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Emirates Steel Accelerates Digital Roadmap And Safeguards Manufacturing Supply Chain With Commvault

Emirates Steel Accelerates Digital Roadmap And Safeguards Manufacturing Supply Chain With Commvault

Commvault has announced that Emirates Steel has implemented Commvault HyperScale to support its digitalisation ambitions and safeguard its manufacturing operations.

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Emirates Steel is wholly government owned. At full capacity, its 11 plants produce 3.5 million tons of steel products, such as sheets, beams, and reinforced bars, every year for the construction industry. The company’s digitalisation efforts include moving its SAP modules to the cloud through Microsoft public cloud solutions.

“Backup was a challenge with underlying technology scattered across different environments and running on aging Dell hardware,” said Mohammed Azam, IT Infrastructure Head at Emirates Steel “I initially liked Rubrik’s simple interface but realised, at the Commvault GO  event, that Commvault HyperScale proved a more effective solution with an interface that was just as user-friendly but with the critical difference that we installed it easily and it works perfectly across our complex environment.”

Commvault HyperScale and Commvault Complete Backup & Recovery protect 400 terabytes of data hosted across SAP systems, and including SQL databases, email archives, and 20 virtual machines. “Commvault HyperScale is easy to install and use,” said Azam. “Interoperability with both public cloud and on-premises environments means we can make IT investment decisions that boost our competitive advantage without having to worry about backup.”

Two Commvault HyperScale clusters replicate data between the company’s data center and disaster recovery site to provide robust business continuity capabilities. “Commvault gives us confidence that we can recover rapidly from any scenario, including potential ransomware attacks,” said Azam. “We can now restore a critical database in less than 90 minutes compared with three hours previously.”

Commvault also helps accelerate Emirates Steel’s digital roadmap by making it simple to add new services and datasets. “Any disruption to our operational systems and the production of steel would have a national impact. By maximising data availability, we can boost efficiency and safeguard the manufacturing supply chain,” concluded Azam.

“We are proud to expand our longstanding relationship with Emirates Steel by adding our latest HyperScale functionality and flexibility,” said Wael Mustafa, Area Vice President Middle East, South Africa & Turkey at Commvault.  “Our HyperScale solutions are offering increased data availability and business continuation assurance to many of the largest organisations across the region.”

 

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Insights From Omron: Trends In The Singapore Manufacturing Industry

Insights From Omron: Trends In The Singapore Manufacturing Industry

Through this article, Mr. Lieu Yew Fatt, Managing Director of Omron Electronics Singapore and Mr. Swaminathan Vangal-Ramamurthy, General Manager of Robotics Business Division, Omron Asia Pacific examine the future of manufacturing in Singapore and the relationship between local and global trends.

Manufacturing has been a key pillar of the economy in Singapore ever since we progressed to an innovation-intensive economy from a labour-intensive one in the early days of nation building. Now, manufacturing contributes close to 20 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP) and keeps more than 500,000 people employed.

Moving forward, the manufacturing sector here will face increasing external pressures in the coming years. In Southeast Asia, we have Thailand, which ranked well for high quality and low cost in a McKinsey analysis on which ASEAN country is most attractive for manufacturing investments. Singapore, not surprisingly, ranked high in high quality but performed badly in low cost.

Meanwhile, the rise of China as a manufacturing powerhouse in Asia has also brought a different level of competition to the landscape. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has been flowing in to China and this adds competitive pressure to the manufacturers in this region, especially since there are some significant overlaps in manufacturing capabilities between the manufacturers in China and here.

The Shift Towards Innovation And Research

Singapore’s manufacturing sector naturally leans towards advanced manufacturing in view of our knowledge-based economy. Manufacturers here are generally more open to leveraging innovation and technology to improve products and/or processes.

In 2016, the Singapore Government introduced the Research Innovation Enterprise 2020 (RIE2020), a plan that charts the course for harvesting an innovative and competitive economy as we progress towards 2020. As part of this plan, advanced manufacturing was identified as a key pillar among others to drive this forward. RIE2020 also identified four cross-cutting technology areas as essential enablers, which will undergird and support the verticals. These are: Robotics and Automation, Digital Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing and Advanced Materials.

