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The Magazine Of The Institution Of Engineers, Singapore February 2017 MCI (P) 003/03/2017



Digitalisation: The future of work in 2017 and beyond

FEATURES: • Digitalisation • Electronics Engineering • Chemical Engineering


Founded in 1966


10 COVER STORY: Digitalisation: The future of work in 2017 and beyond Businesses have to re-define the human-machine relationship, in order to benefit from the rapid changes taking place.

14 DIGITALISATION: Company achieves breakthrough with 3D printed gas turbine blades This is a major development in the use of Additive Manufacturing in the field of power generation.

16 FUTURE MANUFACTURING: Quo vadis Industry 4.0? The progress and the challenges in the implementation of the fourth industrial revolution, are analysed.

20 ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING: Company embarks on transformation process for continued growth

Singapore Airlines to place USD 13.8 billion order for Boeing aircraft The decision is in line with the airline’s growth and fleet modernisation plans.

40 MARINE & OFFSHORE ENGINEERING: New regulations for gas-fuelled ships The vessels produce low levels of air pollution, but have their own safety challenges.

41 MARINE & OFFSHORE ENGINEERING: Industry leaders call for more Big Data experts The skills shortage needs to be addressed, in order to reap the benefits of real-time information on vessel performance and cost-savings.

42 BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING: Sufficient information generated with a single scan The equipment helps clinicians make fast, confident diagnoses.

It will be able to provide solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected industry.

24 ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING: Giving students the right experiences in wireless technology High-level system design tools can play a useful role.





26 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING: Digitalisation for a safe and efficient chemical industry The benefits extend over the entire plant life cycle.

32 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING: Designing a safer plant The use of software will help to prevent overdesign and reduce costs.

36 PROJECT APPLICATION: Provision of safety and fire & gas systems for massive energy project Its size and complexity calls for co-ordinated efforts on a global scale.

President Er. Edwin Khew Vice Presidents Er. Chan Ewe Jin Mr Mervyn Sirisena Er. Ng Say Cheong Er. Ong See Ho Er. Seow Kang Seng Dr Yeoh Lean Weng Honorary Secretary Dr Boh Jaw Woei


Chief Editor T Bhaskaran

Media Representative Multinine Corporation Pte Ltd

CEO Angie Ng

Published by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore 70 Bukit Tinggi Road Singapore 289758 Tel: 6469 5000 Fax: 6467 1108

Publications Manager Desmond Teo Publications Executive Queek Jiayu

Editorial Panel Mr Joseph William Eades Dr Chandra Segaran Dr Ang Keng Been Mr Kenneth Cheong Mr Gary Ong

Cover designed by Irin Kuah

Design & layout by 2EZ Asia Pte Ltd

Cover image by Cognizant

Printed in Singapore




LTA appoints AECOM Singapore to design Singapore’s High Speed Rail infrastructure The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has appointed AECOM Singapore Pte Ltd and its team of specialist consultants (see sidebar) to conduct the Advanced Engineering Study for the complete design of the High Speed Rail (HSR) infrastructure within Singapore. This includes providing architectural, civil, electrical, mechanical and other design services required for the Jurong East terminus, tunnels, and the bridge across the Straits of Johor. Information available on LTA’s website show that the tender was awarded for SGD 24.6 million, with AECOM beating five other firms to clinch the deal. “AECOM and its team of consultants were selected through a highly competitive tender process. They bring extensive experience in HSR projects internationally, including in the planning and design of the Beijing South HSR Station in China, the High Speed 2 railway in the United

Kingdom, and the West Kowloon Terminus for the Express Rail Link in Hong Kong”, said LTA in a statement issued on 8 February 2017. The company is no stranger to rail infrastructure works in Singapore, having worked with LTA to design the Circle Line, Downtown Line, Thomson-East Coast Line, and the Tuas West Extension. It is also currently carrying out an engineering consultancy study for the Rapid Transit System Link between Singapore and Johor Bahru. The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR

is a strategic project between the governments of Malaysia and Singapore that aims to facilitate seamless travel between the two capital cities, enhance business linkages, and connect the peoples of both countries closer together. The 350-km line will have eight stations, including Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, cutting travel time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to 90 minutes. The HSR is expected to be completed by 31 December 2026.



Farrells Architects 61 Applied Wayfinding CPG Consultants Grant Associates Light Cibles CBRE Pte Ltd K&C Protective Technologies Pte Ltd

Architectural Architectural Branding, Signage & Wayfinding Customs, Quarantines & Immigration Facility Landscape Lighting Real Estate & Commercial Security & Protection

An artist’s impression of the HSR terminus in Jurong East. Image: Farrells

The Singapore Engineer is published monthly by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES). The publication is distributed free-of-charge to IES members and affiliates. Views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Editor or IES. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine shall be reproduced, mechanically or electronically, without the prior consent of IES. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy of the content at press time, IES will not be liable for any discrepancies. Unsolicited contributions are welcome but their inclusion in the magazine is at the discretion of the Editor.




Courses for mid-career switch to rail industry launched Workforce Singapore (WSG), a new statutory board formed from the reorganisation of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), has launched a series of professional conversion programmes (PCP) together with rail operators SBS Transit

and SMRT Corporation. The place-and-train programmes aim to train PMETs with the necessary competencies to embark on a career in the railway industry, with current openings available for railway engineers and station managers.

Customised in-house learning and on-the-job training is provided as par t of the PCP. For more information, visit programmes-and-initiatives/professional-conversion-programmes/ rail-professionals.html

3D-printed, mind-controlled prosthetic created by Ngee Ann Polytechnic students For their final-year project, two Ngee Ann Polytechnic engineering science students came up with a mind-controlled prosthetic arm. Its creators, Mr Kong Hou Jing and Mr Edwin Teoh, both 19, began the project with a thought towards making it affordable. Created through 3D-printing, the

Low-Cost Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm costs $1,500, half that of the cheapest options on the market now. This was achieved through their use of polylactic acid, a cheap, biodegradable plastic that is derived from renewable sources such as corn starch or sugar cane. Targeted at the medical rehabilita-

tion market, the prosthetic works by recognising brain wave patterns that are assigned to certain actions, such as bending the wrist or clenching a fist. A Bluetooth headset fitted with electrodes to detect the brain waves of users enables the micro-controller software inside the prosthetic to read and understand brain activity.

ASM Pacific Technology opens new building and Innovation Centre in Singapore Electronics manufacturing and precision engineering firm ASM Pacific Technology officially opened its second building and Innovation Centre on 17 January 2016. Located at Yishun Industrial Park, the new facility will consolidate ASM’s Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Solutions business and the Back-end Equipment business segment under one roof. Concurrently, the new ASM Innovation Centre allows company experts to showcase and demonstrate the latest technologies and solutions, from wafer chip assembly to SMT placement, that are geared towards

the Smart Factory and Industry 4.0 initiatives. It will also enable the company to exhibit its latest suite of back-end semiconductor equipment and SMT solutions that support the development of advanced, collaborative process look at the interior of ASM’s Innovation Centre. Photo: ASM Pacific optimisation with vari- ATechnology ous industry partners. He revealed that some 3,000 adMinister of State for Trade and Inditional precision engineering jobs at dustry Dr Koh Poh Koon, who was the PMET level are expected to be the guest-of-honour at the grand created by 2020 under the Governopening, welcomed ASM’s push toment’s industry transformation plan. wards greater innovation.




Johnson Controls Launches T8800 BACnet Touch Screen Thermostat Johnson Controls, a global leader in building technologies and solutions, has launched the T8800 series of thermostats – the first high performance BACnet thermostat designed and produced in Asia to meet the specific needs and requirements of the Asian market. Suited for both commercial and residential applications, the T8800

series is BACnet Testing Laboratory (BTL) listed and compatible with most existing systems and equipment. The unit is also incredibly easy to use, thanks to a highly intuitive user interface and a large LCD touch screen for ease of operation. For more information, visit: http://

T8800 BACnet Touch Screen Thermostat. Image: Johnson Controls

New ABC Waters projects enhance and beautify Kallang River area Enhanced connectivity and accessibility under ABC Waters Programme In PUB’s first Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) project to be opened this year, the agency has drawn inspiration from the past. Its viewing decks adopt a design synonymous with the mast of early sailing vessels, which were often seen unloading cargo along the river during the 19th century. This 320-metre section of the river also features an upgraded pro enade that enhances connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as rain gardens and plantings along the waterway. ABC Waters @ Kallang River (Upper Boon Keng to Sims Avenue) was officially opened on 22 January 2017 by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information. Design features, such as the two rain gardens that detain and cleanse rainwater runoff naturally before discharging it into the river, were integrated into the project. Many plant species, such as Canna and Yellow Cow Wood, were planted, adding a dash of colour and vibrancy in the neighbourhood while also attracting various animals and insects. This will improve the water quality in Kallang River and enhance biodi-


versity in the neighbourhood. As part of the facelift, PUB also upgraded an existing 3-metre wide park connector to a 15-metre wide promenade, complete with a new ramp that enhances accessibility to nearby residential blocks. Kong Hwa School has already taken the initiative to adopt the project, with intentions to design a new ABC Waters Learning Trail to augment the curriculum for their students. “The ABC Waters design features, such as the rain gardens, coupled with the tradition and significance of the Kallang neighbourhood, make for

Colourful rain gardens that cleanse runoff. Photo: PUB


great learning opportunities and reinforce character and citizenship education beyond the classroom,” said Mr Jerry Yang, subject head for character and citizenship education at Kong Hwa School. The Kolam Ayer Citizens’ Consultative Committee, another stakeholder, has committed to hold various grassroots events in the area to promote community bonding. Other adopters of this ABC Waters project include Geylang Methodist Secondary School and the Waterways Watch Society. continued on Page 05

INDUSTRY NEWS continued from Page 04

ABC Waters @ Sungei Whampoa Further upstream at Sungei Whampoa, which flows into Kallang River, a 450-metre stretch between Kim Keat Road and the Central Expressway has also been enhanced by PUB to provide a new social space for the community. Apart from the lookout decks and boardwalks near Whampoa CC, a rain garden was created to cleanse rainwater runoff from the CC using speciallyselected plants and soil media before discharging it into Sungei Whampoa. As with other ABC Waters projects, apart from improvements to the greenery and the environment, residents and students also gain opportunities to learn about how ABC Waters

design features help to improve water quality and promote biodiversity. This project was opened in late February and is the second ABC Waters project to be completed along Sungei Whampoa. “ABC Waters @ Kallang River and Sungei Whampoa are really about building for the future. Both projects

were planned to be integrated with upcoming development works in the vicinity, including housing and social infrastructural ones. Residents will benefit from the additional communal space, which will provide unique and picturesque backdrops for events,” said PUB’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Mr Tan Nguan Sen.

Boardwalk that brings residents closer to water. Photo: PUB




Singapore’s fifth NEWater plant opens The 50mgd plant will boost total NEWater capacity to meet 40% of Singapore’s water demand PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, together with BEWG International Pte Ltd (a subsidiary of Beijing Enterprises Water Group Limited) and UES Holdings Pte Ltd, officially opened the BEWG-UESH NEWater Plant on 18 January 2017. It is Singapore’s fifth NEWater plant and second one in Changi. Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, officiated the launch, which was witnessed by some 200 guests. “This plant is one of the many major pieces of infrastructure that the Singapore Government will be developing in the coming years. In the context of rising uncertainties, such as the drying up of Linggiu Reservoir, and rising costs of production and conveyance, we need to take necessary measures to strengthen water supply and sustainability. I also urge all to continue to use water prudently,” said Mr Masagos. Sited on top of Changi Water Reclamation Plant, the BEWG-UESH NEWater Plant has a capacity of 50 million gallons a day (mgd). The new plant provides, together with four other existing facilities, enough NEWater capacity to meet up to 40% of Singapore’s total daily water demand. Mr Ng Joo Hee, PUB’s Chief Executive, said, “In our minds, the H2O molecule is never lost and water is an endlessly reusable resource. Used water can always be reclaimed and retreated so that it can be consumed again. Singapore leads the world in this. “Water reuse is particularly attractive because it is drought-resistant. Every Singaporean student is taught the hydrologic cycle and knows how Mother Nature reclaims and recycles water in all its forms. What we do in PUB’s water reclamation and NEWa-


ter plants is, in essence, copying Nature’s way.” The ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water that is known as NEWater is one of Singapore’s Four National Taps, along with local catchment water, imported water and desalinated water.Together, they provide a robust and diversified water supply for Singapore. Collaborations with the industry have also played an important role in Singapore’s water journey. Close partnership with the private sector has enabled PUB to explore, pilot and implement new technologies to increase Singapore’s water resources and enhance efficiencies in water production. On playing a part in achieving this milestone in Singapore’s water sustainability journey, Mr Li Yongcheng, Board Chairman and Executive Director of BEWG, called it an “honour”

to be able to partner PUB for the project and felt that it signified Singapore’s status as a global hub for water issue practice and research. Sharing his elation at the official opening of the plant, Mr Johnson Tang, CEO of UESH noted that the firm had come full circle since its involvement in the building of the Changi Water Reclamation Plant nearly a decade ago. The successful completion of BEWG-UESH NEWater Plant further strengthens BEWG’s extensive track record in water treatment which includes a few hundred plants in China, Macau, Malaysia, Portugal and Singapore. It also solidifies UESH’s position as an established developer, owner and operator of water & air and waste & renewable energy assets as well as provider of mechanical & electrical engineering services in Singapore and China.

