IAA Weekly News – [05.02.24]

IAA Weekly News – News and Trends – [05.02.24]

IAA presents weekly updates on the latest industry news and market trends in an essentially text only format.


Asahi Kasei acquires ISCC PLUS certification for several additional products

The Asahi Kasei Group aims to contribute to a carbon-neutral material value chain by focusing on initiatives such as the use of biomass raw materials, recycled raw materials, and renewable energy while deepening collaboration with other companies based on its medium-term management plan for fiscal 2024 focused on the theme “Be a Trailblazer.” Asahi Kasei and an affiliated company have acquired the widely recognized international sustainability certification ISCC PLUS for several products in the fields of thermoplastic elastomers and rubbers, engineering plastics, and other materials.

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Stavian Group Sets the Stage for Sustainable Industrial Growth at Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024

Stavian Group, a dynamic multi-national industrial company headquartered in Vietnam, is set to take centre stage at the 10th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit from January 9 to 13, 2024 in Gujarat, India. The summit serves as a pivotal platform for Stavian Group to unveil its strategic expansion plans in India and highlight its integral role in the country’s sustainable industrial development.

Over the past decade, Vietnam-India trade and investment relations have flourished across diverse sectors. Among South Asian countries, India is Vietnam’s seventh largest trading partner, accounting for approximately 80% of Vietnam’s total regional trade turnover. Stavian Group recognizes India’s importance and seeks to leverage its strong presence to contribute to the prosperity of both countries. With offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, Stavian Group is strategically positioned to tap into emerging opportunities in the country.

Gujarat emerges as a strategic destination for Stavian Group’s expansion, driven by its dynamic industrial landscape and investor-friendly environment. The state’s robust infrastructure and abundant natural resources make it an ideal hub for Stavian Group’s diversified business portfolio. Notably, Vietnam holds a pivotal role in India’s Look East policy and the Indian Ocean-Pacific Vision, showcasing the significance of the economic cooperation between the two nations. Both governments are intensifying efforts to foster long-term cooperation in investment and trade, emphasizing the importance of economic ties. This commitment was underscored by Mr. Subhash Prasad Gupta, Deputy Ambassador of India to Vietnam, during a gathering in Hanoi in October 2023, aimed at promoting the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024 and fostering increased interaction with businesses.

Stavian Group is poised to play a significant role in this economic landscape, focusing on key sectors such as chemicals & petrochemicals, recycling, packaging, energy solutions, and industrial metals, pulp & paper to name a few. Leveraging Gujarat’s strengths and aligning with the Look East policy, Stavian Group contributes to the economic development of the region in a manner that prioritizes sustainable growth and environmental protection.

“We are excited to showcase our global expertise and forge collaborations at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit,” said the group’s senior representative. “Gujarat’s growth prospects and proactive government make it the perfect base for us to contribute to India’s prosperous and green future.”

Stavian Group cordially invites attendees of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit to visit its booth P22 in Hall 1 of the Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre during the event. At the booth, guests can learn more about Stavian Group’s extensive expertise, innovative industrial projects, and steadfast commitment to enabling sustainable development in Gujarat and throughout India.

Stavian Group’s active participation in the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024 serves as a testament to its dedication to sustainable industrial development. By leveraging its global expertise, the group aims to contribute to India’s growth while adhering to environmentally conscious practices. The summit provides a valuable opportunity for collaboration and showcases Stavian Group’s commitment to regional, global, social, and environmental responsibilities.

To learn more about Stavian Group, visit https://stavian.com/en.

Source : Stavian Group

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UCIMU: 2023, An Overall Positive Year For The Italian Machine Tool Manufacturing Industry

2024 Will Be Stable

2023 has been another positive year for the Italian manufacturing industry of machine tools, robots and automation systems, which has achieved a new production record, thus extending the favourable trend that should also be confirmed in 2024.

This is in short what was outlined by Barbara Colombo, president of UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, the Italian machine tools, robots and automation systems manufacturers’ association, during the usual year-end press conference.

Based on the preliminary year’s data processed by the Studies Dept. & Business Culture of UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, in 2023 production reached 7,560 million euro, marking a 3.8% increase over the previous year.

