Friday, August 7, 2020

International Metalworking News for Asia August 2020 issue

As many countries slowly come out of lockdown, there is still going to be anxiety among many for a long time about going back to life as it was. Perhaps it won’t be the same as it existed, but one thing is sure: many people will want to feel assured when they go about their daily routines that they don’t face avoidable risks of picking up the virus and being part of the second wave. To address this, many technologies are now being fast-tracked to deployment.

We’re in a new world where anything goes. Many processes and the manufacturing of products are still based on the expert knowledge of individual employees. But what to do if they leave the company, are sick or on vacation?  Jürgen Kohler, Business Development Manager at Visual Knowledge, presented the topic: Digitisation of work instructions and checklists. He explained that manufacturing businesses must adopt digitised work instructions and checklists in order to speed up their recovery plans post COVID-19.  The primary role of work instructions and quality checklist help users to carry out their work quickly in a non-penalising time

With product quality issues impacting scrap rate, production ramp-up, production rate, and downtime, ultimately affect production costs and overall profitability. Therefore, manufacturers need to rely on innovative 3D measurement technologies, like the MetraSCAN 3D, in order to refine their product development and quality control processes. Patrice Parent, Creaform’s Asia Pacific Territory Manager said that the speed, accuracy, versatility and overall performance of MetraSCAN BLACK can help manufacturing companies in South East Asia to deploy local or internal processes. For example, setting up metrology capability instead of using third party suppliers for their inspection needs.

Tony Hemmelgarn, President and CEO of Siemens Digital Industries Software during his keynote speech at the recent virtual Siemens Media & Analyst Conference explained that the times of crisis have historically driven innovation.  He mentioned the Xcelerator portfolio, which helps create a digital mindset, it speeds the digital transformation cycle and unlocks a powerful industrial network effect. Tony believes employees in the future will not only be users of technology, they will be shapers and even developers of it as well.

Lastly, as face-to-face events cancelled or postponed to later dates, International Metalworking News for Asia is finding ways to communicate, connect and learn from industry experts in order to provide you with the latest and up-to-date news and technologies. We are all in this together! Keep safe everyone!

International Metalworking News for Asia August 2020 issue

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Safeguarding your CNC future

Oliver Lodl,Chief Sales Officer 

Marketplace has taken on an unprecedented level of significance nowadays due to the coronavirus outbreak that rocked the world. As response planning and social distancing measures began in late February to mid-March in South East Asia, retailers were flooded with waves of panicked customers. The situation is further aggravated by reliance on precious and accurate on-time deliveries. This shows why online marketplaces are valuable for both consumers and site operators, it’s the first large-scale example of ecommerce as a salvation to a supply-panicked population., a leading Marketplace for over 19,000 buyers and CNC manufacturers, is offering fast, simple and cost-effective solution to ward off the consequences of the coronavirus and other crises. 

Kathryn Gerardino-Elagio of International Metalworking News for Asia interviewed Chief Sales Officer Oliver Lodl of Orderfox AG on how the company can actively support customers in Asia and the entire CNC industry during this acute situation.

Orderfox in Asia

“Two years ago, we started working together on the CNC market in Asia. Our goal is to offer our customers the opportunity to find the right partner who can meet their requirements with little effort. But it is also a chance for purchasing organisations to find the right manufacturer on the global market in a simple way and with little effort,” Oliver explained.

He detailed, “Orderfox also offers the possibility to realise global projects with local sourcing due to the many partners. This enables many companies to concentrate on their core competencies and to produce sustainable and environmentally friendly products.”

Due to the current crisis, the existence of numerous CNC companies is at stake, said Oliver. “The COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the vulnerability of complex global manufacturing supply chains. To make matters worse, the CNC industry heavily relies on on-time deliveries. Delivery delays of just one day can create gaps in the entire supply chain, which can lead to exploding costs, enormous sales losses or even a complete standstill,” he mentioned.

Business for many companies has been delayed or halted as a result of the pandemic, industrial trade fairs have been cancelled and tens of thousands of workers around the world are in quarantine at home.

Oliver stated, “The financial impact of the coronavirus crisis will undoubtedly be severe. Yet we are not completely powerless. It is now imperative that we limit the damage and contain the losses. The crisis may limit many production facilities, but the demand for components is still high.”

He is positive that changes in CNC supply chain management are now being called for COVID-19 was a wake-up call for many CNC companies. “Many of them have realised that they need to fundamentally rethink their supply chain management,” Oliver added.

