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EOS Presents New Materials And Processes For Series Additive Manufacturing

EOS Presents New Materials and Processes for Series Additive Manufacturing

EOS presents four new metal materials—EOS StainlessSteel CX, EOS Aluminium AlF357, EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 5, and EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 23. They have been tailored to suit a broad array of applications, ranging from automotive to medical applications.

The company offers comprehensive data on the material properties of all four metals—such as the number of test specimens on which the mechanical properties are based on—as well as detailed scanning electron microscope (SEM) images that provide an insight into the material quality. Thus, this documentation and transparency makes it easier for them to compare DMLS 3D printing with traditional manufacturing technologies and other 3D printing technologies. Such data and openness are a requirement for the use of additive manufacturing (AM) in series production.

Hannes Gostner, Director Research and Development, EOS said: “At EOS, the development of systems, materials, process parameters, software, and services have always gone hand in hand. All of the elements are perfectly aligned to each other. The result is reproducible high-quality parts at a competitive cost per part. This combination is of crucial importance, particularly for series manufacturing.”

The New Metal Materials In Detail

EOS StainlessSteel CX is a new tooling grade steel developed for production with the EOS M 290 that combines excellent corrosion resistance with high strength and hardness. Components made from this material are easy to machine and enable an excellent polished finish.

EOS Aluminum AlF357 is the ideal material for applications that require a light metal with excellent mechanical/thermal strength. Components made from this material are characterised by their light weight, corrosion resistance and high dynamic loading. EOS Aluminum AlF357 has been specially developed for production with the EOS M 400, but it is planned to also make the material available for the EOS M 290 system in the near future.

EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 5 has been specially developed for its high fatigue strength without hot isostatic pressing (HIP). Suitable for production with the EOS M 290, the material also offers excellent corrosion resistance, making it ideal for aerospace and automotive applications.

EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 23 has also been specially developed for its high fatigue strength without hot isostatic pressing (HIP) and for production with the EOS M 290. Compared to Ti64, Ti64 Grade 23 offers improved elongation and fracture toughness with slightly lower strength. Thanks to these properties, it is particularly well suited to medical applications.

Reliable Component Characteristics As Basis For Series AM

The technological maturity of all its polymers, metals, and processes are classified in the form of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). The TRL concept was developed by NASA and is established in numerous industries. Level 5, for example, refers to a verification of the technical solution, while the highest, level 9, refers to full production capability with extensive statistical data documentation. With validated parameters for part properties, the company is both facilitating and accelerating the transition to series production using additive manufacturing.

Furthermore, for easy orientation, materials and processes are divided into two categories: TRL 3–6 refer to CORE products, whereas TRL 7–9 refer to PREMIUM products and address the usage for series applications. One of the aims here is to make new materials available on the market with a clear value proposition.

The new materials belong to the following categories:

  • EOS StainlessSteel CX: Premium, TRL 8
  • EOS Aluminium AlF357: Premium, TRL 7
  • EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 5: Premium, TRL 7
  • EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 23: Premium, TRL 7

 

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NextGenAM Pilot Project For Automated Metallic 3D Printing A Success

NextGenAM Pilot Project For Automated Metallic 3D Printing A Success

Daimler has announced the successful conclusion of the “NextGenAM” pilot project which was launched in 2017 in partnership with EOS and AEROTEC. The project aimed to develop a digitalised next-generation manufacturing line which would be able to produce aluminium components for the automotive and aerospace sectors significantly more cost-effectively than is currently possible. “NextGenAM” has demonstrated huge potential for the production of replacement parts and series-production components as manufacturing costs could be reduced by up to 50 percent compared with existing 3D printing systems.

The integrated, scalable additive production chain covers all steps from data preparation to quality assurance. It is fully automated right through to the point where the printed parts are mechanically sawn off the build platform which means that no manual work is now required at any stage of the process. Furthermore, the machines are networked, and the entire production process runs itself from a central control, autonomous station.

This 3D printing process is particularly useful in the replacement part sector since, in the event of a tool problem, infrequently required parts can often be reproduced more cost-effectively than with conventional sand or pressure casting processes. Furthermore, 3D printing is also eminently suitable, for instance, for the production of the integrated base plates that carry the cooling lines for the batteries in electric vehicles.

The automation of the entire AM production chain will in future make it possible to manufacture larger batches in series production – with the same reliability, functionality, durability and economic efficiency as conventionally manufactured components. Components for new vehicles can be optimised for 3D printing during the design phase, bringing the promise of further advantages in terms of cost.

