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Advancing MRO Solutions With Additive Manufacturing

Advancing MRO Solutions With Additive Manufacturing

ST Engineering and EOS have collaborated to introduce multiple AM solutions for the aerospace sector—from qualified systems and materials to 3D print certified parts that are more durable and more effective in operations.

ST Engineering’s Aerospace sector has been building its portfolio in virtual inventory to enhance customers’ air operation performance, including solutions for commonly damaged aircraft components. Printing on demand helps eliminate waste when platforms are retired, reducing non-moving inventory. In addition, with approved digital files and qualified 3D printers & processes, certified parts can be produced close to aircraft sites, vastly reducing delivery-related carbon emissions and improving cost efficiencies.

Confident that additive manufacturing (AM) is the way forward, the company collaborates with technology partners and like-minded airline customers to develop multiple AM solutions. Here, ST Engineering shares how they successfully broadened and deepened their capabilities for AM solutions. 

Overcoming Challenges

Back in 2018, ST Engineering already had plans to expand their AM capabilities from Filament Layer Manufacturing (FLM) technologies to include Laser Powder Bed (LPB) technologies- covering the two processes of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Direct Metal Laser Solidification (DMLS) – so as to offer a wider range of additive manufacturing solutions to customers. 

Originally, it only had Design Organisation Approval (DOA) and Production Organisation Approval (POA) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for FLM technology. For the LPB technologies, the plan was to build in-house capabilities in managing and qualifying the systems, materials and processes, which would in turn open more application potential to produce AM aircraft parts. 

As a new adopter of LPB AM technologies, ST Engineering decided to collaborate with EOS, one of the industry’s pioneering leaders specialising in LPB AM systems, to jumpstart their learning curve in understanding the possibilities and limitations of both SLS and DMLS processes.

AM Solution

By the end of 2018, ST Engineering and EOS’ consulting arm, Additive Minds, established an Additive Manufacturing Capability Transfer program. The program comprised customised training and consulting workshops that aimed to build strong fundamentals among attendees in the following topics: parts screening and selection, design for AM, business case analysis, and introduction on critical-to-quality requirements for AM processes.

After the Capability Transfer Program, ST Engineering selected a load-bearing cabin interior assembly with no impact on flight safety from their converted freighter aircraft as a benchmark to kickstart their adoption journey with both SLS and DMLS technologies. 

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Air New Zealand Teams Up With ST Engineering On Using Drones For Aircraft Inspection

Air New Zealand Teams Up With ST Engineering On Using Drones For Aircraft Inspection

Air New Zealand is collaborating with ST Engineering’s Aerospace arm on using drones for aircraft inspection. The drone inspection trials are taking place at Air New Zealand’s facility next to Changi Airport in Singapore, where its aircraft undergo heavy maintenance checks.

ST Engineering, one of the world’s largest airframe MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) service provider with an extensive global network of facilities in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe, has developed an unmanned drone system, known as DroScan, which sees a drone take a planned route around the outside of an aircraft to inspect its surface and produce high definition images. These images are processed using a software with smart algorithms to detect and classify defects, which aircraft engineers can review and confirm, or carry out further inspection for defects if required.

“Using a drone to inspect our aircraft will save time, taking around one to two hours, compared to up to six—depending on aircraft type—which means repairs can start sooner if needed, and our aircraft will be able to get back in the air more quickly,” said Air New Zealand Chief Ground Operations Officer Carrie Hurihanganui. “We’ve trialed using DroScan on a number of our aircraft undergoing maintenance inspections in Singapore now and believe using a drone will also help improve inspection quality. In the future, there may be an opportunity to use the device in New Zealand, for example to conduct ad hoc inspections after lightning strikes.”

Jeffrey Lam, deputy president of ST Engineering’s Aerospace sector, said, “Incorporating innovative technologies into aviation MRO holds great potential in enhancing the way aircraft get serviced. We are happy to be working with our like-minded partner, Air New Zealand which shares the same motivation and belief as us in exploring the full potential of technologies to improve maintenance work. We believe solutions such as DroScan will drive great value for the aviation industry given the huge emphasis it places on safety and efficiency, and we look forward to using it to great effects after we have completed the trials successfully with Air New Zealand.”

