THE MAGAZINE OF THE INSTITUTION OF ENGINEERS, SINGAPORE
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER
November 2018 | MCI (P) 009/03/2018
PROFESSIONAL CLEANING ROBOTS TO BE PRODUCED IN SINGAPORE
SEMICONDUCTOR TECHNOLOGY: Singapore’s semiconductor industry celebrates 50 years of achievements AEROSPACE ENGINEERING: Volocopter to test its Electrical Ver cal Take-Oﬀ and Landing (eVTOL) air taxis in Singapore INDUSTRIAL PLANT MANAGEMENT: Developing a condi on monitoring strategy
CONTENTS FEATURES COVER STORY
26 Professional cleaning robots to be produced in Singapore Their deployment is expected to start from April 2019.
28 The coming evolu on of service robots The scope covers shape-shi ing robots to robot-inclusive ci es.
DIGITALISATION 31 EcoStruxure Machine Advisor maximises the value of data for OEMs Operators can predict and execute preven ve maintenance schedules.
32 Singapore’s semiconductor industry celebrates 50 years of achievements The industry remains an important pillar of Singapore’s economy.
36 Demand for products expected to rise significantly Bosch is leveraging its exper se in both the semiconductor and automo ve industries.
38 ‘Future Health Index’ report shines spotlight on telehealth Despite proven benefits, there are challenges in accelera ng their widespread adop on.
President Prof Yeoh Lean Weng Chief Editor T Bhaskaran email@example.com
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Editorial Panel Er. Chong Kee Sen Dr Chandra Segaran Dr Ang Keng Been Mr Gary Ong Dr Victor Sim Mr Syafiq Shahul Media Representa ve Mul Nine Corpora on Pte Ltd sales@mul 9.com.sg
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
Design & layout by 2EZ Asia Pte Ltd Cover designed by Irin Kuah Cover image by LionsBot Interna onal Pte Ltd Published by The Ins tu on of Engineers, Singapore 70 Bukit Tinggi Road, Singapore 289758 Tel: 6469 5000 I Fax: 6467 1108 Printed in Singapore
AEROSPACE ENGINEERING 39 Volocopter to test its Electrical Ver cal Take-Oﬀ and Landing Taxis in Singapore They are designed for inner city opera on. 40 Crew assistant CIMON successfully completes first tasks in space Conversa on with astronaut on board the ISS makes aerospace history. 41 First Boeing 777X flight test airplane comes together Its first flight is scheduled for 2019, with the first delivery in 2020.
INDUSTRIAL PLANT MANAGEMENT 42 Developing a condi on monitoring strategy It will be beneficial to industries.
INDUSTRIAL CLEANING 44 Mee ng growing cleanliness demands reliably and cost-eﬀec vely Cleaning with carbon dioxide snow in a dry and residuefree process.
REGULAR SECTIONS 06 INDUSTRY NEWS 24 EVENTS 46 IES UPDATE
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.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
LAUNCH OF THE INDEX PARTNERS NETWORK
TO HELP COMPANIES IMPLEMENT INDUSTRY 4.0 The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) has announced the launch of the Index Partners Network (The Network) to help manufacturers accelerate the execu on of their Industry 4.0 ini a ves. The Network complements the Smart Industry Readiness Index (the Index) by building an ecosystem of partners, in the areas of technology, talent development and training, as well as financing that manufacturers can tap on to bridge the gap between the planning and execu on phases of their transforma on journey. EDB will also partner interna onal organisa ons to help regional governments and companies adopt the Index. “Beyond being a tool that helps manufacturers evaluate their readiness for transforma on, the Index provides a common language and framework for the various Industry 4.0 stakeholders to base their solu ons and oﬀerings on”, said Mr Lim Kok Kiang, Assistant Managing Director, EDB. “The Network takes us one step further by building a community of partners with diverse capabili es and exper se to help manufacturers execute their transforma on plans using the Index”, he added.
FOUR CATEGORIES OF PARTNERS TO SUPPORT MANUFACTURERS The Network will comprise four categories of partners to help manufacturers in their Industry 4.0 transforma on journey - technology, solu on and strategy partners; talent development and training partners; financial ins tuons; and interna onal pla orm and outreach partners.
Technology, solu on and strategy partners Technology, solu on and strategy partners help manufacturers translate transforma on plans into ac on by iden fying the systema c steps to be taken and the technology and solu ons required to implement these steps. EDB is collabora ng with McKinsey, SAP, Siemens and TÜV SÜD to develop a priori sa on matrix that will help manufacturers iden fy ini a ves that generate the greatest impact to their key performance targets. Local companies such as ATE, Auk Industries and PBA Group have also used the Index to categorise their products and services. The Singapore Ins tute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a research ins tute of the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), referenced the Index to develop a Digital Transforma on and Innova on (DTI) Methodology to help companies execute digital transforma on roadmaps and build in-house transforma on teams. Moving forward, SIMTech will be aligning its exis ng and upcoming research and development programmes to the Index.
Talent development and training partners In addi on, it is cri cal that the workforce has the right skills and knowledge required for Industry 4.0. Talent 06
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development and training partners such as Na onal University of Singapore (NUS) School of Con nuing and Lifelong Educa on (SCALE) will develop skills maps and curriculum, based on the Index, for ter ary and con nuous educa on programmes. For example, NUS is developing a new Industry 4.0 Master’s Degree programme, with modules that are mapped to all three building blocks of the Index. Through these courses, companies will be able to iden fy the right courses for their workforce, based on the assessment results.
Financial ins tu ons Financial ins tu ons will also form part of the Network, through the development of programmes and schemes targeted at suppor ng SMEs. For instance, DBS is developing schemes to support SMEs along their transforma on journeys, from the point of undertaking the Index assessment to implementa on of specific technologies and solu ons. DBS’ SME clients can now tap into the Index at a preferen al rate to help them iden fy gaps in their innova on and digital process in a systema c and comprehensive way. To further help customers adopt the latest technology that is relevant to their business, DBS also has a programme, TechMatch, to help SMEs define, design and develop the right technology solu ons for the business, by matching them with digital solu ons providers that are relevant to their industry.
Interna onal pla orm and outreach partners To fully harness the poten al of Industry 4.0, manufacturers need to digitalise and integrate their opera ons beyond a single facility. To do so eﬀec vely, interna onal pla orm and outreach partners will promote the Index as a common assessment tool to catalyse industry transforma on in the region. As part of the ini a ve, the Asian Produc vity Organisa on plans to assist its member countries to diagnose and develop na onal produc vity and innova on roadmaps. The Index will help member countries evaluate their readiness for Industry 4.0 and enable them to develop customised approaches necessary for transforma on.
Singapore Economic Development Board The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is responsible for strategies that enhance Singapore’s posi on as a global centre for business, innova on, and talent. The board undertakes investment promo on and industry development, and works with interna onal businesses, by providing informa on, connec on to partners and access to government incen ves for their investments. EDB’s mission is to create sustainable economic growth, with vibrant business and good job opportuni es for Singapore.
CAAS AWARDS CONTRACT FOR IMPROVING
ATC RADIO COMMUNICATIONS The Civil Avia on Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has awarded a contract to Rohde & Schwarz, to upgrade and expand the Air Traﬃc Control (ATC) radio communica ons system at Singapore Changi Airport. The enhanced system will further strengthen safety for airlines and passengers. As part of the contract, Rohde & Schwarz is required to provide auxiliary equipment, so ware, project management, training, as well as a er-sales services, for a 15-year period, to CAAS. Rohde and Schwarz, a global manufacturer of informa on and communica ons technology products, will install more than 240 R&S Series 4200 VHF/UHF1 radios at Changi, including at the new radio sta ons to be built at Changi East. Besides providing high-quality voice connec ons between pilots and air traﬃc controllers, these radios also deploy a new technology called Detec on of Simultaneous
Transmissions (DSiT). With the acquisi on of these radios, CAAS will be the first air naviga on service provider in the Asia Pacific region to adopt DSiT. DSiT enables the detec on and no fica on of simultaneous radio calls to air traﬃc controllers who can communicate with two counterparts at the same me. Mr Soh Poh Theen, Deputy Director-General (Air Navigaon Services), CAAS, said, “CAAS is con nually exploring new technologies to provide be er air traﬃc services and a higher level of safety. This technology will enhance communica ons between our controllers and pilots, thus improving opera onal safety. With air traﬃc projected to grow exponen ally in the region, it is impera ve for CAAS to invest in cri cal ATC infrastructure ahead of me”.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
NTU AND DELTA ELECTRONICS TO EXPAND JOINT
RESEARCH EFFORTS IN SMART TECHNOLOGIES Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Delta Electronics are expanding their research eﬀorts in innova ve manufacturing processes, and in improving learning and living experiences. The SGD 45 million Delta - NTU Corporate Laboratory for Cyber-Physical Systems was launched in 2016, with the support of the Na onal Research Founda on (NRF). The partners are opening a second laboratory space to accommodate the expansion in research ac vi es. The joint laboratory has developed innova ve solu ons such as a universal smart naviga on system where logiscs robots autonomously move goods in factories. The expanded laboratory already has 15 projects. These projects aim to improve and streamline industry processes and enhance learning technologies by integra ng computa on, networking, and physical processes or what is known as cyber-physical systems. Apart from the smart naviga on kit, the researchers have also developed a reconfigurable testbed that will allow factories to digi se and change their produc on line processes quickly. This is especially beneficial for manufacturing plants, as they can quickly adapt to changes and con nue to develop innova ve products. These technologies are testbedded on NTU’s Smart Campus which is home to a wide range of innova ons developed with leading industry partners.
Launching the second laboratory space are, from le , Delta Electronics Chairman, Mr Yancey Hai; NTU President, Prof Subra Suresh; and NRF CEO, Prof Low Teck Seng. Image by NTU.
duc vity in our manufacturing and logis cs companies. We believe that companies need to embrace the latest technologies to stay compe ve in today’s economy, and we look forward to see how the technologies developed in this lab can be adopted by companies to improve processes and generate more returns”. Since 2016, the Delta-NTU Corporate Laboratory has filed five patent submissions, secured two licences, and published over 50 papers. It also supports more than 60 NTU research staﬀ and graduate students, as well as scien sts and engineers from the Delta Research Centre in Singapore.
NTU President Professor Subra Suresh said, “In a short span of two years, the Delta-NTU Corporate Laboratory has developed innova ve solu ons that can help companies stay ahead of the curve by embracing cu ng-edge cyber-physical systems”.
Its expansion has accommodated the rapid growth in research ac vi es and also allows the joint research team to explore several new projects that involve partners from industry, government and academia.
“The early successes of the partnership and the expansion of its research ac vi es are aligned with the NTU Smart Campus vision, where we harness the power of digital and advanced technologies to support the discovery of new knowledge, and promote be er learning and living experiences”, he added.
Enhancing working and learning experiences
Delta Electronics CEO, Mr Cheng Ping, said, “Delta has a rich history and great success in collabora ng with academia, a value con nuously promoted and supported by our founder, Mr Bruce Cheng. As a corporate ci zen, we truly believe that cul va ng talent and nurturing innova on are the keys to a sustainable future”.
The research projects focus on four broad areas - Smart Manufacturing, Smart Learning, Smart Living and Smart Commercialisa on.
The innova ons developed by the corporate laboratory are commonly referred to as cyber-physical systems. They combine physical objects and virtual systems to create a networked world of intelligent cyber-physical elements interac ng through the Internet.
The Delta-NTU Corporate Laboratory is one of 12 corporate laboratories supported by the NRF which facilitates their establishment via public-private partnerships.
Under the Smart Manufacturing track, the universal smart naviga on kit for portable robots, known as automated guided vehicles (AGVs), can be deployed in various industrial environments. They use sensors, and magne c tapes or QR codes on the floor, to move materials and goods around a manufacturing facility or warehouse.
NRF CEO, Prof Low Teck Seng said, “Researchers at the Delta-NTU Corporate Laboratory have made headway in the development of advanced robo cs and sensor technologies that can automate opera ons and improve pro-
The new kit will increase AGVs’ flexibility with enhanced naviga on abili es, such as obstacle detec on, trajectory planning, and even automa c docking and charging. It will also be equipped with advanced laser-based sensors to
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generate a map of its surroundings, detect obstacles, and prevent collisions. With enhanced naviga on capabili es, AGVs would be able to operate in any complex environments beyond factories, such as hospitals and airports. Another project involves developing a reconfigurable testbed which will enable factories to easily digi se and modernise their manufacturing processes. Known as IMPACT, the Industry 4.0 system integrates cyber-physical systems and allows factories to benefit from automa on, ar ficial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Factories and manufacturing facili es would not only be able to quickly testbed working prototypes but conduct producon line changes within 10 minutes. Under the Smart Learning track, the corporate laboratory has developed a Smart Learning Pla orm that will equip professionals and enterprises with the latest Industry 4.0
skills. Suppor ng Singapore’s SkillsFuture ini a ve, the pla orm will combine the latest informa on from industry and data generated from par cipants’ learning proficiency, to create a customised content package that will enhance the overall learning experience. The pla orm is designed as a collabora ve tool which will help par cipants connect and learn alongside others, exchanging informa on seamlessly. It also provides mul ple scenarios that match diﬀerent levels of competencies and skills. ‘Interac ve markers’ that func on as bookmarkers and notes will help par cipants ease into the various learning scenarios. The research team is currently working with NTU’s College of Professional & Con nuing Educa on to explore more ways to provide lifelong learning opportuni es for industry professionals.
NANYANG POLYTECHNIC AND YITU COLLABORATE ON AI EDUCATION AND RESEARCH YITU Technology (YITU), a pioneer in Ar ficial Intelligence (AI) research and innova on, and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently to drive AI capabili es in Singapore and boost industry-relevant AI educa on and research. The MOU is a three-year partnership between YITU and NYP, that paves the way for both par es to jointly develop industry-relevant AI training courses aimed at boos ng local AI skillsets, in line with Singapore’s Smart Na on push. The AI training courses will be available for NYP students, staﬀ, and working professionals, in support of lifelong learning and workforce resilience in the AI economy. Real-life AI applica ons and case studies generated from YITU’s insights into industry trends will be introduced as part of the curriculum, as well. Since the launch of its first interna onal oﬃce in Singapore, YITU has worked to deepen its partnerships with academia and industry, with a view to developing the local AI talent pool. In par cular, YITU and NYP will explore the possibility of oﬀering NYP students and staﬀ access to YITU’s AI technologies to build their own AI applica ons for final-year and R&D projects in areas related to aerospace, Internet of Things (IoT) and Human Factors Engineering. As part of the AI training courses, YITU will partner NYP to equip students and staﬀ with prac cal hands-on experience in building AI applica ons for industries, such as retail and financial services, as well. For working professionals, advanced and masterclass AI courses, jointly developed by YITU and NYP, will be oﬀered, as part of NYP’s Con nuing Educa on and Training (CET) curriculum. The AI courses will focus on upskilling and retraining to prepare CET learners for AI-related roles in an AI-centric economy. YITU will also provide internship opportuni es for NYP learners and NYP staﬀ training, in addi on to company visits. It is envisioned that about 300 learners from NYP could benefit from these exposures.
