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THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2017 | MCI (P) 003/03/2017



MECHANICAL ENGINEERING: Future-proofing of industrial cleaning plants and processes PRECISION ENGINEERING: 3D Metalforge launches 3D Metal Addi ve Manufacturing Centre SYSTEMS ENGINEERING: The Singapore Water Story


COVER STORY: 19 Panasonic relocates its RefrigeraƟon Compressor Business Unit to Singapore From its long-established manufacturing base in the republic, the company will leverage on the latest technologies to pursue growth.


MECHANICAL ENGINEERING: 22 Siemens’ STAR-CCM+ soŌware achieves ASME NQA-1 compliance The computa onal fluid dynamics tool enables users to perform complex simula on and analysis. 24 Future-proofing of industrial cleaning plants and processes The key value-adding step in the overall produc on chain is also changing, as industry transforms.


28 AddiƟve manufacturing centre set up to promote innovaƟve soluƟons Design limits can be removed in the development of solu ons for the industrial, commercial and residen al markets.


President Er. Edwin Khew Chief Editor T Bhaskaran Chief Execu ve Alvin Charm



Publica ons Manager Desmond Teo Publica ons Execu ve Queek Jiayu Media Representa ve MulƟNine CorporaƟon Pte Ltd sales@mulƟ

Published by The InsƟtuƟon of Engineers, Singapore 70 Bukit Tinggi Road Singapore 289758 Tel: 6469 5000 I Fax: 6467 1108 Cover designed by Irin Kuah Cover image by Queek Jiayu, InsƟtuƟon of Engineers, Singapore

Editorial Panel Er. Chong Kee Sen Dr Chandra Segaran Dr Ang Keng Been Mr Kenneth Cheong Mr Gary Ong Design & layout by 2EZ Asia Pte Ltd Printed in Singapore

PRECISION ENGINEERING: 30 3D Metalforge launches 3D Metal AddiƟve Manufacturing Centre The company seeks to take advantage of the new technology. 34 Towards greater convergence of machining and surface finishing Advanced processes are helping to meet demanding specifica ons.


SYSTEMS ENGINEERING: 38 The Singapore Water Story Complex problems have been tackled and solved.

THE ENGINEERING PROFESSION: 44 “Once upon a Ɵme,” said the engineer Stories about the achievements of engineers need to be told.




The Singapore Engineer is published monthly by The Ins tu on of Engineers, Singapore (IES). The publica on is distributed free-of-charge to IES members and affiliates. Views expressed in this publica on 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 me, IES will not be liable for any discrepancies. Unsolicited contribu ons are welcome but their inclusion in the magazine is at the discre on of the Editor.




JOINT LTAͳNUS NOISE BARRIER BAGS AWARD FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT The Minister for Na onal Development’s R&D (Research and Development) Awards were given out on 29 June 2017 at the Urban Sustainability R&D Congress. Launched in 2011, the biennial awards seek to recognise and encourage outstanding R&D efforts from the Ministry of Na onal Development (MND) and partner agencies/ins tu ons which contribute towards MND’s vision of making Singapore “An Endearing Home, A Dis nc ve Global City”.

This year, 27 nomina ons from agencies within MND, partner agencies and Ins tutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) were received. The projects were evaluated according to how well they addressed key na onal challenges, their strategic impact to the popula on or industry, and their technological innova on. The evalua on panel was chaired by MND Advisor Prof Lui Pao Chuen.

Clinching a Merit Award was a new noise barrier design, jointly developed by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Na onal University of Singapore (NUS). Meant to reduce the noise pollu on from ongoing construc on to expand the rail network, the noise barrier uses jagged-edge can levers as compared to the conven onal straight-edge design. It is capable of reducing noise by up to 5 dBA (30 per cent less in the context of human hearing), with effect coverage of up to three mes the physical height of the noise barrier. Drawing inspira on from both natural and man-made sources, the new design uses the principle of destruc ve interference to create the desired effect. Two of the team members, Associate Professors Lee Heow Pueh and Lim Kian Meng from NUS’ Department of Mechanical Engineering revealed to The Straits Times that they had been inspired by the comb-like structures on the leading edge of an owl’s wings, which enable them to fly silently in order to hunt for their prey. Similarly-inspired technologies have been used in jet engines to reduce noise. According to MND, the cost-effec ve and easily scalable design has already been implemented at LTA work sites along the East Coast stretch of the Thomson-East Coast Line. Other projects which received awards were developed by URA (Dis nc on), HDB (Merit and Special Men on) and JTC (Special Men on), together with partners such as the Ins tute of Infocomm Research, Electricite de France, Veolia, NTU, NYP and SP. 04


Engineering solu ons from nature: The new jagged-edge can lever design (above) has been implemented at LTA work sites along the Thomson-East Coast Line. Compared to the conven onal straight-edge design (top), it can reduce noise pollu on by up to 30 per cent and three mes the physical height of the barrier. It will be implemented at all future LTA work sites.



AND ESCALATORS FOR FUNAN Elevator and escalator supplier KONE has won an order to supply 69 elevators and escalators to Funan, an integrated development owned by CapitaLand Mall Trust. Funan was closed in July 2016 for redevelopment and is slated for comple on in the fourth quarter of 2019. Designed as a unique lifestyle des na on, Funan will offer a new live-work-play paradigm that sparks inspira on and discovery for consumers. The integrated development comprises of two premium Grade A office towers, a block of serviced residence and a retail component. KONE will be supplying 28 S MonoSpace elevators, 1 Transys elevator with a maximum travel speed of 2.5m/s

as well as 40 TravelMaster110 escalators. All equipment will be connected to the company’s E-LinkTM monitoring system, providing real- me overview of the equipment, demand, traffic performance and availability. “The redevelopment of Funan as a home for innova on and local crea ve talents is highly an cipated and we are definitely proud to be a part of it. We believe KONE People Flow solu ons will contribute posi vely towards the experien al retail and living experience at the new Funan, bringing a deligh ul people flow experience for everyone”, said Mr Axel Berkling, Execu ve Vice President for KONE Asia Pacific. The order was booked in Q1 2017.





LITHIUMͳIONͳBASED UPS IN ASIA Power management company Eaton announced on 23 June 2017 the launch of a breakthrough uninterrup ble power supply (UPS) system in Asia that features long-life lithium-ion (Li-ion) ba eries. Scheduled to be launched in the third quarter of 2017, the new Eaton 1500VA UPS is expected to have twice the ba ery life compared to that of a standard UPS system. With this new technology, customers can expect a significant reduc on in the total cost of ownership of the power infrastructure of their equipment. “The new Eaton 1500VA UPS is in a class of its own. We developed a completely differen ated solu on to meet our customers’ needs, including a low-cost solu on for ba ery replacements for those who operate in remote offices,” said Mr Andy Low, general manager of the Distributed Power Quality Division at Eaton APAC. Li-ion ba eries, in comparison to lead acid ba eries, are less sensi ve to high temperature and thus can be u lised in industrial and public transporta on facili es where ambient temperatures can be high. Together with a reduced footprint, users can expect be er u lisa on of floor space.

Image: Eaton

Adap ng to market condi ons and empowering partners to improve performance have brought Eaton praise from customers, who say they are be er able to maintain their compe ve edge. Other benefits of the Eaton 1500VA UPS include: • Longer replacement cycle and lower weight in comparison to the tradi onal lead-acid ba eries • The Li-ion ba eries have a lifespan of up to eight years, compared to lead-acid ba eries’ three to four years • The new Eaton 1U model can recharge from 0-90 percent of capacity in about 4 hours compared to the 48 hours for those opera ng on lead-acid ba eries For more informa on, visit: hƩp://

GRUNDFOS SCALA2: PERFECT WATER PRESSURE IN AN ALLͳINͳONE UNIT Water technology firm Grundfos Singapore recently launched SCALA2, a fully integrated water booster pump. The SCALA2 provides perfect water pressure in all taps at all times – even with multiple taps and showers running at the same time. It packs pump, motor, tank, sensor, drive and non-return valve into one compact unit. With its intelligent pump control, SCALA2 automa cally adjusts performance to both inlet pressure and water consump on in the home. Thanks to a water-cooled motor permanent magnet, SCALA2 even offers one of the lowest noise levels of any booster on the market. The booster pump unit features a built-in sensor, which constantly measures the discharge pressure. If the pressure drops below the desired level, the pump will boost its opera on immediately to compensate for the loss of pressure. In a press statement released by Grundfos Singapore, SCALA2 is also compact, easy to install and operate, and is able to generate more than 65 per cent of savings on the energy bill as compared to a conven onal booster.



It is very well-suited for residen al buildings with up to three floors and eight taps, and is capable of boos ng water pressure from roof tanks, break tanks and ground tanks (including rainwater tanks). The booster pump is also able to pump water from wells up to eight metres deep, and can be installed both indoors and outdoors. Commen ng on the launch of SCALA2, Mr Andy Tan, Country Manager of Grundfos Singapore said, “We at Grundfos Singapore are proud to launch the perfect water pressure pump, SCALA2. It is one of the most compact water booster pumps in the market and is built from quality materials that is tested to perfec on.” SCALA2, the new water booster pump from Grundfos. Image: Grundfos Singapore


KEPPEL TO DELIVER WORLD’S FIRST FLOATING LIQUEFACTION VESSEL CONVERSION Keppel Offshore & Marine’s (Keppel O&M) wholly-owned subsidiary, Keppel Shipyard Ltd (Keppel Shipyard), will soon deliver the world’s first converted Floa ng Liquefac on Vessel (FLNGV) owned by Golar Hilli Corpora on (Golar), a subsidiary of Golar LNG Ltd. Upon its comple on, the vessel, which has been named Hilli Episeyo, will be put in opera on off Kribi, Cameroon for oil and gas firm Société Na onale des Hydrocarbures and Perenco Cameroon SA, and will be the first FLNGV project in Africa. Mr Chris Ong, CEO of Keppel O&M, said, “We are proud to be able to deliver the world’s first FLNGV conversion in partnership with Golar LNG within three years and with a commendable safety record. By combining our experse from a variety of complex offshore conversion projects and our capabiliKeppel Shipyard will soon deliver the world’s first converted FLNGV, Hilli Episeyo, to Golar LNG. Upon its es in execu ng LNG-related EPC (engicomple on, the FLNGV will be put in opera on off the coast of Cameroon, and will be the first FLNGV neering, procurement, construc on) project in Africa. Photo: Keppel Corpora on projects, we are able to offer innovabased on its award-winning proprietary design and two ve and reliable floa ng liquefac on dual-fuel LNG carriers. solu ons to meet the growing midstream needs of the LNG industry. Through its Gas Technology Development arm, Keppel O&M has developed a suite of solu ons to address the He added that converted FLNGVs were significantly more growing needs of the LNG industry. These include FLcost-effec ve and faster to market, without compromisNGVs that can work in combina on with Floa ng Storage ing safety and processing capabili es, as compared to Units (FSU) to provide cost-effec ve solu ons for gas newly-built vessels. export terminals and are faster to market compared to Hilli Episeyo was converted from a 1975 built Moss LNG land-based terminals. carrier with a storage capacity of 125,000 cubic metres. Sponsons were added on both sides of the hull to house the topside equipment comprising of pre-treatment The conversion of Hilli Episeyo systems, four single mixed refrigerant liquefac on trains, boil-off gas compression and offloading equipment. The • Length overall: 294 m Hilli Episeyo is designed for a liquefac on capacity of • Breadth: 62.6 m about 2.4 million tonnes of LNG per annum. 3 With the global push towards cleaner energy, demand for natural gas is expected to increase significantly. FLNGV solu ons enable operators to overcome the geographic, technical and economic limita ons of developing natural gas resources located in marginal fields. Keppel O&M has accumulated a wealth of experience and capabili es in LNG technology ever since its first LNG carrier repair in 1990. It converted the world’s first Floa ng Storage Regasifica on Units (FSRU). It is also currently building two dual-fuel diesel LNG harbour tugs

• Storage capacity: 125,000 m

• 37,000 tons of new steel and equipment added • 206.3 m long, 10.5 m wide sponsons added on each side • 8,900 tonnes of added steel works including new sponsons, topside and mooring structures • 9,000 tonnes of process equipment installed • 1,800 km of cables pulled onboard which equates to going around Singapore more than nine mes





AT RISK DURING ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN: AIG In a report released on 28 June 2017, AIG Asia Pacific Insurance (AIG Singapore) forecasted significant risks to workplace safety for the next 12 months, as companies in Singapore feel the pressure to reduce expenditure against the backdrop of a global economic slowdown. Ms Debra Burford, AIG Singapore’s Head of Liabili es, said, “In the face of headwinds and fewer projects, we have seen that companies are facing increasing and unnecessary exposure in workplace safety and health, with less focus on safety measures and some firms even going against the law by not buying work injury insurance. The insurer revealed that the highest risks facing employees were slips and trips (21 per cent); contact with sta onary machinery or objects (12 per cent); traffic accidents (7 per cent); and falls from height (5 per cent). AIG Singapore’s claims data also found that industries with greatest exposure to workplace injuries are marine and construc on, followed closely by hospitality. However, leveraging big data and connected devices to track and analyse worker behaviour will help companies to iden fy risk spots and recommend ways to ac vely prevent losses. Sharing the results of a survey completed last year, the insurer said that a majority (78 per cent) of Singapore employees were open to sharing data about their

movements and work condi ons with employers, and 56 per cent would wear a wearable device provided by an employer – making Singapore employees the most open to wearable devices amongst other countries surveyed. Ms Burford added, “More companies are introducing wearable devices that could warn their workers if they are carrying too much weight, exposed to noxious gases, or standing too close to a dangerous area. Such data generated could result in a win-win for employers and employees by preven ng accidents from happening in the first place.”