(Left to right) PUB Chief Executive Ng Joo Hee, PUB Chairman Tan Gee Paw, Permanent Secretary (MEWR) Choi Shing Kwok, Senior Minister of State (MEWR) Dr Amy Khor, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of China Zheng Chao, BEWG Chairman Li Yongcheng, BEWG CEO Zhou Min and UESH CEO Johnson Tang at the official opening of BEWG-UESH NEWater Plant. Photo: PUB



Sembcorp to build and operate power plant in Myanmar Sembcorp Industries announced on 18 January 2017 the signing of a build-operate-transfer (BOT) agreement with the Ministry of Electricity and Energy of Myanmar (MOEE), for its upcoming 225-megawatt Sembcorp Myingyan gas-fired power plant in Mandalay. The agreement between Sembcorp Myingyan Power Company and MOEE was signed by Mr Tan Cheng Guan, Sembcorp Industries’ Executive Vice President and Head, Group Business Development & Commercial, and Mr U Htein Lwin, Permanent Secretary at MOEE. The BOT agreement represents a key milestone and continued progress

for the Sembcorp Myingyan project. It comes after the signing of a long-term power purchase agreement in March 2016, for the sale of the plant’s entire power output to Electric Power Generation Enterprise, the successor entity to Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise after the re-organisation within MOEE. The total project cost of the Sembcorp Myingyan Power Project is approximately USD 300 million. Once operational, the Sembcorp Myingyan Power Project would become one of Myanmar’s largest gasfired power plants, and will help to play a key role in meeting the country’s growing demand for electricity.

Commenting on the signing, Sembcorp Group President & CEO Tang Kin Fei said, “The signing of the BOT Agreement marks an important milestone for the Myingyan project. We thank the government of Myanmar for its support, and we are encouraged by its commitment to accelerate infrastructure development in the country. “With Sembcorp’s strong track record, we are confident that we will be able to deliver this facility on time. This will help to meet the growing need for power particularly in Mandalay, support the nation’s progress and improve the quality of life for the Myanmar people.”




ST Engineering celebrates 50 years of technology and innovation While ST Engineering was formed as a result of amalgamation in 1997, its roots trace back 50 years to the formation of the Chartered Industries of Singapore on 27 January 1967 to manufacture ammunition for the M16 assault rifle. To kick off its Golden Jubilee celebrations, an invite-only exhibition was held from 25 to 26 January 2017 at ST Engineering’s headquarters in Ang Mo Kio.The various items put on display captured the various growth phases of ST Engineering and showcased a selection of its world-class products and solutions. Representing its unwavering dedication towards engineering solutions that make a difference in Singapore and the global community, the theme ‘Engineering with Passion’ was chosen to anchor the company’s year-long celebratory initiatives. Mr Kwa Chong Seng, Chairman of ST Engineering, said, “(The) 50th anniversary is a major milestone. Over these five decades, ST Engineering

has stayed true to its role, making significant contributions to the security of Singapore … the Group has also grown in geography and reputation in the defence, government and commercial sectors globally. “As we celebrate our Golden Jubilee, our philosophy is much more about forging forward than looking back. We are focused firmly on the future and remain resolute to accomplish more and create greater value for all our stakeholders.” A commemorative event was also held on 26 January in the presence of Ms Ho Ching, currently Executive Director and CEO of Temasek Holdings. Ms Ho joined Chartered Industries in 1987, and was later appointed President and CEO of Singapore Technologies Group ten years later. She was also Founding Chairman of ST Engineering, serving in that role from 1997 to 2003. About 300 guests including customers, business partners, senior

management, and company staff from past and present participated in the joyous occasion, witnessing the sealing of time capsules that contained symbolic items representing the entire Group. Ms Ho urged ST Engineering staff to remember the company’s core purpose of making a difference to the lives of Singapore’s citizens and soldiers, while acknowledging the efforts of their forebears. “The management and team must also recognise that others before them have broken new grounds, created new pathways and sweated the course. We need to understand why decisions had been made the way they were. Only then can we have the wisdom to build on and improve the remarkable heritage of those who came before us,” she said. ST Engineering’s other initiatives for its Golden Jubilee include facilitating Group-wide fundraising and volunteering drives.

Ms Ho Ching, Executive Director & CEO of Temasek Holdings and Founding Chairman of ST Engineering (centre), Mr Kwa Chong Seng, Chairman of ST Engineering (7th from left), Mr Vincent Chong, President & CEO of ST Engineering (5th from left), and Mr Lee Fook Sun, Deputy CEO of ST Engineering (4th from right), celebrated ST Engineering's 50th anniversary together with former CEOs, directors and pioneer management team members and partners. Photo: ST Engineering




Singapore to start truck platooning trials in public-private partnership In January 2017, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) PSA Corporation signed agreements with two automotive companies, Scania and Toyota Tsusho to design, develop and test-bed an autonomous truck platooning system for use on Singapore's public roads. These agreements were the culmination of a request for proposals for the trial, issued jointly by MOT and PSA in October 2015. Truck platooning involves a human-driven lead truck leading a convoy of driverless trucks (see graphic). In the Singapore trials, the trucks will transport containers from one port terminal to another. This will alleviate the shortage of manpower and ease traffic congestion in the day by allowing more freight movement to be conducted at night. Said Mr Pang Kin Keong, Permanent Secretary for Transport, “Truck-

ing as we know it today is a highly labour-intensive industry. We face a shortage of truck drivers. In this regard, truck platooning technology presents us with an opportunity to boost productivity in both the port sector and the trucking industry. It will also open up opportunities for truck drivers to take on higher-skilled roles as fleet operators and managers.� Scania and Toyota were shortlisted based on the quality of their proposals and strong track records in both truck manufacturing and the development of self-driving technology. Both companies will be working to develop technologies to enable heavy vehicles to move in leader-follower formation, as well as to fully automate the processes for precise docking and undocking of cargo. The truck platooning trials will take place in two phases over a three-year

period, between now to December 2019. The first phase, lasting about a year, will focus on designing, testing and refining the truck platooning technology to adapt to local conditions. The trials will be conducted by Scania and Toyota in their respective research centres in Sweden and Japan. Depending on the outcomes of the Phase 1 trials, MOT and PSA Corporation will then select one of the companies for Phase 2, which will consist of local trials and some development of the technology in Singapore. A 10-km long test route along West Coast Highway has been designated for the Phase 2 trials. The trials will initially involve inter-terminal haulage between Brani Terminal and Pasir Panjang Terminals, and may eventually be scaled up for haulage within the port area, as well as between Pasir Panjang Terminals and Tuas Port.

Autonomous Truck Platooning Technology. Image: PSA Corporation




Digitalisation: The future of work in 2017 and beyond by Manish Bahl, Senior Director, Centre for the Future of Work, Cognizant The dawn of true digital business is just breaking and Asia Pacific is poised to corner a bulk of the economic rewards of business transformation. Digital transformation will put USD 5.9 trillion in revenue up for grabs for companies across industries in the region, by 2018 [1]. There is a little doubt in the minds of business leaders that digital transformation is strategically important to their corporate and personal fortunes in the immediate future. But for winning in an economy of algorithms, automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), businesses and people will require new skills, new tools and rethinking of the human-machine relationship. It would be pertinent to understand the changing nature of work and commerce as well as the changing characteristics of success in the brave new world of 2017 and beyond. Focus on human-centric skills One of the profound impacts of the accelerated pace of digitalisation is that jobs and required skills will change significantly. Rote tasks, which still represent a substantial proportion of most people’s day-to-day work, will morph into the machine, freeing up time and energy to ask better questions, craft better directions, and generate more impactful innovation. It means that the future of our work will be more strategic. So in order to beat the ‘bots’, one has to be a better person. The work ahead will require us to double down on the activities where humans have, and will continue to have, an advantage over machines (for example, tasks requiring collaborative problem-solving, creativity, abstract thinking, adapting to change, and so on). It may sound counter-intuitive, but in a world of more pervasive technology, activities that humans do well will be even more important in 2020 than today. Analytical, communication and learning skills, as well as the 10

ability to relate to other people, are all vital for business success. But in the coming years, these very human traits, that enable us to do certain things natu- Mr Manish Bahl rally, but which computers struggle with, will become even more essential in our personal and work lives and for our businesses. Being able to apply judgement, creativity and the human touch are all far outside the purview of current and near-future technologies, and this will remain the case for some years to come, even as the new machines become more capable. The work ahead will not be about ‘man versus machines’, but rather, about being better, smarter humans, to harness the potential of the digital economy. Digitalisation is inherently collaborative and is about equalising power structures through the democratisation of information. Leaders who recognise that collaboration is the key to business success will be more in demand in the digital workplace. And contrary to what many leaders believe, collaboration cannot be achieved by simply installing software. Collaboration is not about platforms or technology; it is about engaging people in a shared journey that can transform the business from the bottom up and break down internal silos. Digital leaders and laggards In 2015, Forrester had predicted that 2016 would be a pivotal year for companies adapting to digitally savvy and


empowered customers. Companies moving along the age of the customer path will begin to thrive, while laggards will begin the slow descent to failure [2]. With digital transformation sweeping through the global economy, businesses will see this gap continue to widen between organisations that are still waiting for digital technologies to prove themselves and organisations that have been quick to master key digital capabilities. It is no surprise that digital leaders massively outperform digital laggards with each laggard losing almost USD 79 million a year for not keeping up with the digital competition in Asia Pacific. By the time laggards do join the digital revolution, they would have lost a sizeable portion of the market to those that embraced digitalisation earlier. Digitalisation is moving from toys of convenience to powerful tools applied to work that really matters.Your work ahead is to apply this new crop of smarter technologies to remake your business activities - from sales and marketing to production and supply chain management. The Internet of Things The Internet of Things (IoT) is all set to make big inroads in Asia Pacific. The Singapore government’s Smart Nation Vision is already in the build phase, and is aimed at improving government operations, service delivery, healthcare, the environment and public transportation [3]. The Malaysian government anticipates that IoT will contribute USD 2.49 billion to the country’s GDP by 2020, and the government launched the National IoT Strategic Roadmap in July 2015 to support the vision [4]. It is certain that the next decade of business advancement in the region will be driven by IoT.


Asia Pacific leaders need to catch up with those elsewhere in leveraging digitalisation.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will lead to the ‘vulnerability of things’.




AI will become a reality and a real business.

That said, IoT is evolving when it comes to standardisation, and if not implemented properly, could present data privacy and security risks. In other words, IoT will lead to the ‘vulnerability of things’. More connected devices mean exponential growth in the amount of personal and sensitive data generated. A single security breach on one device could infect an entire network, considering that multiple devices are interconnected on a home or business network. This will make consumer trust more important than ever and, perhaps, even harder to achieve. A survey revealed that Asia Pacific respondents are significantly behind their global counterparts in prioritising cybersecurity for their business, indicating that they are not quite there yet when it comes to threats that may result from large-scale IoT deployments. Fast forward 10 years, and businesses in the region may start to strengthen security, but by then, security standards elsewhere around the world would have moved far ahead in response to the dynamic digital security landscape. How much is at risk? It is estimated that cyber-attacks will cost businesses as much as USD 400 billion annually - which is larger than the GDP of roughly 160 of the 196 countries in the world [5].