Additionally, the Government has also committed SGD$19 billion, the biggest allocation since 1995, as investment into innovation, research and driving enterprise growth under the RIE2020 Plan for 2016 to 2020.

Keeping Up With Technology Trends

Government support provides a much-needed boost for manufacturers here. However, manufacturing businesses must ensure that they are maximising cost efficiency and productivity in their operations to remain competitive. The good news is that technology can offer tremendous value in these areas.

There are two major trends to watch in advanced manufacturing:

1.Artificial Intelligence And Machine Controllers

Manufacturers can expect artificial intelligence (AI) to play an increasingly prominent role in manufacturing as factory floors become smarter and more collaborative robots (or ‘cobots’) work alongside humans to enhance productivity.

At OMRON, we recently took an innovative-automation approach. By this, we mean an integrating high-precision, high-speed manufacturing with more intelligent controls and data analysis and combining that with a more interactive and collaborative relationship between robots and people on the manufacturing floor.

For instance, we merged AI, machine learning and facial recognition technologies to develop Omron vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) technology. This is used in automobile manufacturing to create products that keep drivers safe. VOR technology uses a camera to capture and sense a driver’s eye movements to spot for early-stage drowsiness and determine his/her suitability for driving. This technology can also be applied to the factory floor to keep workers safe as well, such as when they are operating heavy machinery.

Separately, we have added learning capabilities to machine automation controllers by equipping them with machine learning AI algorithm. This allows the controllers to achieve real time integration between programmable logic controller and AI processing functions. The result is that these controllers can manage equipment changes on the factory floor in microseconds as they send collected data to the host IT system while maintaining control performance.

Additionally, these controllers can effectively keep track of equipment and production status when equipped with sensors set to monitor machines and production lines. They can look out for irregularities or unusual activities and built-in AIs can take action to fix issues or activate safety procedures depending on what they are programmed to learn.

2.Industrial Internet Of Things

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in manufacturing is currently already a primary trend affecting businesses in the industry. It transformed manufacturing in many parts of the world due to its ability to enable the gathering and analysis of data and then applying it in new and novel ways.

However, IIoT goes beyond machines to machine connectivity. It is also a movement that is uniting the people and systems on the factory floor with enterprise-level decision makers. The rise of IIoT platforms have also empowered employees as they now have better access to information. With improved collaboration a focus of these platforms, teams can now work across factory floors, or even remotely across wider geographies.

The mindset is also shifting towards that of consumers connected to the industry through customer interactions and social networks, and informed businesses are constantly adjusting their output and production based on consumer demand.

We readily see this in the automobile industry where manufacturers offer many customisable or optional choices. Now, car buyers are often spoilt for choice on things like exterior and interior colors, seat material and design, in-car stereo and GPS systems, sun roofs and so on. Manufacturers are embracing this connected customers and market-driven environment. To remain competitive, manufacturers have to be connected and nimble and the only way they can be successful is to leverage the power of data and newer technologies like IIoT.

Future-Ready Manufacturing

It will no doubt remain important for manufacturers here to continue to strive for the age-old goals of increasing speed to market, reducing overall costs and maintaining quality control. Nonetheless, they cannot ignore the fact that digitalisation and disruptive technologies are transforming the whole manufacturing landscape, and it is crucial that they take steps to modernise their operations and prepare for the business environment and the market of the future.

Advanced manufacturing methodologies that used to be mere concepts just a few years ago are now finding practical implementations. It is timely for manufacturers here to explore their actual feasibility and practicality as they modernise their own operations. They may also want to better incorporate automation, data analytics, IIoT, robotics and increased technology adoption into their business strategies and operational planning considerations.

To be future-ready, manufacturers will need to plan toward realising a more transparent supply chain that enhances product traceability by taking steps now to adopt newer and more intelligent production methods and processes.

