Thursday, January 30, 2020

Bosch ensures sales remain high adverse impact earnings

Business year 2019

•Sales: 77.9 billion euros

•Result: approx. 3 billion euros

•Substantial upfront investments: one billion euros annually for the mobility of the future

•Bosch CEO Denner: “As an innovation leader, we are helping to shape the move to alternative mobility and seizing our opportunities.”

•Bosch CFO Asenkerschbaumer: “We are working on our profitability and adjusting our manufacturing capacity.”

•Artificial intelligence: training program for 20,000 associates 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

New year is Coming | Are you ready for these new events?

Dear Customer,
Please accept the most sincere blessings and wishes of good fortune for this Chinese New Year from all of Ringier Trade Media staff.
2019 was a really rewarding year for Ringier. In this year, we’ve held 37 successful conferences in China and Southeast Asia, which explored new applications, new trends and new technologies for industries such as efficient processing of various parts and molds, laser processing technology and intelligent manufacturing and many more. Those memories and warm testimonies of our attendees provide us with strength and determination to be even better in the oncoming year.
In 2020, Ringier will continue building the accurate and efficient line of communication between the suppliers and the purchasers. Not only we will hold 34 conferences in China and Southeast Asia, but we also expand to new markets in Europe, to provide you with further opportunities.
Our main conferences in Manufacturing Industry such as:
Every year new companies are joining our events, recognizing the opportunities to connect with new business partners and the high ROI of this method. Please visit Ringier Events to find out more about our 2020 conference arrangements and mark them in your calendar! 
Furthermore, we’d like to invite you to join our 2020 Ringier Technology Innovation Awards. Founded in 2006, the goal of these awards is to support innovators and thought leaders in reaching wider industry with their accomplishments. Participation is free and the expert review process and online voting system keep the contest fair and let the industry voice their praise for those who really proved to be the leaders.
To properly celebrate entering into a new decade, Ringier team worked hard to prepare new, improved website that will be launched soon, as well as new services designed to provide you with best business opportunities in the oncoming years. Our 19 magazines and 15 WeChat public accounts keep focusing on providing you with the reliable, verified information about the latest technologies, industry development trends and how to implement them. 
We look forward to keep supporting the development of your business in 2020. 
 Ringier Events 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

FARO APAC head on the future of manufacturing in the region

QUAH Beng Chieh, Head of Marketing (Asia Pacific), FARO Technologies

QUAH Beng Chieh, Head of Marketing (Asia Pacific), FARO Technologies shares with International Metalworking News for Asia about the future of manufacturing in Asia, and what they are providing to help manufacturers, as they face the ever-changing production landscape.

Change remains a constant for the manufacturing industry — with its increasingly complex market needs and requirements, and the resulting push for innovation to ensure a steady introduction of varied solutions, especially for the 3D measurement sector. Digital transformation or smart manufacturing will continue to be at the forefront of this evolution, urging manufacturers to seek out solutions that will allow them to digitise information and digitalise processes in order to improve their response to market changes.

Solutions based on advanced technology that empower customers to tap on data-driven collaborations for improved productivity are also expected to rise to prominence in the market. With 3D metrology technologies, users from a variety of markets can perform high-precision 3D measurement, imaging, and comparison of parts and compound structures within production and quality assurance processes. 3D measurement solutions feature multiple applications, enabling manufacturers to maximise efficiencies and improve existing practices. During the product and process development process, 3D metrology technologies can help manufacturers in many ways, such as ensuring alignment, conducting first article inspections, and providing reverse engineering support.

FARO is committed to our business in Asia Pacific and will constantly look towards expansion, though future growth and development will always be in tandem with business needs in the region. Within the region — besides manufacturing powerhouses like China, Japan, and India, countries like Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam are also growing to become manufacturing hubs of choice for corporations around the world. As the economy continues to grow, manufacturers will seek to expand their operations, optimise to reduce cost, and expand capabilities to capture new markets. We expect a rise in demand for measurement and imaging solutions to tackle evolving metrology needs, and our team will be ready to respond by educating users across the various cities in Asia Pacific, about our solutions and how their businesses can benefit from incorporating our technology, and leveraging on FARO infrastructure and support.

