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Growth Opportunities In Singapore’s Precision Engineering Sector

Growth Opportunities In Singapore’s Precision Engineering Sector

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Singapore’s Precision Engineering (PE) Sector has offered close to 1,500 job opportunities from more than 270 companies since April this year, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The PE industry is an integral part of the global manufacturing economy. It supplies critical products and expertise to manufacture complex components and equipment used in industries such as semi-conductors, medical technology, marine, offshore and aerospace. In Singapore, the PE industry employs more than a fifth of the 473,000 workers in the manufacturing sector and contributed approximately $38 billion in total output in 2019.

Furthermore, the industry continues to see pockets of growth—the PE cluster grew 11.4 percent in the period January to July 2020 compared to the same period last year. Companies which performed better includes the Medical Technology and Semiconductor sectors which saw an increase in demand of COVID-19 related products like ventilators; companies that supply machinery and systems as well as precision modules and components that make up tech appliances to facilitate remote working; companies that provide digital solutions.

The government will also be enhancing its Scale-up SG scheme with funding raised from 70 to 80 percent until September 2021. The scheme which was launched in July 2019 has helped 42 businesses develop and execute growth plans and aims to help another 50 companies in the next two years.

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MTA Vietnam 2019 Opens New Opportunities For Precision Engineering And Manufacturing Sector In The Industrial Revolution 4.0

MTA Vietnam 2019 Opens New Opportunities For Precision Engineering And Manufacturing Sector In The Industrial Revolution 4.0

Vietnam mechanical industry is predicted to be a potential sector to catch up with the sustainable development of worldwide industry in the fourth industrial revolution. Being along with this industry through years, MTA is supposed to be the Vietnam premier trade event for Precision Engineering, Machine tools and Metalworking. The exhibition is held on July 2nd – 5th, 2019 at Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC), promised to display a strong line-up of cutting-edge products together with different interesting additional activities.

Vietnam Mechanical Industry Are Gradually Affirming Its Position In Industrial Revolution 4.0

As Vietnam powers past the first half of 2019, its growth remains stable within the context of slowing global economic growth faced with increasing challenges, contentions and risks. At the end of 1Q19, Vietnam’s GDP growth reached a commendable 6.8 percent, with the industrial and construction sectors contribution at 8.6 percent – the highest rate amongst all key Vietnam industry sectors. The industrial sector looks set to lead GDP growth over the near term as Vietnam has maintained her appeal for foreign direct investment in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.

While the world is progressing to the fourth industrial revolution, manufacturing level of Vietnam industry is still at the first stages and limited by new technologies, information, skill and infrastructure. However, if the enterprises know how to take the advantages of opportunities and are facilitated to develop, Vietnam mechanical industry is predicted to be a potential sector to catch up with the sustainable development of worldwide industry in the fourth industrial revolution. Besides, mechanical enterprises should actively renovate their technologies and collaborate with different partners to maximise the efficiency in working. With strong supporting and beneficial policies from the government and associations, the new industrial era would be easier to reach.

MTA Vietnam 2019 – Catching Up With Worldwide Industrial Innovation

MTA Vietnam makes it return as 17th edition and has asserted its position for the last 16 years as the premier precision engineering, machine tools and metalworking exhibition in Vietnam which meets the innovative demands of global tendency. With exhibition area is expanded to Hall A3 and reaches 13,900sqm, the event will showcase a number of industrial products serve for precision engineering, machine tools and metalworking industry provided by different suppliers from around the world. This year’s event attracted more than 514 exhibitors from 22 nations and regions with popular labels such as: Amada, Beijing Jingdiao, Bystronic, Cybertech, Dine Vina, Hypertherm, Hwacheon, Jinan Bodor, Knuth, Mazak, Marposs, Mitsubishi, Muratec, Nikon, Shandong Leiming, Sandvik, Sodick, Renishaw, Takamaz, Trumpf, Van Su Loi, Viet Vu, VPIC Viet Phap, Yamada,… and many others.