Artificial Intelligence We are already surrounded by AI and its impact on work, which will be explosive before the decade is out. The more evenly distributed present will spread into a much more unevenly distributed future. Over the next few years, every aspect of our commercial world (and much else, besides) will be affected by the new machines. In short, the future of work is the mirror image of the future of AI. If you are not making AI your business today, AI may well put you out of business tomorrow. More businesses will tap into this opportunity by adopting new automation technologies to reshape their business processes and customer experiences to achieve higher productivity and superior business results. For example, collaborative robots or co-bots - the latest in the evolution of industrial robotics - are fast emerging as a new and powerful industrial tool. AI will continue to transform our work as we know it, and will become the number one driver of business change, by 2020. It has already become the second most impactful digital trend, behind Big Data. The work ahead The incredible changes in the work ahead are, to a large extent, the result of the growing ubiquity and power of the new machines that drive modern


businesses forward. In 2017, businesses will need to face new technology trends head-on. In order to capitalise on the changes around, businesses require more than simply the application of the latest and greatest technology. The accelerated pace of digitalisation is creating entirely new ways of working, facilitated by the new tools. Most companies have only scratched the surface of what it means to be truly digitalised. In fact, ‘digital fear’ signals a tremendous innovation opportunity. Embedding digital thinking and technologies into key processes will place companies on the fast track. References [1] Cognizant: ‘The Exponential Value of Going Digital’. [2] Forrester: ‘Forrester Unveils Its 2016 Predictions For Business Leaders In Asia Pacific’, 2016. [3] ComputerWeekly: ‘Singapore’s Smart Nation vision entices startups and IoT developers’, 2015. [4] Tech in Asia: ‘Factors Driving IoT Southeast Asia’, 2015. [5] Fortune: ‘Lloyd’s CEO: Cyber-Attacks Cost Companies US$400 Billion Every Year’, 2015.

(Cognizant is a multinational corporation providing IT, consulting and business process services)


Company achieves breakthrough with 3D printed gas turbine blades The engine components were successfully tested at high speeds and temperatures Siemens has achieved a breakthrough by completing its first full load engine tests for gas turbine blades entirely produced using Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology. The company successfully validated multiple AM printed turbine blades with a conventional blade design at full engine conditions. This means that the components were tested at 13,000 revolutions per minute and temperatures beyond 1,250°C. Furthermore, Siemens tested a new blade design with a completely revised and improved internal cooling geometry created using the AM technology. The project team used blades manufactured at its 3D printing facility at Materials Solutions, the newly acquired company in Worcester, UK. Materials Solutions specialises in high performance parts for high temperature applications in turbomachinery where accuracy, surface finish and the material quality is critical to ensuring operational performance of the parts in service.The tests were conducted at the Siemens testing facility in the industrial gas turbine factory in Lincoln, UK. According to Siemens, this is a major development in the use of AM in the power generation field - which is one of the most challenging application areas for this technology. AM is one of the main pillars in Siemens’ digitalisation strategy. The successful tests were the result of a dedicated international project team, with contributions from Siemens engineers in Finspång, Lincoln and Berlin, together with experts from Materials Solutions. In just 18 months they completed the entire chain, from component design and AM material development to new methods for lifting simulations and quality controls. With the combined know-how in 3D printing, Siemens is expected to continue driving technological developments and applications in this field.


The blades were installed in a Siemens SGT-400 industrial gas turbine with a capacity of 13 MW.The AM turbine blades are made from high performing, polycrystalline nickel superalloy powder, enabling them to endure high pressure, hot temperatures and the rotational forces of the turbine’s high speed operation. At full load, each of these turbine blades travels at over 1,600 km/h, carrying 11 t and is surrounded by gas at 1,250°C and cooled by air at over 400 °C. The advanced blade design tested in Lincoln provides improved cooling features that can increase overall efficiency of the Siemens gas turbines. AM is a process that builds parts, layer-by-layer, from sliced CAD models, to form solid objects. Also known as ‘3D printing’, it especially provides benefits in rapid prototyping. This exciting technology is changing the method of manufacturing, by reducing the lead time for prototype development, by up to 90%. Siemens is a pioneer in AM and has the ability to accelerate the development of new gas turbine designs, in order to bring these advancements faster to its customers. This new flexibility in manufacturing also allows the company to completely meet customers’ requirements and provide spare parts on demand.

The successful test of the advanced blade design is the next step, in order to use the full potential of AM. Siemens is developing unique gas turbine designs which are possible only with AM. The company extensively uses AM technology for rapid prototyping and has already introduced serial production solutions for components in the gas turbine’s compressor and combustion system. In February 2016, Siemens opened a new production facility for 3D printed components in Finspång, Sweden. The first 3D printed component for a Siemens heavy-duty gas turbine entered commercial operation in July 2016.

Siemens completed its first full load engine tests for conventional and completely new gas turbine blades, produced using AM technology.

The blades had to endure 13,000 revolutions per minute and temperatures beyond 1,250°C.



Quo vadis Industry 4.0? by Dipl-Ing Nikolaus Fecht and Dr Andreas Thoss, THOSS Media GmbH, Berlin, Germany When Industry 4.0 took off in Germany, it rapidly made the headlines. With the digital agenda of the federal government, it received the highest political priority. The future of the whole German manufacturing business was connected to it. But where does Industry 4.0 stand, in reality? A number of medium-sized companies are offering interesting solutions. Research has made great progress. It has helped to re-think a number of processes completely. Theory describes Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution, as full integration of production and communication technologies. It creates a so-called ‘smart factory’, where people, machines and processes are well connected by Internet technologies for the purpose of increased cost efficiency, higher process stability and greater flexibility. After all, it should save time and money. How does that look in real life? On the one hand, there is an approach to scrutinise whole factories and to re-think and optimise all processes, from the first customer request to after-sales services. On the other hand, many SMEs offer solutions for separate business processes. With special software tools, they can dramatically increase the efficiency. Besides the consequent digitisation of processes, there is a second trend coming up while product lines are unified, the single product is increasingly personalised. This leads to smaller lot sizes, even down to one, yet the new tools are able to help retain profitability. A management issue Friedhelm Loh, the sole proprietor of the Friedhelm Loh Group, with more than 11,000 employees, recently spoke at the innteract conference in Chemnitz, on his experiences with the introduction of Industry 4.0 in the group’s Rittal factory for industrial control cabinets. The product portfolio had been adjusted, until 2015, with the number of products reduced from 465 to 110. Five product lines were conflated into one. In future, customers will define their purchases, using an online configurator. The data from this configurator tool goes di-


Festo’s new technology factory. Industry 4.0 creates a ‘smart-factory’, where people, machines, and processes are well connected by Internet technologies for the purposes of increased cost efficiency, higher process stability, and greater flexibility. Image by Festo.

rectly into SAP and NC programs. From initial material supply up to final distribution, all logistic processes are fully automated. The whole process from ‘customer to customer’ is digitally organised. The cost savings in the process steps are between 15 % (purchasing and sales department, after-sales service) and 50 % (manufacturing). Loh’s conclusion is that “only an integrated end-to-end solution, which is consistently based on configuration and data, results in a continuous process”. Within the TRUMPF group, a new production unit, Sheet Metal Processing, has been set up as a fully connected factory. It is comparable to a conventional sheet metal job shop which is completely converted into a smart factory. It uses and develops software tools from TRUMPF’s proprietary solution portfolio, TruConnect, and its digital business platform, AXOOM. For a further optimisation of the


production process, it introduced a powerful Manufacturing Execution System (MES) from the TruConnect tool box. As the heart of the production planning, it evaluates the machine conditions and allows paper-free production with digital accompanying documents. Also, ‘intra logistics’ will be optimised towards Industry 4.0, to automate error-prone routine tasks. Furthermore, the production unit is the pilot unit for the introduction of a fine-planning system. Within this development project, the fine-planning of sequential production steps and the necessary resources is an important focus, in particular, with arbitrarily defined and variable conditions. This is crucial for the economical manufacturing of lot size one. Solutions for small and medium-sized companies Not every company can or wants to implement Industry 4.0 in the form of an entire new factory. Today, there

FUTURE MANUFACTURING are many solutions for separate processes, which serve the idea of higher efficiency, through connectivity and specialised software. It starts with indirect processes, that are all the steps in a job, taking place before or after the actual manufacturing of the part, regardless of the batch size. As batch sizes shrink, due to increasing individualisation, these indirect processes are no longer in proportion to the actual productive work (ie the production itself). A study conducted by Fraunhofer-IPA (S-Tec), in collaboration with TRUMPF, found out that the cost for material planning may shrink by up to 75% in a smart factory surrounding. Friedhelm Loh described an online product configurator as a core feature of his new Rittal factory. Dominik Weibel and Marco Wüst, two Swiss entrepreneurs, have implemented a similar tool for a sheet metal processing job shop. Within their company, eMDe Blechfabrik AG, they developed an online system based on TRUMPF’s online quotation calculator, WebCalculate. Here, customers can upload drawings and set material parameters and they receive immediately a full quotation. After placing an order, customers can track the order throughout all processing steps including delivery. eMDe saves a lot of time with small lot sizes and retains an opportunity for price negotiations with larger orders. More such tools (or actually apps) can be expected soon, when TRUMPF’s spin-off, AXOOM, becomes fully operational. AXOOM is set to develop solutions for continuous order processing in production operations. Smart software may also save money in manufacturing processes. For example, Bystronic has developed special software for planning a sheet metal cutting job. The online service, ByOptimizer, calculates an optimised cutting plan for the laser machine, based on more than 300 parameters. Parts are grouped so closely on the metal sheet, that the gaps (ie raw ma-

terial offcuts) are reduced to a minimum. The online service connects seamlessly with existing software. It needs just a few clicks to upload data and the online service takes care of everything else. Cutting paths of the laser are reduced by half, when a common cut allows for one cut instead of two. Bystronic promises material savings of up to 10%, depending on contour shape and lot size. It becomes more challenging if you have a new process and you want to find process parameters for cutting or drilling. It needs a well experienced operator and a number of trials to find optimal laser process parameters for a new material. Researchers from the

Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have collected simulation knowhow for such processes for many years. Adequate simulations usually require a workstation and hours of calculation time, but now the experts have developed a simplified simulation tool for use on a tablet. With this app, the user can play around with beam parameters such as waist diameter and see directly how the processing result, such as the conicity of a drilling, would be affected. This may reduce make-ready times considerably. The simulation app from the Fraunhofer ILT allows playing around with process parameters with immediate capture of the process changes

The simulation app from the Fraunhofer ILT allows dynamic adjustment of the process parameters, immediately capturing process changes in an adjacent window. Image by Fraunhofer ILT.

The Smart Press Shop from Schuler AG. Schuler’s concept demonstrates how networking solutions in forming technology can increase not only process reliability but also cost-effectiveness in production. Image by Schuler AG.



FUTURE MANUFACTURING in a neighbouring window. Another example of smart production was shown by Schuler AG at EuroBLECH 2016. With its concept of a ‘Smart Press Shop’, the company showed how networking solutions in forming technology can increase not only process reliability, but also cost-effectiveness in production. For this purpose, the entire system is simulated and optimised, including all press stages and automation components. The systems provide data measured by sensors installed at numerous points, for example, to monitor the press force. This data also allows for continuous operation control and allows for condition-based maintenance. Alliances and initiatives Industry 4.0 is a key issue for German politics and so there are plenty of projects and events arranged in national and international frameworks. Particularly engaged are the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Together with industry organisations and companies, they have pooled activities and offerings for small and medium-sized companies within the ‘Plattform Industrie 4.0’. On its website, as an example, you may find more than 200 projects applying Industry 4.0, on an interactive map of Germany. The platform has formed five working groups for collaborative efforts on questions such as standards and norms, research and innovation, security, legal framework, and education and training. If the concern is man disappearing completely from the shop floor, it would be good to look at the so-called ‘Innovationsallianz 3Dsensation’, founded within the founding initiative ‘Zwanzig20 - Partnerschaft für Innovation’ of the BMBF. Companies and research institutions meet here to think about the future man-machine interaction. They assume that man will not become fully redundant but he will have to change his role


when dealing with machines. It is about making man-machine interaction more intuitive, safer and more efficient. With a total investment of EUR 100 million, the partners of the consortium want to work on projects in the fields of manufacturing, mobility, health-care and security. A particular focus is 3D technologies that help machines to capture and interpret complex scenarios rapidly. Many more millions are currently invested in research on Industry 4.0. For example, in Aachen, you may find a lot of different projects. Within the university ‘exzellence’ cluster ‘Integrative Produktionstechnik für Hochlohnlände’, at the RWTH Aachen University, people conduct research on the technological and economic implementation of Industrie 4.0. Or you may test your concepts at the Demonstration Factory, a reference factory for Industry 4.0, where empirical research and advanced training can be conducted in a realistic production environment. It will be part of the Smart Logistics Cluster, a new building on the RWTH Aachen campus. Another cluster building just opened its doors: The photonics cluster develops concepts such as ‘Digital Photonic Production’. This project alone has funding commitment for 15 years. Risks and side effects Putting more services on the net and into the cloud brings with it a number of new risks. So far, viruses and theft of data have been more relevant to office computers, but since the detection of the Stuxnet worm, it has become clear that machine controls are not protected against fraud. At a recent meeting of the Association of German Engineers (VDI), the association’s director, Ralph Appel, said that the number of cyber attacks, on industrial plants or infrastructures of larger and smaller companies, is much larger than the news tell us, since many companies do not recognise them or do not talk about them


for fear of losing customers’ trust. Accordingly, safety concepts are in high demand. One place where they are developed is the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT in Darmstadt. There, it built a Trusted Core Network (TCN) which tests the integrity of network knots to ensure that there are no foreign invaders. New participants such as robots, computers or machines can be verified continuously and can be connected to the network. Conclusions Industry 4.0 is much more than hype, with many of its ideas having already been implemented. Solutions for separate processes are in widespread use, but the conversion of full complex process chains is still rare. The conversion of indirect processes promises quick wins, in particular, if you try to drive profits for small lot sizes. German politics supports a large number of networking projects for industry and research institutions. Funding seems to be available in many fields. There are some risks growing with Industry 4.0, in particular with regard to cyber crime. Detlef Zühlke, Head of the technology initiative, SmartFactoryKL eV, and leader of the group, Innovative Factory Systems, at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, said recently at a large Industry 4.0 conference in Anaheim, California, USA, that it will take some two or three more years before the first systems start running. By then, it will become a global competition. “It is a worldwide movement. Those who are too late with it will be the first to die”. (This article is based on a white paper commissioned by Mack Brooks Exhibitions Ltd, UK, the organisers of EuroBLECH 2016, the 24th International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition, which was held in Hannover, Germany, from 25 to 29 October 2016).


