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November 2011

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CONTENTS November 2011

Demand from within




hough there are pressures on the world economy, China is in a strong position to weather the storm due to buying from within. Manufactured products in China are in demand and this will be a big help for Asian economies.


ndia’s exports for the month of April- September 2011 have registered a growth of 52%, at US $ 160 billion.

And India has seen its exports for the months of April – September register a growth of 52% to US$160 billion. In Europe and the U.S. a lot of grappling is going on as to getting the debt in order. In Australia significant emphasis is being placed on continuing resource trading with China to maintain that countryís strong financial position. Big news in India is Hitachi opening an R & D centre in Bangalore (Page 9). This is the first research base for the Hitachi Group in India as part of efforts to promote efficient business development based on local needs in the rapidly growing Indian economy. The Manufacturing Productivity Technology Centre (MPTC) (Page 10), a first of its kind in Singapore, is a rich resource of A*STAR SIMTech technologies. This centre, along with the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) together with Operations Management and Innovation (OMNI) Programme were launched by Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade 7 Industry and National Development at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology. In Thailand, Dow Chemical Company and the SCG Group have ramped the new propylene oxide facility to stable in preparation for the full capacity run scheduled for this last quarter of 2011. Located near Map Ta Phut, the plant will have a name plate capacity of 390 kilotons per annum of PO via the innovative hydrogen peroxide to propylene oxide technology jointly developed by Dow and BASF (Page 14). There are also some exciting technology developments to read about in this issue plus our annual Interview with Soo Kam Tatt, Director, Asia, Hypertherm.














he Dow Chemical Company has announced that the SCG-Dow Group, a joint venture between Dow and SCG, has reached a key milestone for the new propylene oxide (PO) facility in Thailand by ramping the plant up to stable production levels in preparation for the full capacity run scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011.






n collaboration with Green Power Industrial Ltd, PolyU’s Department of Electrical Engineering has developed an innovative air-conditioning system for vehicles that can turn scorching summer heat into cool air without a single drop of gasoline.






23 7TH INDO-POWER 4-6 APRIL, 2012









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




Access to design capability at anytime SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA:


utodesk Cloud, is a collection of more than a dozen webbased capabilities, products and services that enable customers to extend their desktops with greater mobility, new viewing and sharing capabilities, and more computing power, helping them better design, visualise and simulate their ideas. In addition, Autodesk Subscription customers will now have exclusive access to cloud-based, highperformance rendering and design optimisation, and enhanced collaboration capabilities. Autodesk Subscription now provides 3 GB of online storage for each software license on Subscription for greater access to design and engineering documents, anywhere, anytime. “For more than a decade, Autodesk has embraced the power of the cloud to extend the functionality of our design solutions and help our customers work more effectively,” said Amar Hanspal, senior vice president,

Platform Solutions and Emerging Business at Autodesk. “With Autodesk Cloud, we are demonstrating an even greater commitment to helping our customers solve the world’s toughest design and engineering challenges.” Autodesk has been a pioneer in cloud-based applications for the design industry — starting more than a decade ago with Autodesk Buzzsaw — and more than a dozen cloud-based offerings currently available to customers are now encompassed as part of Autodesk Cloud. Autodesk Cloud provides a

powerful foundation to enable all Autodesk customers to begin using the cloud to access and store their work from anywhere; to view their work through web browsers or mobile devices; and to share their work with other users, even users without Autodesk software. Cloud applications such as Autodesk Cloud documents, AutoCAD WS and the Autodesk Design Review mobile app provide users with the freedom to work where they can be most effective, and to view, edit and share designs anywhere and with almost anyone. Additional cloud services give designers, engineers and digital artists sophisticated new capabilities, such as high-performance 3D visual communication, simulation and collaboration that were once limited to organisations with privileged access to expensive, high-end supercomputing centres.

technology These services include: Autodesk Cloud rendering Customers with an Autodesk Subscription to the Premium or Ultimate editions of Autodesk Design Suite or Autodesk Building Design Suite will have access to powerful rendering capabilities, helping them better visualise designs, increase the number of renderings they can create and reduce hardware investments.

Autodesk Inventor optimisation Customers with subscription to the Premium or Ultimate editions of Autodesk Product Design Suites will gain an intuitive cloud-based simulation tool, enabling them to test multiple design options in the cloud, and to create more sustainable designs and higherquality products while reducing material, transportation and energy costs.

Autodesk Revit conceptual energy analysis Customers with Subscription to Autodesk Revit Architecture or Autodesk Revit MEP software, or select suites containing these products, can extend design beyond the desktop with powerful cloud-based energy analysis capabilities, helping them to quickly gain insight into the energy consumption and building energy costs of early design concepts from within the design application.



energy analysts perform faster, more accurate energy analysis of multiple building design iterations, optimize energy efficiency and work toward carbon neutrality earlier in the design process. Customers with Subscription to Autodesk Vault Collaboration AEC software now have access to cloud-based document, data and design management solutions for architecture, engineering and construction firms and owneroperators, helping them centralise and securely exchange project information and enhance team collaboration. Autodesk works with multiple partners, including Amazon and Citrix, to provide a scalable cloud computing infrastructure to meet customer needs. Autodesk has been working with Amazon Web Services for more than three years in order to securely host highdemand, scalable applications such as Autodesk Homestyler software and Autodesk Seek web service. Amazon Web Services provides Autodesk with the flexibility to scale computing around the world with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and resilient storage capacity with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Elastic Block Store (EBS), as well as the ability to more efficiently deliver applications and content to customers. Autodesk also teams with Citrix to provide customers with greater efficiency in their use of Autodesk applications.

Autodesk Green Building Studio webbased energy analysis software

Delivering solutions to end users with Citrix XenApp can help customers reduce workstation costs while still providing the software performance they need.

Customers with Subscription to Autodesk Building Design Suite and other select products have access to this cloud-based service that can help designers, architects, engineers and building

“Our relationship with Autodesk demonstrates how innovative and forward-thinking software companies can leverage the power of AWS to provide greater value to their customers,” said Terry Wise,

Director of Business Development at Amazon Web Services. “We are pleased to work with Autodesk to provide secure, ondemand, pay as you go cloud services, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the design and engineering market.” In addition to the new Autodesk Cloud services, Autodesk Subscription continues to provide the most up-to-date software, online technical support and flexible licensing privileges for customers looking to maximise their competitive advantage. Subscription customers may access the new cloud-based services from within Autodesk desktop applications or through subscription centre. Autodesk Cloud services are available in Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. Some Autodesk Cloud services are available to all customers, such as Autodesk Cloud documents and the Autodesk Design Review mobile app, while other services are exclusive to Autodesk Subscription customers. nextSTEP Visit:






Launch of CAM2 Measure 10 software


ARO Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: FARO), a leading provider of portable measurement and imaging solutions, announces the release of CAM2 Measure 10, its new measuring software for the FaroArm, ScanArm and FARO Laser Tracker. CAM2 Measure 10 marks FARO’s return to the successful family of CAM2 Measure software products. This new release is built on the solid foundation of the previous CAM2 Q while also introducing key new features like Live Color Scan for point cloud inspection, Shortcuts and the Easy Move Wizard. These innovative functionalities are designed to improve your measurement processes, whether tactile or scanning, and make CAM2 Measure 10 the first choice in portable measurement software. The Live Color Scan feature adds point cloud inspection support to the already outstanding geometry measurement functionality. Thanks to this new feature, CAM2 Measure 10 users can quickly scan freeform parts using the FARO ScanArm just as easily as

they are measuring geometry with a tactile probe. Only in a few steps they can complete a scanning inspection, viewing live color information on their parts as they scan. Another time-saving feature of the new release is Shortcuts. This new feature allows users to create new commands to measure features that are only available through combining measurements and constructions. Shortcuts enable you to record all steps of a complex measurement into a single command that can later be accessed with one mouse click. The Easy Move Wizard is a great assistance for measuring large parts when the need to reposition the device is often necessary to complete a measurement. The complexity of finding the correct target correspondence is taken

away from the operator, cutting down on the time required for the repositioning and, at the same time, removing the risk of human error. Designed to make tactile and scanning measurements easier, CAM2 Measure 10 also features an elegant and intuitive interface that enables users to customize the layout window optimizing the measurement workflow. “To further increase the productivity of our existing and potential customers we developed a new software solution which combines new outstanding, useful and unique features with an unparalleled ease of use. The new CAM2 Measure 10 will bring the measuring and scanning processes to a new level of efficiency”, stated Antonio Carvalho, Director of Software Product Management at FARO. nextSTEP u





business news

Indian summer for the chemical industry


n autumn survey reveals an optimistic business climate in highly competitive markets. Growing competition and considerable increases in research and development expenditures will dominate global chemical markets during the next months.

Chemical industry still on track for growth In spite of macro-economically uncertain times and the gloomy mood in many other industrial sectors, the chemical and plastic industries are optimistic about the last quarter 2011. 40% of the participants in the Ceresana Industry Monitor (CIM) asses their business situation in September as good. Only 10% evaluate their business situation as poor. Large companies (turnover of more than €500 million) assess their situation more often as good than small companies. Almost one quarter of all surveyed companies anticipate their business situation will change for the worse over the next 6 to 12 months. In contrast, more than 43% expect an improvement. Petrochemical and manufacturers of plastics and elastomers have particularly positive expectations. There is no evidence of a downturn in the chemical industry: Almost 80% of those companies which evaluated their current business situation as good do not expect this will change for the worse. Despite a uniformly positive mood, there are considerable regional differences in the assessment of business situation and outlook. For example, the business situation in Asia is expected to see particularly positive development.

Increase in staff expenses Nearly 60% of all surveyed companies expect demand for their products will rise over the next months. This is why the

positive outlook for employees it is not surprising: 35% of the respondents want to increase staff expenses; only 14% plan cutbacks. A satisfying end of the year seems to be around the corner.

Innovations and cooperations The chemical industry shows its green side: Numerous decisionmakers regard renewable energies as a profitable and promising business. Chemical companies evaluate the field of transport & mobility as important as environmental protection when asked about their most important future markets. Research & development (R&D) is of outstanding importance for chemical companies. However, the autumn survey results revealed that more companies are willing to increase their marketing expenses than R&D expenditures. Universities are not the only sought-after R&D cooperation partners. Plastic processors have also often established R&D cooperation agreements with clients.