EXPERIMENTAL SPACEPLANE AIMS TO ENABLE FASTER, MORE AFFORDABLE SATELLITE LAUNCHES The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in collabora on with Boeing, will design, build and test a technology demonstra on vehicle for the Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program. The autonomous and reusable spaceplane, christened the Phantom Express, is planned to be able to carry and deploy a small, expendable upper stage for launching small (3,000 lb / 1,361 kg) satellites into low Earth orbit. Both Boeing and DARPA will jointly invest in the development. Once the spaceplane reaches the edge of space, it will deploy the second stage and return to Earth. It will then land on a runway to be prepared for its next flight, similar to modern aircra . “Phantom Express is designed to disrupt and transform the satellite launch process as we know it today, crea ng a new, on-demand space-launch capability that can be achieved



more affordably and with less risk,” said Mr Darryl Davis, President, Boeing Phantom Works. The Aerojet Rocketdyne AR-22 engine, a version of the legacy Space Shu le main Ar st’s impression of the Phantom Express. engine, will power Image: Boeing the spaceplane. It is designed to be reusable and operates using liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fuel. In the test phase of the program, Boeing and DARPA plan to conduct a demonstra on of 10 flights over 10 days.


NUS ENGINEERS DEVELOP LENS FOR SUPERͳRESOLUTION IMAGING For centuries, the imaging resolu on of microscopes has been fundamentally limited by the diffrac on limit of light. Exis ng efforts to overcome it suffer from limita ons such requiring the sample to be dyed, which affects its quality, or having it very close to the microscope, making the sample harder to manipulate. A research team led by Professor Hong Minghui and Associate Professor Qiu Cheng Wei from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NUS has developed a new supercri cal lens that enables op cal microscopes to capture images in real- me and with greater detail beyond the diffrac on limit. In addi on, this technique does not require any pre-treatment of samples or post-processing of the image.

The NUS researchers behind the development of the new supercri cal lens. Le to right: Professor Hong Minghui, Dr Qin Fei and Associate Professor Qiu Cheng Wei. Photo: NUS

“Our breakthrough is achieved in a totally non-invasive manner, coupled with the capability of real- me imaging. This could poten ally open up a wide range of applicaons in areas such as high precision failure inspec on in the semiconductor industry, and will also contribute significantly to biological research,” said Prof Hong.

High-performance, ultra-thin, easy to fabricate, low cost The NUS team’s supercri cal lens, which is based on the concept of an op mised planar metalens, is developed using a new algorithm and it can be easily fabricated by a commercial laser pa ern generator in high speed and at low cost. Planar metalens is a high-performance, ultra-thin lens which has extraordinary capabili es in light modula on as compared to tradi onal op cal lenses. The team demonstrated an imaging resolu on of 65 nanometres using the supercri cal lens microscope, as compared to typical microscopes which have an imaging resolu on of around 120 to 150 nanometres. With the new lens, improved microscopy techniques have also resulted in a significantly longer working distance of 55 micrometres, providing addi onal space for handling and adjus ng samples and allowing them to be observed in greater detail. 10


Wide-ranging applicaƟons According to NUS, this discovery holds great promise for the nano-imaging of semiconductor devices and could enable faster, cost-effec ve and more accurate detecon of defects in components such as integrated circuit chips, which require imaging resolu ons of less than 100 nanometres. Current methods of defect detec on require the use of highly-specialised and expensive scanning electron microscopes, which also have to be operated in a vacuum environment. The team’s invention also holds potential for biological research as its highly-detailed imaging resolution can facilitate non-invasive investigation of biological cell interiors, removing the need for sample dyeing and allowing researchers to study them at a much deeper level. The findings of the study were published in the scien fic journal, Advanced Materials, in February 2017. Moving forward, the NUS team plans to further enhance the imaging resolution of the lens and explore new applications for the technique. They have also filed a patent for the technology and is exploring opportunities to work with industry partners to commercialise their invention.



The ‘green package’ flights will be trialled on SIA’s fleet of A350-900s, its “most fuel-efficient aircra ”. Photo: Sébas en Mor er

Commi ed to the global effort to reduce interna onal avia on emissions, Singapore Airlines (SIA), in partnership with the Civil Avia on Authority of Singapore (CAAS), has started opera ng a series of 12 ‘green package’ flights over a three-month period on its non-stop San Francisco-Singapore route. The ‘green package’ flights are the first in the world to combine the use of biofuels, fuel-efficient aircra and op mised flight opera ons. CAAS is facilita ng the use of these op mised flight opera ons and Air Traffic Management (ATM) best prac ces which reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions for the flights. The first of the 12 flights, SQ31, departed San Francisco on 1 May 2017 and arrived in Singapore a er a 17-hour flight. The ini a ve supports the efforts under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint (SSB) 2015 to develop Singapore as a Leading Green Economy, where businesses adopt more efficient and sustainable processes and measures to reduce their resource and environmental impact, and contribute towards a Sustainable Singapore. According to the joint statement by SIA and CAAS, the flights will also raise awareness of sustainable biofuels for avia on and provide the industry with valuable insight on the economics, logis cal requirements and performance of biofuels.

Over the three-month period, the flights will be powered by a combina on of HEFA (Hydro-processed Esters and Fa y Acids), a sustainable biofuel produced from used cooking oils, and conven onal jet fuel. The biofuel, produced by AltAir Fuels, will be supplied and delivered to San Francisco by SkyNRG in collabora on with North American Fuel Corpora on (NAFCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of China Avia on Oil (Singapore), and EPIC Fuels. According to the Interna onal Air Transport Associa on (IATA), sustainable biofuel is a promising technological solu on which will reduce the airline industry’s carbon emissions. It has been cer fied safe for use in commercial avia on since 2011, and has been in use by airlines in other parts of the world. “Singapore Airlines’ fleet is already among the most modern and fuel-efficient in the world. We now want to push ourselves further and are embarking on this ini a ve to help promote the use of sustainable biofuel in an operaonally and commercially-viable manner. “This ini a ve is especially memorable as our first biofuel flight departed from San Francisco on 1 May, when Singapore Airlines celebrated its 70th anniversary,” said SIA’s Chief Execu ve Officer, Mr Goh Choon Phong. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2017





A group delega on from the Philippines visited MTA2017.

In light of the manufacturing sector’s shi towards a new era of digitalisa on, technologies and solu ons for Industry 4.0, such as 3D prin ng, automa on, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and robo cs, were highlighted at Manufacturing Technology Asia 2017 (MTA2017), Asia’s premier manufacturing technology industry event. MTA2017, organised by UBM SES and held from 4 to 7 April 2017, at Singapore EXPO, featured the products and solu ons from around 300 companies from 26 countries and regions. Included were group pavilions from Germany, South Korea and Singapore. The event a racted more than 10,000 a endees from 43 countries/regions, including trade visitors and conference delegates. There were 13 group delega ons, from Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore, that visited MTA2017. Among them were execu ves from Hewle Packard Enterprise, the Penang Foundry & Engineering Industries Associa on, the Philippine Die & Mould Associa on, Pra & Whitney, Small & Medium Enterprises Associa on Malaysia, ST Logis cs and Singapore Aerospace Manufacturing. Siemens, which offers consultancy services and technical exper se to mul na onals and SMEs looking to transform tradi onal factories into digitalised ones, was one of the exhibitors. 12


“Manufacturing Technology Asia 2017 was a good platform for us to connect with new and exis ng customers. Our booth on-site enabled us to showcase our new Digital Enterprise Suite, providing a endees with the visual representa on of the whole product por olio, including the Siemens ZerOne.DesIgn Manufacturing Design Consultancy and MindSphere, our cloud-based, open Internet of Things opera ng system. We are excited to bring forward the discussions and look forward to forging new partnerships in Singapore and the overall Southeast Asia region”, said Raimund Klein, Execu ve Vice President, Digital Factory and Process Industries Division, Siemens. MTA2017 underlined how Industry 4.0 technologies can be implemented. At the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion and Smart Manufacturing Asia conference, exhibitors and speakers provided deep insights on the subject and conducted live demonstra ons, enabling a endees to visualise how digitalisa on could enhance their processes, opera ons and services. “Globally, industrial produc vity has declined to less than 1% and many manufacturers are looking at digitalisa on to combat this issue”, said Alvin Ng, General Manager, GE Digital, ASEAN, another exhibitor at the event.





“At Smart Manufacturing Asia 2017, we shared our domain exper se in machines and digital transforma on, from over 500 factories globally, combining our solu ons for Brilliant Manufacturing, cyber security and Asset Performance Management, with GE’s Predix pla orm”, he added.

ve and IoT-enabled robots, such as the SafeMove2 that performs safety cer fied monitoring of robot mo on, tool and stands ll supervision as well as speed limita on, thus allowing operators and robots to interact directly without physical barriers and enabling more efficient and flexible produc on scenarios.

The Smart Manufacturing Asia 2017 conference featured more than 30 industry thought leaders and experts who provided deep insights and topical case studies on Industry 4.0, IIoT, Augmented Reality and robo cs.

“There is a growing demand for industrial robots that can perform extremely high precision tasks in Singapore and Southeast Asia, as well as for robots that can perform at greater speeds to enhance produc vity. MTA provides a good pla orm to bring the latest in innova ve technologies from the region and to network with the manufacturing industry. Epson has seen posi ve interest with the launch of our new robots at MTA, and the event has brought greater awareness of Epson technology”, said Ng Ngee Khiang, Regional General Manager (SE Asia), Robo cs Division, Epson.

“For many organisa ons, the advancement into Smart Manufacturing poses a great risk as they may not have the necessary experience required to develop secure policies, defend their assets, iden fy and respond to cyber threats. Smart Manufacturing Asia provided a meaningful pla orm to discuss and educate audiences about the need for cyber security as a key enabler for IIoT and Smart Manufacturing. With the con nued increase in cyber threats around the world, Honeywell is commi ed to helping customers address cyber security vulnerabili es, with exper se and innova on specifically designed for industrial processes and cri cal infrastructure protecon”, said conference speaker Mirel Sehic, Cyber Security Manager, Honeywell Process Solu ons. 3D Prin ng was a big focus at MTA2017. From show floor exhibits to technology tours and interac ve seminars, visitors saw a wide array of industrial applica ons and innova ve concepts across industries, from aerospace to medical technology, presented by exhibitors BeAM, Chemtron, Creatz3D, EOS, Eye-2-Eye Communica ons, Nanyang Polytechnic, Renishaw, SLM Solu ons, TRUMPF and UCT Addi ve Manufacturing Center. “We are excited to be at MTA because we see ourselves playing a part in contribu ng to the factory of the future. When you think about Industry 4.0, we are talking about a new form of agility and flexibility to the manufacturing value chain, that can only be enabled by advanced technologies like industrial 3D prin ng. The trade visitors we met were surprised by how much they stand to gain with Addi ve Manufacturing. And while the manufacturing sector has been a pillar of growth for Singapore, more s ll can be done to promote adop on of such technologies, and to that end, the nurturing of specialised talent”, commented Terrence Oh, Vice President (Asia Pacific), EOS Singapore. On the show floor, ABB, Epson and Nachi held regular demonstra ons of their robots. Epson launched new N2 robots with the world’s first patented compact folding arm technology. The N2 robot, which has been designed for confined workspaces and smaller payloads, is extremely manoeuvrable, thus enabling a more efficient assembly line layout and improved produc vity. Nachi showcased its best-selling table top robot and range of robo c arms, from its fastest table top ar culate 6-axis robot, up to its 700 kg payload robot arm. A endees also acquired first-hand experience of ABB’s collabora14


The Smart Manufacturing Pavilion.