FARO strives to anticipate the evolving needs of its customers and of the industry, and the company consistently invests in R&D to design products that feature the most cutting-edge technologies. 

Amongst the different technologies developed by FARO, our best-selling solution is the FaroArm®. The FaroArm is capable of supporting manufacturers in measurement tasks such as 3D inspections, CAD-to-part analysis, machine alignment, and reverse engineering. The latest in the series, the FARO® 8-Axis Quantum FaroArm, is the world’s only portable metrology arm solution that features an eighth axis, which enables the workpiece to be rotated in real-time — relative to the Arm. This removes difficulties users may have previously experienced in reaching around the object, and it also eliminates the need to move the device into different locations during the measurement process.

Another versatile solution that is popular with our customers is the FARO® TracerSI Laser Projector, which allows manufacturers to eliminate the need for physical templates with virtual templating and positioning solutions. It is a first-of-its-kind, advanced laser imager and projection system that provides high-resolution image scanning capabilities throughout its entire projection volume. With this cutting-edge solution, manufacturers can streamline a wide range of assembly and production applications — especially for large workpieces.

Apart from solutions that enable manufacturers to efficiently digitise product designs and relevant 3D measurement data, solutions like the FARO® Visual Inspect can also offer manufacturers new opportunities for enhanced collaboration across departments and production processes. Using complex 3D data previously unavailable in a production line, and an augmented reality (AR) function that is suitable for all working environments, 3D inspection and verification technology like the Visual Inspect can help manufacturers streamline their processes for greater flexibility and nimbleness, while taking into account increasing cost pressures.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Hypertherm Asia regional director on paradigm shift

Aaron Zou, Regional Director of Hypertherm Asia

International Metalworking News for Asia asked Aaron Zou, Regional Director of Hypertherm Asia about the future of  manufacturing in Asia, and what they are providing to help manufacturers, as they face the ever-changing production landscape.

To be successful in today’s competitive environment, manufacturers need to consider a paradigm shift — leveraging on innovations, integrating new technologies to current processes, and building new solutions to address customer’s needs and feedback. Future economic growth and the competitive landscape will create more demand for change in the Asia Pacific region, and this change will continue to be driven by automation and digitalisation. Over the last few years, the number of solutions that encourage the introduction of automation and digitalisation to the manufacturing industry has been on the rise. Technologies that are related to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are enabling companies to build up smarter production facilities, and allowing the industry to establish a smart machinery eco-system. Moving forward, product quality will be considered a ‘standard’ feature and customers’ requests for added features will be increasingly influenced by their interaction with the product, service, or solution.

Since opening our first Asian subsidiary in Singapore in 1991, Hypertherm has been actively promoting its solutions across the Asia market, educating users on how its technologies can be beneficial to their business. With the strong cooperation we’ve forged over the years with our partners across Asia, we have observed significant year-on-year growth and expansion across different sectors in the region, including heavy machinery, construction, metal fabrication, and structural steel. As the economy continues to grow — especially in the developing markets within the Southeast Asia region, companies will continue to expand their operations, optimise processes to reduce cost, and expand capabilities to capture new markets. This will result in a continuous demand for efficient metal cutting solutions, and we look forward to new partnerships to meet those manufacturers’ cutting needs.

Automation and digitalisation embedded on the IIoT platform have given manufacturers enhanced equipment and process capabilities, but the search for solutions to improve production effectiveness with additional cost management continues.

In the last few years, Hypertherm has been addressing these industrial demands and trends with the development of a new set of plasma source and controllers, and by improving on-time operations support to customers. Hypertherm’s plasma cutting capabilities remain elevated with continual technological advances, such as the X-Definition™ plasma technology and NC industrial controller which provides real-time feedback on performance to job shops via a Wi-Fi connection — allowing users to connect to the machines with a single device (e.g. smart phone or computer) to collect data on machine performance and maintenance. With its new process technologies that deliver high cutting performance at optimal costs, the X-Definition’s XPR plasma system is a stellar example of how Hypertherm is able to address the challenges ahead for manufacturers in today’s competitive landscape. In addition, Hypertherm also offers a wide range of solutions for automation and portability, including the new sets of our robotic cutting tools and applications, delivered by our new rotary sleeve mechanical solution and the introduction of our off-line robotic software.