Business situation, expectations, and the resulting barometer (business climate) are shown on a scale from -50 to +50. Positive figures indicate a good business climate; figures below 0 points suggest a downturn is ahead. The CIM analyses the business climate of the global chemical and plastic industry. Individuals selected from a pool of more than 18,000 companies are asked to participate in our surveys every three months. The survey was answered by decision-makers from 40 countries. In order to provide a representative overall picture, companies and associations of all sizes were asked about their current business situation, expectations, and evaluations. This allows for detecting future market trends but also 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 four industrial sectors: Petrochemical, plastic & elastomer manufacturers, plastic and elastomer processors, specialty & fine chemistry as well as paints, varnishes and adhesives. Survey participants will get these in-depths reports for free. u

CIM barometer measures 12.6 points The CIM Barometer reflects the current business climate of the surveyed chemical and plastic companies at a glance. The present business situation achieves 14.9 points; expectations register 10.2 points. The resulting business climate is at 12.6 points. We expect the chemical industry – which is still in a very good state – will experience a slight coolingoff.

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Hitachi opens R&D Centre in Bangalore NEW DELHI:


itachi has announced the opening of the Hitachi India R&D Centre in Bangalore, India. This is the first research base for the Hitachi Group in India, as part of its efforts to promote efficient business development based on local needs in the rapidly growing Indian economy.

The new R&D Centre will be directly operated by Hitachi India Pvt. Ltd., the regional headquarters for Hitachi Group operations in India, and will conduct research and development focusing on Information and Telecommunication systems and social infrastructure business. In order to support the entry and expansion of Hitachi Group companies in India, the researchers will study the local market need, and promote marketoriented technology research and development to improve and enhance current products, as well as conduct regional research founded on regional needs to pioneer new business areas. Further, offshore-oriented research will be conducted in collaboration with universities and corporate entities in India to achieve efficient advanced research. The Hitachi India R&D Centre will start with about 10 researchers, aiming to double this number by FY2015 through local employment, in order to contribute to business growth and pioneer new business areas in India based on local research. In April 2011, Hitachi undertook an overhaul of its R&D structure to create an organization for the global expansion of Hitachi’s Social Innovation Business by reorganizing and integrating its eight domestic laboratories into three laboratories and increasing its overseas research personnel. In June 2011, Hitachi set out a “New globalization plan” based on six centres located worldwide,

in Japan, North America, Europe, China, South-east Asia and India, and targets a Hitachi Group consolidated revenue in India to increase to approximately 200 billion yen in the next few fiscal years from the FY2010 revenue of approximately 90 billion yen. Local production and joint businesses with local partners have already commenced in business areas such as construction machinery, air-conditioning equipment, thermal power generation, and information control systems. The launch of the Hitachi India R&D Centre is part of Hitachi’s efforts to promote the localisation of research, as well. The activities of the new research centre will be as follows: (1) Market-oriented technology development to support the entry and expansion of Hitachi Group companies in India Local user characteristics and environments will be analyzed in relation to IT platforms such as middleware and hardware, to understand local needs by studying usage at universities and customer sites, and applying this knowledge to derive core technologies and develop prototypes for product development tailored to the market in India. (2) Regional research to pioneer new business tailored for the market in India Concentrating

Hitachi to promote the localisation of research.

on Social Innovation Business (such as water treatment, urban transport and smart cities) in which Hitachi is focusing its activities, needs particular to the Indian market will be identified through participation in pilot tests and standardization activities, to enable appropriate proposals to pioneer new businesses. (3) Offshore oriented advanced research in collaboration with universities and corporate entities in India Efficient offshore-oriented advanced technology development will be promoted through collaborations with the academic institutes in India, as well as working with offshore vendors and talented human resource in India. Collaborations with the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IIT-H) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) are already underway, and the establishment of the Hitachi India R&D Centre will serve to facilitate cooperation with local universities and corporate entities. The new Hitachi India R&D Centre will focus its activities in India but will in the future conduct R&D for the Asian Belt Zone* in collaboration with Hitachi Asia R&D Centre, based in Singapore. Hitachi Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2009 (ended March 31, 2010) consolidated revenues totalled 8,968 billion yen ($96.4 billion). u * Asian Belt Zone: Comprises 24 countries and regions along the Asian Continental coast running from Japan to the Arabian Peninsula, including the People’s Republic of China, ASEAN countries, India, and the Middle East.




New centre to spur productivity

SINGAPORE: he Manufacturing Productivity Technology Centre (MPTC), a first of its kind in Singapore, is a rich resource of A*STAR SIMTech technologies showcased under one roof. Together with the launch of the new Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Operations MaNagement and Innovation (OMNI) Programme targeted at PMETs, the manufacturing sector will be the recipient of two new initiatives targeted at heightening the sector’s productivity efforts.


Two new initiatives to spur productivity, the Manufacturing Productivity Technology Centre (MPTC), a first of its kind in Singapore, and the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) together with the Operations Management and Innovation (OMNI) Programme were launched by Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade & Industry and National Development at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a research institute of the Agency for Science,Technology and Research (A*STAR).

One-stop resource for manufacturing innovations The MPTC consolidates SIMTech’s technologies and capabilities developed over the years; under one roof. It will serve as a rich and valuable resource for companies adopting or planning to adopt SIMTech-developed technologies, tools and capabilities in automation, processes and systems to gain “step-change” improvement in manufacturing productivity. Among those that the Centre aims to enthuse to innovate, are companies that have yet to get on the innovation bandwagon. MPTC will also equip Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) with the know-how to deploy these technologies to develop highvalue products. By facilitating access to interdisciplinary research capabilities, technologies and providing avenues for technological training, the centre targets to be a knowledge hub for manufacturing innovations that will enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the industry. (Refer to Annex A for more details on MPTC)

The Centre houses exhibits that include technologies, samples, prototypes and implemented systems under three themes that align with the productivity objectives of companies, such as enhanced efficiency, effectiveness and value creation. Success stories of companies which have employed SIMTech technologies and reaped productivity gains of up to 100 percent will also be showcased. One such company is Tru-Marine. Tru-Marine is a SME which specialises in the repai r of turbochargers. The company adopted the SIMTechdeveloped Laser Aided Additive Manufacturing (LAAM) technology, replacing its slower and less efficient method of manual arc welding. The innovative move has cut short a process that used to take up to four days, down to as fast as two hours. This has also earned Tru-Marine the advantage of being the first mover locally in innovative repair technology for turbochargers. Recognising that innovation is key to productivity and ultimately competitiveness, seven manufacturing companies, have signed a Memoranda of Understanding to initiate productivity improvement collaborations with SIMTech. Taking a step further, Global Foundaries, a global full-service semiconductor foundry, has signed a fiveyear Manufacturing Productivity Enhancement master plan agreement with SIMTech. Dr Lim Ser Yong, SIMTech’s Executive Director, said: “MPTC is set up to spur manufacturing productivity and innovation. Companies can work with SIMTech to develop new innovations by

Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade & Industry and National Development at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech.

identifying productivity gaps and adopting suitable technologies. The centre also facilitates interdisciplinary research in manufacturing productivity technology, methodologies, systems and other training opportunities that address the challenges in implementing productivity improvements and value creation through innovation. The centre will work with researchers and industries to promote productivity through partnerships, knowledge transfer and technology transfer.”

New skills programme to spur innovative mindset Complementing its suite of innovation offerings, MPTC will also equip engineering professionals with the technical knowhow on operational assessment and productivity improvement. In this regard, SIMTech has collaborated with WDA to implement the new Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Operations Management and Innovation (OMNI) Programme. This enhanced programme rides on the success of the WSQ SME Manufacturing Excellence (S.M.E.) Programme launched in 2010. WSQ S.M.E. Programme trains a pool of Operations Improvement Champions or ‘TechnoVation’ Managers to champion




business news


India’s exports grow

ndia’s exports for the month of April–September 2011 have registered a growth of 52%, at US $160 billion. Shri Rahul Khullar, Commerce Secretary said that during the period April-September 2011, imports were US $ 233.5 billion with a growth of 32.4% and a trade deficit of US $ 54.9 billion.

India’s imports in September 2011 were US $ 38.4 billion registering the growth of 41.8%. Balance of trade for the month of September 2011 stood at (-) 9.8 billion US $ and cumulative balance of trade for the month of April-September stood at (-) 73.5 billion US $. During April-September 2011, the following sectors have done well:., engineering, (US $ 46.4 billion) which registered the growth of 103%; petroleum & oil products, 53% (US $ 27 billion); Gems & Jewellery registered the growth of 23% (US $ 18.5 billion); Drugs and pharmaceuticals 33% (US $ 6.5 billion US $);leather 26% (US$ 2.25 billion) Cotton yarn and fabric made-up 22.5% (US $ 3.4 billion) ; electronics, 67% (US $ 5.7 billion); Readymade garments, 32% ( US $ 6.8 billion). As regards to imports during April-September 2011, the growth estimates on the following sectors are: POL, 42% (US $ 70.4 billion); Gold and silver 80% (US 31.1 billion),; machinery, 34% (US $ 17.4 billion), electronics, 33% (US & 16.9 billion), Organic and inorganic chemicals 73% (US $ 9.3 billion) and coal 43% (US $ 8.4 billion US $). u


and implement operations improvement in their organisations. Within a short span of less than 1 year since the scheme was piloted, a total of 47 managers from 26 companies have been trained under the programme. All 26 companies have applied and implemented the operations improvement strategies and raised productivity from 30% to 230%. (Refer to Annex B companies with productivity improvement) As such, the WSQ S.M.E. Programme will be extended to all manufacturing companies, under the brand new name Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Operations MaNagement and Innovation (OMNI) Programme which has

been enhanced and customised to address the operational challenges of different manufacturing industries. The new programme has also been strengthened to provide funding support to companies which implement operations improvement strategies. Companies will be eligible for a grant of up to 50 percent of the implementation costs. WDA will be injecting an additional $2 million in the next three years to train a bigger pool of operations management champions under the OMNI WSQ Programme. This programme will help further enhance workplace productivity, benefitting not only

the individual workforce but also companies’ excellence in manufacturing. Mr Wong Hong Kuan, Chief Executive of WDA said, “I am glad to see the initial success and effectiveness of the SME Manufacturing Excellence WSQ Programme bringing about a quantum leap in manufacturing productivity. With the new WSQ OMNI programme, we look forward to the operational management champions creating and sustaining a momentum of transformation. This will enhance the competitiveness and valueadd of manufacturing companies, which are critical elements in helping them stay relevant in challenging times ahead”. u




Software designed to meet expectations


esting is the process of arranging cut profiles within flat raw material, such as sheet metal, in order to maximize material utilization during the cutting process. This procedure is usually carried out prior to cutting. In the past, most operators in China performed manual nesting, but with the advent of nesting software, automatic nesting became a more attractive alternative. Compared to manual nesting, automatic nesting lays out profiles more efficiently and in a shorter time, thereby making it an increasingly popular option amongst operators.

