Makino Asia Opens Smart Factory in Singapore

Apr 2019

Makino Asia, a manufacturer of machining tools opened a new smart manufacturing facility in Singapore, built with an investment of SGD 100 million (USD 74 million). The facility is expected to double the double its machine production capacity through automation and data exchange technology.

Makino Asia, under Tokyo-based Makino Asia Makino Milling Machine Company, was amongst the wave of Japanese investments during the early days of Singapore’s industrialization, establishing itself in Singapore in 1973. Makino transferred its global product charters from Japan to Singapore in 2009 and also sited its Global Training Centre, as well as its headquarters for Southeast Asia, China and India in Singapore.

This facility in Tuas consists of an assembly factory and a newly built machining factory. In the factory machine castings are transported from one factory to another by automated guided forklifts. The disposal of loose chips, replenishment of parts in inventories and all other aspects are monitored and controlled by automated processes. Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are allowing Makino to track all its machines in operation for customers around Asia and predict which units need maintenance, before a breakdown occurs. Makino Asia has also acquired Smart Glasses capabilities, which link engineers based in Singapore directly to shop-floor environment overseas. These Smart Glasses incorporate augmented reality features, displaying crucial information to the user to support accurate decision-making in real-time. These may include isolating a technical fault or recommending changes to maintenance routines. More than 5,000 solar panels power the facility, enabling Makino to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,000 tons annually. 

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Koh Poh Koon, who was the Guest of Honor at the launch talked about Singapore’s Precision Engineering (PE) Industry Transformation Map (ITM) in Oct 2016 to sharpen and sustain Singapore’s manufacturing competitiveness. Singapore is investing in promising growth sectors including additive manufacturing and robotics. In 2017, more than 4,400 industrial robots were installed here in Singapore, ranking the city-state second in the world in terms of robot density per worker.

(Sources: Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore; Straits Times; Channel NewsAsia)

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