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R&D collaborations on corrosion prevention and metal machining in Singapore

Agency For Science, Technology And Research (A*STAR) : 13 July, 2013  (Special Report)
The Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) has initiated three collaborative industry projects worth S$1.8m with the support of SPRING Singapore and Singapore Workforce Development Agency to help local companies strengthen technological capabilities, increase their productivity, and venture into growing markets. The roll-out of the collaborative industry projects was announced by Mr S Iswaran, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister, Home Affairs and Trade & Industry at SIMTech’s 20th anniversary gala dinner.

Collaborative industry projects are cost effective R&D platforms where groups of companies facing similar issues work jointly with SIMTech to develop manpower and technology.

The collaborative industry project on corrosion prevention enables coating companies to upgrade their capabilities to capture market potential in the oil & gas, aerospace and MedTech industries. The global oil & gas corrosion prevention market alone is worth US$ 18.72bn in 2011 (Visiongain). Productivity gains can be achieved by reducing the steps in the coating application process; establishing more accurate tests for corrosion investigation and use of the right coating for corrosion prevention. The collaborative industry project equips the industry with know-how in corrosion prevention; assessment of corrosion protection coatings and implementation of relevant coatings. This collaborative industry project is relevant to companies from coating and paint providers, marine, oil & gas, heavy equipment suppliers, building and industry product as well as electronics industries.

The collaborative industry project on advanced precision metal machining aims to improve competency and productivity through dynamic analysis and simulation technology. Advanced precision metal machining is the foundation of the growing aerospace, oil & gas and MedTech industries. Consisting of training and implementation, this collaborative industry project is expected to achieve significant productivity improvement at various stages of the machining process. When completed, a pool of technically competent precision metal machinists is available to tackle the demands of ultra-precise and complex machining.

Working in conjunction with the National University of Singapore, the third collaborative industry project is on X-ray sterilisation for the MedTech industry and food industries. This collaborative industry project aims to develop a cost effective alternative to the capital-intensive traditional methods. Current sterilisation methods are costly and have limited our local SMEs’ ability to meet the high demand for sterilisation of medical devices and food related products. SIMTech’s R&D team has determined that X-ray provides a good alternative to present sterilisation methods as it offers excellent dose uniformity performances compared with other current technologies. A total of 15 companies ranging from MedTech device makers, food and herbs suppliers, X-ray source manufacturers, systems integrators, sterilisation service providers to certification agency are committed to this collaborative industry project which opens up new business opportunities in the MedTech sector for our local enterprises and boost productivity. Mr Marcus Chang, Managing Director of mb nano-Tensilogies, is participating in the X-ray sterilisation collaborative industry project as it “potentially provides an alternative technology of sterilisation techniques, enabling us to ascertain the effects of new technique on mb-coated products while gaining good knowledge through the research findings.”

Dr Lim Ser Yong, SIMTech’s Executive Director, said: “By sharing R&D cost, the collaborative industry project approach is proven to be a cost effective R&D platform for MNCs and SMEs from an industry cluster value chain to develop technological capabilities and innovative solutions collectively to tackle specific technical challenges. An example is our Gun Drilling collaborative industry project, initiated in June 2011, which created new high value business opportunities in the oilfield equipment products, drilling, evaluation and completion tools business for local companies and SMEs.” 

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