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Outlook 2021

Outlook 2021

Experts in the metalworking industry provided their outlook for the coming year and their insights on how manufacturers should navigate whatever challenges the industry might still have along the way to recovery.

The year 2020 had been an extraordinary one, with the COVID-19 pandemic basically putting the global manufacturing industry on a standstill—at least except those essential industries that have scrambled to create medical equipment such as ventilators, and testing kits, as well as personal protective equipment including face masks and face shields.

The pandemic put into spotlight the agility and resiliency needed in every manufacturing industry, as supply chains get stuck and manufacturers are at a loss as to how to obtain their raw materials and parts. 

Nevertheless, the show must go on. And as vaccines are now being developed, it won’t be long until we see light at the end of this tunnel. In this special feature, experts in the metalworking industry provided their outlook for the coming year and their insights on how manufacturers should navigate whatever challenges the industry might still have along our way to recovery.


Simon Côté, Product Manager

The metalworking industry will continue to undergo major transformations in 2021. As customers continue to require more complex and sophisticated parts, it is becoming even more crucial for metalworking firms to implement new strategies and technologies to monitor the quality and compliance of final products—all while accelerating throughput due to demanding timelines.

Click here to read Simon’s outlook! 

Faccin Group

Rino Boldrini, Metal Forming Machine Specialist

There is no doubt 2020 will be remembered by most as a year to forget due to the pandemic and the global uncertainty, but it will also be considered as a starting point by those that were able to adapt to the market challenges by implementing or accelerating innovation-focused plans.

Click here to read what Rino expects this year! 

TRUMPF Asia Pacific

Chong Chee Ter, Managing Director

The outlook for the global economy in 2020 deteriorated significantly primarily due to the massive economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, we nevertheless are expecting global GDP growth to return back to the level of 2019.

Click here to read Chee Ter’s insights for 2021! 


Carsten Haecker, Head of Asia Pacific

Metalworking companies across all industries have been facing increasing demands for years now—albeit some levelling was and is still visible in the current pandemic.  To hold their own fortress against international competition, companies need versatile and efficient solutions for a wide variety of production tasks. One solution is the digitalization and networking of production and logistics processes—the basic technologies surrounding Industry 4.0.

Click here to read Carsten’s outlook! 


Eran Salmon, Executive Head of Research and Development

“Business as Usual” is constantly being redefined at ISCAR to meet the varying needs of global metalworking industries. In such a reality, innovative technologies and business opportunities emerge to meet all the challenges ahead. 

Click here to read Eran’s insights for 2021! 

Marposs KK Japan and SEA

Marco Zoli

2020 has seen the COVID-19 pandemic act on top of the existing geopolitical factors and on the shift to e-mobility, with the result of accelerating the evolution of the manufacturing environment. The trend of focusing on production resilience is set to continue, resulting in a more localized supply chain and a higher concentration on global players. 

Click here to read what Marco expects for the year! 

Paul Horn GmbH

Lothar Horn, CEO

Despite the restrictions predicted for 2021, most businesses have not stood still. In industries where exhibitions play a major role, it was more a question of how to bring innovations to market—especially with regard to communication. Many of the people I spoke to were initially very excited about the digital possibilities, and certainly rightly so. 

Click here to read Lothar’s outlook for 2021! 

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence

Boon Choon Lim, President, Korea, ASEAN, Pacific, India

The year 2020 was characterized by virtual work and learning, as individuals and businesses reinvented themselves to maintain productivity. Optimising the digital landscape will continue in 2021, as companies embrace innovation to meet their needs. 

Click here to read what Boon Choon expects in 2021! 

Sandvik Coromant

Rolf Olofsson, Global Product Manager

To stay competitive, manufacturers need to rely more on digitized processes and less manual interaction. To meet the new requirements, we need to continue to drive the development and digitalization of the manufacturing industry. Sandvik Coromant have a unique venture with Microsoft, combining Sandvik Coromant’s expertise in machining with Microsoft’s technical solutions. 

Click here to read Rolf’s insights for 2021! 

Siemens Digital Industries Software

Alex Teo, Managing Director and Vice President for South East Asia

2020 underscored two important pillars of manufacturing: adaptability and resiliency. With COVID-19 disrupting global supply chains, manufacturers need to inject their production chain with the agility to pivot and adapt to constantly changing market conditions. 

Click here to read what Alex expects in 2021! 