MTA Vietnam 2019 honourably welcomes 14 international group pavilions from countries with strong technological development such as: United Kingdom, Taiwan (3), Germany (2), Korea (5), Japan, Singapore and Thailand. Taiwan group pavilion has the biggest exhibition area with over 60 exhibitors attend. Korea is the nation that attracted the most associations with five international group pavilions include more than 50 companies to come and promote their products. Besides, United Kingdom is a brand new international group pavilion which is established for the first time in Vietnam, with supporting from Engineering Industries Association (EIA).

A place to exchange knowledge about science and technology

Technical seminars and conferences are alongside activities which attracted a plenty of visitors at MTA Vietnam. With the topic entitled: “New trends of metal forming technology”, technical seminar is hosted by the organiser: Informa Markets Vietnam and prestigious speakers from top-rated businesses such as: Dr. Ngo Cong Truong, Founder and Professional Director, John&Partners JSC; Mr. Pham Duc Hiep, Sales Manager, Trumpf Vietnam Co., Ltd; Mr. Garry Chuang, Sales General Manager, Bystronic; Mr. Hoang Minh Dong, Manager, Amada Vietnam Co., Ltd and Mr. Naoya Ogawa, Area Manager of ASEAN and Oceania, Murata Machinery Ltd.

Multi Engineering Solution Laboratory – MES LAB has continually accompanied with the seminar series at MTA Vietnam and brings the topic titled: “PRODUCT DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT – PROCESS AND TECHNIQUES TO IMPLEMENT FOR R&D AND INNOVATION TEAM”, conducted by Dr. Tran Anh Tuan (CEO MES LAB) and MES LAB Team. The program is hoped to bring interesting sharings about product design & development process by new technology.

Experiencing our industry 4.0 introducing booth called: “We are Industry 4.0 ready!”

This booth is opened with the aim to introduce products reach industrial 4.0 standard from the exhibitors. With the criterion: “Nine pillars of Technological Advancement that forms the basis for Industry 4.0”: Big Data and Analytics, Autonomous Robots, Simulation, Horizontal and Vertical System Integration, The Industrial Internet of Things, Cybersecurity, The Cloud, Additive Manufacturing, Augmented Reality (Source: Boston Consulting Group 9/4/2015), the products which have one of above standards will be displayed at this special booth. Through short videos and introduction, this is supposed to be a chance for the exhibitors to approach visitors more effectively.

This special booth welcomes 22 popular brands such as: 3D Smart, Amada, Bejing Jingdiao, Cybertech, Kita Sensor, Mazak, Nam Sơn, Nikon, Siemens, Trumpf, Woosung, ZWSOFT,… and many others to attend and showcase their products.

Click here to see show photos taken by the APMEN Team.

 

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Case Study: Collaboration Between Hartford And Renishaw In The Implementation Of Smart Factory Solutions

Case Study: Collaboration Between Hartford And Renishaw In The Implementation Of Smart Factory Solutions

In the face of global skills shortages and rapidly emerging Industry 4.0 trends, Taiwanese CNC machine manufacturer, Hartford, sought to develop an innovative, easier-to-use human machine interface (HMI) for its CNC machines. At the same time the company strived to ensure process measurement and inspection at its CNC machine manufacturing operations could keep pace with the company’s ever-improving product quality goals.

Achieving The Goal Of “Intelligent Manufacturing”

At Hartford’s manufacturing facility in Taiwan, the company produces a complete range of medium to large-sized three-axis and five-axis CNC machines for use in major industry sectors including the aerospace, automotive, electronics and energy industries. And with more than 95 percent of the company’s cast components being manufactured and machined in-house, a continuous and progressive approach towards quality inspection is essential for achieving the precision required for a wide range of machine components, including machine heads, spindles and automatic tool changers.

However, a widespread shortage of skilled labour has presented Hartford with a further vital challenge to address, as Mr. Bruce Lin, Manager of Hartford’s R&D Intelligent Technology Department explained:

“Our customers [need] to process work pieces of increasing complexity, however a lack of skilled labour means they are having to insist on machining centres that are even simpler to use.”

