The sixth edition of Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC (ITAP), the region's leading advanced manufacturing platform, returned from 18 - 20 October 2023 at Singapore EXPO.
Adaptability, resilience and transformation have become essential in a world that appears to navigate from one crisis to the next. Industry 4.0 (I4.0) adoption allows companies to disrupt traditional operations and set a course for future success. Against this backdrop, the sixth edition of Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific (ITAP), 18-20 Oct 2023, serves as a dynamic platform for businesses looking to start, scale and sustain their I4.0 adoption in an ever-evolving world.
With over 18,000 global I4.0 leaders and solution providers converging at Singapore EXPO, the event hall hummed with discussions on sustainability, innovative technologies and a collective vision for a resilient industrial future. The exhibition floor featured comprehensive learning opportunities and bustling thematic zones, including 11 industry-led and dedicated country pavilions.
Constellar, in collaboration with international partner Deutsche Messe, organised the event, which was inaugurated by Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Mr Heng Swee Keat. During his opening address, DPM Heng highlighted that this year's ITAP aims to facilitate over 1,200 business matchings, marking a 40% increase from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
A collaborative journey
Given the challenges and disruptive trends that organisations must confront, DPM Heng emphasised the critical importance of innovation and cross-border collaboration in building resilience. He drew attention to a recent partnership between Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*Star) and institutes of higher learning. This collaboration has led to the creation of a distributed smart value chain program, allowing manufacturers to unite in responding swiftly to shifts in demand and supply. This initiative promotes data sharing and collaborative decision-making.
Alexander Feldman, President of Boeing Southeast Asia, underscored the importance of teamwork and partnerships during ITAP's Industry Transformation Forum. He stressed that Boeing's commitment to safe and efficient travel is a collaborative endeavour involving numerous stakeholders, such as academia, pharmaceutical companies, tourism boards, and government entities. Feldman also highlighted Boeing's ongoing dedication to innovation, which encompasses harnessing renewable energy and advanced technology while optimising operational efficiency.
Over the past five years, ITAP has served as a platform to promote collaboration and co-innovation between diverse stakeholders and industry verticals. At this year’s edition, several significant Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were inked, including the partnership between Singapore Polytechnic and the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation, witnessed by Deputy Prime Minster Heng Swee Keat at the event’s opening ceremony.
Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan presided over two more MoUs on the second day of ITAP: one for the Circular Manufacturing Industry Alliance Partnership among five companies and another between the Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association (SPETA) and the Institute for HR Professionals (IHRP) to further develop talent and the human resources (HR) community in the manufacturing sector.
Trailblazing innovations take centerstage
At the ITAP showcase, emerging technologies such as AI, digital twins, and the metaverse claimed the spotlight. Siemens, the founding partner of ITAP, introduced their cutting-edge solutions, including Industrial Operations X, designed to enhance the efficiency of industrial processes in the realm of IT/OT (information technology/operational technology) convergence. One notable feature of their exhibition was a live demonstration showcasing how industrial automation and digitalisation were practically applied in the local startup Artisan Green's vertical farm, resulting in increased operational efficiency, productivity and the promotion of sustainable food production.
Extended Reality (XR), an umbrella term for all immersive technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), played a prominent role in the exhibits. VIRNECT, a company specialising in intuitive communication and enhanced industrial workflows through AR technology, presented their immersive XR learning solutions, contributing to smoother operations through digital manufacturing.
At this year's ITAP, we saw the introduction of 50 new products, as well as trailblazers pushing the boundaries of automation. Notable examples include Profet AI’s no-code AutoML platform that empowers smart manufacturing through AI tools, LAPP Asia Pacific’s low-carbon intelligent energy management systems, and the latest automated vertical storage solution, the RoboShuttle Plus by Geek+.
Steering impactful dialogues
The Industry Transformation Forum at ITAP, featuring representatives from the likes of Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center Singapore (HMGICS), Delta Electronics, and A*STAR, was marked with vibrant discussions. These conversations revolved around critical subjects such as renewable energy solutions, industrial data, and digital twins, fostering valuable dialogues on addressing challenges and opportunities in the future.
At the Industrial Innovation Stage, discussions ranged from sustainability and cybersecurity in semiconductor manufacturing, to modularisation and digitisation in the process industry, and collaborative AI that makes robots safe for working with humans. In the panel on Generative AI in Manufacturing, panellists delved into the hurdles posed by a transitioning workforce and the necessity to achieve more with fewer resources through automation, highlighting a pivotal shift towards sustainable and efficient manufacturing practices.
Creating a better world for future generations
As ITAP progresses, its sixth edition serves as a remarkable testament to global leaders' and stakeholders' enduring and collaborative determination in charting a sustainable course ahead. Centred on the principles of innovation for robust value chains, addressing climate change, and fostering a skilled workforce, ITAP continues to strengthen the foundation for a future where technology and sustainability intersect to shape a brighter tomorrow.
Find out more about Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC, visit industrial-transformation.com