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February 2012

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CONTENTS February 2012

The year of the Dragon And let us make it a very good one for business!


ragons symbolise such character traits as dominance and ambition and are usually successful. Let us all be part of the Dragon’s year, where we can and make some dreams come true in business. There are sure to be some pretty decent challenges ahead some emanating from Europe where, as I write, some key European countries have had their credit rating downgraded. For us in Asia and the Pacific let us focus on keeping our businesses steady and grabbing the opportunities when they come along. And where can we find these opportunities? Well, there will always be the trade fairs (see our calendar on Page 25) and of course continual research into developing economies where manufacturing technology is badly needed to get key industries up to speed. Bangladesh, for example, has plenty of chances to compete on world markets within the clothing industry but is in need of sophisticated machinery to be more efficient. Environmental conditions in The Philippines mean that infrastructure is a problem and that village and city planning needs to consider construction issues which are causing real headaches for the populace. A major announcement in this issue is the appointment of this publication as the primary media partner of the Asia Manufacturing Strategies Summit 2012 which is being held in Singapore later this year. Each issue from now we will bring you updates as the event draws closer. Meanwhile you can read more on Page 28 and you can also visit




n the city of Hirakata, Osaka sits a large factory compound that is owned and operated by Komatsu. This is the manufacturing base of Komatsu, Ltd. – Japan’s largest, and the world’s second largest integrated manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. It is in this particular plant in Osaka that Komatsu produces all of its large bulldozers, mediumand large-sized hydraulic excavators, and resource recycling machinery.







hose of us who work in China have seen numerous changes in just the past decade as the country evolves from an agrarian society to an industrial one. The speed of the transformation has been astonishing, and the process is far from complete. Now Vietnam is emerging as a player in the global manufacturing market, although there are still a number of challenges to be met when working in this country.




actoryTalk VantagePoint 4.0 software now includes enhanced connectors, configuration and reporting tools to significantly reduce the time, complexity and cost of developing meaningful reports, visualization and analytics for manufacturing operations.





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COMPUTER DATA STORAGE 29 DELCAM FOR SOLIDWORKS 2012 ON SHOW AT SOLIDWORKS WORLD 30 US-CHINA SOLAR SUBSIDIES SPAT SPARKS INTEREST 31 SEOUL, BEIJING TO LAUNCH FREE TRADE TALKS Asia Manufacturing News is published bi-monthly and offers the reader business information and news. Asia Manufacturing News welcomes editorial contributions and encourages readers to share their reflections and views with us. Asia Manufacturing News uses information provided in good faith. We give no guarantee of accuracy of the information. No liability is accepted for the result of any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this information. Those acting on the information and recommendations do so entirely at their own risk. Managing Editor: Doug Green phone: 0061 06 870 9029 Advertising Manager: Max Farndale phone: 0061 06 870 4506 Web Master: Dan Browne. SUBSCRIPTION: NZ $80 per year for the printed version. NZ $40 per year digital. Subscription payment or general contact can be made to: Media Hawkes Bay Ltd, PO Box 1109, Hastings, New Zealand. or Please email or fax us your credit card details. Fax: 06 878 8150 Or by posting a cheque to the above address. Digital Subscription payment available at: Single copies NZ $8.00




Komatsu’s ‘Mother Factory’ Mission


n the city of Hirakata, Osaka sits a large factory compound that is owned and operated by Komatsu. This is the manufacturing base of Komatsu, Ltd. – Japan’s largest, and the world’s second largest integrated manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. It is in this particular plant in Osaka that Komatsu produces all of its large bulldozers, medium- and largesized hydraulic excavators, and resource recycling machinery.

Role of Osaka factory Komatsu’s plant in Osaka is referred to as the ‘Mother Factory’ as it consolidates the numerous overseas subsidiaries and domestic partner companies. More specifically, the mother factory is responsible for the design and build of Komatsu products, standardising the specifications and manufacturing conditions at the point of origin. This enables each Komatsu plant the ability to manufacture all the Company’s products in the same exact manner, regardless of where the plant is geographically located.

A first-generation bulldozer at Komatsu’s plant in Osaka

In recent years, Komatsu started to really focus on marketing its hybrid hydraulic excavators. This product line has made significant contributions towards environmental conservation in the community. In addition, Komatsu constantly strives to deliver the best quality in its products, truly living up to the company’s philosophy of

‘Quality and Reliability’. Mr Toda Tetsuo, Inspection Planning Manager from the Quality Assurance Division, explained, “Our plant in Osaka is what we term Komatsu’s ‘Mother Factory’, and it is committed in delivering quality products through a rigorous standardisation process.”

So while Komatsu parts and products have been carefully crafted in Japan, they can be manufactured anywhere else in the world, and this is made possible by replicating the exact specifications, manufacturing conditions, and maintaining the same high quality levels that are set out in the mother factory in Japan. With standardised inspection criteria of such a high demand put in place, it was necessary to ensure that measurements across the various plants were also consistent. Komatsu needed a highly precise and dependable instrument that would help uphold its promise of ‘Quality and Reliability’ to its customers.

Introduction of a sophisticated metrology system

Two Faro Laser Trackers and a FaroArm ready to take measurements in tandem, directly on the shop floor

When asked about the qualities Komatsu looked for in a measurement tool, Mr Tetsuo noted, ‘Portability, high accuracy and user friendliness ranked high on our list.’ The company was initially introduced to a portable three-dimensional (3D) measuring equipment from another manufacturer. However,




in the global market. As such, Faro systems have also been welldeployed in China and America. This offers great convenience to Komatsu staff, especially for those who travel with their laptops, as they can now measure parts and components from one location to another with confidence of receiving reliable data every time.

Taking precise measurements of small components with the FaroArm

the instrument’s features and functions fell short of Komatsu’s expectations in measuring certain components and products. The inability to give satisfactory results prompted a more thorough search. In a chance encounter at a vendor’s factory, Mr Tetsuo saw the Faro Laser Tracker in action. He recalled exclaiming, “This is the ideal instrument I’ve been searching for! The Laser Tracker was capable of measuring complex and large-sized components, which the previous device could not deal with.”

four units of Faro Laser Trackers and three units of FaroArm, all of which are in near 100% capacity operation every day.

Convenience & data reliability According to Mr Tetsuo, one of the key reasons to why Komatsu chose Faro is its widespread acceptance

Furthermore, numerous domestic partner companies in Japan have actively adopted Faro’s 3D systems under Komatsu’s influence and leadership. In fact, a marked improvement in data reliability has already been noted as different companies use the same equipment with the same calibration and accuracy. This gives rise to a greater willingness to trust each other’s measurement results. Overall, the wide adoption of Faro’s systems has truly contributed along Komatsu’s supply chain to the achievement of better quality products.


In addition, it was possible to combine the Laser Tracker with another Faro product - the FaroArm - to take more detailed measurements in the same seating. “Perfect measurement was now possible with Faro’s systems, as the Laser Tracker measured large components while the FaroArm measured the more refined areas,” described Mr Tetsuo. At the moment, Komatsu owns

Inspecting a large component with a FARO




Autodesk introduces loud-based product lifecycle management


new solution is designed to transform how manufacturers manage the entire lifecycle of a product-from its conception, through design and manufacture, partner and supplier management, procurement, quality, compliance, service and more.

Autodesk is tapping into the cloud to deliver a new approach to product lifecycle management (PLM), which enables companies to capture and manage product information and processes to continuously improve the products they manufacture. Autodesk’s new PLM offering is part of Autodesk 360 – a set of secure, easy to use and affordable solutions developed to streamline product and project business processes. Autodesk 360 for PLM is for companies of all sizes, from small companies eager to deploy PLM for the first time to large enterprises that have become disenchanted by PLM, due to the complexities and high costs associated with traditional PLM implementations.


Measuring with the future in mind At Komatsu’s Osaka plant, the FaroArm is placed in a training facility known as Takumi Kobo, or the ‘workshop’. This allows every one of Komatsu’s staff the access to learn how to use the measurement equipment, regardless of one’s portfolio at work. The purpose is to instill an interest in staff members to pick up an additional skill, in line with Komatsu’s human resource philosophy that it doesn’t harm to learn something outside of their job scope.

Building upon the company’s leadership with cloud-based solutions, Autodesk 360 for PLM is geared for manufacturers that need to manage business processes throughout the entire lifecycle of a product from the earliest concept to retirement. Autodesk 360 for PLM will comprise: Autodesk 360 Nexus – Autodesk 360 Nexus a new, cloud-based solution that will anchor Autodesk 360 for PLM with affordable, easy-to-use and simple-to-deploy software as a service that helps make the benefits of PLM business applications available to users anytime, anywhere with less cost and risk. Autodesk Vault provides onpremise product data management software that enables engineering workgroups to organise, manage and track their entire designs, engineering bills-of-materials and By encouraging its entire staff to pick up the skill, regardless of gender or age, Komatsu hopes to guarantee knowledge continuity and succession to future generations of employees. However, accurate measurement is just a means to an end. It is more important to understand the preparation to effectively measure objects, how objects should be positioned and measured to gather the required data, as well as how to analyse the results to improve quality. Mr Toda revealed, “Now, the

Autodesk Buzzsaw. Enabled by Autodesk Cloud, Buzzsaw is cloud-based supplier collaboration allowing customers to securely exchange designs and documents with external partners and distributed teams, regardless of their location. Buzzsaw Mobile ensures that users have the most up to date information, wherever it’s needed. Global research firm IDC estimates the PLM software applications market will grow to $20.5 billion by 2015. The processes required to commercialise and maintain products are increasingly complex and dispersed. Frequent interactions result in an overload of design, process, and business information that decision-makers and distributed teams must sort, prioritise, and manage over the lifecycle of their products. Unlike the expensive, complicated, engineeringcentric, and difficult-to-deploy PLM systems available today, Autodesk 360 Nexus is more


Autodesk 360 for PLM will enable customers of all sizes to achieve the full promise of PLM with a scalable, configurable and intuitive solution. We believe it will help our customers achieve a measurable competitive advantage

through better, more accessible collaboration and business information management.

change processes. Autodesk Vault will work seamlessly with the Autodesk 360 Nexus.

overall measurement time has been reduced by almost half. To further shorten the time required in future, we will have to put more effort into training our staff, aside from improving on measurement methods and preparation.” It is evident that Komatsu Osaka’s efforts to function as the ‘mother factory’ has paid off. The Komatsu group managed to strengthen bonds with its partners locally and globally under its guiding spirit, and also uphold its quality and reliability. This is yet another example of Komatsu’s relentless pursuit of Quality. u




Belden announces new switches


elden has extended its Hirschmann product program to include Ethernet switches from its new RSP family, which offer redundancy with zero switch over time.

