacturers accelerate their digital transformations.
TQS helps nine of the top 10 global life sciences companies enable Manufacturing 4.0. Cognizant, which previously strengthened its life sciences manufacturing capabilities with the 2019 acquisition of Zenith Technologies, will combine TQS’s expertise with its own to help clients transition to Industry 4.0 and expedite the production of life-changing medicines.
TQS expands Cognizant’s presence in Ireland, a hub for the world’s leading life sciences manufacturing experts and an ideal location for delivering Industry 4.0 consulting and services to European manufacturing clients.
Joe Haugh, VP of Cognizant Life Sciences Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group said:“TQS Integration are an exemplary, world-leading industrial data and intelligence company. Like Zenith Technologies, their business started out in Ireland and has grown to be a leading global player, driving excellence in the field of data management and utilisation. Building on their fundamental knowledge of data historian and data analytics, this acquisition will help strengthen and complement our services in Life Sciences Manufacturing and enable us to deliver a broader, end to end digital solution to the marketplace.”
Máire Quilty, corporate managing director, TQS said: “Our world-class team of data intelligence and technology consultants have built a tremendous track record in helping our life sciences manufacturing clients transform their businesses. Together with Cognizant, we look forward to broadening our impact to manufacturing clients in other industries who are looking to embrace Industry 4.0.”
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and local manufacturing software company Arcstone opened a joint laboratory at A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC) to develop smart manufacturing solutions to help businesses speed up digital transformation to make operations more efficient, effective, and sustainable. Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Gan Kim Yong graced the joint lab’s opening.
This era of Industry 4.0 allows for real-time extraction and monitoring of operational data, as well as the ability to control machines digitally and remotely. Today’s manufacturing execution systems (MES) face limits, however, such as in the optimisation of production processes. Against this backdrop, A*STAR and Arcstone will collaborate to give today’s MES added intelligence – or “adding a brain to the body”, as Arcstone says.
With a total investment of S$18 million over three years, the A*STAR-Arcstone joint lab will transform Arcstone’s existing solutions into a next-generation MES suite. The MES will incorporate technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to help manufacturers make better decisions – through visualisation, control, optimisation, and sustainability. For example, the MES will not only provide information about what is happening in a production process in real time but also recommend ways to improve that process, such as by optimising production scheduling.
Manufacturers, including local SMEs, will be able to tap on these smart manufacturing solutions to increase manufacturing transparency and improve production scheduling across the supply chain, paving the way for more competitive and robust supply chains. The solutions will also help manufacturers go green by enabling them to optimise energy usage. The joint lab will place special emphasis on the user-interface for the MES, making it easy to configure and use, especially for first-timers. The joint lab will work on projects in the following areas:
Improve production through real-time visibility
Control production using IIoT technologies
Optimise production using simulation and artificial intelligence
Make production greener through data and optimisation
Collaborating with A*STAR will help Arcstone halve the time needed for its own R&D to achieve its goals. The joint lab aims to create about 30 engineering jobs over the next three years.
Professor Alfred Huan, Assistant Chief Executive, Science and Engineering Research Council, A*STAR, said, “The challenging economic environment sends a reminder to many companies of the constant need for innovation to stay competitive. At A*STAR, we collaborate with companies such as Arcstone to help them build new capabilities to move up the value chain. Such public-private partnerships continue to play an important role in encouraging businesses to adopt technologies to differentiate themselves from the competition. This collaboration with Arcstone is also an example of how local SMEs can deploy their new solutions to help other local SMEs speed up digital transformation in their factories, driving increased digitalisation across the board.”
Mr Willson Deng, Chief Executive Officer, Arcstone, said, “Our goal with the joint lab is to rapidly produce cutting-edge technology to give SMEs and global manufacturers a leg up in efficiency, productivity, and most importantly, long-term sustainability and environmental competitiveness. We are confident about achieving this goal, for we have in ARTC a trusted R&D partner that will bring us results – we know this from years of collaboration with ARTC’s scientists and engineers.”
To support their goal of manufacturing quality parts, Toyota Industries Corporation and Siemens have cooperated to develop artificial intelligence (AI) that can predict product abnormalities in aluminium die casting, a key process in automotive air conditioning compressor production.