The result was driven by the good performance of exports, which grew by 10.3% to 3,825 million euro. The export/production figure went up again, attaining 50.6%.

On the foreign front, according to UCIMU processing of the data from the Italian National Statistics Institute (ISTAT), in the period January-August 2023 (latest available data), the main destination markets for the Italian product offering of the sector were the United States (356 million euro, +26.7%), Germany (217 million euro, +8.8%), China (163 million euro, +34%), France (138 million euro, +32.1%) and Poland (128 million euro, +14.7%).

On the other hand, the deliveries by Italian manufacturers in the domestic market decreased slightly to 3,735 million euro, 2% less than in 2022.

Deliveries and imports – the latter down by 4.5% to 2,385 million euro – were affected by the decrease, however slight, in consumption, which dropped by 3% to 6,120 million euro.

For 2024, Italian machine tool, robot and automation manufacturers expect a consolidation of the results achieved in recent years: production should be driven by foreign demand, whereas a moderate reduction should be recorded in domestic consumption.

In particular, according to the forecasts carried out by the Studies Dept. & Business Culture Centre of UCIMU, in 2024, production should grow to 7,595 million euro (+0.5% compared to 2023), thanks to the rise in exports, which should stand at 4,070 million euro (+6.4%).

Deliveries by manufacturers to the domestic market should not exceed 3,525 million euro (-5.6%), in line with the drop in domestic consumption, which should reach 5,780 million euro (-5.6%).

Imports should also be affected by the reduced demand for investments in Italy, falling by 5.5% to 2,255 million euro.

The export/production figure should rise again, standing at 53.6%.

Barbara Colombo, president of UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, commented: “Although there are clear signs of a slowdown, the 2023 of Italian manufacturers is closing with a positive sign; the “Made in Italy” production of the sector grew again, setting a new record thanks to the good results obtained by Italian enterprises abroad”.

“All this means that, once again, our enterprises have been able to redirect their product offering towards areas where demand is more dynamic, i.e. foreign markets. Recession risk averted in the United States, considering the geo-political instability we are facing today, Italian companies are principally engaged in covering traditional markets: in addition to the USA, that of EU countries, where, amongst other things, we hope for the recovery of Germany, which has always been a first-rate partner for the Italian mechanical industry”.

“In this connection – pointed out Barbara Colombo – we have recently submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation an operational plan for the two-year period 2024-2025 regarding activities between the Italian and German machine tool industries, aimed at strengthening the cooperation relations between the two world-leading industrial systems in this field”.

Mutual visits to production facilities in both countries, organisation of incoming activities for delegations of German end users visiting Italian enterprises and trade fairs in Italy, organisation of an Italian Machine Tool Forum in Germany to foster and encourage a mutual knowledge of leading manufacturers and users in both countries, as well as market analyses: these are some of the initiatives that make up this programme. Based on past experience – continued the president – and considering the value of the intervention, we think that this programme should be carried out according to a public-private cooperation model, also for economic purposes. Alongside the trade associations of the respective countries, on the Italian side, in addition to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in our opinion, Sace, Simest, CDP and ICE-Italian Trade Agency should intervene as well.”.

“In parallel with this, our commitment continues in the most geographically distant and culturally different markets, for which UCIMU has launched important initiatives to support the internationalisation activities of enterprises. Among these, two business networks. The first one is ITC in India, which has been working for eleven years now and which gathered over one hundred participants among trade operators of the sector, end users, institutions and journalists during the last annual Conference, in Pune last November. The second one is the newly established network IMT in Vietnam, launched last September and created with the aim of supporting the penetration of the network companies into the country that represents the gateway to the whole South-East Asian region”.

“On the Italian front – stated President Barbara Colombo – the willingness to invest shown by Italian investors has certainly dropped in 2023. After years of more than exponential growth, the reduction registered this year and that expected for next year however seem acceptable. It is actually a gradual return to normal values after the exceptionality of the previous two years. We collect fewer orders than in the past, but the market is not at a standstill: on the contrary, the Italian market remains one of the most important ones. The Italian manufacturing industry is willing to continue with the digital transition process, which is in full deployment, but everyone is waiting to see what incentives will be available starting from the next few months”.