Business strategies

He rationalised the great opportunity CNC manufacturers can get from digitalisation. “Many CNC manufacturers are small and medium-sized enterprises that rely on traditional procurement strategies that are time-consuming and quickly becoming obsolete,” he reasoned.

Oliver added, “In many cases, these producers are highly dependent (more than 65%) on their regular customers, while only around 30% of their turnover is generated from newly acquired customers (Source: Orderfox Customer Research). Customer acquisition is often difficult and time-consuming. And now that numerous industrial trade fairs have been cancelled, new acquisition channels are urgently needed.”

He mentioned that digitisation also will change the CNC procurement. “It is not easy for buyers in the CNC industry to fill the gaps that have arisen and find alternative business partners. Many manufacturers don't have their own website, and therefore can't be “googled”. Most industrial fairs, which have been a reliable source of business contacts for many years, are expected to be cancelled in 2020, he stressed.

Market scenarios

Oliver noted that digital platforms are a welcomed solution, as they open up new market opportunities while providing additional transparency.

“Among them, Orderfox is the only global platform that believes in the need for a direct relationship between buyer and manufacturer. While other platforms hide manufacturer information and supplier procurement takes place in a “black box”, Orderfox enables direct communication between the two parties,” he specified.

Oliver added, “This creates maximum transparency and mutual trust. At the same time, the price pressure on manufacturers is alleviated, as the latter can also differentiate themselves from their competitors by means of quality attributes.”

Digital marketplace for the CNC industry

“Orderfox is the world's leading digital marketplace for the CNC industry. We want to maximise the success of our business partners and revolutionise the way they work together. Companies in the CNC machining sector can rely on our global network for customised manufacturing by qualified workshops,” he remarked. was developed in response to the Internet of Things (IoT) or Industry 4.0 and the rapidly advancing digitalisation of all production processes. The interactive community links buyers and CNC manufacturers around the globe and thus opens up unlimited market opportunities for all users in the truest sense of the word.

Oliver commented, “There are countless small and highly professional companies that are extremely hard to find because they don't invest much in their market presence or marketing. This tedious research is carried out by Orderfox for you. Visitors to the platform can see at a single glance which components can be produced by which companies, in which tolerance classes they can do so, which machines they use and where their production is located.”

Viewpoints on coronavirus

The coronavirus shutdown is an extreme situation for the entire economy and is hitting the CNC industry hard, Oliver observed.

“Although there is huge uncertainty, we can be sure of one thing: falling into a state of shock is the most dangerous reaction to this acute situation and is therefore not an option. Instead, the best way to counteract the problem is with a mix of flexibility, optimism and solidarity. Because we will overcome this crisis together,” he revealed.

Oliver concluded, “Here at, we want to play our part, which is why we are enabling CNC manufacturers and buyers to use our entire platform free of charge – for a dynamic and cooperative response to the shutdown.”


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Unlocking the power of 3D printing in time of crisis

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, technology is playing a critical role in allowing for remote working. 3D printing can lead the way in helping manage current and future pandemics. 

3D printers, software and materials that work together seamlessly. (source: Ultimaker)

Ultimaker, the global leader in desktop 3D printing, provides business enterprises with the support necessary when and where they’re needed.

To give an insight on how 3D printing can support businesses where traveling to tradeshows and one-on-one interactions are difficult, International Metalworking News for Asia connected with Mr Benjamin Tan, Vice President of Ultimaker Asia Pacific. He disclosed how the company is responding to COVID-19, and details the evolving future of manufacturing, engineering and design paradigm.

Benjamin Tan, Vice President, Ultimaker Asia Pacific

“Covid-19 has disrupted industries around the world. As a result, global supply chains have also taken a major hit. Fortunately, many of our customers have seen minimal disruptions to their value chains, thanks to the distribution model enabled by 3D printing,” Benjamin said.

He explained that instead of manufacturing an item and shipping it to a warehouse in another country, 3D printing allows for digital files to be produced on-site. This has empowered our clients to circumvent the problems of border lockdowns globally, enabling their supply chains to remain open and fluid.

On a day-to-day basis, Benjamin and his team engage companies to identify challenges and areas of improvements, through multiple meetings and physical site scans. An important aspect of the buying process as it enables them to equip customers with industrial 3D printing knowledge. With face-to-face interactions no longer possible, they have been conducting virtual site scans to support their clients.

