a worker welding in a factory

Manufacturers in Singapore can now easily test out a new technology before spending their budget on implementing it. Source: Shutterstock.

Singapore to give manufacturers a tech boost

MANUFACTURERS in Singapore are about to get another technology playground to help grow their business.

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) announced a new facility that allows companies to test more than 10 types of advanced manufacturing technologies.

Situated in the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC) at Clean Tech Loop, the model factory will be fitted with virtual labs and simulation equipment. Businesses can test out new production lines and improve resource planning, before deploying any new technology in their actual operations.

This isn’t the first model factory in Singapore. Previously, a similar facility was launched at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech).

The two model factories differ in their offerings. SIMTech’s facility is aimed at companies on their first mile of technology adoption; the one at ARTC is targeted at companies in advanced stages of tech adoption.

Although the ARTC facility has a comprehensive suite of solutions, there is also a pool of engineers and researchers on site to help companies come up with solutions suited to their needs.

Some of the technologies available in the ARTC model factory include robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT).

This is in line with the Singaporean government’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 (RIE2020) plan. Over US$2.3 billion is being poured in to develop research and technological capabilities in Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME).

The Singapore government is hoping that the facilities will help support homegrown small and medium businesses to innovate, grow, and scale up.

“Disruptive technologies such as additive manufacturing, robotics are ushering a new era of manufacturing,” said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon, in a report by Channel News Asia.

“These technologies will fundamentally change the way businesses operate, produce, and interact with their customers and their supply chain, leading to enhanced business models,” he added.

Some firms have already started taking advantage of the initiative. One of them is local metal and machine servicing firm Abrasive Engineering.

The company is said to have used the facilities to test out a new digital process for monitoring machine health. It has since started integrating the technology into its machines and is expected to increase sales by 20 percent this year.