SLM Solutions Singapore

Gary Tang, Sales Director, Southeast Asia

“Change is the only constant in life” and this is characteristically so for 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Though businesses were disrupted, but in the same fast pace, opportunities arose for additive manufacturing (AM) in the medical frontline, responding quickly to severe restrictions in supply chains and traditional manufacturing bases.

Click here to read Gary’s outlook for 2021! 

Renishaw ASEAN

Steve Bell, General Manager

Unusual times in 2020 have brough significant difficulties in all walks of life, and manufacturing is no exception. The downturn in industrial activity has been evident during these COVID-19 times—mandatory closures, disruptions to the supply chain, and the stringent social distancing regulations imposed a devastating impact worldwide including the ASEAN region.   

Click here to read what Steve expects this year! 

VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association)

Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Managing Director

The coronavirus pandemic is leaving deep scars in the German and international machine tool industry. For 2020, the VDW expects a decline in production of 30 percent. After economic data and economic indicators showed an upward trend in the third quarter, uncertainty in the economy is currently increasing in view of the second wave of the pandemic.

Click here to read Dr. Wilfried’s outlook for this year! 

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Marposs Takes Part In Battery Alliance

Marposs Takes Part In Battery Alliance

During the ongoing clean energy transition, Marposs is working with a diversity of key industrial actors, research technology centers and universities to face the main objective of the European Commission: build a competitive, sustainable and innovative battery ecosystem in Europe, covering the entire value chain.

This is the main objective behind the European Battery Alliance (EBA), an industry-led initiative, which the Commission launched back in October 2017, to support the scaling up of innovative solutions and manufacturing capacity in Europe. 

The demand for batteries is expected to grow very rapidly in the coming years, making this market an increasingly strategic one at global level. This trend is further reinforced by the new and comprehensive legislative and governance framework for the Energy Union, successfully adopted under the European Commission to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, secure and competitive EU economy.

The shared vision for Marposs and European Battery Alliance is to realise the batteries of the future, providing European manufacturers with disruptive technologies and a competitive edge across the full production process. EBA will pursue high-performance, high-quality, reliable and sustainable batteries production system, by a cross-disciplinary research approach, leveraging advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, sensors and smart systems.

The technology developed will have an invaluable impact on the ongoing transition towards a carbon-neutral and circular economy.

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Key To Success For Efficient And Cost-effective Product Manufacturing

Key To Success For Efficient And Cost-effective Product Manufacturing

Marposs is helping the manufacturing industry transition to smarter factories with a new machine protection, and tool and process monitoring system.

Artis DA strain sensor detects surface tension of machine components.

In the factory of the future, a permanent exchange of information takes place. A considerable part of the information about machining processes is gathered by various sensors, which provide intelligent monitoring systems with the necessary data for the analysis and evaluation of production processes.

Marposs, one of the leading providers of inspection, measurement and process control solutions worldwide, is helping the manufacturing industry transition to smarter factories with the release of the Artis machine protection, machine monitoring, and tool and process monitoring system. Featuring the new data management system C-THRU4.0, Artis also has new sensors, intelligent stand-alone and integrated system modules, informative visualizations and adaptable software solutions are all available.

Artis monitoring systems support the technological requirements for manufacturing processes in different industry sectors such as electromobility, aerospace, and orthopaedics, among others. In addition to possible optimizations of current and new production technologies, Artis is a success factor for efficient and cost-effective product manufacturing. In addition to typical metal-cutting processes, assembly, deep rolling or friction stir welding processes can be reliably monitored and controlled—parallel to the process in real-time.

Machine protection

VisuScope: Artis diagnostic tool.

Collisions and crashes can never be completely avoided. The risk of accidental damage to production equipment is particularly high during manual interventions. Powered with force sensors based on strain technology, Artis can be used in almost all robots, machines and equipment to quickly (<1 ms) detect and minimize the effects of such dynamic or quasi-static events. The sensors absorb elastic deformation, like torsion, feed force or surface strain, as well as achieve an excellent linearity and repeatability over extended periods of time. In fact, insurance companies have recognized these system benefits and offer their customers up to 25 percent off machine insurance if an Artis machine protection system from Marposs is installed.

Machine monitoring

C-THRU4.0: Database management system.

Artis provides all the information required for predictive maintenance in a comprehensive and well-structured manner. They record the current status of production equipment via eddy current, vibration, temperature and gravity signals. The data collected help to identify anomalies in the machine, tool and workpiece at an early stage, allowing specific preventive interventions. Continuous acceleration measurements of up to three axes simultaneously is also possible.