To accelerate digital transforma on and innova on eﬀorts, the MOU also sets the founda on for further collabora on between YITU and NYP in three key areas. • Enhancing student engagement - YITU and NYP will explore the use of AI technologies to enhance campus services and improve classroom learning. • Improving employee readiness-for-work evalua on - YITU and NYP will explore the use of AI technologies to evaluate employee readiness-for-work and help raise workplace produc vity. • Transforming the Smart Retail Industry - YITU and NYP will explore the use of AI retail technologies to oﬀer consumers a unique retail experience and boost retailers’ compe ve edge. Staﬀ and students from NYP will work with AI researchers from YITU R&D Centre - Singapore to research and testbed these AI solu ons. “AI is a disruptive technology capable of transforming various industries. Through this timely collaboration between NYP and YITU, our learners will continue to deepen their skillsets in AI. They will be able to harness AI technologies to tackle challenges faced by retail and other industries, creating more opportunities for this technology to be used in both work and play”, said Mr Lee Youn Kay, Director, School of Engineering, NYP. “The rapid advancement of AI technologies plays an important role in furthering Singapore’s Smart Na on vision. As more enterprises seek to adopt AI to pivot and transform their businesses, there has also been a corresponding demand for AI exper se and skillsets. Our collabora on with NYP is a mely step forward in addressing the growing industry demand for AI talent. This partnership underscores YITU’s commitment in collabora ng with local educa onal ins tutes to help develop Singapore’s workforce of the future”, said Dr Zhang Zhenjie, R&D Director of YITU Singapore.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
TAPPING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF SINGAPORE’S MANUFACTURING SECTOR Microso Singapore recently inked three Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to accelerate the digital transformaon of Singapore’s manufacturing sector. The MoUs were signed with A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), Singapore Ins tute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and Industrial Internet of Things Innova on (I3) Pla orm. Following the signing of the MoUs are, from le , Phua Han Tian, Programme Director, Industrial Internet Manufacturing contributes about a of Things Innova on (I3), A*STAR; Lee Eng Wah, Deputy Execu ve Director, SIMTech, A*STAR; Richard Koh, fi h of Singapore’s GDP. According Chief Technology Oﬃcer, Microso Singapore; Tan Sze Wee, Execu ve Director, Science and Engineering to the ‘Unlocking the Economic Research Council, A*STAR; and Ber l Brandin, Strategic Development Director, ARTC, A*STAR. Impact of Digital Transforma on in Asia Pacific’ study, conducted by from a range of science and engineering fields in A*STAR, Microso and IDC Asia/Pacific, earlier this year, digital to work with Microso to demonstrate and test-bed comtransforma on of the manufacturing sector can provide prehensive end-to-end IIoT solu ons for manufacturers. significant economic value, adding USD 387 billion to The MoUs will also pave the way for Microso to co-deAsia Pacific’s GDP by 2021 and increase CAGR by 1% velop and co-innovate with ARTC, SIMTech and the I3 annually. Pla orm pilot projects for selected business use-case sceThe study also revealed that manufacturers who are unnarios, which could poten ally be selected for opera ondergoing digital transforma on today are seeing tangible alisa on by each en ty, with Microso providing technical improvements to their businesses, of between 13% and resources and support for deployment. 17%, in areas such as produc vity, profit margins, and cost-reduc on, and can also expect these to increase to Empowering a future-ready manufacturing workforce at least 40% in the next three years. Addi onally, 44% As manufacturing becomes an increasingly technical cra , of respondents pointed out that one of their key performanufacturing jobs will cease to be defined by manual lamance indicators (KPIs) used to measure digital transforbour. Instead, the future of manufacturing will be characma on success today is tracking how data is being used as terised by skilled labourers whose eﬀorts are augmented a capital asset, and manufacturers are planning to invest in by technology, and with it, the rise of the no-collar workcloud and big data analy cs, followed by AI, robo cs and force. Due to this shi from blue collar to no-collar jobs, Internet of Things (IoT) solu ons this year, to harness the manufacturers globally are struggling to find workers with power of data. the skills necessary to meet today’s advanced manufacturing requirements. Accelera ng digital transforma on of Singapore’s
As part of the MOUs signed, Microso will collaborate with A*STAR’s ARTC and SIMTech to help manufacturers drive the digitalisa on of the local manufacturing sector by transforming their factory opera ons through the adop on of ar ficial intelligence technologies. The two research en es oﬀer capabili es in advanced manufacturing and provide an environment for test-bedding the latest manufacturing innova ons. Microso will also work with A*STAR’s I3 Pla orm to drive the adop on of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies - beyond the factory floor - by local manufacturing companies. In addi on to its own competencies, the I3 Pla orm will also pull together diverse capabili es, 10
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According to the study, while growing cybersecurity threats and a siloed culture con nue to challenge manufacturers, the lack of skills emerged as the top digital transforma on challenge for manufacturers. The most urgent need is to address the skills gap within the industry, especially when one considers that respondents expect 85% of jobs within the sector to be transformed in the next three years. To address the skills gap, Microso will work with ARTC, SIMTech and the I3 Pla orm to train the local manufacturing workforce, so that engineers and technicians will be equipped with skills in areas such as AI, mixed reality, IIoT and data analy cs, that are vital in the age of Industry 4.0.
KASPERSKY LAB WINS AWARD
FOR TECHNICAL SECURITY RESEARCH The Kaspersky Lab Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) was recognised with the Annual Péter Szőr Award for Technical Security Research for its work on uncovering and analysing the ShadowPad opera on, one of the most significant supply-chain a acks known to-date. The award was received during Virus Bulle n 2018, held from 3 to 5 October 2018, at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel in Montreal, Canada. In July 2017, Kaspersky Lab researchers discovered ShadowPad, a malicious code hidden inside server management so ware that is used by hundreds of enterprises around the world. The code was planted in the latest updates of this so ware which is used in various industries. The researchers found that following the installa on of an infected so ware update, the malicious module would
send DNS-queries to specific domains (its command and control server), once every eight hours. The request would contain basic informa on about the vic m’s system. If the a ackers considered the system to be ‘interes ng,’ the command server would reply and ac vate a fully-fledged backdoor pla orm that would silently deploy itself inside the a acked computer. A er that, on command from the a ackers, the backdoor pla orm would be able to download and execute further malicious code. The Péter Szőr award aims to recognise the best piece of technical security research published each year. Nominaons for the award are sought from the security community at large, and a final shortlist is voted on by the Virus Bulle n advisory board. The award is presented each year at the annual Virus Bulle n conference.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
CO INNOVATION SPACE IN SINGAPORE Infineon Technologies, a world leader in semiconductor solu ons, headquartered in Germany, recently opened a global Co-Innova on Space in Singapore, to help startups create prototypes or viable semiconductor solu ons for commercial presenta on, quickly. The Oﬃcial Opening of the Co-Innova on Space was held at the company’s inaugural one-day technology symposium, Infineon OktoberTech Asia 2018, to generate ideas for collabora on among industry peers and to showcase experienal demonstra ons and solu ons for mobility, smart home, smart manufacturing and smart city infrastructure. Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore, was the Guest-of-Honour at the event.
Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore and Dr Helmut Gassel, Chief Marke ng Oﬃcer, Infineon Technologies AG, at the Oﬃcial Opening of the Co-Innova on Space at Infineon’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore.
The 250 m2 Co-Innova on Space at Infineon’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore aims to fast-track the product development process of start-ups. Infineon’s Singapore facility employs more than 2,000 professionals, in sales, research & development (R&D), distribu on and advanced manufacturing leveraging elements of Industry 4.0. Its regional R&D team members are involved in areas such as concept and system engineering, IP genera on, analogue and mixed signal modules design, chip product development, product and test engineering, produc on ramp-up management, and applica on engineering. Experts at Infineon will provide start-ups with training and guidance in design thinking, business innova on thinking, access to the company’s research and development (R&D) and manufacturing facili es, and connec ons to major Infineon partners and customers in the region. “The Internet of Things and big data bring new players into the electronics market and require strong collaboraon across diﬀerent know-how domains. Co-innova on is key to business success in this dynamic environment”, said Dr Helmut Gassel, Chief Marke ng Oﬃcer, Infineon Technologies AG. “The Co-Innova on Space will be a living lab for Infineon and promising start-up partners. Together, we will develop new applica ons linking the real and the digital world”, he added. “Working closely together with the start-ups give us the opportuni es to exchange knowledge while providing them with access to technologies, a network of partners and customers around the world. Through the Infineon Co-Innova on Space, we look forward to new products that will impact the world and make life easier, safer and greener for society”, said Mr Chua Chee Seong, President and Managing Director, Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific. “The set-up of Infineon’s Co-Innova on Space is an example of Singapore’s eﬀorts to encourage partnerships 12
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Seated in the front row, from le , Dr Helmut Gassel, Dr Koh Poh Koon and Dr Ulrich A Sante, German Ambassador to Singapore, with representa ves of the four start-ups and Infineon team members.
in germina ng innova ve ideas and allowing space for co-crea on oopportuni es”, said Mr Lim Kok Kiang, Assistant Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). The four selected start-ups at the first Infineon Co-Innovaon Space will be crea ng products for a variety of industries and markets across developing and developed na ons. • Ampotech, a specialist in data collec on and analysis of electricity usage, is crea ng hardware and so ware soluons that will provide real- me visibility into power and energy consump on of spaces and equipment at a facility. • Plunify, an electronic design automa on (EDA) company, aims to create on-premise and cloud-based design op misa on tools and services for electronics manufacturers around the world. • SHADO develops zero carbon emission vehicles as well as complete end-to-end fleet charging and fleet management solu ons for Asia’s mobility needs. • XNERGY aims to develop energy-eﬃcient, safe and easy-to-integrate, next-genera on wireless power transfer and charging technologies for autonomous devices, including mobile robots and mobility vehicles.
ARROW ELECTRONICS AND INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES SIGN MOU in their idea-to-impact product journey, by overcoming technical challenges and gaining cri cal IoT technology know-how, to turn a design into a product that is ready to be manufactured. “As a start-up accelerator, we have seen a lot of talented entrepreneurs and promising startups in Singapore, who are ready to take oﬀ and thrive. They have great business ideas and the vision to contribute to the na on”, said Mr Kwai Seng Lee, Managing Director, AIRmaker. At the signing of the MoU between Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific and Arrow Electronics Asia are, from le , Natarajan MM and Mr Esmond Wong, from Arrow; Dr Ulrich A Sante, German Ambassador to Singapore; Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore; and Dr Helmut Gassel and Mr Chua Chee Seong, from Infineon.
“Global technology companies such as Arrow bring technology know-how and engineering exper se that can help startups throughout their idea-to-impact innova on journey”, he added.
Global technology solu ons provider, Arrow Electronics Inc, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Infineon Technologies, to provide start-up businesses in Southeast Asia, India, Australia and New Zealand, with innova ve products and engineering support to help them accelerate the idea-to-impact innova on journey.
Bentley Systems announces agreement to acquire AIworx
The MoU was signed at Infineon OktoberTech Asia 2018. “Infineon oﬀers a wide range of microelectronics that connects the digital world of data with the real world of things, from sensors to security chips”, said Mr Chua Chee Seong, President and Managing Director, Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific. “Infineon’s collabora on with Arrow will oﬀer start-ups the capabili es and innova ons to develop the next genera on of intelligent and intui ve devices”, he added. “With technologies rapidly evolving in the last few years, start-ups constantly face challenges to stay ahead of the game. They are o en in need of engineering exper se, especially in areas such as wireless connec vity, sensing and controlling, and system integra on. This is where Arrow can come in, to bridge these knowledge gaps and accelerate turning innova ve ideas to impac ul invenons/businesses”, said Mr Natarajan MM, Vice President of Sales for South Asia at Arrow. “We are excited to extend our long-standing collaboraon with Infineon and put a wide range of innova ve products in the hands of the innovators and engineers, especially in the areas of autonomous cars, electrified low-speed vehicles, robo cs, industry 4.0, and smart home and city applica ons”, he added. Arrow is commi ed to suppor ng the start-up ecosystem in Singapore, and has announced a collabora on with AIRmaker, a Singapore-based Internet of Things (IoT) accelerator. Arrow has been helping the AIRmaker programme start-ups become more eﬀec ve and produc ve
Bentley Systems Incorporated, a leading global provider of comprehensive so ware solu ons for advancing the design, construc on, and opera ons of infrastructure, recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Quebec City-based AIworx, Inc, provider of machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and services. The addi on of AIworx brings advancements in data collec on and analysis to leverage infrastructure engineering digital twins, con nuously updated with real- me contextual informa on, to op mise produc vity, opera ons, and maintenance. Andre Villemaire, Co-Founder and President of AIworx, said, “AIworx has been providing machine learning and IoT technologies and services to help organisa ons generate, understand, and act on data, so they can make be er business decisions. The biggest opportuni es we have worked on, have to do with improving infrastructure asset performance on an industrial scale, by way of the data from connected machines, instrumenta on, sensors, and communica ons systems - and we are excited to dedicate ourselves to that advancement. Now, by incorpora ng our tools into Bentley’s services for digital twins, we enable infrastructure operators to mul ply the poten al benefits of machine learning and IoT”. Francois Valois, Vice President of Por olio Development for Bentley Systems, said, “Machine learning and IoT technologies have created the opportunity for profound improvements in produc vity and eﬃciency of infrastructure. Our new colleagues from AIworx have already been delivering on this poten al, and now, leveraging the analy cs visibility, which Bentley’s digital twin cloud services uniquely provide, these advancements from going digital will accelerate exponen ally”.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
SINGAPORE BECOMES A KEY DATA ROUTE HUB With the commencement of opera on of the Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) on 14 September 2018, Singapore has become an important strategic communica ons hub not only for the region but also to the rest of the world. The ASC is a 4,600 km submarine cable system linking Perth, Western Australia to Singapore via Jakarta, Indonesia, providing a much needed alterna ve to the ageing Sea-Me-We3 submarine cable. The ASC will stretch between Perth and Southeast Asian countries, with landing points in Jakarta and Tanah Merah, Singapore. Cos ng USD 170 million, the ASC will deliver 40Tbps of capacity via the Vocus Australian terrestrial network and will oﬀer a significant boost to Australia’s interna onal connec vity capacity into the important Asian region. Linking Vocus Communica ons’ Australian terrestrial fibre network to Singapore and Indonesia, the ASC will benefit consumers and businesses throughout the region. The ASC also opens the door for a new strategic data route called the Great Southern Route (GSR) which will connect Southeast Asia to North America via Australia. The GSR provides a new cost-eﬀec ve alterna ve to exis ng Pacific routes, to service the massive growth in data transit, u lising the latest technology and diversity. Vocus Group Chief Execu ve and Managing Director, Mr Kevin Russell, said, “The ASC took almost two years to construct and involved more than five years of planning, laying 4600 km of undersea cable (at mes, kilometres down to the ocean bed) and with more than 60 staﬀ involved in the construc on. What is more important is that the project was delivered on me and under budget. I am very pleased to note that the ASC marks the
A cross-sec on of the cable. 14
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fully opera onal start of Australia’s newest, fastest and most direct connec vity route into Asia and beyond”. Singapore plays a pivotal role in the ASC. The country’s advanced technology infrastructure hosts many of the world’s major content providMr Kevin Russell ers and also supports an extensive interconnec on within greater Asia. The ASC is a four-pair fibre network which will deliver a minimum of 40 Tbps of capacity. This is fast enough to stream more than 8 million HD movies simultaneously and with some bandwidth to spare. The ASC, which is solely owned by Vocus Communicaons, extends the reach of the company’s 27,000 km Australian fibre network, delivering connec vity, bandwidth and reliabililty, to consumers and business as the world becomes more data-driven. “The investment case for ASC is underprinned by strong demand, the need for diversity and resilience for both the Australian and Asian markets. The fact that ASC will connect Australia to Southeast Asia, India and Europe, at lower round-trip mes, is an important considera on”, Mr Russell added.
The cable being loaded for transporta on.
SINGTEL UNVEILS LIQUID INFRASTRUCTURE PLATFORM Singtel recently launched Liquid Infrastructure, a new genera on pla orm that helps enterprises configure their networks with ease, to support their business requirements with greater control and agility.
wide area networking. Liquid Infrastructure is designed for use in op mised cloud access, flexible bandwidth adjustment, virtual network func on, Internet of Things connec vity and fast remote site deployment.
Designed to help enterprises execute their digital transforma on, the fully orchestrated, data-driven and highly agile pla orm integrates physical and virtual network services. Embedded with network visibility and intelligence, Liquid Infrastructure allows enterprises to deploy network resources as and when needed, helping companies save me, money and resources.
To enable Liquid Infrastructure, Singtel has strategically upgraded its global IP network with increased flexibility and so ware capabili es. Enterprises will be able to view network informa on, provision new services and scale their network bandwidths through a single portal.