The development is one of the world’s first to use defect prediction AI for die casting. It improves quality and productivity by utilising the AI application in Industrial Edge, the Siemens edge computing platform for industry. The initiative is an innovative example of digital transformation in manufacturing, and Toyota Industries Corporation aims to use it to further evolve their technology and incorporate it into their production plants in Japan and overseas. Siemens hopes that more businesses in the manufacturing industry will adopt their digitalisation and automation solutions such as Industrial Edge.
Aluminium die casting is a high-speed moulding process in which molten aluminium is shot into a die at high pressure. It is ideal for the accurate manufacture of metal cast parts that demand high dimensional precision, and therefore is often used for automotive parts that require high quality and reliability. The die casting process is challenging to manage due to a range of constantly changing production conditions such as variations in the molten aluminium temperature or the injection rate. Success relies on the judgement of experienced workers, and sometimes the parts require secondary processing to handle abnormalities and maintain high quality standards.
During development, the two companies used a Siemens Simatic S7-1500 controller to gather big data totaling approximately 40,000 data points per die casting shot at the model line and then analysed the data using AI technology. They succeeded in preventing defects and improving quality by monitoring the production status in real time and automatically predicting equipment abnormalities that lead to quality issues. The production data is processed by the defect prediction AI on Industrial Edge, enabling instant analysis of the data on production conditions at the time of a shot and assessment of the part quality immediately after the casting. This series of AI technologies boosts productivity, improves quality, and transforms how operators work
“Digital transformation is a game changer. I am delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Toyota Industries Corporation in this revolutionary endeavor and to work together to forge the future,” says Rainer Brehm, CEO of Factory Automation, Siemens AG. “We will continue to develop and provide solutions for industries incorporating the latest technologies and to contribute to optimised and sustainable manufacturing.”
Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Newer Welding Techniques to Enable Growth in the Digital Age, reports that increasing competition in the global welding equipment and consumables market has led manufacturers to focus on energy efficiency, operational excellence and reducing maintenance costs. Amid the uncertain economic conditions caused by COVID-19, the industry is forecast to reach $21.74 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 1.3 percent. Growth is driven by opportunities from developing regions where infrastructure building, the introduction of new welding technologies, and automation are top priorities.
“Several new developments in welding technologies and materials are emerging due to an increased focus on energy efficiency from vendors and end-users. Advancements such as the ability to monitor and regulate the weld temperature while in the process are generating highly efficient outputs and better quality. These innovations will reduce operational tasks, improve energy management and extend electrode life,” said Krishnan Ramanathan, Industry Manager, Industrial Technologies Practice, Frost & Sullivan.
Digital transformation is gaining traction in Australia and Singapore as their communications infrastructure is upgraded. This digitalisation is expected to propel the welding market as other countries modernise. China, India, and Brazil are also vital for welding equipment and consumables suppliers as they have high energy and infrastructure requirements. However, the development rate is likely to be gradual as economies recover from the impact of COVID-19.
“IIoT is a major trend affecting equipment manufacturers as end-users continue to emphasise on improving their plant maintenance and curb operational expenditure (OPEX),” Ramanathan said. “With the global economy currently experiencing a dynamic environment, manufacturers are striving to improve operational efficiency in their existing plants and are keen to cut down the maintenance and operational costs due to unexpected failure and asset downtime. Realising that the future of manufacturing is likely to be driven by IIoT, companies today are turning their focus toward data ownership, security, and integration with existing infrastructure, with an intent to achieve returns on their investment in these solutions.”
Welding equipment manufacturers should explore these strategic recommendations to increase growth opportunities:
Collaborate with technology providers to enhance capabilities and meet varying end-user requirements. Leveraging state-of-the-art technologies and consumables will result in higher-quality welds and cost-savings for end users.
Expand the business approach by offering the option to rent welding equipment to reduce capital expenditure.
Continue working with traditional channel partners due to their wide reach while exploring alternative distribution and servicing options.
Focus on the Middle East, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia regions as these will witness a surge in demand due to increased urbanisation.
