May 16, 2020

HP launches $84mn Singapore lab to prioritise digital manufacturing technology

Digital Transformation
3D Printing
Additive Manufacturing
HP
Sean Galea-Pace
2 min
Hewlett Packard (HP) has confirmed a partnership with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.
The US-based software company, Hewlett Packard (HP), has announced a partnership with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore to unveil...

The US-based software company, Hewlett Packard (HP), has announced a partnership with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore to unveil a research facility that concentrates on digital manufacturing technologies and additive manufacturing, ZD Net reports.

In a statement on Tuesday (23 October), it has been confirmed that the new $84mn HP-NTU Corporate Innovation Lab is the US vendor’s largest university research partnership globally and also becomes the first one for the Asian region.

HP revealed the facility is set to put an emphasis on digital manufacturing technologies, in particular 3D printing, as well as the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, customisation, machine learning and new materials and applications.

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“NTU has established deep capabilities...in the areas of machine learning, data science, and additive manufacturing,” said Subra Suresh, NTU President. “These cutting-edge technologies are now an integral part of NTU's education and research ecosystem, and the NTU Smart Campus serves as a testbed for them.”

The facility will work on 15 projects in order to gain a better understanding of advanced polymers for manufacturing applications, tapping AI to aid printers to predict and resolve issues automatically and help the development of bioprinting models for the printing of viable tissues.

We are committed to innovating with purpose, not only driving the technology breakthroughs that improve HP's business, but also contribute to creating economic opportunity and improving people's lives," added Dion Weisler, HP CEO and President.

The lab is set to be supported by a team of 100 researchers and staff.

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May 12, 2021

Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers

SmartManufacturing
DigitalTransformation
DigitalFactory
ConnectedFactory
2 min
57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support smart manufacturing digitalisation

With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.

While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.

“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.

“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”

Change Management

Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.

“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.

Technology and People

While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.

“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.

Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.

Discover Gartner's Five Best Practices for Post COVID-19 Innovation' in manufacturing.

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