The pla orm integrates Singtelâ€™s industry-leading data network infrastructure with virtual network services that seamlessly combine the strength of private and public
Liquid Infrastructure is available globally and integrated seamlessly with Singtelâ€™s extensive assets comprising submarine cables, IP VPN network with 428 points of presence and global Internet service, in more than 200 countries.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
KBC ESTABLISHES ENERGY AND SUSTAINABILITY
CO PILOT HUB IN SINGAPORE KBC, a Yokogawa company, recently announced the launch of the Energy and Sustainability CoPilot hub in Singapore to address environmental sustainability ini a ves. The new Singapore-based Co-Pilot hub will build and adapt energy management and op misa on systems, conduct research and development to create the next genera on of energy analy cs applica ons, and deliver KBC’s cloud-based solu ons. The first solu on to come from the Energy and Sustainability Co-Pilot hub is KBC’s Energy and Sustainability Co-Pilot service. The Co-Pilot securely connects KBC’s energy and carbon At the launch of the Energy and Sustainability Co-Pilot hub in Singapore are, from le , Bradley Ford and emissions management so ware Andrew Morrison, from KBC, and Satoru Kurosu and Kenji Hasegawa, from Yokogawa. to data sources in an industrial plant, crea ng its ‘digital twin’. expanding its team of experts already in Singapore”, said Through a combina on of rigorous analy cal technology Andy Howell, CEO, KBC. and human exper se, it determines how to help the The aim of the Energy and Sustainability Co-Pilot hub is plant reduce energy usage and emissions, without to enable energy and chemical companies in Singapore aﬀec ng produc on goals. to comply with legisla ve requirements around Because Co-Pilot is delivered as a cloud service, it energy and carbon emission reduc on. KBC’s parent makes adop on and compliance with regula on company, Yokogawa, has a long history of co-innova on simple, and it can be implemented and maintained with industry in Singapore and a strong commitment with minimal impact on opera ng personnel and the to suppor ng achievement of the UN Sustainable plant. Oversight by KBC experts ensures that advice and Development Goals and providing solu ons to improve recommenda ons are implemented, and capability is the energy and environmental performance of the transferred to the sites over me. The solu on works industries it serves. in real- me, con nually monitoring and adjus ng to “I am confident that this ini a ve increases Yokogawa’s changes in plant performance and external economics, ability to support our customers in Singapore in to help the plant achieve its full poten al savings. achieving their full poten al in terms of energy savings Co-Pilot is available immediately and will enable a plant and carbon emissions minimisa on. We intend to expand to simultaneously op mise the supply, demand and rethe use of the KBC Energy and Sustainability Co-Pilot use of energy. It has a modest set-up cost and a monthly hub to serve our customers in the nearby Southeast subscrip on, which results in a risk-free cashflow posi ve Asia region and eventually further afield throughout the programme for customers. It is expected to reduce Asia-Pacific region”, said Satoru Kurosu, Director and site energy use and carbon emissions by around 10%, Execu ve Vice President, Yokogawa. leading to significant economic returns of between five “Singapore is accelera ng eﬀorts to reduce carbon and 10 mes the investment, driven primarily by lower emissions and encourage energy eﬃciency across opera ng costs. industries, as part of our commitment towards climate “KBC is bringing new technologies, services and business change. KBC’s new Energy and Sustainability Co-Pilot hub models to Singapore, leveraging robust and secure cloud will complement our sustainability goals, combining the services at the high standard demanded by the energy latest digital technologies and their opera onal knowand chemical industry. It will not only help Singapore’s how to partner businesses along this journey”, said energy and chemical industry to achieve world leading Mr Lim Kok Kiang, Assistant Managing Director, levels of eﬃciency, but in turn will result in KBC Singapore Economic Development Board. 16
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
SIEMENS AND ARUBA FORM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP FOR INTEGRATED NETWORKS Siemens and Aruba, a Hewle Packard Enterprise company, recently announced a strategic partnership focused on bridging the Opera onal Technology (OT) and Informa on Technology (IT) worlds. Based on their complementary por olios, Siemens and Aruba can support customers with reliable, secure and insigh ul data networks, enabling high plant and network availability. Digitalisa on, Industrie 4.0 and Industrial IoT are raising new challenges because, now, data increasingly must traverse the boundary separa ng OT and IT. Bridging that divide requires deep exper se in both worlds and knowledge of the respec ve opera onal and security requirements. In the IT world, cybersecurity and trustworthy data are top priori es, whereas in the
OT world, plant availability and manufacturing output targets are most important. Siemens and Aruba bridge this divide, based on their deep and complementary exper se in OT and IT. By providing integrated networks with tested interoperability and documented in validated reference designs, the two companies help to ensure that integrated OT/IT systems can be installed rapidly and with ease, operated more securely, and supported more eďŹƒciently. The solu ons include wired and wireless networking products and related so ware that can be implemented via several channels, including the companiesâ€™ extensive partner networks with direct access to their engineering and support experts.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
NEW OFFICE IN SINGAPORE Leading 3D printer manufacturer, Ul maker, has opened a new oﬃce in Singapore, to meet the growing demand for the company’s 3D printers in the APAC region. Ul maker has grown in just seven years, to become a global market leader with powerful, professional and accessible desktop 3D printers. Jos Burger, CEO, Ul maker, said, “3D prin ng is not used for only prototyping, anymore. It is a reliable and accessible technique that is now causing the next revolu on in manufacturing. This is already visible in the strong business cases from leading global companies, such as Volkswagen, Ford, Jabil, Decathlon and Bosch. These enterprises all use Ul maker 3D printers to work smarter and speed up their innova on”. “We see a growing demand for Ultimaker 3D printers in the APAC region from similar enterprise clients and innovative SMEs. By opening office facilities in Singapore, we can better manage these demands locally, and support our well-established APAC Sales Partner Network in taking the next step in accelerating the world’s transition to local digital manufacturing”, he added. Benjamin Tan, Vice President, APAC, Ul maker, sees a strong poten al for developing 3D prin ng as an industry in the region. He said, “There is a greater understanding of addi ve manufacturing in Asia Pacific. And, as per Wohlers Report, AP is poised to take a 30% share of the global 3D prin ng space. We will leverage our business development eﬀorts to target AP mul na onals, and work closely with them to improve the supply chain”.
New jobs available The growth of Ul maker also opens up new jobs at the company’s various loca ons around the world.
Ul maker Ul maker has been in opera on since 2011, and over the years has grown to become a market leader; crea ng powerful, professional, and accessible desktop 3D printers. The company has oﬃces in the Netherlands, the US and Singapore, plus produc on facili es in Europe and the US. Ul maker has a team of over 350 employees.
Keysight releases results of survey on 5G Keysight Technologies Inc, a leading technology company, recently released the results of the Keysight 2018 State of 5G survey which reveals that companies primarily invest in 5G technology to secure market leadership, meet customer demand, and take advantage of flexible and scalable networks. The Keysight 2018 State of 5G Survey shows more than half (54%) of companies surveyed are already adop ng 5G technologies, with 46% ci ng securing market leadership early in the 5G lifecycle as the primary driver for their investments. And, more than two-thirds of respondents said they are ac vely seeking 5G test solu ons to accelerate the development or rollout of 5G technology. “To meet customer demand and establish market leadership, equipment manufacturers and service providers need early access to 5G test tools and capabili es”, said Kailash Narayanan, Vice President and General Manager of Wireless Devices and Operators at Keysight Technologies. “Keysight’s close collabora ons with industry consor a and market leaders, deep technical exper se, and endto-end 5G test solu ons are empowering the mobile industry to accelerate 5G product design development and commercialisa on”, he added. Most respondents (63%) of the Keysight survey expect higher reliability and lower latency to create the biggest impact from 5G technology. These aspects are important to address new business opportuni es. Respondents indicated that the top three benefits of implemen ng 5G technology are faster networks, greater IoT enablement, and connected car prolifera on.
Key execu ves of Ul maker at the opening of the company’s new oﬃce in Singapore - from le , Siert Wijna, CTO; Benjamin Tan, VP, APAC; Jos Burger, CEO; and Paul Heiden, Senior VP, Product Management.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
By leveraging new and exis ng technologies, including wider bandwidths in millimetre-wave frequencies, massive MIMO and virtualised networks, 5G will deliver a mul tude of benefits to meet customer demand across a wide range of ver cal industries.
STANDARDS MAPPING TOOL TO HELP ENTERPRISES
BUILD CAPABILITIES FOR INDUSTRY 4.0 To make it easier for enterprises to iden fy relevant standards that can be used to upgrade their Industry 4.0 capabili es, Enterprise Singapore and Singapore Standards Council have developed the Standards Mapping for Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index (SmS). The SmS maps relevant na onal and interna onal standards to the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index (The Index). It provides the manufacturing industry with good prac ces to address key requirements for interoperability, reliability, safety and cybersecurity. SmS is mapped to the Index’s eight pillars of focus Opera ons, Supply Chain, Product Lifecycle, Automa on, Connec vity, Intelligence, Structure & Management, and Talent Readiness - and includes 60 standards which support the adop on of smart manufacturing, robo cs, automa on and cybersecurity. This first edi on was developed by industry experts from the Manufacturing Standards Commi ee with support from TÜV SÜD, who was involved in the development of the Index. It will be made available on the Singapore Manufacturing Federa on – Standards Development Organisa on’s website at sms.smf-sdo.org. sg where guiding ques ons will help enterprises iden fy the standards to address their key areas of need. To ensure its relevance to enterprises, the SmS will be reviewed and updated regularly. The Manufacturing Standards Commi ee (MSC) is one of the standards commi ees of the industry-led Singapore
Standards Council. It develops manufacturing and general standards to support the growth of the addi ve manufacturing, aerospace, marine & oﬀshore, robo cs and autonomous vehicles sectors.
The Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index The Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index (the Index) is a world-first Industry 4.0 tool developed by the Singapore Government to enable the transforma on of industrial sectors, at both the enterprise and na onal levels. Created in partnership with global tes ng, inspec on, cer fica on and training company, TÜV SÜD, and validated by an advisory panel of industry and academic experts, the Index has been designed as a comprehensive tool to help companies across all industries and sizes to harness the value of Industry 4.0 in a systema c and comprehensive way. At the enterprise level, the Index lays outs a four-step approach to help manufacturing firms learn about Industry 4.0 concepts, evaluate the current state of their facili es, architect a transforma on roadmap, and deliver sustained value for their businesses. At the na onal level, the Index has the poten al to serve as a metric for Industry 4.0-maturity benchmarking within and across industries, thereby enabling government bodies to be er design sector-specific policy interven ons to accelerate the transforma on of industrial sectors.
NAMIC in partnership with ASTM Interna onal A global standards leader, ASTM Interna onal, recently announced that Singapore’s Na onal Addi ve Manufacturing Innova on Cluster (NAMIC) will join its Addi ve Manufacturing Center of Excellence as a strategic partner. ASTM Interna onal recently launched the centre to support R&D that advances addi ve manufacturing standards. NAMIC will coordinate the centre’s R&D and related ac vi es for the Asia-Pacific region, while also inves ng up to SGD 2 million in the first two years. NAMIC’s partnership with ASTM Interna onal is the first in Asia, suppor ng R&D and standardisa on ac vi es that will help drive commercialisa on of cu ng-edge addi ve manufacturing technologies in Singapore’s leading sectors such as aerospace, marine & oﬀshore, as well as logis cs and fabrica on. Founding partners of the centre are Auburn University, NASA, manufacturing technology innovator EWI, and the UK-based Manufacturing Technology Centre. NAMIC and the US Na onal Ins tute for Avia on Research (NIAR) are the first two strategic partners. Na onal Addi ve Manufacturing Innova on Cluster Na onal Addi ve Manufacturing Innova on Cluster (NAMIC) is a pan-na onal ini a ve led by NTUi ve, supported by the Na onal Research Founda on and in partnership with Enterprise Singapore and the Singapore Economic Development Board. NAMIC aims to increase Singapore’s adop on of addi ve manufacturing technologies to enhance compe veness in the rapidly evolving landscape of digital industrialisa on. This is accomplished by nurturing promising AM technologies and startups, as well as accelera ng transla on R&D from public sector funded ins tu ons with a focus on commercial applica ons. NAMIC seeds and enables public-private cross-collabora on, ac ng as a connector between industry, research performers and public agencies. It also assists companies seeking capital injec on either through project joint-funding or leveraging on its investor networks. NTUi ve is the innova on and enterprise company of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
ABB TO BUILD ADVANCED ROBOTICS FACTORY IN SHANGHAI ABB has announced a major, new USD 150 million investment in Shanghai, China, to build what is said to be the world’s most advanced, automated and flexible robo cs factory - a cu ngedge centre where robots make robots. The new manufacturing centre in Kangqiao, near ABB’s expansive China robo cs campus, will combine the company’s connected digital technologies, including ABB Ability solu ons, advanced collabora ve robo cs and innova ve ar ficial intelligence research, to create a sophis cated and environmentally sustainable ‘factory of the future’. It is expected to begin opera ng by the end of 2020.
At ABB’s advanced robo cs factory in Shanghai, robots will build robots.
The announcement marks a significant milestone for ABB as China’s leading robotics manufacturer, as well as a critical investment for the company in the world’s largest robotics market. In 2017, China purchased nearly 138,000 robots, representing one out of every three units sold in the world. Today, ABB employs approximately 5,000 people in Shanghai, and the company’s robotics businesses in China employ more than 2,000 engineers, technology experts and operational leaders, in 20 locations across the country. ABB has invested more than USD 2.4 billion in China, since 1992, with over 18,000 employees, in total. ABB and the Shanghai municipal government also signed a comprehensive strategic coopera on agreement, focused on suppor ng industry, energy, transport and infrastructure in the region, and to support the ‘Made in Shanghai’ manufacturing ini a ve. The agreement was signed by Shanghai Mayor, Ying Yong and ABB CEO, Ulrich Spiesshofer.
Tailored solu ons and be er performance The new Shanghai factory will feature a number of machine learning, digital and collabora ve solu ons, to make it an advanced, automated and flexible factory in the robo cs industry, and an onsite R&D centre will help accelerate innova ons in ar ficial intelligence. Using a new, global design approach that ABB announced earlier this year, the factory will be able to drama cally increase both the types of robots and varia ons within each type, that can be made onsite, allowing greater and faster customisa on to meet the needs of customers. 20
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ABB will also be able to combine this expanded por olio of robo cs into a large number of tailored solu ons. The en re Shanghai factory will be modelled as a digital twin which will provide intui vely tailored dashboards for management, engineers, operators and maintenance experts, to make the best decisions. This includes gathering and analysing intelligence, through ABB Ability Connected Services, on the health and performance of ABB robots in the factory, to ensure early iden fica on of poten al anomalies. In addi on to avoiding costly down me, ABB Ability oﬀers advanced digital solu ons that can improve performance, reliability and energy usage, as well as providing access to the world’s best pla orms, such as the Microso Azure enterprise cloud which is the first interna onal public cloud service operated in China.
Making be er use of manufacturing space The new factory will have an innova ve, flexible floorplan based on interlinked islands of automa on, rather than fixed assembly lines. ABB logis cs automa on solu ons will be used throughout the plant, including automa c guided vehicles that can autonomously follow robots as they move through produc on, supplying them with parts from localised sta ons. This will allow produc on to adapt and scale eﬃciently to changes in China’s robot market, without addi onal capacity expansions. The new Shanghai factory, with a comprehensive R&D centre onsite, will become a key part of ABB’s global robo cs supply system, together with the company’s recently upgraded factory in Västerås, Sweden and its factory in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA.
PROGRAMMING DEVICE WITH
RUGGED HARDWARE FOR MOBILE ENGINEERING The latest genera on of ready-to-use, high-performance programming devices from Siemens has been op mised for engineering with the TIA Portal and designed for mobile use in machines and plants for configura on, commissioning, service, and maintenance. The new Sima c Field PG M6 programming device, with a silver housing cover and M6 inscrip on, is equipped with a high-speed DDR4 work memory of up to 32 GB and an impact-resistant SSD mass storage device of up to 2 TB. Thanks to the light, rugged and completely shielded magnesium housing, the semi-ruggedised device is suitable for use in harsh industrial environments. Addi onally, bumpers on exposed parts of the housing protect against shocks and vibra ons. In the Comfort version, the new Sima c Field PG M6 programming device is equipped with a highperformance, latest-genera on Intel Core i5 processor. The Advanced version, which can be op onally configured with Sima c S5 interfaces, features the even more powerful Intel Core i7 processor. All interfaces required for the eﬃcient connec on of industrial automa on applica ons, such as RS 232, Profibus, Profinet and Sima c Card, as well as the latest WLAN
The latest genera on of programming devices from Siemens has been op mised for engineering with the TIA Portal and designed for mobile use in machines and plants, for configura on, commissioning, service, and maintenance.
802.11ac wireless and BT V5.0 Bluetooth technology, are installed onboard. The new Sima c Field PG M6 is delivered with Windows 10 Enterprise and the current version of the TIA Portal engineering so ware for controllers, Safety and HMI preinstalled. Addi onally, STEP 7 Professional 2017, WinCC flexible 2008, and, in the Advanced version with Sima c S5 interfaces, STEP 5, are pre-installed.