 

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How Additive Manufacturing Will Transform Digital Manufacturing

How Additive Manufacturing Will Transform Digital Manufacturing

Since the 19th century, manufacturing has rapidly evolved the creation of goods and given us highly complex supply and value chains. Article by Terrence Oh, Senior Vice President (Asia Pacific), EOS.

Now, Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing are on the tip of everyone’s tongue, representing a whole new industrial revolution in the thick of the digital age. Even though most are talking about it, there are very diverse thoughts about the whole picture of Industry 4.0 and a few examples have already shown success. One common aspect all approaches have in common is their focus on data, its evaluation, interpretation and usage to improve metrics like overall equipment efficiency (OEE).

The next wave of transformation in manufacturing will be due to and combination of intelligent components and digitalised production. These combine to achieve intelligent, digitally produced components for smart applications. The outcomes will be unique market winning smart applications, that are produced in efficient and effective smart factories.

Moving from Industry 3.0 to 4.0 requires huge efforts in digitising complex supply chains. It usually focuses on implementing all technologies and supply chain steps into one digital thread ideally. In order to increase the flexibility of such digital supply chains, additive manufacturing (AM) can significantly reduce the complexity. This leads not only to the opportunity of a digital thread, but also to the reduction of production time, assembly steps and scrap.

Powder bed-based AM technologies allow production flexibility to be increased due to their nature – a generative production process with almost no geometric limitations. This production flexibility is the basis for a future, fully digital production, enabling global manufacturing of intelligent parts, with a digital thread throughout the full lifecycle. Data will be generated from each batch of base material onward to the data collection during the final performance of a produced part.

The ‘3igital’ concept will enable additive production of intelligent components, with digital production chains, for smart and integrated applications.

3igital: Intelligent Components

Even today, additively-produced components are meeting requirements from a wide variety of industries to generate substantial added value. A next step will be to expand the advantages of additively produced components. For example, by integrating sensors to create intelligent components. The goal is to completely integrate data generation and sensor systems, which turn additively produced components into smart applications that are highly tailored to customer-specific requirements.

3igital: Digital Production

Once the intelligent component has been defined, a next step will be the integration of additive production into the digital factories of the future. The goal: Highly flexible and adaptable digital production that combines industrial 3D printing with conventional production technologies in existing and still-to-be-constructed production environments.

3igital: Intelligent, Digitally Produced Components for Smart Applications

The component data is now available from design to production, to the ‘intelligent’ part and can be collected throughout the life cycle of the component. In the end, we have a chain of innovation comprising of intelligent components produced in a digitalised 3D printing production chain. In the last area when the parts are used, they will provide valuable information that can be used to improve the use of the parts, the production chain and the component design. This opens up completely new perspectives for end-to-end linking of the design, production, and utilisation of the component, thus also permitting continuous optimisation. This can result in efficiency gains beyond the boundaries of the company, resulting in changes in entire value chains.

In other words, the future of manufacturing is not only linked digitally and additively, but, above all, it is integrated – becoming a true disruptor in digital manufacturing. By channelling our efforts into growing this technology and through integration, AM is already tapping the next technological dimension for the future: intelligent components – additively produced by a digitalised production cell – for smart applications.

 

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Tapping On Additive Manufacturing

Tapping On Additive Manufacturing

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Terrence Oh, Senior Vice President at EOS, regarding current trends in additive manufacturing.

 

  1. Could you provide us with an overview of the current trends in additive manufacturing?

The global additive manufacturing (AM) market is currently predicted to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 27 percent between 2018 and 2023. In the APAC region, the AM industry is continually growing and is set to have the highest CAGR due to the fast-growing industries like the automotive sector.

With that in mind, as the fourth industrial revolution continues to gain traction, the economics of manufacturing are changing—the industry looks towards moving to smart factories of the future. Digitalisation in manufacturing is emphasising the necessity to assimilate advanced software capabilities in AM, such as AI, automation and machine learning, to name a few—combining all these technologies together to elevate the AM industry to its full potential. This changes the fundamentals of how products are developed, scaled and manufactured.

  1. What are the newest innovations in metal 3D printing technology developed by EOS?

EOS M 300-4 is the latest addition to the EOS M 300 series for Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). It is designed to be a future-proof, automation-ready system which is scalable, configurable and secure. The system’s full-field overlap with four scanners, enables the lasers to reach all spots on the build platform and offer flexible component orientation. Customers are able to customise between different solutions to meet their needs. Customisable features include choosing between one, two or four lasers that come with configurations of 400 or 1,000 Watt, different types of recoaters and fixed or variable focus. The EOS M 300-4 increases production productivity by a factor of four to 10, resulting in considerably lower costs per part.