“As part of our channel and distribution model, a large part of our sales activities were driven through participations in tradeshows and workshops. Now that these avenues have been cancelled, we have turned to webinars, e-conferences and e-trainings with partners and customers alike to ensure business continuity,” he mentioned.

Affected industries and business strategies

During these period, Benjamin noted that many plants and factories are either on partial or full lockdowns. “As a sales organisation, it has certainly impacted the way we interact with our customers. Internally, we are taking the time to re-calibrate our efforts through more realistic forecasts and alignment of strategies, he remarked.

Externally, all hands are on deck to engage customers through webinars and e-conferences, he rationalised. “We are also equipping our partners with frequent, more intensive training on 3D printing so that they can better support customers with troubleshooting. This multi-prong approach helps us stand ready to seize opportunities when the pandemic is over,” added Benjamin.

Making realistic changes

According to Benjamin, many of the conversations that took place pre-COVID may no longer stand. Customers may face greater budget constraints and decision making may take longer.

“We will have to look out for changes in customers’ behaviours and sentiments, and respond accordingly. There may be a need to re-evaluate policies and agreements to work around the issues. We anticipate that there will be operational impacts. With a reduction in global demand, factories will not be producing at the same volume as they used to. This means a direct hit at the supply side. All these macro changes will require deeper discussions with our customers, so we can see how to better support them and cater to their needs,” he detailed.

Benjamin commented, “We can’t control what’s happening around the world, but we can control how we react to the crisis. As leaders, our employees turn to us to guide them through the crisis. From a business point of view, it may no longer be business as usual. Companies will be forced to digitise or change their business model. At Ultimaker, we have always been a digital-first company. Hence, from a technological standpoint, there would not be a drastic shift or transition.”

Strategically, the fundamentals will not change, he added. “However, the way we engage our customers has to change. We now have to adjust to a virtual mindset, encouraging virtual visits and workshops. We are still focused on giving our customers the support they require, physically or virtually. Team members will need to take on a more nimble approach towards remote working, empowered by tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts. This will be the new norm of working post-COVID,” he declared.

Repositioning for stability and growth

Benjamin believes that companies will be responding to competitive pressures, looking to reduce overheads and improving profit margins. He is positive that 3D printing technology which is an essential part of progressive business solutions and processes, is poised to transform the way companies do business.

“There are immense opportunities for 3D printing to be successfully harnessed in multiple use cases in key industries. Many manufacturers have already embarked on their digital journey, utilising 3D printing as an essential part of their automated workflow, boost their supply chains, or simply to help humans work smarter and more efficiently,” Benjamin expressed.

He conveyed, “We will continue to support our customers through the identification of areas of improvement and help them discover new applications to enhance their workflows and processes. With the right 3D printing infrastructure in place, companies can remain commercially viable through increased productivity and greater savings, as well as faster time to market. “

Do more with Ultimaker S3


Benjamin set out to enunciate that every crisis brings about opportunities and this is no different. “The pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in global supply chains. With manufacturing environment becoming more volatile, businesses will be looking to simplify their supply chains. 3D printing has proven that it can plug the gap in a centralised manufacturing model and augments the need for digital manufacturing,” he stated.

Finally, he highlighted the imperative need for companies to transform or shape their business model to accommodate greater use of 3D printing, enabling sustainable growth.

Benjamin places a lot of value on the practical applications of 3D printing, specifically how this can help businesses in Asia Pacific region. He works closely with its network of sales partners to determine the best applications of Ultimaker’s solutions.



Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Global problem needs futuristic solution