“For this reason – continued Barbara Colombo – we appreciate the work carried out by our government authorities who obtained the green light by the European Commission to finance, with Repower EU, the Transition Plan 5.0, focusing on the combination of green and digital transformations to support the development of the manufacturing industry according to energy-saving criteria, while also considering the fundamental issue of education and training. Now we wait to see the implementation of the measures that will bring this plan into effect”.

“At the same time – concluded the president of UCIMU – we call on the Government to refine the measures 4.0 in order to extend their use to an ever-wider range of companies. The idea is to free up larger resources for small-scale investments, which are logically the preserve of smaller companies that have generally been, and still are, more reluctant to undertake the digital transition. We are aware that there are scarce economic resources and consider it useful for this purpose to raise the tax credit rate of the first bracket, now set at 20%, while lowering the maximum value of the eligible investment currently set at 2.5 million euro”.

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Comau Deploys Innovative Dedicated Hybrid Transmission Assembly Lines For Hycet

Comau has designed and deployed a high-volume, automated assembly line for HYCET, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Wall Motors and a leading manufacturer of DHT (Dedicated Hybrid Transmission) technology. The L.E.M.O.N. hybrid DHT is a next-generation transmission system that allows for the simultaneous use of gasoline engines and electric motors, enabling efficient power sharing between them.  To meet the customer’s large-scale manufacturing targets, Comau’s end-to-end solution features a total of 12 robots across 6 lines to deliver an annual production capacity of 150,000 units per line with a cycle time of less than 2 minutes.

Comau-Hycet Assembly Test Line

Within the scope of the project, Comau has wholly developed the necessary components, including e-motor assembly lines, gear and shaft assembly lines, main assembly lines, and the assembly test lines. The system also includes critical processes that grant full-process assembly from individual components to fully functional units. Furthermore, the high-speed production solution not only satisfies HYCET’s strict requirements in terms of manufacturing accuracy and product quality, it also ensures better adaptability and efficiency while lowering the production costs for future DHT product upgrades. Indeed, the Comau-designed production line can be easily customized to meet different market needs.

“HYCET’s DHT technology represents cutting-edge innovation in the hybrid vehicle sector and delivers outstanding performance for Great Wall Motor’s DHT system. As our technology partner, Comau’s design and engineering capabilities confirm their exceptional position in this field.” said Wu Hongchao, Vice President of HYCET Technology Co., Ltd.

Comau invests in the development of e-drive technologies and consistently broadens its technology portfolio to meet the evolving demands of e-mobility applications. In addition to excelling in the design, manufacturing, and integration of flexible, modular, reconfigurable, and scalable automation solutions, the company specializes in stator assembly systems, rotor assembly systems, e-Drive assembly systems, electric control assembly systems, etc. Comau is also developing automated manufacturing systems for battery cells, modules and complete packs (with any cell format), Comau offers a range of systems for different stages of the production process including battery cell forming technologies.

By combining pioneering competencies in automation and electrification, Comau supports global customers in adopting technology advances and digitalization for large-scale electrification of the automotive market. The focus remains on delivering cutting-edge solutions for the future of new energy vehicles.

Source : Comau

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Outlook for APJ’s IT Ecosystem for 2024

By Jaideep Malhotra, President – Asia Pacific & Japan, Tech Data

Technology distributors are driving growth in the channel and IT ecosystems by simplifying complexity, bridging widening skill gaps, accelerating new technology adoption, and streamlining go-to-market strategies. In this backdrop, here is our 2024 outlook for Asia Pacific & Japan based on findings from our 2023 Direction of Technology report:

  1. Growth is on the horizon: Acknowledging a decline in channel revenue expectations in the past 12 months due to the challenging economic environment, 79% of APJ respondents remain optimistic about future revenue growth. This outlook is attributed to portfolio flexibility and the proactive approach of partners in meeting market demands, with 62% of partners intending to expand their technology and solutions offerings.
  2. High-growth technologies will remain key business drivers: The transformative potential of high-growth technologies is evident in the partner community. 40% of partners are strategically expanding their portfolios to offer AI/ML solutions in the next two years and further align with the escalating demands for advanced solutions. Additionally, cybersecurity and infrastructure are at the top of consumer purchasing decisions with the former being the top technology sold for 63% partners in 2023.
  3. Partner business models will rebalance towards services: In addition to evolving portfolios, partners are also adapting their business models to meet market demands and end-user needs. Services are increasingly taking an important share in APJ partners’ business models – from only 12% in 2023, the selling of professional services is expected to continue growing over the next three years, rising to 60% by 2026.
  4. Ramped up capabilities will propel businesses forward: Increased financial flexibility will help APJ partners navigate increased competition and margin pressures, which have emerged as key challenges for partners. They are also confronted with credit and financial scalability challenges, driven by growing demands from customers and end-users for credit and financing options.

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Kaspersky: 53% increase in cyber threats originating from servers hosted in Singapore 

Global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky revealed a 52.9% increase in threat sources originating from servers hosted in Singapore in 2023 compared to the previous year. From January to December last year, the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) detected 17,010,939 incidents, up from 11,123,465 incidents in 2022.

KSN is a complex distributed infrastructure dedicated to processing cybersecurity-related data streams from millions of voluntary participants around the world. KSN data is collected from Kaspersky customers here who have installed the company’s cybersecurity software on their computers and voluntarily shared information with the firm.

Data servers host a wealth of information and provides organizations with resources, data, services or programs over a network. Servers can be compromised should there not be appropriate safety measures in place. Once compromised, cyber criminals could use the server to execute attacks against the organization or use it as a launch pad for external attacks.

Majority of businesses have now adopted new technologies and business models that rely heavily on cloud computing or have engagement with tech vendors or third-party service providers that have high reliance on data servers. Whilst collaborative, this interconnectivity and reliance on centralized servers do present a collective weakness.

An example of this was seen in the recent service outage experienced by healthcare providers in Singapore last November. The downtime was attributed to Denial of Service (DDoS) styled cyber-attacks on their IT servers.

“Singapore’s regional data center ambition continues to grow with the recent lifting of the data center moratorium along with the public consultation launched at the end of 2023 with regards to whether data centers and its servers should be classified as critical infrastructure and to be regulated under Singapore’s Cybersecurity Act. Clearly, the country is taking extensive measures to protect its critical infrastructure and fortify it for the digital age. Along with regulatory policy, organizations need to continue to be collaborative and prudent in managing their resources to build up cyber resiliency to fortify their businesses against complex and intensive cyber campaigns,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

An IT security incident is always a stressful situation. To make sure that you’ll be able to react quickly and won’t waste time in case of emergency, Kaspersky recommends the following:

  1. Identify your critical business assets and systems. Make sure that these assets are protected and you make a regular backup of crucial information.
  2. Know the risks – understand the nature of potential threats. Monitor relevant cybersecurity news to understand what kind of attack your company should be aware of. This knowledge also will allow you to understand if your security solution provides the necessary protection.
  3. Choose a proven endpoint cybersecurity solution for business that is equipped with behaviors-based detection and anomaly control capabilities for effective protection against known and unknown threats
  4. Use a dedicated set of effective endpoint protection, threat detection and response products to timely detect and remediate even new and evasive threats
  5. Use the latest threat intelligence information to empower your security experts
  6. Make a list of key contacts. Think about who you can turn to in case of a cyber incident, including partners, suppliers, banks, IT providers, and incident response services.
  7. Inform your employees how to spot an incident. Such signs as computers running slowly, users being locked out of their accounts or users being unable to access documents, ransom demanding notifications, and any unusual computer behavior can be an indication of this.
  8. Regularly conduct internal emergency drills (including testing the shutdown of a number of IT systems and testing restoring data from backups).
  9. Information on action plans and communications in emergency situations should also be stored offline, as IT systems may not be available.
  10. Implement a system for prompt secure communication of key people in an emergency, for example, a messenger independent from the main one, not connected to other corporate systems and therefore won’t be compromised.
  11. Develop and approve in advance PR-statement templates for various types of incidents and emergencies.

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 Energizing the Future: High-Voltage Batteries as Catalysts for Sustainable Growth
Industrial Automation Asia – Weekly Product Update – [05.02.24]