HP launches advanced metals 3D prin ng technology for mass produc on At the 2018 Interna onal Manufacturing Technology Show, HP Inc launched HP Metal Jet which is said to be the world’s most advanced 3D prin ng technology for high volume manufacturing of produc on-grade metal parts. HP Metal Jet, which is said to provide up to 50 mes more produc vity, at a significantly lower cost, than other 3D prin ng methods, is being deployed by manufacturing leaders, GKN Powder Metallurgy and Parmatech, for the factory produc on of final parts. Customers placing orders include global stalwarts such as Volkswagen, Wilo and innova ve ver cal market leaders such as Primo Medical Group and OKAY Industries. As part of its mission to transform the way the world designs and manufactures, HP also launched the Metal Jet Produc on Service, enabling customers around the world to rapidly iterate new 3D part designs, produce final parts in volume, and integrate HP Metal Jet into their long-term produc on roadmaps. “We are in the midst of a digital industrial revolu on that is transforming the USD 12 trillion manufacturing industry. HP has helped lead this transforma on, by pioneering the 3D mass produc on of plas c parts and we are now doubling down with HP Metal Jet, a breakthrough metals 3D prin ng technology”, said Lionel Chng, Managing Director, HP Singapore, HP Inc. “The implica ons are huge - the auto, industrial, and medical sectors alone produce hundreds of billions of metal parts each year. HP’s new Metal Jet 3D prin ng pla orm and Produc on Service unlocks the speed, quality, and economics, to enable our customers to completely rethink the way they design, manufacture, and deliver new solu ons in the digital age”, he added. HP Metal Jet is a groundbreaking, voxel-level binder je ng technology, leveraging more than 30 years of HP printhead and advanced chemistries innova on. With a bed size of 430 mm x 320 mm x 200 mm, four mes more 3D printer nozzle redundancy and two mes more printbars, and significantly less binder by weight, HP Metal Jet delivers greater produc vity and reliability at a low acquisi on and opera onal cost, compared to other metals 3D prin ng solu ons, according to HP. HP Metal Jet will start with stainless steel parts, delivering isotropic mechanical proper es that are said to exceed industry standards.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
ROCKWELL AUTOMATION AND PTC LAUNCH COLLABORATIVE OFFERING FOR INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES Rockwell Automa on and PTC have launched FactoryTalk Innova onSuite, powered by PTC, a so ware suite that enables companies to op mise their industrial opera ons and enhance produc vity, by providing decision-makers with improved data and insights. The new suite delivers complete visibility of opera ons and systems status from one source of informa on inside the organisa on. The collabora ve oﬀering is the first to integrate technologies from both companies following the strategic partnership announcement in June. FactoryTalk Innova onSuite, powered by PTC, improves connec vity to opera onal technology (OT) devices on the plant floor, na vely suppor ng the rapid, scalable, and secure connec on of the most commonly used industrial equipment. Combined with data from informa on technology (IT) applica ons and systems, decision-makers can now gain a complete digital representa on of their industrial equipment, lines, and facili es, from anywhere in the enterprise. “Our oﬀering is unique in its ability to improve how companies capitalise on the IIoT, by combining exper se from industry, technology, and plant-floor professionals”, said John Genovesi, incoming Senior Vice President, Enterprise Accounts & So ware, Rockwell Automa on. “Now we are bringing innova ve solu ons from PTC together with leading analy cs and Manufacturing Opera ons Management (MOM) from Rockwell Automa on, for a diﬀeren ated industry solu on”, he added. “We are moving the needle on how leading-edge technology is applied in industrial environments”, said Catherine Knicker, Head of Strategic Alliances, PTC. “Manufacturers have seen digital technology rapidly change, but their execu on con nues to follow prac ces
established for the legacy business. This bundled oﬀering will help organisa ons accelerate me to value and reinvent how they compete, by breaking down barriers across their opera ons, through a comprehensive approach to opera onal intelligence”, she added. Included in this collabora ve oﬀering are the FactoryTalk Analy cs and MOM pla orms, as well as PTC’s ThingWorx Industrial IoT Pla orm which includes industrial connec vity from Kepware, and the Vuforia augmented reality solu on. Key features of applica ons within the new collabora ve oﬀering include: • Intui ve, user-friendly interfaces that give users a view of the opera ons, by combining data from mul ple IT and OT sources and tailored to their role. An Opera ons Manager, for instance, can view overall performance of a facility, or mul ple facili es, before researching the performance of specific equipment or factors impac ng OEE. • Automated advanced analy cs of IT and OT sources transform massive amounts of raw data into ac onable or proac ve informa on to improve performance and reduce the impact of down me. Leveraging powerful ar ficial intelligence (AI) technology to simplify complex analy cal processes, users can now proac vely respond to issues ahead of any cri cal failures. • Augmented reality (AR) delivers more eﬃcient and eﬀec ve ways of looking at digital informa on within the physical world. AR enables more eﬃcient training, wider knowledge-sharing, and be er first- me fix rates. Through the bundled oﬀering, maintenance, for example, can receive digi sed work instruc ons, containing real- me performance and service history informa on, so that technicians can be er diagnose and fix equipment correctly the first me.
THINGWORX RANKED AS THE TOP SMART MANUFACTURING PLATFORM In the ABI Research Smart Manufacturing Pla orm Ranking Compe ve Assessment, pla orms from 11 major vendors were analysed on the basis of criteria such as innova on and implementa on, each firm’s overall business model, partnerships, product func onality, and system integra on capabili es. PTC’s ThingWorx received top scores in overall innova on which included its use of augmented reality (AR) and ed for the top spot for its digital twin func onality and protocol adaptability and device connec vity. Addi onally, ThingWorx was rated the overall leading pla orm with advanced innova ve ini a ves across transforma ve technologies. ThingWorx is comprised of a rapid applica on development pla orm, advanced analy cs, connec vity, machine learning, augmented reality, and integra on with leading device clouds. Together, these beginningto-end capabili es enable users to create applica ons and services to achieve IoT-driven business transforma on and support digital ini a ves across various industries.
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Implementa on and innova ons earned PTC the Number One spot in the ABI Research Smart Manufacturing Pla orm Ranking Compe ve Assessment.
NEW 6DOF LASER TRACKER PLATFORM FARO, a company specialising in 3D measurement and imaging solu ons for factory metrology, product design, construc on BIM and public safety forensics, has announced the release of the next genera on of FARO laser trackers - the 6DoF Vantage product family with 6Probe. In 2015, FARO disrupted the large CMM market with the Super 6DoF TrackArm solu on that integrated the FARO Vantage tracker and the FaroArm. This patented, comprehensive solu on is capable of measuring or scanning over tens of metres, with no loss in accuracy, no line of sight issues, and simultaneous measurement by many operators. The 6Probe, that FARO has just introduced, is a fully integrated, hand-held probe for easily probing hidden, hard-to-reach features in hard-to-reach loca ons. Together, the TrackArm super 6DoF and the 6Probe oﬀer a complete solu on por olio at a compe ve price for every measurement need, large and small. This new func onality addresses a wide range of large scale metrology applica ons across a variety of manufacturing focused industries including automo ve, aerospace, construc on, heavy equipment and shipbuilding. “The patented FARO Super 6DoF and 6Probe total solu on is the most complete, most adaptable metrology pla orm that manufacturers will ever need. Whatever you assemble or manufacture, large or small, easy or hard to reach, complex or simple, this pla orm can meet your needs with the best value combina on of performance and price”, stated Dr Simon Raab, CEO and early innovator in portable, adaptable 3D measurement.
accuracy and dynamic measurement capability delivered by the 6Probe reliably addresses the overwhelming majority of large-volume 3D measurement challenges. In combina on with the Super 6DoF, which can achieve even higher accuracies, the Vantage pla orm meets every need, according to FARO. The high-performance value proposi on of the new Vantage 6DoF pla orm with Super 6DoF and 6Probe will facilitate broader adop on of laser trackers, making integrated, total quality available to all industries.
Premium produc vity Both Vantage models include Ac veSeek func onality with wide-angle viewing, which allows users to confidently move from one loca on to the next, without concern. This improves general produc vity by allowing users to start the actual measurement process faster and makes sophis cated 3D measurement accessible to all. “We have a long history of a being a high-value solu ons provider for large scale measurement”, said Pete Edmonds, Vice President - Factory Metrology, at FARO. “Given industry frustration with questionable performance or extra premium price points, FARO has made a conscious decision to deliver a mass industrial market, cost-effective solution, directed at the broader population of users and applications, which have been underserved to-date. The powerful combination of 6DoF, Super 6DoF and ActiveSeek enables a new ease-of-use standard across the entire user industry”, he added.
The 6DoF FARO Vantage product family includes two high performance models, the VantageE6, with an opera ng range of 35 m, and the VantageS6, with an opera ng range of 80 m. Both are tested to rigorous Interna onal Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards for shock, vibra on and extreme thermal condi ons, and are IP52-rated for dust and water resistance.
Mass market accuracy Based on more than 30 years of experience that FARO has in delivering high value metrologygrade solu ons, exhaus ve internal tes ng and feedback from a cross-sec on of tenured metrology professionals, the
FARO Vantage 6DoF being used for measurements on an airplane wing. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
EXHIBITION ON CLEANING OF PARTS AND COMPONENTS
ATTRACTS INTERNATIONAL VISITORSHIP The 16th parts2clean exhibi on was held from 23 to 25 October 2018, at the Stu gart Exhibi on Grounds, Germany. The interna onal event for the industrial components and surface cleaning sectors a racted around 240 exhibitors from 16 countries - 26% of the exhibitors were from outside Germany. The exhibi on a racted approximately 4,500 trade visitors from 42 countries - 21% of the trade visitors were from outside Germany.
A pla orm for informa on and acquisi ons The 16th parts2clean exhibi on showed that more companies from diﬀerent sectors are beginning to recognise the important role played by industrial parts and surface cleaning in maintaining quality standards in diverse stages of produc on. This was made evident not only by the high propor on of professionals who a ended the event (99%), but also by the decisionmaking competence of the visitors within their companies. One in two visitors came from management and 85% of all visitors stated that they played a role in their company’s investment decisions. It was also clear that the visitors to parts2clean were keen to invest. No fewer than 82% of them came with clear ideas on acquisi on and investment, a figure that was slightly higher than at last year’s trade show.
It was also established that digi sa on and automa on are making rapid inroads into industrial components and surface cleaning. The organisers responded, therefore, by including new display formats, special presenta ons and various exhibits covering these future-focused areas.
A cross-sec on of sectors and materials The cleaning of industrial parts and surfaces involves a broad range of tasks and requirements, and this diversity was matched by the number of sectors represented by the professional visitors at parts2clean. The sector with the biggest contingent of visitors this year was the automobile industry, accounting for approximately 42% of the visitorship, followed by mechanical and plant engineering, metalworking and metal processing, electrical engineering and electronics, precision engineering, optics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and production technology. The next parts2clean will take place from 22-24 October 2019 at the Stu gart Exhibi on Grounds.
Focus on trends and future requirements A tour of parts2clean showed that the event was not solely focused on current needs and demand for clean industrial components and surfaces.
Cloud Expo Asia stages sixth edi on Cloud Expo Asia, Cloud & Cyber Security Expo, Big Data World, Smart IoT Singapore and the new eCommerce Expo Asia, welcomed over 16,000 technology professionals, stake holders and prac oners at its sixth edi on, held at Sands Expo and Conven on Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on 10 and 11 October 2018. The annual free-to-a end event saw a world-class line-up of over 350 interna onal solu on providers, as well as an impressive line-up of over 500 influen al industry experts speaking on the very latest trends and challenges in the evolving technology landscape. Andy Kiwanuka, Managing Director - Asia Pacific, at CloserS ll Media, the organiser of the event, said, “We are pleased to be once again hos ng CloudAsia, powered by SGTech, and launching eCommerce Expo Asia - a es ng to our goal of gathering an even wider network of industry professionals at one loca on over two power-packed days. It has been a fantas c show this year and I look forward to welcoming our visitors, partners and exhibitors, to another successful edi on in 2019”.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
The 16th parts2clean exhibi on showed that more companies from diﬀerent sectors are beginning to recognise the important role played by industrial parts and surface cleaning in maintaining quality standards.
DIGITALISATION HIGHLIGHTED AT SHEET METAL WORKING EVENT EuroBLECH 2018, the 25th Interna onal Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibi on, was held from 23 to 26 October 2918, in Hanover, Germany. A total of 1,507 companies from 40 countries exhibited at this year’s show, over a net floor area of 89,875 m2. EuroBLECH 2018 a racted a total of 56,301 visitors from around the world, who viewed the latest innovaons and digital technologies for sheet metal working and made decisions on inves ng in new manufacturing machinery. “Many exhibitors had even more impressive stands this year. They showcased an enormous variety of new machinery and innova ve solu ons, and many of these were, once again, demonstrated live at the exhibi on stands”, said Evelyn Warwick, EuroBLECH Exhibi on Director, on behalf of the organisers Mack Brooks Exhibi ons.
also attracted a high percentage of visitors from top management. The next event in the series, EuroBLECH 2020, will be held from 27 to 30 October 2020, at the Hanover Exhibi on Grounds in Germany. In addi on to EuroBLECH, Mack Brooks Exhibi ons is organising a range of sheet metal working exhibi ons in diﬀerent markets. The next BLECH India will take place from 25 to 27 April 2019 in Mumbai. AsiaBLECH 2019 will be held in Chengdu City, China, from 20 to 22 November 2019. The first BLECH France will be held from 21 to 23 January 2020, in Paris, France.
“There was a no ceable technological advancement within the last two years. Many exhibitors demonstrated how well the industry is prepared for digitalisa on and how these new technologies can be used within a manufacturing environment”, she added. A total of 58% of exhibitors came from outside Germany to this year’s show. This represents a further increase in interna onal a endance, by 4%. The preliminary results of the exhibi on survey show that 37% of visitors came to EuroBLECH, from outside Germany, proving the good interna onal visitor a endance. Visitors came mainly from Germany, and also from Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, India, Great Britain, Poland, Austria and Belgium. A great majority of the visitors came from the industry (73%), followed by visitors from workshops, trade and services. The most important sectors represented by the visitors include engineering, sheet metal & products, steel and aluminium construc on, the automo ve industry and its suppliers, electrical engineering, iron and steel produc on, rolling mills, as well as hea ng, ven la on and air condi oning technology. Besides the high percentage of international visitors, the exhibition
EuroBLECH 2018 presented the latest innova ons and digital technologies for sheet metal working. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
PROFESSIONAL CLEANING ROBOTS
TO BE PRODUCED IN SINGAPORE Their deployment is expected to start from April 2019. Singapore-based LionsBot Interna onal has unveiled the LeoBot Scrub, the first in an ini al family of fully autonomous robots dedicated to handling specialised cleaning func ons like vacuuming, sweeping, scrubbing and carpet cleaning. Already 100 units have been commi ed for deployment across Singapore, from April 2019. Dis nc ve by its ‘soulful’, expressive ‘electronic eyes’, which it uses to communicate with humans, LeoBot Scrub has a 30 l water capacity and is capable of vacuuming and scrubbing to high professional standards. The robot is likely to be deployed in commercial loca ons like warehouses, factories, indoor and outdoor public spaces, concourses, airports, oﬃces and hotels. LeoBot Scrub also made its oﬃcial worldwide debut at the Singapore Interna onal Robo Expo 2018 (SIRE 2018) which was held from 1 to 2 November 2018, at Sands Expo and Conven on Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
LeoBot Scrub is capable of vacuuming and scrubbing to high professional standards.
LionsBot Interna onal intends to assist rapid adop on of the robots, with a more accessible and aﬀordable Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) rental-based business model. RaaS will allow customers to rapidly deploy teams of robots at an aﬀordable, monthly rental price, instead of their having to pay the currently high purchase price for other cleaning robots. LionsBot is said to be the first company to undertake mass produc on of professional cleaning robots within Singapore. Founded in February 2018, the company is the brainchild of three Singaporean entrepreneurs - Dylan Ng and Michelle Seow, the husband-and-wife team behind Singapore’s leading cleaning equipment and chemicals supplier, SuperSteam Asia Pacific, and Asst Prof Mohan Rajesh Elara, a robo cs/AI expert from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). An associate company of SuperSteam, LionsBot has developed its robots, based on SuperSteam’s extensive exper se and knowledge of leading-edge cleaning technologies and methodologies. Created, using the latest advances in rapid prototyping technology, LionsBot robots incorporate ‘cute’, ‘human-like’ personality traits. Imbued with interac ve (robot-to-human) characteris cs, LionsBot robots feature a range of emo onal responses, ranging from expressive eyes and voices, to speech and to a bea ng robo c heart. The robots can communicate in any language appropriate to their regional se ng and are capable of simple human interac ons, like reques ng people to move out of their path. Failure to comply causes the robot’s facial expression to switch to ‘sad’, followed by ‘irritated’. 26
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The three Co-Founders of LionsBot - from le , Asst Prof Mohan Rajesh Elara, Mr Dylan Ng and Ms Michelle Seow.
Lionsbot robots operate either as stand-alone units or alterna vely in fully-coordinated, fully-autonomous teams for enhanced produc vity and improved cleaning results. En re ‘robo-teams’ can be deployed to designated spaces, to clean in unison and with minimum human interven on. To op mise cleaning plans, LionsBot robots collaborate with each other using AI and big data analy cs. Day-today opera ons are en rely controlled and coordinated from the Cloud. Recharging, rinsing, refilling, servicing and maintenance are achieved through space-saving docking sta ons and remote servicing modules. LionsBot robots are controlled by a single operator, through a simple, intui ve applica on, whilst servicing and repair are covered by LionsBot’s distributors. LionsBot customers thus require only a minimum of ini al training to operate an en re fleet of robo c cleaners. Customers can manage en re teams of robots with ease, whilst also
being able to view aggregated reports. Customers also have the op on of customising their LionsBot robots with their own corporate branding, colours, logo or livery. As well as solving manpower shortages in the cleaning industry, the deployment of robo c fleets for cleaning allows workers to upgrade to more rewarding work, in supervisory capaci es. Mr Dalson Chung, Director of Industry Development and Promo on in the Na onal Environment Agency (NEA), said, “NEA launched the Environmental Services Industry Transforma on Map in December last year, and we have been working closely with the industry to help companies to access relevant technologies to improve produc vity and address manpower challenges. It is encouraging to see LionsBot, a local company, innova ng technology that transforms businesses and raises produc vity. We hope that this would encourage more SMEs to transform and be at the forefront of innova ve technologies in the global environmental services landscape. Over me, we expect greater collabora on across the environmental services industry, and more local companies will be able to enhance their export capabili es and market access overseas”. Two leading cleaning service providers in Singapore, Chye Thiam Maintenance Pte Ltd and Absolute Maintenance Services Pte Ltd have signed Le ers of Commitment to deploy a total of 100 LeoBots, beginning April 2019.