They are especially designed for use in the field-level networks of power supply companies, but they also can be used in any situation where uninterrupted communication is required, for instance for mechanical engineering projects or drives for production facilities. These extremely robust fanless switches have eleven ports, three of which can be used for SFP transceivers. They support Fast (100 BASE-FX) or – optionally – Gigabit Ethernet (100/1000 BASEFX). The remaining eight ports can be used either for 100 BASE-TX or as a combination of four SFP transceivers and four TX ports. Additional features include comprehensive management, diagnostic and filter functions plus a variety of redundancy methods and markedly expanded security mechanisms. In addition to the standard configuration, Hirschmann also offers a version that supports highly precise synchronisation compliant with


readily and easily configurable to meet customer-specific product lifecycle process needs across the enterprise. Employees in a range of roles from planning to product development to supplier management, quality and compliance, service and more will have greater ability to eliminate bottlenecks and access product and project-related information more quickly regardless of their location. Until recently, PLM has been the near-exclusive domain of large businesses, mainly due to the high cost and expertise related to deploying and maintaining the systems. .No company should be excluded from the benefits of PLM technology. commented Kross.

IEEE 1588v2, plus PRP (Parallel Redundancy Protocol) and HSR (High-availability Seamless Redundancy). This means that, for the first time, it is now possible to implement networks that guarantee uninterrupted data communications with the attached systems and can thus – in the case of the electricity supply industry – guarantee reliable power supplies to end customers at all times. These switches have high vibration resistance and extensive resilience to magnetic fields and electrostatic discharges. Redundancy methods such as PRP, HSR and PRP/HSR Redundancy Box, RSTP, MRP and Fast MRP ensure a high level of network availability. Mounted on DIN rails, the switches can easily be activated by plug and play and feature sturdy, compact stainless steel housings measuring 100W x 164H x 116D mm. With its new RSP family of Hirschmann Ethernet switches An IDC Manufacturing Insights report released in June 2011 revealed that manufacturers identified the top three business benefits of cloud systems as: reducing total hardware spend; improving IT staff productivity and end user service levels; and reducing total spend on software licensing and maintenance. Autodesk 360 Nexus will better enable customers to start small but scale fast to meet demand, and fit easily within their existing business environment. Enabled by Autodesk Cloud, Autodesk 360 solutions provide a powerful and complete digital view of information and processes, combined with the ability to securely manage data,

Belden has extended its Hirschmann product program to include Ethernet switches from the new RSP family.

Belden is expanding Ethernet to cover the field-level networks of electricity supply companies. At the same time the company is the world’s first manufacturer to offer switches with integrated PRP and HSR redundancy protocols. As product manager Jürgen Schmid says: “A modern IT infrastructure not only offers manifold possibilities, it also involves a number of risks, from broken wires to hacker attacks. These new Hirschmann RSP switches give users maximum security and thus uninterrupted access to their applications’ data communications.” nextSTEP Visit:


so that the right information is accessible wherever and whenever it is needed. Easily accessible to both technical and non-technical professionals within or outside the enterprise, Autodesk 360 presents an intuitive way to view business information, collaborate, manage and share data, and plan throughout product lifecycles, while integrating with existing systems and software. The low up-front and ongoing costs of cloud-based solutions present a more affordable path by eliminating largely unnecessary capital expenditures and deployment costs. Autodesk 360 solutions also provide customers with built-in security features and regular back-ups. u





3D tools added to ArtCAM Insignia artistic CADCAM

range of 3D modelling tools have been added to Delcam’s ArtCAM Insignia software for volume production of artistic items by signmakers, furniture manufacturers, engravers and sculptors of materials from wood or metal to ice.

Like all the members of the ArtCAM family of software, Insignia allows artistic users to produce high-quality decorative items, with all the productivity and consistency benefits of computer-based manufacturing but without the need for any detailed engineering knowledge. A demonstration version is now available for download, with a series of online webinars showing the new functionality which was implemented on the 20th January. Full details are available on the ArtCAM Insignia website – www. Within the new 3D modelling tools, the most powerful option is the Shape Editor. By simply double clicking on a specific colour of a bitmap image or a selected vector, the user can quickly transform it into a 3D design. The Shape Editor can not only determine the shape’s profile, angle and height but also how it is combined with any 3D relief that has already been created. A second method for creating 3D designs from vector art is the TwoRail Sweep. By selecting multiple vectors for the edges of the shape and any number of cross sections for chosen positions, users can quickly create a 3D sweep shape or a swept surface. Once the initial design has been created it can be edited in a number of ways. The surface of the model can be given a smooth, unblemished appearance with the Smooth Relief tool. Options are available to smooth over the entire 3D design, an area within a specific vector or a selected

colour, in a number of passes. This is a particularly useful way of smoothing evenly across a scanned 3D model for example. Areas of the design can also be smoothed with the Smooth Sculpting tool. This can be used to remove blemishes from a scanned 3D model, to smooth adjoining areas of multiple pieces of relief clipart, or to soften sharp edges or corners. The final option can be particularly useful for designers of dies for foil stamping or embossing as softer corners can prevent the die from ripping the material. Any mistakes made during smoothing can be overcome with the Erase tool, which allows the user to sculpt back to a previous point in time. The same tool can also be used to sculpt areas down to a flat surface. Textures can be added to all or part of the relief to give a more attractive design, or to provide

backgrounds on embossing plates or signs. Networks of shapes, such as spheres, cones, pyramids and weaves, can be added or subtracted to any colour and vector, or to the entire 3D model. Alternatively, files can be imported to create the required texture. The complete relief can be offset, either to hollow out the part or to create the wall thickness. The same option can be used in toolmaking, either to produce the core and cavity of a mould, to create a male punch or to generate the shape required for a master for vacuum-formed packaging. The 3D relief can also be wrapped along the x or y axis to create a cylindrical-shaped design, for example, a chair leg, 3D sculpture or rotary embossing die. This data can then be used to create the toolpath to rotary machine the design. Most designs created in ArtCAM Insignia are expected to be machined with the range of 3D strategies in the software. However, the software also offers the ability to create triangle meshes, which can then be exported in a number of common 3D model file formats. This data can be sent to rapid prototyping equipment or to CAD systems, like Delcam’s PowerSHAPE modeller, where the relief can be used to decorate a CAD u model.

Delcam has added 3D modelling tools to ArtCAM Insignia





Manufacturing in China and Vietnam: A perspective

hose of us who work in China have seen numerous changes in just the past decade as the country evolves from an agrarian society to an industrial one. The speed of the transformation has been astonishing, and the process is far from complete. Now Vietnam is emerging as a player in the global manufacturing market, although there are still a number of challenges to be met when working in this country.

Ten years ago, Jeff Sweeney and I co-founded East West Manufacturing ( in Atlanta to bring U.S.-based companies both the cost-savings and speed to market offered by Asian manufacturing, along with the quality control Western companies demand. We began by forging partnerships with a number of manufacturing facilities in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan and India, and later, we purchased factories for our team to operate in Changzhou, China and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Looking back over a decade, it’s interesting to compare the China of the mid-1990’s to the China of today. Back then, China’s laborers had a well-deserved reputation for their strong work ethic, and the costs of manufacturing were among the lowest in the world. However, the country’s poor infrastructure, low-tech suppliers and inexperience with quality control posed difficult challenges. Companies could manufacture products quickly and cheaply in China, but distribution was difficult and product quality was almost never up to U.S. standards. Fast forward to 2011. In a remarkably short time, China has built modern freeways, highspeed trains, subway systems and five-star hotels to host business travelers from around the globe. There are high-tech suppliers in place who actively promote their capabilities internationally. While the labourers still work extremely

hard, there is a new emphasis on work/life balance along with a new focus on product quality. The trade-off? The cost-savings of manufacturing in China versus domestic manufacturing have been cut in half. Chinese leaders must continue to address the country’s population size, income disparity, inflation and corruption. However, the Chinese can be proud of their country’s momentum, adaptability and far-sighted government. It’s important to note the innovation coming out of China where the average lead time to obtain a patent is 2-3 years, versus the 8-9 year timeframe in the U.S. As for Vietnam, the country is still in the early stages of its industrial evolution. While labor costs are very low -- approximately onefourth what they are in China -- the country suffers from poor infrastructure and supplier base, a lack of talented management and engineers and an abundance of red tape. However, Vietnam can be a successful location for some manufacturing as long as companies import their own management and technical expertise. Moving forward Asian countries will develop special areas of manufacturing expertise, as China is already doing with high tech equipment. Vietnam will follow the example of its neighbor to the west and continue to develop the infrastructure and capabilities needed to compete, probably at

Scott Ellyson, CEO, East West Manufacturing the expense of some of the labor cost savings. As for the U.S., our government must incentivize investment and reduce corporate taxes so our businesses can compete successfully worldwide. Years ago, offshore manufacturing was only feasible for the largest of firms, but now smaller companies are finding value in manufacturing all or part of their products in Asia without sacrificing quality. For U.S. based companies, the cost-savings allow products to be more competitively priced, resulting in greater market share. As China and Vietnam, along with other Asian countries, continue to develop manufacturing expertise, their efforts can spur us to revitalize America’s entrepreneurial leadership so we can maintain our historic role as the pace setter in the new global manufacturing market. u -World Industrial Reporter




Luxe Pack 2012 to be held in Shanghai SHANGHAI:


he introductory meeting for the 5th Luxe Pack for Shanghai, which will be held from March 28-29, took place in December last year. General Manager Mrs. Nathalie Grosdidier and Sales Manager Mrs. Danielle Rousseau together with the related principals of China Chambers of Commerce for Import and Export of Light Industrial Products and Arts-Crafts attended.