Also, Chain Cutting links may be created between a variety of single or Common Line profiles, where profiles are joined by a cut path. With a continuous path connecting multiple parts, production time is reduced because the cutting torch makes fewer pierces. Besides increased efficiency, these continuous cutting functions help companies reduce consumable costs. Without a continuous path, the torch must pierce the material each time a new part is cut. This shortens consumable lifespan significantly as every pierce uses a small amount of the consumable’s life. However, by using nesting software that are able to join cut profiles with a single path, the cutting torch makes fewer pierces in order to complete the cutting sequence. With reduced pierce cycles, consumable life is extended and production costs are reduced.

Material optimisation Nesting software lay out profiles in a manner that reduces wastage

Nesting software, in general, have a number of basic features, such as compatibility with computeraided design (CAD) programs and computer-numeric controls (CNC). It is common for companies to first design parts using CAD tools, and then transfer the profiles to a nesting software. Because of this requirement, nesting programs are usually configured to import and convert CAD file formats. Some can even automatically correct errors in the files, which would otherwise cause problems during the cutting process. Another typical software feature is an ability to communicate efficiently with a computer-numeric controller (CNC). The process of automated cutting is managed by the CNC, based on a set of instructions from the nesting software. Therefore, nesting tools are required to produce data that is transferable to and readable by a CNC. The two program features mentioned above are the two

primary tasks that a nesting tool can carry out. However, user expectations in China have risen, and customers now look for more value-added functions when selecting such a program. Here are four such features that have been incorporated in some of the latest nesting software on the market.

Increased productivity In China, where competition is stiff, a high level of productivity is very important and companies value nesting software that can help increase efficiency. Certain programs position parts on the sheet material in a way that minimises cutting time and improves material optimization by connecting two or more profiles to form a single cutting path, while eliminating the material separation. This productivity approach is called Common Line Cutting. Any two parts with a straight edge are arranged so they can be cut with a common line.

Keeping production costs low is always a priority, and one of the ways Chinese companies can achieve this is by maximizing the use of their materials. Today, advanced nesting tools can automatically develop a layout of selected parts on the sheet, automatically applying optimal part spacing and orientation, in order to maximize the plate utilisation. This applies for profiles of both regular and irregular shapes. For square or rectangular parts, other specific functions are available that use advanced column-building logic to achieve efficient nest utilization. In addition, some nesting software is able to consider the actual shape of profiles in order to nest parts beside each other, and within open spaces inside parts. With these features, material utilization is improved and scrap is greatly reduced. Furthermore, besides making full use of the material in a single session, some of the latest nesting software also allows operators to create custom remnants and add





Nanomaterials: Advanced electronics



he ever-increasing demand for enhanced performance in electronic devices such as solar cells, sensors and batteries is matched by a need to find ways to make smaller electrical components. Several techniques have been proposed for creating tiny, nanoscale structures on silicon, but these types of ‘nanopatterning’ tend to involve low-throughput, high-cost approaches not suited to large-scale production.

Sivashankar Krishnamoorthy and co-workers at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering have now found a simple and robust method for nanopatterning the entire surface of a silicon wafer. Krishnamoorthy’s technique exploits the self-assembling properties of polymeric nanoparticles, known as reverse micelles. These unconventional particles have a structure consisting of a polar core and an outer layer of non-polar ‘arms’. Reverse micelles can form highly ordered arrays on the surface of a silicon wafer. The resulting ‘coating’ can be used as a lithographic resist to mask the silicon surface during the etching process.


these to the plate list for immediate or future nesting. This reduces wastage because any leftover material can be re-used. With nesting software that features such material optimisation functions, companies will be able to utilize materials more fully.

One software for multiple cutting systems In China, the two most widely-used cutting technologies are oxyfuel and plasma. Within a single factory, both cutting technologies are often employed based on the operator’s needs in terms of cut material thickness, because oxyfuel and plasma feature strengths within different cutting ranges. Therefore, a nesting software that can be used for multiple cutting technologies is handy because employees need only to familiarize themselves with a single program. By adopting such software, companies not only increase production efficiency,

pattern of tiny titanium oxide dots. This process converts a soft organic template into a hard inorganic mask much more suited to etching ultra-fine features into the silicon, producing arrays of nanopillars less than 10 nanometers apart.

Although other groups have developed similar approaches in previous studies, Krishnamoorthy and co-workers are the first to develop a process that can pattern the entire surface of a silicon wafer with highly uniform nanostructures (see image). The authors have further developed a method to quantify nanostructure variations across large areas using simple optical tools, paving the way for high-throughput nanometrology.

The findings are expected to be highly adaptable. “Although we have demonstrated the process for creating silicon nanopillars, it is very versatile and can be readily extended to achieve nanopatterns of most other materials, for example, metals, semiconductors and polymers through appropriate post-processing of the initial copolymer templates,” explains Krishnamoorthy. “Other patterns besides nanopillars could also be created, depending on the patterntransfer processing employed.”

In an additional improvement to the process, the researchers exposed the self-assembled polymer layer to a titanium chloride vapour. The titanium chloride selectively accumulates within each micelle’s polar core. A blast of oxygen plasma then strips away the polymer to leave a

Krishnamoorthy and his team are already exploring the potential applications of their technique. “We are currently making use of this process to create nanodevices for sensing, data storage, and energy applications, such as batteries and solar cells,” Krishnamoorthy says. u

but can also save on time and resources that would otherwise have been spent on software training. For this reason, operators prefer software solutions that incorporate specific features for plasma and oxyfuel cutting.

So, such solutions produce optimized cut quality through automatic job set-up, and aid smooth communication between the various cutting components. Minimal operator intervention is required throughout the process. This attracts companies to source for nesting programs that are part of an integrated cutting system, which are usually available from companies that produce all the key components of a cutting table.

Integration Industry-leading businesses strive to achieve optimum cut quality in order to avoid spending time and money on secondary operations. Where nesting is concerned, efficient communication between nesting software and the other components of a cutting table, such as the power supply, torch height control and CNC, can help to significantly facilitate the production of high cut quality. This is because nesting software that are part of an integrated system can incorporate significant cut process intelligence, equivalent to an experienced cutting machine operator.

Conclusion More companies are looking for nesting software such as Hypertherm’s TurboNest, that helps save time and costs by increasing productivity, optimising material utilization, compatibility with multiple cutting systems/processes, and cutting table integration that reduces the need for skilled operator involvement. nextSTEP Visit:





New HPPO facility in Thailand


he Dow Chemical Company has announced that the SCGDow Group, a joint venture between Dow and SCG, has reached a key milestone for the new propylene oxide (PO) facility in Thailand by ramping the plant up to stable production levels in preparation for the full capacity run scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011. The world-scale plant, located within the Asia Industrial Estates (AIE) site near Map Ta Phut, Thailand will have a name plate capacity of 390 kilotons per annum (KTA) of PO via the innovative hydrogen peroxide to propylene oxide (HPPO) technology jointly developed by Dow and BASF.

“The Map Ta Phut, Thailand HPPO plant cements Dow’s existing position as the global capacity leader in PO,” explained Steven English, global vice president, Dow Polyurethanes. “Not only does this large investment exemplify Dow’s commitment to the PO-based industry, we also continue to bring value by investing in the latest technology and offering a more sustainable PO to our customers and our downstream offerings through Dow’s other Performance and Advanced Materials businesses, such as Polyurethanes and Propylene Glycol.” According to Holger Baer, global manufacturing and technology director, PO/PG, “Within three years, this is the second worldscale plant brought on-line with the innovative Dow-BASF HPPO process. It significantly reduces wastewater and energy consumption compared to existing PO technology, and is planned to be utilized next in the Sadara Chemical Company project between Dow and Saudi Aramco due to the clear demonstration of the advantages of this process.” “The start-up of this PO plant has completed the downstream envelope of the SCG-DOW Group joint venture cracker in Thailand which came on-stream last year,” said Cholanat Yanaranop, president, SCG Chemicals Company Limited. “With commitment between the partners, this is proved to be another successful project.” In June of 2010, Dow and BASF were honored to receive a 2010 Presidential Green Chemistry

Challenge Award for the jointly developed innovative HPPO technology – recognized as a breakthrough technology that transfers sustainability principles from the research lab into the real world to enable environmentally responsible and economically viable routes to commercial chemical manufacturing. In 2009, Dow and BASF received the Institution of Chemical Engineers’ Innovation and Excellence Award in Core Engineering for their jointly developed HPPO Technology – recognized as the process that best demonstrates a chemical engineering solution to improve resource efficiency, lifetime value and/or process optimization. In December 2010, Dow announced plans to build a propylene glycol (PG) plant at the Map Ta Phut, Thailand site, with a production capacity of 150 KTA. The PG plant is currently ontrack in the design process, and will utilize this environmentally advantaged PO from the new HPPO plant. It will be the largest PG plant in the Pacific area. The AIE site also features a specialty elastomers plant, which announced start-up earlier this year; power utilities and infrastructure; and a new liquids cracker, also jointly owned by SCG and Dow. “The new integrated Thailand site serves as a strategic source point for all of Asia Pacific, and demonstrates Dow’s commitment to growing our presence to serve customers in our Performance Materials and Performance Plastics businesses across the area,” said Pat Dawson, Dow Asia Pacific president.

