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Speech by SMS Koh Poh Koon at the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster Summit

Speech by SMS Koh Poh Koon at the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster Summit

Dr Lim Jui, CEO, NTUitive,

Dr Ho Chaw Sing, Managing Director, National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC),

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. Good morning. I am pleased to join you here at the NAMIC Summit 2019: Design for Additive Manufacturing. This is the seventh edition of the NAMIC Summit, which has brought together key thought leaders, promising startups and industry professionals to explore the intersection of design thinking and manufacturing.

Singapore is well-positioned to be an innovation hub for additive manufacturing

2. Additive Manufacturing presents great growth opportunities in the future. In Asia Pacific alone, it is expected to grow to more than US$5.5 billion by 20251. Industries that have a high potential for additive manufacturing adoption, such as Aerospace, Marine & Offshore and Medical Technology, are well-matched to Singapore’s manufacturing base. Hence, Singapore is in a good position to adopt new technologies in 3D printing, to change, disrupt and innovate manufacturing processes for improved performance and cost advantages.

3. In this regard, I am encouraged by NAMIC’s efforts to drive the adoption of additive manufacturing in the industry. For example, NAMIC has been engaging LTA to seed the adoption of 3D printing in manufacturing spare parts for trains and buses to enhance maintenance and engineering operations. In the Maritime sector, PSA will also work with homegrown metal-printing company 3D Metalforge to set up an additive manufacturing design facility this year to support PSA’s inventory of port equipment, through the printing of polymer and metal spare parts on-site.
 
4. With additive manufacturing transiting from a mere prototyping technique in the early days to the actual development of functional use parts, the technology is now increasingly adopted in manufacturing operations that require quick turnaround, unique design requirements and low-volume production runs. We see this in the biomedical sector, which has the largest share of 3D-printing startups in Singapore2. NAMIC and Enterprise Singapore have supported several biomedical-focused startups to develop new applications in additive manufacturing and export these beyond our shores. One example is Osteopore, a medical device manufacturer of 3D-printed implants for bone reconstruction, which has presence in key Asian markets such as Korea, Vietnam and India, and recently established its footprint in Thailand.

5. Under A*STAR’s  Future  of  Manufacturing Initiative,  public-private  partnership platforms such as the Model Factory Initiative and Tech Access3 aim to sustain our competitiveness in manufacturing and technology innovation, so that Singapore remains a location of choice for test-bedding cutting-edge technologies. For example, the Industrial Additive Manufacturing Facility, one of the facilities under Tech Access, helps local enterprises, in particular SMEs, build capabilities in additive manufacturing through the use of advanced machine tools, new processes, prototyping and testing. With improved capabilities, companies can better leverage additive manufacturing technologies, scale up, and capture new business opportunities. In addition, to ensure that we have a complementary skilled workforce, the Singapore Government is also investing in our talent pipeline in this area, training more than 600 engineers in additive manufacturing design and process capabilities.

6. Over the last six months, we have seen a number of new additive manufacturing players set up in Singapore, and Jurong innovation District (JID) now hosts the largest concentration of additive manufacturing establishments here. I’m told that one of the companies, Sodick – a global manufacturer of precision equipment – organises “3D Wednesday” every week at the JID Technology Centre, to offer technical advice to others interested to know how they can use additive manufacturing to realise their design ideas.

7. Meanwhile, German technology group thyssenkrup announced earlier at Hannover Messe that it will be setting up its first overseas Additive Manufacturing Tech Centre Hub in Singapore this year. I am hopeful that the new Hub can help to catalyse the adoption of additive manufacturing through collaborations with our MNCs and SMEs. With capabilities to deliver the full spectrum of the additive manufacturing value chain, the

8. All these are testament to Singapore’s growing reputation as a hub for additive manufacturing research and deployment for the region.

Partnerships are key to improving the competitiveness of our additive manufacturing sector

9. Besides working with local industry players to enable the adoption of digital manufacturing, NAMIC has made significant inroads to collaborate with international partners and networks. One such example is Mobility-goes-Additive, or MgA – an international network of companies and research institutes working on industrial additive solutions. I understand that MgA’s Managing Director Ms Stefanie Brickweder is here with us today, all the way from Berlin, to sign an MOU with NAMIC on new areas of collaboration in additive manufacturing. The goal of MgA and its network members is to overcome the challenges in the adoption of additive manufacturing and to establish it as an integral part of the production chain. This is in line with our ambition for our industry.

10. The MOU with MgA will allow local companies to leverage plug-and-play solutions from MgA’s network members, including notable German MNCs such as Siemens and TÜV SÜD. This will shorten the time-to-market for the development of additive manufacturing solutions, and broaden the market reach for both NAMIC and MgA’s global industry network, while expanding the applications of additive manufacturing across sectors. The launch of NAMIC’s business directory today, which comprises all additive manufacturing technology and service providers in Singapore, will help to facilitate further collaborative opportunities.

11. In closing, I would like to encourage all of you to fully explore and experience what our additive manufacturing ecosystem has to offer. I wish everyone here an engaging and inspiring week ahead at the Summit.

12. Thank you.
 
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