Gravity Pull Systems, Inc., the enabler of industrialisation in additive manufacturing has launched an integrated Schedule Optimiser and MES system that provides a simple solution to a highly complex problem:
While most of existing solutions for Planning/Scheduling and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) require a special process design to meet relevant requirements for AM processes, Gravity’s product suite Synoptik provides a technology that enables best economics of scale and supports profound digital transformation in additive manufacturing.
The Synoptik product suite provides an all-in-one solution, enabling
Holistic process planning across entire manufacturing processes, including post-processing with the objective to achieve the most optimal levels of material consumption, material re-use and capacity utilisation
full transparency and traceability by a 24/7 total view on each & every process step
industry-specific Audit & Compliance conformity for Aerospace, Automotive, Automation and Medical industries
significant cost savings by reduced manufacturing costs while ensuring sustainability
The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has approved a series of measures to accelerate investments, particularly in target industries and to encourage business to adopt digital technologies.
“The package to promote large scale projects was designed to boost investment in the post-Covid-19 period,” Ms Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the BOI, said after a board meeting chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha.
“As for the digital technology adoption measure, they complement the sets of productivity improvement measures we have been implementing continuously to promote increased efficiency and productivity, and ensure companies are ready to seize the business opportunities arising from the upcoming economic recovery.”
Under the measures to accelerate investment in target industries, projects with realised investments of at least 1 billion baht (USD33 million) within 12 months from the promotion certificate issuance, will be eligible for an additional 50 percent corporate income tax (CIT) deduction for a period of 5 years, on top of the standard five to eight years CIT exemption, Ms Duangjai said. Qualified projects must submit applications from January 4, 2021 to the last working day of 2021.
Existing businesses of all sizes applying for investment under the digital technology adoption program in systems and activities such as software integration, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning or big data analytics by the end of 2022, will, if approved, be granted a 50 percent corporate income tax exemption for three years on their existing businesses.
“We expect to see faster adoption of digital technologies including cloud computing through this incentive scheme,” Ms Duangjai said. To further promote investments in Thailand’s ten Special Economic Zones (SEZ), all located in border areas, the BOI approved the extension of the application period, to the end of 2022, for the special incentive scheme for SEZs that has been implemented over the past several years.
As COVID-19 strikes, all companies in various sectors are facing a huge challenge of sustaining their businesses. People are being forced to make hard decision on whether to close their doors or digitally innovate even further. Article by Makino.
COVID-19 has paved the way for digital transformation as businesses shift operations to cope with office closures, restricted movement and supply interruption.
Digital transformation has always made sense but adoption has been slowed as people deal with some of the overwhelming concepts around Industry 4.0, the sheer size of the task, and struggle to figure out where the value is coming from and where they can find the “digital dividend”.
Now, the needs are compelling and urgent and those that fail to transform will likely be left behind and risk becoming irrelevant and uncompetitive.
Transformation in Manufacturing Industry
To create an ecosystem that is digitally enabled, one must have the ability to model a disruption in real-time, the agility to respond to that disruption, and the resilience to cope with whatever the world has to throw at it.
This is demanded not only by the manufacturers, but also by their customers, inventors, creditors, and insurers. As a result, an extensive digitisation of the shop floor, including its integration with all the other systems, is becoming essential rather than nice to have. It provides the necessary first layer of high-quality data, upon which another layer of insight generation, decision support, and control of production processes—all in real time—must be superimposed. Such systems must become an order of magnitude better than what exists today.
Digital Transformation with Makino
Makino has been actively moving towards the trend of digitalisation. Its facility is designed to meet the growing demand for high-quality products and sophisticated precision engineering capabilities by adopting Industry 4.0 and the principles of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Despite transforming the facility into a Smart Factory, Makino also acts as a partner which helps their customers to drive them and motivates them towards transformation.
Retool Your Business Processes to Compete in the Global Die/Mould Market
Common practice and misconceptions can lead mould, tool and die owners to conclude that automation offers few benefits to their businesses due to the demands for tight tolerances and one-off or small runs of complex 3D shapes. In today’s competitive global marketplace, with pressures to improve quality and pricing without increasing investment in machines or labour, the time is right to consider taking a production approach.
Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, The Reshaping of Industries Caused by COVID-19, encompasses nine key trends that will emerge from industries reshaping as a response to COVID-19. With the pandemic’s negative impact on the global economy, immediate action is critical. Technology leaders must assess the emerging opportunities resulting from COVID-19 and provide technological innovations to build company, society, and consumer resilience.
“From transformative MegaTrends to geopolitical chaos, there are several factors making it increasingly difficult to grow,” said Murali Krishnan, Visionary Innovation Group Senior Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “In the near term, companies should focus on diversifying supply chains and leveraging new opportunities arising from changing customer demands. In the long term, it is important to internally adapt to new technologies that support workplace and operational continuity to have a smoother transformation during recovery.”
Chaitanya Habib, Visionary Innovation Group Research Analyst, added: “The shift in focus on cost optimisation and on avoiding further production losses post-COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of automation and industrial robots across various industries. As a result, the global industrial robotics market is expected to grow from $44.6 billion in 2020 to $73 billion in the next five years, with increasing FDA approval and patent activity.”
The nine key trends across industries that will emerge as a result of COVID-19 are:
Connected Living:The increased adoption of contactless surfaces post-pandemic will power the home automation and security markets. Systems encompassing voice activation technology will become increasingly popular among consumers.
Connected Work: Reformed connected work scenarios will accentuate the need for “cloud everything.” New subscription-based models will witness a growing demand for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
Digital Health: Digital health driven by telemedicine and robotic care will become the new standard of care delivery. Standardisation of service across the care continuum will require more service and technology providers.
Geopolitical Balance: Countries should work together to keep trade flowing and ensure the supply of essential products, sending a signal of confidence to the global economy.
Human Augmentation: The behavioral analytics market is expected to reach $3 billion in revenue in 2030, up from $230 million in 2019. Post-COVID-19, behavioral data will be used to enhance healthcare systems, financial services, and cybersecurity.
Lights-out Operations: Autonomous “lights-out” operations will propel the demand for remote asset management solutions, and service providers will focus on data management strategies and data-driven business models.
Smart Cities: Smart cities will create significant business opportunities with a market value of $2.46 trillion by 2025. Smart cities will prioritise more digitalised services and a strong data analytics infrastructure, leading to increased spending on technology.
Supply Chain Optimisation: The supply chain industry is creating radical innovations with augmented reality, virtual reality, advanced robotics, real-time inventory tracking, and exploring how 3D printing could completely disrupt the supply chain in the next 10 years.
Technology Advancements: Pandemic preparedness will speed up the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and accelerate AI innovation. Beyond specific disease management, post-pandemic economies also will rely on AI and machine learning (ML) tools to expedite digital transformation across key business initiatives.
Helping manufacturers build a position of strength to operate in a COVID-safe world remains mission critical for this year’s Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC – A HANNOVER MESSE EVENT (ITAP) from 20 to 22 October.
The event, in its 3rd edition, comes at a time when business transformation is pivotal to survival, scalability and sustainability. The COVID-19 situation has brought tremendous disruption to all industries and economies, forcing manufacturers and businesses to rethink their business strategies, relook business operations, recalibrate their resources and reskill their workforce. There has never been a more urgent need for a deeper understanding and adoption of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) solutions to emerge stronger in a post COVID-19 world.
Going digital-first for expanded outreach and growth opportunities
Amidst global travel and border restrictions, ITAP 2020 is poised to stage a first hybrid edition yet as it goes virtual with a custom-built interactive platform and physical bolt-on activities to optimise engagement and knowledge transfer opportunities beyond physical event barriers of time, language and geography. With ‘Forging Ahead with Industry 4.0 In the New Normal’ as the driving theme, ITAP 2020 devises innovative ways in the virtual space for stakeholders to continue to explore I4.0 solutions to aid and complement business operations.
“Business survivability and transformation are the two biggest challenges our customers in the manufacturing industry are now facing. More than just about increasing productivity, it is about finding new opportunities to urgently accelerate and support their agility and responsiveness,” said Mr Aloysius Arlando, CEO SingEx Holdings Pte Ltd, who co-organises ITAP. “In these trying times, establishing a hybrid platform will allow the community to easily collaborate on feasible solutions, optimise engagement and knowledge transfer, and find new growth opportunities.”
