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Industrial Automation Asia is pleased to feature an article provided by Terrence Oh, Senior Vice President (Asia Pacific) of EOS Singapore on the future of additive manufacturing (AM) in APAC.

Terrence_Oh,_Senior_Vice_President_(Asia_Pacific),_EOS_Singapore

“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going,” aptly describes the manufacturing sector within APAC this year and even the next.

The manufacturing industry has experienced a steady growth within the ASEAN region especially during the first-half of 2018. The AM market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 27 percent between 2018 (US$1.73 billion) and 2023 (US$ 5.66 billion). In fact, AM in APAC is expected to have the highest CAGR due to the region having the fastest growth for automotive and printed electronics sectors. This offers more opportunities for AM adoption.

As the manufacturing industry continues to ride the economic wave, the following are some predictions and trends we can expect in AM, also known as industrial 3D printing for 2019 and beyond:

AM Presents Another Opportunity For Economic And Productivity Growth

  • Rising protectionism and trade conflicts will have an impact on global supply chain to move toward decentralisation and regionalisation of manufacturing.
  • The manufacturing sector in Asia is at risk of incurring high operating costs if trade tensions continue due to higher trade tariffs.
  • As such, the digitalisation of manufacturing and AM will serve as an enabler for distributed manufacturing. This is a good opportunity for companies to tap on AM to grow and transform their businesses.
  • Businesses that adopt smart technologies like AM to 3D-print parts and components are able to reduce production costs, processes, and time through part redesign and integration. This also makes manufacturing domestically more practical than importing from abroad.

Continued Innovation And Adoption Of AM Across Industries

  • Aerospace: AM is reported to have a global economic impact of US$ 250 billion by 2025 if industries continue to increase its adoption, with the aerospace and defence industry taking the lead. Moreover, the global aerospace AM market is reportedly expected to register a CAGR close to 22.3 percent during the forecast period of 2018-2023. This also presents an opportunity for talent growth and development.
  • Healthcare: AM has already made its name in the healthcare industry due to its ability to custom-make 3D-printed prosthetics based on the individual’s needs. With the aging population, this trend is set to continue due to an expected increase in demand for personalised healthcare and treatments, as well as customized 3D-printed medical devices.
  • Automotive: The industry has embraced AM to decrease production lead time, increase efficiency in logistics management, and ensure effective use of components/materials. This trend is set to continue with. Currently, the global automotive 3D printing market is predicted to be valued at over US$ 8 billion by 2024.
  • Tooling: Together with robotics, tooling is will be one of the main industry drivers within the AM market in APAC from 2018 to 2023.

More Talent Development In AM

  • AM usage in various industries are increasing but there continues to be a gap in skills due to the niche expertise required.
  • If this is not addressed sooner, this could jeopardise the growth within the AM industry and eventually, other sectors that deploy AM.
  • To keep up with digital disruption and the need for business transformation to keep pace, more will be invested into educating future and current workforce on AM.
  • Launched in September 2018, EOS partnered with the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster’s (NAMIC) to develop the Joint Industry Innovation Programme. Targeted at advancing 3D printing capabilities in the aerospace sector, the training programme aims to produce specialists skilled in AM technology and design of parts. The programme addresses the need to reskill and upskill the current workforce as AM adoption increases.

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