NTU and HP launch corporate lab to help manufacturers move towards Industry 4.0

NTU Professor Tan Ming Jen and Dr Mike Regan, co-directors of the HP-NTU Corporate Lab, holding up 3D-printed products from the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer. PHOTO: NTU

SINGAPORE - Manufacturing companies will get more help in adopting digital technology with a new lab that was officially opened at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on Tuesday (Jan 21).

The facility, which was created through a collaboration by NTU and global technology giant HP, showcases digital manufacturing technologies that can make manufacturing and supply chain operations more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable.

The university also worked with HP to develop SkillsFuture courses to prepare employees in the manufacturing industry for the future.

HP chief technology officer and head of HP Labs Shane Wall said: "Our joint work in 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, security and sustainability will produce disruptive technologies that define the future of manufacturing.

"Working together, we can create the workforce of the future and ensure the fourth Industrial Revolution is also a sustainable revolution."

The aim is to recruit 100 researchers to work in the lab to develop innovative products such as intelligent design software tools that can automate advanced customisation, as well as supply chain models that can help companies achieve a faster time to market while lowering their carbon footprint.

An ongoing research project in the lab looks at designing and optimising end-to-end supply chain operations to help manufacturers cut the time needed to identify parts suitable for 3D printing production.

They will also be able to scale the production of customised goods quickly, especially during times of high demand.

Besides exploring new technology, the university launched six SkillsFuture courses for manufacturing professionals.

Around 120 workers a year can undergo these courses in the fundamentals of additive manufacturing or 3D printing, digital product designs, data management, automation, user experience and business models.

Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU's senior vice-president of research, said: "The advanced technologies and automation solutions jointly developed by NTU and HP are expected to impact businesses in Singapore and beyond, as these innovations are geared towards efficiency, productivity and most importantly, sustainability.

"The new SkillsFuture courses developed jointly with HP also bring valuable industrial perspectives to help upskill and train a critical talent pool for Singapore.

"This will support the country's drive towards becoming a smart nation as it faces the challenges of the fourth Industrial Revolution."

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