Company embarks on transformation process for continued growth A leading global supplier of technology and services is actively shaping changes in industries, markets and technologies. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH, headquartered in Gerlingen, near Stuttgart, Germany, and its roughly 450 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. The company employs roughly 390,000 associates worldwide (as of end-December 2016). Its operations are divided into four business sectors - Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading Internet of Things (IoT) company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for Smart Homes, Smart Cities, Connected Mobility, and Connected Industry. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. In the areas of connectivity over IoT and the transition to electromobility, Bosch is making upfront investments running into billions of euros. BOSCH CENTER FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE With the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Bosch is personalising connectivity. For this reason, the company is investing some EUR 300 million in a new centre for AI, which will round off its IoT expertise. The objective of the new Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence is to enhance expertise in the field of AI. With its sensor technology, Bosch has made things capable of feeling. Now, the company is making them capable of learning and intelligent action. According to Bosch, ten years from now, there will be very few Bosch products without AI. Products will either possess that intelligence themselves, or AI will have played a key role in their development or manufacture.


THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY Bosch’s vision for the traffic of the future is one defined by zero stress, zero accidents and zero emissions. Technologically, this means automation, electrification and connectivity, and the company is expected to be a leading supplier of mobility solutions, and also lead in electromobility. Bosch is conducting intensive research to achieve a breakthrough in battery technology

that will make mass electric driving affordable. At its Feuerbach location in Stuttgart, the company has set up a battery campus, bringing together its development activities relating to battery cells and battery packs. Together with battery researchers, 300 associates are working to make future cell technologies ready for industrial production. Each year, Bosch invests some EUR 400 million in electromobility.

Bosch envisions a future where traffic movement occurs without stress, accidents and emissions.


Each year, the company invests some EUR 400 million in electromobility.

ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING PERSONALISED PRODUCTS AND SERVICES For Bosch, the personalisation of the IoT is the next level of connectivity. The company will use AI to turn things into intelligent assistants. Products will become partners, companions and personal assistants. Digital assistants are the interface with customers. With connected products, Bosch can maintain a direct relationship with customers. The company brings extensive experience to the table with sensor technology, software and services, and its own IoT cloud. This makes Bosch a one-stop shop for IoT. Data security is playing a central role in this. Customers and users have full transparency and decide themselves how data are used. Moreover, Bosch has a goal of networking 100% of its electronic products and offering a connected service package for each product. The customer is the main focus here. According to the company, connected technologies must always have a benefit. It is becoming increasingly important to offer clever additional functions and services tailored to individual needs and usage habits. Thanks to the personalisation of products and solutions through connectivity, this is increasingly possible. The car as a personal assistant In just a few years, cars will become an active part of IoT and will be able to communicate with other modes of transportation as well as with the smart home. At CES 2017, the international innovation event, held in Las Vegas, USA, in January this year, Bosch presented a new concept car that shows how different spheres of life will be seamlessly interconnected in the future. The vehicle will play a central role in cross-domain communication. Personalised communication between the car and its driver will also be expanded: New functions are connecting the car to its surroundings, the smart home and the repair shop. These functions will make highly

automated driving possible. Bosch is working to make sure that mobility and smart services become one. If the car is connected to the smart home or the smart city via the cloud, there will be measurable benefits. Connectivity is turning the car into an assistant on four wheels. The Bosch concept car comprises a broad range of innovative technologies. The moment the driver sits down, facial recognition technology sets the steering wheel, mirrors, interior temperature, and radio station, according to the driver’s individual preferences. The system is controlled via a haptic touch display and an innovative gesture control system, both of which give tangible feedback when they are used. If the car is highly automated, cloud-based services enable

video-conferences, or allow drivers and passengers to plan their weekend shopping trips or watch the latest videos. By 2025, highly automated driving is expected to save the average frequent driver in the US, Germany or China, almost 100 hours per year, according to a study that Bosch recently commissioned. In purely technical terms, communication control units such as the Bosch Central Gateway make connectivity possible. ETAS and ESCRYPT, which are both part of the Bosch Group, provide the transmission and encryption solutions. These ensure that cloud-based vehicle software updates can be carried out securely throughout the vehicle’s service life. If the car communicates with its surroundings, security updates must be carried out on a regular basis.

The concept car, exhibited by Bosch at CES 2017, showed how the ‘auto’ personal assistant would function.

In Stuttgart, Bosch is testing community-based parking, together with Mercedes-Benz.



ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING When communicating with its surroundings, the car also takes on important tasks in the connected city. For instance, with community-based parking, the car is becoming a parking spot locator. When driving along the street, the car detects gaps between parked cars.The data gathered is then transmitted to a digital street map. High-performance Bosch algorithms assess the plausibility of the data and make forecasts on the parking spot situation. A cloud-based service that uses this data to create a real-time parking map saves the driver a great deal of time and money, and also helps reduce stress. Pilot projects in the US are planned for this year. In cooperation with Mercedes-Benz, Bosch is currently testing the community-based parking concept in metropolitan Stuttgart. Connected helpers at home Within their own homes, too, users can rely on a broad range of intelligent helpers to make life easier and safer. Some products now even perform several functions at once. For example, the smoke detector also monitors air quality and its siren can be used to scare off unwanted guests. The Bosch smart home system makes it possible to control con-

nected devices at home, via a single app. With the scenario manager, the smart house is becoming even more intuitive. When you leave the house, there is no longer any need to check whether you have turned off the heating, electrical devices or the lights. By activating scenarios within the Bosch smart home app, with the tap of a finger, the scenario manager performs such routine tasks. Bosch is also developing products that serve as personal assistants. These can also communicate with their users. One example is ‘My kitchen elf ’, or Mykie. With this concept, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH (BSH) has stepped into the world of personal assistants. BSH is a trademark licensee of Robert Bosch GmbH for the Bosch brand. Mykie is operated with the user’s voice. It listens to users, answers their questions, and helps with a number of daily chores. With the connected Mykie, the user can control the entire range of Home Connect household appliances. It can also bring its users together virtually. Mayfield Robotics, the start-up that Robert Bosch Start-up GmbH supports, focuses on the home robot business. At CES 2017, it presented

Kuri, the home robot will be launched in the US market at the end of 2017.



Kuri, its first commercial robot which is scheduled to be launched in the US at the end of 2017.The robot is about 50 cm tall and is equipped with loudspeakers, microphone, camera and a number of sensors. It can move about the room, all the while taking note of the shortest possible routes. Kuri interacts with different residents differently. For example, it can play music or inform parents who are stuck in traffic, that their children have come home from school.

Mykie, the kitchen elf, is tailor-made to meet the demands of smart kitchens.


Industry 4.0 production lines equipped with large numbers of sensors generate huge amounts of real-time information which can be analysed to determine, for example, when machines need maintenance.

NETWORKED MANUFACTURING Assistants also play a significant role in networked manufacturing. For instance, the APAS robot makes flexible and efficient manufacturing possible. It takes on strenuous, dangerous and monotonous tasks and is designed to cooperate closely with human beings. Thanks to its sensor skin, the automatic production assistant detects a person getting too close and then shuts down immediately. Bosch designed the APAS specifically with its use in Industry 4.0, or Connected Industry, in mind. With its new IoT Gateway solution, the company can also offer the benefits of Connected Industry to operators of older machines. Many machines are still not connected to Industry 4.0. Among other things, they lack the necessary sensors, software or connection to the company’s IT systems, which are the prerequisites

Bosch translates the practical experience it gains through the connected manufacturing in around 250 of its own plants, into services for third parties, with the help of software developed in-house.

of networked production. The IoT Gateway combines sensor technology, software and an IoT-enabled industrial control system. This makes

it possible to monitor the status of machines. All images by Bosch




Giving students the right experiences in wireless technology by Rhys Bowley, Product Marketing Manager, National Instruments With the worldwide proliferation of wireless technology, as well as the promise of rapid growth in 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), wireless connectivity has become a staple part of everyday life. So, too, has wireless communications become a mainstream area of teaching within Electronics Engineering, Information Technology and Computer Science. Wireless communications is recognised as a distinct field of study. In November 2014, the US-headquartered Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) gave final approval to updated programme criteria for ‘Electrical, Computer, Communications, Telecommunication(s) and Similarly Named Engineering Programs’ [1]. The criteria outline that the curriculum for programmes containing the modifier ‘communication(s)’ or ‘telecommunication(s)’ must include topics around communication theory and systems, as well as design and operation of telecommunication networks for services such as voice, data, image, and video transport. On the surface, the criteria make perfect sense for the needs of today’s industry. However, there exists a divide between the experience of new graduates and the desires of industry and research, which are trending towards the need to prototype using hardware. This trend is driven by investors and standards bodies who want real-life evidence of the impact new designs and proposals will have, before moving forward. The divide exists because most universities around the world teach communications engineering using only theory and lectures. A lack of interaction with hardware at university means students often fail to engage with subject matter because they cannot relate the associated theory to the world around them. A 2016 study at Florida International University has shown that introducing hardware laboratory time into wireless communications classes improves knowledge retention and student engagement, thus boosting student enthusiasm for the subject matter [2].


The value of good knowledge retention becomes apparent as students move on to further study in later years or to postgraduate classes. When students only read about subject matter without putting it into practice, they do not retain as much familiarity, from semester to semester, making it hard to build on their knowledge, in more advanced classes. This ultimately holds

the students back, from investigating more modern, complex wireless techniques and technologies which are relevant to today’s research and industry. As a result, new graduates are required to undergo a significant and costly ramp-up period before they can work effectively.This ultimately hinders the progress of research and industry, as a whole.

Encouraging greater interaction with hardware allows for students to better relate to the associated theory.

The learning experience can be enhanced with modern technologies such as that for software-defined radios.


ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING So, if it makes so much sense to teach wireless communications using hardware and real-world signals, why isn’t everybody doing it today? Traditionally, the main barrier to teaching with radio and microwave frequency hardware has been the cost. A single instrument can cost in the range of tens or even hundreds of thousands of US dollars. Therefore, equipping a teaching laboratory with enough hardware, so that every student can get meaningful exposure to it, becomes prohibitively expensive, as it means that, typically, a laboratory station is made available for every two to three students, for at least two or three hours per week. Modern technologies, such as that for software-defined radios, address the challenge of cost, as they are orders of magnitude cheaper than traditional instruments. Whilst not necessarily calibrated or as sensitive as traditional instruments, softwaredefined radios not only provide an affordable prototyping platform for advanced research, they also serve as superb tools for teaching [3]. A software defined radio uses a broadband, generic analogue front end and moves all the functionality for a specific modulation scheme or application, which would have been implemented in hardware, into software. This makes for a very flexible device which can be used to explore concepts such as analogue and digital modulation, cellular communication, navigation standards, radar and much more. However, software-defined radios can introduce prohibitive complexity. Many require low-level programming expertise in multiple languages and synthesis tools, which is unreasonable to assume of an undergraduate student. Extensive low-level programming also prevents meaningful progress during a short two- or threehour laboratory session, ultimately holding back the level of projects that students could complete. That is where high-level system design tools like LabVIEW can come in useful. Abstracting the low level complexity and keeping the entire design cycle in one environment speeds up

discovery and prevents the need to shift back and forth, due to incompatibility - which is time-consuming. Students can focus their efforts on learning communications techniques and algorithms, rather than spending all their time learning how to use the tools. So, if technologies like software-defined radio have overcome the biggest barriers to introducing hardware labs to wireless communications classes, then the next challenge is creating the right course materials. This can be unfeasible for many academics who are balancing research responsibilities or teaching multiple engineering topics, such as circuit design, mechatronics and so forth. As wireless communications classes become more popular, academics may also find themselves in the position of having to introduce a class where they do not necessarily identify as an authority on the subject.They may not feel like they are knowledgeable enough to create course material in an area they are unfamiliar with. The IEEE Hands-on Lab Exchange ( aims to lower the course material barrier. The goal is to create an active community for sharing and collaboration around wireless communications laboratory materials. The community has just started and is looking for pioneers to contribute to its beginnings. The Hands-on Lab Exchange web community is served by four main sections. The homepage provides an at-a-glance view of the latest courses as well as an overview of the community’s mission. The next section,

‘Submit Your Course’, allows educators to contribute to the community by uploading their course materials. The ‘Course Library’ gives visitors the ability to browse available courses and to check the status of updates or works-in-progress. Finally, the ‘Author Profiles’ provides background on each of the contributors and the ability to follow them and their latest updates. The IEEE Hands-on Lab Exchange looks to increase the number of graduate engineers and computer scientists proficient in the use of radio and microwave frequency hardware. By lowering the barriers to introducing hardware laboratory classes, educators are better enabled to make this vision a reality than ever before. This collective experience and familiarity with hardware among graduates will directly benefit projects which seek to prototype next generation wireless communications and, in turn, accelerate discoveries in industry and research. For further information or to get involved, readers are encouraged to visit or contact the site moderators via References [1] [2] [3] rch=true&queryText=teaching%20usrp

The IEEE Hands-on Lab Exchange promotes collaboration and knowledge-sharing.