Following or parallel to the machining process, the Artis diagnostic tool VisuScope, which can be employed for real time or off-line data evaluation, carries out the signal evaluation. Various signal filters and various diagnosis and display modes are available for analysis.

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Helping You Address The New Electro-Mobility Challenge

Helping You Address The New Electro-Mobility Challenge

Marposs continues to enhance and upgrade its measurement and inspection solutions to ensure complete monitoring of the production processes of EV components.

Marposs offers different solutions for the measurement and control of electric vehicles

For almost 70 years, Marposs has been working side by side with customers to guarantee quality control in the mass production processes. The wide range of technologies and products available, together with a worldwide presence, have made Marposs the ideal partner for OEMs, first and second tiers, as well as machine tool makers operating in the automotive industry.

In times of great changes, Marposs is taking up the challenge to stay a strong reference for the automotive market in the e-mobility era. The traditional product lines are integrated with new technologies to provide a mix of gauging, inspection and testing solutions that ensure the complete monitoring of the production process of the main electric vehicle (EV) components. Marposs offers a full range of solutions for the control and optimisation of the various manufacturing steps, the quality control of individual components, up to the final assembly operations and functional check of any assembled system.

READ: Marposs Optimistic of the Philippine Metalworking Industry

Traditional sensing, probing and in-process gauging solutions for process control during machining, turning, milling, and grinding operations are combined with thermographic analysis systems for process control during die-casting operations, and machine vision techniques to detect defects and porosity on machined sealing surfaces.

Consolidated techniques for monitoring of cutting and stamping operations are implemented in EV optic for process control in the production of rotors stack and stators’ sheet metal, or in the manufacturing of rigid battery cell housing.

Non-contact gauging products based on confocal or interferometric technologies are applied for process control in the production of metallic and non-metallic thin films, typically used in the manufacturing of anodes and cathodes, as well as in quality control of multi-layer pouch battery cover films.

Wide Range of Measurement Solutions

The battery trays provide the structural support of the car itself and must be leak proof to avoid the entry of water from the outside in all conditions.

The wide range of Opto and Flex machines for flexible shaft measurement is enriched with solutions that integrate different technologies to control a greater range of components; from traditional crank-, cam- and gear- shaft, up to rotor-shaft and complete rotors. The product range of optical gauges is enriched with non-contact measuring solutions dedicated to the analysis of shape and size on other critical components such as hairpins.

Automatic assembly operations of electro-mechanical components, such as battery chargers and power electronics are combined with measurement and test systems, up to the complete end-of-line functional verification.

READ: c-Com Projects With MARPOSS And Oerlikon Balzers To Introduce Intelligent App For Tooling

Thanks to collaborations with companies specialising in the sector, Marposs can today offer a complete range of products and applications dedicated to the execution of functional tests on electric motors and their components. The use of advanced techniques such as insulation tests with partial discharge method on stators, in association with more consolidated methodologies such as SURGE and HI-POT test, ensure the possibility of detecting also the presence of latent defects that could generate failures during use, and therefore guarantee compliance with the highest quality standards that are required for the use of electric motors in the automotive sector.

The synergistic contribution of other companies of the group, with specific skills in the automation sector, allows then to transfer these controls from laboratory environments to mass production, with the in-line integration of automatic machines for the execution of End-of-Line testing, both on rotors and on stators and finished electric motors.

Strong Experience in Leak Testing

Last but not least, the strong experience in leak testing applications, integrating different technologies, always guarantees the selection of the best solution for one of the most crucial controls in the manufacturing of all components of an electrical powertrain, from battery cells to modules and packs, up to electric motors, power electronics and related refrigeration circuits.

Performing of leak testing becomes a particularly strategic issue when it must be applied to battery components.

READ: Increasing Design Freedom in Automotive Industry

The verification of the perfect sealing of the battery cells is absolutely fundamental to prevent dangerous leakages of liquid electrolyte, but also to ensure their efficient operation over time, due to the high sensitivity to humidity of the active components in the lithium-ion cells. The extremely low acceptable leakage allowed on the cells requires the use of vacuum chamber techniques, using helium as a tracer gas. Marposs offers a wide range of applications in this area, from fully automatic machines for 100% control in mass production lines, to manual stations for off-line verification of the components declared rejected in the in-line control.

