A Stupendous Experience at 2nd Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 Forum – Part 1

“Redefining Manufacturing Excellence: The Dawn of The Smart Factory” is the theme for this year 2nd Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 Forum 2019 held from 24th – 26th April 2019 at Four Seasons Hotel.

This three days conference is a global gathering of manufacturing experts and thought leaders in the region for better understanding, incorporate and devise strategic customer-centric manufacturing strategies.

The Pre-Forum site tours on 24th April bring participants to ARTC, Temasek Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic to learn about Industry 4.0 digitalization and automation manufacturing facilities.

Model Factory at ARTC is part of A*STARS Model Factories is the initiative to support the industry in their digital transformation journey. The state-of-the-art manufacturing facility equipped with industrial machines and digital systems.

Temasek Polytechnic’s DFAMC (The Digital Fabrication & Additive Manufacturing Centre) focuses on advancing the relevant technology and accelerating the adopting of additive manufacturing technology. Their aims is to advance and grow additive manufacturing industry.

The Robotics, Automation & Control Hub at Singapore Polytechnic is equipped with automation tools and autonomous robots to develop advanced technologies and integrated solution in industrial automation and robotics solutions to meet the needs of the manufacturing industry in emerging of Industry 4.0.

Early bird participants meet and share their insights before main conference starts.

The conference kick start with the Welcome speech and Opening Remarks by Bob Gill, General Manager Southeast Asia from ARC Advisory Group and the Forum Chairperson. He shared with the audience how digital transformation can help Singapore’s manufacturing sector.

Visionary Keynote speaker, Brandon Lee shared Smart Manufacturing is the key driver for Singapore’s growth towards an innovation-driven economy which took up of 21.4% of Manufacturing in Nominal GDP 2018. Brandon is the Chairman of Smart Automation Industry Group from Singapore Manufacturing Federation.

He continued with how digital transformation can help Singapore’s manufacturing sector. Supporting program such as “SME Go Digital” program, Operation and Technology Roadmapping, how to use “Smart Industry Readiness Index” and “Smart Industry Readiness Index Prioritisation Matrix” to understand how ready the enterprises are for the transformation and to achieve their KPI.

“The Future is in our hands! Transforming Singapore into a Smart Manufacturing Nation. The key to improvement rely on the people” encouraged Brandon.

Ms Roxane Desmicht, Senior Director Corporate Supply Chain Asia Pacific from Infineon, quoted “Digitalization offers a wide variety of benefits for the society and for Infineon operation. We want to use this potential by actively adopting Digitalization.”

Ms. Desmicht shared their “Smart Enterprise program” with Infineon Singapore pioneering the solution along the three Industry 4.0 dimensions: the digital, horizontal and vertical integration of the manufacturing value chain to a Smart Factory.

Data quality is important before going to digitalization because competencies strengthen digitalization and digitalization reinforces competitive strength. “You can get system and software in the market but we need to have data quality because foundation is the sense of security”.

The International Roundtable Discussions is a great ice-breaking session to bring everyone closer together and share their experiences and raise queries. Some of the topics in the discussion included “Society 4.0 in Japan” by Dr. Liu Qiao and “The Digital Twin to Production” by Mr Christian Tiemann.

Participants asking what are the biggest challenge during their transformation?

“The biggest challenge in this transformation is people. You can have fancy solutions but if the people is not buying the idea then it is not going to work. Different country will have different culture therefore we need to use the right approach to convince the people.” replied Christian.

Another participant highlighted “We need to have the right approach, steps and direction before going into smart manufacturing because many companies just buy the equipment without having the right direction, they do not utilize them.”

Luc Scheffer, Smart Manufacturing Programme Manager from Rolls Royce, shared Rolls Royce Singapore will be the flagship for the implementation of the Smart Manufacturing and the technology will share knowledge or transfer the technology with their other branches to follow.

“Technology and Infrastructure have to go hand in hand”, Luc advised. He also shared the same advice as Roxane when moving into digitalization, “We need to have good data because bad data in will have bad data out. Start the implementation small (pilot) and keep improving then move on to grow big”.

In 2018, Rolls Royce invested more than £ 1.4 billion in research and development. They also support a global network of 31 University Technology Centres and 7 Advanced Manufacturing Centres where their engineers will position at the forefront of scientific research as well as engaging with SMEs thru Joint Lab.

Alexander Liu, Head of Digital Fabrication and Additive Manufacturing Centre from Temasek Polytechnic, shared the projects of their students’ project using additive metal printing. During this project, they studied different position to print the caster fork for the best result in term of strength and exterior surface quality.