Dow is the world’s largest producer of propylene oxide (PO), propylene glycol (PG), and polyether polyols, and is a leading producer of quality aromatic isocyanates, such as MDI and TDI. Dow’s polyurethane products enhance a broad range of applications including construction, automotive, furniture, bedding, appliance, decorative molding, athletic equipment and more. The business provides key ingredients, systems and solutions for rigid, semi-rigid and flexible foams, adhesives, sealants, coatings, elastomers and binders. VORANOL™ VORACTIV™ polyols exemplify Dow’s ongoing initiative to lead the industry in providing highperformance products that meet critical consumer needs. Dow combines the power of science and technology with the “Human Element” to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technologybased products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. Continues page 16



www.flowfor u




Spotlight on plant processes and safety SINGAPORE:


he longstanding challenge in streamlining operations and improving process automation to achieve optimal operations has never been more pressing than in recent years. Companies from the offshore and energy sectors, to chemical manufacturing plants and the utilities sectors all seek to achieve greater outputs, greater OPEX savings and reduced energy costs in order to stay competitive in the long term.

This quest to improve plant process performance with increased productivity and lower maintenance and operation costs has driven them to seek new applications and innovative solutions to realise operational reliability and sustainability, and better process automation results. The Plant Process and Safety Conference, to be held from 22 - 23 November 2011 at Suntec Singapore, targets to delve into these current challenges and offer many expert insights to industry professionals through various case studies and presentations to be shared by industry practitioners and industry experts. The two-day conference comprises three critical sessions - Operations Reliability & Sustainability, Process Automation and Plant Safety. Delegates can look forward to an in-depth case study on how optimising operation costs (OPEX) can lead to significant savings, updates on WirelessHART (IEC

62591) the international standard for wireless in process applications, and key topics on design solutions, process engineering and process control systems on day one. The conference on day two will expound on innovative strategies for plant safety practices, addressing safety lapses and the avoidance of losses and company reputation. The speakers will also tackle issues on risk management, risk mitigation and relating safety to business profitability performances. Optimising energy usage for sustainable development Despite emission reductions in developed countries between 1990 and 2010, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emission increased by 45 per cent during the same period, reaching an all-time high of 33 billion tonnes in 2010[1]. Continuous growth in developing countries will spur even higher consumption of energy and resources, consequently adding on to the environmental challenges

From page 14

New HPPO facility in Thailand

In 2010, Dow had annual sales of $53.7 billion and employed approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. SCG, established in 1913, is publicly listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. SCG is one of ASEAN leading conglomerates, comprises five core businesses:

chemicals; cement; paper; building materials; and distribution. Altogether, there are over 200 companies within the group, which collectively employ more than 34,000 employees, and manufacture over 64,000 products. SCG Chemicals continues to expand its business presence into international markets, and places a strong emphasis on innovation in products/services, processes, and business models in service of its diverse and sophisticated customer base. In addition, SCG Chemicals has partnered with a number of the world’s leading chemical firms.

faced globally. Though not a new notion, sustainable development through energy efficiency has gained rapid momentum as the world undergoes climate change, resource depletion and massive amounts of waste generated. Adoption of a green, low energy consumption and low carbon emission approach has been accepted as the longterm and sustainable solution companies can carry out in order to ensure continuity. The Sustainable Development through Energy Management Conference on 24 November 2011 presents professional viewpoints on how businesses can benefit from devoting their resources in sustainable development and energy efficiency practices. This one-day conference will impart case studies from industry leaders Ricoh and Mantech, and present constructive topics like insights into Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and carbon footprinting of products and services and sustainable design for plants, among others. Responsible waste stewardship seminar by CHWMEG Held in conjunction with the Plant Processes and Safety Conference and Sustainable Development through Energy Management Conference; the Responsible Waste Stewardship Seminar organised by CHWMEG Inc. will educate delegates on the concepts of responsible waste stewardship, real-world experiences in environmental sustainability and sustainable waste management and technologies. All conferences will be held alongside Asia’s leading scientific, environmental and analytical technology event, CIA2011, EnviroAsia2011 and AnaLabAsia2011 at Suntec Singapore from 22 - 25 November 2011. nextSTEP visit, www. and u




Thailand preferred green location BANGKOK:


atureWorks LLC, the world’s leading bioplastics manufacturer, has announced that Thailand’s largest chemical producer, PTT Chemical Public Company Limited (PTT Chemical) is investing US$150 million in NatureWorks. NatureWorks supplies its broad family of renewable Ingeo(TM) biopolymers made from plants to plastics and fibers markets worldwide. PTT Chemical’s investment in NatureWorks, until now wholly owned by Cargill, is subject to regulatory approval. “The Thai Government encourages an investment in green chemicals, and particularly bioplastics, which has high growth potential in the Southeast Asian market,” said Thailand’s Minister of Energy H.E. Mr. Pichai Naripthaphan.” By attracting what could be the most advanced biopolymer processing plant in the world to Thailand, PTT Chemical has made a significant step in achieving Thailand’s strategic objectives of becoming a regional hub for green technologies and solutions.”

while offering more green product choices to the customer to fulfill our responsibility as the ‘Power for a Sustainable Future’ for Thailand and all stakeholders,” said Mr. Nuttachat Charuchinda, the Chief Operating Officer, Downstream Petroleum Business Group of PTT Public Company Limited. “PTT Chemical is keen to play a role in pioneering a world-scale bioplastics industry with the aim to become a global leader by 2020 and push Thailand to become an Asian bio-hub.”

“This is a significant investment by a leading chemical company, which will allow NatureWorks to continue its aggressive growth while expanding its capacity to meet global demand for biobased products. PTT Chemical’s investment demonstrates a significant milestone in moving Ingeo bio-based plastics and fibers to the polymer mainstream,” said Marc Verbruggen, President and Chief Executive Officer of NatureWorks.

“PTT Chemical reinforces NatureWorks’ leadership position and proven track record in bringing cost effective biopolymer innovations to the global marketplace,” said Mr. Veerasak Kositpaisal, President and Chief Executive Officer of PTT Chemical. “NatureWorks is currently the forefront producer of bio-based products with commercially viable production volumes, competitive costing and a global customer base. Our investment in the company and its Ingeo technology platform for plastics and fibers is in line with our long-term strategic green growth and diversification objectives.”

“PTT Chemical’s investment supports NatureWorks intent to globalize its Ingeo manufacturing capability by building a new production facility in Thailand, supporting our Asian customer base and delivering on our commitment to renewable feedstock diversification. We anticipate bringing the new plant online in 2015 and expect to announce further details on this expansion later this year.” “This investment will strengthen PTT Chemical’s green growth strategy towards sustainable development by integrating more renewable and environmentally friendly materials in its portfolio,

“Ingeo offers the performance of conventional plastics and fibers with a fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions and lower nonrenewable energy requirements. Because it is made from renewable plant material, Ingeo has inherently more stable pricing, contrasting sharply to the massive price swings observed from fossil based polymers,” explained Mr. Kositpaisal. Over the past several years, NatureWorks has seen steady 25

to 30 percent increases in annual product demand. In the last two years, NatureWorks doubled its Ingeo supply availability by bringing online additional production capacity at its Blair, Neb., processing facility. “The proposed new Ingeo facility in Thailand would be NatureWorks’ second production plant,” Marc Verbruggen added. More than 100 leading consumer brands and retailers in the United States, Europe and Asia currently offer Ingeo based product innovations in such categories as flexible and rigid packaging, food service-ware, durable consumer products, apparel, home textiles and personal care and hygiene products. An Ingeo innovation display gallery, presented in conjunction with last year’s COP16 climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico , showcased a selection of commercially available, low-carbon-footprint Ingeo products produced by such international brands as Avianca, Electrolux, Henkel, NEC, Shiseido, Stonyfield and Walmart. NatureWorks LLC is a company dedicated to meeting the world’s needs today without compromising the earth’s ability to meet the needs of tomorrow. With a current Ingeo capacity of 140,000 tons, NatureWorks LLC is the first company to offer a family of commercially available low carbon footprint biopolymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources with performance and economics that compete with oil-based plastics and fibers. NatureWorks Continues page 18




PolyU green technology keep drivers cool


reat news for drivers! They can now continue to keep the air-conditioning system on during the hot sunny days even when they stop the vehicle and switch off the engine. In collaboration with Green Power Industrial Ltd, PolyU’s Department of Electrical Engineering has developed an innovative air-conditioning system for vehicles that can turn scorching summer heat into cool air without a single drop of gasoline. Motorists are so used to turn on the engine for airconditioning. Our solarpowered air-conditioning system for vehicles (SAV) will break this convention. Featuring photovoltaic technology and intelligent power control, SAV switches on-board airconditioner to solar power when petrol engine shuts off, and the switch-over is automatic and seamless. Principal investigator of this project Prof Eric Cheng explained, “Drivers of minibuses or taxis can now switch off the engine but continue to stay cool while waiting for passengers at the station. In fact, our system helps extend the operation of air-conditioner for two more hours.” Prof Cheng further stressed that this device can also give good power output even during cloudy or rainy days.

panels on the rooftop of the vehicle to collect power for storage in a battery to support a standalone electric air-conditioning unit when the car engine is not running. The solar panel is made from bendy materials which can fit perfectly on any vehicle rooftop, giving it a sleek appearance. It also serves as a good thermal insulation for the interior and other valuable equipments inside the vehicle.

Similar to a big solar charger, this system has solar photovoltaic

Idling not only pollutes the air, but is also bad for the engine as it

From page 17

Thailand preferred green location

production of Ingeo uses significantly less non-renewable energy, and generates significantly lower CO2 emissions than all traditional oil based polymers.

global environmental standards under its vision to be the “Leading chemical company for better living through innovative technology and people.