After its global success in Monaco and New York, Luxe Pack the Premier Show for Creative Packaging came to China in 2007 and immediately became a not-tomissed event showing the trends of the global packaging industry. Based on the successful experience and great influence of the past four events, 5th Luxe Pack Shanghai continues to grow. To date, virtually all booths are booked. 90 exhibitors are expected, which then will correspond to a 10% increase compared to last year. Exhibitors originate from all over the world. International high-level packaging enterprises stampede to the event to present their exclusive

new packaging solutions: Ileos Flexasia, Seram, Cent Degres (who designs for Givenchy and Herborist), SGD, Winter, Dapy Do (France), Tullis Russell, Clarifoil and James Cropper (Great Britain), Korsnas and Iggesund (Sweden); rank the best five in Asia, Japanese famous glass container manufacturer KOA Glass will also attend to present their high quality know how. Harry Allen Design (winner of the 2011 Platinum Pentawards), Bedford Tags, Neenah Paper (America), and many more… Domestic leading packaging enterprises also gather and take part in the “club”. Taiwan Jiaxing will join in Luxe Pack Shanghai

for the first time. Euro cosmetic Asia, who is a loyal exhibitor, will attend a seminar with high-end customers. Ingwen will present its special products while Starlite returns to show the top innovations of packaging print. Dongguan Jingli Can, a leading manufacturer of tin boxes will also be there for the 4th time. Famous top pack enterprise like Mingfeng, Luxury Packaging, Shanghai Tobacco Package Printing, Fedrigoni, ribbons manufacture Bestpak Gifts & Crafts will all participate. As the most selective and creative international packaging exhibition in China, the 5th Luxe Pack Shanghai presents the “Luxe Pack in Green” award. A jury of experts including Mr. Sebban, Asia-pacific sourcing director of L’Oreal, Mr. Pinault, Asia-Pacific marketing manager of Camus Cognac, Mr. Hua Ling Chief Editor of Chinese magazine Package & Design, Mr. Feng Xiaohong, Deputy Director of China National Export Commodities Packaging Research Institute, and Mrs. Huang Zaijia, a French-Chinese graphic designer, will select from the most ecofriendly products among the exhibitors’ innovations, thus showing all attendees the active strategies in that field. Professional conferences organised by Luxe Pack Shanghai run through the two day show. Around 10 conferences will be held by experts on various topics such as new packaging designs and materials, packaging technology, market information and trends, sustainability to offer visitors the most profound and professional industry angle and train of thought. nextSTEP Visit;









Integrated shielding ensures high functional reliability

ew M12 receptacle connectors can be used to connect control units to ProfiNet/Profibus networks via bus modules as well as to transmit analog data at field level.

Integrated shielding between devices delivers a high level of functional reliability. The receptacle connectors are available with assembled control cables or with printed contacts for PCB mounting. In the printed contact versions, the integrated shielding ensures optimum flexibility for shield continuity. With the assembled connectors, and depending on the port assignment of the control units, a diagnostics interface can be implemented outside the switch cabinet using an Ethernet connection. This practically eliminates the disruptions resulting from repair or maintenance work. These receptacle connectors are simple to install thanks to standardized M12 connection technology and color-coded bus connections. Additional features include industrial protection

class IP67, high shock and vibration resistance, and a wide temperature range of -30° to +80° C. They enable highly-available data communication solutions in areas such as mechanical and plant engineering, material handling or public transport. Versions with assembled control cables are intended for rear mounting. nextSTEP Visit:

About Belden Belden designs, manufactures and markets signal transmission solutions, including cables, connectors and I/O modules, wireless network systems as well as network devices and control, load sensing and load moment limitation systems designed for safety-critical applications ranging from industrial automation to data centres, broadcast studios and the

M12 receptacle connectors

aviation and aerospace industry. The company focuses on segments of the worldwide cable and automation markets that require both highly specialised and readily available products. With manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia, Belden had a total revenue of $US1.62 billion for 2010. Together with its brands Hirschmann™ and Lumberg Automation™, Belden offers an extensive and highly specialised product portfolio covering the full range of data communications -from the information and control levels down to the field level. u

How to boost high-feed milling performance


uccessful high-feed milling is characterised as using small depths of cut at high federates per tooth, with the result being higher metal-removal rates and increased productivity. As opposed to traditional milling, high-feed milling generates lower radial cutting forces, making it an attractive concept for roughing, copy milling, profile milling, and other applications necessitating quick removal of metal, even where longer reach is required. WIDIA is introducing two new insert families specifically designed for successful high-feed milling: the M270 Series and M370 Series.

Two contact faces in a V-shaped pocket design help ensure the secure and rigid insert clamping and accurate insert positioning

that improves cutting performance and tool life. The WIDIA M370 Series is a double-sided high-feed concept that combines the latest in insert technology with outstanding performance and reliability for steel, stainless steel, and cast-iron milling. Designed for high-feedrate productivity, its double-sided concept and six cutting edges


WIDIA M270 inserts are designed based on WIDIA-Hanita X-Feed geometry. This is proven edge and geometry for high-feed machining, with good results across a range of materials. Three grades are

available: TN2505 for good wearresistance in materials up to 60 HRc hardness; TN6540 for added toughness; and TN6525, a mix of toughness and wear-resistance for dry-machining applications in steel.




JEC Asia celebrates 5th anniversary


EC Asia will take place for the first time from June 26-28, 2012 in Singapore. Reflecting the growth in composites in Asia, the lectures and show will be based on 3 themes: • Aeronautics MRO (Maintenance Repair Overhaul) • Electric cars • Wind-powered energy.

The whole subject of automation will be addressed across the board both for small-run, high technology structures and for parts for the mass market. Last but not least, raw materials, resins and fibres, will receive a great deal of attention in this region known for its high requirements, with a special focus on composites made from plants. Stimulated by the sharp economic growth and rapid urbanisation in the emerging markets of the Asia-Pacific region, the increase in demand for advanced composite materials has remained very steady. In 2010 world production of composites increased by almost 5% to reach 8 million tons. The Asia-Pacific region represents 38% of total volume, mainly due to the unprecedented growth in the Chinese and Indian markets. According to the annual survey of the composites market carried out by JEC, which with 250,000 users worldwide is the largest organisation representing the composites sector, Asian production should reach 43% of global production of composites


provide security and optimal metal removal with efficient cost per edge. The M370 Series features an MH geometry offering the protection of a flat-top insert, but with

by 2015. The composites market is growing fast in most developed regions around the world, which in large part is based on industrial development in Asia. The market is increasingly in demand of advanced composites for a wide range of applications. Composites will see sustained growth in the construction, aeronautics, automotive, wind-power and EEE (electrical and electronic equipment) sectors in Asia over the next five years. Malaysia has been selected as country of honour for JEC Asia 2012 based on various criteria, in particular the rapid growth potential of the local composites market, and the solid network established between the worlds of science, technology, R&D, teaching and industry. With new environmental regulations requiring a reduction in CO2 emissions in all industrial sectors and with producers being encouraged to adopt sustainable concepts, biocomposites are enjoying strong demand. JEC Asia 2012 will be presenting a range of innovations in reduced cutting forces, and an MM geometry specifically for stainless steel, or optimisation where even lower cutting forces are required” Seculi says. Even running at existing parameters, the M370 offers longer tool life and free-machining characteristics. Both M270 and M370 Series are available in inch and metric sizes and are included in WIDIA’s “Advances 2012” catalogue Download from the WIDIA website. nextSTEP Visit

biocomposites, emphasising the rapid commercial expansion of natural fibres used to replace traditional glass and carbon fibres. Natural fibres can improve the environmental compatibility of composite materials, especially biocomposites, at a reasonable cost. All these developments are already emerging in Asia today. For instance, the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota is speeding up the incorporation of biocomposites in its production vehicles.

Spotlight on process automation The rapid industrial development of the Asia-Pacific region is also stimulating demand for process automation solutions that will help the improvement of manufacture, especially high added-value applications in the aerospace and wind-power sectors. JEC Asia 2012 is fully focused on automated solutions, and will be presenting the very latest process automation solutions that can help the industry in Asia to optimise costs, enhance productivity and improve the quality of their products. In the wind-power sector, for example, manufacturers of wind-turbines worldwide are increasingly using robots to reduce the costs of blades by up to 40%, so that wind-powered energy can, in the end, become more competitive than hydroelectric energy. u



business news

Insight for Success: CIM Winter Survey


he chemical and plastic industries are still in a positive mood: More than one third of the companies surveyed by Ceresana Research evaluate their current business situation as good. Only just less than 14% rate their business situation as poor. Almost 83% of the survey participants expect their market share to increase over the next 3 years.