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Interview With Mr. Debashis Tarafdar, Principal Advisor, Supply Chain, From Ecosystm

Interview With Mr. Debashis Tarafdar, Principal Advisor, Supply Chain, From Ecosystm

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Mr. Debashis Tarafdar, Principal Advisor, Supply Chain, Ecosystm to discuss the up and coming trends affecting supply chain networks in the manufacturing industry.

Interview With Mr. Debashis Tarafdar, Principal Advisor, Supply Chain, From Ecosystm

1. Could you provide an overview of the current trends regarding supply chains that are integrated to manufacturing networks in the Asian metalworking industry?

There are several trends that are impacting the Asian metalworking industry supply chain at the moment. The global economic recovery seems to be underway, and that is good news for the metalworking industry particularly in the industrial machinery and automotive sectors. However, uncertainties remain with the prospect of trade wars and geopolitical conflicts. A set of issues specific to this industry has been emerging for a few years now. Technological advances in material science and engineering impacting tooling and workholding processes – enabling more productive and accurate outputs with increased tool life. Industry 4.0, IoT, smarter sensors and connected machines have great potential in controlling and monitoring machining processes and taking corrective actions proactively, contributing to lower downtime and higher yield. Smarter machines equipped with smart sensors are at the heart of a smart factory and will have significant impact on the interconnected supply chains of tomorrow. Additive manufacturing is enabling complex but low volume work that was difficult to achieve through traditional machining processes. However, shortage of skilled labour is one of the issues that this industry must deal with, in order to ensure sustainable improvements in productivity and growth.

2. With the digitalisation of manufacturing processes in Asia, how can supply chains evolve to keep up with the changes?

With increasingly demanding customers and a globalised competitive environment, adopting digitalisation is a must for achieving a demand-driven supply chain management strategy. Supply chain processes need to be integrated from customers to suppliers, with seamless information access both upstream and downstream. Smart factories and smart processes that are highly adaptive, with a high degree of automation and robotics will be the key to success – helping organisations improve their service and lowering costs at the same time.

3. Within the context of Asia, what are the biggest challenges to the optimisation of supply chains within manufacturing networks?

I think the biggest challenge in Asia is the mindset, as global organisations aggressively adopt digital business. The majority of the organisations today are still silo-ed in their approach and are highly cost-focused instead of growth and service focused. To me, the definition of digital business is that it is “a solution-centric business approach to deliver customer value through process innovations that connect people, technology and “things” to drive revenue and efficiency.” A large proportion of Asian manufacturers are still product-focused rather than solution-focused, which makes them intrinsically internally-focused, and that in my opinion is the biggest hurdle. The industry needs to analyse what defines “value” for their customers, and deliver tailored solutions to create a win-win. Without the correct perspective, optimisation efforts may well lead to sub-optimal results.

4. How can the challenges mentioned above be overcome?

Organisations need to adopt an outside-in approach to managing supply chains, as well as integrate supply chain processes from an end-to-end perspective. Real-time visibility of both in-process and extended supply chain metrics is important for making the right trade-offs. Along the way, companies also need to consider the stage of maturity that their digital supply chains are at. There is a continuum of digital supply chain maturity that exists from “ad-hoc” to “developing” to “leading”. Through a systematic and structured understanding of the maturity level and associated capability gaps, supply chain leaders can develop programs that will help progress the maturity over a period of time, thereby delivering improved customer and stakeholder value as well as better return on assets and capital.

5. In the next 5-10 years, what will be the technologies that drive supply chains in Asia?

Key technologies that will drive supply chains in Asia in the next 5-10 years are rapid planning and optimisation capabilities with analytics and a control tower approach – enabling predictive decision-making, at the minimum. At the next level, improved customer centricity and better service will need IoT and smart machines as an integral part of the end-to-end supply chain, enabling prescriptive decision-making. And finally machine learning, big data and artificial intelligence capabilities will enable cognitive decision-making across the extended supply chain, powering industry ecosystems that will work towards a common goal delivering customer value.