Digitalisation for a safe and efficient chemical industry Decisive factors driving today’s chemical industry include more efficient processes that allow faster commissioning of plants; high productivity, availability and security over long plant life cycles; and flexible production management.

Evonik’s expanded oil additives plant on Jurong Island. Image by Evonik.

Expansion of oil additives plant In 2015, Evonik, an industrial company from Germany, expanded its oil additives plant on Jurong Island, in Singapore, as a result of which, the company is now producing 40% of its global product portfolio in Singapore, making the plant the largest of its five additives plants worldwide. The alarm management system for the expanded oil additives plant, installed by Siemens, is based on the company's SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system. The SIMATIC PCS 7 alarm management system helps to reduce the alarm load in the control room by filtering, aggregating and prioritising alarms, thereby helping to minimise unplanned downtime that could impact the safety of a plant and its personnel, and contributing to the achievement of operational excellence. SIMATIC PCS 7 can be seamlessly integrated into Totally Integrated Automation (TIA), a complete range of matched products, systems and solutions for all hierarchy levels of industrial automation, to enable uniform customer-specific automation in all sectors of manufacturing, process and hybrid industries. 26

By reducing the alarm load in the control room, unplanned downtime can be minimised. Image by Evonik.

The achievement of operational excellence increases plant availability. Images by Evonik.



Evonik’s existing DL-methionine plant on Jurong Island. Image by Evonik.

company has production sites, sales offices as well as innovation and technical service centres, located in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and employing around 900 people. Evonik’s regional headquarters for the SEAANZ region is in Singapore which is also the company’s regional hub for innovation and for technical customer support.

Totally Integrated Power from Siemens has enabled Evonik to minimise downtime and maximise energy efficiency. Image by Evonik.

Totally Integrated Power for MetAMINO production complex Evonik produces DL-methionine at another production complex on Jurong Island. The plant has an annual production capacity of 150,000 metric tons. The DL-methionine is sold, under the brand name MetAMINO, to the animal nutrition sector. When used as a feed additive, DL-methionine contributes to the efficient, healthy and environment-friendly development of livestock. The manufacturing plant requires reliable power supply to ensure smooth operations and to meet the demands of complex chemical production processes. Since the plant

in Singapore started its operations in 2014, Siemens has supplied its Totally Integrated Power (TIP) which provides a fully integrated energy management solution. It has enabled Evonik to minimise downtime and maximise energy efficiency, while simultaneously ensuring power quality and flexibility. EVONIK With more than 33,000 employees, Evonik is one of the world leaders in speciality chemicals for the construction, coatings, automotive, nutrition and personal care sectors. Regional operations In the SEAANZ (South East Asia, Australia & New Zealand) region, the

Evonik’s second methionine complex in Singapore Evonik Industries is building a second world-scale plant in Singapore for the production of MetAMINO as well as all strategically important precursors, to ensure product quality and supply security. The new complex, which will be built next to Evonik’s first plant, will become operational in 2019. It will have an annual production capacity of 150,000 metric tons. The new plant will increase Evonik’s annual production capacity of MetAMINO to a total of approximately 300,000 metric tons in Asia, and to approximately 730,000 metric tons worldwide.



CHEMICAL ENGINEERING Solutions from Siemens Siemens has been supporting the petrochemical, base chemicals, speciality chemicals and fine chemicals industries, for more than a century. Today, the company provides products, solutions and services, along the entire value chain, ranging from automation systems, process instrumentation and analytics, drive technology and industrial controls to systems for energy management. With its offerings geared towards integrated software, tools and components, the company aims to enhance the productivity, efficiency and flexibility of its customers over the entire plant and product life cycle. For customers, this means reduced total cost of ownership and efficiently operating production plants. The Siemens chemical industry portfolio includes a range of industry-specific products and solutions, including process control, batch and MES/MOM systems as well as engineering solutions. Added to these are analysers and controllers, process analytics as well as energy and drive technology. Many components are also designed to withstand extreme environments. Reporting and operation intelligence are also part of the portfolio. Siemens also provides industry experts and technical services, a comprehensive service portfolio as well as special life cycle

maintenance contracts and consultancy services in fields such as industrial safety and energy management. Improved process management Since high plant availability and optimum process yields are top priorities for the chemical industry, the process control system plays an important role as the point of control and monitoring. The SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system from Siemens is already used by more than 10,000 customers, worldwide. The system’s open system architecture, ease of use and specific supplementary functions make it useful in petrochemical and fine chemicals operations, in laboratory applications as well as in pilot or full-scale plants. Using tools such as Advanced Process Control (APC), the process control system supports consistent process management and even permits changes to be implemented during running production. Specific requirements and fields of application can be addressed by customised add-ons, such as SIMATIC BATCH for the automation of complex batch processes in speciality and fine chemicals production. This facility allows chemical manufacturers to enhance the flexibility of their production and adapt, at short notice, to changing market conditions. Other SIMATIC PCS 7 add-ons include Ad-

vanced Process Functions (APF) for simple batch processes, which allow mixing operations to be flexibly and reliably controlled. SIMATIC PCS 7 can also be used as the basis for simple automation of test laboratories. Integrated engineering The COMOS engineering software, from Siemens, offers manufacturers of chemicals, a faster, more cost-effective way to plan and commission their production facilities. Integrated data management makes for a new, integrated approach to plant engineering projects spanning their entire life cycle. In line with the Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) concept, the current COMOS version offers an interface to the SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system for bi-directional data exchange and is naturally also open for integration into other control systems. COMOS makes a decisive contribution towards greater parallelisation of sequential planning stages, resulting in a shorter time to production. COMOS and SIMATIC PCS 7 form the foundation for vertical as well as horizontal integration. As a global data centre, COMOS provides the assurance that data can be consistently maintained over the entire life cycle of a plant, comparable to a virtual twin. Creating the link between

One data hub completely integrates all disciplines into a globally consistent database and generates a ‘digital twin’ which keeps data consistent and increases the engineering quality. Sequences can be executed in parallel, which saves valuable time and thus reduces costs. Image by Siemens.



CHEMICAL ENGINEERING the digital and real worlds is pivotal to the Industrie 4.0 vision, and is a key contributor towards ensuring a secure future. ‘Integrated Engineering’ and ‘Integrated Operation’ concepts to improve efficiency, flexibility, security, availability and quality are made possible by digitalisation. Safety In the production of chemicals, top priority is attached to the protection of personnel, operating machinery and the environment, without compromising the production process. Siemens offers producers of chemicals a range of solutions to ensure process reliability and minimise risk. Alongside automation and drive components designed to ensure safety, it also encompasses risk analyses, industrial IT security concepts and Operating Training Systems (OTS). Pivotal elements here are failsafe components, safety-oriented I/O modules and the PCS 7 process control system. These allow the construction of an integrated safety system (with safety matrix) as well as

redundant solutions. Also integrated is a wide array of safety applications designed to facilitate troublefree operation. The integrated alarm management functionality, for instance, prioritises all incoming alarm messages and enables personnel to achieve a targeted, rapid response to incidents. In running operation, partial stroke tests ensure that emergency shutdown valves are in working order. The automation software can be virtually tested in advance, using the simulation platform SIMIT, minimising the potential risks inherent in real commissioning on site. Right from the plant commissioning stage, safe operation and asset protection can be planned under the aspect of augmented safety. Safe operation provides support in maintaining plant components within defined limits, visualising plant status and suggesting actions to enhance controller performance - all before the need to implement the comprehensive safety management requirements set out by the Functional Safety standard with

Safety Instrumented Functions. Siemens supports the entire safety life cycle as set out by IEC 61511. The Siemens drive technology, process analytics and instrumentation portfolio also features integrated safety functions, including intrinsic safety, up-to-date approvals and error-tolerant communication (ring redundancy) down to the field level, as well as explosion-proof motors for use in environments at risk from dust or gas explosion. Functional safety up to SIL 3 is provided by SIMOCODE pro, for instance, which ensures the safety cut-out of motors by means of PROFIBUS DP. High process efficiency and availability are also provided by the field buses PROFIBUS PA or FF (Foundation Fieldbus) H1 for connection to safety-oriented process instruments such as pressure transmitters from the SITRANS P family. Just-in-time maintenance COMOS and SIMATIC PCS 7 provide support throughout the engineering and operating phases. A conditionbased maintenance concept ensures

Simulation improves engineering and operational efficiency. Image by Siemens.



CHEMICAL ENGINEERING optimum monitoring of plant components (Condition Monitoring). An integrated workflow supports the execution of maintenance work, allowing documentation data to be used directly in the field, with the aid of mobile devices. In addition, COMOS Walkinside enables complete immersion into the plant and use of the 3D virtual reality model for training and maintenance purposes. Energy management Siemens offers scalable energy management systems for every level, starting with solutions involving the SIMATIC automation system, the SIMATIC WinCC process visualisation system or the PCS 7 process control system for energy management on the operational level through to comprehensive analysis using SIMATIC B.Data for the management level. SIMATIC B.Data supplies detailed analyses and reports taking into consideration key performance indicators (KPIs) for electrical current and energy flows, thereby permitting targeted energy planning and subsequent tracking of energy efficiency measures. The company’s energy-saving offering is supplemented by energy-efficient drive and power management systems. Sustainable chemical production The challenge faced by chemical corporations is to successfully reconcile

the most environment-friendly system of manufacturing chemicals with profitable business practice. Siemens technologies enhance production performance and, at the same time, help to optimise the input of raw materials, enhance product quality, save energy and manufacture chemical products from renewable raw materials. For instance, Totally Integrated Power (TIP) ensures seamless distribution of electrical power on the medium voltage level right through to the wall outlet. Energy-efficient drive solutions for pumps, ventilators and compressors also help to reduce energy consumption. The use of an energy management system or energy consultancy services offered by experts from Siemens are additional elements which can contribute towards greater sustainability in the manufacture of chemicals. Solutions covering the entire plant life cycle Products and solutions from Siemens permit chemical corporations to improve the efficiency and cost structure of their entire plant and product life cycle. Research and development departments benefit from laboratoryscale solutions. The SIMIT simulation platform and the COMOS engineering solution provide efficient plant management tools which link the entire process technology with plant planning, virtual commissioning and

Siemens provides solutions that cover the entire plant and product life cycle. Image by Siemens.



automation. In the field of production and maintenance, the SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system makes a decisive contribution to plant and process optimisation. XHQ Operations Intelligence enables plant performance management and the analysis of operational and business data as the basis for informed decision-making and for dashboarding in real-time. Plant data services such as Control Performance Analytics allow process and status data from control loops to be captured from the PCS 7, analysed and used as the basis for selective measures to enhance efficiency, quality and throughput. Remote services from Siemens allow chemical corporations to also operate their automation solutions at ‘arm’s length’. Producers aiming to update or modernise their operations benefit from solutions for greater plant availability, investment security and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) over the entire life cycle, for instance, using migration concepts, modern plant control consoles (HMI+) or SIMATIC PCS 7 life cycle service contracts. SIEMENS AG Headquartered in Berlin and Munich, Siemens AG has been in operation for more than 165 years. Today, the company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalisation.