NatureWorks remains wholly owned by Cargill pending regulatory approval of the agreement. www.natureworksllc. com

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to sharing our global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges. u

PTT Chemical Public Company Limited is a fully-integrated petrochemical and chemical company, combining visionary leadership and innovation in the chemical industry. PTT Chemical aspires to develop sustainable growth based on social benefit and

may contaminate engine oil and accelerate the deterioration of engine components due to higher operational temperature and unnecessary prolonged operation. According to recent statistics, leaving a vehicle on idle for as short as 10 minutes a day will consume an average of 100 litres of petrol in one year [1]. In other words, adopting our SAV can help save drivers’ petrol and fuel cost. PolyU’s President Prof Timothy W. Tong hailed the device as a practical solution that could benefit thousands of professional drivers and pedestrians in the city. The installation of our SAV on a Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong truck was first announced in October last year. A series of testing on the road have proven the system robust and effective. To make another milestone on the road to green transport, the system is now being widely deployed in public transport such as minibuses and taxis, as well as some commercial vehicles including an operation truck of the Airport Authority Hong Kong. “We look forward to having more fruitful collaboration with Green Power Industrial Ltd and other industrial partners to build a low-carbon city. Together, we can jointly make a contribution for sustainable development of our community,” said Prof Tong. As part of an on-going mission in advancing technology that safeguards natural resources and our ecosystem, SAV is the latest from a stream of PolyU’s green innovations with an aim to reduce harmful emissions and eliminate the effects of climate change. This system has also brought home two international awards from the 39th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in April this year. This accolade will certainly serve as recognition of the hard work, the know-how and the dedication that PolyU researchers have put in creating meaningful innovations that move us towards a sustainable society. u

the interview



How Hypertherm has grown Since Hypertherm set foot in Asia in 1997, how has the business grown? HYPERTHERM first entered Asia in 1991 by setting up a Singapore subsidiary. Since then, we’ve expanded across the region and now have a business presence in five Asian countries, namely China, India, Japan, Korea and Singapore. In 1997, Hypertherm made a beachhead into the China market, with the appointment of distributors. Since then, the business grew, and in 2004, we set up a Chinese trading office to better support our customers. A warehouse was established a year later in 2005. At the same time, the company continued to develop our presence in the other Asian markets. In 2000, we appointed a Japanese sales manager to expand the business in Japan. In 2006, Hypertherm appointed a Korean sales manager, and a technical support engineer was added about a year later. In 2007, we hired local representatives in India to better support this market with local language technical capabilities, and close proximity to customers. Business in Asia advanced steadily as we increased our presence in the region. Sales from the region contributed a mere 4% to our global revenue in 2001. The percentage has now multiplied almost sevenfold to a sizeable 27%. This, however, is not unexpected since two of the world’s largest developing economies – China and India – and some large industrial economies, are located in Asia. We are constantly on the lookout for expansion opportunities, and have plans to set up more offices in Asia. For one, we will have a

physical office and training centre in Delhi, India, later this year or in early 2012. This will reinforce our presence and improve our support offering to customers. Where did Hypertherm see the greatest growth in the region, and what were some notable trends there? I THINK what’s notable is the growth that we have seen in China. The shipbuilding boom prior to 2008 was a period of large expansion as the country strived to conquer that industry, with sights set on being the top shipbuilding nation in the world. This aspiration set up the rivalry amongst the three largest shipbuilding countries in the world (China, Japan and Korea), and fueled the development of shipbuilding in other Asian economies as well. Subsequently, the Chinese government’s stimulus for infrastructure development to counter the global crisis raised the demand for construction equipment. This resulted in an expansionary growth in Asia’s construction equipment industry, with China leading the pack. Apart from these large movers, growth in other segments of the business in China contributed significantly to the overall growth as well. Amongst them are mining, railway, structural steel, and so on. The growth in our Indian business across various industries was also significant. Most seemed to be associated with productivity

Since Hypertherm set foot in Asia in 1997, how has the business grown?

Soo Kam Tatt, Director, Asia, Hypertherm growth, where there is now a drive for businesses to be more efficient, and they have started to adopt higher technology in order to achieve their goals. This push for greater productivity originated from the private sector, MNCs and local companies alike, where there was an upward spike for more to be accomplished within the same period of time. Some of these were export-driven, and others were the result of the infrastructural development and growth within the country. As demand increased, manufacturers recognized the need to produce goods faster, without compromising quality, in order to match the changing requirements. As a result, companies in India began their search to increase productivity gains, and maybe in many instances, to achieve this productivity gain within the confines of the space that they currently have. Therefore, technology adoption was an answer to these needs. And so began an era of plasma technology adoption where more companies embraced our cutting systems in order to increase productivity.




the interview

a How would you say the metal

cutting industry fared in 2011, globally and regionally? I THINK the metal cutting industry fared generally well on both fronts. Regionally, economies were buoyant until Q3, and the segments that were flourishing needed metal cutting equipment. So the metal cutting industry as a whole should have done well. But of course, there were varying degrees of growth, and some companies did better than others. With a global situation where Asia has led the growth path for most of the year, there is definitely more competition entering the region, all of whom are seeking their share of this pie. For the remainder of the year, the situation is unpredictable as indications of a potential slowdown seem imminent. Which industries have impacted the metal cutting business the most this past year, and how?

IN 2011, China’s governmentsponsored infrastructure development has definitely influenced the metal cutting industry positively. The heightened demand for construction equipment, including structural steel for infrastructure development, pushed manufacturers to increase output, improve productivity and enhance quality, which in turn raised the demand for high technology cutting equipment. Elsewhere in the region, some resurgence in shipbuilding occurred with demand from oil and gas sector for platforms and gas carriers. Lastly, the mining sector has also witnessed growth with demand for commodities rising in-line with worldwide expansion.

What are some of the recent and larger challenges that Hypertherm has faced in the region, and what was done to overcome or mitigate these issues? IN OUR largest regional market, China, end-users have higher expectations than before. There are a number of key factors that affect their purchasing decisions – equipment performance excellence and service support quality. And as the country develops, there will also be a greater emphasis on protecting the environment too, as China moves towards pursuing green initiatives in its contribution to reduce its carbon footprint. This will have an impact on all businesses that supply goods to Chinese companies, which are increasingly in tune with the environmental impact of their processes. As a company, Hypertherm has always looked at how we can reduce the cost of cutting metal. Over the years, Hypertherm has launched new products that supersede their respective predecessors in terms of reliability, performance and cut quality. We have introduced automation in the cutting processes that reduces reliance on skilled manual intervention with our suite of products working seamlessly to achieve consistent results. These technological enhancements offer improvement in productivity and cost savings in operations, with faster cutting capability, longer consumable life and, to some extent, peace of mind in operation. Combined with lower electrical consumption, these benefit our customers in their search for productivity improvements and improve their contribution towards reducing environmental impact. In India, as our install base grows and the number of channel partners increases, one of the

the interview challenges we have is “reach” because the country is large, and the supporting infrastructure is a constant challenge for us. Travelling to a channel partner or an end-user’s facility can require quite a bit of time and effort as these are located throughout the country with some in remote areas. The Indian government has addressed this in recent years, and has started to pursue various means to overcome problems posed by the lack of infrastructure, so this is a good start for us. On our part, we have started to spread our sales and technical service engineer locations in Chennai, Delhi and Pune, to allow us to be closer to our customers. In this way, we can respond quickly to their support requests. Even with these separately located offices, we are sometimes still overwhelmed by support requests as they are normally varied. So, travelling will still be an issue to deal with. Apart from transportation, customs bureaucracy, although improved, still present some challenges to navigate through. It is the procedure of India, and we will need to respect and abide with these, as goods are imported into the country. What have been some demands that are unique to Hypertherm’s customers in Asia, with regards to their cutting needs and to available technologies on the market? CUSTOMERS in China are costconscious but with a leaning towards cut quality and reliability. In terms of cut quality, they expect good fast cuts at low costs, with minimal interruptions or downtime. This makes reliability an important factor. Customers look for a dependable product of reputable quality, and should there be a need for support, a quick response for on-site support is demanded.


Pertaining to environmental sustainability issues, the OEM normally collaborates with manufacturers of complementary products to reduce fumes and noise. Although China has not adopted certain regulatory standards as other countries have, Hypertherm products meet the requirements of European regulations, such as the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) Directive, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive and REACH regulations, at our manufacturing base in the US. We believe that we’re well on track to meet the demands of Chinese companies as they start to adopt these environmental regulations. Elsewhere in the region, amongst Indian companies, there is a general expectation that assistance is readily available from the supplier to assist them with problems arising on their systems. As such, it is important for Hypertherm to provide constant and timely support in the form of training, phone and site support to our channel partners. This will ensure that they are well-equipped and capable to attend to the needs of the end-users. What significant technological advances did the industry see this year? MANUFACTURERS of various cutting technologies are in constant pursuit of producing systems that enhance productivity and cut quality, and the top two thermal cutting choices are

What impact will this trend in technology advancement have on Hypertherm’s business?


plasma and laser. Laser cutting has gained popularity in recent years with customers pursuing higher cut quality, even for thicker materials. With lasers, there was greater exposure to the newer fiber laser systems apart from CO2 lasers. Comparatively, the former is less cumbersome in beam delivery without the mirrors and lenses, and is easier to maintain. But at the same time, plasma remains a popular choice because of its versatility, in terms of the materials and range of thicknesses that it can handle. The metal cutting industry will continue to be dominated by these two cutting technologies, at least in the foreseeable future. But the question of how much market share laser and plasma will take from each other remains. There will no doubt be advances in both technologies over the years, so the competition will continue to be based on needs versus capital cost. As laser becomes more widely accepted, economies of scale will drive production costs down, so that gap between the initial capital costs of laser and plasma will be narrowed. And when buyers’ thresholds are reached, it is likely that laser will dominate a larger spectrum of the cutting market than they do today. What impact will this trend in technology advancement have on Hypertherm’s business? PLASMA is more established in the field of metal cutting because of its ability to cut a greater range of material thicknesses. So, if more adopt this technology, there is a potential benefit for us. On the other hand, if more users lean towards laser cutting, there’s likely to be a positive impact in the long run for Hypertherm too. Besides our business in plasma, we have recently developed fiber laser cutting systems. Traditional




the interview

laser is better established, a CO2 and fiber laser has not reached

reserves that can be used, if necessary, to help stimulate the economy. This would be helpful as witnessed in the 2008 downturn where China came forward with a stimulus package that propelled the Chinese economy till today.

the level of thickness that the former is able to cut. Because fiber laser is a new technology that is easy to install and operate, it has become well-accepted. But the technology is currently limited by the thickness it is able to cut. Further development will increase its ability and, we believe, will widen the scope of applications in which fiber laser can be used. Why did your company decide to manufacture laser cutting systems in addition to plasma? HYPERTHERM produces thermal cutting technologies with a single-minded pursuit to cut the cost of cutting metal. Today, with the different thermal cutting technologies available, there is almost a defined range where each type is applied successfully, according to the capability of the cutting technology and the needs and expectations of customers. This range will continue to overlap each other as the technologies advance. At Hypertherm, we feel that both plasma and laser complement each other as they serve different end-user needs and expectations. At the same time, both allow us to pursue technological advances to fulfill our mission to reduce the cost of cutting metal. The world in general is experiencing economic troubles – how do you think this will affect


What are the company’s plans for your business in Asia for 2012, and beyond?

the metal cutting industry? With the economic problems occurring in Europe and US, there will be an influence on the business operations worldwide as we are more connected globally today. Earlier in the year, Asia was running almost autonomously with many feeling that the region is “decoupled” from the rest of the world. Strangely as it seems, financial and economic matters do cross borders and will affect sovereign countries in the form of foreign exchange or inflation, etc. In turn, these will impact businesses and industries in the form of available credit, costs, and so on. Most important of all, the confidence in decision-making for investments will be affected. It is difficult to gauge the extent of the impact on the metal cutting industry. But we are fortunate, in some sense, that Asia is the largest steel consuming region in the world and a good proportion of the Asian countries have sufficient

What can metal cutting users expect from industry suppliers like Hypertherm in the next few years?

