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September 2011 $8 per copy 12 months subscription


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CONTENTS September 2011


Vehicle manufacturing trend maintaining momentum


ormerly a Russian vessel and called the Varyag it is docked in Dalian shipyard, and being fitted out with combat sensors, and defensive weapons. The vessel is also beginning to run power as well. Recent photos have shown steam and exhaust coming from the ship’s island, further suggesting her engines and propulsion will be operational soon.


e know that vehicle manufacturing is riding high in China, a subject which complements nicely with news of the takeover of the legendary MG marquee by China’s largest automotive business, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). (See story page 6.) It is fair to say that MG sports car veterans are deeply impressed by the resources and enthusiasm of the new owners and fans in China. We also bring to your attention the story of Bharat Renewable Energy Ltd, a joint venture of Bharat Petroleum, India’s second largest petroleum company which has initiated a program with SG Bio fuels to develop and deploy elite hybrids of Jatropha for the production of bio fuel in India. This interesting development can be read about on page 12. For those companies doing business with Singapore we can inform you that on a year-to-year basis Singapore’s manufacturing output increased 7.4% in July this year. (See story page 14.) Good for business in Vietnam is the news that 29 million subscribers are to gain improved real – time viewing experience on their mobiles through Mobilfone, one of the first operators worldwide to obtain the most advanced and efficient mobile video technology available. The company has 32 percent of the country’s mobile communications market. Just think what this development means for the business community! These are some of the articles you can read in this month’s issue. If your company has news to share with Asian manufacturers, email us and we can share it with our wide Digital reading audience.



















ports car enthusiasts in the United Kingdom and China are being brought together as a result of the take-over of the legendary British MG marque by China’s largest automotive business, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.















ee Hup Seng - a leading provider of corrosion prevention services in Singapore - has employed the technology and maintenances services of the global Konecranes group.




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business news

Maersk joins World Ocean Council Copenhagen, Denmark:


he A.P. Moller - Maersk Group has joined the World Ocean Council to support global leadership and collaboration on ocean sustainability.

Through its signatory to the World Ocean Council, Maersk supports the efforts to promote sustainable development and stewardship through collaboration across private sector industries. The World Ocean Council is the only international organisation bringing together a broad range of ocean industries to address sustainable use of the seas. “The oceans are core to our activities in shipping and energy. We are pleased to join this forum which provides an important collaborative platform for sustainable advancement,” said John Kornerup Bang, Lead Advisor on Climate & Environment in the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group. “We are excited to welcome A.P. Moller - Maersk to the growing ocean business alliance on Corporate Ocean Responsibility,” said Paul Holthus, Executive Director of WOC. “Maersk exemplifies the kind of commitment and leadership that is needed to tackle the

complex challenges of ocean sustainability.” Maersk’s environmental strategy pledges to protect the marine environments and biodiversity and reduce the impacts of operations at sea. “The marine environment is fragile and we are determined to be good citizens of the world’s oceans. This partnership will help us go beyond regulatory standards and take a proactive approach,” added John Kornerup Bang.

About the World Ocean Council The World Ocean Council is an unprecedented global, crosssector industry leadership alliance on ocean sustainability and stewardship. It is building an alliance of companies to create the platform for developing science-based solutions to the collective ocean environmental challenges facing the ocean business community. The WOC will work to educate other ocean

stakeholders, provide the eyes, ears and voice in the ocean sustainability policy for processes and catalyze ocean business community action on priority issues. The WOC is pulling together proactive leadership companies to develop into coordinated action across the ocean business community. For example, its National Business Forum on Marine Spatial Planning in Washington D.C. on July 13-14 brought together responsible ocean companies to engage in U.S. ocean planning efforts. A.P. Moller - Maersk is a global conglomerate operating mainly in the shipping and energy industries. Maersk shipping companies provide comprehensive coverage of the world’s need for cargo, oil and gas transport, terminal services and on-land logistics. Their energyrelated business units include drilling and platform service companies, as well as one of the world’s leading independent oil and gas firms. The diversity of the group has been a source of strength and success for more than a century. u

business news



Gulfstream G150 certified for China registration

The G150 provides exceptional capability and efficiency.


ulfstream Aerospace Corp. has received type certificate validation (TCV) for its G150 aircraft from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, a move that allows operators to register the wide-cabin, high-speed business jet there.

Gulfstream achieved the validation through close coordination with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, China’s CAAC and the Civil Aviation Administration of Israel, where the G150 airframe is built. The G150, thanks to its 3,000 nautical-mile range and high speed, provides exceptional capability and efficiency to Chinese operators and is backed by the same product support

organisation that services Gulfstream’s long-range G550 and G450 aircraft. The G150 can fly from Singapore to Beijing in 6 hours and 10 minutes, shaving up to 1 hour and 14 minutes off the flight time of other aircraft in its class. The aircraft can travel nonstop from Hong Kong to Mumbai at Mach 0.75, Hong Kong to Delhi at Mach 0.80 and Beijing to Delhi at Mach 0.80.

The mid-size jet also offers several options to improve safety, including an Enhanced Vision System (EVS) II, and a Wide Area Augmentation System-Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (WAAS-LPV). In addition to China, the G150 has received type certification validation from the Ukraine, Israel, the United States, Chile, the European Union, the Philippines, Canada and Brazil. u




UK- China car enthusiasts celebrate new era of MG


G sports car veterans in the UK are deeply impressed by the resources and enthusiasm of the legendary car marque’s new owners and fans in China.

Sports car enthusiasts in the United Kingdom and China are being brought together as a result of the take-over of the legendary British MG marque by China’s largest automotive business, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). As production gets under way in the UK on the first all-new MG sports car for 16 years, members of the 81-year-old MG Car Club have been on a week’s visit to China as guests of SAIC where they visited the Shanghai Auto Show and formally opened new premises of the recently launched MG Club China in northern Shanghai. The UK club had worked closely with SAIC leading up to the Shanghai show to supply archive material for the MG stand, and manager Julian White and communications officer Chris Seaward - who were flown out to represent the MG Car Club (MGCC) - were said to have been “deeply impressed” by the MG operation in China. Julian White commented: “Spending time in China gave a fascinating insight into the new era of MG production and what we saw really was extremely impressive. We could not help but be deeply impressed by the incredible facility SAIC have created and the vast levels of money that have been invested. “We have been told for some time that the future is bright and - while we never disbelieved it - the factory tour at Lingang [on the outskirts of Shanghai] strongly backed the notion of longevity.”

He continued: “With regard to the MG Club China, it is non-forprofit, run by enthusiasts; they have a new website launching soon and are a thoroughly lovely set of MG people. Forget the culture difference and language barriers - the MG marque has the power to cut through these and the passion from our Chinese club was clear to see from the outset.” The MG Car Club was formed in 1930 and is a non-profit organisation based at the old factory site in Abingdon near Oxford. Today, it has a worldwide affiliated membership of 35,000 MG owners and supporters. The club has 14 registers, each representing a particular MG model and containing details of each member’s car. The MG Club China already has 700 members and the country’s enthusiasts are expected to be among the thousands of people attending the UK club’s forthcoming showpiece event MGLive! at the UK Silverstone motor racing circuit. MG got its name from Morris Garages run by a dealer of Morris cars in Oxford and who began producing customised twoseater sports cars. After enjoying decades of fame and success with its cars on the track and road, it celebrated its 80th birthday in June 2010. MGs are now produced in the UK and China, following the take-over of the marque by SAIC. SAIC sold more than 3.5 million vehicles in 2010, including 160,000 of the MG and Roewe brands. A workforce of about 2,000 produces 400 cars a day

by John Webb at SAIC’s Lingang plant, outside Shanghai, but its MG base remains in the UK at Birmingham in the English Midlands where the corporation also has its adjoining European technical engineering centre. Together, they employ 400 people in automotive styling, design, engineering, manufacturing and support services. It was the expertise of 300 engineers and designers at the UK technical engineering centre that has just produced the MG6, an all-new five-seat sports fastback model that is said to mark the start of a fresh era in the history of the MG brand. The newcomer, already on sale in the UK and China, has joined the MG TF sports car on the UK production line and the first customer car was ceremoniously driven off by the only woman currently working on its assembly. The 1.8-litre turbocharged petrolengine MG6, with its particularly high level of standard equipment, choice of three trim levels and low levels of insurance, is a genuine Anglo-Chinese product because it was designed, engineered and tested in the UK. MG UK has also just launched a new-look logo as part of a completely fresh corporate identity. The historic MG octagon is retained but is now in vibrant red. “Red has historic links for the world-famous brand but it also signifies the enduring passion that MG generates,” said a spokesman. “The new corporate identity will be rolled out across the MG dealer network and used on all the




company’s literature, advertising and signage, and a new treatment of the MG badge will appear on all future cars.” MG sales and marketing director Guy Jones added: “This strong new image takes the company into the 21st century. It links MG’s famous past with an exciting future … It’s a bold move and design that reflects how positive and confident we are about MG’s future.” The car maker has followed the production start-up of the new fastback with confirmation that it is now planning to introduce a four-door saloon that will soon be rolling off the assembly line in the UK alongside the MG6. The MG story is among many recent indications of the real strength of the UK’s automotive sector and that the government’s focus on growth, manufacturing and skills has gained international recognition. The industry is the UK’s numberone manufactured export - in 2010 the UK automotive sector exported more than 27 billion pounds’ worth of vehicles and parts. Some 75 per cent of cars, 73 per cent

First all-new MG sports car for 16 years

of commercial vehicles and 72 per cent of UK engine production were exported in 2010. The sector is hugely important to the UK with more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs accounting for 12 per cent of the UK’s total manufacturing employment and a further 480,000 in the motor retail sector. The UK has an unparalleled number of premium and niche manufacturers as well as innovative technology makers and designers. Some of the biggest car manufacturers in Europe recently met the UK’s leading government ministers to discuss the growing confidence in the UK automotive

industry and the government’s commitment to its success. BMW announced an additional 500m pounds of investment in its UK production network over the next three years and confirmed that the UK will be a production location for its next-generation Mini models, helping to safeguard more than 5,000 jobs. This followed an announcement from Nissan that UK workers will design, engineer and build the next version of the best-selling Nissan Qashqai. The 192m pounds investment will help safeguard 6,000 jobs, both direct and indirect through the UK supply chain. u

Mazda2 local assembly in Vietnam Hiroshima: azda Motor Corporation has announced that it will commence local assembly of the Mazda2 in Vietnam in October 2011. The Mazda2 will be produced at a newly-constructed assembly plant owned by Vina Mazda Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd in the Nui Thanh district of Quang Nam province. Sales of the locally assembled Mazda2 in Vietnam will also begin in October 2011. Mazda expects the Mazda2 to become one of its mainstay products in the Vietnamese market and plans to produce approximately 2,000 units per year.