Heeding the call for bite-sized learning
This will not be the ITAP community’s first experience with virtual engagement sessions this year. Since May, SingEx Exhibitions has held regular virtual sessions under the ITAP Connect series, comprising interactive web engagement sessions to enable the community to continue interacting despite not being able to meet in person, as well as share case studies and learnings across borders with solution providers, domain experts and one another.
The sessions will also continue in the lead up to the main engagement from 20 to 22 October, when all learning and networking engagements will then be hosted on a dedicated virtual interactive platform. Registered participants will gain access to round-the-clock content on this platform with personalised recommendations of solutions and products, targeted networking and lead generation opportunities. The platform will also provide companies with a one-stop portal to showcase their solutions and conduct demonstrations for their products and services fashioned in the spirit of ITAP’s signature Learning Journey Approach and thematic zones – Gateway to I4.0, Robotics Experimental Experience Zone, the Collaboration Lab, as well as the Digital Sandbox. These will be complemented by physical bolt-on activities at specific locations with safety measures put in place to provide first-hand access to latest innovations, as well as maximize showcasing and networking opportunities for industry stakeholders in Singapore.
Digital transformation requires secure, reliable, seamless connectivity to all industrial assets, and the use of smart machine technology positions OEMs to more effectively meet the demands of manufacturers for more flexibility. Article by Kumaravelu Sokka, Rockwell Automation.
Flexible manufacturing is increasingly a requirement for machine builders to stay ahead of the curve and offer value-added solutions to their customers. The importance of integrating flexible, solutions-oriented software to the plant floor is particularly apparent in a region as diverse as Asia Pacific. Operating in the fastest-growing major region in the world, OEMs in Asia Pacific are challenged to evolve at a rapid pace as they are the driving force behind a huge variety of global production lines. With manufacturers in the region striving to meet increasing global demand, OEMs can bring significant added value to their customers by making their machines smarter, and their production lines more adaptable.
Advances in smart machine technology have brought about an era in which OEMs can build solutions that meet the needs of manufacturers now and in the future. Customers in the region benefit tremendously from a differentiated machine offering that leverages their existing platform and data, and delivers more insights and value as a result. Smart machines seamlessly connect the plant floor with the enterprise, and generate actionable intelligence that add an invaluable degree of operational flexibility.
Scalable analytics platforms such as FactoryTalk Analytics illustrate this as they leverage smart machine technology to provide advanced analytics capabilities, such as machine learning. OEMs can initiate this with minimal cost, ultimately helping their customers to use their operational data to generate actionable insights and empowering them for more responsive, informed decision-making about their business performance. This capability can be further supplemented with FactoryTalk InnovationSuite, powered by PTC, which connects disparate devices and machines on the plant floor. Integrating data from these different sources into a single model, this solution helps to detect any operational issues before they cause downtime and increases the overall efficiency of operations.
The industry is also taking advantage of developments within the field of augmented reality (AR), in which OEMs can maximise the potential of their machines while improving the efficiency of operating and maintaining the machines both remotely and onsite. Implementing a series of step-by-step instructions to guide employees helps end users move closer to securing a competitive advantage, optimising resources by reducing employee training needs and improving downtime and changeovers. These are just a few examples of smart machine technology solutions that take companies to the next level of their digital transformation journey, and they’re being put into practice throughout the region.
Companies across Asia Pacific are transitioning from predominantly hardware manufacturers, to solutions-oriented providers of fully-digital production capabilities, equipped to meet the challenges and requirements of the IoT market growth. This is exemplified in the case of 3V, one of the leading machine builders in the automotive industry, which partnered with Rockwell Automation to optimise their processes with IIOT technology. Their integration of information solutions, analytics and AR allows them to improve production, and grants the flexibility to solve problems before they occur, reducing both downtime and the costs and risks associated with maintenance. The digital transformation will open up new revenue streams for them, and will garner return on investment for their customers.
Digital transformation requires secure, reliable, seamless connectivity to all industrial assets, and the use of smart machine technology positions OEMs to more effectively meet the demands of manufacturers for more flexibility. By optimising the use of data across existing platforms, productivity and visibility are improved, enabling customers to differentiate in the marketplace and bring solutions to life even faster.