in Vol. 16 - May Issue - Year 2015
Singapore Seizes Future Of Manufacturing By Catalysing Growth Of Sustainable Production Technologies
Minister S. Iswaran, Minister in Prime Minister
About A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC): The ARTC is a platform built upon strong partnerships across the supply chain, complemented by technical support from research institutes and academia. The ARTC combines the challenging industrial requirements of cross sector global OEMs, the state-of-the-art industrial equipment and software makers with the best minds in R&D to accelerate the creation of industrial solutions for manufacturing and remanufacturing. About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR): The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector agency that fosters world-class scientific research and talent to drive economic growth and transform Singapore into a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation driven economy. In line with its mission-oriented mandate, A*STAR spearheads research and development in fields that are essential to growing Singapore’s manufacturing sector and catalysing new growth industries. A*STAR supports these economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. A*STAR oversees 18 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their vicinity. These two R&D hubs house a bustling and diverse community of local and international research scientists and engineers from A*STAR’s research entities as well as a growing number of corporate laboratories.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) launches Asia’s first centre for test bedding and developing remanufacturing technologies.
Singapore—Singapore's manufacturing sector is taking strides towards a more sustainable future with the launch of a new facility that allows companies to breathe new life into old product components by reusing them in their manufacturing processes.
Located at Singapore's first eco-business park JTC CleanTech Two@ CleanTech Park, A*STAR's Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC) is the first of its kind in the region dedicated to test-bedding and development of remanufacturing technologies through a public-private partnership approach, together with strategic partner Nanyang Technological University.
Remanufacturing is a sustainable production process that involves transforming a recovered part or product through disassembly, cleaning, testing and other operations to produce like-new products to be reintroduced to the market. Remanufactured products are tested and certified to meet technical and safety specifications of new products as a mark of quality, and they are often sold with warranties comparable to the original.
Said Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of A*STAR: "The ARTC embodies A*STAR's commitment to driving Singapore's economic growth, and moving Singapore to a more sustainable future. As the future of manufacturing continues to evolve, we believe the ARTC will strengthen Singapore's competitiveness and allow us to capture the greatest value from the new growth area of remanufacturing."
With the growing focus on sustainability and technology innovation, remanufacturing is widely seen as the future for manufacturing. Remanufacturing typically utilises less energy and generates less waste as compared to traditional manufacturing processes and is able to result in substantial environmental benefits. Through R&D, companies can also develop advanced sustainable remanufacturing technologies to strengthen their capabilities and technology know-how as well as increase their global market competitiveness.
Strong industry support for the ARTC
The ARTC provides a collaborative platform, which brings together public sector research laboratories, academia and industry players from MNCs and SMEs to help bridge technological gaps in the adoption of advanced remanufacturing processes. It also works with NTU to develop a strong talent pipeline to support the shift towards eco-friendly production processes and techniques.
Specifically, the ARTC aims to catalyse the adoption of remanufacturing in the aerospace, oil and gas, marine, energy, automotive and engineering industries. This effort towards spurring sustainable production has been met with strong support from the industry. Since the programme was first unveiled in 2012, the ARTC has welcomed 29 members on board including EOS GmbH, IHI Corporation, Rolls-Royce plc, Singapore Aero Engine Services Private Limited (SAESL), Siemens Industry Software, and SKF. The members also include 12 local SMEs.
Dr David Low, Chief Executive Officer of the ARTC, said, "The ARTC is the first centre in Asia that adopts the AxRC model of industry-led public-private partnership across sectors and supply chains. Through this unique collaborative model, like-minded companies come together at the ARTC to provide real industry requirements, spark new ideas, catalyse new opportunities, leverage on shared resources and accelerate the development of remanufacturing capabilities in a faster, better and cheaper way than doing it alone. We are truly grateful for the invaluable confidence and support our industry members have offered to the ARTC."
To date, the Centre has undertaken over 50 industry projects. These range from an automated process to protect surfaces during repair processes, to a robotised inspection process to check for defects in components.
The ARTC is collaborating with IHI to develop an advanced process for surface finishing of industrial components, to better protect surfaces from damage and contaminants that result in increased energy usage and higher likelihood of component failure in the long run. As an automated process, it reduces labour intensity and the amount of time taken for surface finishing, which will boost productivity for industries such as aerospace, automotive and oil and gas.
The ARTC's partnerships with industry leaders have also created new business opportunities that local enterprises can capitalise on as Singapore gears up for the future of manufacturing.
One SME which has captured business value as a result of the ARTC's efforts is local SME AmpTec Industrial Heating Pte Ltd., a company involved in one of the ARTC's projects with Rolls-Royce. AmpTec was commissioned to develop a dry ice blasting machine as a project. Dry ice blasting is an eco-friendly technique of cleaning aircraft engine components as it does not use polluting industrial chemicals and heavy scrubbing. It also causes less damage to the component surface than current methods of cleaning; thus retaining the quality and performance of the component. Through this collaboration, AmpTec has made headway with other member companies to see how it can support their remanufacturing business requirements.
Worldwide, remanufacturing is already commonly applied in the aerospace, marine, automotive and engineering industries. A report by Global Industry Analysts (GIA) predicts that the global automotive remanufacturing market is expected to reach US$104.8 billion by 2015. In Singapore, sectors such as aerospace, oil and gas, automotive and machinery, have remanufacturing activities located here, with aerospace Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) being the biggest contributor.
Senior Officer, Corporate Communictions Agency for Science, Technology and Rsearch
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