Visitors viewing a 3D prin ng exhibit from Creatz3D.

ABB presented the SafeMove2 robo cs solu on.



FABTECH 2017, North America’s largest event showcasing the latest innova ons in metal forming, fabrica ng, welding and finishing, will be held at McCormick Place, Chicago, USA, from 6 to 9 November 201. The expo is expected to feature the products and soluon of 1,700 exhibi ng companies and a ract more than 50,000 a endees. FABTECH 2017 will host the largest lineup of exhibitors, speakers and educa onal sessions in the event’s 35-year history, over more than 750,000 net 2 of exhibit space. This includes a series of TED-style talks, dubbed ‘FABx Tech Talks’, by visionary leaders who are shaping the future of manufacturing.

FABTECH 2017 will also feature, for the first time, an expanded Tube & Pipe Producers and Suppliers Pavilion and a 3D/Additive Manufacturing Pavilion, which will give visitors the opportunity to explore more technology than ever before. The expanded Tube & Pipe Producers and Suppliers Pavilion, a collaboration between Messe Dusseldorf and FABTECH, is expected to attract a large gathering of tube and pipe equipment users. In addi on to the technology on the show floor, FABTECH 2017 will offer a host of networking opportuni es.





OF DIGITALISATION TANGIBLE HANNOVER MESSE 2017, the trade fair for industrial technology, was held in Hannover, Germany, from 24 to 28 April 2017.

Of the show’s 225,000 a endees, up from 217,000 in 2015 (the most recent comparable event), more than 75,000 came from abroad.

A large number of solu on-seekers a ended the event, which was organised by Deutsche Messe, to immerse themselves in the poten al of intelligent robots, adap ve machines and integrated energy systems.

“This is an unprecedented figure in the 70-year history of HANNOVER MESSE. This impressively proves that decision-makers from around the world rely on HANNOVER MESSE as their defini ve source of Industrie 4.0 orientaon and solu ons”, said Dr Köckler.

“More a endees, more solu ons, more interna onal - that aptly sums up HANNOVER MESSE 2017”, commented Dr Jochen Köckler, Member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe. “Over the past five days, Hannover has served as a global hub for all things related to Industrie 4.0. Every sector involved in the digitalisa on of industry was on hand to showcase its answers to the key ques on faced by industrial enterprises everywhere - how can I best get my company into shape for the digital future? HANNOVER MESSE has resoundingly underscored its value as a prime source of orienta on for decision-makers from around the globe”, he added. The show’s chosen lead theme of ‘Integrated Industry - Crea ng Value’ put a spotlight on the benefits of Industrie 4.0 and the role of human beings in tomorrow’s integrated factories. As this year’s featured Partner Country, Poland a racted added a en on to the need for close coopera on throughout Europe, while impressing a ending professionals with its creden als as an innova ve partner to global industry. In his summa on of the event, Thilo Brodtmann, Managing Director of the German Engineering Federa on (VDMA), said, “HANNOVER MESSE 2017 has served as an unsurpassed showcase for the mechanical engineering sector. Industry 4.0 is now well past the trial stage, and is already genera ng real benefits in applica on. The show clearly reflected the industry’s buoyant mood - a mood powered by having exactly what it takes to get the job done for the benefit of people everywhere. And when it comes to interna onal compe on, we are definitely among the frontrunners. In short, HANNOVER MESSE 2017 has been nothing short of outstanding”. Dr Klaus Mi elbach, CEO of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Associa on (ZVEI), remarked, “Industry 4.0 is booming, and Hannover Messe has been promo ng the topic from the very start. Moreover, the fair has made it amply clear that digitalisa on calls for a European iden ty. The pressing task at hand is to build the digital union at top speed”. 16


HANNOVER MESSE 2017 a racted 225,000 a endees.


The largest number of foreign visitors came from China (9,000), followed by the Netherlands (6,200), India (5,300) and Poland, whose 5,000 visitors set a new Partner Country record. The long-term impact of Partner Country par cipa on was underscored by an impressive 3,000 visitors from the US, last year’s Partner Country. “In close collabora on with our exhibitors, we succeeded in making this year’s lead theme tangible in the truest sense of the word. With an array of more than 500 applica on scenarios, the show gave real shape to the promise that digitalisa on holds for industry and the energy sector”, Dr Köckler added.

Triumph of the cobots A new genera on of robots was also in the limelight - the collabora ve robots (cobots) which are about to fundamentally transform the way we work in factories. Their connec vity, ar ficial intelligence, innova ve sensors and intui ve opera on allow them to communicate directly with humans, as they learn autonomously and swap instruc ons with other cobots. There was huge interest in the displays in the robo cs halls. Not only are cobots an exci ng prospect for large companies, many SMEs were also at HANNOVER MESSE to find out about these new helpers for their manufacturing opera ons”.

From sensors to plaƞorms Previously, sensors were viewed as the main technology item connec ng up different machines, but this year’s event put pla orm solu ons to the fore. Concretely, this refers to cloud-based network connec ons for the en re produc on opera ons, including data collec on and analysis. The trend towards the ‘digital twin’ concept in the produc on environment is opening up en rely new vistas for industry. If tes ng can be carried out in virtual reality, for example, to see whether a new produc on line is going to work out, this makes it possible to bring products onto the market faster, at lower cost.

Energy systems of the future Exhibitors in the energy halls showed how the energy systems of the future might well operate. The Integrated Energy Plaza, at the exhibi on, created a central hub for the energy industry. The exhibits showed how the revolu on in power genera on can result in a true energy transi on, including in the heat and mobility markets. The main focus was on new energy storage technologies, which included serial produc on-ready electrolysis stacks, making hydrogen solu ons a viable alterna ve even today. Some totally new approaches were also in evidence in the solar technology area, with several companies displaying ultra-thin, flexible solar foils that

Intelligent robots on display.

generate electricity even in low-light condi ons, opening up new op ons for the prac cal applica on of the technology.

SMEs gearing up for digitalisaƟon With almost every passing week, another consultant study is published with dire warnings that SMEs are not ready for digitalisa on. HANNOVER MESSE 2017 has told a different story, with numerous component supplier companies exhibi ng at the event. These companies are now digitalising their processes and establishing connecvity with their partners, because they know that their customers - from the automo ve industry, for example - expect the end-to-end digital tracking of each and every part, and every component.

Growth in the startup segment Following on the heels of last year’s successful launch, the ‘Young Tech Enterprises’ segment of the fair enabled young businesses to introduce themselves to potential investors, customers and partners. More than 150 startups were on hand, exhibiting storage devices for renewable energy networks, operating systems for augmented reality and mini-wind power plants for cars and trains. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2017



Partner Country Poland Featured as this year’s Partner Country, Poland sent a total of 200 companies to Hannover, highligh ng the country’s strong creden als as a dynamic and innova ve industrial loca on.

HANNOVER MESSE 2018 Next year’s event, HANNOVER MESSE 2018, will run from 23 to 27 April 2018, with Mexico as its official Partner Country. HANNOVER MESSE 2018 will include the Integrated Automa on, Mo on & Drives (IAMD) exhibi on, reflec ng the en re spectrum of industrial automa on, power transmission and fluid power at HANNOVER MESSE. IAMD will be created through the merger of the annual Industrial Automa on (IA) show and the biennial Mo on, Drive & Automa on (MDA) show, both of which had been staged under the HANNOVER MESSE umbrella. Also beginning in 2018, CeMAT, the world’s leading intralogis cs trade fair, will be staged every two years in parallel with HANNOVER MESSE. “Produc on and logis cs processes are in the process of becoming intelligently integrated, enabling even more efficient, flexible produc on processes. At CeMAT, we will be making this integra on tangible and will demonstrate the resul ng poten al”, said Dr Köckler. Addi onal display sectors at CeMAT include logis cs soluons for retailing and logis cs services.

Hybrid vehicles demonstrated their advantages. 18


HANNOVER MESSE 2017 also featured exhibits under Industrial Automa on and Mo on, Drive & Automa on.


PANASONIC RELOCATES ITS REFRIGERATION COMPRESSOR BUSINESS UNIT TO SINGAPORE The move supports the company’s aim to become the world’s leading refrigera on compressor company.

The Panasonic Appliances Refrigera on Devices Singapore (PAPRDSG) manufacturing facility

Panasonic Corpora on recently announced the opening of its Refrigera on Compressor Business Unit (RCBU) in Singapore. The reloca on of the RCBU, from Kusatsu City, Shiga, Japan, to Singapore, is in response to the growing customer demand in Asian markets, and also underscores the company’s inten on to build a locally-based management structure for real- me decision-making. The relocated RCBU headquarters will be situated within Panasonic Appliances Refrigera on Devices Singapore (PAPRDSG) in Bedok, Singapore, and will bring together func ons such as R&D (Technical Exper se and Intellectual Property), Sales and Marke ng, Human Resources, Accoun ng, Corporate Planning, Business Management, Manufacturing Innova on, Quality Innova on, and Procurement. The RCBU will also oversee the compressor factories in Malaysia, China and Singapore, as well as the Japan service support branch. The integra on of RCBU with the PAPRDSG factory will enable strategic business decisions to be made quickly, instead of having them referred to Japan. This will be key to growing the company’s devices opera ons and remaining compe ve. Panasonic will also work closely with leading organisa ons in Singapore to leverage technology like the Internet of Things to develop new approaches to manufacturing.

R&D capabiliƟes RCBU has the capabili es to perform technology research and develop high performance, cost-compe ve and environment-friendly products that meet customers’

At the ribbon-cu ng ceremony to mark the opening of Panasonic Corpora on’s Refrigera on Compressor Business Unit (RCBU) in Singapore are, from le , Mr Atsunao Terasaki, Managing Director, PAPRDSG and Director, RCBU; Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower (the Guest-of-Honour at the event), Mr Tetsuro Homma, President, Appliances Company, Panasonic Corpora on; and Mr Heng Chee How, Deputy Secretary-General, NTUC. Image by PAPRDSG.

needs. It will support manufacturing sites in Asia, located in Singapore, Malaysia, China and Japan. As the global R&D Centre, RCBU is also responsible for providing global product design, development and engineering administra ve support for these markets, by combining its exper se with that of the company’s engineering branches in China and Japan. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2017



TransformaĆ&#x;on into a SMART factory

Talent development

With a full suite of R&D func ons in place, PAPRDSG is set to evolve into a SMART factory, in phases. The first phase will see a consolida on of opera ons, the introduc on of automated guided vehicles (AGV) to replace manual transporta on of parts, op mised supply routes, and the establishment of centralised storage.

The robust infrastructure and conducive business environment in Singapore will enable Panasonic to tap on and build a pool of local employees, to support the transforma on of PAPRDSG into a SMART factory. The presence of the RCBU Global R&D Centre is an opportunity for Singaporeans to take up leadership roles and drive innova ve change in the region.

The second phase will kick in to further support the streamlined opera ons, through big data and automa on. Using manufacturing execu on system (MES) integra on and produc on traceability, the factory will be wellequipped to integrate opera onal informa on and data for inventory, produc on quan ty, equipment, and quality inspec on, to achieve advanced manufacturing. Combined with the deployment of advanced robots and automa on equipment, the eďŹƒciency of manual, human assembly and skill-based processes will drama cally improve. Through the final phase, devices will be integrated for full connec vity, to enable the monitoring of produc on against key performance indicators, as well as enable real- me opera on control and monitoring of quality, inventory, equipment and processes, through a remote centralised system. The factory is expected to be fully revamped with smart manufacturing processes over the next five years.