  1. What are some challenges manufacturing industries face when adopting these technologies?

Amidst rising protectionism and trade conflicts, higher tariffs would put Asia’s manufacturing scene at risk due to higher operating costs. This could also impact the decentralisation of the region’s manufacturing sector.

While AM usage in various industries are increasing, a skills gap is still prominent within the industry due to the niche expertise required. As a whole, Singapore’s manufacturing industry still operates rather traditionally with most companies looking to match specific job requirements with those that have specific skills and experience. The emergence of new technologies has unavoidably led to changes in job scopes, forcing the manufacturing industry to acknowledge the need to be versatile. If not addressed earlier, the lack of adequately-skilled talent could adversely impact the AM industry’s growth and other industries that tap on AM.

  1. How can these challenges be overcome?

Despite trade tensions and volatility, businesses that embrace advanced technologies can leverage AM to transform and grow. Manufacturing domestically would be more practical compared to overseas imports. With that said, AM adoption can also help businesses reduce part-to-production costs, production processes and time.

An industry’s success highly depends on the skill of the workforce. Manufacturing demands across verticals move much quicker and efficiently than ever before now, thus the need to strengthen the AM industry’s competency and readiness. Employees need to be open to upskilling and reskilling themselves with up and coming technologies like AM. This could be done through training programmes provided by their companies.

An example of a training programme we have undertaken is the Joint Industry Program (JIP) for Capability Transfer. Done in collaboration with the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), the initiative addresses the skills gap needed in the Additive Manufacturing (AM) industry across a myriad of sectors such as aerospace, medical and tooling.

  1. Where do you think additive manufacturing is headed in the next five to 10 years?

Industry 4.0 will continue to be a main focus in manufacturing as the industry makes way for smarter and intelligent manufacturing solutions and processes. As digitalisation becomes increasingly integrated into manufacturing, this will impact the production chain. For example, the way parts are designed will start to evolve to become more complex, functional, sustainable and even aesthetically-pleasing.

AM has already established its presence in the aerospace, healthcare, automotive and consumer-goods industries, and will continue to do so as these sectors are predicted to experience higher market growth according to McKinsey. More industries will also tap on AM to optimise its full potential and to make manufacturing more efficient and affordable.

 

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EOS Opens New Regional Warehouse For APAC Region In Singapore

EOS opens new regional warehouse for APAC region in Singapore

EOS, a leading technology supplier in the field of industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers, recently launched its regional warehouse for the Asia-Pacific region. Located in Singapore, the warehouse serves as a distribution hub for EOS’ operations in Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

“The market size for industrial 3D printing within the region is expected to expand in the next four years,” said Terrence Oh, Senior Vice President (Asia-Pacific), EOS. “We saw a need to be closer to our customers at all touchpoints, we sought out to be more flexible and adapt as best as we can to their needs. This new warehouse in Singapore allows for shorter lead times for spare parts and powders deliveries as well as enable us to react more quickly to their needs.”

The warehouse is a free trade zone warehouse and will cater to stocking of powders and spare parts before extending its capabilities to include other 3D printing equipment.

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Complex Aluminum Tool: Additive Manufacturing Makes The Impossible Possible

Complex Aluminum Tool: Additive Manufacturing Makes The Impossible Possible

Advanced industries require the development of special tooling, but some of these tools cannot be made using traditional manufacturing and machining technologies. These tools need to be engineered and developed from scratch and 3D printing helps bring them to life. Any-Shape is an expert in the creation of specific tools for the high tech industry with additive manufacturing (AM). Through its engineering department and AM production capacities, the company helped improve an aluminum tool for aerospace. Previous versions of the aluminum tool incorporated less complex embossing of the inner surface. As a result, machining was used as default process. For this new tool design requirements implied a much more complex inner surface with areas that are impossible to machine. Thus, it was decided to manufacture the tool using AM on an EOS M 290 combined with some post-machining. By EOS.

Precision aluminum tool with complex embossing and demanding requirements on surface roughness and accuracy

Precision aluminum tool with complex embossing and demanding requirements on surface roughness and accuracy. (Source: EOS)

Challenge

The project started when Any-Shape received a request for an aluminum tool with a very complex embossing of the inner surface. These tools are usually machined, but this design made that impossible as some zones of the inner surface just could not be reached and could therefore not be machined.