IN 2012, we will be relocating our office in Shanghai to a larger one in the same city in order to incorporate superior training facilities. This will allow us to better equip our customers with the necessary technical skills for operating our systems. Also, there are plans to expand organizationally in China to cater to the increased demands in the market place. Hypertherm will continue to pursue remote offices to be closer to our customers. Also, later this year or in early 2012, we will be setting up a demonstration and training centre in Delhi. This will allow us to improve our service support to our channel partners by way of training, to improve their technical skills and sales techniques. Organizationally, we will review the need for more support personnel in India as Hypertherm gets more entrenched in the India cutting market. What can metal cutting users expect from industry suppliers like Hypertherm in the next few years? WE WILL continually produce cutting systems that meet our customers’ needs and expectations. Whether in plasma or laser, Hypertherm will strive for innovations that will continue to place us in the forefront of technological leadership. With continued advancements in technologies, and with our own targeted research & development efforts, we are confident of producing systems that will meet a variety of industry needs in the future. u


conferences and events


7TH Indo-POWER 4-6 April, 2012 -- Jakarta, Indonesia



his is Indonesia’s premier International Exhibition on Power Generation & Transmission, PV Power, Energy & Renewable Energy.

With the great successes of `POWER series of Exhibitions’ in South & South-East Asia, CEMSGlobal, with a reputation as a Multinational Exhibition organiser, brings the best Trade Shows on the most important of Industry topics. They brought the `Power series of Exhibitions’ to Indonesia in 2011 and are pleased to present once again `7th Indo-POWER 2012 International Expo’, set to be Indonesia’s premier International exhibition on Power Generation & Transmission, PV Power, Energy and Renewable Energy. The exhibition will bring together specialists engaging in the Power Engineering Industry and leading manufacturers and distributors from all over the world to Indonesia.

To create more platforms for the Renewable Energy sector and Electronics associated to Power & Energy, CEMS-Global & Kristamedia Exhibitions have further announced well defined segmented concurrent exhibitions which will be held alongside `7th Indo-Power 2012 International Expo’, namely, `Indo-Renewable Energy 2012 Expo’, `Indo PV Power 2012 Expo’ and `Indo E-Power 2012 Expo’. With the ever-growing power and energy needs of Indonesia there is a need to explore opportunities in the Power, Energy, PV (Photo Voltaic) and Renewable Energy sectors of the country. The `7th IndoPOWER 2012’ will be the perfect B2B platform for the entire Power & Energy Industry of Indonesia

including Indonesian Industry stakeholders who will attend and get the opportunity to see the latest technologies and innovations in the Power Generation and Energy sector, thus delivering a great networking opportunity. 7th Indo-POWER 2012 will provide the Exhibitors a not-tobe-missed opportunity to further establish business contacts and meet face-to-face and interact directly with visiting Trade Delegations, Industrialists, Importers, Distributors and Agencies. A great B2B platform and a unique opportunity in a rapidly developing Industry sector where investments are on the rise with new Industrialization making Indonesia a very important Business destination in South-East Asia.

Exhibiting at 7th Indo-POWER 2012 will open your doors to the entire Industry of Indonesia and is an event you cannot afford to miss.u

“Decode security automation” conference held in Shanghai SHANGHAI:


he leading industrial automation power, control and information solutions provider, Rockwell Automation in Shanghai, held a grand “decode security automation” conference.

In this event, Rockwell Automation, and a number of specially invited internationally renowned security experts interpreted the users the latest security standards, closer to the user with the current international security trends and technologies distance. From Rockwell Automation’s senior management, industry experts, equipment manufacturers, end users, system integrators, industry association leaders and many other professionals, gathered together, for in-depth analysis of safety trends, discuss the best case and how to master the security key into productivity. Rockwell Automation has over a hundred years of industrial automation solutions for global manufacturers and provides a

comprehensive security solution from the safety switch to safety light curtains, carpets, security scanners, safety relays, safety from PLC, from safety contactors to function with safety off the inverter and servo drives. According to a recent ARC Advisory Group’s market report Rockwell Automation solutions for machine and process safety is number one in the world. In this meeting, Rockwell Automation invited Mike Miller, Rich Boyd, and JB Titus three in the security field with 30 years experience as senior international experts. They are also TÜV certified functional safety experts (CFSE), part-time authorities of ANSI (American National Standards Institute), NEMA (USA National Electrical

Manufacturers Association), IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). Experts with the audience shared many years’ personal experiences, from the modern concept of machine safety, security and efficiency for achieving a common upgrade, such as life cycle analysis of multiple levels of security, combined with the best case, to open up the user’s application ideas. In today’s market, to tap every opportunity in a competitive position is very important; security is no short cut.  Advanced technology and industry standards in the stimulation of change, integration of safety and standard control platform for single-system design, implementation and maintenance has been significantly simplifiedbased DeviceNet, ControlNet and EtherNet / IP, and CIP Safety, can Continues page 26




Grabbing global farmland


n extraordinary new process has been at work in the past few years: the aggressive entry of Indian corporations into the markets for agricultural land in Africa. At one level, this process is simply following the hoary old tradition in global capitalism, of firms (often supported by the governments of the originating countries) entering new areas in search of access to natural resources on preferential terms. Several centuries ago, the growth of plantation agriculture in large parts of the western hemisphere was essentially the product of such a process. This was further facilitated by cross-border movements of labour (in the extreme case of African labour through slavery, then through indentured labour contracts largely from South Asia, then through supposedly more ‘’free’’ movements driven by lack of adequate income opportunities in the home countries). Together these flows generated production and trade patterns that were critical in shaping the international division of labour by the mid-twentieth century. In more recent cases, multinational agribusiness companies from Europe and the United States have been active for more than a decade now, acquiring prime agricultural land in developing countries to grow cash crops and biofuels that benefited from substantial subsidies provided by developed country governments. But recently, this global land rush has become even more competitive, with companies from developing Asia, and particularly China and India, joining the scramble for acquiring land. A new research study by Rick Rowden (‘’India’s role in the new global farmland grab’’, GRAIN and ERF, at http://www.macroscan. org/anl/aug11/pdf/Rick_Rowden. pdf) provides some often startling insights into this process, particularly with respect to Indian companies and the explicit and implicit encouragement provided by the Government of India.

Most of the Indian companies involved in such land purchase and lease arrangements have thus far been focussed on Africa, but South America is also seen as a promising new destination. And integrated Indian oilseeds firms have already invested in South East Asia, in operations ranging from plantation cultivation to the processing of edible oils for export. Looking at the East African region alone, based on data provided by governments in the region, Rowden finds that more than 80 Indian companies have already invested about $2.4 billion in buying or leasing huge plantations in countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Senegal and Mozambique. The land will be used to grow food grains and other cash crops for the global market, and in some cases specifically for the Indian market. It is not just the allure for Indian foreign investors of much cheaper land and the promise of more abundant water sources in these locations that have driven these investments. It is interesting to note that many governments in the African region have actively courted Indian and other agricultural investors. They have typically offered incentives, ranging from the permission to lease massive tracts of arable land at very generous terms and providing access to water, to promising the firms that they will be allowed to export all output and have the ability to repatriate all profits. The Indian government, for its part, has both facilitated and encouraged such investment,

seeing it as a way out of land availability issues and increasing problems of water shortage facing Indian agriculture. In addition to leading trade missions and supporting various initiatives to facilitate Indian agricultural companies in their overseas investments in Africa and elsewhere, it has progressively liberalised the rules on outward FDI by India companies. The Eximbank has provided lines of credit and soft loans not only to African governments, but also to Indian companies engaged in such transactions. Ironically, many of these Indian companies operating in Africa are engaging in activities that involve huge displacement of farmers and changing patterns of production and consumption that would either be difficult or impossible for them to do in India. They would either be illegal or get embroiled in very significant political controversies because of the negative impact on local people. Take, for instance, one of the most high profile of recent deals, the acquisition of around 300,000 hectares of land on long lease in the Gambela region of Ethiopia by the Indian firm Karuturi Global Ltd. The claim is that this was all surplus, or unutilized land that will now be used for more efficient and productive cultivation. But this is fiercely contested by several local analysts, who point out that there is no such thing as ‘’idle land’’ in Ethiopia, or indeed anywhere else in Africa. It is well known that competition for grazing land and access to water bodies are the two most

focus important sources of conflict between different pastoral communities in Ethiopia, and in all such cases of land lease involving foreign enterprises, there have been complaints by locals of loss of access to grazing land and water. There have been many cases of loss of cultivated land as well as homestead land in the process, leading to simmering discontent that has not yet been able to find political voice. Further, since the new cultivation practices will be highly mechanized, there will necessarily be quite substantial displacement of labour from the traditional smaller-sized farms that will have lost land. And cultivation of the traditional staple food crop teff has already been affected, leading to significant increases in local prices of this basic food crop which forms part of the subsistence diet of most Ethiopians. Meanwhile, there are also growing environmental concerns about the pattern of cultivation that has been promoted through these new arrangements. The large scale and heavily mechanised monocropping farms that are being created typically depend upon high levels of water usage and involve heavy doses of pesticides and herbicides that can pollute nearby groundwater, all of which can rapidly deplete soil quality.