“Additive Manufacturing is More Art than Science” quoted Alexander when sharing the challenges during design and fabrication. Although there’s challenges in metal additive but he also has confidence that metal additive will be the drive for manufacturing industry. Automotive companies such as Audi and BMW had been using additive manufacturing 8 years ago.

In his presentation, he also shared the trend of metal additive, the application used in Aerospace, Medical and Tooling Industries.

4D Printing, the new era of additive manufacturing, shared by Ms Hong Yee Low is an enlightening session for many audiences. Using performative multi-material to create computational simulation and design capabilities enable designers to exploit new designs windows are enabled by digital manufacturing technologies. It also allows the designers to create innovative fabrication technologies based on digital fusion of sensing, additive and subtractive processes as well as new ideas.

Ms Hong Yee Low, Centre Director from SUTD Digital Manufacturing and Design Centre, also shared some projects’ design concept using 4D Printing such as Armadillo, Underwater Robot and Ankle Brace.

The other amazing technologies shared are 3D Textile, Digital Knitting and Nanoscale 3D Structural Color.

“Buy-in has to be the whole company moving forward together and we are very fortunate to have a supporting sponsor, our boss, together with top management to support us during the journey to incorporate into Industry 4.0”, beamed Peter Toh, Senior Programme Manager from Fong’s Engineering & Manufacturing.

Peter shared with the audiences their lesson learnt, challenges and the next time forward. Taking every challenges as opportunity are their motivation and persistent during the change. In order to sustain the business, companies need to change and transform.

“I put customer on the right because customer is always right and supplier on the left because supplier always been left behind” explained Dr. Koh Niak Wu, CEO of The Intelligent Warehouse, while explaining the layout in his presentation on “Supply Chains”. This sentence is simple and direct yet bring humor to the audiences, caught some audiences smiling and nodding their heads.

“We made the warehouse intelligent because warehouse nowadays are important”. TIW focused on building intelligent systems that optimizes resource allocation for 4-wall operations.

Dr Koh shared the problem for warehouse operation is the labour costs keep raising and also due to commoditization; shoppers are overpaying logistics services around 20-30%. The noticeable trends is on-demand warehousing with flexibility and short-term storage. Harnessing the power of technology not only optimizing existing processes, it also expand business opportunity. The 20th century warehouses are not fit for 21st century e-commerce.

“How Data Empower Decisions on The Shop Floor” is the topic from Willson Deng, Chairman from Singapore Manufacturing Consortium. An industrial engineer by trade, he implemented improvement projects in manufacturing industries ranging from aeronautics to smart meters, wineries, gourmet chocolates, glass production and pharmaceuticals.

“Smart Industry should be able to pluck in or replace any component anytime and still continue the production simultaneously.” Willson shared the path towards Industry 4.0 and the most important during the journey is “Mindset”. Before going to the next step to “Digitalization” for paperless, the mindset needs to be clear and determination. Data is very important, we need to get data first and the willingness to try, fail and try again. We need the right data because data in data out, if the data is incorrect, the data at the digitalize stage will be incorrect. “There is no one size fit all solutions.” Willson continued. Digitalization takes time to tabulate and we need to build a real-time data-driven ecosystems.

Dr. Liu Qiao is the Executive Director & Chief Technical Officer of 3M Japan and responsible for 3M Japan R&D. 3M has 46 Technology platforms, 85 Laboratories globally and 48 Customer Technology Centers around the world with more than 110,000 Patents issued, and using their technology platforms, they will customize the unique combination and differential to provide solutions to customers across all businesses.

Dr. Liu shared with the audiences how 3M leverage Internet of things (IoT) to innovate their products and solutions into the connected era.

Post-it Plus App is the merge between physical and digital world. Instead of rewrite or taking pictures of the whiteboard during group discussion, now with the app, members can paste the Post-it Notes on the whiteboard and use the Post-it Plus app to captured them. Now you can re-organize your thoughts from the app and share with the team.  Some of the 3M innovation products are Filtrete – Smart Air Filters, 3M True Definition Scanner for dental and solutions for intelligent infrastructure on the road.

Over the stretch of about 8 hours, the event moved at a brisk space, inviting the speakers on stage for the SMEs Panel discussion on “How SMEs can join the Industry 4.0 Race and start to automate their manufacturing floor”.

Read Part 2…

The Ginkgo Press Team

The Ginkgo Press Team covers any news related to 3D Printing, which includes interviews, events and technology.

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