Vina Mazda is Mazda’s exclusive local distributor in Vietnam. It began selling completely builtup Mazda models (Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6, CX-9 from Japan; BT-50 from Thailand) in March 2011. Mazda decided to begin local assembly of the Mazda2 in Vietnam as part of its plan to accelerate business growth in emerging markets under its Framework for Medium- and Long-Term Initiatives. Yuji Nakamine, Mazda’s Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer responsible for Oversight of Global Marketing, Sales and Customer Service, said, “Mazda is commencing local assembly of the Mazda2 as the first step in an

aggressive business strategy for Vietnam. With a large proportion of its approximately 90 million people in their 30s or under, Vietnam is one of the most youthful and promising emerging markets. Going forward, we are confident that the Mazda2 will further elevate our brand recognition and become a driving force for our future business growth in Vietnam.” Since its launch, the Mazda2 has been acclaimed around the world for its stylish design, sporty driving performance and outstanding ecofriendly features. It has received over 50 awards globally, Car of the Year in more than 20 countries and 2008 World Car of the Year. u




China Innovation speeds up investment

Hong Kong:


ith the promotion of economic restructuring, the Chinese government strengthens the progress of energy conservation in recent years, which drives the development of new industries. Seeing the market potential, China Innovation Investment Limited (“China Innovation”, stock code: 1217.HK)’s investment flagships on “new energy”, “new light”, “new materials” and “new media” have been successfully formed last year. The Company is a unique listed company in Hong Kong which rarely step on both dual-use and high-tech energy saving investment. Targeting on the energy-saving sector, China Innovation speeds up its investment these years, to achieve breakthroughs in the field of dual-use technology and energy-saving industry, while the year 2010 can be said as a turning point of the company. Back to March last year, apart from completing the transaction on Topsun Creation Limited (“Topsu”), the company’s other investment also renamed as Blue Angel (H.K.) Limited (“Blue Angel”), which established the investment theme on military storage batteries, and energysaving investments in the media terminal. Subsequently in late 2010, China Innovation first stepped into the market of energy-saving ecomaterials for walls by completing the investment in United Crown Century Company Limited (“United Crown Century”). In the meantime, the Company adjusts the investment business of “new light” based on the equity and shareholder loans Swap Agreement, to further explore the field of LED ergonomics through Aesthetic Vision Limited (“Aesthetic Vision”) Based on the investment in Topsun , Aesthetic Vision, United Crown Century and Blue Angel, China Innovation built up an integrated investment portfolio of dual-use technology on solar photovoltaic, LED lighting, energy saving material and media terminal, as well as the establishment of the “new energy”, “new light”, “new

materials” and “new media” industries. In fact, the four new industries are all distinctive in some way. For “New Energy”, Topsun adopts the power reserve patent technology of military aviation as its own core for the research and manufacturing of solar photovoltaic system. With features of high capacity, fully sealed and maintenance-free, the system is widely used in military equipment and civil vehicles as well as construction, etc. It possesses a large room for growth and enormous development potential in both civil and military markets. For “New Light”, Aesthetic Vision’s major product is LED lighting. It possesses of LED ergonomics technology with features including LED illuminant, appropriate light flux, free colour temperature, healthy spectrum and compliance to ergonomics. Its products are widely used in military production as well as civic purposes. For “New Materials”, United Crown Century is mainly engaged in research and development of energy-saving eco-materials for walls, and is a pioneer in the

China Innovation enjoys unique investment value by building four new industrial flagships

new energy-saving eco-materials industry in the Mainland. For “New Media”, Blue Angel mainly engages in production and assembly of new products such as solar all-in-one computers and solar energy advertising screens with the use of solar energy and LED technologies. China Innovation proactively invested in “new energy”, “new light”, “new materials” and “new media” industries, which involves the products of energy storage battery, new lighting products, eco-equipment materials, and energy-saving media terminal, all together form an one-stop industrial chain with synergies for creating green low-carbon living, which help catching market advantages for the investment company. China Innovation Investment Limited (“China Innovation”, Stock Code:, is an investment expert in the field of dual-use technology and energysaving industry, focuses on ‘Three-New Industries’, including “New Energy Resources”, “New Light Resources” and “New Materials”, promotes the military high-tech environment-friendly products to the civil market and wins a vast potential for future development. The company is listed on The Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited on 28 August 2002. For further information, please browse u

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POWER-GEN Asia announces programme KUALA LUMPUR: OWER-GEN Asia, the region’s premier conference and exhibition for the power generation, transmission and distribution industries, being held at the KLCC Convention Centre Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 27th to 29th September 2011, has announced its preliminary conference programme.


At the launch of the Pre-Show Guide at a press conference at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, POWER-GEN Asia detailed much of its top quality conference programme and leading international speakers, who will deliver great topics of discussion and information and educational opportunities for the power and energy industry. The press conference saw representatives from the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Tenaga Nasional Berhad and PennWell, organisers of POWER-GEN Asia, announce the details of the event to the media and key power and energy industry representatives. Glenn Ensor, Director of International Events at PennWell, announced, “POWER-GEN Asia has demonstrated its strength, over the 19 years of the event, in delivering high quality conference content for information and education purposes. This years conference programme is arguably the best ever in terms of quality of content and quality of the speakers presenting during the 3 day conference.” “This conference has been designed for the industry by the industry. We are delighted that our panel of Committee Members have spent considerable time developing the programme to such a high educational level, that it is attractive for the industry experts, policy makers, energy managers, engineers, maintenance, operational personnel, buyers, specifiers and users of the equipment deployed in the power industry, to enjoy and come away with an enhanced knowledge and understanding of the sector within

which they work,” continued Mr. Ensor. During his presentation, Glenn Ensor outlines some of the key sessions for delegates to look out for at the conference. These included: u Country Spotlights - including spotlights and insights on a number of countries in the region, including Malaysia. u Mega Trends in the Asian Power Market - an essential examination of some of the overarching trends influencing the region’s electricity sector, which includes a panel discussion debating the key issues and challenges for the Asia power market over the next 5-10 years. u China & India’s Influence of SE Asia’s Electricity Sector - a panel discussion of experts sharing their views on just how these countries influence is being felt in the energy field and the future implications. u Large Gas Turbines - the world’s biggest gas turbine manufacturers will update delegates on the latest developments in their heavy duty models, before turning to a discussion amongst these key players as they consider the current market needs for large gas turbines and compare recent technological developments. The POWER-GEN Asia conference is also complimented by an outstanding exhibition with around 200 leading international companies demonstrating the latest technologies. It is certainly the place to be to discover the latest developments and products on the market.

POWER-GEN Asia, co-located with Renewable Energy World Asia, is anticipated to receive around 7,000 industry professionals, who will gather for three days to enjoy the industry’s leading conference and experience the latest developments and ideas for the future of the Asian power generation sector. The state-of-the-art KLCC Convention Centre in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, will host POWERGEN Asia and its co-located Renewable Energy World Asia conferences and exhibitions, from 27th to 29th September 2011. The Opening Keynote Session on Tuesday 27th September at 9am, will enjoy key presentations from speakers: u Hon. Dato’ Sri Peter Chin Fah Kui, Minister of Energy, Green Technology & Water u Dato’ Sri Che Khalib bin Mohammed Noh, Chief Executive Officer, Tenaga Nasional Berhad u Yoshiaki Tsukuda, Senior Executive Vice President and Board Member, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Japan Sri Jegarajah, the Energy Market Reporter from CNBC Asia Pacific, will follow with by moderating a short panel discussion with the keynote speakers. Glenn Ensor concluded his presentation by thanking the Ministry, energy industry utilities, trade bodies and associations are supporting the event, including the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water; Tenaga Nasional Berhad; Sarawak Energy; Sabah Electricity; the Energy Commission (Suruhanjaya Tenaga); Sarawak Hidro; GreenTech Malaysia and the many other organisations lending their support to the event. nextSTEP Visit u




Delcam’s FeatureCAM enables move to 3D machining


fter adding Delcam’s FeatureCAM feature-based CAM system, Bruce Waugh has been able to move into 3D machining in the one-person machine shop, Waugh Machine, he runs in his garage in Camp Verde, Arizona. Until two years ago, he turned down jobs involving 3D parts because he was unable to program them. Now he can produce any part that fits within the capabilities of his two Haas Minimills. In addition, the featurerecognition capabilities within the software have reduced the time required to program typical 2.5D parts from one hour to ten minutes. There is a common misconception that only large companies can benefit from introducing CAM software. Examples like Waugh Machine prove that even the smallest operations can also boost their capabilities and productivity with these systems. “FeatureCAM has changed the nature of my business,” claimed Mr. Waugh, who has been a machinist for 35 years. “Because I can now do more complicated parts, I have been able to raise my rates while running my machines at full capacity. My customers are more than happy to pay my new rates because I am able to deliver a higher level of quality on more difficult jobs.” Mr. Waugh’s two main customers are a large medical-device manufacturer and an aerospace subcontractor. “The aerospace manufacturer usually gives me drawings,” he said. “Sometimes these are up to 60 years old.” “The medical-device company used to give me drawings as the starting point for contract machining jobs,” he added. “One day, the customer told me that it was going to do away with drawings and begin providing CAD files. I saw this as the writing on the wall for 2.5D programming and made the decision to upgrade to FeatureCAM with its featurerecognition and 3D-surfacing

With FeatureCAM, Mr. Waugh can now program anything that can be machined on his Haas Minimills

modules.” Mr. Waugh now regularly produces parts with profiling and 3D surfaces. “I get several parts a month with 3D surfaces and I enjoy doing them,” he said. “I also do many parts I could have done in 2.5D in 3D. It may take a bit longer because I use a small ball-nose end mill rather than a larger radius cutter but 3D often lets me produce the entire part with a single tool in a single set-up. This means I can set the machine up and let it run while I do other things such as quoting a job or programming the next part. The ball-nose end mill also provides a better surface finish than the radius cutter.” FeatureCAM has also substantially

reduced the time required to program 2.5D parts. “It used to take about an hour to program the typical 2.5D part,” explained Mr. Waugh. “The automatic feature-recognition capability of FeatureCAM reduces programming time to only about ten minutes. It’s impossible to make this kind of comparison on 3D parts because I was never able to program them before I had the software. Now, I can program 3D parts almost as quickly.” “I upgrade to the latest version of FeatureCAM each year and there are always interesting improvements to the software,” Mr. Waugh concluded. “My investment in FeatureCAM was one of the best decisions I ever made.” u




New Mitsui Seiki HU63-T for power generation parts


ith the continuing evolution of machining requirements to satisfy new power generation production needs, Mitsui Seiki has introduced the HU63-T 5-xis CNC Machining Center. Typical applications include critical rotating components (blisks, impellers, and turbine disks) for gas turbine power generation systems.