CIM Barometer at 10.8 Points According to Ceresana, the current situation of the surveyed companies scores 10.1 points. The expectations, at 11.6 points, are even slightly better. All in all, the CIM Barometer slightly declined compared to the autumn survey. However, the diminished expectations in Western Europe, caused by the debt crisis, only slightly impact the overall mood. Excellent expectations worldwide – above all in Eastern Europe and North America – suggest a further upward trend.

Companies Focus on Foreign Business Organic growth and an increased market share abroad will boost growth in the chemical and plastic industries. The surveyed companies reflect an optimistic mood and believe to be wellinformed. However, the survey results from Ceresana revealed that companies need to find better solutions for obtaining reliable market information. Although a clear majority of the respondents believe that new customers provide the largest potential for growth, the Ceresana Industry Monitor reveals that companies lack essential information when looking for new customers. 30% of the respondents say they lack information on potential clients abroad. Yet, the majority of the surveyed companies want to intensify their

international business and expand their export share. “If companies want to achieve their growth targets and increase their market share abroad, they need a deep insight into potential markets,” says Oliver Kutsch, managing director of Ceresana. More than 40% of those companies, which evaluate their information on potential customers abroad as good, also assess their current business situation as good, which is above the average.

Customer Loyalty as a Competitive Advantage More than 60% of the surveyed companies say they stand out from the competition due to their customer loyalty and service. Approximately 18% expect existing customers to be the strongest growth driver for their company. Most respondents see their strongest growth driver in new customers. They intend to satisfy their new clients with quality & design as well as highest quality technologies. The majority of the surveyed companies see the most urgent need for action in technology and marketing as well as cost reduction. Particularly companies, which regard quality and design of their products as competitive advantages, want to lower costs. About 25% of the respondents say they need to invest more in market information. Profound market intelligence of downstream sectors pays off: 43% of those companies, which evaluate their information on downstream industries as good, also rate their current business situation as good. On an average, this is the case for only 34%.

Ceresana Industry Monitor – Methodology The CIM analyses the business climate of the global chemical and plastic industries. Individuals selected from a pool of more than 110,000 companies are asked to participate in our surveys every three months. The survey was answered by decision-makers from 46 countries. In order to provide a representative overall picture, companies of all sizes were asked about their current business situation, expectations, and evaluations. This allows for detecting future market trends, opportunities, and challenges on time. The detailed results can be obtained exclusively from Ceresana Research. The results offer a general overview of the chemical industry as well as detailed analyses of five industrial sectors: Manufacturers of petrochemicals, plastics & elastomers, processors of plastics & elastomers, specialty chemistry, chemical trade as well as paints, varnishes & adhesives. Survey participants will get these indepths reports for free. u

Tyco Security hon SHENZHEN:


yco Security, a world leader in security products and services has been awarded the “Global Security Contribution Award” by the world’s largest professional security organisations -- China Public Security Expo (CPSE) and Global Security Alliance.

Held in Shenzhen, the “Global Security Contribution Award” ceremony was attended by

business news



Nobel Laureates and researchers encourage R&D SINGAPORE:


xperts from around the world, including two Nobel Laureates, converged at A*STAR IMRE’s M3 @ Singapore 2012 conference in January to present cross-disciplinary innovations for applications ranging from energy to sensors. Molecular materials research is not just one science but an intersection of a number of scientific disciplines. It is this cross-disciplinary R&D or ‘blurring’ of the scientific borders that is fuelling some of today’s greatest innovations – from artificial cell membranes that speed up drug discovery to ultrahigh-density memory devices and super strong but lightweight composite materials. Some 120 top international scientists including Nobel Laureates, Prof Ada Yonath and Prof Kurt Wuthrich talked about cross-disciplinary science, “Molecular materials research is the marriage of traditional materials engineering and modern molecular science, and is a way to inject new designs and innovations in materials for novel technological applications,” said Prof Andy Hor, IMRE’s Executive Director quoted the example of IMRE’s artificial

cell membrane technology which integrates materials and biology know-how to synthesise polymerbased cell membranes. Live natural cell membranes used in drug discovery R&D requires time to be cultured or grown, are hard to maintain in a laboratory, and require specialists to handle the specimens. On the other hand, the synthetic polymer cell membranes help speed up the drug discovery process as they are simpler to make, easier to handle and mimic the functions of natural cell membranes. “Cross-disciplinary is the key for the exponential growth of new scientific innovations. An example for merging-disciplines research leading to advanced materials, including improved medications, is X-ray crystallography. This method generates information vital for the design of new compounds with desired properties by shaping our notion on chemical and life processes at

the molecular level by exploiting physical methods and advanced mathematics,” explained Prof Ada Yonath who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009. Molecular materials science cuts across fields like chemistry, materials science, physics, biology, medicine and engineering. For example, by combining chemistry and physics know-how, molecular materials research is used to examine the structure, alignment of molecules and crystallinity of common materials, and alters them to produce new materials with unique properties. The speakers covered research topics centered on Materials Synthesis, Assembly & Device Fabrication, Energy & Sustainable Materials, Optical & Electronic Materials, and Materials for Imaging & Sensing. Companies such as Mitsui Chemicals, 3M and Aixtron and those involved in the molecular materials value chain are also participating in the conference as speakers and exhibitors. Participants will have the opportunity to interact/meet with these experts to gain insights into this new and exciting area of u research.

noured with Global Security Contribution Award more than 1500 representatives from public security, banking and finance, construction, transportation and other industries from countries all over the world. In its second year, the award identified outstanding companies based on the following aspects: technological innovation, environmental protection, social responsibility, corporate influence, brand awareness, market share, personal charm, and the company’s contribution to

the progress of the global security industry. Robert Zhu, President of Tyco Security, Asia Pacific, received the award on behalf of the company said, “It is a great honour for Tyco Security, to be recognised for our accomplishments in this highly competitive industry. Today, our solutions have empowered people with piece of mind. I have no doubt that in the years to come, Tyco Security will continue to play an important role in people’s lives.

This award will help spur greater innovations in more advanced integrated solutions to benefit more people.” .Prior to the award ceremony, Tyco Security unveiled two latest security solutions platforms, SC720 and Surveillint in Shenzhen. As a leading security solutions provider, Tyco Security secured key infrastructures around the world, including 300 international airports and 80% of the top 100 retailers. u



business news

Chandler Corporation concern about challenges


ichard Chandler Corporation is the largest shareholder in Chinese forestry company SinoForest. Over the past six months customers, employees, shareholders and bondholders have demonstrated great patience as Sino-Forest has sought to comprehensively address the allegations by Muddy Waters. The Board has spent almost US$40 million to confirm the company’s assets and operations. During this time, the Board has communicated infrequently with stakeholders. The Richard Chandler Corporation is concerned about the excessive time and money spent by the Board on the investigation, the weak internal controls acknowledged by management, the unexplained delay to the 3Q 2011 results, the delay of the final Independent Committee (IC) report and non-payment of the bond interest (despite having the funds). Sino-Forest has generated profitable growth since 1994. The Richard Chandler Corporation continues to have confidence in the underlying business of SinoForest. Based on the IC’s findings to date, Sino-Forest is a going concern, with real assets and a strong balance sheet. However, the interim IC Report reveals that Sino-Forest’s internal processes, record keeping and breadth of management team have not kept pace with the growth of its operations. The Richard Chandler Corporation believes that credibility in SinoForest can be restored by aligning management capabilities and governance policies with the scale and growth potential of this exciting business. Sino-Forest urgently requires strong leadership to address structural challenges and implement strong processes and internal controls. The Richard Chandler Corporation calls upon Sino-Forest to appoint new board members with appropriate experience to drive the changes that are necessary. Alan Kelly, Senior Advisor to the Richard Chandler Corporation said: “With the introduction of a new leadership and discipline,

Sino-Forest can become one of the world’s leading sustainable forestry companies and a Chinese national champion. “New leadership with a robust plan based upon the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability will set new governance standards. Such actions are urgently required to meet the company’s responsibilities to shareholders, bondholders and employees. Sino-Forest has great potential and there are many people who believe in the company. They aspire to be supporters of, and partners in, a sustainable, transparent, ethical long term business”. Key elements of the Sino-Forest Recovery Plan will include: u Strong leadership through new directors on the board implementing a robust governance programme. u Meeting all bondholder interest obligations promptly. u Finalising outstanding issues of the Independent Committee investigation. u Releasing timely financial statements. u Appointing a new CEO with a clear mandate to strengthen internal controls and business processes. u Addressing the challenges relating to the BVI structures and AI business model. u Communicating regularly with shareholders, bondholders and regulators. u Resolving Ontario Securities Commission concerns with a view to lifting the cease trade order.

u Presenting a new business plan to stakeholders which incorporates a conservative and balanced growth and financing plan. As Sino-Forest’s largest shareholder, the Richard Chandler Corporation requests that any current director of Sino-Forest who is preoccupied with issues of personal legal liability arising from the Muddy Waters allegations step down so that the Recovery Plan may be executed quickly. Any actions by directors, such as the non-payment of bonds, which compromises the going concern capability of Sino-Forest, will potentially lead to shareholder actions for negligence. “Sino-Forest has the potential to be a great company. With shareholders, bondholders, employees and regulators working together, we can turn this potential into reality. Our goal is to make Sino-Forest a benchmark for corporate excellence and integrity so that it can continue its development as one of China’s leading resource-based corporations”, said Alan Kelly. The Richard Chandler Corporation is a private investment group based in Singapore and founded by New Zealandborn entrepreneur Richard F. Chandler. The Richard Chandler


business news



QR National plans for resources growth AUSTRALIA:


R National has taken a major step in finalising planning for rail infrastructure to support the next wave of growth in the Queensland resources sector.

worked with its customers on long-term master planning for rail infrastructure, this process is in addition to that and provides a more structured approach for near-term requirements that will ultimately lead to faster and more efficient project development for the supply chain,” he said. “The RFP process will enable us to optimise the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain from mine to port to the benefit of multiple partners.”