Intelligent HMI Through Renishaw’s App

Hartford has invested significant resources into the research and development of intelligent CNC controllers in recent years and developed the Hartrol Plus, which is an intelligent controller that is as simple to use as a smartphone.

The HMI provided by the Hartrol Plus CNC controller follows key design principles promoted by Industry 4.0 ideals and helps address skills shortages. It provides machine operators with all the information they need to make the right decisions.  The way in which it visualises data also helps operators to make more informed decisions and solve problems rapidly.

Furthermore, by integrating Renishaw’s Set and Inspect on-machine app with Hartford’s new controller, users can now exploit advances in automated measurement and data collection, making machine tool operation and human-machine interactions simpler and more intuitive. This is because, Set and Inspect is a highly visual graphical user interface (GUI) which leads the operator through every step of on-machine probing processes including workpiece set-up, tool setting and other measurement tasks.

Hence, operators no longer need to commit machine code instructions to memory. This reduces data entry errors and programming times and facilitates processing efficiency by as much as 20 percent.

Precision Measurement For High Quality CNC Manufacturing

Hartford began using Renishaw products more than 20 years ago. In order to meet its stringent high-quality objectives, the company has introduced a variety of Renishaw high-precision measurement systems.

The precision of all CNC machined components it manufactures is verified using Renishaw PH20 5-axis probes on co-ordinate measuring machines (CMMs). This happens before components enter the assembly line, to ensure that they are ready to be assembled.

Precise assembly and positioning of machine tools is also critically important, with five-axis machine tools needing to be positioned with a deviation of less than ±6 µm. A Renishaw XL-80 laser interferometer is used to measure machine position and both linear and angular errors. The XL-80 generates an extremely stable laser beam with a wavelength that conforms to international standards.  Linear measurement accuracy of ±0.5 ppm can be guaranteed, thanks to a precision stabilised laser source and accurate environmental compensation. Hartford uses the Renishaw QC20-W ballbar measurement system to perform cross-validation at different operating speeds to ensure that X- and Y-axes of the machine tool are correctly matched, and errors are kept down to less than 5 µm.

Every Hartford CNC machine not only undergoes 100 percent laser verification and ballbar testing before dispatch, it can also use the customer’s own workpiece for processing verification, with Renishaw OMP40, OMP60 and RMP60 machine tool measurement probes used to measure the precision of the processed work piece.

Axiset Check-Up For Rotation Centre Compensation

Hartford also uses Renishaw AxiSet Check-Up to analyse the performance of machine rotary axes. Compatible with common 5-axis and multi-axis machines, it provides CNC machine users with a fast and accurate way to check the location of rotary axis pivot points and automatically compensate if necessary.

Most importantly, AxiSet Check-Up does not need to rely on operator experience, as the operator can simply call up the relevant program and press “Cycle Start” to complete the test process in just a few minutes. Data is automatically recorded into parameters for use in analysis, further guaranteeing the standardisation of every machine tool produced.

Regarding this, Mr. Lin has said, “We also recommend that users use AxiSet Check-Up to test the machines’ rotary axes after they are installed, as factory conditions may differ significantly from Hartford’s manufacturing conditions, in terms of foundations and how level surfaces are.  Shipping and installation can also cause precision errors, so AxiSet Check-Up’s automatic compensation allows machine tools to maintain high levels of precision and quality.”

He continued that, “All machine tools can suffer from wear and drift after a certain period of usage, with the level of precision of their positioning declining over time and causing a correspondingly poor level of machining precision. We therefore recommend that users perform scheduled checks on machine tools using AxiSet Check-Up every 6 to 12 months, in order to ensure that the level of machining precision remains consistent and productivity remains high.”

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Business Expectations Of Singapore’s Manufacturing Sector (Oct 2018 To Mar 2019)

Business Expectations Of Singapore’s Manufacturing Sector (Oct 2018 to Mar 2019)

A majority of firms (a weighted 81 percent) in the manufacturing sector expects the business situation in the next six months to remain similar to a quarter ago. A weighted nine percent of manufacturers expects business conditions to improve while a weighted 10 percent foresees a softer business outlook. Overall, a net weighted balance of one percent of manufacturers anticipates a less favourable business situation for the period October 2018 – March 2019, compared to the third quarter of 2018.