New version of SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system Siemens has further developed its SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system and released Version 8.2 to meet the rising demands of automation. This version comes with a range of new functionalities to improve user convenience as well as the performance and efficiency of the process control system over the entire life cycle of process plants, starting right from the planning stage. Plant engineers will also benefit from more efficient engineering solutions, while operators will experience greater convenience in daily operations, due to greater system availability and lower overall running costs. Mobile plant monitoring To allow production processes to run with high stability and efficiency, Version 8.2 of SIMATIC PCS 7 offers individual, networked and reliable plant monitoring. Web systems can now also be operated and observed over the Intranet/ Internet. For this, operators can use extensive configuration possibilities for individual and secured online access to the operating and monitoring level of a production plant, enabling the implementation of benefits such as remote control room concepts. The integration of mobile terminals in SIMATIC PCS 7 has also been extended. This allows information such as production characteristics, trend or alarm functions to be viewed at any time from any location, using smartphones or tablets, no matter which operating system is used. SIMATIC PDM (Process Device Manager) supports plant-wide access to field devices. Diagnosis, maintenance, parameterisation, configuration and commissioning can now be performed from mo-

bile terminals with standard browsers or from any optional computer within a system. By enabling the parameterisation of field devices, the PDM solutions help improve servicing productivity. Intuitive plant operation The new version of SIMATIC PCS 7 supports operators with a new range of search and visualisation functions. One of these is the measuring-point-browser which accelerates the selective search for measuring points with relevant plant information. The Operator Trend View tool depicts the process sequence in the form of trend graphs for a rapid overview, helping the operator achieve optimised plant monitoring and process control. The group view visualises existing measuring points, making operation faster and more intuitive for plant personnel. Efficient plant engineering The new Logic Matrix plays a key role in ensuring efficient plant en-

gineering. It allows the efficient switching of interlock statuses in a production plant in compliance with the cause and effect principle. The Logic Matrix can be efficiently processed, exported or imported with Microsoft Excel. Furthermore, in SIMATIC PCS 7 version 8.2, mass data engineering has also been substantially extended, for instance, to technological engineering with function, system and layout plans and the relevant documents for SIMATIC PCS 7 projects. This substantially reduces the work entailed in compiling PCS 7 documentation. Optimisation of energy usage To avoid load peaks in the power supply, the new version of PCS 7 also offers integrated monitoring of all energy-relevant consumption data for a complete plant. Keeping up with developments Siemens also offers a Software Update Service for SIMATIC PCS 7.

The SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system has been further developed by Siemens, to meet the growing demands of automation.Version 8.2 comes complete with a range of new functionalities. Image by Siemens.




Designing a safer plant by Katherine Hird, Engineering and Pramodkumar Lakhmapure, Country Manager SEA, AspenTech Streamlining processes ensure optimal plant safety designs. Staying on schedule with plant safety design is fundamental in the oil & gas, chemical and petrochemical industries. In order to be compliant, cost-effective and meet project deadlines, organisations need to eliminate issues that arise with safety projects, such as timeline bottlenecks, allowing engineers to improve workflows and reduce project cycle time. Additionally, improved, integrated safety tools and processes will enable engineering & construction (E&C) companies to serve more clients, while at the same time maintaining stringent safety standards. While there are currently advanced solutions available to address these issues and bottlenecks, many companies are still deploying traditional manual methods to design their process safety systems and using internal, rudimentary tools to deliver them. This sub-optimal workflow can introduce inaccuracies which may result in cost increases and in unsafe designs. Today’s engineers need to equip themselves with the right tools that elevate their safety expertise and allow them to respond quickly, costeffectively and safely, in any situation. With cutting-edge software, engineers can increase accuracy to save both time and money. Minimising costs with BLOWDOWN software Greater accuracy saves time and money. Achieving greater safety saves lives. With cutting-edge blowdown software, detailed analysis and protection of key process equipment can be performed more quickly and effectively, including rigorous and rapid depressurisation studies. With the right tools, performing the most accurate minimum design metal temperature (MDMT) analysis saves costs while ensuring materials of construction used in the system will not fracture. Determining the certainty of


Plant safety design is especially important in the oil & gas, chemical and petrochemical industries.

values is imperative to avoid unnecessary expenses and preclude the risk of over-conservative specifications. For a comprehensive end-to-end depressurisation solution, robust blowdown simulation software enables oil and gas companies to help every process engineering project, ranging from new build facilities to a revamp project on an existing process and design, or rate blowdown systems that ultimately assure proper safety and are economically feasible. For engineers, better modelling of temperatures, pressures and maximum flow rates during the blowdown process will reduce over designs and save enormous engineering costs. Accurately depressurising the system minimises the risk of harm to the process equipment, product and personnel. It is also crucial to ensure that this analysis determines not only safe materials of construction, but also provides the correct orifice sizes for depressurising systems, in accordance with leading industry standards such as the API (American Petroleum Institute) standards and the NORSOK standards, developed by the Norwegian petroleum industry. With powerful simulation tools, it is possible to create concurrent de-


signs which minimise reworks, enabling engineers to reuse and refine safety analysis at each stage of the design life cycle. In addition, they have complete control to push assets to the limit, to maximise throughput, troubleshoot efficiently and achieve more accuracy while conducting safety analysis. BLOWDOWN, an industry-leading software from AspenTech, was recently integrated with an advanced process simulation tool, enabling engineers to determine orifice sizes and pinpoint areas of low temperature concerns, and provide less conservative MDMT values. In some cases, this can lead to three to four times the cost savings, resulting from less expensive materials of construction. BLOWDOWN technology has been used in over 400 projects in oil & gas and chemical companies to model depressurisation. The software identifies specific locations in a system where temperatures can decline dramatically during depressurisation. With these enhanced safety features, engineers can best serve workflows and safety projects easily, as well as perform accurate safety analysis and leverage data from powerful simulators - all within one integrated engineering simulation environment.


BLOWDOWN software is used by oil & gas and chemical companies to model depressurisation in process plants.

Saving time with an integrated solution In addition to costs, time is another massive expense within any organisation. Safety often involves a manual workflow that requires laborious data transfer between tools. While some organisations continue to use traditional tools, they are finding that these processes are extremely timeintensive and can lead to inaccuracies in data collections. With an integrated solution, companies have the tools to remove time barriers and make more effective use of their time. For example, many companies have adopted advanced engineering software solutions to rigorously improve Front End Engineering Design (FEED) and perform revalidation studies to find capital savings and improve process safety and reliability. The best process safety software tools offer multiple options to complete pressure relief analysis projects. Companies can use these tools to conduct safety studies on pressure safety valve sizing, depressurisation, and flare system design and rating, as well as dynamic analysis for start-up, shutdown, emergencies and com-

pressor surge, with the option to use simulation data from integrated engineering application environments. By integrating safety analysis solutions within engineering software suites, users can leverage the rigorous thermodynamic engine when completing pressure relief analysis projects, in addition to quickly adding and sizing relief valves early in the design process, while incorporating industry standards, such as API 520, 521 and 2000, into calculations. Further, this pressure relief analysis can be continued, to discharge those sized relief devices by automatically importing sized pressure safety valve results into flare analysis software to streamline pressure relief analysis. Further, leveraging dynamic models in analysis helps avoid the risk of over conservative and potentially more expensive designs, by taking a more rigorous look at your system. Integrated software solutions improve relief load calculations for both FEED and revalidation projects. The best engineering tools include these enhancements to reduce the time required to conduct pressure relief analysis workflows and improve the

accuracy of the analysis by eliminating manual data transfer steps and subsequently, transcription errors. Ultimately, with process safety software tools, engineers gain enormous benefits which include: • Saving engineering time by up to 50% • Reducing mistakes and manual transfer to ensure data accuracy • An increased ability to integrate results into flare system models • An increased scope for relief load calculations • Avoiding unnecessary capital investment through under designs or overdesigns • Avoiding the consequence of inaccurate pressure safety valve sizing • Upholding quality safety standards • The ability to model multiple scenarios • Automated regulatory reports and documentation for compliance • Tools that support engineering knowledge and ease of use Hunt, Guillot & Associates (HGA), a US-based, mid-size E&C firm that performs project work in engineering, pipelines and programme management/emergency recovery, recently upgraded its integrated, single, unified platform of engineering solu-



CHEMICAL ENGINEERING tions, in an effort to boost its ability to efficiently complete relief sizing. HGA’s engineering division experienced an expanding work volume with an increasing design complexity, which generated the need for a superior engineering environment. The firm's process department performs overpressure protection analysis as a regular part of the process design workflow. An obstacle HGA faced was the lack of a commercial product for pressure safety device sizing. This required a more tedious work process, involving separate calculations for overpressure protection, performed with additional software not utilised for the process modelling work. This coincided with an increase in project work over the past two years, since HGA services the rap-

AspenTech introduces new product suite AspenTech recently announced the introduction of aspenONE Asset Performance Management (APM). The new product suite expands the aspenONE product portfolio from engineering, manufacturing and supply chain into maintenance, to address key business challenges that include process disruptions, low asset availability and unplanned downtime. The aspenONE APM suite will enable companies to optimise their assets throughout the entire plant life cycle. Companies in the process industries are faced today with significant macroeconomic uncertainty and ever more complex business and operational challenges, requiring greater focus on operational excellence in order to maximise the return on capital employed. Designed specifically for the process industries, aspenONE Asset Performance Management software provides accurate insights into complex process dynamics, thereby facilitating the determination of the root cause of an event and the impact on plant equipment, and offers prescriptive, actionable guidance to help mitigate the impact on production.


idly paced unconventional gas and oil booms in North America. By integrating an advanced PSV sizing tool into the organisation engineering suite, the company was able to eliminate the time-consuming custom calculations, analyse multiple overpressure scenarios systematically and reduce the time spent sizing relief valves by 50%. Moving forward with process safety Safety is the mainstay of any sustainable business. Ultimately, risk is managed by identifying hazards quickly, assessing consequences and probabilities, and implementing effective mitigation measures. As plants become increasingly complex, organisations can manage this risk through the successful adoption of cutting-edge in-

The aspenONE Asset Performance Management suite will include the Aspen Fidelis Reliability product and the Aspen Asset Analytics products in its initial release. Aspen Fidelis Reliability enables customers to use the deep design and process knowledge contained within the aspenONE product portfolio to analyse process reliability, quantify improvement opportunities and optimise the availability of assets. The Aspen Asset Analytics product combines AspenTech’s modelling and simulation as well as data analytics capabilities to predict specific process problem events

tegrated safety engineering software, and improve overall operational conditions for clients. Additionally, as organisations continue to standardise on integrated safety environments, they will have the tools to conduct analysis faster and easier, enabling greater accessibility to users of all levels of expertise, which leads to safer designs and reduced maintenance costs. By adopting easy-to-use process safety software as part of an integrated engineering application environment, businesses will improve safety performance across their operations, increase accuracy to save both time and money, and ultimately achieve the highest standards in operational excellence.

and prescribe actions to prevent their occurrence. This product will initially be targeted at a specific set of customers, identified by the company, until general availability is announced in the future. The Asset Performance Management suite is anticipated to be further populated with functionality and capabilities organically developed as well as obtained from recent acquisitions, to encompass a set of products and solutions that will capture the significant opportunity available in the maintenance of process plants.

The aspenONE Asset Performance Management suite will include the Aspen Fidelis Reliability product.



Provision of safety and fire & gas systems for massive energy project Taking the necessary steps to ensure a successful startup later this year.

With the Ichthys LNG Project, Japanese energy company INPEX is opening up the largest discovery of liquid hydrocarbons off the coast of Australia in 40 years. Image by INPEX.