Further to the DroScan, Air New Zealand and ST Engineering are collaborating to manufacture a growing number of 3D printed replacement interior parts, and in-data analytics to optimise maintenance activities.

 

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ST Engineering Expands Component MRO Capability Through Collaboration With Honeywell

ST Engineering Expands Component MRO Capability Through Collaboration With Honeywell

ST Engineering’s Aerospace arm has entered into a long-term collaboration with Honeywell through an agreement that will have ST Engineering acting as a licensed repair centre for Honeywell components. Under this agreement, ST Engineering becomes an official member of Honeywell Channel Partner network and will have access to Honeywell’s maintenance document and technical support for over 2,000 individual part numbers from avionics to electrical and mechanical components.

As Honeywell’s channel partner, ST Engineering will be using Honeywell’s advanced technologies and software solutions to provide one-stop component repair and overhaul services for operators worldwide.

“We are always building on our value proposition to enhance operators’ fleet maintenance experience, and we see long-term collaboration with OEMs such as Honeywell as a way to achieve exactly that. Our expertise in MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) services and comprehensive engineering capabilities, together with Honeywell’s parts and technical support, will help ensure reliable and quality services for operators looking for best-in-class component MRO support,” said Lim Serh Ghee, president of ST Engineering’s Aerospace sector.

With over 40 years of experience in the aviation industry, ST Engineering’s Aerospace arm provides comprehensive components repair and overhaul solutions that cover over 25,000 part numbers through a global network of distribution centres, satellite stores as well as in-house and external repair workshops. ST Engineering recently expanded its global reach by setting up its first component MRO facility in Vietnam through a joint venture with Vietnam Airlines to cater to the region’s rising needs for component MRO services.

ST Engineering will be showcasing its MRO capabilities and other aerospace solutions this week at the Paris Airshow 2019, Booth D210 Hall 5 and Chalet No. 60.

 

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ST Engineering’s Cybersecurity Solutions Gains Global Recognition

ST Engineering’s Cybersecurity Solutions Gains Global Recognition

ST Engineering’s DigiSAFE DiskCrypt M10 has received the CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree (Cybersecurity and Personal Privacy category) for its outstanding product design and engineering. The DigiSAFE DiskCrypt M10 is the world’s first ultra-slim encrypted data storage with two-factor authentication and hardware-based full disk encryption. Developed by the Cybersecurity business at the company’s electronics sector, the product enables highly secured data transfer within organisations, government agencies and critical infrastructures.

“It is an honour to be recognised globally as a leading developer of innovative technologies. Our ability to be deeply attuned with the global threat landscape and respond with innovative solutions that help global clients has enabled us to stay ahead in the fast-evolving cybersecurity industry. Our deep engineering expertise and indigenous capabilities give us the edge to enhance customer satisfaction, gain market share and win in a highly competitive marketplace,” said Mr Lau Thiam Beng, President of Cyber Security Systems Group, Electronics, ST Engineering.

DigiSAFE DiskCrypt M10 will be exhibited at the Innovation Awards Showcase at the upcoming CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

Expanding global reach into Sri Lanka and Vietnam

ST Engineering’s DigiSAFE range of products and solutions has been gaining traction in new markets. Its DigiSAFE Data Diode solution will be deployed for Electricity of Vietnam, the country’s largest power company in a pilot programme, and was selected over several global competing solutions. The DigiSAFE Data Diode solution protects the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, also known as control systems of industrial sectors and critical infrastructure such as transportation, energy and water treatment. The one-way data transmission solution enables the secure transfer of data from the industrial control systems to corporate information technology (IT) networks.