Scott Huang, Chief Operating Officer 
Collaborative robots were unthinkable twenty years ago. Today, it has entered just about every industry with companies around the globe increasing their use. With this COVID-19 pandemic spreading across South East Asia and the whole world-- the timing is right for these robots.  If properly utilised, collaborative robots (cobots) can give South East Asia a sustained advantage. 
The growing number of challenges enterprise leaders across South East Asia encounter every day has positioned Techman Robot in the right place and time. Established in 2016, the company is the only cobot manufacturer based in Taiwan.
In an interview with International Metalworking News for Asia, Chief Operating Officer Scott Huang explains how its cobots allow customers to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape and boost their productivity and efficiency.
Techman Robot product demonstration
Truths about competition
Techman Robot has become the world’s second largest vendor of collaborative robots by 2018, according to market research firm Interact Analysis. Its streamlined production process is based in Taiwan, covering product research, development, production and manufacturing.
“To remain competitive in this time of crisis, enterprises must aim to be different,” explains Scott. Techman Robot is the first collaborative robot equipped with a built-in vision system, which integrates into both the hardware and software perfectly, whereas traditional add-on vision solutions to robotics are complicated, time consuming and costly to implement,” he adds.
Scott is positive that Techman Robot provides the most intelligent cobots, as it features an integral visual recognition in the world. He remarks, “Our robots perfectly integrate the hands, eyes and brains into one system, which impressively improve the easiness of using industrial robots and remarkably reduce the cost and deployment time.”
Scott describes the features of its collaborative robots in three points: (1) Smart: With the company’s powerful built-in vision system, Techman Robot can see, think and work unitedly and smartly like human. (2) Simple: Users can use hand-guiding function to teach robot every pose and point in the task. All-graphic flow chart based HMI (human-machine-interface) allows people to use robots as simple as smart phones. (3) Safe: The TM5 collaborative robot complies with the ISO 10218 human-robot safety requirement.
Trends in the factory floor
While companies keep employees and their families’ safe, they must also ensure business continuity. Aside from Techman Robot’s existing collaborative robot, Scott introduces the TMmanager, an intelligent factory management system to help enterprises break away from the bottleneck of automation and narrow the gap with intelligent manufacturing.
According to Scott, the management system is an industrial graphic control software for the intelligent management of factory processes and equipment; with an automatic management system of real time system monitoring and data analysis. The exclusive robotic management system of TMmanager can be connected with Techman Robot to monitor the operation of the robotic arm and has various functional modules of the Shop Floor Control System (SFC System) to effectively manage the automatic machines at the factory.
He adds, “With its user-friendly, high-CP, and highly-flexible applications, TMmanager provides well-rounded intelligent manufacturing management solutions, becoming the best management system for intelligent factories in the era of Industry 4.0.”
High standard
When asked how the company maintains the high-standard of its cobots, Scott mentioned, “We have three major core values for customers: quality, innovation and service. (1) Quality: We strive for excellence as we endeavour to constantly improve ourselves, our products and solutions. (2) Innovation: We develop innovative products and solutions that deliver real solution for businesses and people's lives. (3) Service: We stand side-by-side with our partners and clients to help them achieve their goals.”
Scott affirms that Techman Robot is a leading collaborative robot and vision technologies company, dedicated to improving the world of work for businesses and their people through (robotic) technology applications.
“We believe that when robotic technology is deployed correctly it can make an extremely positive impact to performance, efficiency and productivity, even creating a lasting positive impact on whole industries. We think that every business should have access to beneficial technology to advance their position. We are determined to use our experience, knowledge and skills to break boundaries, solve challenges, meet new industry requirements and continue to bring smart, simple and safe solutions to the international market.  At Techman Robot, we close the gap for every business,” he adds.
Robots future development
In 2019, the overall robot market revenues experienced negative growth for the first time in many years affected by the global manufacturing downturn and reduced demand in major end industries, such as automotive and electronics. However, the collaborative robot market still maintains a high growth rate of more than 30% (32.1% in revenue term and 31.3% in shipment term).
Scott comments, “With the further development of new application scenarios and breakthroughs in technology bottlenecks, the cobot market is projected to reach US$ 5.6 billion in 2027. We are really looking forward the development of collaborative robot.”
South East Asia
Since its establishment, Techman Robot has quickly become one of the largest industrial cooperative robot brands. “We have distributors in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines to provide instant service in the local area. In the future, we plan to put more focus on the automotive and electronics industries,” says Scott.
Although collaborative robot is still a small fraction in South East Asia’s manufacturing industry, by making a move, you can create a change in your manufacturing environment. Every change is always stressful for a business, processes and people involved. 
Robots aren't meant to replace workers but to make work easier. With this global pandemic, workers are an uncertain bet in a world where every human might have to stay home for a few months to avoid transmitting an infectious disease. Whether we like it or not, robots are geared up to take up the slack.

Techman Robot introducing the TM Palletizing Operator

E-zine Link

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Moving forward in a world of unknowns

Chong Chee Ter, Managing Director, TRUMPF Asia Pacific

COVID-19 has just begun to bring massive disruption to many businesses, cities and municipal governments across South East Asia. Manufacturing-industry businesses of all sizes are seeing their revenue fall to virtually zero due to nations self-isolating.