Within the manufacturing sector, the transport engineering cluster is the most optimistic about business conditions, with a net weighted balance of 21 percent of firms expecting improvement, compared to a quarter ago. In the marine & offshore engineering segment, the oil & gas field equipment manufacturers anticipate more orders on the back of firmer oil prices. The shipyards foresee more ship repairing work while offshore rig orders remain subdued. Additionally, in the aerospace segment, firms continue to expect strong demand for aircraft engine repair in the next six months.

In the biomedical manufacturing cluster, a net weighted balance of six percent of firms foresee a favourable operating environment in the next six months. This positive sentiment is largely due to the medical technology segment which expects export orders to remain strong.

The rest of the manufacturing clusters are less optimistic about business prospects compared to a quarter ago. In particular, the machinery & systems segment in the precision engineering cluster and the infocomms & consumer electronics segment in the electronic cluster anticipate weaker orders, given growing concerns over the global trade tensions.

Output Forecast for October – December 2018

Compared to the third quarter of 2018, a net weighted balance of two percent of manufacturers expects output to increase in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The biomedical manufacturing cluster is the most optimistic, with a net weighted balance of 27 per cent of firms projecting a higher level of production in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to a quarter ago. The medical technology segment projects increased output to meet export demand for medical devices. In addition, the pharmaceuticals segment forecasts higher production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biologics in the next three months.

A net weighted balance of 19 per cent of firms in the transport engineering cluster expects a higher level of activity in the next three months. The aerospace segment anticipates more aircraft engine repairs while the marine & offshore engineering segment foresees more ship repairing work.

A net weighted balance of 12 percent of firms in the general manufacturing industries cluster projects increased output in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to previous quarter. Within the cluster, the food, beverages & tobacco segment anticipates higher production due in part to the year-end festive demand. In addition, the miscellaneous industries segment expects higher output of batteries as export demand from Europe and the US remains strong.

By contrast, the precision engineering cluster is the least upbeat, with a net weighted balance of 23 percent of firms projecting a fall in production level in the fourth quarter of 2018. The weaker production outlook is largely due to the machinery and systems segment, which anticipates lower production due to uncertainties in demand amid global trade tensions.

Employment Forecast For October – December 2018

A majority of firms (a weighted 85 percent) in the manufacturing sector expects the employment level in the next three months ending December 2018 to remain similar to a quarter ago. Overall, a net weighted balance of one percent of manufacturers plans to hire fewer workers in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to the third quarter. Among the manufacturing clusters, the electronics, precision, transport engineering and general manufacturing industries clusters expect to hire fewer workers for the period October – December 2018.

Factors Affecting Export Orders For October – December 2018

A majority of firms (a weighted 70 percent) in the manufacturing sector reported no limiting factors that would affect their ability to obtain export orders in the fourth quarter of 2018. A weighted 25 percent of firms, on the other hand, indicated price competition from overseas competitors, and economic and political conditions abroad as the top two limiting factors that could affect their export orders.

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Vietnam’s First Aircraft Engine Component Factory Has Began Operations

Vietnam’s First Aircraft Engine Component Factory Has Began Operations

Vietnam’s first aircraft engine parts factory has began operations. The factory which is an the investment of South Korea’s Hanwha Aerospace company is located at the Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park in Hanoi and will reach its full scale operation capabilities in January 2019.

Currently, Hanwha is the only aircraft engine maker in South Korea and is recognised as one of the world’s top 10 most technologically advanced aerospace companies. Thus, it is expected that the company’s investment in Vietnam will facilitate the development of Vietnam’s aviation and precision mechanical industries. Additionally, it is projected that by 2024, the factory in the Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park would have around 900 employees with an investment capital of US$370 million, symbolising a strong technological transfer between South Korean and Vietnamese enterprises and enabling an advancement towards the development of high technology capabilities within Vietnam.