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Stronger Public Private Partnership Required To Drive Industry 4.0 In Malaysia

Stronger Public Private Partnership Required to Drive Industry 4.0 in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: IDC believes that the 2019 Malaysia National Budget recently announced by Lim Guan Eng, the Finance Minister of Malaysia, was an important incremental step in achieving Malaysia’s vision to become a fully connected digital economy. The recent budget focused on the Industry 4.0 blueprint, titled “Industry4WRD”, which aims to make Malaysia the prime destination for high-tech industries in the region. The government plays a central role in the successful implementation of a robust Industry 4.0 strategy by creating clear policies and priorities to support the private sector. Initiatives like Industry4WRD focus the energy and creativity of the private sector around a common mission to create an era in which AI, robotics, 3D printing, and IoT will take centre stage and lead to digital transformation in Malaysia. IDC believes that direct support for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) is necessary to focus Malaysia’s resources and boost the economic growth of the country.

The Malaysian government is continuing to adopt the necessary policy changes and budget priorities to strengthen the economic foundation for digital transformation and technology investments. For example, on November 7th, Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) Sdn Bhd invited small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to embrace the fourth industrial revolution with the launch of the Centre of 9 Pillars (Co9P) initiative. This centre creates a physical location for ecosystem partners to interact for the development and incubation of solutions based on nine technology pillars including; Big Data Analytics, Autonomous Robots, Simulation & Augmented Reality, Horizontal & Vertical Integration, Internet of Things (IoT), Cybersecurity, Cloud, Additive Manufacturing and Supply Chain. IDC forecasts the size of the Big Data/Analytics investment in Malaysia will be $US670 million in 2019 led by the Banking industry while spend on IoT will be US$2.2 billion with the largest investment going into Manufacturing (2018 Big Data Spending Guide, 2018 IoT Spending Guide).

For almost a decade, IDC has been chronicling the emergence and evolution of the 3rd Platform of technology; the drive into Cloud, Mobility, Social and Big Data/Analytics technologies. The adoption of these technologies has accelerated as enterprises commit to the 3rd Platform and undergo Digital Transformation (DX) on a massive scale. Malaysia’s digital economy is in the early stages of creating an infrastructure with key core technologies (cloud, big data/analytics, artificial intelligence [AI], mobility, social business, robotics, internet of things [IoT], and 3D printing) for better public services and an economic boost. Rapid advances in cloud computing, connected devices, mobile, social media and data analytics are contributing to the growth of SMEs in Malaysia. SMEs constitute 98.5% of the total businesses and will spend US$2.7 billion on new technologies in 2019, according to IDC’s 2018 Small and Medium Business Spending Guide.

“The growth of digital economies is becoming an ever more impactful part of the global economy. The transition to a digital economy is a key driver of growth and development because it can provide a boost to the country’s productivity across all sectors and it creates an attractive environment for new investments from outside Malaysia. As the fourth industrial revolution becomes a key driver of the digital economy, entrepreneurs and SMEs need to assess fundamental aspects of their business, including what products and services they sell, how they deliver them to the market, the new skillsets required and how they need to organize to support their operations. Now is the time to take advantage of the new policies of the government and partner to accelerate new digital businesses,” said Randy Roberts, Research Director IoT and Telco, IDC Asia Pacific.

IDC strongly supports the new government’s plan to launch the National Fibre Connectivity Plan in 2019. This plan aims to develop broadband infrastructure to achieve a target of 30 Mbps speed per customer in rural and remote areas of the country within 5 years. This plan follows the implementation of the Mandatory Standard Access Pricing (MSAP) announcement from MCMC earlier this year that has successfully lowered broadband prices in order to connect more citizens to the digital economy.

“The high cost of a broadband connection in Malaysia has been one of the reasons small enterprises have delayed moving their business online. Government policies that improve the affordability, access and speed of broadband connectivity will increase the adoption of digital services and show the readiness of the economy to support digital initiatives” said Randy Roberts, Research Director IoT and Telco, IDC Asia Pacific.