The application of these techniques on the finished cells can be particularly complex due to their total sealing. For this purpose, Marposs has developed new leak testing methods, which do not require the addition of any tracer gas inside the cell.

The leakage check is then equally strategic at the battery pack level, in order to prevent the entry of water and other contaminants, which could cause the short circuit of high voltage components. In this case, although the leakage levels required to ensure compliance with IP specifications are normally higher than the reject limits imposed for the cells, the execution of the test is complicated by the large size of the component to be tested and by its high deformability.

READ: Outlook: Metal Forming Market For Automotive

Marposs is able to offer a complete range of solutions and technologies to choose from, according to the test specifications requested by the customer. From solutions in air (pressure decay or mass flow), moving on to global testing techniques with helium in accumulation chamber or in the vacuum chamber. Helium sniffing solutions are instead used whenever it is necessary to accurately identify the leak point, as for example in repair stations.

Equally important, finally, is the verification of the perfect seal on all the different parts of the refrigeration circuits, on whose efficiency the optimal thermal management of all the components of the battery pack depends.


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C-Com Projects With MARPOSS And Oerlikon Balzers To Introduce Intelligent App For Tooling

c-Com Projects With MARPOSS And Oerlikon Balzers To Introduce Intelligent App For Tooling

Step-by-step networking for in-house manufacturing, involving suppliers and customers and efficiently using data together – the digital services provided by c-Com, a member of MAPAL Group, make it all possible. However, the start-up isn’t just developing its own applications. It’s also generating added value for customers by working closely with cooperation partners.

Cooperation with MARPOSS: reduced setup times and maximum tool service life

The optimal and longest-possible use of tools represents a vital cost factor for machining companies. But compromises are often necessary – particularly in series production and as part of automated processes. Tools with a defined tool life are replaced as soon as the specified tool life has come to an end. In many cases, though, the tool has not truly reached the end of its tool life and replacement is not yet necessary. However, companies play it safe to avoid quality issues and the risk of producing items that later need to be rejected.

READ: Marposs Optimistic of the Philippine Metalworking Industry

This is one of the elements addressed by the ARTIS GENIOR MODULAR module by MARPOSS. The fully automatic tool- and process-monitoring system has been an established feature of the market for many years. It works by recording various measurements and assessing them on the basis of several criteria.

MARPOSS recently launched a collaboration with c-Com GmbH and its c-Com open cloud platform to provide module users with additional value: the ARTIS GENIOR MODULAR module and c-Com are set to exchange data. Once the defined tool limits have been reached, the staff member responsible receives a notification on their mobile terminal – which is made possible by the cooperation with c-Com. As a result, operators can react more quickly and boost the efficiency of their manufacturing processes.

Cooperation with Oerlikon Balzers: transparency and sustainability thanks to digital processing for coating

Many tools are re-sharpened and re-coated to make production as cost-efficient as possible and to use raw materials sustainably. This procedure is very complex for everyone involved – from the machine operators to the staff members carrying out the re-sharpening and coating. If a staff member responsible for re-sharpening sends a tool for coating, this staff member is often not aware of corresponding order status. This results in frequent queries. In some cases, the number of re-sharpening processes is simply marked on the tool shank. Overall, the total benefit is reduced by the very high investment of time and effort required.

READ: Coating Processes with Increased Material and Energy Efficiency

In cooperation with Oerlikon Balzers, c-Com has developed an application that enables significantly more effective and transparent order processing. The prototype was showcased at EMO Hannover. The only prerequisite to benefitting from the advantages of digital processing for coating is identifying all tools with a unique ID.

The c-Com application exchanges data with the myBalzers customer portal run by Oerlikon Balzers. This way, the entire order process is digitalised, and all receipts are available online. It is easy to share documents such as delivery slips, invoices or order confirmations, and the status of each coating order can be viewed in real time. There is no longer a need to ask for order updates – a quick glance at the application provides the user with all the information they need. On top of this, machine operators have access to all the important information about their tool at all times. Thanks to the collaborative approach by c-Com, they can access all data via the cloud.

The c-Com wear detection app: a technical advisor in your pocket

c-Com has developed a wear detection application to provide answers to these questions. The prototype for the application was presented at EMO Hannover. The application is very simple to use: first, the worn blade is documented using a smartphone and a conventional auxiliary lens for zooming in. The app then identifies the type of wear and suggests corresponding recommended actions. This allows users to prevent this type of wear in future.