The annual output capacity of the factory is 7,000,000 pieces.

PAPRDSG produces energy-efficient inverter compressors for refrigerators, water coolers and vending machines. 20



Panasonic Appliances RefrigeraƟon Devices Singapore Panasonic Appliances Refrigera on Devices Singapore (PAPRDSG ) was established in 1972 to manufacture energy-efficient inverter compressors for refrigerators, water coolers and vending machines. The manufacturing set up is ver cally integrated. The in-house processes range from iron cas ng, machining, component parts stamping, welding, motor core stamping and winding, and final assembly. The annual output capacity of the factory is 7,000,000 pieces, achieved through the use of highly automated machinery in the manufacturing process.

Panasonic CorporaƟon The manufacturing process uses highly automated machinery.

Panasonic Corpora on is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and soluons for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automo ve, enterprise solu ons and device industries. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates 474 subsidiaries and 94 associated companies worldwide. Commi ed to pursuing new value through innova on across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a be er life and a be er world for its customers. 1972 Established factory with paid up capital of SGD 15 million produc on started 1973 Compressor (Large FNE compressor series) 1975 Cas ng foundry in Jurong factory started 1976 World-wide export started 1978 Factory 2 expansion 1980 Factory 3 expansion

One of the stages in the manufacturing process is CO2 welding.

1985 Small type (S-series) compressor produc on started 1988 Factory 5 expansion (R&D and rotary compressor) 1991 PAPFMY (Malaysia foundry plant) started 1992 PAPRDMY (Malaysia compressor plant) started 2001 Awarded Manufacturing Headquarters status by EDB 2006 Awarded Interna onal Headquarters status by EDB 2007 Inverter compressor produc on started 2010 First shipment of inverter compressors to the US market 2012 Amalgamated into Panasonic Asia Pacific Pte Ltd (PA)

Products being tested for leakage, by immersing them in water.

Images by Queek Jiayu, InsƟtuƟon of Engineers, Singapore, unless otherwise stated

PA receives the President’s Award for the Environ2012 ment with PAPRDSG recognised as an ‘eco ideas’ factory (model factory) 2017 Establishment of RCBU Milestones in Panasonic’s manufacturing programme for refrigera on devices THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2017



SIEMENS’ STARͳCCM+ SOFTWARE ACHIEVES ASME NQAͳ1 COMPLIANCE Siemens’ STAR-CCM+ so ware, a leading mul physics computa onal fluid dynamics (CFD) tool, has achieved ASME Nuclear Quality Assurance-1 compliance. The addi on of NQA-1 compliance in the rigorous ASME QA cer fica on programne ensures the code meets industry-standard requirements for nuclear industry customers in support of safety-related applica ons.

industry, crea ng new opportuni es for manufacturers to realise innova on. With headquarters in Plano, Texas, USA, and over 140,000 customers worldwide, Siemens PLM So ware works with companies of all sizes to transform the way ideas come to life, the way products are realised, and the way products and assets in opera on are used and understood.

STAR-CCM+ is developed by Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) so ware business and is part of the company’s Simcenter por olio of simula on solu ons. Due to the fact that STAR-CCM+ is considered one of the leading mul physics analysis tools for nuclear applicaons, its NQA-1 compliance is a noteworthy addi on for users performing analysis in this industry. Exis ng STARCCM+ customers will benefit from its NQA-1 compliant quality programme for ongoing projects, while new customers can now use CFD as one of their preferred tools for nuclear-related applica ons. Siemens PLM So ware, a business unit of the Siemens Digital Factory Division, is a leading global provider of so ware solu ons to drive the digital transforma on of

STAR-CCM+ CFD so ware is one of the leading mul physics analysis tools for nuclear applica ons.

New Design Manager integrates design exploraƟon into mulƟphysics CFD simulaƟons


The latest release of Siemens’ STAR-CCM+ includes two new seamlessly integrated features which enable automated product design explora on and op misa on. STAR-CCM+ version 12.04 introduces Design Manager, allowing users to easily explore mul ple design op ons within their CFD simula ons, and STAR-Innovate so ware which uses the same proven design op misa on technology found in HEEDS so ware - a technology Siemens obtained as part of its 2016 acquisi on of CD-adapco.

With the addi on of the STAR-Innovate add-on, users can take it one step further and perform single- and mul -objec ve op misa on studies to intelligently search the design space using the same me-tested and proven technology found in HEEDS. It also provides stochas c analysis to help engineers determine the sensi vity of their simula on predic ons to small changes in input parameters, such as manufacturing tolerances on a cri cal dimension or fluctua ons in boundary condi on values.

Companies are looking for innova ve answers to today’s challenging engineering problems to differen ate themselves in the market. Using simula on to explore what is feasible drives this innova on. Design Manager enables users to set up and automa cally evaluate families of designs directly within STAR-CCM+, including for process management and performance assessment. It leverages the all-in-one pla orm, automated meshing, pipelined workflow and accurate physics in STAR-CCM+ to overcome the complexi es that have historically prevented many from using CFD simula on in this way. Design Manager, which automates the systema c explora on of designs by evalua ng varia ons in geometry and opera ng condi ons, is included with every instance of STAR-CCM+ v12.04.

STAR-CCM+ version 12.04 includes two new features which enable automated product design explora on and op misa on.



FUTUREͳPROOFING OF INDUSTRIAL CLEANING PLANTS AND PROCESSES by Doris Schulz, Journalist, SCHULZ.PRESSE.TEXT, Korntal, Germany The cleaning of industrial parts is now widely acknowledged as a key value-adding step in the overall produc on chain. But new trends, such as Industry 4.0, miniaturisa on, electromobility, lightweight construc on and the onward march of globalisa on, are posing new challenges for the cleaning of industrial parts and surfaces. It is the same story in the automo ve industry, the component supply industry, mechanical engineering, avia on, precision engineering and micro engineering, medical technology, op cs, electronics and many other sectors of modern industry. It is that the cleaning of parts and components is essen al to preven ng quality issues further downstream - at stages such as coa ng, adhesive bonding, welding, tempering, and assembly - as well as for the proper func oning of the finished product. The cleaning of industrial parts and surfaces has thus gained the recogni on as a value-adding step in manufacturing chains, and a major factor in staying compe ve.

New trends impacƟng industrial cleaning

More adaptable cleaning systems Wet chemical cleaning will undoubtedly remain the most common technology used. But in order to be prepared for changing market needs and shi ing technical demands, the flexibility to cope with future viability of parts and surface treatment facili es is becoming more and more important. The parts cleaning industry is already an cipa ng emerging needs, by designing plants with built-in adaptability to handle different types of parts, different standards of cleanliness and alternave cleaning methods. This means not only installing more efficient ultrasound systems, pressure pumps and filtra on systems, but also incorpora ng technical developments that enable plant operators to adjust the cleaning parameters, to match the specific size and geometry of the parts passing through the system. The ability to quickly and easily swap out cleaning tools such as spray units is one such development, along with the separa on of cleaning and drying opera ons in the case of water-based cleaning.

In many industries, a er the machining and forming processes, the main emphasis used to be on the removal of par culate contaminants, using wet chemical cleaning methods. The removal of film-type contaminants has been a priority, notably when preparing parts and surfaces for coa ng, welding, tempering or adhesive bonding. The need for these cleaning steps is unlikely to change in the future. But new trends are posing fresh challenges for the cleaning of parts. One example is the trend towards ever smaller and more complex parts and components expected to perform be er and last longer. Other trends, such as shorter product life cycles, smaller produc on runs (including one-offs), the use of new materials and combina ons thereof (typically in lightweight construc on), new produc on processes and globalisa on, all have a direct impact on parts cleaning. Major technical developments such as electromobility, autonomous driving, and the reconfigura on of produc on processes in line with Industry To remove par culates and surface films, and achieve the high degree of cleanliness required of many 4.0, will also influence industrial components, manufacturers are turning increasingly to fine and ultra-fine cleaning processes. Image by cleaning. Dürr Ecoclean / UCM AG. 24



Growing demand for fine and ultra-fine cleaning The requirement for components mee ng ever higher standards of cleanliness is coming, on the one hand, from such established high-tech fields as semiconductors, micro technology and electronics. The task here is to remove surface contaminants in the form of par culates and films, as well as water stains and discolora on, while biological and ionic contaminants are also an issue in some fields. On the other hand, new types of components such as those used in the electrifica on of drive trains or in driverless cars are posing new challenges for the parts cleaning industry. Such components come with a range of exac ng performance requirements - the ability to conduct electricity and support con nuous current flow, good coatability, and, in the case of op cal sensors, 100% guaranteed func onality. To remove par culates and surface films and achieve the requisite degree of cleanliness, manufacturers are increasingly turning to fine and ultra-fine cleaning processes. Alongside the basic design and configura on of the cleaning plant (number of treatment sta ons and drying facili es) plus appropriate process technology (eg mul frequency ultrasound), cleaning chemistry and process design, other technical aspects also need to be considered. These include such things as flow op misa on, parts carriers, piping, conveyor automa on and air management.

This fully automated cleaning line was developed for the inline ultrasonic cleaning of bulk goods. The parts are cleaned, dried, and then transported onwards to the next processing stage, without any human interven on. Image by Weber Ultrasonics AG.

Integrated and adapĆ&#x;ve cleaning processes The trend towards intelligent, networked produc on processes, enabling manufacturers to achieve greater produc vity, improved product quality and flexibility, while at the same me reducing their costs, is also driving changes in industrial parts cleaning. Already available now are fully automated inline plant solu ons that can clean and dry bulk goods such as screws, and then transport them onwards to the next processing stage. The latest intelligent generators for use in ultrasonic cleaning can now configure themselves and then monitor and op mise their own opera on. This means, for example, that the op mum opera ng frequency can be automatically determined and set before the ultrasonic pulse is triggered.

A sensor in the main flow line con nuously monitors the concentra on of the cleaning agent and its level of contamina on. The readings obtained are then sent via the controller to the central plant control system, and addi onal dosages of cleaning agent are automa cally injected as required. Image by SensAc on AG.

The con nuous monitoring and logging of plant and process parameters in wet chemical cleaning plants is now a common feature. Plants can now be equipped with sophis cated instrumenta on for the con nuous inline monitoring and control/adjustment of cleaning baths. These systems not only permit accurate documenta on of opera ng parameters during cleaning, but can also be used to inject addi onal cleaning agent into the bath as required, and the process is fully automated, needing no interven on by the machine operator. Ini al solu ons for the inline monitoring of cleaning results are also now available. These typically use fluorescence measurement technology to check for the presence of any film residue.

SelecĆ&#x;ve dry cleaning Selec ve dry cleaning of func onal surfaces and designated areas of components prior to adhesive bonding,

Inline measurement of cleanliness using fluorescence measurement technology to check for the presence of any film residue. Image by Fraunhofer-IPM, member of Fraunhofer-Alliance Cleaning Technology. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2017



sealing or laser welding, as well as of pre-assembled parts, using CO2 snow blas ng, laser cleaning or plasma cleaning techniques, has hitherto been something of a speciality. However, the selec ve cleaning of func onal surfaces is set to become more mainstream in the future, given that a single workpiece can present a range of different cleaning challenges, depending on the degree of surface cleanliness required for selected areas des ned for further processing, or on the use to which the com-

ponent will be put. The fact that inline-capable processes are easily automated has also helped to drive this trend. Now becoming much more widespread, lightweight construc on, which typically uses aluminum, composites and new combina ons of materials, is another area where dry cleaning processes have become increasingly important. One example is the use of CO2 snow blas ng by the manufacturers of electric cars to clean plas c body panels and mouldings, prior to pain ng.

One use of CO2 snow blas ng is to clean plas c body components for electric cars prior to pain ng. Image by acp - advanced clean produc on GmbH.