In addition, the technical requirements for the tool mandated extremely high precision combined with a very low tolerance as it was destined to be a precision tool:

  • Surface roughness of the nonmachinable inner surface of 3.7 +/- 0.5 μm Ra
  • High dimensional accuracy on the final assembly (0.05 mm on control points position, +/- 0.1 mm inner surface tolerance)

Two additional challenges were also on the table:

  • The tool had to be as lightweight as possible for a more convenient handling by the operators during the final usage
  • The integration of a part that had to be assembled by hybrid joining after additive manufacturing due to build size limitation of the EOS M 290

The expertise in additive manufacturing of Any-Shape helped fulfill all these requirements. The company has a very deep knowledge of design for AM and post process machining, enabling them to easily translate the requirements into production features. Using their EOS M 290 machine and unique EOS Aluminium AlSi10Mg material and process, Any-Shape had all the skills to meet the design and technical requirements for this complex tool as well as the production and post-treatment capacities to deliver the project on time.

Solution

A complete aAM strategy was set up to answer all challenges at once, both technical and ergonomic. Any-Shape had to take into account all the parameters for the AM itself but also the assembly operations that had to happen afterwards.

One of the first actions undertaken was to position the inner surface at the correct angle to optimise surface roughness. This position constraint then defined how the part support had to be placed underneath.

Shrinkage lines also had to be monitored very closely, especially because of the aforementioned position constraint. The design of the zones close to the articulation was slightly modified to allow for smoother exposed area transition, completely eliminating the shrinkage lines.

Another impact of the position constraints was the obligation to define how the cut had to be made on the largest component that had to be reassembled after manufacturing. Therefore the cut was designed specifically to:

  • Leave one translational degree of freedom to enable assembly, as this assembly had to really fit due to the stringent tolerance on the surface accuracy
  • Maximise the shear loading mode in the adhesive bond line area
  • Ensure a 0.2 mm bond line thickness thanks to spacers integrated into the manufacturing design

Finally, additional features were designed to be used for referencing positions and clamping during post manufacturing machining.

Complex embossing inner surface offering an “as built” average roughness of 4μm Ra (details). (Source: Any-Shape)
Complex embossing inner surface offering an “as built” average roughness of 4μm Ra. (Source: Any-Shape)
Complex embossing inner surface offering an “as built” average roughness of 4μm Ra (details). (Source: Any-Shape)
Complex embossing inner surface offering an “as built” average roughness of 4μm Ra. (Source: Any-Shape)

Results

Thanks to the 3D printing expertise of Any-Shape and its manufacturing strategy, the different parts were successfully printed, post-machined, re-assembled and successfully passed quality control.

The main part went through sandblasting for surface treatment, offering an average roughness of the inner surface after processing of 4μm Ra that complied with customer requirements based on previous tests.

Quality controls were made based on the initial design of the parts. Tolerances were met for all references. The surface accuracy after post-treatment was well within +/- 0.1 mm on each of the articulated arms inner surface taken separately, and +/- 0.2 mm on the final tool.

Finally, on the full assembly, no deviation jump could be observed either at the locus of the articulation or at the cut and re-assembled interface.

Leveraging the capabilities of 3D printing, Any-Shape was able to create a unique tool by going beyond the limits of traditional manufacturing and machining. The team could manage a very complex project in a very short time thanks to the skills of Any-Shape and the capabilities of EOS.

Regarding this achievement, Frédéric Lani, CTO of Any-Shape has commented, “It was a very challenging and complex project from beginning to end. Thanks to our 3D printing expertise, we were able to develop an end-to-end manufacturing strategy, from re-design for AM to final quality controls using additive manufacturing and post-machining. All along this project, we had full support from EOS and their reliability, quality and support.”

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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.

 

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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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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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Additive Manufacturing: Outlook For 2019

Additive Manufacturing: Outlook For 2019

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to feature an article provided by Terrence Oh, Senior Vice President (Asia Pacific) of EOS Singapore on the future of additive manufacturing (AM) in APAC.

Terrence_Oh,_Senior_Vice_President_(Asia_Pacific),_EOS_Singapore

“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going,” aptly describes the manufacturing sector within APAC this year and even the next.

The manufacturing industry has experienced a steady growth within the ASEAN region especially during the first-half of 2018. The AM market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 27 percent between 2018 (US$1.73 billion) and 2023 (US$ 5.66 billion). In fact, AM in APAC is expected to have the highest CAGR due to the region having the fastest growth for automotive and printed electronics sectors. This offers more opportunities for AM adoption.