LeoBot Scrub can perform small radius turns between obstacles.
Mr Edy Tan Wei Hock, CEO of Chye Thiam Maintenance, said, “Chye Thiam Maintenance has always been at the forefront of introducing the latest technological innova on and equipment to enable us to consistently deliver the best outcomes for our clients. We are happy to partner with LionsBot and SuperSteam to roll out the deployment of the Leobot Scrub in Singapore over the next few months”. Mr Ken Lee, CEO of Absolute Maintenance, said, “Absolute Maintenance is pleased and proud to name LionsBot as our partner of choice for advanced cleaning robo cs solu ons. We look forward to deploying our fleet of LeoBots in Singapore, next year”.
LionsBot Interna onal Pte Ltd Founded in February 2018, Singapore-headquartered LionsBot Interna onal hopes to become the global brand leader in advanced, fully-autonomous, team-based cleaning robo cs.
SuperSteam Asia Pacific Pte Ltd Founded in 2002, SuperSteam Asia Pacific is an award-winning, professional cleaning equipment and chemicals supplier in Singapore, with a significant market share in indoor machines, chemicals and consumables.
Mr Dylan Ng, CEO and Co-Founder, LionsBot Interna onal Pte Ltd, signed Le ers of Commitment with a representa ve from Chye Thiam Maintenance Pte Ltd (image on top) and with a representa ve from Absolute Maintenance Services Pte Ltd (image below), for the deployment of LeoBots. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
THE COMING EVOLUTION
OF SERVICE ROBOTS by Dr Mohan Rajesh Elara, Assistant Professor, Singapore University of Technology and Design The scope covers shape-shi ing robots to robot-inclusive ci es. There is no denying it, like it or not, we are witnessing a service robo cs revolu on, in both the professional and personal domains. From residen al floor cleaning to logis cs delivery missions, robo cs oﬀers enormous advantages in improving produc vity, eﬃciency and safety, in both professional and personal se ngs. Professional service robots are mainly used in se ngs outside the tradi onal home or manufacturing scenarios. While industrial robots are primarily used in the automa on of manufacturing tasks, today’s rapid technological advances have resulted in the development of non-factory robo c automa on of a wide range of menial, repe ve, me-consuming or dangerous tasks, thereby freeing human workers from such tasks and enabling them to engage in more cogni ve func ons. According to the Interna onal Federa on of Robo cs (IFR), the market for professional service robots is expected to grow at an average rate of 20% to 25%, between 2018 and 2020, with an es mated value of USD 19 billion. On the other hand, personal service robots mainly consist of consumer-based robots commonly used for the automa on of home-related tasks, some of which include autonomous window cleaning or vacuum cleaning. Although this represents the ac vity of a compara vely smaller segment of service robots, IFR predic ons indicate that personal service robots will acquire an es mated market worth of USD 11.3 billion by Year 2020 . For far too long now, much of the debate around service robots has been mainly inclined towards their stealing of our jobs and we humans becoming slaves to machines. This analysis is not really true. We have to reframe this discussion in terms of the poten al of service robots. Many of these intelligent machines have the poten al to mi gate the combined pressure of skyrocke ng costs, ageing popula ons in industrialised countries and a shortage of qualified workers, as well as the need to con nuously improve the quality of services and the results. More market surveys on the poten al of service robots have shed some promising light on the advantages such machines have, as they con nuously enter our social spaces and actually make lives be er for humans. With rapidly expanding applica on avenues and a con nuous drive towards improving produc vity, cost and safety, designing these intelligent machines is becoming increasingly challenging, mainly due to the complex nature of the environments in which 28
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Dr Mohan Rajesh Elara
they operate and the dynamic nature of the tasks they perform. In response to these recent challenges, researchers in the field are pushing for a two-pronged approach that involves 1) designing shape-shi ing robots that are able to automa cally adapt their morphologies to maximise their performance and 2) designing an inclusive and friendlier environment so that robots can func on more eﬃciently. Shape-shi ing robots are electromechanical machines with variable degrees of morphology. Beyond typical percep on, actua on and control capabili es found in fixed morphology robo c pla orms, shape-shi ing robots are also capable of deliberately changing their physical form, in order to overcome environmental constraints, undertake new tasks, or recover from damage. Such robots have tremendous poten al in advancing robo cs as a field, in general. Their promise of high degrees of versa lity, robustness and modularity, is set to open up a wide range of new applica ons for robots. To see how shape-shi ing robots can boost produc vity, we need look no further than the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), where a research group has developed a series of seven transforma ve robo c solu ons for cleaning and maintenance jobs, supported by the Na onal Robo cs Research & Development Programme Oﬃce (NR2PO). These shape-shi ing robots are proving to be more eﬃcient in comparison to tradi onal fixed morphology designs, in a wide array of deployment situa ons, ranging from floor cleaning, glass façade cleaning, staircase cleaning, and inspec on of drains. One of the solu ons, sTetro, is a shape-shi ing robot that switches between cleaning flat floors and cleaning staircases. Considering the crucial role staircases play and their permanent presence in virtually every mul -storey building, even with the advent of li s and escalators, the subject of cleaning staircases has received so li le a en on from robo cists. Even though there exists tens of thousands of robo c products in the market, that tackle floor cleaning, they avoid staircases. With staircase cleaning being a more strenuous job than floor cleaning, sTetro is being developed to target this large segment within the cleaning robo cs industry. sTetro is capable of autonomously naviga ng and cleaning a given space, including staircases. It is equipped with sensors and so ware algorithms to automa cally detect and adapt to diﬀerent types of staircases.
sTetro is a shape-shi ing robot that can clean staircases.
Man s is a cleaning robot for glass facades.
Man s, another shape-shi ing robot developed at SUTD, is expected to perform glass faĂ§ade cleaning. Conven onal robots deployed for faĂ§ade cleaning demand human interven on, to manually move them from one glass panel to another. Man s is capable of autonomously cleaning ver cal glass facades as well as move over obstacles and transit between glass panels, without any human interven on. This presents a breakthrough in surface propaga on robots, opening up poten ally new applica ons in construc on, aircra maintenance, as well as infrastructure and facility inspec on. The prototypes are currently on trial at various parts of the SUTD campus. Generally, the expected increase in robot popula on is not inherently bad, as robots are playing an essen al role in helping with many dull, menial, repe ve, me-consuming or dangerous tasks for humans. Some of the robots have proven to be highly eďŹƒcient and
this is a significant advantage. Recent technological advancements, such as developments in machine learning, the cloud, IoT and ar ficial intelligence, have made the adop on of robots highly beneficial and easy. However, as we embrace the expected surge of robots, it is impera ve to change and adapt our infrastructure. Policy makers, architects and town planners should ensure that the robots will be able to lead inclusive lives within society. This will provide a significant push to the growth of service robots in the commercial marketplace. It is widely believed that a significant majority of service robots will be found in ci es. This will present enormous challenges and it is inevitable that the ci es will need to adapt, in order to accommodate them in the workforce. To enable and empower service robots to contribute produc vely in the workplace, we need to rethink the designs of their workplaces. The design of THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
contemporary new spaces and everyday artefacts, such as ligh ng and furniture, target the majority of the able-bodied popula on, un l recently, when apposite design principles were introduced, in response to individuals with special needs, such as children, the elderly and user groups with physical and/or sensory disabili es. Since cogni ve capacity, physical strength and speed, visual acuity, and auditory sensi vity, of robots, are s ll evolving, ergonomic workplace designs, that account for robots as stakeholders, will become increasingly important. Given how robots, like human workers, are an incredibly diverse group with diﬀerent needs, it will also be necessary to apply universal design principles to promote wellbeing and safety of robots for all applica ons. To this end, SUTD is developing an emerging research field, called ‘Robot Ergonomics’, that bridges tradi onal disciplines, including architecture, product design and robo cs, based on the premise that service robots and the everyday environments that they inhabit, with humans, buildings, products, furniture, tools etc, are more adequately conceived, when designers across various disciplines work in unison. Robot Ergonomics remains a marginal research area, despite the significant growth in the adop on of service robots. In robo cs, increasingly complex and autonomous systems are being developed, in order to cope with everyday tasks in pre-defined physical environments. Strategies place all the responsibility on the robot, by combining advanced sensors, control and actuators, to achieve rela vely simple capabili es, such as turning a handle to open doors, when the loca on, shape and behaviour of the handles are unpredictable and highly variable. Robot Ergonomics design significantly decreases the diﬃculty of such tasks, by taking into considera on the characteris cs of robots, when designing the space, without overstepping human preferences. Bridging the decision-making in robot and spa al design carries a two-fold advantage: designers and architects view robots as target stakeholders, and robo cians build upon the environmental features to make future robots highly capable at manageable costs. Through an induc ve study of popular cleaning and logis cs robots in the market, the team at SUTD has derived a set of design principles that can be used by prac oners to generate robot-inclusive solu ons. The principles put forward oﬀer valuable insights for ethnographic studies on such service robots and the type of eﬀects that everyday furniture and spaces have on their performance. In the future, the way forward in designing workplaces will not be to adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but rather, one that gives robots the flexibility to adapt the workplace to suit their own needs, while priori sing human preferences. The ongoing work at SUTD is just an example of how workplaces can be successfully redesigned to help robots work produc vely. We need to expand and adapt these eﬀorts to all other sectors, including food and beverage, transporta on, construc on, and healthcare. We would need more generalised educa on, so that it is possible for architects and robo cians to co-design robots and spaces, and unleash poten ally tens of thousands of 30
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robots from research labs into the commercial world. Given that colleges and universi es have ins tu onal iner a in bringing disciplines together, this challenge is not trivial. Ul mately, eﬀorts to design a robo c workforce need to go hand-in-hand with other ini a ves, to make the workplace more robot-inclusive. There needs to be a shi to more acceptance and flexible workplace arrangements involving humans and robots, and a shi in a tudes about robots. The bigger challenge, however, is to be cognisant of human preferences, costs and risks, to develop future-proof, resilient robots. Robots are coworkers that make lives be er for us and are not there to steal our jobs. It is me to recognise that. References  h ps://ifr.org/downloads/press/Execu ve_Summary_WR_ Service_Robots_2017_1.pdf
hTetro is a self-reconfigurable, floor cleaning robot.
SUTD presents robots at SIRE 2018 SUTD showcased the series of seven, next-genera on transforma ve robots targeted at environmental applica ons, at Singapore Interna onal Robo Expo 2018 (SIRE 2018). SIRE 2018 was held from 1 to 2 November 2018, at Sands Expo and Conven on Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. The event was co-organised by Experia Events and Singapore Industrial Automa on Associa on (SIAA).
ECOSTRUXURE MACHINE ADVISOR MAXIMISES THE VALUE OF DATA FOR OEMS Operators can predict and execute preven ve maintenance schedules, thereby improving machine availability. Amidst rapid digi sa on of manufacturing, machine builders (OEMs) need to provide a be er service to improve their customers’ agility and market responsiveness. Schneider Electric, a leader in digital transforma on of energy management and automa on, recently presented the EcoStruxure Machine Advisor, a pla orm that allows OEMs to track, monitor and fix machines remotely, and pass significant benefits to operators.
Real- me opera onal awareness Driven by rapid adop on of connec vity, mobility, cloud compu ng and big data analy cs, digi sa on in manufacturing has huge poten al. OEMs need solu ons that will improve the connec vity of their machines, giving them real- me opera onal awareness, and access to their machines, to op mise their opera onal eﬃciency, while developing new business opportuni es, for example, in their services business. These benefits need to be passed on to operators, while guaranteeing safety and data security.
The EcoStruxure Machine Advisor Building on its deep exper se in the OEM segment, Schneider Electric has developed the EcoStruxure Machine Advisor to oﬀer new levels of eﬃciencies and growth, by turning data into key insights for machine builders. EcoStruxure Machine Advisor provides a fully connected framework for reliable machine opera on, through three key func onali es: • Track: OEMs can visualise the loca on of all their machines, with real- me access to documenta on and history, such as bill of materials, manuals, maintenance logs and task management schedules. • Monitor: The cloud-based so ware allows OEMs to collect and visualise machine data in real- me, giving a comprehensive analysis of Overall Equipment Eﬀec veness (OEE), widgets for performance against key KPIs and other trends, and dashboards to monitor machine availability and output quality. • Fix: A service enabled by a mobile app to facilitate maintenance and opera ons, with contextual informa on, the help of step-by-step procedures and remote exper se by leveraging augmented reality. Furthermore, Fix provides remote access to the engineering so ware in the cloud enabling service technicians to use ‘So ware-as-a-Service’, and always have the right version and libraries at hand. While these func onali es allow OEMs to improve customer sa sfac on and innovate with new service
Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor being used to monitor one of the company’s macaroon-packing machines. The Augmented Operator Advisor is a cloud-based mobile app that can be run on a tablet.
oﬀers, EcoStruxure Machine Advisor also gives immediate benefits to operators by leveraging the EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor app. It puts real- me informa on at their finger ps, whenever and wherever it is needed. The custom applica on improves opera onal eﬃciency with augmented reality, enabling operators to superimpose the current data and virtual objects onto a cabinet, machine, or plant. EcoStruxure Machine Advisor is part of the Apps, Analy cs & Services por olio of EcoStruxure Machine, the Schneider Electric IoT-enabled automa on architecture. EcoStruxure is an open, interoperable, IoT-enabled system architecture and pla orm. It delivers enhanced value around safety, reliability, eﬃciency, sustainability and connec vity for customers. EcoStruxure leverages advancements in IoT, mobility, sensing, cloud, analy cs, and cybersecurity to deliver innova on. This includes Connected Products; Edge Control; and Apps, Analy cs & Services. It has been deployed in more than 480,000 sites, with the support of more than 20,000 system integrators and developers, connec ng over 1.6 million assets under management through more than 40 digital services.
EcoStruxure Machine Advisor pilots EcoStruxure Machine Advisor has been piloted successfully with many OEMs in Europe and Asia. Leadermac, a manufacturer of four-sided moulders in Taiwan, wanted to implement digi sed solu ons to improve its service oﬀer and pass the benefits to its clients. The company is now able to execute early diagnosis and preven ve maintenance of its machines, and sell be er-connected, more flexible, more eﬃcient and safer machines. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
SINGAPORE’S SEMICONDUCTOR INDUSTRY
CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF ACHIEVEMENTS The industry remains an important pillar of Singapore’s economy. The 50th anniversary of the semiconductor industry was celebrated recently at a dinner a ended by more than 1,000 members of the industry, including veterans and decision-makers from global and local businesses, academia and future talent. Organised by Singapore Semiconductor Industry Associa on (SSIA) and supported by Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the event was graced by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordina ng Minister for Economic and Social Policies. A highlight of the event was the Singapore Semiconductor 50 exhibi on which showcased the development of the industry over the years.
Early history and progress
Semiconductors were iden fied as a key segment of Singapore’s economic development, shortly a er the country’’independence in 1965. Eﬀorts to a ract interna onal companies to build hightech manufacturing facili es resulted in the opening of Singapore’s first semiconductor facility in 1968, when Na onal Semiconductors set up an assembly and test facility along River Valley Road. More than 7,000 jobs were created, in just three years, by the first three semiconductor companies to set up opera ons. These were Na onal Semiconductor, Fairchild and Texas Instruments. Singapore con nued to steadily grow its semiconductor industry over the next 50 years, both in terms of anchoring more ac vi es across the value chain, including integrated circuit (IC) design, wafer fabrica on, assembly and tests, and manufacturing of equipment and substrate, as well as deepening capabili es by pursuing innova on and harnessing the latest manufacturing technologies and processes. Today, Singapore is home to a vibrant and rich ecosystem of semiconductor companies such as GlobalFoundries, Infineon, Realtek, UTAC and Micron. The semiconductor industry’s fixed assets investment in Singapore stands at over SGD 50 billion. “The talents, crea vity and drive in our semiconductor industry has been instrumental in Singapore’s growth and transforma on and we should now step forward to build upon that momentum, to innovate and create smart ci es of the future”, said Mr Ang Wee Seng, Execu ve Director, SSIA.
Advanced manufacturing of great importance The advent of the fourth industrial revolu on will impact the semiconductor industry in two ways: One, 32
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“The theme of this celebra on – ‘50 years of Passion, Innova on, and Talent’ - does truly describe the journey of an industry that has been at the core of Singapore’s evolu on as a global manufacturing hub. It is also an industry that remains a key part of our future. As a small country, we can build deep and sophis cated capabili es and clusters in only a select set of industries. In other words, we cannot be globally compe ve in too many industries. The semiconductor industry is one such industry where we can be compe ve. We will con nue to build on the exis ng strengths in the industry, and ensure that our ecosystem supports the development of deep capabili es, in innova on, talent and skills in every job in the industry, that will create future growth” Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies.
the emergence of exci ng new applica ons areas, such as autonomous vehicles, ar ficial intelligence and healthcare, will result in greater diversity of demand for semiconductor content. Second, the adop on of advanced manufacturing technologies by semiconductor companies will transform the way manufacturing is done, as it moves towards a smart factory that is more intelligent, produc ve and resource-eﬃcient. “EDB is honoured to commemorate this significant milestone for Singapore. The semiconductor industry has been pivotal to Singapore’s economic development over the past five decades, alongside our journey from third world to first, and provides good jobs for genera ons of Singaporeans”, said Mr Pee Beng Kong, Director, Semiconductors, EDB. “Today, the industry con nues to be a key growth engine in Singapore. Semiconductors are at the heart of cri cal technologies, such as ar ficial intelligence and smart factories, that will build a more connected and intelligent future. Singapore is excited to work with industry to cocreate solu ons that will inspire future genera ons and change how we live, work and play. We look forward to another 50 years of partnership with the industry”, he added.