Kathryn Gerardino-Elagio of International Metalworking News for Asia interviewed Mr. Chong Chee Ter, Managing Director of TRUMPF Asia Pacific to see how the company is acting to protect their employees and customers, and prepare for the world beyond coronavirus.

Mr. Chong said that businesses are forced to re-think and adapt strategic decisions in these challenging times. Businesses are implementing staggered working hours, splitting the employees into different teams for minimal contact measure, and to even adopt working from home. “All of which would entail some extend of inconveniences to our customers, an unfortunate albeit necessary measure,” he added.

How technology bridges the gap
He explained, “Technology has always been proven to be a pivotal role not only in our industry, but to the society as a whole as well. Manufacturers have always used technology not only to further enhance the production process, but to also use it as a bridge to be closer to the customers. For instance the usage of Social Media to reach out to our customers as well as complimentary trainings via webinars that allow us to be closer to the market.”

Given the current situation, Mr. Chong described technology has undoubtedly proven itself once again. “With several countries across South East Asia implementing lockdowns, curfews etc. Courtesy visits or sending an engineer to our customer premises is not possible at the moment, that’s where technology comes into play again. Our “Remote Support” function plays a critical role in these challenging times where social distancing and minimal human to human contact is the new norm,” he declared.

Mr. Chong shared, “The existing “remote support or TeleService” function in our machines enable the customer to get in touch with our service experts should they experience any technical issues with the machine. The customer just would have to initiate the connection from their user interface, and a virtual PC is generated for the session. Once it’s done and our service expert has been given the permission to access the user interface, we can begin the troubleshooting. Our customers thus still can benefit from a quick fault diagnosis and solution remotely within the transmission, all data is completely secured with a firewall and confidentiality of data is ensured at each point in time.”

At the same time, he also shared about MyTRUMPF, a customer portal, which remains open to users 24/7. “Our customers have access to their orders and their delivery status, can file and follow up on service cases via the ServiceApp on their mobile phones, download software and tool data as well as access all information about their TRUMPF machines such as warranty periods, service contracts, etc.,” Mr. Chong said.

In-house exhibition
It is also exactly during these difficult times where companies are being tested on their flexibility to adapt to the situation and the willingness to adopt new technologies, Mr. Chong remarked.

“For instance, our annual in-house exhibition “INTECH” has traditionally been a physical trade show, but has since developed into a virtual event where participants can visit the exhibition at the comfort and more importantly, the safety of their own home,” he specified.

Undoubtedly these are challenging times, and it’s not possible to tell when the situation would improve at the moment, Mr. Chong stated. “What we are doing internally now is to continuously serve our customers via digital means, enriching their knowledge on technologies, software and current developments in view of digitalisation and smart lean manufacturing, etc. All of which would definitely be helpful when the situation improves and come out of this crisis stronger and well prepared for future challenges awaiting the manufacturing industry, especially in terms of digital solutions,” he concluded.

Useful Links:

Monday, June 15, 2020

Sometimes what you need is a little flexibility!

Introducing ANN WAY MACHINE Synchro Tap Holder’s WER series. Find out more!
As you tap a hole, you can choose the general tool holder or tap holder or you will have the other choices to tap a hole.
But choosing the right and suitable tool is the most important. Good craftsmanship depends on the use of the right tools.
That means if you want to tap a hole, you should choose a tap holder. Let Ann Way help you discover why you should choose tap holder – the Synchro Tap Holder - WER series is key!

Invest in this tap holder - Synchro Tap Holder and you will discover a range of benefits!
1) Design for minimum length compensation on compression and tension +-0.5mm!
2) Compression compensation reduce the pressure of torque for tap by 1/3 and tension compensation reduce the torque load. Improved thread quality and accuracy!
3) And reduce risk of tool breakage damage and increase tool life to save more money! Working is more efficiently! Just use ER collet, easy to use and get!

Now just upgrade to the synchro tap holder and will create more value. That's the result why sometimes you need a little flexibility!

Ann Way Machine Tools holding your future!

Useful Links

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Greenway - The lathe that last

Global manufacturing industries current goal is to be faster, more efficient, and customer-centric, thus implementing Industry 4.0 to their production operations. 

To fulfill these automation processing demands, Greenway HC-30N Special PurposeLathe, is equipped with customized single workpiece auto feeding system. It can assist you to proceed to non-stop auto operation that increases machine processing efficiency when dealing with labour shortage. HC-30N CNC Lathe is the best option for high C/P ratio machines in the market.