The next phase of project development follows on from the recent commencement of the $900 million Wiggins Island Rail Project and the opening this week of the $1.1 billion Goonyella to Abbot Point (GAP) Expansion in Central Queensland.


requirements for the Goonyella, Newlands, Blackwater, and Moura coal systems servicing the three major coal export ports of Hay Point, Abbot Point and Gladstone all of which are undertaking varying degrees of expansion.

QR National has approached customers to work together to determine their growth plans, in line with proposed port expansions, and identify the rail infrastructure required.

Executive Vice President QR National Network Mike Carter said the RFP process was an example of the new QR National working closely with industry as a critical enabler of world-class export infrastructure growth.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) is focused on the rail transport

“While QR National in government ownership had

Corporation’s mission, Building Prosperity for Tomorrow’s World, adopts a holistic approach to building sustainable prosperity through investments in financial and social enterprises.

to companies and governments from Asia and Africa to Latin America and Eastern Europe, and invested in a wide range of industries, such as telecoms, power, steel, banking and energy.

Since 1986, the Richard Chandler Corporation has provided capital

nextSTEP Visit:

Mr Carter said QR National was mid-way through a substantial investment program in new rail infrastructure to leverage the growth opportunity presented by Australia’s resources boom. “Collectively, QR National’s committed expansions to the Central Queensland coal network will add more than 70 million tonnes of extra capacity by 2015. This equates to a significant 20 percent uplift in capacity to 300 million tonnes per annum,” he said. Footnote: QR National is Australia’s largest rail freight company with services operating across five states. In 2010/11, QR National transported more than 240 million tonnes of freight, including coal, iron ore, other minerals, agricultural products and general freight. It also operates and manages the 2300 kilometre Central Queensland coal network that links mines to coal ports at Bowen, Mackay and Gladstone. u



business news

Creaform China and Rapidform announce 3D scanning agreement SEOUL:


nus Technology, Inc. world leader in 3D scanning software, has a new agreement with Creaform China, subsidiary of Canadian Creaform, leader in portable 3D optical measurement technologies ( The two companies are working together to offer Creaform’s easy-to-use, portable and accurate Handyscan 3D laser scanners with Rapidform’s industryleading reverse engineering and inspection software. “Creaform China signed up Rapidform as a strategic sales partner in China,” said Mike Ma, General Manager of Creaform China. “We have decided to focus on selling Rapidform software with our industrial 3D scanners for win-win cooperation in reverse engineering and inspection.”

design to verify manufacturing accuracy.

Calvin Hur, CEO of INUS Technology, added “By electing to bundle Rapidform software with Creaform 3D scanners in the Chinese market, we are able to present customers with an excellent solution for professionallevel reverse engineering and inspection.”

Rapidform makes 3D scanning an extremely powerful tool for a variety of applications and is used in fields such as manufacturing, R&D, quality inspection, medical research and civil engineering.

Rapidform’s XOR software enables manufacturers to scan an object with a Creaform Handyscan 3D scanner and quickly create a parametric CAD model of the physical object. XOR is the only software to combine the power of 3D scan data processing with CAD solid modeling in one application, which makes it the fastest path to CAD, while Creaform’s Handyscan 3D laser scanners are the only truly portable metrology-grade handheld 3D laser scanners on the market. With a Handyscan 3D scanner and Rapidform XOV, manufacturers can scan parts to verify their accuracy back to a CAD model automatically. It is the fastest way to compare a real-world part to its original CAD

INUS Technology helps companies unlock the power of 3D scanning. The company’s software solutions are the most widely installed products for reverse engineering, 3D imaging and inspection using 3D scan data around the globe.

Leading companies including Audi, Ford, Hyundai, Toyota, Rolls Royce, Volkswagen, Hitachi, Panasonic, Oakley, Samsung, Sony, Alcoa, and Benteler use Rapidform’s advanced technology to innovate throughout their research, design, manufacturing and quality control processes. For more information, please visit Creaform specialises in 3D portable optical measurement technologies and 3D engineering services. They offer innovative solutions that cover the entire range of

3D applications, including 3D scanning, reverse engineering, inspection, design & engineering and FEA.Their wide range of products and services are intended for industries such as the automotive, aerospace and defence, consumer products, education, heritage preservation, manufacturing, medical care and multimedia. Creaform has developed and sells the Handyscan 3D line of portable, self-positioning handheld 3D scanners, along with the HandyPROBE portable armfree CMM and the MetraSCAN optical CMM 3D scanner, two systems designed for inspection applications. The company has recently launched the MaxSHOT 3D optical coordinate measuring system that brings photogrammetry to all these technologies. Moreover, the company offers the Creaform 3D Body Digitizers line-up. Creaform is an international company with offices in Québec City, Montréal, the United States, France, Germany, China, India and Japan. u




Global demand for Geosynthetics to increase


lobal demand for geosynthetics is projected to increase 8.3 percent annually to 4.5 billion square meters in 2015.

This growth rate is an acceleration from the gains of the 2005-2010 period, reflecting in part the reduced bases of the developed countries in 2010. Advances will be driven by increasing use of geosynthetics and the large-scale construction plans in place in many developing countries. In 2010 the construction market accounted for the largest share of geosynthetics sales (34 percent). These and other trends are presented in World Geosynthetics, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm. In 2010, North America was the largest regional market, accounting for 31 percent of global sales. The US is the world’s largest market, with one-quarter of total sales in 2010. Growth

in North America will benefit from the massive size of the US construction sector, which is expected to rebound through 2015 from a low 2010 base, as well as the need to maintain its large transportation infrastructure. The Asia/Pacific region was only slightly smaller, accounting for 30 percent of global geosynthetics sales in 2010. However, this region is projected to achieve the fastest growth rate through 2015, primarily driven by China, where sales are expected to more than double by 2015. China is expected to account for nearly half of new global demand generated between 2010 and 2015, primarily due to its amount of available land, its ongoing development of largescale infrastructure projects, and its need for erosion control. For similar reasons, India is also expected to post double-digit annual growth through the forecast period, with sales nearly doubling by 2015, although from

a much smaller base. Western Europe and Japan are fairly comparable to the US in terms of the level of maturity of their respective geosynthetics markets, as well as the type of regulatory environment. Demand in both of these areas is expected to rebound from a reduced 2010 base, benefiting from improved construction activity and the high level of concern in the region for environmental protection. However, gains are expected to be the slowest among all regions through 2015, indicative of Western Europe and Japan’s relative maturity in terms of geosynthetics market penetration as well as the markets in which they are used. Nevertheless, the relative affluence of these countries allows them to use advanced geosynthetic technologies to improve construction and environmental protection practices despite their larger upfront costs. u

Increase forecast for hydraulic cement


lobal demand for hydraulic cement is forecast to rise 5.3 percent per year to 4.3 billion metric tons in 2015, valued at $335 billion. Gains will be fueled by rising investments in infrastructure among the developing countries of the world, driven by economic growth and increasing per capita income levels.

Additionally, a rebound in cement demand in industrialised markets such as the US and Western Europe will further spur cement sales. However, gains in demand through 2015 will lag the robust advances seen from 2005 to 2010, due in large part to a deceleration in China’s cement consumption. China accounted for 56 percent of world cement demand in 2010.

The nation’s demand for cement is forecast to climb 4.9 percent per year through 2015 to 2.35 billion metric tons, in line with the regional average. The maturing of the Chinese cement market, combined with a slowdown in the pace of construction spending in the country, will serve to moderate the double-digit yearly demand growth exhibited from 2000 to 2010. The US will post the strongest demand gains -- 9.4 percent annually through 2015 -- of any major cement market. Increases will be stimulated by a robust recovery in residential construction spending, which will post growth of more than 13 percent annually through 2015. Nonresidential building construction activity in the US will also rise after a period of decline, and nonbuilding construction growth will accelerate,

further bolstering overall cement sales. Blended cement, the leading cement product type in 2010, is expected to continue to account for over 70 percent of all product consumption in 2015, benefiting from its typically lower costs and better environmental profile than straight portland cement. Cement firms are increasing the use of cementitious materials such as fly ash and blast furnace slag in their products, which reduces carbon dioxide emissions from the production of portland cement clinker. The type of cement used varies dramatically from country to country. For example, in China, more than 90 percent of demand is attributable to blended cement; whereas in the US, blended cement comprises less than five percent of demand. u




MEMS technology developed for volume production SINGAPORE:


he pilot shipment of silicon optic device fabricated using novel MEMS technology developed by A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME) for LinkStar Microtronics Pte. Ltd. (LinkStar), a one year old company which is a spin-off from IME, has been qualified by LinkStar’s customers for mass production.