“The growing adop on of new technologies in industries such as transporta on, healthcare, finance and many others, will drive demand for semiconductor solu ons, spurring new innova ons and crea ng new exci ng jobs for future genera ons. Today, the semiconductor industry is stronger than ever. 2017 was a banner year for us, as output grew by almost 50%, year on year. With endeavour and enterprise driven by hard work and perseverance, I am confident that we can work towards another 50 years of growth”, added Mr Ang. The semiconductor industry remains a mainstay of Singapore’s economy, with an output of nearly SGD 100 billion, or roughly a third of Singapore’s manufacturing sector output and contribu ng 4.5% to GDP in 2017. The industry provides 42,000 workers, or 12% of the manufacturing workforce, with good job opportuni es.
SINGAPORE SEMICONDUCTOR 50 - MILESTONES THE FIRST DECADE (1968 - 1978) The start of a journey Singapore’s semiconductor industry took root in 1968, at the humble premises of the Singapore Ins tute of Standards and Industrial Research (SISIR), an EDB-owned training facility, in River Valley. Na onal Semiconductor, an American microelectronics company, was the first such company to set up opera ons in Singapore. It moved into its temporary premises in SISIR, in December 1968. The first wave A wave of semiconductor companies followed. By 1970, some of the biggest names in the industry had set up opera ons in Singapore. They included Fairchild, Texas Instruments, SGS UK (later known as ST Microelectronics), Philips, Siemens and Hewle Packard. Philips and Siemens later spun oﬀ their semiconductor businesses as NXP Semiconductors and Infineon, respec vely, both landmark names in the industry, today. Semiconductor manufacturing facili es sprang up across the island, performing assembly and test ac vi es as well as producing microelectronic parts for a range of electronic products. Singapore’s foray into semiconductors was oﬀ to a good start. New jobs for Singaporeans The semiconductor industry arrived at a cri cal moment in newly independent Singapore. Singapore, in 1968, was a fledging and struggling na on. Newly separated from Malaysia, Singapore’s unemployment rate stood at 6.8%. The country was also preparing itself for another round of job losses, as the Bri sh plans to withdraw from their military bases in Singapore would knock out 20% of the country’s GDP and push another 40,000 Singaporeans into unemployment. Semiconductor assembly and test opera ons quickly grew to become amongst the largest job creators in Singapore, in the 1960s and 1970s. For example, the first
three semiconductor companies in Singapore (Na onal Semiconductor, Fairchild, and Texas Instruments) created more than 7,000 jobs in just three years. The jobs supported a fast industrialising economy, soaking up scores of eager and hardworking workers. Skills ma er As a high-tech industry, semiconductor companies required skilled workers who could do precision work. Companies thus invested heavily in training of their staﬀ. Companies such as Na onal Semiconductor and Fairchild embarked on systema c training programmes to bump up eﬃciency, sending many employees to Hong Kong and the US for training. Fairchild launched a four-year appren ceship programme with the Voca onal and Industrial Training Board (VITB), in 1979. Trainees were supported with on-thejob learning, part- me ins tu onal teaching, and the promise of a one-year s nt with the company, a er gradua ng from the programme. This greatly boosted the skills development of Singapore’s labour force.
MOVING UP THE VALUE CHAIN (1978 - 1988) Smarter, faster, be er But global compe on con nued to be intense, as countries such as South Korea and Taiwan were intent on growing their semiconductor industries, as well. To stay ahead, Singapore focused on building a diverse semiconductor ecosystem and a rac ng ac vi es across the value chain. One key thrust was for Singapore to expand into wafer fabrica on. In 1983, SGS Thompson (later STMicroelectronics) set up Singapore’s first wafer fab. Coupled with the con nued expansion of Singapore’s assembly and test sector, Singapore managed to maintain its posi on as a key node in the global semiconductor supply chain. By the mid-1980s, Singapore’s share of the global semiconductor market stood at close to 5.2%. Singapore also set her sights on building capabili es in Integrated Circuit (IC) design. SGS Thompson and Fairchild set up Singapore’s first two IC design centres in 1984. By 1985, the first circuits designed by local engineers at SGS Thompson were ready for produc on. Nine other design centres were established in 1985, with the support of companies such as Honeywell Synertek and Austek Microsystems. Bright prospects The 1980s began on a promising note, with Matsushita announcing plans to double its investment here to over 200 million dollars over the next five years. Its Chairman, Mr Masaharu Matsushita, had said, in 1979, that the sum would represent the ‘largest investment we have ever made in any single country’. The decade con nued to see foreign investors pouring in large amounts of investments, technology and exper se to develop Singapore into the region’s semiconductor hub. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
The decade would bring not just more investments, but also diﬀerent types of investors, with many companies moving up the value chain in both products and personnel. Building a skills-intensive semiconductor industry Fairchild became the first mul na onal company to tap on the Skills Development Fund for its staﬀ training programme. It opened a 2 million dollar training centre to upgrade the skills of its workers. Several other companies also saw the importance of a well-skilled workforce that could take on higher-value work. For instance, Na onal Semiconductor received a grant to send its 136 engineers and technicians to the US for training. The French-Singapore Ins tute (FSI) was established in Singapore in 1983 to oﬀer con nual upgrading and training programmes, to upskill working engineers in the latest automa on, robo cs, CAD, and IC design techniques. Expansion poten al In turn, the be er trained staﬀ allowed businesses to upgrade their opera ons here. Companies started to view Singapore as a high-value manufacturing outpost, one that could help develop key products for its global markets. Texas Instruments announced in 1980 that it was se ng up a new plant to manufacture memory chips, the first in the region. Similarly, in 1983, Na onal Semiconductor said that it was se ng aside 21.3 million dollars to acquire new machinery and expand its premises. Local champion In 1987, the local industry took a big step forward a er Chartered Semiconductor was established as the first foundry in Singapore. Set up to produce and market special computer chips, the company was a threeway venture between Singapore Technologies, Sierra Semiconductor and Na onal Semiconductor, and was supported by EDB.
A KEY PILLAR OF THE ECONOMY (1988 - 1998) A global wafer hub The 1990s marked further growth for both Singapore and the global economy. The rising op mism was reflected in a string of major investments in the sector. The industry was undergoing rapid change, with Moore’s Law kicking into high gear. The industry was able to pack an ever increasing amount of compu ng power into smaller chips. Companies captured these new growth opportuni es, by building new state-of-the-art facili es to develop high-value products, while improving produc vity. In October 1993, TECH Semiconductor, a joint-venture between Texas Instruments, the EDB, Canon and Hewlett-Packard, opened Singapore’s first DRAM wafer fab, a 524 million dollar, high-tech facility. Later that year, Chartered Semiconductor announced 34
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plans for a new 1 billion dollar, state-of-the-art wafer fabrication plant. In April 1996, Fujitsu-AMD revealed plans to sink 1.7 billion dollars into a new wafer fabrica on plant that would produce 6,000 eight-inch wafers a week. Hitachi Nippon Steel followed, in 1998, with a SGD 1.3 billion investment plan. This brought the total number of wafer fabrica on plants in Singapore to seven, posi oning the city-state as a key node in the global semiconductor industry. Time for consolida on and new entrants With technology evolving constantly, consolida on and change in the industry has always been the norm. This decade was no diﬀerent. In 1988, two industry pioneers merged their opera ons in Singapore, a er Na onal Semiconductors acquired Fairchild in the US. Fujitsu also divested part of its opera ons in Singapore to a new local semiconductor manufacturer - United Test and Assembly Centre (UTAC). Today, UTAC has grown to employ more than 1,500 workers in Singapore. Other companies also moved in. Micron acquired Texas Instruments’ worldwide memory opera ons in 1996, and became a major player in Singapore’s semiconductor industry. Micron then announced fresh plans to invest SGD 815 million in Singapore over the next two years, to expand its opera ons here, boost the capabili es of the local team, and develop new technologies. The move signalled strong confidence in Singapore’s semiconductor industry.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TO THE FORE (1998 - 2008) Resilience against global challenges This decade got oﬀ to a diﬃcult start. The region suﬀered one of its most severe recessions, due to the Asian Financial Crisis, in 1997. This was soon followed by the dot-com bust, in 2000, and the regional SARS outbreak, in 2002. Against this bleak backdrop, the global semiconductor industry saw demand shrink, as companies cut back on their output. Fortunately, Singapore’s resilient semiconductor industry continued to grow. Output had expanded by 3% to nearly 12 billion dollars, in 1996. This grew further to 14 billion dollars, by 1999, accounting for 2% of Singapore’s economy. Despite the uncertainties, companies continued to invest in Singapore over the decade. Regional lighthouse Boas ng a strategic loca on in the heart of a fastgrowing Asia Pacific, a highly educated workforce and world-class infrastructure, Singapore was an ideal base for companies looking to capitalise on the region’s growth opportuni es.
Many companies adopted this lighthouse approach during this period, se ng up their regional headquarters in the island state. These included Marvell Technology Group, Qualcomm, Infineon, Heptagon and Xilinx. A hub for HQs and R&D The rise of Singapore as a regional business hub was matched by a growing demand for research and development. As technology evolved rapidly, companies had to stay ahead, by making chips faster, smaller and cheaper. Singapore became the choice loca on for many companies looking to expand their R&D capabili es. Big players such as MediaTek, Hewle Packard and Infineon invested millions of dollars to set up R&D centres in Singapore. These not only helped to spur innova on, but also pushed the boundaries for technological advances. The emphasis on research paid oﬀ. In 2007, Dr Patrick Lo Guo-Qiang and his team from the Ins tute of Microelectronics won the IEEE George E Smith Award for their research on silicon nanowires and the CMOS process. Con nued expansion in wafer fabrica on ac vi es In 2001, Taiwan’s United Microelectronics Corpora on invested USD 3.6 billion to build the world’s most advanced 12-inch wafer foundry here. This record sum was a testament to Singapore’s enduring appeal as an investment des na on. About five years later, Intel and Micron announced that they were spending about USD 3 billion to build a 12inch NAND flash wafer plant here, crea ng 1,500 jobs in the process.
TOWARDS A DIGITAL FUTURE (2008 - 2018) An interna onal hub The growth of Singapore’s semiconductor sector has been a remarkable journey. Today, Singapore is home to a rich semiconductor ecosystem with manufacturing and R&D ac vi es across the full value chain. There are more than 30 IC design centres, nearly 20 wafer fabrica on plants, and more than 10 assembly and test opera ons in Singapore. Singapore also accounts for approximately one quarter of global semiconductor equipment output.
Singapore’s universi es have also con nued to invest in R&D and training, to groom the next genera on of talent who will design devices that will transform the world. In 2010, VIRTUS, Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) new IntegratedCircuit Design Centre of Excellence, was launched. The SGD 15.5 million Center of Excellence, funded by both public and private organisa ons, sought to not only develop world class R&D but also strengthen the pipeline of postgraduate IC design talent. Blueprint for change In September 2017, the Electronics Industry Transforma on Map (ITM) was launched. The blueprint aﬃrms the government’s goal to posi on Singapore’s electronics and semiconductor industry for sustainable long-term growth, as well as to prepare workers for the future economy. The ITM iden fied a two-pronged approach. First, to diversify into new growth opportuni es, such as automo ve and industrial. Second, to transform the exis ng base of electronics manufacturing and a ract new investments in high-value components. The government will strengthen the innova on ecosystem to be er support companies in developing new capabili es. This includes support for mul -party innova on pla orms that will bring together MNCs, local small and medium enterprises, as well as research ins tu ons, to collaborate and develop new solu ons. Fi y remarkable years In 2017, semiconductor and semiconductor equipment manufacturing output in Singapore reached a historical high of nearly SGD 100 billion. The industry accounted for approximately one third of Singapore’s manufacturing output and 4.5% of Singapore’s GDP. The figure reflects not just how vital the sector is to Singapore’s economy, but also the huge impact it has had on the engineering and scien fic community. In April 2018, semiconductor giant Micron Technology broke ground in North Coast Drive, to add cleanroom space for its produc on of 3D NAND flash memory products. The mul billion-dollar facility is yet another strong vote of confidence in Singapore’s semiconductor industry - one which has been 50 years in the making and which looks set to thrive for many more years.
Smart moves This decade has also been marked by rapid and explosive changes. Increasingly, technologies such as ar ficial intelligence are powering machines and devices.
Looking to the future We believe that the semiconductor industry will be vital to Singapore’s future, enabling important advances in cri cal technologies to support applica ons such as smart ci es, ar ficial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles.
In response, semiconductor manufacturers have embraced digitalisa on and stepped up R&D eﬀorts by inves ng in new innova on centres in Singapore.
The industry will also con nue to be at the forefront of harnessing advanced manufacturing technologies such as robo cs, analy cs, and predic ve maintenance.
For instance, companies such as Infineon have commi ed to building smart factories that leverage the latest in AI, data analy cs, automa on and robo cs, for the new era of Industry 4.0.
The growing adop on of these new technologies will drive demand for semiconductor content, spurring greater innova on and crea ng new jobs that will con nue to inspire and challenge future genera ons. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
DEMAND FOR PRODUCTS EXPECTED TO RISE SIGNIFICANTLY Bosch is leveraging its exper se in both the semiconductor and automo ve industries. Every car makes use of semiconductors and this has been true for quite a while. These chips are core components of electrical systems, including those in vehicles. They regulate the powertrain and vehicle handling, tell the naviga onal system which way the vehicle is going, and give the signal for the airbag to be deployed when needed. “Semiconductors may have been around for a long me, but we have yet to realise their full poten al. These components are key to modern-day mobility, and it is impossible to imagine cars today without them”, said Jens Fabrowsky, Member of the Execu ve Management of Bosch’s Automo ve Electronics division. “When it comes to semiconductors for cars, we have a singular advantage: Bosch is the only company equally at home in both the automo ve and semiconductor industries”, Fabrowsky added. Having been making semiconductors for more than 45 years, Bosch is, today, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chips for mobility applica ons. In 2016, every vehicle newly registered, worldwide, had an average of more than nine Bosch chips on board. In 2018, every new vehicle featured semiconductors worth USD 370, according to the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Associa on (ZVEI), and thanks to increasing electrifica on and automa on, demand for chips in vehicles is expected to rise further, over the next few years.
Semiconductors for the auto industry The global semiconductor market is worth billions. Market research company, Gartner, expects global semiconductor sales to reach USD 451 billion in 2018. By 2019 alone, the market will have grown at an annual growth rate of more than 5%, according to PwC.
Electromobility and driver assistance systems Bosch’s current semiconductor por olio focuses on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), ASICs for vehicle Electronic Control Units (ECUs), and power semiconductors. Without the la er, there would be no hybrid or electric vehicles, as they regulate the electric motor and make sure that the ba ery is being used as eﬃciently as possible. Besides electrifica on, con nued strong growth in demand for driver assistance systems is ensuring that more semiconductors with more and more func ons are finding their way into cars. ASICs are chips with builtin ‘intelligence’, and they are tailored to a par cular applica on, for instance, ac va ng the deployment of airbags in a vehicle. These chips control handling, to ensure a consistently safe journey. They also boost the measured signal from radar sensors, so that the proximity warning always func ons reliably. “Progress in microelectronics is what made development of assistance systems and automated driving possible in the first place”, said Fabrowsky. The MEMS from Bosch are the sensory organs of modern vehicles. They supply a vehicle’s ECUs with important informa on regarding its handling, such as if the vehicle is braking or accelera ng, or if it is skidding on a smooth road surface. The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) uses this informa on to keeps cars, trucks, and even motorcycles, safely on track and in their lanes.
Applica ons for MEMS sensors As a key technology for the Internet of Things (IoT), Bosch semiconductors have applica ons that extend far beyond the world of vehicles. The company’s sensors
Bosch has been making vehicles smart since the 1970s, when it started equipping them with its applica onspecific integrated circuits (ASICs). In a car, chips are exposed to strong vibra ons and extreme temperatures that range from far below 0° C to far above 100° C. This requires higher standards for the toughness of these special components. Developing semiconductors that can withstand these stresses for a vehicle’s en re life me is an intensive process. “Our comprehensive exper se in semiconductors helps us to both develop new automo ve func ons and steadily improve the chips themselves”, said Fabrowsky. Bosch holds over 1,500 patents and patent applica ons for engineering and manufacturing semiconductors. 36
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Semiconductor fabrica on plant.
can be found in more than half the world’s smartphones, and are indispensable for fitness trackers, drones, game consoles, and smart home applica ons. When it comes to MEMS sensors, Bosch is both a pioneer and the world’s leading manufacturer. More than 20 years ago, the supplier of technology and services itself developed the microfabrica on technique, known worldwide as the ‘Bosch process’, used to make these semiconductors.