New features and specifications for the HU63-T include up 800 mm (31.5”) work diameter capacity on its vertically oriented table, 300 kg (660 lbs) work / fixture weight capacity, variety of increased axis stroke options, high torque spindles (1081 Nm – 800 lb-ft continuous), tuned structure for heavy cutting in hard metals,

and latest Fanuc 30iM control with enhanced features for 5-axis simultaneous machining. The X, Y, Z working envelope is 900 mm x 800 mm x 800 mm (35.4” x 31.5” x 31.5”). The rapid federate in X, Y, Z axes is 32,000 mm/ min (1260 ipm). Accuracy is the hallmark of any Mitsui Seiki machine. With the HU63-T, positioning accuracy in X, Y, Z axes is 0.001 mm (0.00004”), positioning repeatability is 0.001 mm (0.00004”). On the B axis, positioning accuracy is ±4 arc seconds; repeatability is ±1.5 arc seconds.

The driver for the energy industry boom is fuel efficiency, achieved by lighter weights, excellent heat tolerance, and smaller packages. For a machine tool builder such as Mitsui Seiki, this is a fortunate evolution as more sophisticated machine tools are required to machine these new materials and complex precision parts cost-effectively. Mitsui Seiki has a long history developing dedicated machine tools for the energy industry. The company has been particularly active in the ground-based gas turbine market developing new projects for high speed machining of air foils, heavy-duty machining of engine cases, and high precision machining of gearboxes. The advancement of its HU-T product line has become important to this energy market segment. Likewise, with other products, the company is gaining ground in the wind market, helping windmill manufacturers make their gearboxes faster and more precisely. u

Filtration technology attracts Chinese interest


Donghua’s machines now feature Magnom’s patented magnetic filters, which remove damaging metallic particles.

Magnom, based at Warwick Technology Park, confirmed that Guangdong Province’s Donghua Machinery decided to use its patented filtration technology in its plastic injection moulding machines.

Magnom Chairman Robert Spender said: “We understand that injection moulding machine OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in China produce 25,000 machines per month. It’s a market with huge potential for a company like Magnom.”

The technology works by maintaining the high flow rate of hydraulic fluid and minimising energy loss.

The company’s filtration is already being used in hundreds of applications across the world, including complex machinery

Chinese machinery manufacturer has turned to a Warwickshire engineering design company to boost its energy efficiency.

such as Formula 1 racing cars and more simple systems like domestic heaters. The technology is also becoming increasingly popular in the production and operation of offroad vehicles and closed heating systems, prompting Magnom to target these markets. “Magnom said Chinese machinery manufacturers are increasingly emphasising energy efficiency in their sales and marketing activities as the importance of preserving the environment becomes more of a priority.” u




Multi-phased program includes 86,000 acres of hybrid Jatropha


harat Renewable Energy Ltd (BREL), a joint-venture of Bharat Petroleum, India’s second largest petroleum company, has initiated a program with SG Biofuels (SGB) to develop and deploy elite hybrids of Jatropha for the production of biodiesel in India. The program’s first phase includes a crop development effort to produce high performing hybrid varieties of Jatropha adapted to unique growing conditions across the country. Additional phases include the deployment of more than 86,000 acres of Jatropha using SGB’s JMax(TM) hybrid seeds. “With the genetic diversity of their Jatropha hybrid material combined with ability to produce large volumes of hybrid seed, SG Biofuels is an ideal partner to work with to successfully develop, validate and scale Jatropha as the primary source for biodiesel in India,” said Mr. M.V. Radhakrishnan, chief executive officer of Bharat Renewable Energy Ltd. SGB will draw from the advancements of its global JMax(TM) crop development centers where the company is optimizing elite hybrid varieties of Jatropha through a combination of molecular breeding and biotechnology. The centers feature hybrid material from the company’s germplasm library totaling more than 12,000 genotypes. SGB will work with BREL to select, test and scale the highest yielding, most commercially viable hybrid varieties for growing regions in India, including the initial 86,000 acre deployment. In December 2009, the Indian Government developed its National Policy on Biofuels targeting 20% blending of bioethanol and biodiesel into petrol and diesel markets. Government policy stipulates the

use of wastelands to cultivate non-edible oil seed plants without affecting food security. According to the Asian Development Bank, the current cultivation of Jatropha and other non-edible oilseeds will need to increase by nearly 80 million acres to meet the nation’s biodiesel targets. “We look forward to working with BREL to develop a thriving Jatropha industry capable of meeting the country’s significant demand for biodiesel,”said Kirk Haney, president and chief executive officer of SG Biofuels. “Our partnership is a great example how collaborations across the entire value chain – from crop science and agronomics

to downstream refining and logistics – are the key to the successful scaling of Jatropha.” Jatropha is a non-edible shrub native to Central America. Its seeds have high oil content, and can be processed to produce a high-quality energy feedstock. It can be effectively grown on marginal lands that are considered undesirable for food crops. SGB’s integrated breeding and biotechnology approach forms the foundation for its JMax Jatropha Optimization Platform(TM), which draws from company’s germplasm library, the sequence of the Jatropha genome, molecular markers and advanced biotech and synthetic biology tools to allow energy companies, governments and growers to select, test and scale elite Jatropha cultivars for unique growing conditions around the world. u

Anwell breaks into India solar farm market Hong Kong: echnologies Limited (“Anwell” or the “Group”), announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Sungen International Limited, has won a contract worth approximately US$20 million to supply the Group’s in-house produced amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin film solar panel for a solar farm project in India. The thin film panel has been scheduled for delivery in the second half of this year.


Anwell’s expansion into India’s lucrative solar market is opportune as the country is aggressively expanding its solar power capacity. The Government of India has rolled out its National

Solar Mission, a major 3-phase solar roadmap to meet a 20GW large scale grid-connected solar power capacity target by 2022. The 20GW solar masterplan is expected to attract an overall investment of about US$70 billion. Anwell is moving firmly towards become a major producer of thin film solar panels worldwide. In June this year, the Group made two announcements on securing a total of RMB 1.2 billion longterm funding from the municipal governments of Dongguan and Anyang in China. These funds are to be used for the construction of Anwell’s solar panel production plants in these two cities. u







Singapore manufacturing output increases


n a year-on-year basis, Singapore’s manufacturing output increased 7.4% in July 2011. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output declined 6.9%. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output rose 0.3% in July 2011. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output declined 5.6%. Total Manufacturing Performance

1. On a year-on-year basis,

manufacturing output increased 7.4% in July 2011. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output declined 6.9%. On a threemonth moving average basis, manufacturing output in July 2011 declined 0.4% compared to the same period in 2010. On a seasonally adjusted monthon-month basis, manufacturing output rose 0.3% in July 2011. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output declined 5.6%.

(II) Performance by cluster

2. Output of the biomedical

manufacturing cluster grew 46.8% in July 2011 year-onyear. Pharmaceuticals output rose 47.7% in July mainly due to different mix of active pharmaceutical ingredients being produced. The medical technology segment’s output also expanded by 24.2% in July, partly due to the low base last year when production of medical instruments was low. On a year-to-date basis, the biomedical output increased by 4.1% compared to the same period a year ago.

3. The output of the precision

engineering cluster grew 7.1% year-on-year in July 2011. The machinery & systems segment recorded higher output of air-conditioning equipment, machine tools and semiconductor related equipment. On the other hand, the precision modules & components segment’s output declined 4.7% with lower production of electronic

connectors and plastic precision components. On a year-to-date basis, the output of the precision engineering cluster was 24.5% higher than the same period a year ago.

4. The chemicals cluster’s output

grew 5.4% year-on-year in July 2011. Within the cluster, the specialties segment posted the strongest gain of 17.5% on the back of new production capacities which started earlier this year. In contrast, the petrochemicals and other chemicals segments fell 3.7% and 6.3% respectively due to plant shutdowns for maintenance and inspection. Cumulatively, output of the chemicals cluster grew 8.4% from January to July 2011, compared to the same period a year ago.

5. Output of the transport

engineering cluster rose 1.2% year-on-year in July 2011. The land transport segment recorded an output gain of 24.0%, followed by the aerospace segment which expanded by 7.2%. However, growth in the cluster was partially offset by declines in the marine and offshore engineering segment due to a lower volume of work in the shipyards. Cumulatively, output of the cluster grew 5.8% in the first seven months of 2011, compared to the same period

Manufacturing output increased 7.4% in July 2011.

last year.

6. The general manufacturing

cluster’s output declined by 9.2% year-on-year in July 2011, with all segments within the cluster registering lower output. The food, beverages & tobacco and printing segments declined by 0.9% and 2.8% respectively, while the miscellaneous segment’s output shrank 13.3% with lower production of secondary batteries, wooden furniture and structural metal products. On a year-to-date basis, output of the cluster was 2.2% lower than the same period last year.