IDC has documented examples of successful Public-Private Partnerships in the region, including Indonesia and Singapore, where the combination of public policy and entrepreneurship is driving the digital economy including smart city and mobile commerce services. In order to ensure the success of the digital initiatives in Malaysia, the government needs to consistently communicate the country’s digital priorities. The private sector should then follow with investment and development of resources in those areas, including development of key skillsets in the workforce to retain local talent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Samsung Working To Develop Its Vietnamese Supply Chain Networks

Samsung Working To Develop Its Vietnamese Supply Chain Networks

According to Shim Won Hwan, Samsung Vietnam’s CEO, Samsung is scouting for local companies to join its consulting programmes in order to enhance the company’s supply chain networks. This is a programme that the company had previously collaborated with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), government agencies as well as local associations in order to source for qualified local companies that would be able to join.

In comparison with the localisation rate of 25 percent in 2014, Samsung’s current rate has increased to 58 percent this year and the number of local companies that rank as Samsung Vietnam’s tier-1 vendors have increased from 4 in 2014 to 35 in 2018 and this number is expected to reach 50 by 2020.

In fact, over the past ten years, Samsung has invested a upwards of US$17 billion in Vietnam and employed 160,000 locals. In 2017, Vietnam’s export turnover reached US$214 billion, of which Samsung alone contributed over US$54 billion to that figure. Additionally, the company’s four subsidiaries in Vietnam have a combined revenue of US$20.5 billion and a profit of US$2.08 billion in the first quarter this year alone and the same figures have experienced a 50 percent year-on-year increase, according to the company’s quarterly financial statements.

50 percent of Samsung’s smartphones and tablets are now manufactured in Vietnam and exported to 128 countries and territories, including the US, Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia. And since April 2018, Samsung has worked with the MoIT to provide training courses to 200 Vietnamese consultants so that they would be better able to advise local companies on how productivity can be improved and this will in turn help to develop Vietnam’s support industry.

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Interview With Mr. Kiyoshi Matsumoto, Director Cloud And Managed Services, NTT Singapore Pte Ltd

Interview With Mr. Kiyoshi Matsumoto, Director Cloud And Managed Services, NTT Singapore Pte Ltd

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Mr. Kiyoshi Matsumoto, Director Cloud And Managed Services, NTT Singapore Pte Ltd on his views on the future of manufacturing technologies in Asia and its impact on supply chains.

1.Could you provide us with an overview of the latest technologies shaping manufacturing in Asia?

We see an increase in manufacturers collecting vast troves of data and analysing them to reveal important insights for better decision-making. Data is driving a massive transformation in the manufacturing industry, with many companies already incorporating technologies such as field sensors and edge computing. Field sensors, for example, collect and communicate information (temperature, pressure etc.) to manufacturers, while edge computing helps manufacturers convert data sets generated by machines into insightful and actionable items. Manufacturers have realized the importance of tapping on Business Intelligence (BI) technologies to transform raw data from multiple sources into valuable information.

 2. What do you think are the main challenges when it comes to the manufacturing processes in Asia?

While more and more manufacturers are collecting data from sensors and leveraging edge computing, many still lack the resources to use the data intelligently. The challenge is to invest in systems and resources that enable the most efficient collection and use of data. Moving data to the cloud is an effective way to improve the automation of decisions and optimise industrial output.

That said, many manufacturers still view information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) as separate departments when they are two sides of the same coin. Early IT systems were under the purview of the CIO and included desktops, laptops and connectivity for propriety data. On the other hand, OT consisted of turnkey systems such as machines on the factory floor and transportation vehicles, which had very little involvement from IT.

Today, OT refers to the control and automation supporting operations. A simple example is connected manufacturing equipment retrofitted with industrial IoT sensors. With the more pervasive use of IT technologies at an operational level, the boundaries between the successful use of IT and OT have begun to blur. For manufacturers to succeed in the digital era, they need to close the IT/OT gap or risk decline.

3. How do you think these challenges can be overcome?

If manufacturers possess the right technological infrastructure and guidance, they will be able to leapfrog ahead of their competition in terms of efficiency and productivity.

We recently launched the Smart Factory Package in Singapore, powered by AVEVA’s Wonderware and NTT Com cloud computing platform ‘Enterprise Cloud’, which offers a highly-effective and cost-efficient approach for manufacturers to kick-start their digital journey to streamline and simplify operations.