100,000,000 birr (equivalent to $59.28 per hectare) for full use of prime agricultural land, with yearly rent of only $1.18 per hectare! The five contracts analysed all mention that that the companies have the right to build dams, water boreholes and irrigation systems as they see fit. But there is no mention of paying for this water, how much water would used or over what period of time, how the usage would be monitored, or what the environmental impacts would be on surrounding areas regarding the water that would diverted for use by the companies. With fixed term leases, the implications for over-exploitation of this critical resource are obvious. As a sign of how attractive the Ethiopian government is seeking to make such investments, the contracts all provide for ‘’Special investment privileges such as exemptions from taxation and import duties on capital goods and repatriation of capital and profits granted under the investment laws of Ethiopia.’’ None of these five contracts for the Indian companies mention labour laws or specify any wages or working conditions for their local employees. There is no obligation to dedicate any portion of the produced crops to the domestic market for local consumption.


Rowden points out that ‘’the contract for Karuturi suggests the Government of Ethiopia will evict any local people who are in the way of the commercial project, by force if necessary. Although this land has been or still is home to thousands of Ethiopian citizens, Article 6.1 of the contract states: ‘’The lessor [Government of Ethiopia] shall be obliged to deliver and hand over the vacant possession of leased land free of impediments.’’ Arguably local people who are unwilling to leave their land could be construed as ‘’impediments’’ and the lessor is now contractually obligated to ensure they are not a problem for the company. Article 6.6 seems to suggest the Government will provide police or military action against any resistance: ‘’The lessor [Government] shall ensure during the period of lease, the lessee [Karuturi] shall enjoy peaceful and trouble free possession of the premises and it shall be provided adequate security, free of cost, for carrying out its entire activities in the said premises, against any riot, disturbance or any other turbulent time other than force majeure, as and when requested by the Lessee.’’

What is even worse is that the contracts signed provide a high degree of protection for the companies with low responsibility for any adverse effects, and scant respect for the rights of those affected by the contracts. Rowden’s study provides detailed analysis of several contracts, including that of Karuturi Global Ltd. with the government of Ethiopia.

In all the contracts analysed, the Indian companies have the ‘’right’’ to provide power health clinics, schools, etc., but these are not listed under ‘’obligations’’ of the investors. Nor do the contracts specify for whom these services might be provided – the local population or for those of company workers. Since this is merely a non-enforceable right, the companies may choose to not act on it.

All these features point to a frightening new tendency with respect to land acquisition by Indian companies. As democratic processes in India force both Indian corporations and the Government to take into account the rights of local citizens, issues of compensation and rehabilitation of those displaced, environmental concerns, the conditions of workers, and other related aspects, there is an attempt to export the problem by encouraging these companies to undertake land grabs elsewhere in the developing world.

According to Karuturi’s signed lease agreement for the first 100,000 hectares, it has been given the land for 50 years at a cost of total cost of only

One of the most disturbing features of the contracts relates to the displacement, the very aspect that is currently the cause of so many intense disputes in India.

Surely all those who would fight such irresponsible and exploitative corporate behaviour in India must raise their voices against this tendency as well. At the very least,





have to express solidarity with a we those like Obang Metho, Director

as a fellow human as I call you to join our effort to stop the plundering of Ethiopia and Africa by African dictators, their cronies and their foreign partners-some of whom are Indian-who are hungry for our resources but care little for our people. …Will you help work within India to bring greater transparency and compliance

of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), who in an ‘’Open Letter to the People of India’’ asked for the citizens of India to take steps to stop the harmful land grabbing by Indian companies in Ethiopia:

‘’I come to you first and foremost

with whatever protective laws and safeguards are in place in India?’’ This is important for Indian democracy not only because of the broader humanist considerations outlined by Metho, but also because without this solidarity, the struggle for greater economic justice within India will also be undermined. u

“Decode security automation” conference held in Shanghai

From page 23

greatly improve standard and safety control function integration, and enhance the security of the entire system visualisation; to achieve a higher level of functional safety and get the appropriate benefits, the system designer must design the security system used in a rigorous and practical approach functional safety life cycle (in the standard IEC 61508 and IEC 62061 in the definition) will provide a detailed application for the machine and more system design process.

will be able to provide customised applications with specific security features. This can reduce the cost and complexity, enhance the sustainability of the machine, and also help to define the safety circuit or function better security, resulting in a higher return on investment. As Rockwell Automation (China) Co., Ltd. Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Tao’s opening remarks at the meeting stated: “In recent years, Rockwell Automation continues to strengthen security features - including machinery and process safety as a leading force in the field in the past years. Global safety standards have made great

Looking for manufacturers to provide better support for risk analysis is another important aspect, but also a highlight. Based on these more systematic, more deterministic approaches, the user

development, and we help our customers stay ahead of industry standards. We are committed to constantly exceeding customer expectations, to meet rapidly changing customer requirements and the manufacturing business objectives of the security system. “ Through this meeting, users learned from Rockwell Automation safety risk assessment to the control loop design, to the cycle of functional safety, advanced and flexible fully integrated security solution. Excellent expert speakers, practical demonstrations of safe automation, in order to bring a fresh feel, and experience to the Rockwell Automation solution which provides the best choice. u

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business news



JEC Asia 2011 achieves new highs SINGAPORE:


EC Asia 2011 closed its annual session on a vigorous demonstration of the buoyant outlook for the composites industry in Asia currently valued at S$ 31.7 billion (Singapore dollars), US$ 24.8 billion or Euros 18 billion.

The three days of conference and exhibition saw deals and announcements reflecting the dynamism of a market that could represent 51% of the worldwide market in 2015.

A larger offer of new materials “Composites research budgets, either academic or industrial are expanding at rates substantially higher than before, says Mrs Frederique Mutel, President & CEO of JEC Group. The composites sector is forging a bright future with sustainable innovations that were showcased at JEC Asia”. She adds: “We were impressed by the novelties in the field of advanced specialty resins, glass fiber and carbon fiber applied to significant markets. For instance, nanocomposites in energy storage devices for electric cars.”

A wider use of composites products in different markets

A stronger international presence “Considering the remarkable growth trajectory of JEC Asia with larger booths and new exhibitors from North America, Europe, Russia, Middle-East, South Korea and Indonesia, we are committed to delivering another iconic and strategic event next year in Suntec Singapore 26-28 June 2012.” Contact : APOCOPE Audrey LAUTARD & Dorothée DAVID +33 (0)1 45 78 87 37 /

Facts & Figures u 60 represented countries. u 50 scientific and industrial delegations welcomed during the 3 days of the event. u New represented countries: Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Russia, Turkey, USA. u 800 delegates attended the forums and conferences (I.C.S.: Innovative Composites Summit), with a total of 100 papers and presentations.

u 3 new « Business meetings » programs dedicated to the Asian-Pacific stakeholders from Aeronautics, Automotive and Wind Energy. 120 of the most representative companies registered their top buyers. u 345 participating companies, with a +10% increase of the size of their booths and exhibition vs 2010. u 7,000 visitors, 120 stakeholder companies, 800 delegates for the 2011 JEC Asia session.

About JEC Asia JEC Asia is the leading composites platform in the Asia Pacific region that brings together all global composites industry players. Supported by major professional composites associations from Singapore, Australia, China and Taiwan, India, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, and other countries, JEC Asia has secured participation from major companies from all over Asia Pacific and western companies, including leading exhibiting companies from every segment that makes up the value chain of the composites industry. u

“We noted innovative building solutions for infrastructures and construction responding to the huge local needs. For instance, Japan exhibited an emergency house that can be set up in 60 minutes by 4 people in case of tsunami or floodings. Windmills suppliers proposed new high technologies or biobased solutions like bamboo integrated wind blades. Related to this, we can underline that two major wind energy companies recently opened research centers in Singapore.”



business news

Goodman to develop logistics centre


oodman Group will develop a 78,000 sqm logistics centre for e-commerce retailer Zalando at Erfurt’s freight terminal. The development is pre-let on a 16-year lease term. Construction will commence in mid October and delivery is scheduled for August 2012.

“We are very pleased to have secured this latest project and to forge a new relationship with Zalando. This is Goodman’s eighth pre-committed development in Germany this year and demonstrates our leadership position in the development and management of logistics facilities,” said Andreas Fleischer, Goodman’s Country Manager for Germany. The warehouse will offer 71,000 sqm of floor space with 7,000 sqm of associated office and social space. Several hundred parking spaces and 55 truck and trailer spaces have been planned. The new facility will incorporate 46 loading docks, with expansion space available for additional docks to cater for future demand.


The development will accommodate the significant growth in Zalando’s business and facilitate the efficient distribution of their products throughout Germany and Europe. “Zalando is expecting further growth in Germany and in the international markets,” said Rubin Ritter, Managing Director of Zalando. “The development of a built-tosuit logistics centre in Erfurt which is tailor-made to our individual demands is therefore the next logical step in the development of the company,” Mr Ritter added. Since its formation in 2008, Zalando has seen strong growth. The company initially sold only

shoes online, however today offers a full range of fashion items, including clothing and accessories for adults and children, sportswear and equipment and beauty products. The company currently retails more than 1,000 wellknown brands and designer label merchandise. Goodman’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Greg Goodman concluded: “This latest development for Zalando follows three similar developments announced in Germany and France over recent months, which will provide more than 238,000 sqm of new space for online e-commerce provider, Amazon. These deals demonstrate the strong underlying demand for e-commerce fulfillment being experienced in Europe and Goodman’s expertise in delivering tailored logistics and warehousing solutions for customers in this rapidly growing sector.” u

Birth of new AXSON group

he new AXSON group created in 2011 is today bringing together BS Coatings, Revocoat and Axson Technologies to become a world leader in high performance operational polymer formulation.

“Our three businesses together represent a major asset for AXSON’s customers who will now have access to a broader range of solutions,” indicates Charles Churet, Chairman of AXSON. “And every customer will benefit from the synergy of the expertise, R&D facilities and worldwide presence of these three businesses”. AXSON specialises in innovative solutions for design, creation, assembly and protection in industrial transport, energy, water, sports and leisure, construction and infrastructure markets. With its 25 subsidiaries and 16 production and R&D sites,

means we can work in the best conditions to offer our customers local solutions to support their development on-site,” continues Charles CHURET. “Our forecasts are targeting sales figures of around €250 million for 2011.”

The group can rely on the mobilisation of over 800 employees throughout the world. To improve its geographic coverage even further, AXSON also has a well-established, parallel retail network.

