Monday, September 16, 2019

Thailand a rising star in Asean’s additive manufacturing scene

Aug 13. 2019
Jan Lueder, CEO of thyssenkrupp Asia-Pacific regional headquarters
Jan Lueder, CEO of thyssenkrupp Asia-Pacific regional headquarters
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By THE NATION

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Thailand’s vibrant additive manufacturing (AM) ecosystem is expected to continue its rise with evolving fab labs, new partnerships between academe and the industry and increasing university activities generating more interest and awareness of the technology.

A white paper study entitled “Additive manufacturing: adding up growth opportunities for Asean”, recently launched by global engineering giant thyssenkrupp, discussed Thailand’s position as a rising star in Asean’s AM scene, with 25 per cent of market share. Driven by automotive, chemicals, and healthcare industries, AM adoption in the country continues to evolve with more local and foreign players.

Automotive, in particular, leads Thailand’s potential for AM applications as global automakers such as Toyota and BMW utilise such manufacturing. The industry has signed promising partnerships with renowned research institutions such as Singapore’s NTU to develop materials for vehicle parts.

Among the academe, Kasetsart University has launched a Digital Prototyping Laboratory, the first cloud service for a printer farm in Southeast Asia to run university education programmes and research development.

The Thai government is also helping push AM adoption. Recently, the Science and Technology Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Autodesk and the National Science and Technology Development Agency to establish a joint Digital Manufacturing Platform in support of the country’s National Digital Economy Master Plan. The MOU is expected to improve manufacturing competitiveness through industry-wide adoption of leading-edge 3D technologies and digital manufacturing capabilities.

With a huge potential for the Asean market to leverage AM given its contribution to global manufacturing output, the AM market is estimated to generate up to $100 billion (Bt3.07 trillion) on incremental value by 2025, impacting the region’s projected real GDP by 1.5 to 2 per cent. 

“As our study shows, additive manufacturing delivers enormous potential to transform the Asean region and level up vital sectors,” said Jan Lueder, CEO of thyssenkrupp Asia-Pacific regional headquarters. “Additive manufacturing will surely be an innovative solution to further drive growth in Asean, as long as stakeholders work together to continue building awareness as well as a supportive ecosystem for AM adoption and development. Establishing our TechCentre Additive Manufacturing hub in Singapore now reflects our commitment to bring our transformative innovations closer to the Asia-Pacific region to meet our customers’ needs,” he said.

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