The Smart Factory Package takes advantage of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and combines pervasive network sensors, a scalable cloud platform and advanced analytics capabilities to unlock the value of industrial data. Manufacturers can then leverage the industrial data for better decision-making, resulting in greater intelligence, efficiency and opportunity.

4. With the digitalisation of manufacturing, how will supply chains evolve to keep up?

The supply chain will no longer be linear in nature, from producers to consumers.

To keep pace, supply chains now need to integrate leading-edge technologies to combine cross-functional data from different sources, implement control and automation and forecast demand and performance with advanced data analytics. For example, a retailer might be better able to assess inventory performance by digitising their stock. This allows planning to be more precise and managers can also anticipate problems before they happen and act on them.

5. In your opinion, what are the trends that will shape the industry for the next 5 to 10 years?

Digital transformation will eventually affect every industry. For the manufacturing industry, we will see the convergence of IT and OT. Digitalisation will become ubiquitous and companies who fail to keep up will decline.

Disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence and IoT will play a major role in shaping manufacturing trends. Put together, the “smart factory” will feature systems capable of autonomously exchanging information and trigger a set of actions independently. This promises increased productivity, lowered costs and better customer satisfaction.

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Hypertherm Launches Venture Capital Arm For Advanced Manufacturing Technology

Hypertherm Launches Venture Capital Arm For Advanced Manufacturing Technology

Hypertherm, has announced the formation of Hypertherm Ventures, a new corporate venture capital (CVC) arm, to foster greater interaction with the technology venture community.

Encompassed by a goal of helping advanced manufacturing deliver positive change to the world, Hypertherm Ventures is seeking partnerships with universities, startups, entrepreneurs, and early stage companies to commercialise advanced manufacturing technologies in strategic interest areas. Those areas include industrial cutting, welding, and thermal processing; robotics and automation; machine learning and augmented intelligence; industrial Internet of Things; additive manufacturing /3D printing and nanotechnology.

“Just as we began 50 years ago with an invention that made plasma cutting commercially viable for the first time ever, we look forward to supporting other entrepreneurs as they work to bring their inventions to life,” said Nathan Pascarella, Hypertherm Ventures’ business development manager. “If you are an entrepreneur or leading an early stage company in advanced manufacturing within our strategic interest areas, Hypertherm Ventures would love to hear more about you and your business.”

Hypertherm believes its experienced leadership team, combined with a wide range of advanced manufacturing process experts proficient in lean, Six-Sigma, and similar methodologies will benefit entrepreneurs and early stage companies. In addition, Hypertherm can support venture partners through its expertise with advanced technology development, engineering, complex supply chain management, global service and distribution networks, as well as a track record of marketing and selling new products.

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Interview With Mr. Gary Cantrell, SVP & CIO Of Jabil

Interview With Mr. Gary Cantrell, SVP & CIO Of Jabil

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Mr. Gary Cantrell, SVP & CIO of Jabil regarding his views on the associated technologies, challenges and future of manufacturing in Asia.

1.Could you provide us with an overview of the latest technologies shaping the manufacturing industry in Asia?

This is a really exciting time for the manufacturing industry as manufacturers discover how new technologies can play a critical role in transforming and improving functions along the value chain. In fact, IDC confirmed that investments in Internet of Things (IoT) are largely led by manufacturing and transportation industries.

Three particular technologies stand out and these are likely to dramatically alter the manufacturing landscape globally. They are:

  • Additive Manufacturing: this technology is maturing rapidly and enabling mass customization, smaller lot sizes and reduced capital outlays. It will enable us to customise product designs for our customers, vary locations and increase speed of production.
  • Connected Factories (aka Digital Factories): connecting equipment throughout the factory will enable new levels of efficiency and improve factory productivity.
  • Automation and equipment self-optimisation: although still early in the maturity cycle, these technologies will provide the information to plan and control manufacturing real time by predicting unplanned events and automatic adjustments to prevent outages. These technologies will significantly alter the current human-machine interface in the factory.

2. What do you think are the main challenges when it comes to the digitalisation of manufacturing processes in Asia?

The equipment variation – both in terms of age and technical currency – will be a great challenge.  In order to digitise the factory, we need to get data to and from the machines for analysis and control. Older equipment, which is not equipped with such features, will require investment in upgrades in the short-term.