Using the silicon MEMS technology, LinkStar is able to deliver novel silicon optical devices with high accuracy and repeatability at a competitive cost. The IME silicon MEMS technology is highly innovative in providing a low-cost and yet effective means to enable accurate alignment of optical devices to the optical fiber arrays. Accurate alignment of optical components to optical fiber array is extremely critical to ensure that maximum amount of light is coupled to the devices with minimal optical power loss. Conventional methods to reduce alignment errors are costly, difficult to implement and time

consuming. The novel approach developed by IME offers a simple and rapid method of alignment resulting in significantly reduced assembly and packaging costs, thus the optical products can be offered to the market with significant cost advantages. “This example showcases our persistent effort to enhance our overall photonics capabilities and commercialisation potential of our technology, especially leveraging the innovative methods available in IME, such as MEMS technology in this case. Attaining volume production status from the customer marks a significant milestone achievement on our

silicon photonics roadmap,” commented Prof. Dim-Lee Kwong, Executive Director of IME. “Extending this technology to LinkStar exemplifies our commitment to provide research expertise to local innovationbased enterprises to enable their success.” “Access to advanced research and technical resources is vital to the success of technology start-ups, especially in the highly competitive semiconductor industry. IME’s novel and scalable solution allows us to provide these devices cost effectively and meet customer’s stringent requirements in a short turnaround time,” said Dr. Xiaojun Yuan, Chairman and CEO of LinkStar. The silicon MEMS technology is licensed to LinkStar via Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd, the commercialisation arm of A*STAR. u

Mobile design evolves with 3D collaboration


utoCAD WS is a free web and mobile application that enables users to view, edit and share AutoCAD projects across desktop, web and mobile devices. AutoCAD WS users will have access to 3D interactive features, including the ability to work with 3D drawings on mobile devices. In addition, AutoCAD WS will include GPS capabilities, allowing geographic location information to be shared and saved with design projects, as well as new Plot-to-Print capabilities for immediate remote printing to any HP ePrinter, including Designjets. With more than three million downloads to date, AutoCAD WS supports increased collaboration among architects, designers and engineers, as well as non-CAD professionals. The ongoing objective with AutoCAD WS is to foster a collaborative design experience no matter where designers do their work, said Amy Bunszel, vice president, AutoCAD Products at Autodesk. “With this next version,

we are excited to deliver highly requested features that extend the value of the application and improve the design workflow.” AutoCAD WS can be used virtually anywhere to view, edit, and share drawings among design teams and project stakeholders. The next version expands the functionality of AutoCAD WS with the following: 3D interactive features. An interactive 3D mode will enable users to view and share 3D drawings with AutoCAD WS using mobile devices. GPS integration. Utilising the GPS capabilities of most mobile devices, users will be able to improve orientation in their drawings, including the ability

to share and save comments to geographic locations within the drawing all while in the field. Plot to Print with HP ePrint & Share. By registering for HP ePrint & Share, a free HP online service, AutoCAD WS users can easily access and print their designs on any web-connected HP Designjet printer directly from AutoCAD WS with full control over plot styles, paper sizes, layouts and more. “Design professionals are constantly moving between the office, the job site and offices of partners and clients”, said Santiago Morera, vice president and general manager. Large Format Printing, HP. The new cloud printing functionality of AutoCAD WS made possible through HP ePrint & Share will give users a full solution for documenting and sharing their designs in hardcopy wherever they may be, which is critical to their business. u




China electric vehicle sales to grow



arious national-level initiatives and programs such as subsidies for EV purchasers, R&D support, tax incentives, and public education programs are underway across the Asia-Pacific region to promote the awareness and adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). In certain markets, particularly Japan, these efforts have already borne fruit. However, market players in Japan and Korea are concerned about new challengers, mainly driven by competition in China, which has critically important implications for global market participants. According to a report by Pike Research, China will be the leading market for EVs in Asia Pacific by 2015, representing almost half of the region’s total sales by 2015. Pike Research noted that China has about 55 vendors developing EVs or launching EV development programs. This is expected to create and lead an entirely new category around clean transportation. In fact, the country is set to become one of the biggest consumer markets for EVs, and global industry players are seen to enter this market to tap the related opportunities, according to the market research firm. Driven by rising prices for imported oil and a determination to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, China is making a major push to develop “new energy vehicles,” propelled by electricity, hydrogen, and clean diesel fuel. The country has one of the most extensive automobile industries in

the world, with over 150 finished auto manufacturers. In contrast to Japan, where plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will continue to be the largest category of EVs, China’s central government has placed a strong emphasis on battery electric vehicles. Considering that the market for hybrid EVs is already led by

Japanese manufacturers, China’s focus on “pure” EVs could help drive that segment of the overall market. There is plenty of room for growth: while Japan’s relatively mature EV market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of less than 10% between 2010 and 2015, the Chinese market will display a CAGR of more than 40% over that period.

LED lighting shipment skyrocketing



he higher costs of energyefficient lighting products in the Asia Pacific region are increasingly justified by the higher efficacy and performance compared to traditional lighting products.

As a result, demand for lightemitting diode (LED) lights is growing among customers in developed countries such as Japan and Korea. Moreover, a number of regional and national government programs are in place to promote LED lighting, and these initiatives will serve as a key driver of the market in the coming decade. LED is now viewed as an affordable and efficient technology

with long-term benefits. According to Pike Research, sales of LED lighting systems will increase rapidly over the next 10 years, accelerating sharply after 2015. Unit shipments, including lamps and luminaires, will rise from 66 million in 2011 to 542 million in 2021 – an increase of more than 700%. Over the same period, the analyst firm finds that sales of virtually all other forms of lighting – including incandescent, T8/T5, and compact fluorescent lamps – will decline steadily. Some countries in the region have been early pioneers in developing energy-efficient lighting systems. Japan revealed its plans to lead the LED lighting industry through its

21st Century Light Project more than a decade ago, and launched several LED subsidy and support programs not long after. For its part, Taiwan established a Next Generation Light Source Technology Development & Supply Strategy, which called for a greater reliance on LED lighting and material production and reduced focus on the nation’s traditional business of semiconductors. The commitment to LED lighting by China, meanwhile, is enormous. For instance, the city of Shenzhen plans to install LEDs in more than 90% of public lighting applications, street lighting, and commercial spaces in the next decade. u




Nikon seek larger footprint at MTA Hanoi 2012



TA HANOI, being held from 28-30 March this year, confirms the participation of Nikon, a well-known global manufacturer, who has set its sights to expand to the country’s capital in 2012. Nikon’s presence at MTA HANOI 2012 is strong testament to the show’s growing prominence as Vietnam’s most expansive manufacturing solutions trade event.

“We are pleased that Nikon will be a part of MTA HANOI 2012. MTA HANOI brings a unique quality that is a key feature of our Vietnam shows, which is to connect leading foreign players with Vietnam’s local manufacturing community. Therefore, we are confident that MTA HANOI will provide professionals with an even more comprehensive, relevant platform to get together to explore potential partnerships, and gain an exclusive opportunity to view the newest products, technologies and solutions available in the marketplace,” said Mr. William Lim, Project Director of Machinery Events from show organiser, Singapore Exhibition Services (SES).

Hanoi, a gem of opportunity for Nikon Nikon, established in 1917 in Japan, is a renowned manufacturer of high-quality precision and opto-electronics technologies. These technologies are, in turn, used to create an extensive range of products, services and even more new technologies, to support cutting-edge industries such as medical and bioscience research, precision engineering, architecture and aerospace development. Hanoi represents a chance for the company to increase industry awareness of their services and solutions, as the Vietnam capital offers competitive human resources advantages compared with neighbouring countries such as China. There are also many industrial estates being established in the city, thus, the company believes it is the right time to connect with their existing and potential customers in the area. Offering a wide range of 2.5D vision measuring systems complemented with its optical

and mechanical 3D metrology solutions, Nikon is confident that these reliable and innovative metrology solutions are able to respond to the advanced inspection requirements of its manufacturing clients, which serve the consumer, automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical and other industries in Vietnam. Its products also cover a broad spectrum of industries such as Tools & Die, Electronics as well as Automotive. In Hanoi, Nikon counts several multinational companies, especially from Japan, among its clients. Its metrology solutions have enhanced its clients’ productivity and quality. When one of its customers in the plastic injection moulding industry invested in Nikon’s Automated Video Measuring system, it was able to improve the quality assurance inspection time and increased efficiency in productivity. The company has been exhibiting in MTA series of trade events held in Vietnam since 2005, and asserts that the event has served very well as a suitable platform for Nikon to tap potential investors, as well as exhibit and demonstrate its latest technology and products. In participating at MTA HANOI 2012, Nikon hopes to create greater awareness about its products and solutions, as well as introduce its new range of Metrology systems such as coordinate measuring machines (CMM) and Articulated Arm to the Hanoi market.

“MTA HANOI is an ideal platform for Nikon to build and establish long term relationships with clients. Hanoi is an unpolished gem in Vietnam with vast potential. This exhibition will present the opportunity for us to network with our industry peers and customers as well as showcase our new range of Metrology products,” said Mr. Gregory Lee, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager, Nikon. Fast Facts - Nikon in Vietnam: - Nikon established in 1917 in Japan. - In 2001, set up sales and service centres in Singapore and Malaysia to provide better and direct support to customers. - Part of the Instruments Business, its metrology solutions include high end, high calibre microscopes and measuring instruments used in industries ranging from medical and bioscience to electronics and aviation. - Serves manufacturing clients in the consumer, automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical and other industries in Vietnam since 2003. - Customer base includes multinational companies, especially from Japan. MTA VIETNAM, first launched in Ho Chi Minh City in 2005, has since grown to become Vietnam’s most comprehensive manufacturing solutions trade event, featuring at least 80 per cent overseas exhibitors in all its editions. MTA VIETNAM will be bringing the show to Hanoi in March 2012. MTA HANOI is organised by Singapore Exhibition Services Pte Ltd (SES) and co-organised by VCCI Exhibition Service Co Ltd. Please visit for more information. u