Apart from reinventing our cutting systems and software consistently, Hypertherm is also always focusing on great overall end user experience. One example is providing customers with a full suite of preventive maintenance service measures — including complete systems check and timely recommendations on replacement of consumables or parts. This service helps customers to ensure the consistency of their machines and worry less about machine downtimes — allowing them to focus fully on production processes instead. In addition, customers can also learn more about proper plasma cutting operation and best practices for preventive maintenance from our team of experts. All in all, our customers can tap on the preventive maintenance program to maximise productivity, while minimising the operating costs of their cutting systems.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Ultimaker: 3D printing on demand

In today’s world where conflicts and turmoil can have profound negative impact on the global economy, businesses have to constantly innovate to stay relevant. This means automation and streamlining workflows will be critical in ensuring sustainability. 

Benjamin Tan, Vice President of Ultimaker Asia Pacific believed that 3D printing on demand, instead of pulling it from a warehouse, has enabled manufacturers to reduce costs in inventory and storage. “With 3D printing, the possibilities are truly limitless, and we are only starting to realise the use cases for it,” he added.

Since its inception in the Netherlands in 2011, Ultimaker has grown to become a market-leader; creating powerful, professional and accessible desktop 3D printers. In 2018, the company approached Benjamin to head Ultimaker APAC, responsible for driving growth for Ultimaker 3D printers, and providing leadership across the channel networks.  

Having held leadership roles in engineering, business development and sales in the IT and software industries over the past two decades, he was confident that his experience in the related fields would be useful in terms of his connections in the region. Additionally, it equipped him with a keen understanding of local market conditions, enabling Benjamin to be attuned to both the challenges and opportunities that the region has to offer.  

While Ultimaker is already established in Europe and US, it is relatively unknown in this part of the region. This is due in part that 3D printing is still in its nascent stage here, hence, many companies in APAC are not even aware of 3D printing as a technology, much less realise the significant benefits that 3D printing can bring. As such, a lot of time is invested into educating and convincing the company stakeholders and decision-makers.

“But we have been seeing good progress. Ultimaker’s network of distributors and partners, have been logging double digit sales records year-on-year. Globally, there are now 125,000 Ultimaker 3D printers in the field, compared to approximately 67,000 units in 2017. Ultimaker Cura, the company’s open source software, has 500,000 unique users per month, up 100% in one year, and processes 1.4 million print jobs per week, a 200% increase in one year,” he disclosed.

Competitive advantage
Ultimaker’s competitive advantage is its 360 degree platform solution consisting of hardware, software and materials and our global sales and support infrastructure. Benjamin revealed its deep knowledge of materials, strong alliances with leading material companies, combined with Ultimaker Cura, allows them to ensure that almost any industrial filament can work with Ultimaker printers, guaranteeing very high levels of quality and reliability, as required by a demanding customer base in all industries.

He also mentioned its highly reliable hardware ensures smooth and superior print quality. Their award-winning Ultimaker S5, together with the newly launched Material Station, helps to push the Ultimaker S5 to a new level of productivity and consistency. It boosts and simplifies the 3D printing workflow. The Ultimaker S5 Material Station enables loading of Ultimaker spools in any bay, in any order. It fits 6 spools and, together with the Ultimaker Material Alliance Program, allowing users to make endless material combinations, unleashing true 24/7 3D printing.

“Software wise, we made a breakthrough with the Marketplace in Ultimaker Cura. The new plug ins simplify the way 3D Printing can be integrated into existing IT environments. We also fundamentally optimised Ultimaker Cura’s User Experience moving from specialist interface to manage settings towards a workflow-based interface, leading users step-by-step towards a successful print, supported by a pretty impressive touchscreen interaction. The biggest breakthrough was in material adoption where we introduced the concept of Print Profiles (PP), first for Ultimaker Materials and quickly widening this concept to a huge Ultimaker Material Alliance Program with virtually all material suppliers in the world, making PP available on UltimakerCura’s Marketplace and in doing so enormously extending the application range of Ultimaker,” he pointed out.

