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Hong Kong Advanced Manufacturing Mission to Singapore

Organised by the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks (HKSTP) and supported by the Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association (HKEIA), Hong Kong Advanced Manufacturing Mission to Singapore was launched from 24 to 28 April 2018. The objectives of the mission are to keep abreast of Hong Kong industry stakeholders of the latest advanced manufacturing development in Singapore and to explore tech collaboration and business opportunities in Singapore. The mission leader Dr H.L. Yiu, the Head of Advanced Manufacturing of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) lead the delegation visited companies, research institutions and universities to explore advanced manufacturing application in Singapore. The first visit to the ASM Pacific Technology (ASMPT) which was founded in 1975. ASMPT is the only company in the world that offers high-quality equipment for all major steps in the electronics manufacturing process - from carrier for chip interconnection to chip assembly and packaging to SMT. ASMPT is headquartered in Singapore and is listed in Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 1989. Mr. Shawn Tan, SMT Solutions Product Marketing Manager of ASMPT introduced one of their application “Hermes Standard” in assembly line. The Hermes Standard is a new, non-proprietary open protocol, that takes exchange of PCB related data between the different machines in electronics assembly lines to the next level in order to bring vendor-independent machine-to-machine communication in SMT assembly. The Hermes Standard Initiative is open to all equipment vendors who want to actively participate in bringing the benefits of Industry 4.0 to their customers.

In the afternoon, we have visited to an Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC) to explore how to improve the sustainability of high-tech manufacturing sector. Dr Andrew Soutar, Director of Research Collaboration and Competitive Programmes of ARTC introduced the operation of the ARTC. He mentioned ARTC is a public-private collaboration between the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and industry partners that seeks to bridge technological gaps in the adoption of advanced remanufacturing processes.

Next day, we visited the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) which develops high value manufacturing technology and human capital to enhance the competitiveness of Singapore's manufacturing industry. It is a research institute of the A*STAR. SIMTech has completed projects for companies, big and small, in the electronics, semiconductor, precision engineering, medical technology, aerospace, automotive, marine, logistics and other sectors. Dr Lim Yan Guan, Roland, Group Head, Planning and Operations Management of SIMTech lead us to a virtual tour of Model Factory. The Model Factory at SIMTech is an actual production environment that allows for experiential experimentation and learning of manufacturing system technologies.

To understand the start-up growth environment is another important index for Hong Kong future industry development. We have visited the ERI@N Accelerator, one of the programmes of Energy Research Institute in NTU. Mr. Tony Leung Tong Kien, Program Manager, ERI@N Accelerator introduced the programme and arranged a tour to visit some start-up companies stationed in NTU including Autonomous Robots, Wireless Charging and Energy Audit etc.

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is another university that we have visited in the last day. SUTD is the fourth autonomous university to be established in Singapore in 2009. Ms. Ng Chai Pheng, Assistant Director, Digital Manufacturing & Design centre of SUTD said design as a major discipline to cut across the curriculum and SUTD provides a novel framework for the research and educational programmes. SUTD is collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Xhejiang University (ZJU) and the Singapore Management University (SMU).

Last but not lease, the mission visited the DHL Supply Chain Singapore Pte Ltd Advanced Regional Center (ARC). According to Mr. Melvin Tan, Vice President, Solution Design Asia Pacific of DHL Supply Chain Singapore Pte Ltd Regional Office said the ARC pioneering multi-customer automation system uses 130 robotic shuttles to pick and store products from 65,000 locations across 26 levels, improving picking efficiency by 20% and utilising 40% less space than conventional warehousing operations. Moreover, we visited DHL Asia Pacific Innovation Center which showcasing the latest in logistics trends and innovative solutions, the Center serves as a regional platform for collaborative innovation between DHL, customers, industry partners, and independent experts. The Center will drive DHL’s Trend Research initiatives focusing on emerging trends in Asian logistics and economic activity.