7. Output of the electronics

cluster declined by 18.2% in July 2011 compared to July 2010. Apart from the infocomms & consumer electronics segment, the rest of the electronics segments contracted in July due to weaker global demand for electronics. For the first seven months of 2011, electronics output declined by 1.5% compared to the same period a year ago. u

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Smaller cities lure foreign investors BEIJING: oreign institutional investors have increasingly been exploring China’s third- and even fourth-tier cities, even though the central government is considering a list of smaller cities that will see home purchase restrictions.


Deutsche Bank is planning to finance a large-scale property project in Tieling, a small city in Northeast China’s Liaoning province, industry sources told China Daily on Friday. And Deutsche Bank is not the only foreign investor that has shown interest there. At the end of 2009, Hong Kong-based Henderson Land Development Co Ltd paid 807 million yuan ($124 million) for two land parcels in Tieling, and its total investment in the project it is developing is expected to reach 3.3 billion yuan. “It is not surprising for foreign institutional investors to tap China’s lower-tier cities, because the demand there remains strong as a result of a lower urbanization rate, and the local governments are more willing to cooperate with them,” said Carlby Xie, head of research and consulting for North China at Colliers International. Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, posted the biggest gain in property prices at 9.2 percent in June. In Lanzhou, capital of Gansu province, prices rose 8.2 percent year-on-year last month. To tackle escalating property prices in smaller cities, the State Council, or the Cabinet, said in mid-July that it will extend restrictions on home purchases from major cities to smaller ones. The government is drawing up a list of these cities, according to a source close to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development who wished to remain anonymous. “Though investors’ profit margin may be a bit lower in lower-

tier cities, a larger scale of development can help to offset the difference,” Xie said. Much the same is happening in South China. Singapore’s Mapletree Investments just began developing a commercial-property project in Foshan, a third-tier city in Guangdong province, with a total investment of 1 billion yuan. Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch both have residential projects in the city. Despite the government’s strictest real estate policies to date, foreign institutional investors’ interests in China’s property market haven’t diminished. According to Loh Shyh, CEO of Mapletree China, Mapletree Investments -the subsidiary of Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, will launch a $1 billion real estate fund in China in the coming months, with an eye on investment opportunities in residential and commercial property sectors. It will be Mapletree’s second fund focusing on China. Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust hopes to increase its assets in the country to about $1 billion over the next three to five years, Reuters reported on Tuesday. According to the real estate service provider CBRE, the

Foreign institutional investors’ interests in China’s property market haven’t diminished.

property investment market was brisk in the first half of the year, with transaction values reaching 54.5 billion yuan. “Though domestic investors still dominate the market, the proportion of overseas institutional investors, including those from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao, is picking up,” said Danny Ma, senior director of CBRE Research China About 45 percent of real estate investment deals in China in the first half of 2011 were made by overseas institutional investors, according to CBRE. “As strict real estate policies continue and financing channels are further tightened in the second half year, lots of opportunities are emerging,” said Wu Tao, managing director of Wins Investment Management Co Ltd. John Wong, director of investment services at Colliers International, said many more property project owners are now contacting them to seek buyers because of the tighter cash flow. “Prices are usually reasonable or even attractive now,” Wong said. Meanwhile, land prices are expected to fall in the second half of the year, creating more opportunities for investors. “To support the local financing and the development of affordable housing, local governments will put more land parcels on the market in the coming months, but at more reasonable prices,” said Frank Liu, vice-president of E-Commercial (Shanghai) Real Estate Advisory Co. Residential land prices across 130 cities fell by 13 percent yearon-year in the first half of 2011, according to data from the China Real Estate Index System. u




International Green Bu



he main highlight of the Singapore Green Building Week (SGBW), the International Green Building Conference (IGBC) 2011, will see industry experts and practitioners, and policymakers from across the Asia-Pacific and North America gather in Singapore from 13 to 16 September 2011. Together, they will address challenges and explore solutions in green building development, including innovative, sustainable and actionable solutions for the tropics and sub-tropics. Organised by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the government agency responsible for the built environment and green building policies1 in Singapore, IGBC 2011 is expected to attract more than 1,000 participants - from real estate developers to urban planners, architects, engineers and other industry professionals - committed to understanding and putting into action real-world, tangible green building solutions. Also present at the conference will be policymakers and key government officials from several growth markets, specially invited by the BCA, who will give their unique public sector perspective on green building solutions, policies and plans. “We all know that there is a critical and urgent need to build green and retrofit existing buildings into more energyefficient and environmentallyfriendly living spaces”, said Dr John Keung, CEO of BCA. For this very reason, the intention behind organising IGBC was to enable industry practitioners to take action, not just sometime in the future, but now. “To achieve this goal, the conference will bring together some of the world’s leading experts in this field who will share their thinking, approaches and tangible, proven, yet innovative green building solutions including real-world examples right here in Singapore. Our exhibition partner, BEX Asia 2011, will showcase

the latest technology and specific green building solutions available. And, BCA has gathered policymakers and governmental decision-makers from key growth markets to facilitate near-future opportunities for the industry. “But we have to act now - hence this year’s conference theme is ‘Build Green. Act Now’. IGBC 2011 can be declared a success if every single participant takes one step, no matter how small, to invest in, design or retrofit a building using the green building solutions presented and discussed during the conference”, he concluded. IGBC 2011 features three main plenary sessions and tracks, covering policy, industrial solutions and cutting-edge technology -

1. The policy track features

a panel discussion with policy-makers from the US, China, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Singapore on developing and implementing national policies on energy, climate change and sustainability.

2. The industry solution track

will see industry professionals (architects, developers and city planners) discuss green design methodologies and construction.

3. The cutting-edge technology track will examine how existing buildings can be retrofitted.

Some of the prominent expert speakers at IGBC 2011 include Jane Henley, CEO of the World Green Building Council, who will speak on the topic “Gearing Up for the Energy Revolution” - the natural successor to the Industrial Revolution and the Technological Revolution. Dato’ Dr Ken Yeang, Chairman, Llewelyn Davies Yeang. Dr Yeang will speak about “Strategies for Green Design and Masterplanning” - 5 approaches for optimum green building and environment design and planning. Mr Clay Nesler, Vice President, Global Energy and Sustainability, Johnson Control International. Mr Nesler will present his insights on “Greening Existing Buildings” including case studies of green existing building retrofits such as that of Empire State Building in New York City which is undergoing a major retrofit to reduce energy use by 38%. Donovan Soon, Senior Associate at WOHA Architects, who will speak on “The Design of Sustainability: The Tropical Highrise Tower” during which he will cover the importance of applying an integrated design approach for high-rise projects. Rod Leaver, CEO Asia, Lend Lease, whose topic “A Sustainable Built Environment: Every Action Adds Up - Act Now” covers the challenges and opportunities in Asia and the company’s integrated approach to sustainable development.




uilding Conference 2011 All conference delegates will have the option to join the Green Mark eco-tours of exemplary building projects in Singapore which have been accorded the BCA Green Mark GoldPlus or Platinum Award for outstanding tropical green building design and solutions. The tours will run on 13 September and will cover a wide range of projects including commercial, residential, hospital, office and infrastructure projects. IGBC’s exhibition partner, BEX Asia 2011, will take place from 14 to 16 September, and will feature new green product launches and technologies, the participation of building and research institutes, and green city pavilions from the Asia-Pacific region.

joint symposiums under the conference umbrella. Partners include the American Society for Civil Engineers, the China Green Building Council, the Singapore Green Building Council, the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore, the World Green Building Council and the United Nations Environment Programme. As a result, this year’s IGBC will host a total of 6 symposiums, making the conference a very unique “7 in one” event. The symposiums are 1. Tropical Sub-Tropical Green Building Councils Alliance Symposium 2. Eco-Cities Symposium

6. Sustainable Construction Symposium In addition, under the SGBW umbrella, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will jointly convene the Second Green Building Workshop on 12-13 September, the first time APEC is holding this event in Singapore. Supported by the US Department of Commerce, the workshop will gather senior officials and green building experts from APEC 21 Economies to discuss green issues and negotiate solutions to trade barriers on green products and services, as well as examine green building standards within the APEC economies.

For the first time, IGBC 2011 will see extensive collaboration between BCA and other partners, including international and Singapore bodies in organising

3. Green Buildings Symposium

International Green Building Conference 2011 to Explore Innovative, Sustainable, and Actionable Green Building Solutions Especially for the Tropics and Sub-Tropics

About the Building and Construction Authority

BCA calls on industry professionals and developers to “Build Green. Act Now”

4. Sustainable Infrastructure Symposium 5. Case Studies Symposium

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore champions the development of an excellent built environment for Singapore. At BCA, our mission is to shape a safe, high quality, sustainable and friendly built environment, as these are four key elements where BCA has a significant influence. In doing so, we aim to differentiate Singapore’s built environment from those of other cities and contribute

More information on IGBC 2011 is available at: sg. To register for IGBC 2011, go u

to a better quality of life for everyone in Singapore. Hence, our vision is to have “the best built environment for Singapore, our distinctive global city”. BCA works closely with its education hub, the BCA Academy of the Built Environment, and industry partners to develop skills and expertise that help shape the best built environment for Singapore. For more information, visit u



business news

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Concept of the Corporation by Peter Drucker. Companies as communities rather than just productive units.

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Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. Management, the most important innovation of the 20th century.

