Singapore making progress in advanced manufacturing

SINGAPORE is making some headway in advanced manufacturing with some 25 companies making strategic investments here.

Among others, Seagate Technology has embarked on its "dream factory" project - the first initiative in the industry to explore full automation in manufacturing hard disk drives.

The company is one of a number of manufacturers that have decided to conduct first-of-its-kind advanced manufacturing initiatives from Singapore, as revealed by Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, during the opening of Manufacturing Technology Asia 2017 on Tuesday.

The 25 companies were also celebrated and recognised at a commemoration ceremony during the opening of the exhibition, which will run until Friday at the Singapore Expo.

An Automated Guided Vehicle from SESTO Robotics, whose intelligent software controls enable it to move safely and easily in narrow passageways and among people. Photo: Manufacturing Technology Asia 2017

Ms Sim said the government is committed to invest in advanced manufacturing technologies, and support its adoption by companies here.

She said: "The advent of advanced manufacturing technologies, such as additive manufacturing, the Industrial Internet-of-Things and robotics, is changing the way products are created, supply chains are managed and how value chains are defined globally.

"For instance, the manufacturing workflow, from receiving an order to production at the factory floor, can now be digitalised and automated.

"This will enable companies, both large and small, to benefit from significant productivity gains."

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Ms Sim noted that Chevron Oronite, a global fuel and lubricants additive company, has partnered technology provider Emerson Automation Solutions to install a pervasive sensing infrastructure on its Jurong Island facility to improve energy efficiency, labour productivity and site safety.

Siemens has also launched its digital manufacturing design consultancy in Singapore, and will be supporting dormakaba, a security systems company, to design a greenfield advanced manufacturing facility in Singapore, she said.

New job opportunities such as industrial data analysts, robot coordinators and industrial solution architects also arise from advanced manufacturing, said Ms Sim.

She said: "By equipping our people with the relevant skills, they can benefit from these job opportunities.

Read also: Samsung to expand in US, shift some manufacturing

"To do so, we have identified emerging skillsets through Skills Frameworks, and accelerated reskilling efforts through the Professional Conversion Programme, various SkillsFuture initiatives, as well as company-led programmes.

"We will continue to partner our institutes of higher learning to update their curricula, and build a strong talent pipeline for advanced manufacturing."

This article was first published on Apr 05, 2017.
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