The application is based on machine learning, a sub-category of artificial intelligence. This means that the application uses datasets to learn. Together with tool specialists at MAPAL, c-Com has compiled and categorized hundreds of images. Effectively, the algorithm was trained by being shown what different types of wear look like, allowing it to assess whether or not a blade is in good order.


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Looking Ahead Into 2020

Looking Ahead Into 2020

Market outlook 2020: The year 2019 has been quite a challenging year for the manufacturing industry, with geopolitical tensions impacting investment decisions and shifts in manufacturing centres, and trends such as e-mobility, Industry 4.0, and additive manufacturing creating industrial transformation. In this Outlook 2020 special, six industry leaders share their thoughts on what to expect in 2020, how the industry will develop, new opportunities and market drivers, and how to navigate through the challenges and issues from these dynamics.


Lim Boon Choon, President, Asia Pacific, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence

The year 2019 was a time of economic uncertainty in global manufacturing. But the Asia Pacific region is well placed to capitalise on new opportunities in 2020, as increasing adoption of disruptive technologies shows organisations are facing market challenges by pursuing innovation-driven competitiveness. The growing recognition of the efficiency and operational excellence to be gained from digitised metrology offers long-term, sustainable investment and expansion in the Asia Pacific market.

The Growth of the Smart Factory

Increasingly connected enterprises will be a continuing trend throughout 2020 and beyond. The digital transformation of quality is a central part of this smart factory vision. Approaches to metrology data are maturing, and companies are focused on gaining actionable insights from real-time data. Growing demand for data analysis software is expected, and the adoption of platforms offering advanced big data and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) capabilities will enable far more predictive and proactive manufacturing.

Across the region, new business models will emerge with the prevalence of cloud computing, connecting quality systems to machines throughout end-to-end processes and across factories. Streamlining the analysis and communication of metrology data is essential to breakdown operational silos and drive growth by enhancing product customisation capabilities and throughput.

The trend of automating metrology operations will continue to grow with the increasing adoption of robotics, measuring cells, and automated part loading, enabling manufacturers to scale up their autonomous capabilities. And as manufacturers look to increase their application flexibility, demand for non-contact 3D scanning technology will increase.

Driving Additive Manufacturing Capabilities

Additive manufacturing, also known as industrial 3D printing, is still emerging in sectors such as medical, transportation and logistics, construction, aviation, automotive, and shipping. But according to research from Thyssenkrupp, 3D printing is expected to create $100 billion in value in the ASEAN region by 2025. Quality will play a central role in expanding this developing process, with technologies such as 3D scanning and computed tomography (CT) for measuring internal geometries. Additive manufacturing is a key area of strategic importance for Hexagon. The recent acquisition of CT software provider Volume Graphics adds advanced measurement capabilities to Hexagon’s already comprehensive solution portfolio in the additive space, which also includes software for generative design and additive process simulation.

The expected widespread adoption of smart technologies suggests 2020 will mark a major step forward on the industry 4.0 journey.



Meir Noybauer, Business Development Manager, ISCAR

Throughout the year 2020, the industry as we know it will shift towards smart factories with IoT (Internet of Things) cyber connectivity, and AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics technologies, that will most likely be developed in the main industrial hubs as part of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).

3D Printing

Additive Manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing technologies will continue to grow and replace conventional methods for machining automotive, aerospace and energy parts, and facilitate new opportunities for complicated part designs that were previously unrealizable.

Clean Energy

The global search for clean energy and low-emission mobility is leaning towards newer and harder materials, which challenge ISCAR to develop advanced machining technologies, such as SiAlON ceramics and super alloy materials, while using high and ultra-high coolant pressure to boost productivities to higher levels never seen before.


The medical sector will be one of the emerging industry segments, with sophisticated implants using advanced materials and machining technologies jointly developed by ISCAR engineers and leading medical implant companies throughout Europe, the US and Eastern Asia.


The automotive segment will continue to be a global industry leader, while transitioning from conventional combustion to small hybrid-high efficiency engines and electric e-drive cars and implementing other clean mobile technologies, specifically for electric charging infrastructures which have not yet been applied in many countries.



Stefano Corradini, Group Director, Sales & Marketing, Marposs

The year 2020 appears to be one of the most challenging years of the last decade, both in the Asia Pacific and worldwide.

The combination of trade wars and their impact on several geographic areas and market sectors, social turmoil in various countries, and many technological changes as consequence of increased environmental concerns, may have a significant negative effect on the general economic situation.

