skip to Main Content
Interview With Mr. Lieu Yew Fatt, Managing Director Of Omron Electronics Singapore

Interview With Mr. Lieu Yew Fatt, Managing Director of Omron Electronics Singapore

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Mr. Lieu Yew Fatt, Managing Director of Omron Electronics Singapore on his views on the future of robotics technologies in Asia and its impact on manufacturing processes and supply chains.

Interview With Mr. Lieu Yew Fatt, Managing Director of Omron Electronics Singapore

1. In your opinion, what are the top three megatrends that are shaping the robotics industry in Asia?

Firstly, robots are becoming increasingly proactive due to intelligent features being incorporated into them today. Robots are no longer limited to menial or laborious duties. Empowered by artificial intelligence, robots can take on higher level tasks due to their ability to ‘learn’ and ‘think’.

Secondly, the use of collaborative robots or “cobots” is set to increase. Robots have yet to really work collaboratively with humans due to safety concerns and inadequate sensory information. However, we are making substantial progress in improving safety and sensing technology, increasing the potential to revolutionise the way humans work with robots in the future.

Lastly, decision makers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits that their businesses can reap by incorporating robots. As a result, people with skills and expertise in robotics are becoming more highly sought-after.

2. What are the key challenges that prevent manufacturers in Asia from adopting robotics in their manufacturing processes and supply chains?

Manufacturers are still faced with resistance from employees who are not familiar with robotics. Unfortunately, many employees still fear that their jobs are threatened by robotics and automation.

Incorporating robotics into factories and production lines is also seen as a long-term project. Small and medium sized manufacturers, vigilant of their costs and cashflow, may not see investing in robotics as immediately beneficial or justifiable.

Successful implementation of robotics is also typically perceived as requiring major adjustments to work processes or even infrastructure. This can lead to resistance from employees who are unwilling to change or adapt.

3. How do you suggest that the above challenges be solved?

Manufacturers must understand that the implementation of robotics is not about replacing workers. When incorporated successfully in the production line, for example, robotics and automation can alleviate workers from routine and laborious tasks. These workers can move on to perform more value-added tasks in the factory, ultimately enhancing the quality and quantity of output.

The belief that robotics only provides a long-term return on investment may also be incorrect. For example, for some organisations, simple optimisations to existing manufacturing lines have resulted in significant cost savings at comparatively low costs. For instance, Omron has helped one packaging manufacturer increase output speed by 30 percent by using anti-vibration technology. The speed of the existing yoghurt packaging line was limited due to the need to stop the product from sloshing during movements. Anti-vibration technology removed this bottleneck and allowed them to perform at a much higher standard.

Training employees to pick up robotics skills and the ability to work with robots is also effective in driving adoption. Furthermore, robotics technology has evolved to the point where major infrastructure changes are no longer required in order to achieve the same goals. To explore what is possible, the industry has evolved to allow SMEs and businesses to experiment with these technologies rather than make an upfront commitment. The Omron Automation Centre, for example, provides solutions and training to companies who are looking to explore advanced technology solutions.

4. In 5 to 10 years’ time, how do you think the robotics industry and its relationship with manufacturing and supply chains will evolve in Asia?

In five to 10 years’ time, robotics and automation will be a sine qua non for the manufacturing industry. Robots are expected to take on more higher-level roles as technology continues to evolve, providing relief to manufacturers today who are typically under increasing pressure due to fast-evolving consumer trends, shorter product life cycles, increased competition and labour shortages.

On top of robotics, advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to play key roles in production lines and instil a sense of human-free proactiveness that will continue to transform the way we work in factories.

Smart adaptive algorithms are equipping robots with the ability to analyse and process data with quick efficiency. Advanced analytics and AI software will also allow robots to arrive at programmed actions based on the intelligence they discover.

It will also no longer be a surprise that machines and robots can track a large amount of production variables through advanced analytics. This allows timely control of crucial production factors such as manufacturing accuracy and quality control that are not easily spotted by humans.

 5. What are your thoughts on the Singapore International Robo Expo? Do you think the industry is ready for an event like this?

As a country that is largely thriving on a knowledge-based economy and with a strong focus on building itself into a leading smart nation, Singapore is an ideal location for events like the Singapore International Robo Expo.

The Singapore government has been a keen advocate of industries adopting robotics and other advanced technologies to digitalise operations. For instance, the government recently launched the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index, a whitepaper that illustrates the government’s efforts to capitalise on the Industry 4.0 trend and transform the manufacturing landscape in Singapore

This event also provides an opportunity for the different stakeholders in the robotics industry to gather and exchange ideas. For example, Omron’s booth featured its Autonomous Intelligent Vehicle that featured a mobile robot and a collaborative robot arm tightly integrated together as a “mobile robotic handler”. These demonstrations help mature Singapore’s conversations and approaches on how certain functions, such as transportation and the loading of work materials in this case, can be fully automated.

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

Rolls-Royce And Intel To Collaborate On Autonomous Shipping Systems

Rolls-Royce And Intel To Collaborate On Autonomous Shipping Systems

Rolls-Royce and Intel are intending to collaborate on designs for sophisticated intelligent shipping systems that will make commercial shipping safer.

This will advance smart, connected and data-centric systems for ship owners, operators, cargo owners and ports, bringing together the expertise in advanced ship technology from Rolls-Royce with components and systems engineering from Intel. With a focus on safety, new ships will have systems with the same technology found in smart cities, autonomous cars and drones.