In addition to its main facility currently in Changwon, South Korea, Hanwha Aero Engines is the second production base of Hanwha Aerospace.  Therefore, this factory is a major part of the South Korean engine marker’s plans in terms of increasing its market share of civil aircraft engine parts to about US$ 879 million and leading the aircraft parts processing industry by 2025.

According to Minister of Science and Technology, Chu Ngoc Anh, the Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park has 87 investment projects as of now and possesses a registered capital of US$3.34 billion. However, the Hanwha brand name would lay the foundation for Hoa Lac to attract more hi-technology companies from other countries which would contribute significantly to Vietnam’s science-technology capabilities.

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Monthly Manufacturing Performance In Singapore – October 2018

Monthly Manufacturing Performance In Singapore – October 2018

Total Manufacturing Performance

Singapore’s manufacturing output increased 4.3 percent  in October 2018 on a year-on-year basis. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 3.0 percent. On a three-month moving average basis, manufacturing output rose 2.5 percent in October 2018, compared to a year ago. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output increased 2.0 percent. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 3.9 percent.

Performance By Cluster

Transport engineering: Output increased 30.8 percent year-on-year in October 2018 with all segments recording output growth. The marine & offshore engineering segment expanded 52.2 percent, on the back of a low base in October last year, as well as a higher level of work done in offshore projects. The aerospace segment grew 15.6 percent with more engine repair and maintenance work from commercial airlines. Overall, the transport engineering cluster grew 14.0 percent in the first ten months of 2018 compared to the same period last year.

Biomedical manufacturing: Output increased 11.5 percent in October 2018 compared to a year ago. Pharmaceuticals output expanded 15.8 percent with higher production of pharmaceutical and biological products, while the medical technology segment grew 2.9 percent to meet export demand from the US. On a year-to-date basis, the biomedical manufacturing cluster’s output increased 5.8 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

Precision Engineering: Output grew 1.4 percent in October 2018 compared to a year ago. The precision modules & components segment grew 7.7 percent, supported by higher production in optical instruments. By contrast, the machinery & systems segment fell 2.9 percent due to lower production of industrial process control and semiconductor equipment. On a year-to-date basis, output of the precision engineering cluster grew 7.0 percent compared to the same period last year.

General manufacturing: Output increased 1.3percent on a year-on-year basis in October 2018. The miscellaneous industries segment grew 2.9 percent, on account of higher production in structural metal products and batteries. The food, beverages & tobacco segment rose 2.1 percent with higher output in infant milk and dairy products. However, the cluster’s growth was moderated by the printing segment which declined 6.9 percent. Cumulatively, the cluster’s output rose 0.6 percent from January to October 2018 compared to the same period a year ago.

Chemicals: Output decreased 1.0 percent year-on-year in October 2018. The other chemicals segment grew 15.1 percent with higher output in fragrances. However, production in the petroleum and petrochemicals segments fell 9.6 percent and 14.7 percent respectively due to maintenance shutdowns. In the first ten months of this year, output of the chemicals cluster increased 5.6 percent compared to the same period in 2017.

Electronics: Output fell 2.7 percent in October 2018 on a year-on-year basis. Within the cluster, the other electronic modules & components and infocomms & consumer electronics segments grew 5.1 percent and 1.7 percent respectively, while the rest of the electronics segments contracted. Cumulatively, the electronics cluster’s output increased 8.9 percent from January to October this year, compared to the same period last year.

The next monthly manufacturing performance release will be issued on 26 December 2018 on the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) webpage.

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Singapore Manufacturing Alliance Signs MOU

Singapore Manufacturing Alliance Signs MOU

Singapore: The Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF), Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation, Singapore Precision Engineering & Technology Association and Singapore Industrial Automation Association recently inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU), witnessed by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister, Prime Minister’s office, Second Minister for manpower and Second Minister for home affairs.

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Walking Amongst Giants: The Chinese Growth Miracle

Walking Amongst Giants: The Chinese Growth Miracle

China at this point, despite some jitters in the stock markets remained poised to challenge the United States as the world’s top economic superpower. With this, manufacturing in China has seen unprecedented growth but will this economic fairytale sustain? Contributed by ExxonMobil.

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