Adoption of 3D printing in Asia
Since the rise of 3D printing in the market recently, Ultimaker have been seeing impacts on a few main areas: Supply chain and decentralised production – companies are moving away from mass production to on-demand printing onsite or local manufacturing hubs. This helps to keep transportation and logistics costs down significantly. Resource management – 3D printing is touted as a sustainable form of manufacturing due to its high efficiencies in cost, production and energy. It dramatically reduces the risk of over-production, thus resulting in need for inventory storage. This in turn reduces carbon footprint used in inventory transportation.

According to Benjamin, the automotive industry was one of the first industries to leverage 3D printing. Some of their biggest customers are from the automotive companies including Ford and Volkswagen.

Volkswagen saved close to €325,000 per year, simply by 3D printing multiple tool and fixtures with Ultimaker 3D printers. This was a 91% reduction in cost with a 35% improvement in final product quality. Another case in point: Heineken, our customer from the industrial automation/ food technology sector, which is still in the first stages of 3D printing, has seen cost savings of 70-90% per printed part with a reduction in delivery time of 70-90%.

The architecture and construction sector is another area that 3D printing will really take off. “We are already seeing vast improvements in design, speed and structure with the use of 3D printing. Closer to home, the Housing Development Board of Singapore announced recently that it will trial 3D-concrete printing for smaller components such as landscape furniture and architectural features in common areas at selected projects,” he said.

“With 3D printing, the possibilities are truly limitless. And we are only starting to realise the use cases for it. We are actively seeking collaborations with tertiary institutions for STEM (Science, technology, engineering and maths) so that students can engage in hands-on learning experiences and be better prepared for the jobs of tomorrow,” expressed Benjamin.

Accelerating industrialisation of 3D printing in Asia
He informed, “We foresee that in professional environments, the printer will increasingly move further away from the people that develop the .gcode. For instance, on a ship to print quick jigs and fixtures there, or to place the printer next to a machine to make repairs on the spot. As such, every printer that we bring should have a fully reliable environment. We want our ecosystem to fit in to these type of user scenarios and we will continue to do so. In the end, it is all about accelerating the world’s transition to digital distribution and local manufacturing.”

“Our software enables professionals to fully transition to Industry 4.0. Ultimaker Cura is developed to streamline the 3D printing experience. It allows users to manage their 3D printers and to upscale production from a single device. A printjob can be started from your office or anywhere in the world. By integrating with CAD software, we unlock faster CAD-to-CURA workflows than ever before,” added Benjamin.

The company aims to provide the professional / enterprise market with accessible, reliable and easy to use 3D printing solution for designers, engineers, manufacturers, architects and medical specialists for printing functional prototypes, manufacturing tools, final parts and architectural/medical models that require full geometrical freedom capabilities, industrial grade material properties, repeatability, high uptime and an integrated workflow. All accessible for every professional at a low cost of ownership.

Not to forget offer universities / research institutions with Accessible, reliable and easy to use 3D printing solutions for researchers and university teachers and students for printing functional prototypes, customised tools and final parts that require customisation, repeatability, full geometrical freedom capabilities and an open yet reliable hardware, software and material platform. All accessible at a low cost of ownership.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that global spending on 3D printing-including hardware, materials, software and services-will be $13.8 billion in 2019, an increase of over 21% over 2018. By 2022, IDC expects worldwide spending to be close to $22.7 billion. Manufacturing was cited as the dominant industry for 3D printing, followed by health care providers and education and professional services1.


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Pro-Technic: Flexible automation and smart technologies

Mr. Lai Kai Tung, Managing Director

Managing Director of Pro-Technic Machinery Ltd Mr. Lai Kai Tung has transformed the company from an importer of precision machineries and advanced technologies to developer and manufacturer of flexible automation smart technologies.

Kathryn Gerardino-Elagio of International Metalworking News for Asia sat down with Mr. Tung during the recent Metalex exhibition in Thailand.  Pro-Technic has been serving manufacturers in China and Hong Kong for over 40 years. But it is far from slowing down with its solution centres, offices and service centres in 20 cities in China including Dongguan, Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing, where Pro-Technic has over 230 professional engineers ready, willing and able to provide technical support as needed by its customers. The company offers high-quality pre-sales and after-sales services to leading manufacturing solution providers of turn-key projects, system integration and customised automation.