Automotive Manufacturing Evolution

Being a significant part of Marposs business somehow related to the automotive sector, we see the evolution from internal combustion engine (ICE) to electromobility as one of the biggest driver of the economic uncertainty. We prefer, anyway, to see this as an opportunity to offer our existing and new customers an extended panel of solutions, which are moving from our traditional measuring sector to a broader concept including several type of testing equipment (mainly leak test using different type of tracer gas extended also to fuel cells), as well as inspection applications (non-destructive, vision, and similar), and control systems to monitor the whole manufacturing process of the core components of the NEVs/BEVs (new/battery energy vehicles), such as battery cells, modules and packs, battery trays, and electric drive units (EDU) including electric motors; and end of line testing.

We are willing to become a preferred partner of BEV manufacturers and suppliers as we have been for decades for traditional combustion engines, offering them our technical know-how, our innovation culture, and our worldwide organization for sales and after sales.



Steve Bell, General Manager, ASEAN, Renishaw (Singapore) Pte Ltd

Smart manufacturing technologies increase visibility and transparency to manufacturing operations, allowing manufacturers to get the overall picture of their productivity and competitiveness, to make faster changes in response to market-based threats or opportunities. This requires a range of intelligent process control solutions throughout the factory, to ensure high standards of repeatability. The key is going digital—connecting physical manufacturing processes with the digital technology to make decisions about process improvement on the shop floor, or on mobile devices.

Flexible and Customised

Additive manufacturing plays a major role in the Industry 4.0 revolution, allowing manufacturers the flexibility to build highly customised parts. Renishaw’s additive manufacturing technologies continue to evolve, aiming to provide users the flexibility to use, change and manage different metal materials, enables users to adapt to meet market demand and configure processes to achieve optimal performance.

Focus on Automotive Industry

Ensuring businesses are equipped and ready to navigate the evolving automotive manufacturing landscape, Renishaw’s manufacturing solutions provide the speed, flexibility, and ease of use to help companies adapt their production capabilities for the evolving electric future. From multi-sensor rapid scanning of machined castings to material analysis of fuel cells, we will continue to support customers on the road from internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric vehicles (EV).



Alex Teo, Managing Director, Southeast Asia, Siemens Digital Industries Software

The maturity of manufacturing supply chains in Asia has undoubtedly exerted pressure on the metalworking industry to be more competitive than ever. Demand for steel in Asia is expected to rise by an average of 1.5 percent in 2020, and will likely see effects such as rising operating costs necessitating the move for businesses to look for technology driven solutions to relieve some of these operational strains. In particular, Southeast Asia is an exciting region for growth, with markets such as Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore making strides in realising their Industry 4.0 visions through digitalisation. In 2020, we also launched a Technical Competency Hub in Penang, the first in the region, which serves as a platform for Siemens to help companies, especially SMEs, begin their digitalisation journey in order to meet the needs of the new economy.

Digital Twins

Using digital twins, manufacturers will be able to explore more economical and structurally enhanced materials. By leveraging physics-based simulations, supported by data analytics in an entirely virtual environment, the expansion of production capacity in Asia can be further encouraged. This means that manufacturers can optimise their choice of materials by testing and analysing combinations of different metals and alloys digitally before using additive manufacturing technologies such as powder bed fusion to produce these components faster and more reliably, reducing the need and cost for real prototypes.

Additive Manufacturing

Siemens’ end-to-end additive manufacturing solutions cover CAD/CAM/CAE models that enable product design and simulation of production processes and planning, preparation, and verification of the print jobs. Simulation and 3D modelling allow for advanced complexity of design and quality, ultimately resulting in fewer distortions and errors. The goal is flawless execution when parts come out of a factory, ready for certification. The full additive challenge covers the entire value chain: product design, production process, and performance.

Using customisable solutions for pressing, transporting, positioning and press safety, in combination with simulation for the entire spectrum of metal forming, businesses can proactively advance with components working seamlessly together. This collaboration increases the cost-effectiveness of all production processes in all sectors, reducing energy costs.



Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director, VDW (German Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association)

The economic environment for the international and German machine tool industry remains difficult now and in the coming months. After eight years of high economic activity in the international machine tool industry, global demand for capital goods has calmed considerably after the fourth quarter of 2018. The reasons for this have already been identified and discussed many times. The economic distortions, in particular the trade war between the United States and China, are boosting the already sharp drop in demand. The increasing protectionism at all levels is affecting world trade and international supply chains. Finally, the structural shift in the automotive industry towards new drive technologies is causing further problems. It is still questionable at what pace and extent development is progressing and which technologies will be used in the future. The entire scenario is unsettling the industry worldwide. Companies have become very cautious, and they are shifting their investments.

Because of these, incoming orders in the international machine tool industry fell sharply in all regions in the first nine months of 2019. According to initial estimates, orders worldwide fell by 21 percent. Asia declined by 24 percent, while Europe lost 19 percent of its orders. Contracts in America, which is particularly the United States, held up best, if we can say so. They went down 18 percent in comparison to the previous year. In Germany, with its high dependence on exports, incoming orders fell by 23 percent by October in 2019, the most recent available data. This applies equally to domestic and foreign orders.

Markets to Stabilise

Oxford Economics, the VDW’s forecasting partner, expects this trend to stabilise in the best case scenario for 2020. At 2.5 percent, global economic output is expected to be slightly below the increase in 2019. With 2.1 percent, industrial production will grow more strongly than the current year. This also applies to investments. Stabilisation is also expected for the whole German economy. Industrial production, which is expected to shrink in 2019, is likely to turn slightly up again. This means that incoming orders in the machine tool industry will probably go through the bottom in the course of the coming year.

Machine tool consumption, a late indicator, will remain negative in all regions. Asia is the exception. Manufacturers can draw new hope from the fact that the election results in Great Britain have now provided certainty about the island’s exit date from the European Union. Then, the negotiations on a tariff agreement can begin and hopefully lead to a good end. There is also movement in the trade conflict between the United States and China. Should a consensus be reached, the world economy will reach new momentum as well.


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Marposs Optimistic Of The Philippine Metalworking Industry

Marposs Optimistic of the Philippine Metalworking Industry

Nicola Minelli, Branch Manager of Marposs Singapore, speaks to Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) about the challenges and opportunities in the Philippine market, and provides his outlook on the country’s metalworking industry.

Nicola Minelli

Since its establishment in 1952 in Bologna, Italy, Marposs S.p.A. has been producing standard and custom made systems for industrial applications to measure and control dimensions, geometries and surface quality of mechanical components, as well as leak test or visual inspection and for control and monitoring of the machining process on every type of machine tool.

The Group now has around 80 offices in 25 countries, with a total of 3,700 direct employees. It caters to machine tool makers as well as provides solutions for the automotive, aerospace, energy, biomedical, and technology industries.

In Southeast Asia in particular, Marposs is present in Singapore (for covering the markets of Philippines, Johor, Batam, Indonesia), Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Bangkok in Thailand, which is also the main office in the region.

During the recent PDMEX 2019 exhibition in Manila, Philippines, Nicola Minelli, Branch Manager of Marposs Singapore, speaks to Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) about the challenges and opportunities in the Philippine market, and provides his outlook on the country’s metalworking industry.


Nicola Minelli (NM): It is definitely an important market — it may be even more important in the future for two main reasons: one, the Philippines is moving towards high-end production—it is no longer a place where you can mass produce cheap products. So, manufacturers need to invest in high-end systems to create better products and more efficiently. And second, in my opinion, even though we are happy with our overall market here, there are still a lot of companies here that we do not know yet and that represent new business opportunities for us.


NM: Yes, competition is always around. Marposs is the only company who can offer a full range of gauging and inspection solutions for mechanical manufacturing. We have actually quite a lot of specific competitors, for particular product ranges, but overall, we are proposing to our customers a wide range of portfolio that, if you don’t get to sell one thing, maybe there is opportunity for something else.


NM: Our core business is the automotive industry. We have long lasting business relations with all main automotive players in the area, based on similar strong connections with their headquarters abroad.  The automotive sector worldwide is going through a huge process of transition to the electro-mobility and this will come surely in this area, too. Marposs is able to provide new solutions also for this new challenge, with the target to remain a first-class supplier of the whole automotive supply chain.

I also see aerospace growing. For the time being, for us, those two industries—automotive and aerospace—are what’s growing here.


NM: Technically, they are not so much of a challenge for us. The biggest effort is often to convince Customers to choose higher value solutions compared with some basic ones. Because somehow, you have to justify the investment. If you offer any solution at a higher cost, you have to justify it. We have different situations where you have to understand what the customer might need. Just an example, they may be using bore gauges for checking parts. You can offer some system that is faster and more accurate—but more expensive. So, you have to justify why they need to adopt the faster, more accurate system. And I would say, almost 90% of the time, the customers’ main concern is the price/value ratio.