InternaĆ&#x;onal trade fair on parts and surface cleaning Answers to ques ons on all aspects of industrial parts cleaning can be found at parts2clean 2017, a leading interna onal trade fair for parts and surface cleaning, which will be held from 24 to 26 October 2017 at the Stu gart Exhibi on Center, Germany. The show will provide comprehensive informa on about cleaning systems, alterna ve cleaning technologies, cleaning agents, clean room technology, quality assurance and test procedures, cleaning baths and tanks, the disposal and condi oning of process media, handling and automaon, services, consultancy and research. The three-day parts2clean Forum is also a valuable source of knowhow on various aspects of industrial parts and surface cleaning. More informa on may be obtained from




Service training and instrucƟon in virtual space The rendering and simultaneous percep on of reality and its physical proper es, in a real- me computer-generated, interac ve virtual environment offers opportuni es in industry. Dürr Ecoclean, as a producer of machinery, systems and services for industrial parts cleaning and surface treatment, in the automo ve manufacturing and supplier industries, in addi on to a host of other industrial market sectors, relies on virtual space in training its service technicians all around the globe. More specifically, a Virtual Reality applica on was developed by Tema Technologie Marke ng AG to conduct maintenance training on the Scara manipulator developed by Dürr Ecoclean Monschau for its EcoCFlex 3 flexible cleaning cell. In this scenario, the instructor and the trainee may be located thousands of kilometres apart. For a realis c rendering of all maintenance opera ons and workflows, a VR model of the manipulator was created from CAD data. This model can be moved in all direc ons of freedom via slider bars. Every bolt can be slackened and re- ghtened in this manner, yet the individual jobs are logically structured and interdependent. For instance, in performing an oil change in the virtual system, the transmission cover can be re-closed only a er oil has actually been added. This approach ensures that the various steps will be adopted in their correct and full sequence, thus becoming ‘ingrained’. In order to achieve this, each service opera ve can move freely over a defined surface area in virtual space, eg by walking around the manipulator.

Service staff provide training on the various maintenance opera ons for Scara manipulators, with the aid of Virtual Reality. Image by TEMA Technologie Marke ng AG.





TO PROMOTE INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS With the 3D prin ng capability, Emerson hopes to remove the design limits imposed by tradi onal methods. With the goal of spurring innova on to address customers’ engineering design challenges and accelera ng speed to market for new, rigorously-tested products, Emerson recently opened an advanced addi ve manufacturing centre at its Singapore campus. This is Emerson’s second loca on to have addi ve manufacturing capabili es. Addi ve manufacturing enables the company’s engineers to expand their thinking beyond the limits of standard manufacturing processes, to develop cu ng-edge solu ons to meet more demanding and stringent processes. Addi ve manufacturing also significantly accelerates the tes ng of mul ple versions of a prototype product or part, and promises to greatly simplify the produc on supply chain. Through this centre, Emerson will be using addi ve manufacturing technologies to produce special customised and applica on-specific parts and products which are not possible with tradi onal technology. The Singapore centre serves to strengthen Emerson’s addi ve manufacturing programme, which was launched three years ago with the opening of the company’s first addi ve manufacturing technology centre in Marshalltown, Iowa, USA, the global headquarters for its Fisher products. Together, the Marshalltown and Singapore centres will be working on research and development and pilot produc on services for all Emerson businesses around the world. Singapore was selected for this addi ve manufacturing center because of its strong manufacturing ecosystem, favorable business climate, excellent transporta on linkages, an educated workforce and good universi es, as well as robust intellectual property protec ons.

Technological University (NTU. Postgraduate students from NTU will be able to get real-world training in addive manufacturing at the Emerson centre and carry out product research projects. Mr Lim Kok Kiang, Assistant Managing Director, EDB, said, “We are pleased to partner with Emerson in the opening of its new addi ve manufacturing centre which will help enhance Singapore’s standing as an interna onally recognised hub for high-tech manufacturing excellence. This global centre will not only raise our internaonal compe veness, but also contribute towards the grooming of skilled Singaporean talent in the area of advanced manufacturing”. Mr Farr and other senior execu ves from Emerson were joined at the inaugura on ceremony by Dr Koh Poh Koon, then Minister of State (now Senior Minister of State), Ministry of Trade & Industry and Ministry of Naonal Development, and officials from EDB and NTU.

Emerson Emerson, headquartered in St Louis, Missouri, USA, is a global technology and engineering company providing innova ve solu ons for customers in industrial, commercial, and residen al markets. The Emerson Automa on Solu ons business helps process, hybrid, and discrete manufacturers maximise produc on, protect personnel and the environment, while op mising their energy and opera ng costs. The Emerson Commercial and Residenal Solu ons business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency, and create sustainable infrastructure.

Singapore has been the Asia-Pacific headquarters and a high-value manufacturing and technology hub for Emerson Automa on Solu ons, since 1965. “This Singapore centre, along with our Marshalltown centre, will play a key role in helping Emerson move quickly to leverage the benefits of addi ve manufacturing to meet our customers’ needs in Asia Pacific and around the world”, said Mr David Farr, Chairman and CEO of Emerson. “We greatly appreciate the support of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) which has been a great partner and gave us the confidence to make the investment here”, he added. In conjunc on with the launch of its addi ve manufacturing centre in Singapore, Emerson has entered into a five-year research collabora on agreement with Nanyang 28


Dr Koh Poh Koon (third from le ), at the official launch of Emerson’s Global Addi ve Manufacturing Center in Singapore.


3D METALFORGE LAUNCHES 3D METAL ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING CENTRE The company seeks to take advantage of the new technology.

Mr Ma hew Waterhouse, Chief Execu ve Officer of 3D Metalforge and Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), at the Official Opening of 3D Metlforge’s 3D Metal Addi ve Manufacturing Centre.

3D Metalforge Pte Ltd (3D Metalforge), a home-grown company specialising in metal prin ng, recently unveiled its first end-to-end 3D Metal Addi ve Manufacturing Centre (AMC) in Singapore. Jointly opened by Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) and Mr Ma hew Waterhouse, Chief Execu ve Officer, 3D Metalforge, the AMC will provide a complete suite of in-house metal prin ng solu ons and services, ranging from design and engineering, to printing, post-produc on and finishing.

Enabling innovaƟve disrupƟons to key industries The AMC will deliver 3D metal prin ng solu ons to Singapore’s key growth sectors, including the oil & gas, marine, precision engineering and construc on industries. Staffed with a predominantly local team of designers and engineers, the AMC will have a range of printers, from highly detailed to large-scale, cost-effec ve printers that will help customers capture the benefits of 3D prin ng. Some key advantages include the ability to re-design parts to reduce material usage whilst improving performance, the ability to reduce the costs for producing customised parts, and the ability to extend the lifespan of equipment by prin ng parts that are no longer being produced but which may s ll be required. Addi onally, the AMC supports small batch produc ons, which translates into immediate cost savings on produc on, shipping and warehousing for customers. This is a major advantage, as more companies in this region are moving towards the high-mix, low volume produc on model. 30


A group of guests being briefed on the AMC.

Some of the finished printed parts produced, on display.


Additive Manufacturing is already growing faster than the internet and mobile phones at similar points in their growth, with global revenue growing five-fold in the past six years to over USD 6 billion today, and expecting to accelerate again to over USD 25 billion by 2020. But even at this early stage, we are seeing leading global companies like GE re-designing mission-critical parts and pledging to print 100,000 parts this decade alone! However, this is just the beginning and we believe we are very close to this technology being used for mainstream manufacturing. As print speeds dramatically increase, costs fall, technology becomes more secure and reliable, we believe more and more industries will be able to take advantage of this technology. Our vision in three to five years is large parts of industry printing customised runs of products in centres just like this, at speeds counted in hours and days and costs near current mass production levels. - Mr Matthew Waterhouse, Chief Executive Officer, 3D Metalforge

As part of our RIE2020 plan, the Government is committing SGD 3.2 billion over 2016-2020, to develop technological capabilities in the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering domain. Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a key enabling technology that will be supported as part of this plan. As a fast growing industry that has doubled its worldwide revenues from USD 3 billion in 2013 to USD 6 billion in 2016, AM offers significant opportunities for our precision engineering (PE) firms to move towards higher value-added activities and tap the opportunities from digital manufacturing. Advances in AM technologies that enable the production of high-quality, complex components that are not possible with conventional manufacturing processes, have also disrupted other manufacturing verticals such as Aerospace, Marine & Offshore, Medical Technology and Electronics. Beyond its initial application as a prototyping technology, AM has increasingly entered production processes, with AM-manufactured end-use parts rising from almost nothing in 2003 to over 50% in 2015. In particular, the metal AM segment has risen rapidly. In a survey by Wohlers Associates, almost half of AM service providers are producing metal parts.

- Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry)

Mr Ma hew Waterhouse and Dr John Yong, Director of Industry Development Office, SIMTech.

Mr Ma hew Waterhouse, Dr Ho Chaw Sing, Managing Director, NAMIC, and Dr Lim Keng Hui, Director, SUTD Digital Manufacturing and Design Centre.

3D Metalforge signs project collabora on agreements with SIMTech, NAMIC and SUTD. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2017



Laser Aided AddiƟve Manufacturing technology The event included the signing of a project collaboraon agreement between 3D Metalforge and Singapore Ins tute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) to commercially develop large format LAAM technology for 3D prin ng for industrial applica ons. SIMTech is a research ins tute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). This collabora on is supported and co-funded by Na onal Addi ve Manufacturing Innova on Cluster (NAMIC). LAAM technology currently supports one of the largest print beds available for metal prin ng, which is up to three to four mes larger than the largest powder bed printers currently available on the market. It will also come with a super-fast deposi on rate of up to 1 kg per hour, which is almost 10 mes faster than that for exis ng powder bed printers. LAAM u lises a high-energy laser beam and advanced powder blowing technology to deposit and sinter metal powder into large and complex parts.

This game-changing technology will facilitate the produc on of high quality, large format, cost-effec ve metal parts with good mechanical proper es, mee ng and o en exceeding the quality standards for tradi onally manufactured parts. This will allow sectors, such as aerospace, precision engineering, oil & gas, marine and offshore, and automo ve industries, to benefit from the advantages of addi ve manufacturing technology. SIMTech has developed the background intellectual property (IP) for the LAAM technology, whilst the new equipment is housed in 3D Metalforge’s AMC. Addi onally, a SIMTech researcher will be seconded to the project team, to facilitate the smooth implementa on of the technology.

Hybrid Wired Arc AddiƟve Manufacturing technology Also at the event, a project collabora on agreement was signed by 3D Metalforge, NAMIC and Singapore University of Technology & Design’s (SUTD) Digital Manufacturing

The LAAM 3D prin ng machine with robo c arm.

The Design & Op misa on Process being performed, before proceeding with the 3D prin ng of products. 32


Turning on the SLM (Selec ve Laser Mel ng) machine for metal prin ng.


and Design Centre (DManD), for the development and commercialisa on of Hybrid Wired Arc Addi ve Manufacturing (H-WAAM) technology.

3D Metalforge is the sister company of 3D Ma ers, one of Singapore’s earliest commercial 3D prin ng addi ve manufacturing companies.

H-WAAM technology u lises cu ng-edge robo cs, plasma and maching technology to deliver a faster and more cost-effec ve 3D metal prin ng solu on. Customers can expect to significantly increase the maximum size of 3D printed metal parts to over 1.5 m and improve the prin ng speed by over 10 mes. Addi onally, H-WAAM uses feed material that is up to five mes cheaper than tradi onal metal powders, transla ng to more cost savings for customers. With the integrated hybrid machining technology, H-WAAM will also produce higher quality metal parts, by machining between deposi on layers to enhance the quality of the prin ng and produce a nearer net-shape part. H-WAAM technology is targeted at key industries such as marine, oil & gas, and manufacturing industries, and fulfils the gap in the industry for commercial 3D prin ng solu ons for larger, simpler parts.

3D Metalforge Backed by an experienced, in-house team comprising 3D designers, engineers as well as technical and solu on specialists, 3D Metalforge’s metal printers can handle an extensive selec on of print sizes, materials, price points and print detail. 3D Metalforge’s mission is to provide industry-standard, cost-effec ve, addi ve manufacturing solu ons that support clients across various industries, from ini al idea conceptualisa on to engineering and design, and finally the produc on of high-quality, finished 3D printed parts.

At the Sieving Sta on, unused metal powder is sieved and reused, thereby contribu ng to waste reduc on.