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business news




Electric vehicle to run far beyond

lectrically powered vehicles (EV) are promising environmentally friendly alternatives for combustion engine-based automobiles. Electric motors offer significant advantages including high energy efficiency; low noise emission; low temperature operation; no emission of exhaust gases; and the possibility of power regeneration from kinetic motion when a vehicle slows down. put small metal plates on the floor However, batteries used and inside a tire, and positioned in present-day EV limit the another metal plate above the continuous running distance tire. Finally, they measured the from one charge. Furthermore, electrical impedance between it takes an impractical long time the two plates. This set-up should to recharge the batteries, and be equivalent to double the loading larger batteries increases impedance between a plate and a the onboard load, which leads to steel belt. greater consumption of energy to move vehicles. And notably, Experimental results showed the impedance to depend linearly on batteries are too expensive for the RF frequency, and to exhibit use in replacing all existing cars, 2000-j700 ohm at 1 MHz. Then buses, and trucks. the researchers designed and Here, Masahiro Hanazawa at implemented a 50 ohm reactance Toyota Central R&D Labs. and circuit to match this, where 50 Takashi Ohira at Toyohashi ohm is the standard impedance University of Technology for RF transmission lines. This (Toyohashi Tech) propose a experimental set-up enabled a potentially revolutionary solution high transmission efficiency with for powering EVs capable of sub 1 dB loss. running unlimited distances. The Although these were low power basic concept stems from electric experiments, they demonstrate the railways, where each car of the feasibility of energy transfer from train is powered from an overhead the road to a running automobile. wire while the car runs on tracks. If this energy transfer could be The researchers imagined how an increased to tens of kW on express automobile running along a road ways, then in the future it may could do so without resorting to be possible to take EV from your dangerous contacting devices house to the nearest interchange such as pantographs, and finally with a small battery and then came up with a profound and cruise on the expressway via this novel idea: The source of energy from power lines is up-converted into radio frequency (RF) by high-speed inverters implanted Perth: along tracks in the road. The RF alaxy Resources Limited voltage is applied to a balanced has successfully loaded metal track embedded under the its first shipment of surface of the road. The EV picks spodumene at the Bunbury Port up the RF voltage via electrical in Western Australia. A total of capacitance between the metal approximately 6,500 tonnes of and a steel belt installed inside of spodumene was loaded on the the tires of the EV. MV Ocean Flower bound for the

Takashi Ohira, Toyohashi Tech

feeder system as far as you want without concern about battery discharge problems. Reference: Masahiro Hanazawa and Takashi Ohira, “Power Transfer for a Running Automobile”, IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Workshop Series on Innovative Wireless Power Transmission, IMWS-IWPT2011, pp.77-80, Kyoto, May 2011. Affiliations: Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering, Toyohashi University of Technology. website: http://www.tut. department02.html u

Spodumene from Mt Cattlin to China


The researchers conducted feasibility experiments to test their ideas, and to explore the RF frequencies where such power transfer is effective and practical. In the experiments, the researchers

Zhangjiagang Port in the Peoples Republic of China. Galaxy Resources Managing Director, Iggy Tan, said the first shipment of spodumene was an important milestone for the

company. “This is a very exciting day for the Company and for all our operations. It is the first load of spodumene to be shipped from Mt Cattlin mine in Ravensthorpe and heralds the preparation of commissioning at our Jiangsu Lithium Carbonate plant in China. Mr Tan said the Company shipped its first product from the Bunbury Port while it finalises shipping arrangements with the Esperance Port.



product news

High benchmarks set for materials handling SINGAPORE:


rocessing of steel is a tough assignment for lifting equipment. Not only does the hoisting technology have to cope with high volumes of heavy and unevenly shaped product in often challenging environments, but also it has to function at high levels of reliability and safety 24/7. See Hup Seng - a leading provider of corrosion prevention services in Singapore - has employed the technology and maintenances services of the global Konecranes group to sharpen its competitive edge over more than a decade. It has moved recently to further extend its materials handling advantage by investing in advanced technology backed by local expertise. The investment is a strategic initiative by the Singapore-based company, which is a major service provider to the marine, oil and gas, construction and infrastructure industries– industry groups where quality of services and finished product is essential to safety and reliability. The group processes of more than 20,000 tons of steel plate and profile in a month at its two

Singapore facilities, where, since 1971, it has built up a strong niche in specialised tank coating services, large scale industrial plant operations, and as a resident contractor for premier shipyards in one of the world’s busiest ports. To ensure production quality, safety and reliability, the company has chosen to rely upon a materials handling system based on overhead cranes, rather than floor-based alternatives, says See Hup Seng General Manager Mr Edward Ho Tong Wong. “We process 300-400 heavy plates a day, which is high by any standard. Our founder was very far sighted in depending from the outset on an overhead crane system, which saves a lot of space and increases throughput and efficiency.

“With the crane system there is less effort and less damage to processes,” said Mr Edward Ho, whose plant’s lifting technology has to cope daily with large and irregularly shaped loads ranging from heavy plates up to 15 tons apiece, to H beams and I beams that must be handled safely and swiftly while being delivered to often tight production schedules. To achieve uptime and reliability rates exceeding 95 per cent on its 19 cranes from 10-20 tonnes, See Hup Seng has equipped its plants with some of the global Konecranes group’s most sophisticated lifting equipment for reliability, safety and space efficiency – all key factors in a highly competitive industry operating in a city where space is at a premium. Most of the company’s electric overhead travelling cranes (EOTCs) are of the globally proven XL type, which combine lightweight construction with heavyweight strength, power and durability. Progressively and on the basis of its good experience with the XL types See Hup Seng is also introducing the latest Konecranes CXT hoists, including a 12.5 ton type, four 10-ton EOTC and one CXT monorail in the company’s second plant. All feature stepless speed control of the long and cross travel motions, for smooth load handling. Inverter control in crane and trolley travels facilitates easy and effective load control, with smooth starts and stops reducing wear and mechanical stress on structures and minimising load sway.

The services of the global Konecranes group have been employed to sharpen competitive edge

Fast and accurate load positioning is facilitated by the cranes’ True Lift technology, which means the





Vietnam to enjoy video on mobiles VIETNAM:


9 million Mobifone subscribers in Vietnam are to gain improved real-time viewing experience on their mobiles. Mobifone is one of the first operators worldwide to obtain the most advanced and efficient mobile video technology available. Mobifone, one of Vietnam’s leading mobile operators with 32 percent of the country’s mobile communications market, has chosen an Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) solution for combined bandwidth and mobile broadband traffic optimization. Mobifone is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the VNPT Group, and is top ranking in terms of quality of service, revenue, and ARPU.

moves horizontally only k hook 5mm during a one-metre lift. Because of the CXT hoists’ large rope drum diameter and short drum length, horizontal travel of the hook during lowering is minimal

Thanks to the solution that resulted from a recent partnership between the video solutions provider Vantrix and Ericsson, the operator will be able to efficiently manage and optimize video content delivery over its nationwide mobile network. More than 29 million Mobifone subscribers will have the chance to enjoy faster and smoother video directly on their mobile phones. By the end of 2011, video traffic will make up 52.8 percent of global mobile data traffic. To avoid the service disruptions and slower speeds that could result from increased video traffic, Ericsson and Vantrix recently partnered to bundle their respective services. Mr. Le Ngoc Minh, Chairman of Mobifone, said: “Because of limited fixed network availability, we know Lifting ropes of CXT cranes have multiple lifetimes compared with conventional cranes.

Konecranes Service Manager Maintenance Services, Mr Leonard Lim, says the payback of such advanced technology is improved productivity because moving and positioning the load is faster, easier and safer.

The latest cranes also feature high performance hoisting motors with 60 per cent ED rating, which combine extra power with superior cooling characteristics. The hoisting motors also have the power and flexibility for temporary peak usage situations. This built-in durability means the client gets trouble-free operation even after years of intensive use,” said Mr Lim, who oversaw installation of the latest crane technology and is responsible for a preventative maintenance and safety programme that has extended over more than eight years.

“Ongoing durability is also built into the design as a result of worldwide experience in similar environments. For example, the CXTs feature a rope- drumto-rope-diameter ratio that is more than double conventional designs.”

The programme was recently renewed again because, says Mr Edward Ho, the security of having immediate service backup from the nearby Konecranes branch in Singapore is also as important as having superior lifting technology in the first place.

Further safety and operator convenience is provided by an ergonomic hook design, which makes rigging of the load safer – an important factor in high throughput operations such as See Hup Seng’s.

Vietnamese people will view more video on their mobile devices than their PCs. Given the explosive demand for high-quality mobile video, we wanted a solution that could help decrease our transmission costs while providing an enhanced real-time viewing experience and faster downloads for our users. This combined solution met all our demands.” The combined solution comes with many benefits. Vantrix’s Bandwidth Optimizer monitors network congestion and significantly reduces the size of videos – potentially saving the operator up to 70 percent in costs related to operating and upgrading the network – and Ericsson’s Multiservice Proxy (MSP) dramatically simplifies the network architecture. u “It is very important to us also to know that there is world class expertise available to us when we pick up the phone – and it is applied by people who know our plant locally. “Because the local Konecranes team inspects and programmes our equipment for ongoing reliability and safety compliance, they know each crane very well -and they know us too and the way we do things. They understand what’s important to our processes so there is backup and no delay. “They do not have to guess about maintenance issues, they have the diagnostic maintenance tools and the personal knowledge to go straight to the problem. And they fit in with us. That can save much downtime. “If we didn’t have such reliability and safety as they give us, it would affect our paint schedule, our delivery schedule, everything. Their services are crucial to our operation.” u



business news

Centricut consumables now available SINGAPORE: Hypertherm, a US-based manufacturer of advanced metal cutting systems, has launched Centricut brand consumables for businesses that use Kjellberg systems to cut stainless and mild steels.

Stainless Steel Cutting Companies that use a PerCut 370.2 torch on a Kjellberg HiFocus 280i, 360i, or 440i system now have new consumables that are designed for high amperage stainless steel cutting. These consumable products perform equal to, and in some cases better than, OEM consumables, enabling customers to lower their operating costs without sacrificing cut quality or productivity. The launch follows the release in early 2011 of stainless steel consumables for companies using the PerCut 370.1 torch. Now, users who cut metal using any Kjellberg HiFocus system have a complete line of consumables for stainless steel cutting. “We are committed to providing unparalleled value and performance to customers

who cut metal, no matter what type of system they own or use,” said Martin Geheran, product marketing manager for Hypertherm’s Centricut brand. “Today’s announcement further demonstrates this commitment and enables us to help many more users lower their overall metal cutting costs.”