DigiSAFE is part of a suite of cyber security solutions developed by ST Engineering. Another area which the Group has an edge in, is the development of Security Operation Centres (SOC) having successfully designed, built and operated up to 13 SOC in Singapore and the region. In addition, it helped establish the design of Sri Lanka’s National SOC for the government of Sri Lanka, which was completed in December 2017.

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ST Engineering Drops Dormant Subsidiary From Aerospace Arm

ST Engineering Drops Dormant Subsidiary From Aerospace Arm

ST Engineering has announced that a dormant subsidiary from its Aerospace arm, iShopAero Pte Ltd (formed in 1992 to provide parts exchange services), has applied to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority in Singapore to remove its name from the Register pursuant to the Section 344 of the Companies Act, Chapter 50. This is part of ST Engineering’s ongoing effort to streamline its business portfolio.

The application is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of ST Engineering for the current financial year.

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ST Engineering Partners EDB To Develop Singapore’s Industry Ecosystems

ST Engineering Partners EDB To Develop Singapore’s Industry Ecosystems

ST Engineering and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a strategic growth partnership to build new engines of growth by creating globally competitive industry ecosystems in Singapore. Through this MoU, ST Engineering and EDB will work closely to identify and develop growth strategies for targeted industries, such as robotics, smart mobility and health technology. The partnership will expand EDB’s efforts to develop a cluster of global-ready companies in Singapore, with a world-class workforce that is future-ready and equipped with both breadth and depth in technology and engineering capabilities. It will also further deepen ST Engineering’s capabilities in technology and innovation and strengthen ST Engineering’s global leadership and workforce, in tandem with its global ambitions.

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Industry 4.0: Are Businesses Stepping Up To Be Future Ready?

Industry 4.0: Are Businesses Stepping Up To Be Future Ready?

Vincent Chong, President and Chief Executive Officer of ST Engineering shares his views on the adoption of Industry 4.0 in Asia.

The inaugural Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific (ITAP), a Hannover Messe event, concluded in Singapore recently. As business leaders, experts, government representatives and other stakeholders gathered to discuss Industry 4.0, what emerged clear to all was that technology adoption across Asia remained uneven.

Is this a case of change not happening? Far from so. Industry 4.0 is very much an evolution rather than a revolution. Even as we speak, industries are transforming. Today, it is not a question of whether businesses are future-ready; it is whether businesses realise the implications of not participating in the fourth industrial revolution when it will move on regardless of their actions.

Industry Evolution

Driven by the rising operational costs and a human resources crunch, the local industry in Singapore understands that it is imperative to adopt Industry 4.0.

Even for ST Engineering as a technology and engineering group, digitalisation of the workflow at the Aerospace business or the “Aerobook” occurred more than 10 years ago.

This began with the adoption of Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) and robotics, with other advanced technologies progressing only when the business case became clearer. Other possibilities were also adopted to redefine the company’s value proposition such as customer participation and mobile interfaces in the digitised process, improved interaction via AR between engineers and mechanics to reduce the time taken for repairs; reducing turnaround time and minimising inventory stock-keeping of aircraft parts through additive manufacturing. These have all led to productivity improvements of up to 15 percent to date. Looking forward, ST Engineering will also be certifying the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for aircraft inspection, which, when implemented will help to improve efficiency and minimise workplace accidents.

Furthermore, with technological advances in the company’s aerospace business, the company is able to drive goals to improve productivity and capture efficiencies which are essential in order to operate in higher-cost locations like Singapore, Germany and the US. This augments the company’s competitive differentiators in quality and value.

Challenges Of Transformation

Government support is not lacking for Industry 4.0. In March this year, the Economic Development Board (EDB) announced that it would be funding 300 companies to undergo assessments using the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index, so as to accelerate the industry transformation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large local enterprises (LLEs) and multinational corporations (MNCs) across various industries. This follows the launch of as many as 23 industry transformation maps, public-private partnerships like Tech Labs (ARTC and SimTech), Tech Access and Tech Depot to help SMEs test and experiment with advanced manufacturing technologies, translate research to applications and access technologies easily. There have also been numerous workforce transition programmes.