Post-produc on ac vi es include heat treatment, bandsawing, bead blas ng and polishing, as well as finishing. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2017



TOWARDS GREATER CONVERGENCE OF MACHINING AND SURFACE FINISHING by Doris Schulz, Journalist, SCHULZ.PRESSE.TEXT, Korntal, Germany Today, the produc on of precision parts is characterised by highly demanding specifica ons with regard to tolerances and surface quality. Innova ve, advanced processes for deburring, surface finishing and shaping are making it possible to improve quality and produc vity, as well as economic efficiency. In addi on to the actual manufacturing processes, more and more a en on is being focused on intermediate and downstream processes such as deburring and surface finishing, for the produc on of high-quality components. On the one hand, this is targeted at obtaining burr-free components and workpieces with defined edges and fillets or a surface finish which minimises fric on, wear and noise, and increases performance and service life. On the other hand, manufacturing steps for precise shaping are required, as well, and in this respect, machining and surface finishing are converging to an ever greater extent. In order to master these challenges, innova ve, advanced process are available, which can be ideally matched to the task at hand, with high levels of producvity and economic efficiency, and which deliver reliable, reproducible results.

Electrochemical machining of metallic workpieces In the case of electrochemical machining (ECM), metal is anodically removed from the surface of the workpiece. This procedure makes deburring possible in ‘difficult to access’ areas such as internal bore intersec ons and pockets, and also permits burr-free shaping processes. The machining tool, namely a cathode, and the component (as an anode) are connected to a generator which serves as a direct voltage source for the machining process. The component is machined accurately, independent of the metal’s amorphous structure, by means of the charge exchange which takes place between the cathode and the anode in an aqueous electroly c soluon. This makes it possible to produce even very small, thin-walled contours, fillets, ducts, slots and wash-outs, in workpieces made of prac cally any conduc ve metal.

In the case of ECM, a charge exchange takes place between the cathode and the anode (component) in an aqueous electrolyte solu on, by means of which the workpiece is accurately machined in a targeted fashion. Image by EMAG ECM GmbH.




Since the processing is contactless, the tooling is neither subject to wear, due to the machining process, nor is it exposed to thermal or mechanical influences. The characteris cs and the shape of the tool holder determine where and how much material will be removed from the workpiece. Generator power is selected, depending on the size of the surface to be machined at any given point in me, and also determines the speed at which material is removed and the achievable degree of surface roughness. Newly developed generators reach Ra values of 0.1 μm and be er, depending on the ini al state. Beyond this, they also prevent the so-called stray machining which may lead to poor machining results at the anode’s peripheral areas. ECM is used in the fields of avia on and aerospace, the automo ve industry, toolmaking, medical technology, microsystems engineering, the energy industry and other sectors.

Precision Electrochemical Machining As far as the actual processes are concerned, ECM and precision electrochemical machining (PECM) are both based on exactly the same principle. Essen al differences include the distance from the cathode to the workpiece, on the one hand, and the use of an oscilla ng cathode in the PECM process, on the other hand. Similar to electrical discharge machining (EDM), this makes it possible to produce accurate three-dimensional shapes, contours and structures, with high levels of surface quality. Ra values of down to 0.03 μm can be achieved. As compared with the EDM process, machining is more accurate with regard to component dimensions and tolerances, and it does not result in any thermal influences. Reduced machining me is a further advantage of the PECM process, when compared to conven onal manufacturing. Comparisons between a component that was produced by

means of a conven onal process involving spark erosion, milling, drilling, grinding, deburring and lapping, and a component that was produced using a PECM process, with subsequent grinding, reveal a 90% reduc on in pure manufacturing me, when using the PECM process. In addi on to shaping, the PECM process is also used for micro-structuring of surfaces, for example, in order to op mise tribological proper es.

InnovaƟve ECM process for addiƟve manufacturing Components produced by means of addi ve manufacturing processes have already established themselves in various industry sectors, such as avia on and medical technology. However, poor surface finishes a er 3D prin ng, as well as blobs which remain on the part, a er removing the support structure, are s ll a great challenge. The new Coolpulse ECM process has been specially developed for, amongst other applica ons, surface finishing of 3D printed, metallic components. It makes it possible to improve both micro and macrostructures on internal and external surfaces in a single process, and specified surface characteris cs can be reproducibly obtained with short cycle mes. Furthermore, support structure remnants and surface defects, which may result from 3D prin ng processes, can also be removed.

Coolpulse, an ECM process developed especially for processing addi vely manufactured parts, makes it possible to improve both micro and macro structures on internal and external surfaces in a single process. Image by Extrude Hone GmbH.

Abrasive flow machining

Using PECM, the shaping of vane contours and surface finishing (reducing roughness at the front and sides) are completed in a single process. Image by Extrude Hone GmbH.

Abrasive flow machining (AFM) is used primarily for processing ‘difficult to access’ workpiece areas and internal surfaces of high quality components made of metal and ceramics, which cannot be processed by means of conven onal procedures. Typical applica ons include rounding, polishing and deburring, as well as THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2017



geometry op misa on and the minimisa on of surface tension. The workpieces are clamped for processing in one or more fixtures at the AFM machine. The processing medium contains abrasive par cles which are matched to the respec ve task with regard to type, size and concentra on, and embedded in a polymer mass of defined viscosity. The processing medium is made to flow through or over the areas of the components to be processed, in alterna ng direc ons at a defined pressure level, by means of hydraulically powered pistons. The grinding medium func ons like a liquid file. Process parameters are con nuously monitored, in order to assure reproducible results. The AFM process makes it possible to reduce surface roughness by a factor of five to eight, as compared with the ini al surface condi on. It is used, for example, in the automo ve, plas cs and aluminium industries, as well as in tool and mould making, for the processing of, amongst other workpieces, impression dies, tablet moulds and deep drawing dies. AFM has proven its worth in other sectors, as well, including medical technology, avia on and aerospace, as well as in tex le machinery manufacturing. Addi ve manufacturing of metallic components in modern industrial produc on is opening up an addi onal range of applica ons for AFM.

Barrel finishing Surf, stream and pulse finishing processes involve barrel finishing solutions for individual part processing, which can be easily integrated into automated production lines. These new developments permit accurate, reliable deburring, edge rounding, smoothing, grinding and polishing of high-quality, geometrically complex components such as machine cutting tools and implants, as well as motor, gearbox and turbine components, matched to manufacturing cycle time. These are tasks which have usually had to be completed manually in the past, by means of time-consuming, costly processes because no automated solutions were available. The eects of pulse finishing are based on ideally matched rela ve mo on between the processing medium and the workpiece. For example, the workpiece is secured in a clamping collet and accelerated to a speed of up to 2000 rpm, decelerated and accelerated again in a rota ng bowl, within a very short period of me. The dierent speeds of the workpiece and the abrasive par cles in the processing medium result in targeted grinding ac on with accurate deburring, even in areas which have previously been inaccessible for barrel finishing, for example, cross-holes in hydraulic components.

1. Upper Cylinder / Piston 2. Measurement of media pressure 3. Workpiece / Workpiece Holder 4. Hea ng / Cooling 5. Abrasive / Media 6. Lower Cylider / Piston Schema c diagram of an AFM machine. Image by Fraunhofer IPK.



With the help of abrasive flow machining, surface roughness can be reduced by a factor of five to eight, as compared with the ini al surface condi on. Surface tension is reduced, at the same me. Image by 4MI GmbH.


This stream finishing system with pulse drive, which is integrated into mass produc on in the automobile industry, is used for fully automated deburring, rounding and smoothing of cam sha s. Reduc on of peak-to-valley height, for example, from 0.2 μm to 0.1 μm, is accomplished in less than one minute. Image by OTEC GmbH.

Polishing with plasma Like electropolishing, plasma polishing is also an electroly c process, but it works with high voltage and an electrolyte, based on a salt solu on, which is considered ecologically harmless. This process results in the forma on of a plasma a er the anodically polarised metallic workpiece has been immersed in the electroly c bath. The plasma coats the workpiece, resul ng in reduced roughness as well as in the removal of organic and inorganic contamina on with just a minimal loss of mass. Depending on the material specifica on, material abrasion typically lies between 2 μm per minute and 8 μm per minute and achievable roughness values are less than 0.01 μm. The geometric shape of the component remains almost unchanged.

With the help of plasma polishing, for which an electrolyte consis ng of 98% water and 2% salt is used, burrs as well as milling marks and material upturns have been removed, and smooth, homogeneous surfaces have been obtained. Image by Plasotec GmbH.

Trade fair for deburring technology and precision surface finishing Which processes ensure reliable and economically efficient deburring and produc on of precision surface finishes? Which new technologies are available? Which criteria need to be taken into considera on for the selec on of an ideally suited process? The answers to these and many other ques ons will be provided by DeburringEXPO 2017 which will be held at the Karlsruhe Exhibi on Centre, Germany, from the 10 to 12 October 2017. The exhibi on por olio includes equipment, systems and tools for belt grinding, brushing, abrasive flow machining, vibratory grinding, blas ng with solid and liquid media, abrasive water-jet blas ng, magne c-abrasive deburring, ultrasonic deburring, chemical bath deburring, electrochemical machining (ECM), electron beam machining, thermal energy machining (TEM), mechanical deburring, buffing, polish honing, electroly c polishing, plasma polishing, laser polishing, immersion and brush polishing, as well as measuring, tes ng and analysis systems, and technical literature. Further informa on is available at




THE SINGAPORE WATER STORY By Bernard Koh, Director, Water Supply Plants, PUB; Vijay Das, Head, Water System Unit, PUB; Gabriel Sim, Deputy Head, Water System Unit, PUB; Ashley Ng, Engineer, Water System Unit, PUB Following the introductory piece ‘What is Systems Engineering?’ published in the March 2017 issue of ‘The Singapore Engineer’, the IES Systems Engineering Technical Commi ee (SETC) aims to showcase the applica on of Systems Engineering in tackling and solving complex problems. Do keep a look out for more SE pieces in future issues of the publica on. THE SINGAPORE WATER SITUATION Water is a necessary prerequisite to the sustenance of life. Indeed, on 28 July 2010, the UN General Assembly recognised that access to clean water and sanita on were basic human rights necessary to the realisa on of other human rights. Despite the essen ality of the resource however, nearly 1 in 10 people across the world do not have access to clean drinking water.


t ec dir

With the poli cal will to channel the necessary resources and the ingenuity of our engineers, Singapore has turned our vulnerability into strength with the development of


U ble



Reclamation of Used Water


Collection of Rain in Reservoirs

Figure 1: The Singapore Water Loop System



Treatment of Used Water




Against the backdrop of such condi ons, it is therefore of strategic importance to ensure the reliability and resilience of Singapore’s water supply.


Despite our loca on in the tropics and the associated heavy rainfall of approximately 2400 mm per year, Singapore is a severely water-stressed country. According to projec ons by the World Resources Ins tute in

Stormwater Management

2015, Singapore ranks joint first as a country expected to be water stressed by 2040. This ranking is shared with countries such as Bahrain and Kuwait which are located in desert areas.

Seawater Desalination

Treatment of Raw to Potable Water



Direct Non-Potable Use

Supply of Water to Population & Industries

Collection of Used Water in Sewers


the integrated water loop system to ensure a sustainable, safe and clean supply of water to all Singaporeans. This integrated system, termed as ‘Singapore Water Loop System’ is shown in Figure 1. The system itself comprises four sub-systems, which serve to expand our water supply capabili es.

Subsystem A - the water catchment system

Stormwater Management

To ensure suitable quality in the catchment run-off, several steps were taken. One such step was the separa on of sewage conveyance from rainwater conveyance and this led to the development of an island-wide sewage network culmina ng in the ongoing Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) project.

A Collection of Rain in Reservoirs

Of course, capturing all this water would only be useful insofar as the captured water is of a usable quality. Urban water catchment is challenging in this aspect as the nutrient loading can cause algae blooms and other problems affec ng downstream water quality in the reservoirs. This is par cularly challenging for Singapore as the land scarcity problem meant that compe ng land uses o en had to be accommodated concurrently. Consequently, catchment area o en served other purposes (eg industrial, agricultural, residen al, etc), as well. These purposes o en represented sources of pollu on, whether from indiscriminate discharge of industrial waste, run-off containing fer lisers or discharge from sanita on purposes. If le unchecked, these sources of pollu on would have made it impossible to u lise the water arising from local urban catchment.

