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Cognizant Enhances Smart Manufacturing Offerings With TQS Integration Acquisition

Cognizant Enhances Smart Manufacturing Offerings with TQS Integration Acquisition

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.”

 

A*STAR And Arcstone Open S$18M Joint Lab To Accelerate Digital Manufacturing In Singapore

A*STAR And Arcstone open S$18M Joint Lab To Accelerate Digital Manufacturing In Singapore

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:

  1. Improve production through real-time visibility
  2. Control production using IIoT technologies
  3. Optimise production using simulation and artificial intelligence
  4. 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.”

 

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Toyota Industries Corporation And Siemens Partner On Digital Transformation For Die Casting

Toyota Industries Corporation And Siemens Partner On Digital Transformation For Die Casting

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.”

 

 

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Frost & Sullivan: Welding Vendors Focusing On New Technologies And Energy Efficiency

Frost & Sullivan: Welding Vendors Focusing On New Technologies And Energy Efficiency

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.

 

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Gravity Pull Systems Introduces Industrialised MES Solutions For AM Processes

Gravity Pull Systems Introduces Industrialised MES Solutions For AM Processes

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

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Thailand BOI Accelerates Investment For Digital Adoption

Thailand BOI Accelerates Investment For Digital Adoption

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.

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