Even as the government invests time and resources to move the industry, business leaders remain pragmatic. The push to transform will happen only where there are strong drivers. Many will start on the digitalisation journey, but will invest only when they can see immediate value in doing so.

Indonesia’s Minister for Industry Airlangga Hartarto, has observed that millions of Indonesians in the workforce will require training to be digitally literate under the country’s Industry 4.0 rollout plans. Additionally, Dr. Gunther Kegel, CEO of Pepperl+Fuchs, Germany, has said that his company had spent hundreds of training hours to ready the workforce. He also added that even with buy-ins for change, it requires transforming processes from computer-assisted ones to computer-dominated ones, and changing the way people have been working for the past 20 years.

What tends to happen however, as Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing pointed out at the panel discussion, is that many companies “often get stuck” at the application stage of technologies, and “they never really go to Stage 3, which is the re-engineering part”. He was referring to the four stages of the technology industry known as DART: Diffusion, Application, Re-engineering and real Transformation. His view is that the mere application of technologies will not lead to real transformation, as it was only “mechanising, robotising and digitising current processes”.

Transforming the organisation thus requires a mindset shift from leaders and staff alike. It is Worker 4.0 who would be critical in the success of Industry 4.0, as Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon, said at ITAP.

Firstly, from constantly thinking pragmatically on just which technologies are needed on hand, managers and employees need to think more strategically and with a future-oriented view to consider the opportunities that Industry 4.0 can bring, and how best the business can harness these. They need to build the business and economic case, and not pursue technology for technology’s sake.

With the production of more proven use cases, the adoption rate of technologies will grow. It will grow even more quickly if business cases are clearly in sight and it will require senior leaders to take a top-down approach to drive implementation and overcome barriers and resistance for transformation.

Readying The Workforce

Minister Chan additionally observed that Singapore will need to compress the learning cycle; the conventional model of using the school system to churn out workers is a bit too slow for tomorrow’s needs. He added that the frontiers of learning will need to be in companies where there is constant experimentation, even as we rely on conventional learning for building fundamentals.

Similarly, organisations will welcome the development of more industry 4.0-related talents through the institutes of higher learning (IHLs) in the future. In addition to degree courses, on-demand micro-learning modules in areas such as autonomous systems, robotics, data analytics and cyber security should also be offered. This is also an area where corporates, government agencies and IHLs can work together to co-develop.

ST Engineering’s approach to training and retraining of the workforce for Industry 4.0 is multi-pronged, with the company’s top 100 managers attending data analytics and cyber security executive workshops in order to ensure that a mindset shift occurs from the top. Additionally, engineers are also put through courses that are targeted at further enhancing domain expertise.

For instance, 70 of the company’s engineers have already been trained at ST Engineering’s Cybersecurity Academy, which is a professional cyber security training school. And 350 of the company’s engineers attended a technical course in robotics and digitalisation, made possible by ST Engineering’s strategic partnership with Singapore Polytechnic, to create a bespoke Digital Transformation & Robotic course. Moving forward, the another 1,000 employees will be trained in a customised data analytics programme over the next one and a half years at the National University of Singapore.

Strategic Technology Centres have also be established to develop deep capabilities in areas such as data analytics and cyber security, to provide group-wide support in further differentiating products and solutions. Lastly, extensive collaborations with external technology partners and IHLs through Corporate Labs, Corporate Venture and Open Innovation Labs have also been carried out.

Are Businesses Ready?

Industry 4.0 is a major shift for many organisations. Are business leaders prepared to redefine and re-engineer their business models and processes by drawing from technological advances for real transformation?

If having platforms and infrastructure in place at both the country and organisation levels are not good enough an impetus for change, perhaps the reality of being left behind by competitors is.