23 Continues page 26




FactoryTalk VantagePoint enhances Manufacturing Intelligence


actoryTalk VantagePoint 4.0 software now includes enhanced connectors, configuration and reporting tools to significantly reduce the time, complexity and cost of developing meaningful reports, visualisation and analytics for manufacturing operations and enhance performance for manufacturing intelligence applications. The latest version is designed to simplify the end-user experience, include connectivity to additional Rockwell Automation products, and provide native integration to Microsoft SharePoint 2010. This brings an unprecedented opportunity to expose plant-floor data to the enterprise and many other capabilities like business intelligence, collaboration and communications typically not found in a real-time manufacturing operation. FactoryTalk VantagePoint software connects to disparate data sources – real time, historical, relational and transactional – to create a single resource that can access, aggregate and correlate information into a common, unified model that allows trends, reports and dashboards to help customers make fact-based decisions. FactoryTalk VantagePoint Web-based dashboards and

reports monitor key performance indicators and help empower users at every level of an enterprise to better manage their operation in real time. FactoryTalk VantagePoint 4.0 provides enhanced connectors and preconfigured reporting content for Logix programmable automation controllers, FactoryTalk Historian, FactoryTalk Metrics and FactoryTalk EnergyMetrix, making it faster and easier to setup reporting around common equipment types. This new release also enables production intelligence for PlantPAx process automation system customers by providing prebuilt reports and a visual model of the process library. FactoryTalk VantagePoint also includes direct connectivity to third-party historians and control systems, allowing customers with a heterogeneous plant floor to make better decisions and have easier

access to their data. Plant-floor equipment continuously generates valuable data;added connectors and configuration tools in FactoryTalk VantagePoint speed access to that information. With these enhancements, manufacturers have more flexibility in working with their data and can extract more value from their manufacturing assets with a smaller upfront investment of time. Users can create reports using common tools – such as Microsoft Excel – and view data through the FactoryTalk VantagePoint portal or Microsoft SharePoint, leveraging a long list of Web parts, scorecards, business intelligence and other collaboration tools. These business intelligence and collaboration solutions rely on widely used applications, which significantly reduces the cost of ownership and increases the timeto-value for organisations FactoryTalk VantagePoint software can be used to address specific manufacturing needs, including downtime reporting, status tracking and multiple-controlsystem reporting. Users can work intuitively and interactively with reports and dashboards to view key performance indicators that enable data-driven decision making. The application is based on a unified production model (UPM) that aggregates disparate manufacturing data and gives context for relationships among equipment, product, materials and people. The UPM organises various manufacturing and enterprise data FactoryTalk VantagePoint helps thousands of leading manufacturers monitor and manage productivity in real time to drive plantwide optimisation and make more insightful decisions about business priorities from product quality to equipment utilisation to help reduce costs. u






1st Philippines Australia New Zealand Business Forum

27 February

Makati City

Career 2012

1-4 March

Suntec, Singapore

Mining Vietnam

7-9 March 2012


Asia Pacific Maritime 2012

14-16 March


China Semiconductor Technology International Conference 18 March


CWIEME Shenzhen 2012 (Coil Winding, Insulations & Electrical Manufacturing Exhibition)

28-31 March 2012 Shenzhen

ChinaPlas 2012 –The 26th International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries

18 April 2012



18-20 April


4th Annual Global CSR Summit

19-20 April


EMEX 2012

1-3 May 2012

Auckland, New Zealand

Buildex Kenya

5 May 2012


China Aviation Manufacturing Summit 2012

8 May


Vietnam Manufacturing Expo

24 May


International Conference on Production, Energy and Reliability (ICPER 2012)

12 June

Kuala Lumpur

International Conference on Advances in Manufacturing Technology

June 15 2012


Manufacturing Expo 2012

21 June 2012


InterPLAS Thailand 2012

21 June 2012


InterMold Thailand 2012

21 June 2012


Automotive Manufacturing 2012

21 June 2012


Factory Automation 2012

21 June 2012


Fluid Power 2012

21 June 2012


Industrial Energy Efficiency 2012

21 June 2012


Industrial Components & Subcontracting 2012

21 June 2012


International Manufacturing Technology Show

10-15 September


Medical Manufacturing Asia

12 September 2012 Singapore

Asia Manufacturing Strategies Summit 2012

15-16 October





‘Eyes and Ears’ guard major oil pipeline


high-tech UK security system has been chosen to protect a vital part of India’s energy infrastructure, the 670-kilometre-long Mangala oil pipeline. The Mangala is the world’s longest continuously heated and insulated pipeline. Operated by Cairn India it will have access to 75 per cent of India’s refining capacity after it reaches Bhogat in Gujarat. The state-of-the-art security OptaSense system - developed by QinetiQ, the UK’s largest international defence and security technology group - is designed to detect, classify and locate potential threats to buried pipelines. OptaSense is a buried cable fibre-optic sensor system that can detect multiple, simultaneous disturbances every 10 metres over a 40-kilometre length of existing or installed optical fibre. In border and perimeter security applications, anyone climbing or cutting wire fences or digging near the perimeter alerts the sensor and sets off an alarm. The system then classifies the disturbance, provides the position and cues other aids/sensors, such as cameras, to ensure the operator instigates the appropriate response. In cable and pipeline protection applications, any activity - such as the approach of a digger or the lifting of a manhole cover - also generates an alarm. The system’s acoustic sensitivity can also be used to listen to the flow through a pipe, to allow the location of blockages and leaks. OptaSense has huge implications for pipeline operators, where a real-time alert of a leak and its location could save millions of dollars. Vandalism, terrorist attacks or problems with these assets can impact on the environment, the economy and on the lives of staff and consumers.

The contract was awarded by Cairn India and ONGC Joint Venture through QinetiQ’s distribution partner, Optilan, following tests in 2010. Under the contract, QinetiQ’s OptaSense system will be installed along the whole length of the pipeline to provide highest-level security. “Pipeline integrity and safety are of prime importance to us and we believe the addition of OptaSense technology will help us prevent incidents to our new pipeline,” said Mr H P Bhalla, director of Midstream of Cairn India. “We believe the OptaSense system to be a cost-effective way of monitoring the security of our pipeline.” The Mangala Development Pipeline (MDP) originates from Mangala Processing Terminal in Barmer, Rajasthan and passes through eight districts in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat before it reaches its end point at the coastal location of Bhogat near Jamnagar on the western coastline of India. Magnus McEwen-King, managing director for QinetiQ OptaSense, said: “This new contract with Cairn India will extend our reach into India and coincides with a major upgrade of the system functionality. The contract builds on our existing security and monitoring solutions for other linear assets principally in the oil and gas industry. We look forward to providing valuable security and monitoring information to protect

this important pipeline.” The OptaSense system will be installed into existing pipeline block valve stations and will use the existing communications cable installed adjacent to the pipeline. The installation and commissioning of the project will be carried out by Optilan; its sales director Bal Kler said: “We are excited to be introducing this technology to the MDP project and India.” The contract with Cairn India follows a contract with BP to install the OptaSense system on the 1,770-kilometre Turkey section of the BTC pipeline. QinetiQ says OptaSense is part of “a global technology products portfolio and demonstrates its approach to delivering the full potential of emerging products to existing and new customers”. OptaSense has been deployed on many pipelines in order to prevent third-party damage, the most common cause of serious pipeline failure. It supports inline inspections, prevents problems and can provide acoustic analysis of the pipes’ condition. QinetiQ is Europe’s biggest science and technology research organisation and employs nearly 10,000 staff, including some of the United Kingdom’s leading scientists and internationally acclaimed experts. nextSTEP Visit:





Tiny atoms can increase data storage


leading young scientist in the UK has created a compound that could lead to a breakthrough in the search for high performance computing techniques.

Dr Stephen Liddle - an expert in molecular depleted uranium chemistry at Nottingham University, England - has made a molecule containing two uranium atoms which, if kept at a very low temperature, will maintain its magnetism. Liddle is a university research fellow of the Royal Society, the UK’s prestigious academy of science. This type of single-molecule magnet (SMM) has the potential to increase data storage capacity by many hundreds, even thousands of times and, as a result, huge volumes of data could be stored in small areas. Liddle has received numerous accolades for his ground-breaking research, published in the journal Nature Chemistry. “This work is exciting because it suggests a new way of generating SMM behaviour and it shines a light on poorly understood uranium phenomena,” he said. “It could help point the way to making scientific advances with more technologically amenable metals such as the lanthanides. The challenge now is to see if we can build bigger clusters to improve the blocking temperatures and apply this more generally,” added Dr Liddle. Computer hard disks are made up of magnetic material that record digital signals. The smaller these tiny magnets can be made, the more information can be stored within a given space. According to Dr Liddle, depleted uranium - a by-product from uranium enrichment and of no use in nuclear applications because the radioactive component has been removed - could now hold

some of the key to achieving this long sought-after development. He has shown that, by linking more than one uranium atom together via a bridging toluene molecule, each one behaves as a singlemolecule magnet. The research is still at an early stage, and the very low temperature - two degrees above absolute zero - at which the compound must be maintained to retain its preferential magnetic polarity makes it impractical at present for use in building computing hard disks. But the research could point the way to the development of other compounds that would be much more amenable to operation at normal temperatures. “At this stage it is too early to say where this research might lead but single-molecule magnets have been the subject of intense study because of their potential applications to make a stepchange in data storage capacity and realise high performance computing techniques such as quantum information processing and spintronics,” he said.

Dr Stephen Liddle

was also helping to understand the chemistry of other actinide materials that could offer similar SMM properties. His work has attracted international interest. Liddle recently won a prestigious grant of one million euros from the European Research Council to study speculative and groundbreaking research into molecular depleted uranium chemistry.

The inherent properties of uranium place it between popularly researched transition metals (such as iron and manganese) and lanthanide (rare earth) metals, and this means it has the best of both worlds.

The research has already been highlighted in the media by Chemistry World, Chemical & Engineering News, Chemistry in Australia, and The Sunday Times Magazine and he won the Royal Society’s 2011 Sir Edward Frankland fellowship award for his contributions to the chemistry of f-elements (lanthanides and actinides).

