Siemens Takes the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the Road in Taiwan
Siemens AG is about to embark on a two-year tour around Taiwan in an attempt to promote its latest advancements in manufacturing technologies to a wider audience in Asia.
The German engineering firm will be carrying out the tour off the back of its new demonstration truck, which is the first of its kind in the region and has subsequently been dubbed the “Future of Manufacturing.”
Around 400 visitors are set to be graced by the demo truck’s presence from July onwards, while academic institutions and training centres are also pivotal parts of the journey.
The demo truck will offer a glimpse into the technologies of the “fourth industrial revolution,” comprising integrative virtual and real manufacturing processes, solutions for integrated products, and support for the industrial value chain.
Erdal Elver, president and chief executive officer of Siemens Taiwan is keen to highlight to customers across the country that Siemens is able to produce technologies unique to local demands and specifications; focusing specifically on making faster, more flexible and smarter product realisation processes from design to mass manufacture.
“Advanced digitalisation and internet as well as the integration of the virtual and real worlds will be the decisive driving forces for modern manufacturing,” Elver said at the launch ceremony.
“It is expected that the fourth Industrial Revolution shall generate new future opportunities for Taiwan's manufacturing.”
Elver was also keen to promote Siemens' advanced industrial automation, control and IT-based technologies and how they can assist Taiwanese customers in overcoming market challenges, increase their productivity and efficiency, achieve sustainable development, and improve their competitiveness on the global stage.
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.