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Bombardier Partners With ST Engineering To Build Singapore Service Centre

Bombardier Partners With ST Engineering To Build Singapore Service Centre

Bombardier Transportation and ST Engineering’s Land Systems arm have established a new strategic partnership to build a Singapore Service Centre. As part of the partnership agreement, Bombardier and ST Engineering will combine their respective strengths in transportation design, manufacturing, engineering knowledge, maintenance, repair and overhaul expertise to drive cost-effective localised component repair capabilities for customers in Singapore, as well as regionally. These measures will improve the overall Service offering for Bombardier customers while strengthening its portfolio and providing customers with more options in support of their operations.

Mr. Tan Peng Kuan, President of Commercial Business, ST Engineering’s Land Systems arm, said “The Singapore Service Centre is a step towards strengthening Singapore’s capability in rail maintenance and support services, and is testament to ST Engineering’s deep engineering capabilities. ST Engineering’s advanced diagnostics and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) expertise not only ensures that there is reliable in-country support for transport operators in Singapore, our complementary capabilities in robotics and simulation systems also offer innovation engineering applications for improving efficiency and reliability to rail operations.”

Commenting on the partnership, Jayaram Naidu, Vice President of Southeast Asia, Bombardier Transportation, said, “We are pleased to expand our presence and deepen our investment in Singapore with this state-of-the-art center which will help us to develop and deliver our services capabilities. This new service centre reflects our commitment to developing local talent and technical skills, key to constantly innovating and improving the solutions we provide. We understand the importance that our customers place on passenger safety and system performance, and we will further add value by improving total train performance for operators moving millions of passengers safely.”

Over the last 20 years in Singapore, Bombardier has made significant contributions to improving mobility. To date, it has delivered 276 driverless metro cars for Singapore’s Downtown Line and 13 automated people mover cars for the Bukit Panjang Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. Earlier this year, a new asset replacement contract was awarded to supply 19 new cars, to retrofit 13 existing cars, as well as to deliver a signalling system upgrade for 13 stops on the Bukit Panjang LRT Line. In addition, a new contract was recently awarded to supply 396 metro cars for the high-capacity North-South (NSL) and East-West (EWL) Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines. The new order brings the number of MOVIA vehicles in Singapore to 672, making it one of Bombardier’s largest metro fleets in the world.

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ST Engineering Marks First Entry Into Indonesian Metro Market

ST Engineering Marks First Entry Into Indonesian Metro Market

SINGAPORE: ST Engineering’s electronics sector has announced that it has secured a contract to provide its Platform Screen Doors (PSD) solutions for Jakarta’s new light rail transit (LRT), the Jabodebek LRT System. Awarded by PT Len Railway System, a subsidiary of PT Len Industri which is a state-owned enterprise under the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprise of Republic Indonesia, this marks the sector’s first foray into the Indonesian metro market.

ST Engineering’s PSD solution will serve as a safety barrier between the platform and the train track, enhancing the safety of passengers when the Jabodebek LRT System is fully operational in 2019. The new LRT system which consists of 18 stations connecting Jakarta’s city centre to suburbs areas in Bogor, Bekasi and Depok, is expected to face high human traffic during peak hours as it is seen as the answer to Jakarta’s high road traffic congestion situation.

Mr Ravinder Singh, President of Electronics, ST Engineering said, “This contract win reinforces our position as an industry leader in smart rail transportation, strengthening our record of more than 100 rail electronics projects in 41 cities around the world. We will work together with our partners to deliver safe, reliable and efficient train services for Jakarta commuters.”

Reinforcing the mutual commitment to bring the shared vision of an enhanced rail transportation in Indonesia to fruition, the company’s electronics sector has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PT Len and PT Eltran, which is a subsidiary of PT Len, to collaborate on future PSD projects in Indonesia and overseas. The partnership brings together ST Engineering’s rail electronics capabilities, as well as PT Len and PT Eltran’s expertise and experience in the fields of mechanical, electrical and telecommunications systems, to co-develop rail solutions catered to the needs of the larger Indonesian market and other global cities.

The delivery of PSDs for the first two stations will begin in March 2019, with progressive delivery of the remaining 16 stations by March 2020.

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