This also brings in the issue of cost. New equipment and the peripheral technology required to support the connected factory and automation – such as edge computing, wide area networks and time-sensitive local area networks – require significant investments in time and money.

3. How do you think these challenges can be overcome?

These challenges can be overcome with machine connectivity. In particular, getting data to and from older machines is a challenge and a great deal of innovative work is ongoing to improve both the connectivity and cost challenges. The same is true for aspects of the peripheral costs with the maturing of technologies like software defined networks and edge computing.

More importantly, as we learn the true efficiencies achievable with these technologies, the business cases for investing will become compelling. As these technologies get deployed, we will also learn where we can free-up people to do more value added work and what skills will be required for these new roles.

4. With the digitalisation of manufacturing, how will supply chains evolve to keep up?

Our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools will become more integrated with real-time visibility:

  • Connectivity: connecting customers, manufacturer and supplier systems, enabling visibility across the ecosystem, will help ensure continuity in driving materials velocity and on-time delivery with less manual effort.
  • Smart Planning: enabling digital transmission and receipt of customer forecasts, auto validation and synchronization of forecast, and advanced statistical analysis will allow teams to plan and manage better. Combined with integrated production scheduling and performance tracking, in the future, we will be able to efficiently manage customer’s product cycles.
  • Smart Purchasing: intelligent Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) filtering, enhanced digital interchanges with electronic commits into manufacturing systems can help improve overall purchasing process such as order quantities, product cycles, etc.
  • Smart Warehouse: improved velocity and availability through end-to-end connection will enable us to manage inventory and logistics.

5. In your opinion, what are the trends that will shape the industry for the next 5 to 10 years?

I believe that the continued development of additive manufacturing will dramatically change the way we design, manufacture and develop products. Although this may vary by industry, the potential for additive manufacturing to improve speed, quality and cost will result in significant shifts in our manufacturing processes.

Even more impactful are the areas of factory automation, machine self-optimisation and the application of artificial intelligence. In a mature vision of these technologies, it’s easy to envision ultra-lean factories managed remotely which self-correct and optimise the manufacturing process.

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Interview With Mr. Ashish Pujari, GM & VP Digital Supply Chain & Manufacturing – Asia Pacific & Japan At SAP

Interview With Mr. Ashish Pujari, GM & VP Digital Supply Chain & Manufacturing – Asia Pacific & Japan at SAP

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with  Mr. Ashish Pujari, GM & VP Digital Supply Chain & Manufacturing – Asia Pacific & Japan at SAP on his views on the future of supply chain networks and manufacturing technologies.

Mr. Ashish Pujari, GM & VP Digital Supply Chain & Manufacturing – Asia Pacific & Japan at SAP

1.Could you provide us with an overview of the latest technologies shaping the manufacturing industry and its associated supply chain networks in Asia?

Manufacturing has already begun to go ‘smart’ with Industry 4.0, where we see automation, intelligent machines coupled with smart sensors and IoT devices embedded along the production line. The future of production will not only be fully automated and connected but also have the ability to self-diagnose issues and optimise production capability. In this regard we see the possibility of an automated end-to-end supply chain, fully managed by smart manufacturing robots, driverless cars/drones and digital shop assistants.

With the tremendous volume of data becoming available, manufacturers will be able to optimise operations quickly and react accordingly to areas that require attention. For instance, the need to regularly conduct machinery maintenance, which typically causes a halt in production and incur cost, is no longer required with smart sensors notifying operators when maintenance is needed.

What sets the manufacturing and supply chain advancement rate of Asia apart from the other regions is the amount of expected IoT investment with IoT playing the critical role in making the above initiatives possible. According to IDC, Asia comes up on top in terms of IoT spending (US$291.7 billion) having accounted for more than 40 percent of the total worldwide expenditure this year with these connected devices being largely used for manufacturing operations.