Expanding outside China

Today, the company is expanding outside China and is tapping Thailand. “This is our first time to exhibit outside China. The main reason why we joined Metalex is because Thailand is our first point of entry here in ASEAN. With the rising manufacturing activities, increasing trade and investment opportunities, and greater demands for our machines and services, Pro-Technic is all set to support the region's prosperity.”

“In fact, most of our suppliers and Hong Kong customers have factories here. We also know a little bit of knowledge about Thailand through our customers. I feel that is a good first step to expand our business outside China. “

At present the company do not have an office in Thailand but is planning to build one in the near future. 

“Manufacturing is a moving industry, eventually we will set up our office here. Manufacturing started in the U.S. then Japan, next China, and now here in ASEAN. So for the time being, we will first cooperate with distributors and agents.”

Flexible automation smart technology

To stay one step ahead of our competitors, Pro-Technic Group formed its wholly-owned subsidiary, Grandlead Intelligent Systems (Dongguan) Co. Ltd. The subsidiary specializes in R&D of lean manufacturing solutions and industrial automation systems, as well as sales and services.

According to Mr. Tung, Grandlead’s philosophy is to provide high-quality, effective service and innovative production technology.

Grandlead’s products includes, FAST CELL AP-2800III 9-axis automatic polishing centers, AGC-2800 automatic grinding centers, TL-200 CNC lathes, customised automation solutions and PTMES manufacturing execution software.

At the Metalex show, Grandlead highlighted the Robot Integrated Smart Warehouse (Smart Station 10). Features include: Build up 5G Smart Factory, support industry data digitalization, RFID/QR code application, and light weighted and compact structure. The station boasts: no downtime loss for the changing operator, installation completed within two hours, one person operates multi-equipment, minimum parts exchanging time in six seconds, 1.6M width and small footprint, and 24 hours continuous operation with real-time monitoring. 

“Since Grandlead’s establishment, our R&D has successfully obtained various technical invention patents, utility model patents, appearance patents, software copyright licenses and has received high-tech product certifications and recognitions from the Guangdong province in China,” he said.

In the future, Grandlead aims to continue to develop and manufacture specialized automated machine and system in China. Mr. Tung explained, “We aim to provide our intelligent hardware and software solutions to Far East Asia as well as the world.”

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

International Metalworking News for Asia December issue NOW online!

This issue is chock full of great content, a large chunk of which focuses on new trends that are key to the metalworking industry.  Boardroom Connection starts off with the story behind Vietnam’s first car maker, VinFast. The company has effectively managed to build their factory, car design, and start car production in record time – half the usual average time taken – by utilising Siemens’ portfolio of integrated software and hardware.

Metal Cutting presents an interview with Breton S.p.A. during the recent EMO Hannover. Alessandro said customers in China are now requesting new special solutions, not only the machine itself, but support as well. They want to learn how to get the best of the technology Breton is offering them.

Automation section shows the rise in automation and modern technology can take CNC machining to a new level. To demonstrate this, Omron Electronics Pte Ltd and Hurco (S.E. Asia) Pte Ltd worked together in presenting a live working demonstration of the digitisation of a precision parts manufacturing process - integrating advanced CNC machine, during a seminar organised by Omron in Singapore.

Software & Control talks about the new industrial revolution – Industry Renaissance – driven by virtual worlds created and managed on virtual experience platforms, the infrastructure of Industry Renaissance. This infrastructure allows a company to visualise and control in the virtual world what we cannot see in the real world: the entire industrial ecosystem.

International Metalworking News for Asia is one of the privileged media from Asia Pacific region invited to hear first-hand about Siemens vision of the future. Learn about the up-to-date interpretation of today in planning for tomorrow; an outlook of the forces and ideas that triumph, as well as the tools and technologies that will take us there in this month’s Special Report section.

Lastly, the manufacturing sector is in the midst of sea change. We can’t wait to see how technology advancements will unfold. But it is also interesting to see what the movers and shakers in the metalworking industry are making to make sure customers’ investments in new systems and equipment will pay off, and enable them to compete globally through 2020 and beyond. The Outlook 2020 section presents three companies providing their predictions in the future of manufacturing in Asia.