Investment in new wafer fab Bosch is underpinning its growth strategy for semiconductors, with the single largest investment in the company’s history. The company is pu ng some EUR 1 billion into building a new wafer fab in Dresden, Germany, which will manufacture 300 mm
MEMS sensors for mobility solu ons.
wafers. Following a rollout phase, pilot manufacturing opera ons are expected to start at the end of 2021. Compared with conven onal 150 mm and 200 mm wafers, 300 mm wafer technology oﬀers greater economies of scale. Up to 700 associates will be involved in the highly automated chip manufacturing process, working to plan, manage, and monitor produc on. The Dresden plant will be Bosch’s second wafer fab in Germany, a er the plant in Reutlingen, also in Germany. With it, the company aims to expand its manufacturing capacity, and thereby further boost its compe ve edge in global markets. All images by Bosch.
300 mm semiconductor produc on.
Semiconductor fab in Dresden. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
‘FUTURE HEALTH INDEX’ REPORT SHINES SPOTLIGHT ON TELEHEALTH Despite proven benefits, there are challenges in accelera ng its widespread adop on. Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, has announced publica on of the latest Future Health Index (FHI) report. ‘Telehealth: delivering value across ins tu onal and geographical borders’ is an independent analysis, commissioned by Philips, of the roadblocks and challenges in the deployment of telehealth services around the world. The report shows that despite the ever-growing number of case studies linking telehealth to more eﬀec ve care and lower costs, the adop on landscape is mixed. Telehealth, the provision of healthcare remotely through telecommunica ons networks, has the poten al to increase access to healthcare, drive be er outcomes, reduce costs, ensure healthcare professional sa sfac on, and improve the pa ent experience - five factors that indicate the success of value-based care systems. The latest Future Health Index report shows that connected care technology is already a reality in specific parts of the healthcare system, oﬀering notable benefits in radiology (tele-radiology) and pathology (tele-pathology), where it allows the secure and seamless sharing of medical images for be er diagnosis, treatment, follow-up and workload distribu on. It is also beginning to be used in general prac ce (telemedicine), remote pa ent monitoring and the tele-Intensive Care Unit (tele-ICU). The ‘Future Health Index: delivering value across ins tu onal and geographical borders’ report highlights many inspiring successes in telehealth, such as its role in implemen ng the tele-ICU - an intensive care unit where cri cally ill pa ents, who could benefit significantly from the opportunity to detect adverse events earlier, can be remotely monitored 24/7 or on a consulta ve basis, by clinical experts located within regional or na onal networks, or in diﬀerent me zones. However, it also reveals that the rate of adop on of telehealth solu ons worldwide is s ll rela vely slow, even in the radiology community where less than half (39%) of the radiologists surveyed stated that they use connected care technologies in their prac ce. This slow rate of adop on is also evidenced by World Health Organiza on (WHO) figures which indicate that only 22% of countries have na onal telehealth policies, and by the 2018 FHI report finding that only 31% of the countries surveyed by the FHI had clearly defined rules governing the collec on, protec on and sharing of data. Yet these policy decisions are essen al precursors to na onal telehealth ini a ves. In total, the report iden fies five key factors that are poten al, though not insurmountable, barriers to widespread telehealth adop on: outdated reimbursement and payment models, cultural a tudes, lack of financial incen ves, restric ve policies, and 38
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inadequate technological infrastructures, such as broadband access. Drawing on the results of academic studies and in-depth interviews with key opinion leaders, it puts forward a set of ac onable recommenda ons to overcome these barriers. The report ends with a clear statement that, as with other aspects of connected care, success in telehealth will ul mately be based on the involvement of mul ple actors - healthcare professionals, the general popula on, payers, regulators and the private sector - together with the recogni on that healthcare is, at heart, a human field that depends on people.
The Future Health Index The Future Health Index (FHI) is a research-based pla orm designed to help determine the readiness of countries to address global health challenges, such as the ageing popula on, and build sustainable, fit-for-purpose na onal health systems. The FHI survey data was collected from 18 January 2017 to 3 March 2017 for 15 of the 16 countries analysed in 2018 (Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK and theUS). The survey had an average length of 25 to 30 minutes. A combina on of online, face-to-face (computer-assisted) and phone (computer assisted) interviewing was used. Survey data for India was collected during 16 February 2018 to 26 March 2018 in a manner consistent with that for the other countries in 2017. The total sample from the survey includes 3,244 healthcare professionals (defined as those who work in healthcare as a doctor, surgeon, nurse prac oner, registered nurse, licensed prac cal nurse or nurse, across a variety of specialisa ons) and 24,654 adults (representa ve of each country’s respec ve adult popula on).
A doctor reading the FHI report on a tablet.
VOLOCOPTER TO TEST ITS ELECTRICAL VERTICAL TAKE OFF AND LANDING AIR TAXIS IN SINGAPORE They are designed for inner city opera on. During the Summit of Urban Mobility, held in Paris, recently, Volocopter, a pioneer in urban air mobility, announced that it will perform the next set of inner urban flight tests in Singapore. The series of tests, scheduled to take place in the second half of 2019, is supported by the Ministry of Transport (MOT), Civil Avia on Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and Economic Development Board (EDB). These flight tests are designed to validate and verify the ability of Volocopter’s Electrical Ver cal TakeOﬀ and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles to operate in Singapore’s urban Volocopter has announced that it will perform the next set of inner urban flight tests in Singapore. environment and will culminate in public demo flights. Volocopter and CAAS will work together to establish the scope of the flight trials and ensure that the necessary requirements are met before flight tests are allowed to commence. In addi on to the flight tests, Volocopter will be se ng up a product design and engineering team in Singapore to support its expansion plans. They are also looking for real-estate developers, mobility providers and businesses ready to join their quest to enable air taxis in Singapore. Volocopters are said to be emissions-free, electrically powered aircra that take oﬀ and land ver cally. They resemble a helicopter in looks, but are based on drone technology and can fly two people for just short of 30 km. The Volocopter is designed specifically for inner city missions. It ensures a smooth ride for passengers, by being able to nego ate micro-tubulences around skyscrapers. At a flight height of 100 m, it cannot be heard over the typical background noise of a city. “There is poten al for air taxis, or eVTOLs, to transform mobility and logis cs in urban ci es. Volocopter is at the forefront of such new and innova ve technology in the avia on industry. CAAS is pleased to work together with Volocopter to study the technical capabili es and develop appropriate opera onal guidelines to facilitate such trials in Singapore”, said Mr Ho Yuen Sang, Director (Avia on Industry), CAAS. Mr. Tan Kong Hwee, Execu ve Director, EDB Singapore said, “Volocopter’s decision to set up a local product design and engineering team in Singapore is a testament to Singapore’s aerospace engineering talent, as well as our prime posi on for industry players. We are excited to welcome Volocopter to Singapore and look forward to our future partnerships”.
A close-up view of the Volvocopter.
“We are ge ng ready to start implemen ng the first fixed routes in ci es”, said Florian Reuter, CEO, Volocopter. “Singapore is a logical partner: The city is a true pioneer in technology and city development. We are confident this is another exci ng step to make air taxi services a reality”, he added. Volocopter holds a preliminary permit to fly, from the German authori es, since 2016, and is coopera ng with the European Avia on Safety Authority (EASA) to receive a full commercial licence. Volvocopters fly regularly in Germany and have performed numerous public flights. In September 2017, Volocopter performed a public unmanned test flight in Dubai, where they partnered with the Roads and Transport Authority. Images by Volvocopter. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
CREW ASSISTANT CIMON SUCCESSFULLY
COMPLETES FIRST TASKS IN SPACE Conversa on with astronaut on board the ISS makes aerospace history. The astronaut assistant, CIMON (Crew Interac ve Mobile CompanioN), developed and built by Airbus, on behalf of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), has passed its first tests in space with flying colours. It worked together with German ESA astronaut, Alexander Gerst, in the Columbus module of the Interna onal Space Sta on (ISS) for around 90 minutes. Gerst has been living and working on the ISS since 8 June 2018. His current horizons mission, las ng six months, includes conduc ng a series of tests with CIMON. This medicine-ball-sized plas c sphere, CIMON, in communica which weighs 5 kg, was created using 3D prin ng and is the first AIbased astronaut assistant - an experimental technology studying human-machine interac on in space. On 15 November 2018, following a so ware upload to the ISS and a so ware update for CIMON itself, an audio check and a test of the naviga on camera, Alexander Gerst finally came face to ‘face’ with his new ar ficial roommate, ac va ng it for the very first me. The first ‘mee ng’ between the German ESA astronaut and the free-flying robo c crew assistant, a world first, lasted 90 minutes. CIMON’s autonomous naviga on was then tested, with the assistant performing several turns and movements in every direc on. It was able to search for Gerst’s face and make ‘eye’ contact. As a demonstra on of its assistance capabili es, CIMON displayed instruc ons for a school science experiment on crystallisa on and a video of the Rubik’s cube puzzle on its ‘face’, a screen set in the centre of the sphere, and played a piece of music. It then tested its ultrasonic sensors, which have a similar func on to a car’s parking sensors, and took a photo and shot a video of Gerst, using its integrated cameras. Finally, Gerst returned his crew assistant to its place in the Columbus module. “CIMON represents the realisa on of an Airbus vision. It is a huge step forward for human space flight, achieved by working in coopera on with our partners. With CIMON, we have laid the founda ons for social assistance systems that are designed to be used under extreme condi ons”, said Till Eisenberg, CIMON Project Manager at Airbus. 40
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on with astronaut Alexander Gerst, in the Columbus module of the ISS.
“It is an incredible feeling and absolutely fantas c to be able to experience CIMON actually seeing, hearing, understanding and speaking. This first, real deployment in space has made aerospace history, and marks the start of what will hopefully be a long deployment on the ISS”, said Dr Chris an Karrasch, CIMON Project Manager at the DLR Space Agency. CIMON uses the Wi-Fi on the ISS to transmit data, making use of satellite connec ons to ground sta ons to establish an Internet connec on with the IBM Cloud. Ma hias Biniok, IBM project lead, explained the processes that then take place in CIMON’s ‘brain’. “If CIMON is asked a ques on or addressed, the Watson AI firstly converts this audio signal into text, which is understood, or interpreted, by the AI. IBM Watson not only understands content in context, it can also understand the inten on behind it. The result is a tailored answer, which is converted into speech and then sent back to the ISS, enabling a natural, dynamic spoken dialogue”, he said. Bernd Ra enbacher, team leader at the ground control centre at Lucerne University, said, “The data link to Earth is established via satellite to NASA/ESA and to the DLR’s Columbus control centre in Oberpfaﬀenhofen, Germany. From there, the signal is transmi ed to us, the CIMON ground sta on at BIOTESC in Lucerne, the Swiss User Support and Opera ons Center, which is connected to the IBM Cloud in Frankfurt over the Internet. The me needed for the signal to be transmi ed via satellite is 0.4 seconds each way. A number of firewalls and VPN tunnels are in place to ensure data security”, he added.
FIRST BOEING 777X FLIGHT TEST AIRPLANE COMES TOGETHER The first flight of the 777X is scheduled for 2019, with the first delivery in 2020.
The first Boeing 777X airplane has completed the final body join-in at the company’s factory in Evere , Washington, USA.
Boeing has brought together the major fuselage sec ons to form the first 777X airplane that will take to the skies in 2019. In a major produc on milestone called ‘final body join’, Boeing teams connected the airplane’s nose, midand a -sec ons in the company’s factory in Evere , Washington, USA. The jet now measures 252 long (77 m) from nose to tail, making it the longest passenger jet the manufacturer has ever produced. “The 777X is a new airplane and a new produc on system”, said Josh Binder, Vice President and General Manager of the 777X. “With the 777X, the produc on system was integrated into the development programme sooner than any other airplane, and the team is doing a great job of hi ng our milestones as expected”, he added. The 777X builds on the market-leading 777 and the 787 Dreamliner, to oﬀer airlines what is said to be the largest and most-eﬃcient twin-engine jet in the world. The airplane has 12% lower fuel consump on and 10% lower opera ng costs, according to Boeing. The 777X achieves its performance through the introduc on of the latest technologies such as a fueleﬃcient commercial engine, the GE9X, and a fourthgenera on, all-new composite wing design that provides li and eﬃciency. With the extension of a set of folding, raked wing ps, the airplane’s wing spans 235 (72 m). With the addi on of folding wing ps, the 777X’s wingspan has been increased to enhance the aerodynamic eﬃciency of the wing, reducing engine thrust and fuel use. Addi onally, the folding wing ps allow the 777X to maintain airport compa bility with the exis ng 777 family, adding value for customers.
The first 777X introduced will be the 777-9 model, which can seat 400 to 425 passengers in a standard configura on and oﬀer a range of 7,600 nau cal miles (14,075 km). Boeing is building on the passengerpreferred interior of today’s 777 and building on 787 interior innova ons. Passengers will enjoy windows that are larger and located higher on the fuselage than the current 777, along with a wider cabin, new ligh ng and enhanced architecture. The first 777X test airplane for sta c ground tes ng was completed in September 2018. Three addi onal flight test airplanes will be built a er flight test #1. The 777X first flight is scheduled for 2019. First delivery is slated for 2020.
Joint-venture between Boeing and SparkCogni on Boeing and SparkCogni on have announced plans to launch SkyGrid, a new company that will enable the future of urban aerial mobility. Based in Aus n, Texas, USA, SkyGrid will develop a so ware pla orm to ensure the safe, secure integra on of autonomous cargo and passenger air vehicles in the global airspace. Using blockchain technology, AI-enabled dynamic traﬃc rou ng, data analy cs and cybersecurity features, SkyGrid’s pla orm will go beyond unmanned aircra systems (UAS) traﬃc management (UTM). The pla orm will enable SkyGrid customers to safely perform a broad range of missions and services using UAS, including package delivery, industrial inspec ons and emergency assistance.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
INDUSTRIAL PLANT MANAGEMENT
DEVELOPING A CONDITION
MONITORING STRATEGY by John Young, Sales Director, EU Automa on It will be beneficial to industries. As manufacturing processes con nue to become more complex with the implementa on of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies, it is now more important than ever that decisions aﬀec ng plant opera ons are well informed and made ra onally. For this to happen, data is key. Industrial technologies have led to the crea on and colla on of a wealth of data within the manufacturing plant, which allows plant managers to re-evaluate their maintenance programme. Condi on monitoring is the process of monitoring various parameters, to iden fy changes that could result in a poten al fault developing. The process uses an array of sensors to con nuously check and monitor the pre-defined parameters aﬀec ng the equipment, including temperature, vibra on, as well as moisture and oil levels.
Mr John Young
maintenance teams to work eﬀec vely and create more me for iden fying areas of improvement in the plant.
Planning ahead While condi on monitoring allows plant managers to prepare and implement a robust maintenance programme, they also need to ensure that the monitoring itself is as eﬀec ve as possible. The only way to do this, is to implement a condi on monitoring strategy. But where should you begin? As every plant is diﬀerent, even among plants owned by the same manufacturer, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solu on. Manufacturers should look to invest in mul ple solu ons, perhaps by equipping various sensors on the same piece of equipment.
The gathering of this data has led to the crea on of four key maintenance methodologies: • Reac ve Maintenance - where repairs are conducted only when equipment has already broken down, which can lead to higher costs for repair. • Preventa ve Maintenance - a more tradi onal, schedule-based programme, with ac ons undertaken during a planned me-frame. • Predic ve Maintenance - which uses a variety of inputs to predict poten al failures. • Proac ve Maintenance - which looks beyond specific equipment and addresses the problem area. Using data to implement a maintenance plan, on an annual basis, is an eﬀec ve way of ensuring every piece of equipment is func oning free of errors. However, it may not be the best use of an engineer’s me. Instead, condi on monitoring can be used as a way to reduce down me, extend equipment life and improve Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Basing a maintenance plan on equipment condi on rather than predicted life-span, allows the plant to operate more eﬃciently.
By iden fying poten al faults before they happen, plant managers can act to prevent major system failures and produc on down me. As equipment get near the end of their life-span, condi on monitoring allows for a replacement plan to be put in place. This ensures that new equipment is in stock, thereby making the transi on as smooth as possible, with minimal disrup on to produc on. Basing a maintenance plan on equipment condi on rather than predicted life-span, allows the plant to operate more eﬃciently. More informed decisions allow 42
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
More informed decisions allow maintenance teams to work eﬀec vely.