2. What do you think are the main challenges when it comes to the digitalisation and integration of supply chains with manufacturing processes in Asia? With the digitalisation of manufacturing, how will supply chains evolve to keep up? How do you think these challenges can be overcome?

Traditionally, companies approached supply chain management in terms of increasing efficiency and driving down costs. In a complex, globalised, digital economy, the supply chain of yesterday is not up to the task of meeting constantly shifting demand and increasingly complex supply networks. For a digital economy, what is needed is a digital supply chain that is characterised by its ability to be fast, nimble and intelligent enough to profitably serve segments of one. This is however, just one half of the picture with the other half being the demand chain

Industry 4.0 solutions and new manufacturing techniques (such as addictive manufacturing) play a strong role in sustaining a strong demand chain where the production of products is based solely on demand. The decrease in waste and obsolescence will lead to an overall reduction in cost for organisations.

Upon digitalising the supply and demand chain silos, the main challenge will be to connect the both of them in a seamless manner. The integration of demand and supply chain synchronizes the key processes in terms of front-end development, product planning, product design, procurement, manufacturing, sales and marketing, maintenance activities based on customer needs as process routines. The first step manufacturers must take is the establishment of a digital core in order to handle the tremendous volume of data becoming available and translate them into actionable insights. Next, a top-to-bottom, soup-to-nuts approach that brings each application under the same umbrella must be taken. This is typically done with the assistance of a technology solutions provider that offers solutions for both silos and a proven track record of successful implementation.

3. In your opinion, what are the trends that will shape the industry for the next 5 to 10 years?

Supply chain sustainability becomes good business:  Cost efficiency and sustainability can now be achieved simultaneously with the help of technology. In an ideal world, manufacturers will see all of their products end up in a customer’s hands. In reality, the overproduction of products leads to unwanted and unused products being dumped at the bottom of a landfill. By digitalising the supply chain, manufacturers will be able to increase sustainability by reducing or even eliminating over-production and standing inventory. Not only does this reduce overall cost, it also saves our environment. At the same time, having end-to-end visibility enables businesses to tap on the shared economy network and achieve seamless connectivity across the entire supply chain. For example, working with third-party delivery services to cover last-mile delivery.

Rise of the Intelligence Enterprise: To reap the benefits of Industry 4.0 fully, we expect to see more organisations transforming into Intelligent Enterprises. An Intelligent Enterprise effectively uses data assets and machine learning to automate routine tasks, to achieve desired business outcomes faster and with less risk. To this end, businesses need to invest in three key areas – an intelligent suite, intelligent technologies and a digital platform. SAP’s solutions are designed to help businesses leverage these and transform into an a smart, best-run Intelligent Enterprise.

Connecting the physical and digital world through Digital Twins: The attachment of IoT sensors to assets and equipment will enable organisations to connect them within a network and form “digital twins”. This will provide businesses total visibility as products are designed, manufactured and deployed with real-time data sharing between customers and suppliers.

In today’s context, this is important because businesses are facing increased competition and need to meet the expectation of shorter product cycles, accelerated responses times and flexible manufacturing. At the same time, customers expect fully configurable, smart products too. Through leveraging embedded intelligence from the data of a fully connected network, businesses will be able to make better decisions and break new ground with open innovation.

Blockchain goes mainstream: Blockchain can positively impact everything from warehousing to delivery to payment due to its ability to increase the efficiency and transparency of supply chains. There is no dispute in the chain regarding transactions because all entities on the chain have the same version of the ledger and records on the blockchain cannot be edited. Due to such offerings, it comes as no surprise when IDC predicted that blockchain spending will grow at a CAGR of 81.2 percent and hit a total spending of US$9.2 billion in 2021.

Delving deeper into the distribution and services sector, we foresee strong interest from the pharmaceutical industry in the adoption of blockchain. Fake drugs are a US$30 billion problem and according to the World Health Organisation, one in 10 drugs sold in developing countries are fake or substandard, leading to thousands of deaths. Bogus drugs are a growing threat as increased pharmaceutical trade, including Internet sales, open the door to sometimes toxic products. With blockchain, the flow of stolen or counterfeit pills entering the supply chain and causing harm to patients can be stopped.

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