AXSON is further strengthening its global presence with the announcement of the construction of a new Revocoat formulation plant in Kolomna, Russia for the local automotive market. It will also be a shared platform for future developments of the group’s three businesses. “This new plant will enable us to double our production capacity compared to the existing plant and also meet growing local demand in the automotive sector,” adds Charles Churet.

“Our international coverage

AXSON continues its international

AXSON has an immediate presence in most industrial countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, India and Africa.


business news



TomTom Buys out JVP in Indonesia omTom announces it is strengthening its position in the Indonesian market by buying out its joint venture partner PT Navindo. Consequently, TomTom increases its ownership from 75% to 100% in PT Tele Atlas Indonesia. This step underlines TomTom’s commitment to making its presence in Indonesia a success and exercise more flexibility in its local operations. The company will be renamed PT TomTom Indonesia.

supplies in-car location and navigation products and services focused on providing all drivers with the world’s best navigation experience. Headquartered in Amsterdam, TomTom has over 3,500 employees and sells its products more than 40 countries.

“This decision is important for TomTom to further strengthen our presence in APAC, providing us with good growth potential for our automotive and licensing customers. We will continue to invest in the quality of our global

Products include portable navigation devices, in-dash infotainment systems, fleet management solutions, maps and real-time services, including the award winning TomTom HD Traffic. u



map database, in our navigation technologies and our leading traffic service,” says Maarten van Gool Managing Director Licensing. Founded in 1991, TomTom

Group completes manufacturing facility



+W Malaysia, a subsidiary of the global engineering and construction company M+W Group, has completed the new paint manufacturing facility for Jotun Malaysia in Nilai.


Jotun Malaysia is a subsidiary of Jotun A/S in Norway. Its new ultra-modern greenfield facility with a gross area of 93,000 square-meters is the largest Jotun plant in the Asia Pacific region. It consists of 15 buildings including a process based solvent based production factory.

Million man-hours without any loss time incident.

M+W Malaysia was responsible for the complete construction project including major civil, structural, architectural, mechanical, electrical and process piping work. The project time from first ground breaking until final completion took about 18 months. The project team achieved an excellent EHS (Environment, Health, Safety) record with 1.95

Jotun Malaysia has been established in 1985. The paint manufacturer has seen high growth year by year in Malaysia. Jotun is one of the world’s leading paint manufacturers with a history of more than 85 years, and a global presence in more than 80 countries. In the Asia-Pacific region Jotun operates eight ISOcertified paint factories producing conventional and sophisticated coatings

development with the announcement of BS Coatings’ acquisition of equity in SIPCO (Saudi Industrial Paint Company). The joint-venture with the Saudi group UNIVEST plans to develop SIPCO’s industrial paints by introducing technologies for the production of BS Coatings’ pipelines under the Eurokote and Endoprene brands for the Middle Eastern market. u

The new Jotun facility has a very own colourant manufacturing plant, the first outside Norway. It is also poised to be the worldwide hub for Jotun’s unique antifouling paints.

M+W Malaysia (M+W High Tech Projects Malaysia) has been established in 1996. Todate with more than 200 employees the M+W Group subsidiary is a regional leader in the design and construction of semiconductor facilities, solar production plants, renewable energies and life science projects. M+W Malaysia is also a recognised champion in

the field of health and safety, and has recently been selected as a Gold recipient in the construction category by the Malaysian Occupational Safety&Health Professionals’ Association ( M+W Group is a leading global engineering, construction and project management company in the fields of Advanced Technology Facilities, Life Science & Chemicals, Energy & Environment Technologies and High-Tech Infrastructure. From concept development to turnkey services the company manages projects of all sizes ensuring rapid realisation, high quality standards and costeffective completion. With its competence to link process and automation technologies and complex facilities to integrated solutions M+W Group primarily focuses on leading companies in the fields of electronics, photovoltaics, life science, chemicals, energy, automotive, security and communication, as well as research institutes and universities. M+W Group GmbH is the holding company with headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. In 2010 M+W Group had a workforce of approximately 6,000 employees.




CAM2 Measure 10 now available


ARO Technologies has released the CAM2 Measure 10, its new measuring software for the FaroArm, ScanArm and FARO Laser Tracker.

CAM2 Measure 10 marks FARO’s return to the successful family of CAM2 Measure software products. This new release is built on the solid foundation of the previous CAM2 Q while also introducing key new features like Live Color Scan for point cloud inspection, Shortcuts and the Easy Move Wizard. These innovative functionalities are designed to improve your measurement processes, whether tactile or scanning, and make CAM2 Measure 10 the first choice in portable measurement software. The Live Color Scan feature adds point cloud inspection support to the already outstanding geometry measurement functionality. Thanks to this new feature, CAM2 Measure 10 users can quickly scan freeform parts using the FARO ScanArm just as easily as they are measuring geometry with a tactile probe. Only in a few steps they can complete a scanning inspection, viewing live color information on their parts as they scan. Another time-saving feature of the new release is Shortcuts. This new feature allows users to create new commands to measure features that are only available through combining measurements and constructions. Shortcuts enable you to record all steps of a complex measurement into a single command that can later be accessed with a mouse click.

will bring the measuring and scanning processes to a new level of efficiency”, stated Antonio Carvalho, Director of Software Product Management at FARO. FARO is a global technology company that develops and markets computer-aided coordinate measurement devices and software. Portable equipment from FARO permits high-precision 3D measurement and comparison of parts and compound structures within production and quality assurance processes. The devices are used for inspecting components and assemblies, production planning, inventory documentation, as well as for investigation and reconstruction of accident sites or crime scenes. They are also employed to generate digital scans of historic sites.

The Easy Move Wizard is a great assistance for measuring large parts when the need to reposition the device is often necessary to complete a measurement. The complexity of finding the correct target correspondence is taken away from the operator, cutting down on the time required for the repositioning and, at the same time, removing the risk of human error. Designed to make tactile and scanning measurements easier, CAM2 Measure 10 also features an elegant and intuitive interface that enables users to customize the layout window optimizing the measurement workflow. “To further increase the productivity of our existing and potential customers we developed a new software solution which combines new outstanding, useful and unique features with an unparalleled ease of use. The new CAM2 Measure 10

With FARO, 3D measurement and documentation needs can be fulfilled confidently. As a pioneer and market leader in portable computer-aided measurement, FARO consistently applies the latest advances in technology to make its industry-leading product offerings more accurate, reliable, and easy to use. The focus is on simplifying workflow with tools that empower customers, thereby dramatically reducing the on-site measuring time and lowering overall costs. Worldwide, approximately 10,000 customers are operating more than 20,000 installations of FARO’s systems. The company’s global headquarters are located in Lake Mary, Florida, with its European head office in Stuttgart, Germany and its Asia-Pacific head office in Singapore. FARO has branch locations in Japan, China, India, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, and The u Netherlands.

case study



Keeping cool in China


hen elstat relocated its factory in China the local UK Trade & Investment team helped the company to build positive relationships with local businessmen, government officials and the press.

Consumers have come to expect that they can buy a nice cold drink straight from a cooler, whether at a petrol station, cafe or supermarket. But, this convenience comes at a financial and environmental cost if the fridge has to be left running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Lancashire-based elstat has developed an electronic thermostat with smart technology incorporated into the design which monitors the usage of the cooler. Energy consumption is kept to a minimum by ensuring that optimum serving and operating temperatures are maintained exactly when they are required, and not a minute longer. The first customer to adopt the technology was one of the largest soft drink brands in the world, to support its own sustainability programme. elstat has sold over three million thermostats to the company to date, saving over three billion kWh of electricity per year, which is the same as reducing 1,725,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. “There is nothing like it in the market,” says Paul Coates, Manufacturing Director of elstat. “It is a bit of clever technology that saves energy and money as well as having a positive environmental impact. It uses various inputs such as infrared motion sensors and thermostats to record a range of information, such as the number of people in a shop, or how many times the cooler cabinet is opened. The device then automatically responds accordingly, for example turning off the refrigerator at quiet times or on holidays.”

Manufacturing in a new market In 2006, elstat decided to manufacture its thermostats

in China. There are a number of companies there that make fridges, competing for business from soft drinks manufacturers. By having a local presence rather than importing its product, elstat could afford to be more competitive with local businesses. The company found premises on the outskirts of Shenzhen, from which it operated until 2010. By this time, however, elstatís business had grown and it needed to move to larger premises to meet demand for its thermostats. The company was keen to make sure that this new investment would be worthwhile. In September 2010, its Chief Operating Officer attended a UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Asia Task Force event, where he met the Consul-General for Guangzhou. He put elstat in touch with the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), UKTIís trade service delivery partner in China. CBBC advised the company about tax incentives available in certain areas, and made introductions to local people who could help with the move. In December 2010, the new factory was opened in Shenzhen. “Relocating our factory cost £2 million, so we wanted to make sure we got it right,” says Paul. “We wanted to do the best for our employees, and find premises in an area where they would be proud to come to work. Relationships are key to successful business in China, but we wouldn’t have known who to talk to without introductions from UKTI and CBBC. They both helped us along the way, and joined us to celebrate the opening of the new site.”

High profile launch The launch of the new factory

site was attended by 100 people. UKTI helped to compile the guest list, which included representatives from the local business community, local government, the press, universities and environmental bodies. “UKTI and CBBC were really proactive in identifying the right people for us to invite to our launch,” says Paul.”We were extremely impressed with their contacts, suggestions and advice. At the launch itself, there were speeches by our Managing Director, the Deputy Consul General of Guangzhou and the head of the local government, reflecting the quality of the relationships that UKTI and CBBC have helped us to develop. The Deputy Consul General even joined our Managing Director in a press conference, adding weight to our position as an investing UK company, and leaving no doubt in the minds of the locals that we are committed to growing our business in Shenzhen. We wouldnít hesitate to contact UKTI and CBBC again as we continue to invest in our future in China.”

The UK and China In 2009, bilateral trade in goods and services between the UK and mainland China totalled US$51.8 billion. UK exports of goods and services to mainland China were £7.7 billion. China was one of the few economies that grew during the global downturn, following over 30 years of sustained and rapid growth, and in 2010 China became the second largest economy in the world in nominal US dollar terms. The China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), UKTIís official trade service delivery partner for mainland China, provides advice and UKTI services to UK businesses via its network of u offices across the UK and China.



Better Business Throughout Asia

Asia Manufacturing News November 2011  
Asia Manufacturing News November 2011  

Asia Manufacturing News November 2011