Local firm ups game with $6m digital manufacturing facility

Feinmetall to use new tech to lift revenue, capacity, productivity

Local firm ups game with $6m digital manufacturing facility

Mr S. Iswaran being shown around Feinmetall Singapore's new Marsiling facility by process engineer Rashid Alwi at its opening. PHOTO: A*STAR

Local precision engineering firm Feinmetall Singapore has unveiled a new $6 million digital manufacturing facility that is set to more than double its revenue in the next four years.

The 6,700 sq ft facility in Marsiling is aimed at allowing the company to expand its production capacity in line with growing global demand.

It is outfitted with a slew of technology solutions that will also help raise productivity by about 10 per cent to 15 per cent, said general manager Sam Chee Wah. The technology includes those piloted in Singapore research agency A*Star's Model Factory initiative, which enables the firm to analyse machine data, develop measures to minimise stoppage and plan machine-maintenance schedules effectively.

In addition, the new facility is expected to create 38 high-value jobs over the next four years, on top of Feinmetall's 50-strong staff today. These will include roles involved with data analysis or the development of new technologies, said Mr Sam.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran, who spoke at the opening of the facility yesterday, said that the Government will continue to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their transformation to adopt digitalisation and advanced manufacturing technologies.

This includes efforts under the $3.2 billion set aside under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 plan to develop technological capabilities in the advanced manufacturing and engineering domain, as well as the Precision Engineering Industry Transformation Map launched in October last year.

Mr Iswaran said digital manufacturing is a key enabler to ensure competitiveness of the manufacturing sector here, which remains an important pillar of the economy.

"The digitalisation of manufacturing - which some refer to as Industry 4.0 - is fundamentally transforming the sector. Advanced manufacturing technologies such as robotics and automation, industrial Internet of Things, manufacturing data analytics and business-intelligence capabilities are disrupting the sector and business models," he noted.

"Feinmetall's Singapore digital manufacturing facility is an excellent example of how our SMEs are stepping up to build capabilities, through digitalisation, to seize growth opportunities, and serves as a positive success story and role model for other SMEs.

"As manufacturing becomes more globalised, it is essential that our local SMEs continue innovating to remain competitive and tap new opportunities for growth."

Set up in 2007, Feinmetall specialises in designing and manufacturing wafer probe cards for semiconductor wafer tests. Its products are used in industries such as automotive, electronics, semiconductor manufacturing, telecommunications and medical technology.

The firm has invested more than $1.5 million into research and development over the last decade including through close collaboration with A*Star.

This article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2017.

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