“It is therefore an attractive candidate for single-molecule magnet (SMM) chemistry, but this has never been realised in polymetallic systems which is necessary to make them work at room temperature,” explained Dr Liddle. Studying the chemistry of depleted uranium

Dr Liddle has obtained several previous grants related to this work including from the UK’s Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council and the Royal Society, and he was invited to speak at the International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies in 2010. u




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Delcam for SolidWorks 2012 on show at SolidWorks World


elcam will demonstrate the 2012 version of Delcam for SolidWorks, its integrated CAM system for SolidWorks, at SolidWorks World in San Diego from 12th to 15th February. This latest release includes programming of wire EDM for the first time, alongside the comprehensive options for the programming of turning, mill-turn, drilling and two- through five-axis milling.  To find out more, please visit Other enhancements include target-part comparison, the ability to compare a model of the desired final shape with the shape achieved by the programmed toolpaths, and multiple-instance programming, the programming of multiple SolidWorks components in one operation, either in the same orientation or in different orientations. Fully-automated de-burring and chamfering has also been added to give faster programming of these finishing operations on 2or 2.5-axis parts.  The ability to incorporate chamfers, even when they are not shown in the original SolidWorks model, duplicates functionality previously available in Delcam’s feature-based CAM system, FeatureCAM. Delcam for SolidWorks 2012 also incorporates enhancements from the 2012 release of FeatureCAM, including improvements in the use of stock models and new options in the tooling database. Stock models allow the user to visualise the material remaining after each operation.  This makes it easier to eliminate air cutting and so generate more efficient toolpaths with reduced machining times.  The models also

simplify the selection of the most appropriate tool sizes for restroughing and finishing operations. The tooling database is a key part of the automation in Delcam for SolidWorks as it allows the optimum operating conditions to be associated with each tool. In most companies, the database is developed by the most experienced user.  It then ensures that even inexperienced operators use safe and efficient cutting parameters. Delcam for SolidWorks, which has been awarded Certified Gold Product status by Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp, combines the benefits associated with Delcam’s PowerMILL and FeatureCAM CAM systems.  It is based on Delcam’s proven machining algorithms that are already used by more than 35,000 customers around the world.  The software offers PowerMILL’s exceptional speed of toolpath calculation, plus the advanced strategies for high-speed and five-axis machining, to ensure

increased productivity, maximum tool life and immaculate surface finish, even when cutting the hardest, most challenging materials. At the same time, Delcam for SolidWorks has the same strong focus on ease of use as FeatureCAM, including all of the knowledge-based automation that makes that system so consistent and reliable. Delcam for SolidWorks is fully integrated into the SolidWorks environment so that the program looks and behaves like SolidWorks.  It offers full associativity so that any changes in the CAD model are reflected automatically in the toolpaths.  However, this associativity is more intelligent than that offered in many other integrated CAM systems.  Delcam for SolidWorks doesn’t simply modify the existing toolpaths but also reviews the choice of cutting tools and machining strategies, and changes them if necessary. u



business news

US-China solar subsidies spat sparks interest


he trade row between the US and China over renewable energy trade policies could soon see additional players join the mix, with recent reports suggesting that India might launch its own anti-dumping probe into Chinese solar imports later this month.

Meanwhile, Solarworld AG - one of Germany’s largest solar products manufacturers - is now planning to launch a case in Europe against Chinese competitors, according to the company’s top official. The US-China disagreement over the use of renewable energy support has also pitted solar companies within the US against one another. Last month, a coalition that claims to represent 97 percent of the US solar industry asked solar panel maker SolarWorld Industries America Inc. to withdraw its petition calling for punitive duties on China for unfair subsidies. The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), which counts 145 companies as members and was founded in November in response to the SolarWorld petition, sent a letter last month to SolarWorld America President Gordon Brinser in which it argued that the tariffs the company is pursuing against Beijing could “fundamentally undermine many years of effort by all of us who care about the future of solar power.” CASE particularly decried the shortsightedness of the petition, which - they argue - only considers the needs of solar panel manufacturers. Instead, the coalition asserts that the majority of the existing jobs in the US solar industry are in sales, marketing, design, installation, and maintenance - all of which have benefitted from the lower costs of solar panels. In a statement announcing CASE’s formation in November, Jigar Shan, co-founder and Chairman of CASE, similarly stressed that “placing protectionist barriers against more efficient and affordable solar cells whatever their origin - discourages innovation and investment.” Brinser was quick to rebuff such complaints, however, claiming that Case President Jigar Shah was just speaking on behalf of Chinese manufacturers. CASE is attempting to persuade the Obama administration that a negotiated settlement with China

would be the most effective means of solving the dispute, according to Reuters. The SolarWorld America petition which was filed in October along with six other US solar energy companies that requested anonymity - claims that Chinese solar panels have been illegally subsidised by the Chinese government and sold to the US at trade-distorting prices. The complaint further alleges that Beijing uses cash grants, raw materials discounts, preferential loans, tax incentives, and currency manipulation to boost its exports of solar panels. The US Commerce Department is expected to make a preliminary decision by 13 February on whether to impose tariffs on imports of Chinese solar panels, after the US International Trade Commission voted unanimously on 2 December to allow the case to proceed. Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Commerce is conducting its own probe into Washington’s renewable energy support, specifically with regards to wind energy, solar, and hydro technology products (see Bridges Weekly, Depending on the findings of the investigation - which are expected in May - the agency could introduce duties as early as this year. Solar industry’s troubles not limited to the US Driving the petition is Solarworld AG, SolarWorld Industries’ German parent company, which reported larger than expected losses in 2011 and has seen its stock price steadily decline over the past three years. Solarworld AG Chief Executive Officer Frank Asbeck confirmed on 8 January that the company hopes to partner with other European firms in launching their own anti-dumping proceedings at the European Commission’s competition agency, according to Bloomberg. The economic downturn in the US and Europe, coupled with subsidy cuts imposed by government

austerity measures, has hurt the demand for solar energy products. The market has also experienced a considerable surplus since 2010, when China’s two largest manufacturers of solar panels, Suntech Power Holdings Co and LDK Solar Co, doubled production. The price of solar panels has dropped 40 percent between 2006 and 2011, which has partly been blamed to the high-profile collapse of three US-based solar companies, particularly Solyndra LLC. Indian manufacturers could join the action The spat between US and Chinese manufacturers of solar panels could also grow to involve India, with Indian manufacturers complaining about both Chinese and American exporters. The Indian government is reportedly considering the launch of its own anti-dumping probe into Chinese solar panels; authorities in New Delhi have also been asked by some domestic manufacturers to levy a 15 percent tariff on imports of thin-film panels. Such a tariff, if implemented, would primarily affect US-based manufacturer First Solar Inc. Currently American and Chinese solar panels can be imported into India tax-free under exemptions for thin-film products in the Indian government’s Solar Mission programme, which usually requires that developers utilise local equipment. Meanwhile, domestic Indian manufacturers must pay duties on raw materials. Furthermore, Indian projects, if they import American or Chinese equipment, are often eligible for cheap credit provided by US and Chinese state-backed lenders, thus lowering the overall cost of borrowing. “I’m feeling a bit of anguish because we want solar to succeed but we need fair competition,” K. Subramanya, chief executive officer of Tata BP Solar, India’s third-largest cell and panel maker, said. u

business news



Seoul, Beijing to launch free trade talks


outh Korean President Lee Myung-Bak ended a three-day visit to Beijing on Wednesday 11 January, in which he agreed with Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao to begin talks on developing a free trade agreement between the two Asian nations, according to state media. In the past, South Korea has been reluctant to form trade ties with China, mostly due to the fact that Chinese manufacturers hold specific cost advantages that could prove detrimental to their South Korean equivalents. However, the results from this week’s gathering in Beijing could mark the start of a new beginning. South Korea’s deputy national security adviser Kim Tae-hyo affirmed in an official statement about Lee’s visit that “the Chinese said that they hope to start the negotiations on a FTA as soon as possible and we responded that we will soon start domestic preparations.” If successful, the proposed trade pact would make South Korea the only country with free trade deals with the world’s three largest markets: the EU, the US, and China. South Korea’s pact with the EU entered into force on 1 July of last year, leading to double-digit growth in trade between the two countries within just two weeks of its implementation. Meanwhile, Seoul’s agreement with Washington was ratified in both countries just this past autumn, after years of political limbo. US trade officials held working-level meetings earlier this week with their Korean counterparts to continue discussions related to the implementation of the US-Korea FTA.

the neighbouring countries hit US$224.8 billion, according to Chinese customs data. China also claims the majority of the country’s export market. Reports from Chinese state-run media have indicated that trade between the two nations is expected to reach US$300 billion by 2015.

Fishing, agriculture to take priority in trade discussions Among the trade topics discussed by the two officials during Lee’s visit to Beijing were the particularly sensitive areas of agricultural products and illegal fishing by Chinese fishermen in South Korean waters. According to media in both countries, a Chinese fisherman allegedly murdered a South Korean coast-guard officer last month after the officer attempted to stop the man from fishing in South Korean maritime areas. Hu stated that his administration takes this issue “very seriously” and pledged to tighten controls within the fishing industry. Both sides agreed to reinforce cooperation on this subject as well as attempting to reach consensus here before turning their focus to industry and manufacturing. Observers note that the prospect of an FTA could mitigate some of the distrust between Seoul and Beijing over the latter’s close ties to North Korea. Concerns over the

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak

recent leadership transition in the nuclear-armed North Korea also featured in this week’s bilateral discussions, with tensions running high on both sides of the 38th parallel. Along with being South Korea’s main trading partner, China is also Pyongyang’s sole major ally and largest economic partner, accounting for 90 percent of North Korea’s energy imports and 45 percent of its food imports. However, official data shows trade between Beijing and Pyongyang in the first 11 months of 2011 reaching US$5.2 billion, which China-South Korea’s US$224.8 billion in bilateral trade greatly u overshadows.

Standing as one of the world’s largest markets, China is already South Korea’s principal trading partner. During the first 11 months of 2011, two-way trade between



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