Business

Jurong’s advanced manufacturing hub has six new entrants

Siemens, Bosch Rexroth among additions to Jurong Innovation District

The new hub for advanced manufacturing being built in Jurong West is welcoming six new entrants over the next three years, ranging from industry giants to research institutions.

They include German conglomerate Siemens, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday. It is setting up a centre to showcase digital solutions and help lower the barrier to entry for manufacturers who want to adopt 3D printing technologies.

Engineering company Bosch Rexroth will be opening a regional training centre to develop a pipeline of Industry 4.0 specialists, he added.

The other four entrants are US multinational Flowserve, Singapore-listed motion control systems specialist ISDN, the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology and the National Metrology Centre.

This brings the Jurong Innovation District (JID), as the area is called, a step closer to changing how companies collaborate and innovate by housing various nodes of the manufacturing sector on a single campus.

The first phase of the 600ha JID is expected to be completed around 2022.

At the annual Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific trade show at the Singapore Expo, Mr Heng stressed the importance of having a conducive environment for tech innovations, at a time when South-east Asia is poised to be a regional manufacturing powerhouse in spite of economic uncertainty in the near-term.

He noted at the start of the three-day event that Industry 4.0 has seen the introduction of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics that have helped companies optimise supply chains, among other developments. But disruption has become more acute.

"Manufacturing industries have come under pressure, and companies are consolidating their operations," Mr Heng said.

In Singapore, the sector typically contributes to about one-fifth of the economy.

"Those with adaptable, productive and cost-effective factories will have the headroom to innovate and reinvent themselves, and the capacity to overcome the downturn."

Siemens executive vice-president Raimund Klein said it decided on the JID as it recognises the need to work with other partners in solving the problems of Industry 4.0.

Bosch Rexroth's regional training centre will open by the fourth quarter and offer a standardised training programme for manufacturers on new methods and technologies at their workplace.

There are already 11 companies at the JID, including the McKinsey Digital Capability Centre, automation company PBA Group and the Sodick Singapore Techno Centre and Japanese cycling components manufacturer Shimano.

BUSINESS & FINANCE