As the manufacturing industry continues to ride the economic wave, the following are some predictions and trends we can expect in AM, also known as industrial 3D printing for 2019 and beyond:

AM Presents Another Opportunity For Economic And Productivity Growth

  • Rising protectionism and trade conflicts will have an impact on global supply chain to move toward decentralisation and regionalisation of manufacturing.
  • The manufacturing sector in Asia is at risk of incurring high operating costs if trade tensions continue due to higher trade tariffs.
  • As such, the digitalisation of manufacturing and AM will serve as an enabler for distributed manufacturing. This is a good opportunity for companies to tap on AM to grow and transform their businesses.
  • Businesses that adopt smart technologies like AM to 3D-print parts and components are able to reduce production costs, processes, and time through part redesign and integration. This also makes manufacturing domestically more practical than importing from abroad.

Continued Innovation And Adoption Of AM Across Industries

  • Aerospace: AM is reported to have a global economic impact of US$ 250 billion by 2025 if industries continue to increase its adoption, with the aerospace and defence industry taking the lead. Moreover, the global aerospace AM market is reportedly expected to register a CAGR close to 22.3 percent during the forecast period of 2018-2023. This also presents an opportunity for talent growth and development.
  • Healthcare: AM has already made its name in the healthcare industry due to its ability to custom-make 3D-printed prosthetics based on the individual’s needs. With the aging population, this trend is set to continue due to an expected increase in demand for personalised healthcare and treatments, as well as customized 3D-printed medical devices.
  • Automotive: The industry has embraced AM to decrease production lead time, increase efficiency in logistics management, and ensure effective use of components/materials. This trend is set to continue with. Currently, the global automotive 3D printing market is predicted to be valued at over US$ 8 billion by 2024.
  • Tooling: Together with robotics, tooling is will be one of the main industry drivers within the AM market in APAC from 2018 to 2023.

More Talent Development In AM

  • AM usage in various industries are increasing but there continues to be a gap in skills due to the niche expertise required.
  • If this is not addressed sooner, this could jeopardise the growth within the AM industry and eventually, other sectors that deploy AM.
  • To keep up with digital disruption and the need for business transformation to keep pace, more will be invested into educating future and current workforce on AM.
  • Launched in September 2018, EOS partnered with the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster’s (NAMIC) to develop the Joint Industry Innovation Programme. Targeted at advancing 3D printing capabilities in the aerospace sector, the training programme aims to produce specialists skilled in AM technology and design of parts. The programme addresses the need to reskill and upskill the current workforce as AM adoption increases.

 

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EOS And Etihad Airways To Collaborate On 3D Printing Technologies For Aviation Uses

EOS And Etihad Airways To Collaborate On 3D Printing Technologies For Aviation Uses

EOS and Etihad Airways Engineering, have agreed to a strategic partnership which will significantly expand capabilities for industrial 3D printing in aviation.

The partnership agreed at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend, will enable Etihad Airways Engineering to produce aircraft parts at their facility in Abu Dhabi. Visitors to the race were also able to view a full-scale 3D printed front wing of a Formula 1 car and speak to 3D printing experts.

The initial phase of this collaboration, which uses EOS technology with an EOS system for additive manufacturing (AM), will include the qualification of machine, process and materials in accordance with aviation regulatory requirements.

Following a structured selection process, suitable cabin interior parts will be produced through the AM process, which offers a substantial value-add in terms of optimised repair, lightweight design, shorter lead times and customisation options, particularly during aircraft modifications.

Bernhard Randerath, Vice President Design, Engineering and Innovation at Etihad Airways Engineering said: “Etihad constantly invests in new technology and has identified additive manufacturing as a key technology for aviation interior parts, as well as applications beyond aerospace in the future.

“The technology is a key enabler when it comes to design and innovation in our industry. Etihad is proud to work towards a vision of a 3D-printed cabin interior.”

Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President Export Region at EOS adds: “Etihad is providing industry-leading aircraft maintenance and engineering solutions. As such we share the same mindset as both of our companies are committed to high quality solutions and constant technology innovation. We are honored to support our partner on this innovation journey, as such bringing the production of aircraft interior parts to the next level.”

After the initial steps have been completed, Etihad Airways Engineering will certify the AM process, further develop additive manufacturing capabilities based on this technology and jointly with EOS develop, test and qualify new polymer materials. In the long term, Etihad aims to roll out AM to its global customer base and broader ecosystem.

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