Mild Steel Cutting New consumables are also available for owners of Kjellberg’s Fine Focus 800 Plus system or a HiFocus 280i, 360i, or 440i system. Companies that own these systems and cut mild steel using a PB-S80 or PerCut 370.2 torch can now lower their overall cost of cutting by purchasing Hypertherm’s Centricut brand of consumables. These are priced lower than Kjellberg’s Yellow XLife consumables, and yet last 25 percent longer.

“In addition to costing less and lasting longer, these new consumables provide exceptional cut quality and process reliability, while maintaining the fast cutting speeds to meet customer demand and need,” commented Geheran. “We are confident that owners of the above Kjellberg systems will be pleased with the performance they see.” The new consumables are precision manufactured to Hypertherm’s tight tolerances so customers get consistent, reliable performance from their cutting system. Hypertherm’s Centricut brand engineers and manufactures advanced plasma and laser cutting consumables. Its product line includes consumables that deliver increased value to people who own most any non-Hypertherm cutting system including systems by ESAB, Kjellberg, and Trumpf. All Centricut brand products are engineered and manufactured to exacting standards and incorporate the latest technological advances that help to reduce operating costs, while delivering increased cut speed and quality. Centricut products include free technical support and come with same-day shipping. u

Machine tool demand in China to grow 14 %


emand for machine tools in China is projected to grow 14.2 percent annually to 389 billion yuan in 2014. This strong growth will bolster China’s current position as the world’s leading consumer and producer of machine tools. Both supply and demand will benefit from a number of government policies set forth in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan. Economic goals in the Plan that are especially salient to the machine tool industry are the

development of Strategic Emerging Industries (SEIs) which will receive beneficial government treatment and the push for “Indigenous Innovation.” These and other trends are presented in Machine Tools in China, a new study from the Beijing office of The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm. High-end equipment manufacturing is designated as one of the SEIs and will be

extensively promoted by the Chinese government. Advanced machine tool manufacturing is an important segment of high-end equipment manufacturing, and as such, the industry will benefit from subsidies offered by both the central and local governments for research and development. Sales of high-end machine tools will also benefit from favorable tariff policies that will promote the sales of domestic products. China plans to be an innovationoriented society by 2020. u






Step closer to cheaper plastic solar cells SINGAPORE: cientists from Singapore’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), an institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have created a new polymer with both high charge mobility and high power conversion efficiency for application in both plastic electronics and organic solar cells.


A single polymer that can be used in both new age plastic electronics as well as plastic solar cells could spell greater costsavings and open up new design options for electronic and solar cell companies. A*STAR’s IMRE has developed a new polymer that not only produces a high charge mobility of 0.2 cm2/V.s, which is the same value achieved by commercially available semiconducting materials but also has a high solar power conversion efficiency of 6.3%. This makes IMRE’s polymer one of the few that has both these properties. In addition to this, polymers of the same class as IMRE’s, which are those that use thiophene and benzothiadiazole as the building blocks, could only achieve 2.2% power conversion. “Current polymers are usually good in one aspect or another, either as a good conductor for use in electronics or endowed with high power conversion efficiency - but not both”, said IMRE Senior Scientist, Dr Chen Zhi Kuan, the

principal researcher working on the polymers. “IMRE’s polymer functions not only as a good material to make electronic components, the same material can be used to convert sunlight to electricity efficiently”. The polymer can also be easily applied in roll-to-roll printing techniques which is similar to how newspapers are currently printed making it possible to manufacture large area-scale printed electronics and organic solar cells quickly and cheaply. With IMRE’s polymer, manufacturers could save cost using just a single bulk resource for making both printed electronics and organic solar cells. The material could also possibly be used in designing new devices where both power harnessing and electronics are needed in a single component. An example of this would be chemical sensors based on organic thin-film transistors and powered by organic solar cells.

“This breakthrough will help speed up the development of plastic electronics and organic solar cells, and make them more readily available in the marketplace,” said Prof Andy Hor, Executive Director of IMRE. Printed electronics often rely on organic materials like polymers that can be easily processed and manufactured as opposed to traditional electronics (or metal electronics) which rely on inorganics such as copper or silicon. The polymers can be made into thinner, lighter and costeffective electronic components and organic solar cells. The IMRE team is developing other organic materials-based polymers that can be scaled up to production and integrated easily into organic electronics. These materials can be used to make energy harvesting and low-power consumption devices like low-cost organic solar cells, new flexible display devices, next generation smart labels and RFID tags. The research and results were recently published in the Advanced Materials journal and online at the Nature Publishing Group (NPG) Asia Materials in July 2011. u

Flying in Hong Kong with fail-safe hoists


KTI’s professional services helped to make Didsbury’s overseas business exploration safe and hassle-free. Thanks to the many aircraft engineers and maintenance teams worldwide that make and maintain our planes so meticulously, flying is deemed the safest way to travel today. But while you sit inside an aircraft, sipping your champagne with peace of mind, do you know who the angels guaranteeing the safety of the aircraft manufacturers are?

Didsbury Engineering Co Ltd is one of those angels. Since 1941, this Manchester-based company develops precise lifting and handling solutions for aircraft maintenance, defence logistics and industrial health and safety applications. Its hoists in particular are Didsbury’s star products. Specified by major aircraft manufacturers, including Airbus, Boeing, Fokker and Embraer, they keep the engineers who need to install and remove parts and components safe. Didsbury is

proud to say that their hoists have never failed, and the company has gained industry-wide recognition for the control, precision and security their products provide. Already working with maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service providers worldwide, Hong Kong, one of the biggest aviation hubs in Asia, was the next goal for Didsbury. And as Didsbury brings safety to aircraft engineers, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) brings UK companies together with partners for life. u




Welding the unweldable


n impressive innovation has shifted the limits of welding still further: Whereas steel and aluminium were once thought to be incapable of thermal joining, this is now perfectly feasible in actual practice. The revolutionary solution has made the visions of material experts, design engineers and production engineers come true. Not to mention the long-held wish of automobile industry managers for dependable high-load thermal joins between solid steel and lightweight aluminium, as required by the loading sequence in the component. This is particularly advantageous for the automobile industry, faced as it is with the need to reduce vehicle weight (and thus fuel consumption and CO2 emissions) and to meet the EU emissions limit of 130 g/km CO2 by 2012. In other sectors, too – ranging from designer objects to factory roofs to wind-power installations – lightweight constructions also deliver huge benefits. Welding textbook opinion has it that metals which differ so greatly in terms of physical properties such as their fusing temperatures (1500°C versus 590°C), coefficients of expansion (1.2 mm versus 2.3 mm/100°C) or electrochemical potential cannot be joined by arc welding. For over 20 years, Fronius had been rising to the challenge presented by this welding-engineering bottleneck, making the first reproducible joints even before it arrived at the CMT (Cold Metal Transfer) solution.

From 2003 onwards, a viable technology crystallised out of Fronius’ collaboration with voestalpine. The many trials conducted since then have proved the industrial suitability of this process and of its applications. On the aluminium side there is a welded join, while the steel sheet exhibits a brazed join. Fronius and voestalpine have been granted several patents for this solution. Together, they have developed high-formability hybrid sheets. Used as semi-finished products, these can be formed into profiles or crash-absorbers in processes such as folding, rolling and deepdrawing. Some technical boundary conditions: The steel sheets must be galvanised (as is usual in automotive manufacturing), the aluminium sheets must be made from materials of the AW5xxx or 6xxx series, and AlSi3Mn1 must be used as the welding/brazing

filler metal. The zinc layer on the steel sheet acts as a flux, wetting the steel. The crucial factor is the intermetallic phase (IMP). This should be as thin as possible, and no more than 10 µm. The strength of the joint is then so great that in tensile tests, the seam itself remains intact and the break takes place in the aluminium sheet. Since then, multi-year tests on shaped hybrid sheets have proved that neither intercrystalline nor stress or crevice corrosion occur; only minor surface corrosion has been detected. The ideal welding systems for the hybrid sheets have proved to be ones that use the CMT process to vertically brazeweld both sides ‘in sync’ from top to bottom. The know-how from voest- alpine relates to weldpreparation in terms of the seamgeometry, while the patented filler metal and the modifications to the (also patented) CMT system are the fruits of Fronius’ R&D effort. u

Demand to reach $171 Billion in 2015


orld demand for construction machinery is projected to expand 6.5 percent per annum through 2015 to $171 billion, in line with the 2005-2010 rate of increase. Following severe losses between 2008 and 2010, equipment sales are expected to rebound sharply in North America, Western Europe and Eastern Europe. In contrast, growth in the Africa/Mideast, Asia/ Pacific, and Central and South American markets is expected to slow during the 2010-2015 period, as both mining and construction activity in these regions climb at more restrained paces.