The new shipping intelligence systems will have data centre and artificial intelligence capabilities as well as sophisticated edge computing throughout that independently manage navigation, obstacle detection and communications. The components embedded in these systems are dedicated to work load consolidation, edge computing, communications and storage.

Kevin Daffey, Rolls-Royce, Director, Engineering & Technology and Ship Intelligence said: “We’re delighted to sign this agreement with Intel, and look forward to working together on developing exciting new technologies and products, which will play a big part in enabling the safe operation of autonomous ships. This collaboration can help us to support ship owners in the automation of their navigation and operations, reducing the opportunity for human error and allowing crews to focus on more valuable tasks.

“Simply said, this project would not be possible without the leading-edge technology Intel brings to the table. Together, we’ll blend the best of the best, Intel and Rolls-Royce to change the world of shipping.”

Adrian Criddle, General Manager and SVP of Intel UK said: “Rolls-Royce is a key driver of innovation in the shipping industry we are proud to be working with them on smart, connected and data-centric systems that will be a foundation for safe shipping operations around the world in the future.”

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

Intel Collaborates With Technion To Develop Isreali AI Centre

Intel Collaborates With Technion To Develop Isreali AI Centre

Technion, Israel’s technological institute, has announced that Intel is collaborating with the institute on its new artificial intelligence (AI) research centre. The announcement was made at the centre’s inauguration attended by Dr. Michael Mayberry, Intel’s Chief Technology Officer, and Dr. Naveen Rao, Intel Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Artificial Intelligence Products Group.

The centre features Technion’s computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and management departments, among others, all collaborating to drive a closer relationship between academia and industry in the race to AI. Intel, which invested undisclosed funds in the centre, will represent the industry in leading AI-dedicated computing research.

Intel is committed to accelerating the promise of AI across many industries and driving the next wave of computing. Research exploring novel architectural and algorithmic approaches is a critical component of Intel’s overall AI program. The company is working with customers across verticals – including healthcare, autonomous driving, sports/entertainment, government, enterprise, retail and more – to implement AI solutions and demonstrate real value. Along with Technion, Intel is also involved in AI research with other universities and organisations worldwide.

Intel and Technion have enjoyed a strong relationship through the years, as generations of Technion graduates have joined Intel’s development center in Haifa, Israel, as engineers. Intel has also previously collaborated with Technion on AI as part of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Computational Intelligence program.

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

EuroBLECH 2018: Bystronic Displays “World Class Manufacturing” Innovations

EuroBLECH 2018: Bystronic Displays “World Class Manufacturing” Innovations

In time for EuroBLECH 2018, 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. “We accompany our customers step by step on the path to the smart factory,” explained Bystronic CEO Alex Waser.

With “World Class Manufacturing”, Bystronic has described the matching supporting programme as one that 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, said Mr. Waser. Users can thus achieve a higher degree of flexibility and transparency in their production environment. Both are important prerequisites in order to manufacture products faster, more cost-effectively, and more intelligently than ever before.

In future, thanks to new software solutions, users will be able to create quotes more rapidly, plan their production processes in an efficient manner, and make the best possible use of their resources. Live monitoring systems represent an additional building block. They provide users with real-time information about the running processing steps from their production environment. All this will result in the optimisation of costs and processes. And this in turn, is the prerequisite for growth and sustainable competitive success.

With flexible system solutions, Bystronic is expanding the rules of the game in the field of sheet metal processing. Until now, there was always a trade-off between fast and versatile. In future, users will be able to produce small series or individual mass-produced products at conditions similar to a standardised high-volume series.  As commented by Mr. Waser, “With the new generation of our cutting and bending systems, users can adapt their processes much more easily and thus respond more quickly to their customers’ requirements.”

The integrated automation of production steps is another key success factor. To achieve this, Bystronic uses modular solutions for the material handling in the field of laser cutting. Automation systems that grow with the customers’ requirements and with increasing laser output. In the field of bending, the company is driving forward the development of flexible automation modules that enable fast transitions between automated and manual manufacturing.

Service remains another key issue for Bystronic. Within the networked production environment, network steps are interdependent. This makes process reliability and the preventive maintenance of all integrated systems more critical than ever before. New service solutions help users increase the efficiency and process quality of their production.

Learn more by visiting Bystronic at EuroBLECH 2018 from October 23 to 26, 2018 in Hanover, Germany. Hall 12, Booth B66.

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

Huawei To Focus Its Investments In AI

Huawei To Focus Its Investments In AI

Huawei Technologies is looking to increase its investment in AI due to the projected long term benefits to its internal management efficiency and the advantages associated with an intelligent product line.

Ahead of the Huawei Connect 2018 conference, Huang Weiwei, a senior management consultant at Huawei, has said that, “A huge investment in top AI talent will inevitably bring big cost pressures for the company but in the long run there will be benefits as the improved efficiency and productivity will help the company to earn even bigger profits.” He has also projected that AI alone could contribute to as much as 90 percent of the company’s revenue despite AI based manpower being relatively small compared to the total number of employees.

According to a Sequoia China report that was released in August this year, the number of AI companies in China reached 1,011 as of June 2018, which makes China the second most AI dense country in the world, with the first being the U.S. While on the whole, China aims to revolutionise its landscape in areas such as healthcare, automobile and security through the adoption of AI with the country’s State Council even laying out a three-step road map for AI development in July 2017. This is also in retaliation to the ongoing trade and technology war with the U.S.

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

Back To Top