Figure 2: Subsystem A

Subsystem A is our drainage system which consists of a network of drains, pumping sta ons and reten on tanks which serve to capture and convey rainwater to our reservoirs. The drainage system fulfils two main purposes - the conveyance of rain water to our impounding reservoirs and the allevia on of flooding in our low-lying areas. According to data from the World Bank, Singapore’s popula on density is ranked third in the world at approximately 8,000 people per square kilometre. With this high density, land scarcity is a major problem and the many compe ng land uses means that Singapore does not have the luxury of construc ng big reservoirs with protected catchment areas. This presents two unique challenges to the development of this subsystem. The first challenge was that of quan ty, and the second was of quality. On the quan ty aspect, Singapore has to maximise its available land area to ensure that as much water as possible is captured from rainfall while also balancing the need for protec on of low-lying areas from floods. Today, water catchments cover about two-thirds of Singapore and feed 17 local reservoirs. This was made possible with innova ve solu ons like the urban stormwater collec on system in Eastern Singapore which allowed water from low-lying areas to be captured and conveyed to Bedok Reservoir which lies at a higher eleva on. In the future, PUB aims to expand the catchment area to 90% of Singapore’s land area.

Second, strict pollu on control measures were implemented at the whole of government level to ensure that catchments were able to maintain suitable quality standards. These measures included legisla on to implement and enforce discharge standards in industry and agriculture and even stretched to the extent of moving and subsequently shu ng down the en re pig farming industry in Singapore. The most visible sign of these efforts is the Marina reservoir which was made possible only by the massive effort undertaken in the 80s to clean up the Singapore River. In the clean-up effort, some 46000 squa ers around the catchment area were rese led and hawkers were moved to new purpose-built facili es connected to the sewer network and provided with waste disposal services. A total of 260 tonnes of rubbish was also removed from the river and mud was dredged from the bo om and replaced with one metre of sand. With the catchment cleaned up, the way was paved for the reservoir to be created with the construc on of the Marina Barrage across the mouth of the Singapore River. As more and more of Singapore’s land area was taken up for reservoirs and water catchment, it was recognised that changing mindsets and cul va ng an apprecia on of the individual ci zen’s role in managing the water from our catchments was impera ve. Addi onally, with the increasing popula on crea ng greater compe on between alterna ve land uses, less land could be set aside for lifestyle use. The Ac ve, Beau ful, Clean (ABC) Waters programme presented an elegant solu on to these problems. By turning our concrete waterways into lifestyle des na ons and recrea onal areas, the THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2017



issue of water was brought closer to the everyday lives of Singaporeans, helping to foster a greater apprecia on of our water opera ons while at the same me, allowing for the concurrent use of catchment areas for lifestyle and recrea onal purposes.

Subsystem B - treatment of raw water to potable water

Treatment of Raw to Potable Water


Supply of Water to Population & Industries

space to spare. At the same me, the waterworks were built with alterna ve feed capabili es allowing them to draw water from different reservoirs and a supply network was built such that different supply zones are able to provide back up to other zones. While increasing supply reliability, this integra on also allowed us to op mise across the system by varying the output of different waterworks to tap on reservoirs which hold more water. This op misa on thus balances out the natural unevenness of rainfall and catchment across the reservoirs, thereby maximising local yield.

Subsystem C - reclamaƟon of used water

Treatment of Used Water

Figure 3: Subsystem B

Captured rainfall is conveyed to our local impounding reservoirs for storage before being pumped to our waterworks for treatment. The treated water is then pumped from the waterworks to the distribuon network for supply to our customers. This ‘water supply’ subsystem is complex, comprising interconnected networks of pipelines to convey raw water to the waterworks and from the waterworks to customers via service reservoirs. It is recognised that the main challenge faced in this subsystem is the storage of rainwater due to land scarcity. Despite this, however, increasing storage alone is not the answer as the amount of rainfall captured is finite. Therefore the rela onship between extractable yield and storage capacity is one of diminishing marginal returns as shown in Figure 4. Increased integra on of inter-reservoir transfers, mul ple raw water pipelines to the waterworks and networks of water supply pipelines was adopted to maximise the yield and increase the amount that could be feasibly extracted from local rainfall. Infrastructure was built to connect reservoirs, allowing for the transfer of water from reservoirs experiencing higher rainfall to those with

Figure 4: Rela onship between Extractable Yield and Reservoir Storage Capacity



Reclamation of Used Water


Direct Non-Potable Use

Supply of Water to Population & Industries

Collection of Used Water in Sewers

Figure 5: Subsystem C

As men oned in earlier sec ons, a dedicated sewerage system was installed to protect our catchment areas from pollu on. This also serves to convey used water away from populated areas quickly to minimise environmental health risks. The used water collec on network is divided into catchments served by large water reclamaon plants which treat the used water before discharging the treated effluent into the sea. This centralised collec on of used water allows for the possibility that the water can be re-extracted for con nued reuse. First mooted in 1975, the idea of recycling used water was explored before being shelved due to the high costs and technical limita ons. Subsequently, advances were made in membrane technology that resolved these concerns. In the late 1990s, PUB sent engineers to the US to study the used water recycling systems. When they returned, their efforts gave rise to perhaps the most important contributor to the security and sustainability of local water supply - NEWater. The introduc on of this technology had a profound impact on water management in Singapore. Crucially, it gave Singapore the means to reduce its dependence on rainfall by making use of the power of the recycle stream. This is visualised in Figure 6.




Water Catchment

Water Supply

Waste Water


Figure 6: Short-circui ng the water loop with NEWater

The natural recycle stream provided by evapora on and subsequent precipita on (denoted by the do ed line) is driven by natural forces and cannot be controlled effec vely by the human means at our disposal. This puts Singapore’s water supply in a precarious posi on, at the mercy of the forces of nature. NEWater allowed for this to be circumvented by providing us with a controllable recycle stream, allowing us to close the water loop effec vely. With this closed loop, we were then able to increase our supply capacity significantly. The impact of the recycle ra o on the total supply capacity can be modelled with a simple hyperbolic func on as shown in Figure 7. Currently, our NEWater capacity is roughly 40% of our total water demand, allowing us a maximum recycle ra o of 40%, giving a capacity mul plier of approximately 1.7 mes. If we increased the recycling of used water to 50%, we would be able to double the total amount of available water resources. By reusing the water molecule over and over in this way, we would be able to maximise the use of our limited resources and provide for our water requirements even as they exceed the maximum yield of our natural rainwater sources. Nonetheless, there are significant challenges in maintaining the feasibility of this recycle op on. At the upstream end, there remain ongoing challenges in ensuring a stable and suitable quality of sewage for treatment by the water reclama on plants, whose treated effluent would be used as feedwater for NEWater treatment. By and large, these challenges have been effec vely resolved with the implementa on of discharge controls via the

Figure 7: Mul plying Factor vs Recycle Ra o (denoted as Percentage of Water Reuse)

Sewerage Act and regular enforcement efforts by PUB. However, isolated cases of illegal discharge do s ll occur despite ongoing efforts at public educa on. Since its incep on, NEWater has gained trac on amongst industrial and commercial users for non-potable use. This has allowed us to offset about a fi h of local demand. In addi on to this, NEWater is also used to top up our reservoirs during dry weather, allowing us to maintain our local water stocks and ensure the security of our water supply. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2017




Treatment of Used Water



Seawater Desalination

Potable Water

Supply of Water to Population & Industries

Figure 8: Subsystem D

Subsystem D - desalinaƟon Desalina on is the process of removing salts and minerals from water. Typically this is done through the process of reverse osmosis where sea water is passed through membranes which remove the salts while allowing water to pass through. This process generates a stream of clean desalted water which is pumped into the potable water network and another stream of concentrated brine that is sent back to the sea. While the process allows us to take advantage of the ‘infinite’ water source that is the sea, there are challenges that prevent us from expanding our desalina on capacity. The main hurdle is the energy requirement of desalina on. High pressures are required to push seawater through the membranes and these pressures require a lot of energy to maintain. This makes desalina on much more costly than conven onal treatment processes and also increases the energy dependency of our water supply. While advancements in membrane technology have made the process more efficient, it s ll remains an energy-intensive one. Today, our desalina on capacity is able to meet roughly a quarter of our total water demand.

MANAGING THE SYSTEM With the many subsystems and their interdependencies, management of the overall system is complex. While the opera ng space is generally large and many feasible opera ng points exist, there is a driving need to op mise the overall system for cost, energy and system resilience par cularly as water is an essen al resource for both our economy and the well-being of all Singaporeans. Op misa on, however, o en has to involve a system perspecve so that all downstream and upstream components remain viable in these efforts. 42


Collection of Used Water in Sewers

Indeed, some op misa on can only be done at the system level. An example of this is the op misa on of our daily operaons to maximise storage in our reservoirs. This must be done at the system level as the outputs and inputs for each subsystem, in this case, are controlled by different en es. Op misa on of overall opera ons for cost is also another thing that has to be done at the system level to ensure that overall system objecves are not compromised. An example is the balancing of the daily load dispatch to tap on the cheapest sources first, while s ll ensuring that adequate system resilience and network supply is maintained.

Apart from op misa on, there are also many other aspects of opera ons which require a system level perspec ve to ensure that all trade-offs are taken into account for decision making. One example of this is the managing of water stocks in our impounding reservoirs. While maximising storage, it is also important to ensure that there remains good water movement to protect the quality of the water in our reservoirs. From the examples listed above, it is clear that the opera on and op misa on of the en re interconnected system is indeed not a simple one. While great strides have been made in op misa on, with the aid of new data sensing and analy cs technologies, greater strides can yet be made par cularly with the advent of machine learning and ever-improving compu ng technologies.

THE FUTURE We have come a long way and have overcome many challenges in ensuring a reliable water supply, but constant improvement is necessary. The reality of Singapore being a small country with no natural resources is one that will never change. As we head into the future, many uncertain es and challenges will present themselves and it is important that the con nual drive for improvement in the Singapore water system is maintained. While advancements made in each individual subsystem are opening up new possibili es, it is important that we con nue to search for new ways to improve the synergy between the subsystems. Systems Engineering was an indispensable part of the ‘engineering toolbox’ which allowed us to develop the system to what it is today and it will con nue to play an integral role in the future development of our water infrastructure. This complete approach, tapping on all engineering competencies is what will ul mately secure our water supply for the future, and in doing so, ensure the con nued well-being of all Singaporeans.


“ONCE UPON A TIME,” SAID THE ENGINEER by Dr Kourosh Kayvani, Global Director of Excellence and ExperƟse, Aurecon Who do we turn to when Singapore’s most congested MRT corridor is shut down due to signalling faults? Or when photos of flooding start to circulate on social media? The government wants Singapore to be a hub of technological innova on, so much so that they are inves ng a staggering SGD 120 million to meet the demand for 30,000 techengineering jobs by 2020. But the problem is that not many top students are choosing to become engineers.

Dr Kourosh Kayvani

As reported in the local newspapers, not enough engineering graduates are choosing to work as engineers. Could it be that careers that offer more allure and presge are drawing our bright minds away from engineering? Engineering is equally exci ng, but it is possibly less verbose and less showy than high-flying jobs in a bank or a Big Four consul ng firm. If we want to ensure a pipeline of engineers, we need to change this percep on. Can we engineers be convincing? Engineering forms the backbone of Singapore’s economy and designing Singapore’s future relies on a steady stream of passionate, qualified and capable engineers. Could the words “Once upon a me, said the engineer” avert this crisis?

Reimaging Singapore “All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town”. If Leo Tolstoy’s words are true, then engineers have the world’s best stories that are yet to be wri en. A good engineer is a classic traveller - constantly naviga ng ideas into reality. And yet, in spite of how essen al engineering is to human society, as a profession, it remains largely under-publicised. Most engineers do not recognise there is a story that needs telling - one in which our profession is the hero. When asked about our projects, we speak in the technical, when we should speak in the emo onal. Our legacies should be celebrated from the roo ops of the city skylines we have helped to build. Consider how Singapore has transformed into bustling communi es that are filled with history and modern infrastructure. These would not have been possible without engineers who were able to imagine something bigger and be er than what they were seeing. Engineers would do well to upskill themselves and embrace those most famous words “Let me tell you a 44


Engineers’ stories need to be told.

story…”. Without these words, you could be the best engineer in the world, but nobody will ever know, unless you can get people to understand what you have done and the value you have created. Our story is robust and essen al to the big picture, but we need to know how to share it, in order to foster rich communica on and meaningful collabora on, going forward. Our exper se needs to find a new language that is cap va ng, relevant and persuasive to listening ears.