NM: The trend now is that everybody is pushing for Industry 4.0. Everybody wants data collection or statistical analysis, or the possibility of the transfer of data directly from the gauge to a server and so on. I think this one is the main trends now.


NM: For a long time, we have been offering these possibilities, these features. In the past, very few companies—especially American companies—actually made use of statistical analysis. Now, this request is more widespread, and more customers are looking at it. But, to have in place automatic systems for data collection needs further studies; you need to understand which data you need to collect. Because you can collect everything—you can have information on everything. But, eventually, what do you really need?

Maybe for the time being, this trend is not so much present yet in the Philippines, but it definitely is a strong trend in Singapore.


NM: It will be better. I have been coming to the Philippines for a very long time, and compared to the past, the industry has become much more interesting. I am expecting this trend to continue in the future as well. I have also been participating since long time to this exhibition; in the beginning, it was just a small show, with just few distributors. Now, you can see a lot of manufacturers coming here. I am very optimistic about the future of the industry here in the Philippines.


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Marposs Supports The DIGIMAN Project

Marposs Supports The DIGIMAN Project

Marposs is strongly supporting the DIGIMAN project, an initiative that aims to address the industrial scenario, outlined by the Industry 4.0 paradigms, through the development of Cyber Physical Systems. These systems respond to market demands with a framework that embraces and completes the machine (physical part) by pairing an Augmented Manufacturing Platform or AMP (Cyber Part). The platform interfaces with processes and machines, through appropriate modules with high engineering content, which then formalises the knowledge of operators and experts while leveraging learning skills.

The Industry 4.0 plan promotes the development of intelligent and connected products to create systems that are part physical and part virtual (Cyber Physical Systems). A recent estimate states that by 2020, the value of 4.0 solutions, proposed by the supplier ecosystem, will be around €420 billion. Approximately 80-100 percent of production facilities could be using these solutions by 2025, with a potential annual cost savings of US$900 billion to US$2.3 trillion.

The main objectives of the DIGIMAN project are the ability to improve, even in real-time, the quality of products and the ability to infer on the state of the process (machines and components) by proposing improvement strategies (Virtual Operator). The partnership between MUSP (manufacturing process expert), MISTER (IoT and software solution expert), and CNR-ISTEC (ceramic materials expert) is complemented by an industrial partnership: machine and component manufacturers as well as end-users.



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Marposs Joins 5G-SMART Project To Show How 5G Boosts Smart Manufacturing

Marposs Joins 5G-SMART Project To Show How 5G Boosts Smart Manufacturing

Marposs, a provider of precision equipment for measurement and control, has joined 5G-SMART, a H2020 project funded by the European Commission, which aims to unlock the value of 5G for smart manufacturing through demonstrating, validating and evaluating its potential in real manufacturing environments.

5G-SMART will test the most advanced 5G-integrated manufacturing applications such as remote-controlled industrial robotics, wireless process monitoring in manufacturing, and mobile robotics, by bringing first ever 5G deployments into real manufacturing setups: at an Ericsson factory in Kista, Sweden; at the machine hall of the Fraunhofer Institute of Production Technology (IPT) in Aachen, Germany; and at a Bosch semiconductor factory in Reutlingen, Germany.

Marposs contributes its expertise in machine and process monitoring and will provide the equipment for the first real 5G trials in manufacturing at the Fraunhofer IPT premises.

5G-SMART will go beyond the trials and develop new 5G features targeting the needs of the smart factory, like the integration of 5G with time-sensitive networking and critical cloud platforms, enabling flexible software development while providing low latency and high reliability.

To further accelerate take-up of 5G in the manufacturing ecosystem, 5G-SMART will explore new business models, identifying the potential for factory owners, operational technology suppliers and mobile network operators.

Over the course of more than two years, a multidisciplinary team consisting of ICT and 5G suppliers Ericsson and Cumucore; network operators Orange and T-systems; wireless communication technologies and components provider u-blox; operational technologies suppliers ABB, Bosch, Fraunhofer IPT, and Marposs; factory operators Bosch; and academia—University of Lund, University of Valencia, Budapest University of Technology and Economics—will show how 5G can boost smart manufacturing.



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