Over half of all additional construction equipment demand generated between 2010 and 2015 will be attributable to the Asia/Pacific region. Sales of construction machinery are predicted to rise nearly seven percent per year through 2015 because of increases in construction spending and mining output. Although this represents healthy gains, the rate of growth is a deceleration from the doubledigit annual rates recorded during the 2005-2010 period. India, China, Malaysia and Indonesia are among the Asian countries that will record strong growth. China alone will account for 39 percent

of all new equipment demand through 2015. Following a period of sizable losses between 2008 and 2010, the East and West European construction machinery markets are expected to show renewed strength as advances in construction spending and mining activity stimulate increases in equipment demand. The adoption of Stage IV emissions standards for off-highway engines by European Union countries, which is expected to drive up the prices of construction machinery. Information may also be obtained through u



case study

BYD finds convenience, confid B

uild Your Dreams’, the three simple yet compelling words behind the BYD Automobile Co Ltd (Shenzhen) acronym, has likely been a key motto that’s led to the company’s global success. Established in 2003, BYD Automobile has enjoyed incredible growth rates in recent years while building dream products for consumers young and old. The company differentiates itself by producing innovative electric vehicles and technologies that incorporate IT and new energy advancements from its sister companies under the BYD Company Ltd holding group. BYD Auto has an estimated production capacity of 700,000 automobiles a year and offers some of the best-selling models in China. Consumers have come to trust the BYD Auto brand for numerous reasons, most notably for the value and quality of products that theyíve come to rely on. BYD Auto Test Engineer, Zhou Jie explained, “BYD has grown so quickly because of its success in producing high quality products. But to offer our high standard of quality consistently, we had to invest in solutions that make accurate and reliable measurement checks. These systems are employed before and during the assembly process to help us ensure that all our product parts are manufactured exactly to design specifications.” Measurement Challenges on the Shop Floor The car manufacturing process is an active assembly point, where a large number of components of all shapes and sizes are brought together to create a final product. For BYD Auto, some parts are manufactured in-house while others are outsourced. As a result, measurement checks for quality control and assembly poses a

challenge as the metrology needs are so different every step of the way. In the welding line alone, body assembly fixtures of a few metres in length need to be measured alongside dowel pins of a few millimetres in diameter. Zhou shared, “The sizes and features of the items that we need to measure are so significantly different. A host of ‘traditional’ measuring tools such as calipers, hand gauges, and height/ geometric rulers would typically be required to fulfill the variety of inspection needs on the shop floor. And to switch from one tool to the next between measurements would then involve a lot of time, while still not providing the accuracy and precision that we require.” In fact, for truly accurate measurements, it is virtually impossible to rely solely on traditional tools. This is especially true for large auto parts as they cannot be measured accurately or properly with most traditional instruments. Measurement errors will inevitably be in the unacceptable range of millimetres, instead of microns, even with repeated attempts. Options to improve accuracy To solve the problem of measurement accuracy, BYD considered fixed-position Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) as an option. Fixed CMMs are systems that enable high measurement accuracy and repeatability, but with very limited portability and mobility. Each unit typically requires a hefty investment, and on top of that, dedicated large measuring rooms with controlled-environments are

necessary to house and operate these types of CMMs. This also makes the manufacturing process more labour-intensive because parts have to be moved back and forth between the production line and the measurement rooms for inspection. While fixed CMMs would give BYD a much greater level of measurement accuracy compared to traditional measurement tools, the high cost of setup, maintenance, and operator inconvenience made the option unattractive as a viable solution. What BYD needed was the accuracy and precision of a fixed CMM, but not the physical limitations that it entailed. Zhou continued, “We wanted a system that could be deployed anywhere, is easy-to-operate, and most importantly, one that provides accurate and consistent measurements in order for us to uphold the quality of our products.”

The perfect solution was a portable, articulated-arm CMM – a manually-operated measurement arm that offer accuracy, reliability and convenience to users. The ball probe at the end of the arm is directed at various positions on an object to collect individual 3D data points that are then processed by CAD/CAM software on a computer. Instead of bringing parts to the device, the portable CMM can be deployed in an auto assembly line. This has huge savings on time, labour, and cost, all at once. “After careful analysis of major factors such as capital investment, productivity, measurement accuracy and convenience, we decided to go with a portable CMM and selected FARO Technologies’ metrology solutions for our quality inspection needs,” Zhou shared. “This has proven


case study


dence and capacity with FARO to be the right step for BYD, and with FARO we have truly enjoyed measurement convenience that would not have been possible with any other type of system.” Higher Confidence, Improved Capacity Currently, BYD Auto owns around 20 sets of the FARO Platinum Arm. BYD’s automotive production bases in Shenzhen, Xiían, Changsha and Huizhou are each well-equipped with FARO portable CMM arms to assist with quality measurement checks. All collected data is processed with FARO’s CAM2 software, and also Geomagic software. With the FARO Arm on the shop floor, BYD is able to use one tool to measure all its auto parts – regardless of size and shape. Zhou added, “With the flexibility of the arm, we are able to measure and control the quality of not just the smallest auto components, but also much larger parts with remarkable accuracy. FARO equipment is also robust enough for our harsh shop floor conditions; and precision and reliability is possible even without a controlled environment.” For BYD, the FARO Arm combined all the benefits that the company sought. Zhou indicated, “We really like the freedom of movement that the 6-axis of rotation provides. The infinite rotation allows us to measure everything and anything - even hard-to-reach spots or awkward angles. Also, the power-packed software is easy to master, which saves us a lot of time. Additionally, it helps that FARO has a strong after-sales support team that allays our fears for any possible downtime.” With FARO solutions in place, BYD Auto boasts a complete inspection and testing process. Engineers are able to ensure structural stability of fixtures

early in the design stage and quality-control personnel are able to effectively and objectively assess, correct and maintain the excellence of the plantís production. “With short equipment set-up time and user-friendly controls, data collection and reports can be generated swiftly for each quality inspection,” Zhou said. “This has really helped streamline our manufacturing process on the whole.” FARO has enabled BYD to deliver at output and quality levels that would have been impossible if they had chosen any other measurement solution. Measurement efficiency has increased, yet man hours have decreased. Zhou explained, “A quality check that would have taken us an entire day with a fixed CMM actually takes us only 3 to 4 hours to complete. FARO’s measuring solutions have quickly become an indispensable part of our daily operations here at BYD.” Besides added convenience and increased capacity that the company has enjoyed, BYD Auto is also able to accurately, consistently, and confidently measure its product with FARO’s solutions. This remarkable combination is likely a piece of the puzzle that has contributed to BYD’s success today. About BYD Established in 1995, BYD Company Ltd (BYD for short) is a high-tech enterprise listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It is a top high-tech enterprise in China specialising in IT, automobile, and new energy. BYD Auto becomes the most innovative independent national auto brand with a growth rate of over 100% for recent consecutive five years and leads the field of electric vehicles with unique technologies.

For more information, please visit About 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. 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 companyís 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 Netherlands. For more information, please visit u



business news

China – Australia mining forum promotes industry collaborations


he Australian mining industry is continuing to develop close links with China, opening the door for potential trading partnerships. As part of its ongoing commitment to providing technology solutions, Rockwell Automation hosted the “Innovations for Smart, Safe, Sustainable Automation Solutions in the Mining Industry” Forum held in Brisbane recently. Interested parties from Australia and China were given an opportunity to speak with, share ideas, and hear from a range of speakers on best practices and innovations for the industry. The Forum was well attended with more than 100 people representing, Mining End Users, Consultants, System Integrators, OEM’s and Research Institutes from both Australia and China. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd opened the forum. In his welcome address, Mr Rudd emphasised the importance of investment from China in becoming Australia’s closest trading partner. “Our skilled professionals, advanced extraction processes and cutting edge technology have all made Australia a leader in the global minerals industry. We’re also a leader in mining equipment, technology and services,” said Rudd. “Today’s event, and the issues you will be discussing, are important to maintain the momentum of our trade.” Alongside Rudd, Senior Rockwell Automation Leadership — President Asia Pacific, Bob Ruff; Regional Director Australia and New Zealand, Twain Drewett; and Cheng Jie, Regional Sales Director, North and North East, China— also addressed the forum in the opening session. The forum was divided into two streams; Process and Automation, and Power and Safety. Key topics of discussion included: technology involved in remote operating centres, integration of automation and information systems, simulation and reporting systems for mining operations, functional safety in mines, and power and control solutions. The isolated geographical locations of many Australian mines, in addition to safety considerations, make remote automation an attractive option for mining companies. By moving towards reduced manning at mine sites and controlling the plant remotely, network infrastructure is critical to the success of the mining industry.

Cisco Systems Inc., delivered a presentation detailing how networks can assist the challenge of a connected supply chain, secure process, and a transient workforce. Network technology has advanced to the point where, with the correct infrastructure in place, it is possible to have a communications core for control systems, safety protocols, integrated video and telephone systems. Underground coal mines can benefit greatly from advances in remote mining. The CSIRO presented their innovative automated Longwall Automation Shearing Systems (LASC). By automatically guiding itself through the seam using smart technology, the LASC system ensures the optimum extraction of coal, improving safety and efficiency. The CSIRO developed an Ethernet/ IP interface to this system to allow data to be shared with the Plant Control Systems. “The amount of technology that is available to make mining processes more efficient has come a long way; we’re not talking about futuristic technology, it’s all here and now,” said Geoffrey Irvine, Industry Solutions Manager, Rockwell Automation. The mining forum gave attendees the opportunity to hear about some significant case studies in mining. Pingdingshan Zhongxuan Automatic Control System Co Ltd, presented the methodologies of automating the operations of five coal plants for Shanxi Pingshuo Group in China. Logicamms, together with Bemax Resources, detailed their collaboration to achieve sustainable solutions for

The Mining Forum provided the opportunity for the audience to share information relating to smart, safe, sustainable automation in the industry

a Remote Minerals Sand Facility. By using Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system, Bemax Resources were able to automate their operations efficiently and effectively. From an automation industry point of view, the key elements of success are the ability to provide a system which encompasses key issues including safety, asset management, process control and the ability to perform remote operations in a secure manner. The growing number of industry collaborations between Australia and China provided the basis for successful information sharing at the end-user level at the Forum. The Mining Forum provided the audience with a valuable opportunity to share information relating to smart, safe, sustainable automation in the mining industry. “This year is the first time that Rockwell Automation has had the opportunity to collaborate with another country in the Asia-Pacific region,” Irvine said. “Given the resources invested in the mining industry, and the fact that China is our number one customer —where most of our mining and minerals are being exported—they are the natural choice for building strong business relationships,” concluded Irvine. u

business news



Park benefits from partnership


hen downtime costs big money – and when your customers are world names in manufacturing, energy and advanced technology and environmental engineering – electricity generators prize world class reliability and service.

its cranes and the world’s leading crane services organisation, with more than 373,000 cranes of all makes under service contracts worldwide. Operating through a well established South Asia network as part of Konecranes international network of more than 500 locations worldwide, Konecranes offices in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru combine access to global resources and expertise, while offering local knowledge and expertise honed by servicing hundreds of cranes in the areas in which their local customers operate.