In the Ichthys LNG Project, 50 underwater drilling holes connect natural gas and condensate deposits with an enormous floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit. From there, a pipeline, almost 900 km long, stretches to the central processing facility (CPF) in Darwin. The offshore and onshore facilities are among the most modern in the world. German company HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH (HIMA) is providing safety engineering and safety-critical applications to INPEX, the operator of the project. INPEX is Japan’s largest oil & gas exploration and production company. Energy companies around the world use automated safety systems from HIMA. But the company’s scope of work on Ichthys is much more than just providing safety systems. HIMA has worked for several years to synchronise all the steps necessary to ensure safe operations and a successful start-up. In the process, the company


The Ichthys LNG Project safely launched its central processing facility, from the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, South Korea, where it was built. Image by INPEX.

has functioned on a tight time schedule with multiple companies across national borders and cultural differences. This type of coordination is essential for a project as enormous and complex as Ichthys. Scheduled for


start-up in the third quarter of 2017, the joint-venture mega-project is expected to produce 8.9 million tons of LNG yearly. Projects of Ichthys’ size and complexity also call for partners and sup-

PROJECT APPLICATION pliers to work globally. To meet that demand, HIMA offices in Singapore, China (Shanghai), South Korea (Geoje), Dubai (UAE), Australia (Perth) and Germany (Bruehl) have collaborated closely. Project management is coordinated from Bruehl, while most day-to-day work with fellow project suppliers takes place in Singapore. That is also where function tests have been conducted on more than 1,200 cabinets supplied by the basic process control system (BPCS) supplier, HIMA, and project partners. Global coordination and local collaboration are crucial for huge energy projects. At Ichthys, HIMA is working closely with the project’s three engineering procurement contractors (EPCs) and the BPCS supplier. At one point, all five companies examined the details of each of 25,000 safety I/Os. That brought forward additional requirements that typically would have been identified during commissioning. That up-front work helped to minimise subsequent plan corrections and related time delays. Functional safety expertise is an important factor in HIMA’s project ap-

HIMA sets up new regional headquarters in Singapore

Mr Friedhelm Best

Mr Steffen Philipp

Safety specialist HIMA has chosen Singapore as its hub from which to coordinate activities in the Asia Pacific region. The company has worked with leading companies across Asia Pacific since the early 1990s to help them operate their plants safely. The safety specialist has offices in Perth, Brisbane, Kuala

proach. The company is applying the principles of IEC 61511 in designing and testing the systems. HIMA says it has the expertise and project coordination skills that are valued by operators of all sizes of energy projects. Along with safety instrumented systems (SIS), fire and gas (F&G) systems and high-integrity pressure protection systems (HIPPS), HIMA is providing 430 control cabinets and related connections. The SIS and F&G systems rely on SIL 3-rated HIMA HIMax safety controllers. The HIPPS, which requires SIL 4-rated hardware, is based on the HIMA Planar4 system. A pre-FID project for developing standard applications, design and testing, was supplied in advance, to the main contract. Cybersecurity and network management for associated hardware and components such as smoke detectors in the accommodation for employees, are also part of the scope. Since the award of the project, Ichthys consortium partner Total awarded two additional FPSO projects to HIMA. The company was selected to provide safety applications.

Lumpur, Seoul and Tokyo, and works with a network of partners in other countries in the region. HIMA has now opened the new regional headquarters in Singapore, in response to increasing demand. “Singapore is the perfect location for coordinating activities in the region. From here, we are well-positioned to serve clients and develop new business in Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and across Southeast Asia”, says Mr Friedhelm Best, HIMA’s Vice President Asia Pacific. “Our goal is to build and maintain a strong global brand image that customers recognise and trust for leading-edge safety expertise”, said Mr Steffen Philipp, Managing Partner, HIMA Group.

The HIMax safety controller

The HIMA Planar 4 system

The HIMA Group is an independent provider of solutions for safetycritical applications, with more than 35,000 installed systems and TÜVcertified hardware and software, For over 45 years, the company has provided oil, gas, chemical, pharmaceutical and energy-producing companies all over the world, with products, services and consulting, to ensure uninterrupted plant operations and protection for people and the environment. HIMA solutions are also contributing to increased safety and profitability in the rail industry, logistics and machine operations. A family-owned safety specialist, HIMA operates from over 50 locations worldwide and has a workforce of approximately 850 employees.




Singapore Airlines to place USD 13.8 billion order for Boeing aircraft Singapore Airlines (SIA) has agreed to place firm orders with Boeing for 20 777-9s and 19 787-10s, for additional growth and fleet modernisation through the next decade. SIA has recently signed a letter of intent with the US airframe manufacturer, which includes the 39 firm orders plus six options for each aircraft

type, which, if exercised, will enlarge the deal to as many as 51 aircraft. The 777-9s are due for delivery from the 2021/22 financial year and the 78710s are due for delivery from the 2020/21 financial year. The proposed order, which is valued at USD 13.8 billion, based on published list prices, includes flexibility

The Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, the third member of the 787 Dreamliner family, made its debut recently at Boeing South Carolina, located in North Charleston, South Carolina, USA. Boeing will start delivering the 787-10 to airlines, including Singapore Airlines, the launch customer, in 2018. Image by Boeing.

for the SIA Group to substitute the 787-10 orders for other variants of the 787 family. The General Electric GE9X is the sole engine type for the 777-9s which are intended primarily for use on long-haul routes. SIA has selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 to power the 787-10s which are to be operated on medium-range routes. SIA is a long-standing Boeing customer, with more than 50 currentgeneration 777 aircraft in service. Subsidiaries SilkAir, Scoot and SIA Cargo are also operators of Boeing aircraft, deploying, respectively, 737-800s, 787-8/9s and 747-400 Freighters. This is the SIA Group’s first order for the 777-9 which is the newest 777 variant that is currently under development. SIA is already the launch customer for the 787-10 which made its debut recently, having placed an initial order in 2013 for 30 aircraft for delivery from the 2018/19 financial year.

New Boeing satellite will increase connectivity Boeing will build a 702 satellite to expand communication for mobile telephone, data and internet users throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The satellite, owned and operated by Tokyo-based SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and Singapore-based Kacific Broadband Satellites, has two distinct payloads. The JCSAT-18 payload will improve mobile and broadband services for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation customers in Asia Pacific including Far East Russia. The Kacific-1 payload for Kacific Broadband Satellites will provide high-speed Ka-band satellite broadband internet to more than 20 countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The JCSAT-18 / Kacific-1 payloads are scheduled to be launched in 2019. Since the 1980s, Boeing has built 10 satellites for the JSAT Corporation and Space Communications Corporation, both now part of SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation.



Boeing will build a 702 satellite to expand communication for mobile telephone, data and internet users throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Image by Boeing.


New regulations for gas-fuelled ships A new mandatory code for ships using gases or other low-flashpoint fuels entered into force on 1 January 2017, along with new training requirements for seafarers working on those ships. Gas and other low-flashpoint fuels are cleaner for the atmosphere as they emit very low levels of air pollutants, such as sulphur oxides and particulates. But these fuels pose their own safety challenges which need to be properly managed. The International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) aims to minimise the risk to ships, their crews and the environment, given the nature of the fuels involved. Amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) require new ships using gases or other low-flashpoint fuels to comply with the requirements of the IGF Code which contains mandatory provisions for the arrangement, installation, control and monitoring of machinery, equipment and systems using low-flashpoint fuels, focusing initially on liquefied natural gas (LNG). The amendments to SOLAS chapter II-1 (Construction - Structure, subdivision and stability, machinery and electrical installations), include amendments to Part F (Alternative design and arrangements), to provide a methodology for alternative design and arrangements for machinery, electrical installations and low-flashpoint fuel storage and dis-

Innovative LNG Supply Vessel Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), a leading global maritime services company, and Babcock International Group, a leading engineering support services company from the UK, are collaborating to develop a ground-breaking Gas Supply Vessel (GSV). The 7,500 m³ vessel, which will be used for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelling of ships, including ferries, containers, cruise


tribution systems; and a new Part G (Ships using low-flashpoint fuels), to add new regulations to require ships constructed after the entry into force on 1 January 2017 to comply with the requirements of the IGF Code. Related amendments to chapter II-2 and Appendix (Certificates) also enter into force. The IGF Code addresses all areas that need special consideration for the use of low-flashpoint fuels, taking a goal-based approach, with goals and functional requirements specified for each section forming the basis for the design, construction and operation of ships using this type of fuel. A number of other amendments also entered into force on 1 January 2017. Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), and STCW Code include new mandatory minimum requirements for the training and qualifications of masters, officers, ratings and other personnel on ships subject to the IGF Code. Amendments to SOLAS regulations II-2/4.5 and II-2/11.6 clarify the provisions related to the secondary means of venting cargo tanks in order to ensure adequate safety

vessels and other shore-based gas consumers in the Baltic Sea, is the first vessel of its kind to utilise Babcock’s FGSV0 technology. BSM and Babcock have developed the patent-pending FGSV0 technology to deliver LNG from the GSV into the receiving vessel, with zero emissions to the environment during normal operations, greatly minimising environmental impact. The vessel is also designed to meet the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) global


against over- and under-pressure in the event of a cargo tank isolation valve being damaged or inadvertently closed, and SOLAS regulation II-2/20 relating to performance of ventilation systems. Amendments to regulation 12 of MARPOL Annex I, concerning tanks for oil residues (sludge), update and revise the regulation, expanding on the requirements for discharge connections and piping to ensure oil residues are properly disposed of. Also, from 1 January 2017, STCW certificates must be issued, renewed and revalidated in accordance with the provisions of the 2010 Manila Amendments. However, due to concern that some parties may not be able to issue STCW certificates in accordance with the requirements of the Convention by 1 January 2017, IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in November 2016 issued a circular which agrees that a ‘practical and pragmatic’ approach should be taken during inspections, for a period of six months (ie until 1 July 2017), to allow flexibility in cases where seafarers are unable to provide certificates that were issued in compliance with the 2010 Manila Amendments.

cap of 0.5% on shipping-related sulphur emissions, which will be enforced from January 2020, as well as the objectives in the creation of Emission Control Areas (ECAs) in the North Sea, Mediterranean, Baltic and the US Gulf, among other areas. The GSV will be built at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea. The keel is scheduled to be laid down in February 2018. The vessel is due to be launched in April 2018, with delivery expected in September 2018.


Industry leaders call for more Big Data experts In a new survey released by Sea Asia 2017, maritime leaders have revealed that a severe skills shortage is preventing the industry from effectively harnessing Big Data, and ultimately negating performance and cost-saving potential. According to the survey, 63% of the leaders believe the lack of access to Big Data is holding back their ability to utilise it, with only 12% saying they are currently compiling, analysing and storing Big Data. The leaders also identified that the key areas where they see potential benefits from the use of Big Data are real-time information on vessel performance (77%) and cost savings for their respective companies (70%). The survey, conducted ahead of Sea Asia 2017, was carried out among maritime leaders, to gain insights into key trends in the industry. The trends highlighted in the survey will form part of the discussions taking place at Sea Asia 2017. Recognising the benefits that Big Data brings to the industry, Mr Oh Bee Lock, Head of Group Technology, PSA International Pte Ltd, said leaders need to start looking more closely into how data analytics can augment human decisions, while bringing the current and future workforce up to speed. “There is no question that Big Data will transform the port and logistics industry substantially. From enabling cargo visibility to the development of self-piloting ships, the benefits are clear. With technology changing rapidly today, the industry will develop slower than others if it does not harness and use Big Data successfully”, said Mr Oh. “The next step must be for us to prepare the industry to fully integrate Big Data analytics into the working environment. We need to look into developing the skills of our current workforce to ensure that there are professionals who are trained to collect and use the large amounts of data in the industry, and make it more interesting for Big Data professionals

to join the industry. Only with a competent set of professionals can the opportunities provided by Big Data be leveraged effectively”, he added. Mr Oh will be speaking at Sea Asia 2017. A majority of the industry leaders surveyed also supported this sentiment. Half of the leaders (50%) recognised the need for more skilled professionals, especially with the industry moving towards smart shipping, while 83% highlighted the importance of focusing on developing the skills of current employees. Mr Oskar Levander, Vice President of Innovation - Marine, at Rolls-Royce, highlighted that with the global move towards smarter technologies, it is crucial that all stakeholders recognise the need to change with the times and work together to keep up. “Big Data has the potential to

change and disrupt the maritime sector, changing the way services are offered and allowing new players with new and different skill-sets to enter the market. The evolution of technology means that the competitive landscape for the maritime industry is also changing quickly. It is therefore crucial for the industry to come together and collaborate with one another and the government to accelerate innovation, improve processes and create value. This will help us navigate challenges to come”, said Mr Levander, who will also be speaking at Sea Asia 2017. Sea Asia 2017 Sea Asia 2017, the 6th edition of the premier maritime and offshore conference and exhibition, will be held from 25 to 27 April 2017, at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.The event is being co-organised by Seatrade and the Singapore Maritime Foundation.

Views of the exhibition at Sea Asia 2015, the previous edition of the event.




Sufficient information generated with a single scan Royal Philips, a leading health technology company, recently announced the launch of the Philips IQon Spectral CT in Canada. Said to be the world’s first and only spectral detector CT, it is designed specifically for spectral imaging and delivers on-demand colour quantification and the ability to characterise structures simply, at a low dose. The Philips IQon Spectral CT provides multiple layers of retrospective, diagnostic data in a single, low-dose scan, with seamless integration into existing hospital system protocols. It can provide sufficient information to help clinicians make fast, confident diagnoses, driving improved clinical and economic outcomes. The IQon Spectral CT adds spectral resolution to traditional CT scanning through a new dual-layer spectral

The Philips IQon Spectral CT has the ability to characterise structures, with a low-dose scan.

detector. It identifies photons of high energy and low energy simultaneously, allowing a view of the anatomy and uses colour to characterise the material content of critical structures. The Philips IQon Spectral CT was

recently used to scan the tail of Trix, a T-Rex dinosaur which was discovered in Montana, USA, in 2013, and was purchased by the Naturalis Museum in the Netherlands and transported there in August 2016.