INDUSTRIAL PLANT MANAGEMENT
The first step in developing a strategy is to make sure that whoever is tasked with implementing it understands the needs of all the relevant systems, equipment and processes. A full audit should be undertaken, establishing peak operating efficiency for all equipment and what parameters need to be measured - which will dictate what sensors are needed. Budgets may restrict a full plant roll-out, so it may be wise to start small and then add additional systems and processes, over time. It is important to set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART) objectives. You should have something to aim for, that is more detailed than ‘improve plant efficiency’, for example, like reduce production downtime by 20% in 12 months. These objectives should remain fluid and be evaluated on a regular basis to ensure the programme is achieving exactly what it should. In the early days of implementation, objectives may not be met, for a whole host of reasons, such as unrealistic expectations, or simply, teething problems with the sensors. Over time, these issues should be tackled and learnt from, in-turn, influencing future decisions.
Everything is connected It is not only equipment and sensors that can be connected by IIoT technologies, but plant managers, too. Connected devices and cloud technology allow plant managers to monitor the equipment condi on in realme, from any loca on that has been given access. For example, should a plant managers be made aware that a motor is not opera ng at op mum eﬃciency, he or she can easily order a replacement from a supplier, like EU Automa on, before the equipment fails altogether thereby minimising any poten al produc on down me. As technologies become more advanced, the demands on engineers will only increase. However, by using the correct tools and data, plant engineers can use their me more eﬀec vely, allowing the equipment to work for them, rather than the other way around. Capturing and analysing the data produced by condi on sensors will improve plant safety and performance, and result in more eﬃcient and profitable opera ons. (EU Automa on stocks and sells new, used, refurbished and obsolete industrial automa on spares. Its global network of preferred partner warehouses and wholly owned distribu on centres enable it to oﬀer a unique service within the automa on industry, spanning the en re globe).
EU Automa on releases book on global Industry 4.0 strategies At SPS Drives in Nuremberg, Germany, EU Automa on launched a book char ng the development of the Fourth Industrial Revolu on and how countries around the world are digitalising. The book features interviews with industry experts from around the globe, who provide insights into the future of manufacturing. The book, called ‘4.0 Sight - Digital industry around the world’, explains what manufacturers need to know about diﬀerent global ini a ves, such as Made in China 2025, Industry 4.0, and Japan’s Society 5.0, and how to apply the ideas to their own business models. Each chapter explores the role of technology in Industry 4.0 and predicts which technologies will shape the future of manufacturing. The technologies include deep learning, modular automa on, integrated pla orms, ar ficial intelligence, remote monitoring and addi ve manufacturing. They will be crucial as we develop new ways of automa ng industry and the workforce of the future. Developments in advanced manufacturing technologies are also discussed. Experts from the industry, who were interviewed for the book, include Neil Mead, Editor of Automa on Magazine, Steve Ward, Applica ons Engineering Director at GE, and Nigel Smith, CEO of TM Robo cs. Each shares a perspec ve on how these global ini a ves are changing the manufacturing industry and how businesses can adapt to remain compe ve. “We keep hearing about the next industrial revolu on but no one has put this into context to explain exactly what it means for companies around the world. As a result, many manufacturers are scrambling to digitalise their opera ons o en without a true apprecia on of where the industry is headed”, explained Jonathan Wilkins, Marke ng Director of EU Automa on and Co-Author of 4.0 Sight. “We wrote 4.0 Sight to eliminate any confusion for manufacturers. It acts as a travel guide to Industry 4.0 across the world. Each country has a diﬀerent focus in its aim to digitalise. For example, Japan faces an ageing workforce and popula on, China is planning on becoming the world’s strongest economy and the UK wants to posi on itself as a leader in AI. Because the speed of development varies by country, we have seen the same industrial revolu on referred to by diﬀerent names”, he added. The book covers both the role of technology and people in the future of manufacturing. Experts give their perspec ve on the skills gap, engineers at Renishaw give their perspec ve on the gender gap and the authors explore how automa on will change the nature of human jobs in manufacturing.
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
MEETING GROWING CLEANLINESS DEMANDS RELIABLY AND COST EFFECTIVELY Cleaning with carbon dioxide snow in a dry and residue-free process. Trends such as electromobility, lightweight engineering, miniaturisa on and Industrie 4.0 have given rise to new challenges in the field of industrial parts cleaning. With its qua roClean system, acp - advanced clean produc on GmbH (acp) oﬀers a solu on capable of performing a wide range of cleaning tasks reliably, reproducibly and cost-eﬀec vely. In addi on, the dry, residue-free and environmentally neutral cleaning technology can be adapted to individual requirements and is highly compact, easy to automate and simple to integrate into produc on lines, Industrie 4.0 manufacturing systems and cleanrooms. Whether it is the automo ve or supplier industry, precision or micro engineering, medical technology, mechatronics, electronics or other industrial sectors, current trends are changing requirements concerning parts cleaning. These trends also point towards the increasing use of smaller and more complex parts and components. Shorter product life cycles lower product volumes right down to the manufacture of single parts, the use of new materials and material combina ons, for example, for lightweight engineering applica ons, and new or modified produc on processes. Electromobility, autonomous driving and manufacturing environments designed for Industrie 4.0 are further developments which are influencing parts cleaning. There are cases where material combina ons or surface structures make wet-chemical cleaning unsuitable, or only certain areas of components need a specific degree of cleanliness, such as bonding, welding or sealing surfaces, or cleaning steps are performed on assembled components.
processes and the genera on of energy from biomass. It has an almost indefinite shelf-life and is supplied in cylinders or tanks.
A cleaning process with many advantages Liquid CO2 is guided through the non-wearing twocomponent ring nozzle of the acp system and expands on exi ng to form fine CO2 crystals. These are then bundled by a circular jacketed jet of compressed air and accelerated to supersonic speed. The patented technology ensures uniform cleaning results - even on large surfaces where several nozzles are used. The jet of snow and compressed air has a temperature of minus 78.5° C and can be focused exactly where it is needed. When it impacts on the surface to be cleaned, a combina on of thermal, mechanical, sublima on and dissolving by solvent processes takes place. These four cleaning mechanisms enable the qua roClean system to remove filmic contamina on, such as residues of cooling lubricants, process oils, polishing pastes, separa ng agents and silicons, as well as par culate contamina on, for example, chips, dust and abrasion. Since the cleaning step with the non-combus ble, non-corrosive and nontoxic CO2 snow is also gentle on materials, even delicate and finely-structured surfaces can be treated.
Scalable cleaning solu on with carbon dioxide snow The scalable cleaning system from acp, which is based on snow jet technology, can be easily adapted to diverse component geometries to clean selec ve areas or whole components. This environmentally-neutral technology uses liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) as a cleaning medium which, as opposed to dry ice, is a by-product from chemical 44
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
Liquid CO2 is fed through a non-wearing two-component nozzle and expands on exi ng to form fine CO2 crystals, which are bundled by a circular jacketed jet of compressed air. This patented technology ensures uniform cleaning results.
The aerodynamic force of the jet transports the detached dirt away. This is then extracted from the cleaning cell together with the sublimated CO2 in a gaseous state. The workpieces are dry on comple on of the cleaning process, enabling them to be further processed or packaged straightaway.
Suitability for a wide range of products The qua roClean snow jet technology has proved to be eďŹ€ec ve in numerous applica ons in various sectors of industry. For example, the cleaning system has been in use, for several years now, to remove abla on residues from injec on-moulded interconnect devices (MID) produced by means of laser direct structuring. Compared with common cleaning methods, such as ultrasonic or high-pressure washing processes, the qua roClean system has the advantage that the rough laser structures are smoothed at the same me, thus simplifying joining and assembly tasks. Laser residues also need to be removed when manufacturing ba eries. Residues from laser processing cells, which could cause shor ng, are removed selec vely and reliably. A manufacturer of sensor systems uses the snow jet technology from acp to clean oďŹ€ par cles before sensors liable to damage are packaged. For this applica on, a herme cally-sealed cleaning cell was developed, which is integrated into a clean zone and fi ed with a filter fan unit to supply clean air. The qua roClean system is also used in an inline applica on to clean engine pistons before their surfaces are op cally measured. The parts are cleaned by a robot. The system works in the produc on systemâ€™s one-piece flow and is capable of cleaning at 11 cm2/sec. When it comes to die-cu ng, an almost manual system removes produc on residues from strips immediately a er cu ng. This single-part cleaning step replaces the commonly-used, wet-chemical cleaning process.
determine all the process parameters for the applica on concerned, such as volume flows for compressed air and CO2, as well as the dura on of the jet. Material proper es and the type of contamina on requiring removal are also accounted for. These parameters can be filed as cleaning programs in the system control. Depending on the task at hand, systems for cleanroom use can be realised with their own local cleanroom system, including a specially-adapted extrac on system.
The CO2 snow jet technology selec vely dry-cleans specific areas of components without leaving any residues, for example, before or a er laser-welding processes.
Adaptability to exis ng opera ons Thanks to its modular design, the compact qua roClean system from acp is easy to adapt to specific customer requirements. This allows manual, par ally-automated and even fully-automated cleaning systems to be developed and integrated into exis ng produc on, assembly and packaging lines. Cleaning tests are conducted at the acp technical centre to accurately
A jet of CO2 snow removes par cles in a dry and gentle process a er laser direct structuring MIDs.
Compared with common cleaning methods, such as ultrasonic or high-pressure washing processes, the qua roClean system has the advantage of smoothing rough laser structures at the same me (right). THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
NEA AND IES LAUNCH NEW CERTIFICATION SCHEME
FOR ENGINEERS IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY The Na onal Environment Agency (NEA) and IES have jointly launched a new scheme to cer fy engineers for their technical exper se and experience in improving the energy performance of industrial processes, systems and equipment. This will qualify them to conduct Energy Eﬃciency Opportuni es Assessments (EEOAs) for energyintensive industrial facili es. The scheme builds up a pool of engineers to help companies assess the energy performance of their facili es and processes, and iden fy opportuni es for improvement. Energy eﬃciency is one of the key strategies to reduce carbon emissions from the industrial sector, which accounts for about 60 per cent of Singapore’s greenhouse gas emissions. The EEO Assessor cer fica on scheme was announced by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, at the 8th Energy Eﬃciency Na onal Partnership (EENP) Awards on 11 October 2018. Under the scheme, prospec ve EEO Assessors will be evaluated by a panel of qualified professionals, appointed by NEA and IES, from industry, academia and the public sector. The panel will assess the applicants’ competencies and experience to lead and conduct EEOAs in accordance with interna onal standards such as ISO 50002:2014 Energy Audits. IES will manage an online register of these cer fied EEO Assessors to facilitate the matching of independent assessors to companies seeking external exper se. In addi on, NEA has worked with the IES Chartered Engineer Board to recognise the exper se of EEO Assessors to be Chartered Engineers under the energy sector. “EEO Assessors are engineers who have a unique blend of industrial experience and energy management exper se. They will play a crucial role in … recommend(ing) engineering solu ons for energy eﬃciency improvements,” said Dr Khor. Through the scheme, it is hoped that both prac cing and aspiring engineers will be inspired to build a career in energy eﬃciency to support Singapore’s journey towards a low-carbon future. The cer fica on scheme is open for applica ons now at h p://eeoa.sg. 46
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Amy Khor, announced the launch of the EEO Assessor scheme on 11 October 2018. Photo: NEA
Energy Eﬃciency Opportuni es Assessment (EEOA) Scheme This is the latest addi on to the Energy Conserva on Act which covers all industries that consume more than 54 TJ of energy per year. Under the scheme, companies must submit an EEOA report by 2021 that covers at least 80 per cent of their energy consump on. Cer fied EEOA Assessors will carry out an energy audit of the facili es in accordance to the guidelines in ISO 50002:2014. This includes establishing a baseline energy performance of the audited facility as well as for all energy intensive equipment within it. Improvement opportuni es are then iden fied based on having more eﬃcient equipment, improved heat integra on or process design. Such opportuni es should be ranked according to energy savings and cost benefit analyses. The reports will be reviewed and approved by NEA’s Verifica on Oﬃce for suﬃcient coverage, quality of analysis and number of iden fied opportuni es. All new plants being planned whose energy requirements exceed 54 TJ per year will also have to carry out an EEOA on their design. An approved EEOA will be part of the requirement for Development Control Clearance.
COOLING TOWER TECHNOLOGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND HEALTHY LIVING In tropical Singapore, cooling processes account for the biggest source of energy consumption in Singapore’s buildings. Furthermore, cooling towers in building cooling systems require a significant amount of water to operate. For Singapore to meet its green building targets and ensure the longevity of crucial resources, it is important to improve the energy and water efficiency of cooling towers. This also contributes to climate change resilience. In line with this cause, IES held a seminar at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, titled “Cooling Tower Technologies for Sustainable Buildings and Healthy Living” on 1 November 2018. The guest-of-honour was IES Past President Professor Chou Siaw Kiang.
The seminar was a ended by about 140 par cipants including facility managers, M&E RE/RTOs, and industry prac oners.
Nine speakers were invited to share their expertise at the seminar, which was attended by about 140 professionals with an interest in cooling towers, such as facility managers, M&E RE/RTOs, and industry practitioners. Kicking things off was Er. Tong Kok Kwang, Director and Principal Mechanical Engineer, NTU Engineering Services Division, who shared about the operation of cooling towers and meeting regulatory and sustainability objectives. Mr Nari Lulla, CEO of Lulla-Motion, spoke next about the development of cooling towers and its infill media. Mr TS Lim from Truwater Cooling Towers spoke next, detailing how cooling towers could be designed and optimised while taking into consideration energy efficiency, water consumption, space allocation, acoustics, as well as environmental and aesthetic factors. Mr Sumalya Nag, the Senior Sales Operations Director from SUEZ, then presented on cooling tower water treatment and introduced a new chemistry and automation solution developed for this purpose. The fifth speaker was Ms Chew Wenyi from the Singapore Green Building Council. Through her presentation, participants gained a deeper understanding of the standards and certification scheme for cooling towers and cooling tower water treatment. Next, Mr San Linn Nyunt, Technical Manager at Kurita Singapore, offered his insights on chemical treatments of cooling tower water. The mic was then passed over to Dr Peter Wang from Nalco Water, who outlined the management of Legionella bacteria risk in buildings.
Par cipants networked with each other, as well as the exhibitors, during the two tea breaks.
Mr Ng Bee Keong, the managing director of Innovative Polymers, was eighth; he outlined several sustainable approaches to cooling tower water management, and showcased a novel method of combating scale formation. The final speaker of the day was Assoc Prof Lee Poh Seng from the NUS Department of Mechanical Engineering, who examined some of the energy efficiency challenges of cooling towers and possible solutions. The two Q&A sessions throughout the day were moderated by Mr Lee Eng Lock, Deputy Chairman and Senior Technical Director of Measurement & Verification Pte Ltd. Apart from facilitating them, he also shared his own experiences, especially in the area of standards development, which he was heavilyinvolved in. It was certainly an intensive and fruitful seminar! THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018
IES NTU STUDENT CHAPTER
HOLDS 2018 AGM On 30 August 2018, the IES-NTU Student Chapter held its Annual General Mee ng. The mee ng was a ended by Chairman of the IES Student Chapter Commi ee, Mr Danny Lee; Advisor to the IES-NTU Student Chapter, Professor Er Meng Joo, as well as ordinary members. In his opening address, Mr Lee reminded students on the importance of co-curricular ac vi es as they facilitate the picking up of so skills, and explained how the student chapters fit into the mission and vision of the Ins tu on.
from the rest of the incoming commi ee. They were then handed the cons tu on file by the outgoing commi ee, signifying the passing of the baton from one commi ee to the next. The AGM concluded with dinner and a networking session.
He also gave a brief overview of the Chartered Engineer programme, elabora ng on the pathways to a ain Professional Engineer status and encouraged the students to join the IES Young Engineer Commi ee upon gradua on. Taking the podium, Prof Er emphasised the need for con nuing educa on. Constantly improving oneself, as well as the ability to work with others, were essen al quali es for tackling today’s mul faceted problems and hence achieving success in the workplace, he noted. He also felt that IES provided an excellent networking pla orm for mee ng other engineering professionals, both junior and senior, who specialise in fields diﬀerent from their own.
Group photo of the incoming commi ee with Mr Lee (standing, 6th from le ) and Prof Er (standing, 8th from le ).
The outgoing commi ee then delivered reports on their eﬀorts and achievements over the past year. This was followed by the elec ons for the incoming commi ee, with each nominated candidate giving a short speech to canvass for votes. Cer ficates of apprecia on were also presented to the outgoing commi ee for their service. With the elec on results finalised, the newly-elected student chapter president stepped forward to present 2018-2019 work plan, followed by self-introduc ons
Group photo of the outgoing commi ee with Prof Er and Mr Lee.
Delta Energy Systems (Singapore) Pte Ltd –––– Page 04 & 05
Mul Nine Corpora on Pte Ltd –––––– Outside Back Cover
IES Directory ––––––––––––––––––––– Inside Back Cover
Puritas Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Page 15
IES Membership –––––––––––––––––– Inside Front Cover
SBS Transit Ltd ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Page 11
Marks & Clerk Singapore LLP ––––––––––––––– Page 01
Truwater Singapore Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––––– Page 17
THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER November 2018