That’s why the global Konecranes group – with strong operations in Australasia and the Asia Pacific – is expanding its range of crane services to customers involved in electrical generation and distribution who depend on maximum uptime and reliability from the heavy lifting equipment that is vital to their operations 24 hours a day. An example is Northern Utility Resources Generation, which has chosen Konecranes as its crane service partner at its Kedah plant providing 220 Mw of electricity to the Kulim Hi Tech Park, where more than 50 companies have set up their headquarters for Malaysia and the broader Asian market. Technology leaders relying on NUR’s power include AIC Semiconductor, Axcellis Technology, BASF Electrical, Fuji Electric, Hertz (Sime Darby), First Solar, Intel, Maybank, Novellus, Schenker, Toyo Memory Technologies and Wafergen Bio Systems. NUR’s Kulim co-generation plant – involving four gas generators and two steam generators driven by heat from the gas generator processes – is dedicated to providing reliable supply to the

Park through its high technology facilities serviced and maintained by a total of seven production and service cranes from Konecranes. The cranes are integral to the energy production process, being used for everything from lifting turbines and rotors for periodic maintenance to day-to-day service of diverse, heavy, delicate and expensive workpieces. “This is a very versatile site, set up to ensure security of electricity supply to customers who require world’s best standards of reliability,” said Energy Management Services Mechanical Supervisor Mr Johnny Lillis. “We have to be available all the time. If we did have an outage, we would have to repurchase power from the grid, which costs us more. So we are strongly focussed on business partners such as Konecranes to provide optimum reliability and safety,” said Mr Lillis, whose company is operational, management and maintenance contractor for NUR Generation Sdn Bhd. To service NUR’s 2X20 ton, 2X10 ton, 2X1 ton gantry cranes and its 3-ton workshop crane, Energy Management Services chose Konecranes, the OEM of

Konecranes Singapore won Konecranes Group Best Service Award for 2010. Konecranes branches in Australasia have also won local, State and national awards for service excellence. “Konecranes take ownership and responsibility for a crane plant, in a partnership with us that surpasses any ad hoc arrangement of an ABC company,” said Mr Johnny Lillis. Konecranes is dedicated to the same standards of safety, reliability and efficiency that it applies to electricity generators across Asia and across the globe. The Konecranes group is dedicated to the same high world standards of safety reliability and efficiency that it applies to electricity generators and all other crane users across Australasia, the Asia Pacific and across the globe. “There is just no substitute for having experienced local staff available 24 hours, backed by a regional and global leader in the field,” said Konecranes. Konecranes ST Model gantry cranes and its workshop crane are serviced by a Penang team led by Service Supervisor Mr. Heng Weng Thai under the direction of Konecranes Operations Manager, Malaysia, Mr Stephane Sene. u



the food industry

The future of X-ray inspection


erry Woolford, General Manager, Eagle, looks at the need for X-ray inspection systems, the importance of product development, how systems are changing and the future of the marketplace. Why do manufacturers need X-ray inspection systems? Quite simply, manufacturers need X-ray inspection systems in order to protect their brands as a poor quality product will damage their reputation with consumers and their future business. The quality of products needs to be controlled and verified on the production line and incorporating X-ray inspection into a business, whether in the food, beverage or pharmaceutical industry, is one of the most effective ways to safeguard against potential issues. Reducing the risk of poor quality products will also help manufacturers to increase their profitability as they avoid unnecessary and costly product recalls. Manufacturers are aware that they need to remain successful in a highly competitive and increasingly global marketplace and to achieve this they must ensure that their products meet the quality standards that their customers demand. With an X-ray inspection system, manufacturers can identify

contaminants such as metal, stone, glass, dense plastics and calcified bone. They can also reduce overall maintenance and ownership costs as many systems now combine the jobs that would normally need more than one machine. For example, in addition to contaminant identification, current X-ray systems can carry out recipe management. X-ray inspection systems can also simultaneously perform in-line quality checks such as measuring mass, counting components, identifying missing or broken products, monitoring fill levels, inspecting seal integrity, and checking for damaged products and packaging. With one machine carrying out several tasks, line maintenance and operations costs can be reduced. What are the main concerns of manufacturers when selecting an X-ray inspection system? A key factor for consideration is speed. Manufacturers simply cannot afford to have their lines slowed down by their quality control technologies. Advanced X-ray systems are designed to meet today’s manufacturers’ high throughput targets. Manufacturers sometimes also express concern that the quality of their end products may be affected by radiation from X-ray inspection systems. However, scientific evidence from the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirms that food radiation levels up to 10,000 Sievert (which is the standard unit for the amount of absorbed radiation dose) do not affect food’s safety or nutritional value. In fact, the dose levels used in X-ray inspection are less than one-ten-millionth of those used in the WHO study. Food that passes through an X-ray inspection system spends about 250 milliseconds in

the X-ray beam. During that short time it receives a radiation dose of around 0.2 Millisievert (which is 0.002 Sievert). The radiation levels are so low that organic food can be subjected to X-ray inspection with no diminution of its organic status. The food remains safe to eat and loses none of its nutritional value. Additionally, some manufacturers express concern that their operators may be exposed to harmful radiation from X-ray inspection systems. The average human is exposed to about 2.4 Millisievert in a year from natural background radiation (see Table 1). This far exceeds the radiation exposure received from an X-ray inspection system in the food industry. The typical maximum dose rate immediately adjacent to an operational X-ray inspection system is 0.001 Millisievert per hour, which means an operator in direct contact with an X-ray system for 40 hours a week would receive 2 Millisievert per year. What are the latest, most advanced features of X-ray inspection systems? The latest X-ray inspection systems provide enhanced graphical interfaces for ease-of-use and, combined with the versatility of new software solutions, also provide on-screen self diagnostics, full multi-lane and multi-view capability, enabling operators to monitor the systems on one screen. Combining the information saves valuable time for the operator as it allows more products to be inspected more quickly. New systems also come equipped with Material Discrimination X-ray (MDX) dual energy algorithms that increase contaminant detection of foreign bodies previously unseen by X-ray or any other conventional means in difficult product applications. Originally pioneered for use in the security sector, the MDX technology is able to discriminate materials by their chemical composition and allows the detection and rejection of historically undetectable inorganic contaminants such as glass shards,



the food industry

n systems in the food industry rocks, rubber and plastic. X-ray inspection systems can also verify fill level, measure headspace and verify component presence and absence to alert manufacturers to check if food containers have been overfilled in order to avoid waste. For example, Eagle’s system, Quadview, provides four-view detection coverage and full inspection of high-speed jar, bottle and composite lines as well as other upright container formats, eliminating blind spots that commonly occur at the bottom of such containers during inspection. This system is also network compatible, allowing remote access by technicians to quickly diagnose and correct issues. Some advanced systems can also be set up for remote server access and integrated with networking programmes to allow aroundthe-clock monitoring of statistics, images and reports generated from the individual X-ray system, from any computer with network access. This helps manufacturers adhere to retailers’ codes of conduct and help prepare for safety audits. What is fat analysis and what is the most effective method? Fat analysis is the process of determining the fat content in a given product, which is crucial for food manufacturers to meet the requirements of increasingly health conscious consumers. Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) technology is the most accurate and repeatable method of fat analysis to date. This technology measures the amount of X-rays that are absorbed by the fat content and lean meat through the use of two specific X-ray energies. By evaluating the ratio of energy absorbed at a high energy to the level of energy absorbed at a lower energy, the technology infers the average atomic numbers of the product scanned to provide the chemical lean value. This determines how healthy and lean the food product is for consumers who want to reduce their risk of certain health conditions such as heart disease. In addition to

analysing the chemical lean value, these systems also verify weight and inspect for contaminants at speeds of up to 145 tonnes of bulk or carton meat per hour. What does the future look like for X-ray inspection systems in the food industry? We believe the food industry will continue to invest in food X-ray inspection systems that incorporate dual energy and fat analysis as they will provide manufacturers a strong return on investment (ROI) very quickly. This is due to the overall low cost of ownership, from a simple low-cost maintenance and replacement structure. Also, with ever-changing trends in the food industry, producers of X-ray inspection equipment need to consider new food demands and more innovative packaging designs. For example, multitextured foods have many density levels within the pack which result in a crowded X-ray image. To manage the increased desire for these types of products, extra demands are being made on image analysis software to find contaminants. MDX technology, which is especially useful with crammed images, is a good solution to this potential problem. Innovative packaging designs also lead to their own challenges as machines previously calibrated to scan standard types of packaging will have to adapt to be able to accurately analyse new shapes, sizes and materials such as flexible packaging and pouches. As food and drug safety regulations intensify, compliance and traceability through every stage of a product’s life cycle will grow in importance. For full compliance, it is essential that food manufacturers are able to access product tracking information simply and quickly. In the future all product inspection equipment will need to dually function as management tools as well as process control tools to give company leadership the information they need to make informed decisions and guarantee compliance.

What does the future hold for Eagle following its acquisition by Mettler-Toledo?

With a focus on innovation, value and quality, Eagle is extraordinarily well positioned to help food, consumer goods, and meat and poultry businesses protect their brands. This acquisition is a positive step forward for our global customers and our experienced team as we can bolster customer service while expanding our field support, application capability and market coverage. Our aim is to continue to help manufacturers enhance quality, safety and productivity on their lines and provide an even wider range of high-performance product inspection solutions, such as fat analysis tools, for a variety of applications. The Eagle Product Inspection (Formerly Smiths Detection PID) line of X-ray inspection systems evaluates in process and finished products for contaminants such as metal, glass, stone and bone while also having the ability to check mass, evaluate compartmentalized fill level, and analyze fat content. With its headquarters in Tampa, Florida, and local offices across the globe, Eagle Product Inspection (Formerly Smiths Detection PID) machines meet today’s Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification requirements to ensure that food and beverage manufacturers and their customers in turn are well protected. Eagle Product Inspection (Formerly Smiths Detection PID) was acquired by Mettler-Toledo in March 2011. The business adopted the Eagle brand which has been used for its products since 1998. The Eagle business joins the Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection family of leading brands: Garvens, Hi-Speed, Safeline and CI-Vision. Visit to see how Eagle Product Inspection systems have the vision to see beyond detection. For further information visit: u



Better Business Throughout Asia

Profile for NZ Manufacturer

Asia Manufacturing News September 2011  

Asia Manufacturing News September 2011

Asia Manufacturing News September 2011  

Asia Manufacturing News September 2011