Health Continuum Space launched Royal Philips recently launched the Health Continuum Space in Singapore. The facility has been developed to enable collaboration with governments, healthcare professionals and related stakeholders, in order to design and co-create future healthcare facilities and hospitals. Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Health, was the Guest-of-Honour at the launch. Fully-equipped and built with flexibility in mind, the 1,028 m2 Health Continuum Space, housed in the Philips APAC Center in Singapore, has the capability to contextualise multiple health-medical scenarios at the same time - from a hospital all the way to a patient’s home. The space, which houses various Philips healthcare solutions and


equipment, enables prototyping and co-creation of new solutions that help make a meaningful difference in the future of patient care and clinical workflows. Using the iterative co-create approach, the fully-configurable facility brings together different environments and medical scenarios to help various stakeholders visualise the entire health continuum - including a home setting, ambulance, emergency room, CT room, catheterisation laboratory, ICU and even a recovery room - illustrating a patient’s experience from living healthily at home, to being diagnosed and treated for an illness. The innovation facility illustrates today’s and tomorrow’s real-life scenarios, with an objective to redefine the way healthcare professionals work collaboratively, which will, in turn, enhance the quality and efficiency of clin-


ical diagnosis. It also features a futuristic Reading Room - an aspirational facility equipped with the latest technological system and interface, that consolidates patient data, allowing clinicians of various specialties to review patient cases on a single platform. With a focus on the health continuum and the role homes have in supporting illness prevention and healthy living, the Health Continuum Space also highlights personal health innovations and scenarios that can foster and support patient needs pre- or post-hospitalisation. Through the simulation and contextualisation of different environments, Philips is able to demonstrate and test workflows that can be used to build future healthcare models with partners, as the gap between the consumer and healthcare world narrows.




A step back into history - NUS Baba House By Er. Emily Tan, Chairman of Women in Science, Engineering & Research (WiSER) Committee & Mr Eng Zi Feng, 3rd-year undergraduate, Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), NUS Along Neil Road sits a beautiful three-storey terrace house, its exterior painted a pleasant powder-blue. With its intricate exterior ornaments and carvings, it stands out from its contemporaries in the Residential Historic District of Blair Plain. On 10 January 2017, the IES WiSER Committee organised a visit to this lesser-known historical gem: the NUS Baba House. It is a traditional pre-war Peranakan house, formerly owned by the late shipping tycoon Wee Bin and managed by the NUS Museum today. Nearly 20 of us spent a fascinating evening there. Having made ourselves comfortable, the curator started our tour with an introduction to the heritage of the past owners of the house, the Peranakan Chinese. They were the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay Archipelago between the 15th and 17th centuries. Over time, many assimilated into local communities and married the natives, giving rise to the Peranakan and their unique culture. Our attention was brought to the elaborate dĂŠcor inside the House, a manifestation of the exquisite mixture of Chinese and Malay culture, practice and religion. A modern parallel will probably be the multicultural, multi-ethnic Singapore that we live in and are so proud of today. At the front yard, we were taken aback by the elaborate carvings of phoenixes and peonies on the exterior walls. Painstakingly constructed using broken pieces of pottery, these decorations signified the opulence and wealth of the household. Back in the main hall where business meetings were once held, we saw dozens of calligraphy scrolls (not


written by the owners) on the walls. We were told that it was common practice then to display such scrolls at home to impress visitors and business associates. The curator explained to us that a fair amount of engineering works had to be carried out upon NUS’ acquisition of the house in 2005 as the wooden floorboards of the old house had already reached the end of their lifespans. Apparently, in the process of conservation works, Chinese almanacs were discovered, hidden discreetly above the roof of the house. These almanacs were believed to help dispel bad luck and ward against evil spirits!

At the end of the visit.


It is understood that prior to restoration, conservators, architects, archaeologists and art historians conducted extensive research on both the structure and the site. The exterior and interior spaces of NUS Baba House were restored as closely as possible to the original architectural intent. Our visit to the NUS Baba House, a heritage icon nestled amidst the Singapore concrete jungle, was a fruitful one. Not only have we gained insights into historic architecture, we now have a deeper appreciation of the great entrepreneurs of colonial Singapore. It was truly a step back into history for all of us.


Design for Safety Seminar and Master Class 2017 by Berina Tiong, Department of Building, NUS, and Dr Goh Yang Miang, Health and Safety Engineering Technical Committee, IES

Mr Philip Baker speaking about CDM and DfS.

10 January 2017 officially marked the beginning of the second run of the Design for Safety (DfS) Seminar and its attendant Master Classes. Organised by the IES Health and Safety Engineering Technical Committee, the annual seminar saw a host of participants hailing from various corners of the construction industry – the public sector, private sector, and academia. A total of seven distinguished speakers, each an industry veteran, were invited to the Seminar to share their experiences on DfS, its purpose and technical processes, as well as success stories on past projects. The seminar also introduced methods for integrating DfS with Building Information Modelling (BIM) and incorporating it into maintenance processes. The keynote speaker this year was Mr Philip Baker, a specialist in Construction Design Management (CDM) from the United Kingdom. He spoke about the history of the CDM regulations and lessons gathered since its implementation. As the regulations enshrined under the UK’s CDM are similar to that of DfS here, many relevant lessons can be drawn to improve the over-

all management and co-ordination of projects with regard to health, safety and welfare, thus minimising health issues and accidents in the construction industry. Contributing the public sector’s perspective was Mr Alvin Soong, Deputy Director for Safety at the Land Transport Authority (LTA). He introduced “Project Seminar Review (PSR)”, which is the DfS process that has been used in LTA for nearly two decades on both rail and road projects to provide a systematic, regularly audited process of checks and balances on safety assurance. Other highlights of the Seminar included Er. Dr Chua’s talk on the future of DfS enhanced by BIM and Er. Wijaya Wong’s presentation on the safety reviews conducted during the Marina Bay Sands project. Additionally, Er. Teo Ee Huat discussed with the audience the approaches of maintaining buildings and structures through DfS. The second part of the programme consisted of three one-day Master Classes, conducted by Mr Baker. Each class had about 20 attendees. During the classes, which focused on both CDM and DfS regulations, he

introduced some skills and techniques to assist designers and DfS Professionals in performing their roles, such as how to facilitate review meetings as well as the principle of prevention. Several interactive case studies were used to engage the participants and impart useful information on key DfS principles. Mr Baker also highlighted the importance and value of addressing health concerns in the construction industry. Overall, the programme offered valuable information to both participants and speakers through the presentations, as well as fresh exchanges during the Q&A sessions. It is yet another successful step towards knowledge sharing to enrich the industry on DfS regulations, which have only been recently gazetted. TSE

(Top and bottom) Participants interacting and learning from each other during in-class exercises facilitated by Mr Baker.




Leadership programmes ‘For engineers, by engineers’ celebrate new successes 162 senior and young engineers graduated from collaborative NTUC-IES programmes in first combined graduation ceremony A total of 162 engineers from the first cohort of the Advanced Engineers Leadership (AEL) Programme and the second batch of the Young Engineers Leadership (YEL) Programme graduated on 16 January 2017. Jointly organised and conducted by IES and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), a key feature of both programmes was the opportunities available for participants to learn from the experiences of renowned engineering practitioners. Aimed at grooming future engineering leaders, the programmes have trained a total of 394 engineers from 86 organisations to date. In a morning ceremony held at the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), NTUC Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing presented certificates to 24 senior engineers and 138 young engineers for completing the AEL and YEL programmes respectively. Mr Chan, who was the guest-of-honour, also hosted a dialogue session where he invited the guests present to brainstorm and discuss the future engineering challenges that Singapore was likely to face. At the same time, he exhorted graduands to expand their horizons and broaden their skillsets, combining it with their deep domain expertise to make it “much harder



The AELP participants, who are hold senior positions across a diverse range of industries such as aerospace, construction, and transport, pose for a group photo with NTUC Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing.

for people to take away our jobs and … put us in a much better position to compete with the rest of the world.” Noting that both AELP and YELP were embraced by the industry since their launch, IES President Er. Edwin Khew said, “It proves that employers see engineers as invaluable assets in championing critical stages of growth for their organisations, and ascertains the high relevance of our programmes in enabling engineers from different sectors to move confidently to leadership positions to address emerging challenges and embrace innovation and sustainability.”


A participant poses questions to Mr Chan during the dialogue session.

In addition, he was heartened to see growing industry support for the IES-NTUC joint effort in establishing the Engineers Progression Pathway for all engineers in Singapore and hoped that the programmes would encourage more students to become engineers, with clear knowledge of the available options for career development ahead. Mr Vivek Kumar, Assistant Director-General of NTUC, was encouraged to see many young, aspiring engineers taking charge of their career progression planning. Also the director of NTUC’s U Associate programme, he reaffirmed the labour movement’s commitment towards helping engineers progress and stay relevant in the industry. Both AELP and YELP consist of a series of modules guided by a holistic educational framework. They have equipped these engineers not only with the technicalities of engineering, but also cross-sectoral skillsets like advanced future-ready technology management, as well as soft skills such as leadership. This will enable them to go beyond their existing job scopes and assume management responsibilities in their respective organisations. Unique to both programmes is the fact that it is practitioner-led and delivered. To date, 25 prominent engineering leaders, C-suite leaders and entrepreneurs from established local and international organisations have been engaged as mentors. Participants learn from these leaders through knowledge-sharing masterclasses, dialogues and networking sessions. The exposure-oriented training programme also allowed participating engineers to visit top engineering organisations like Rolls-Royce Singapore and HDB’s Building & Research Centre to pick up best engineering practices across various industries. Another key feature of AELP and YELP is the one-toone mentorship where participants are paired with veteran engineers to receive guidance. While participants benefit from the sharing of experiences, the mentorship also provides veteran engineers with the opportunity to

give back to the engineering community and help groom future engineering talents. IES Vice President and Chairman of the Education Group, Mr Mervyn Sirisena, is one such mentor. The highly-experienced aerospace engineer, who currently oversees SIA Engineering Company’s joint ventures in The Philippines, found it extremely fulfilling not just to contribute to engineering on his own, but to also help young engineers lead the next wave of change. Participants such as Mr David Woon, 42, Head of Operations at Airbus Group Innovations Singapore, found this portion of the programme to be one of the most enriching. “The mentorship programme is a golden opportunity for engineers to broaden their network and draw upon the vast industrial experience of their mentors. I personally gained invaluable insights from my mentor and felt greatly inspired to take my engineering career to the next level!” he exclaimed. TSE

An ARTC researcher (extreme right) demonstrating virtual reality headset technology to the graduands while on the facility tour.





Changing the Way We Build

Dr John Keung, CEO, Building and Construction Authority

It is important that engineers embrace innovation and proactively identify new solutions to challenges … (and) continuously sharpen their edge, developing necessary skills to remain relevant in the future economy.



In recent years, the built environment sector has made significant progress in improving construction productivity and changing the way we build.Technology adoption and mindset change have been the key enablers in the industry’s transformation. One of the key trends is the adoption of new gamechanging technologies and methods such as the Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) approach, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Virtual Design and Construction (VDC). With DfMA, we are shifting as much on-site construction works to off-site prefabrication in the factory as possible. A greater degree of automation in the factory enables significant savings in time and manpower and better quality control. By having less construction work carried out on site, it will result in fewer dis-amenities to the surroundings. In addition, we can have more conducive and safer work places which can in turn help to attract more locals to join the built environment sector. Separately, BIM technology is key to the VDC process which allows project partners to better plan and manage projects, and simulate design, prefabrication and construction activities virtually, before actual execution on site. In other words, we build twice – first virtual, then real – resulting in significant reduction of costly reworks. VDC also supports the DfMA approach by using the digital BIM model to facilitate off-site production planning and automation to on-site delivery and installation of modularised construction components. Other areas such as automated equipment and robotics, info-comm technology, 3D printing, advanced construction materials and prefabrication solutions for mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works have the potential to further improve the way we build. With these technological advancements in the sector, it is important that engineers embrace innovation and proactively identify new solutions to solve existing and future challenges. Engineers will also need to continuously sharpen their edge and develop the necessary skills to remain relevant in the future economy. To adapt and learn new skills, engineers can apply for funding support through BCA’s Workforce Training and Upgrading (WTU) Scheme or the SkillsFuture Study Awards and SkillsFuture Credits to defray the cost of training and skills upgrading. The BCA Academy has also rolled out new courses to enable the industry to make the mindset change and quantum leap in changing the way we build. There are many new possibilities and opportunities for engineers in the evolving built environment sector. Together, we can contribute to the industry’s progress and make Singapore an endearing place to live, work, learn and play.

The Singapore Engineer February 2017  
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