The power of the narraƟve Now is the me for engineers to find their voice and tell stories, not just stories about where we have come from, but stories about where we are heading. The stories behind the remaking of our Civic District into a ‘Civic and Cultural District by the Bay’ are all much more impressive than the technical processes behind them. As technologists, engineers are best placed to understand what emerging technologies will mean to people’s lives. Most people are guessing what a world with autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, or ar ficial intelligence will look like and mean. As the creators of these technologies, engineers can paint that picture and reassure people of the benefits that will be created. But to do


so, engineers have to find their own voice. They have to move from “Once upon a me…” to “Just imagine a future where…” In today’s world, the engineer o en plays suppor ng roles in the story of design, si ng back to give the tradi onal spokesperson centre-stage. But our re cence impoverishes the process. Our exper se and knowledge are cri cal to the collec ve narra ve. Engineers should be the custodians of the design narra ve. This is a narrave about the future. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who lived from 1806 to 1859, and Gustave Eiffel, who lived from 1832 to 1923, became iconic engineers and custodians of the design narra ve. We need to reimagine a similar role for ourselves in this digital age. Looking forward, ‘Engineering-led Design’ suggests that our best ideas are yet to come. This highly collabora ve process hinges on a depth and breadth of exper se working together to tell a much bigger story. As we work with government and economic leaders to reimagine our physical spaces and infrastructure, engineers need to lead these conversa ons.

Lessons in leadership Brunel and Eiffel lived through a pivotal point of change, just as we are going through, now. The emergence of new technologies s mulated them to explore new crea ve and dazzling horizons. These engineers were leaders in the applica on of new material technologies, construc on techniques and ways of thinking about design. They were the trail-blazers. Our challenge is to redefine the role we play as engineers, in par cular, to sit at the top of the innova on chain of design. Just as Brunel or Eiffel were creators of solu ons and not technical func onaries, we need to trail-blaze and excel. Today, Elon Musk has changed the energy debate, leading the agenda, as opposed to following poli cal direcon. He has transformed the challenge of stabilising the na onal grid into an engineering-led debate.

The Building and Construc on Authority has a vision to create a future-ready built environment, es ma ng the value of construc on contracts to be awarded this year to reach between SGD 28 billion and SGD 35 billion. We need the big thinkers to bring these ideas and projects to life. We need to work together to transform building typologies beyond the mundane and into the awe-inspiring.

The packaging also maƩers In order to make the narrative memorable, the message must be simple. Why is this model of sustainable design important to the public? How will this breakthrough technology propel innovation to higher standards of health and safety? The story must also come with faces and names, emphasising the interconnectedness between our built environments and the occupants they serve. Authentic and fleshy, honest and on the ground, the engineer’s story is ultimately about people. The tools and technologies which we master are merely the scaffolding, but the design brief encompasses humanity itself. The first-known engineer is said to be Imhotep, whose inven on of the Step Pyramid was so inspiring that Ancient Egypt decided to pay him the compliment of making him a god. Idolatry is no longer up for debate, but aspira on is. Engineers do ourselves no favours by downplaying our capacity to drive future change. It is me we start sharing. If engineering is to move on from being an ‘invisible profession’, we must understand our pivotal role; and then make friends with the words “Once upon a me…” (Aurecon is a global engineering and infrastructure advisory company that brings ideas to life to design a be er future. The company provides advisory, design, delivery and asset management services on projects across a range of markets, in loca ons worldwide).

People before product Engineers are at the forefront of the innova ons that help solve the most complex challenges facing humanity and make the most ambi ous scien fic endeavours possible. Our work ma ers because it has exponen al impact on society. We carry fundamental knowledge and skills that provide the framework for how the world works, and we intrinsically understand how to correlate and synthesise these processes to facilitate human progress. But the value we offer as engineers is not only in the products we co-design. Our value lies in the knowledge we can unlock in others. Part of our storytelling journey is to translate informa on into wisdom. Knowing how it all works is not enough. It is about the people and communi es a par cular design works for.

The iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris is named a er Gustave Eiffel. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER July 2017




UNIVERSITY STUDENTS TO IES University is where many young engineers-to-be make first contact with the Ins tu on. Some join up as student members right off the bat, while others come in a er a few years in the industry. Keeping up with tradi on, IES was present during some of the recent orienta on camps held for engineering students at NUS.

dards as they determine the quality and reliability of the work that they do.”

NUS EnginCamp 2017

“This will help me to make more informed decisions on the possible different fields that I would like to specialise in the future,” he added.

The NUS EnginCamp is amongst the many highly an cipated events organised yearly by the NUS Students’ Engineering Club for incoming freshmen. A wide variety of games and ac vi es take place during each camp to encourage freshmen to know each other, as well as university life, be er.

He also felt that the regular industry visits organised by the IES would allow him to be er understand the working environment, in essence becoming something like a “minor internship”.

Working closely with the IES-NUS Student Chapter, IES par cipated as one of the organisa ons to speak with 285 students at the 2017 edi on of EnginCamp on 7 June. Mr Jason Tan, Head of Standards Division, SPRING Singapore, spoke on the various SMART Na on ini a ves. Ms Jo Ng, Assistant Director, SDO@IES, gave an introduc on to the Singapore Standardisa on Programme and Ms Agnes Ong, Membership Manager, shared the benefits of the IES Student Membership.

NUS Biomedical Engineering Freshmen OrientaƟon Camp 2017 On 13 June 2017, Ms Jo Ng, Assistant Director, SDO@IES, gave more than 100 Biomedical Engineering students an introduc on to the Singapore Standardisa on Programme while the IES Membership department shared with the students the benefits of joining IES as a Student Member.

Ms Jo Ng, Senior Manager, SDO@IES at the NUS EnginCamp 2017

In addi on, Dr Margam Chandrasekaran, Director, Wise Consultants and Services Pte Ltd, was also invited to give a talk on Cri cal Standards for Medical Devices Development. This was done during the NUS Biomedical Engineering Freshmen Orienta on Camp 2017, organised by the university’s student club. Mr Clarence Lee, a second-year mechanical engineering student who a ended the talk on 7 June, said, “A er the talk, my perspec ve of being an engineer has been broadened. It is important for every engineer to know stan-



Students found out more informa on about the benefits of joining IES as a student Member at the NUS Biomedical Engineering Freshmen Orienta on Camp 2017.


IES PARTICIPATES IN IEAM 2017 Apart from regular members, the engineering organisa ons of several countries were also invited to observe the mee ng under the pilot Global Reach Ini a ve. These countries have indicated interest in becoming provisional signatories of the various IEA accords. The other highlights of IEAM 2017 include the formal establishment of the Agreement for Interna onal Engineering Technicians with six founding members, the approval of Pakistan as a full signatory of WA, the Netherlands as IEAM 2017 in progress. The mee ng was held in Anchorage, Alaska, from 18 to 23 June 2017. a provisional member of IPEA, Malaysia and Sri Lanka as provisional signatories of the Sydney Accord and Malaysia as The Interna onal Engineering Alliance Mee ngs (IEAM) provisional signatory of the Dublin Accord. 2017 was hosted by the Accredita on Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) and Na onal Council of ExamFormal approval was also given to move IEAM from mee ng iners of Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) in Anchorage, biennially to annually. Training for reviewers will be included Alaska from 18 to 23 June 2017. as a new feature star ng from IEAM 2018 at London. Representing Singapore, a signatory of the Washington Accord (WA), and party to both the APEC Agreement and International Professional Engineers Agreement (IPEA), IES’ delegation to IEAM 2017 comprised Er. Dr Lock Kai Sang, Er. Dr Tan Teng Hooi, Er. Tan Seng Chuan and Ms Ang Chor Leng. Er. Chin Jen Chyi and Er. Lim Peng Hong from the Professional Engineers Board also attended the meeting.

Besides a well-organised mee ng, delegates and observers had the privilege of celebra ng the 10th anniversary of IEA. A global not-for-profit organisa on, IEA comprises members from 35 jurisdic ons within 26 countries, across seven interna onal agreements. These interna onal agreements govern the recogni on of engineering educa onal qualifica ons and professional competence.

IES HOSTS VISIT FROM ASME The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) visited IES on 21 June 2017 and met with representa ves from the Council, Technical Commi ees, as well as the Chief Execuve. During the visit, ASME and IES exchanged informa on with each other and provided updates on the various programmes and ini a ves run by each organisa on. Both organisa ons agreed to support each other on relevant engineering ma ers and indicated their interest in exploring collabora on opportuni es to strengthen the working rela onship.

(L to R) Mr Mervyn Sirisena, Vice President and Chairman, Educa on Group; Mr Harish Pillay, Chairman, Infocomm Technology Technical Commi ee; Dr Richard Kwok, Vice President and Chairman, Manufacturing Cluster; Mr Thomas G. Loughlin, Execu ve Director, ASME; Mr John Falcioni, Editorial Director and Publisher, ASME; Ms Allian Pra , Project Director, Execu ve OďŹƒce, ASME; and Mr Alvin Charm, Chief Execu ve, IES pose for a group photo a er the mee ng.





THE STARS Mr Beh Kian Teik, Assistant Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board

As six Singapore-made satellites launched into space orbit in December 2015, it marked an important milestone in Singapore’s space journey. The launch validated Singapore’s indigenous capabili es in small satellite engineering and decked Singapore with the necessary creden als. With space-qualified new satellite components and subsystems, and experience in small satellite design, assembly and integra on, Singapore is now ready to capture new opportuni es in this emerging industry. In fact, Singapore’s foray into this emerging space sector began much earlier. Back in 2011, Singapore had already built her first satellite – the X-Sat built by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and DSO Na onal Laboratories. The success of X-Sat subsequently resulted in the establishment of ST Electronics (Satellite Systems) - a joint venture between DSO Na onal Laboratories, NTU and ST Electronics. Who would have imagined Singapore staking a claim in this space (pun intended)? Without a doubt, this is an exci ng me to be in the business of satellite and space technology. Access to this final fron er has become increasingly affordable through the gradual decrease in launch cost and con nued miniaturisa on and standardisa on of small satellite technologies, resul ng in readily available off-the-shelf components. With barriers of entry into the space business reduced significantly, a whole host of new business opportuni es is now available to large and small companies alike. We set up the Office for Space Technology and Industry (OSTIn) in 2013 with the goal of crea ng for Singapore a vibrant space industry with high-value jobs including so ware, systems, mechanical and electronics engineering, just to name a few. We partner innova ve companies to create and export new businesses around space data and systems to encourage commercial success in space, and for Singapore. These companies include new upcoming players like Spire Global and Addvalue Technologies, and established players looking into innova on solu ons such as iDirect, Thales and Eutelsat. To stake our claim in this global industry, we chose the niche to focus our capabili es development on – small satellites. We are currently scoping out new small satellite missions and R&D programmes, which can poten ally include capabili es rela ng to satellite pla orm designs, visual analy cs/machine learning, new communica ons techniques (e.g. lasers communica ons, inter-satellite communica ons), deployable structures (e.g. deployable antennas) for small satellites pla orms, and propulsion technologies to enable small satellite constella ons. We welcome local and global industry partners to co-design future R&D programmes with us. This will enable Singapore’s space capabili es to be industry-relevant, and increase the translatability of R&D outcomes into innova ve new commercial products and services.

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Annual Dinner ––––––––––––––––––– Inside Front Cover

Mul Nine Corpora on Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––– Page 43

Building and Construc on Authority ––––––––– Page 29

Prota Asia Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––––––––––––– Page 01

Cementaid S.E.A. Pte Ltd –––––––––––––––––– Page 09

SBS Transit Ltd ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Page 15

Mitsubishi Electric Asia Pte Ltd ––––– Outside Back Cover



The Singapore Engineer July 2017  
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