SUTD opens S$10m advanced manufacturing lab

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SINGAPORE: A S$10 million laboratory to conduct research on advanced manufacturing technologies and optimise manufacturing operations was launched on Wednesday (Dec 6).

The Manufacturing Technologies Lab (MTL) at the Singapore University of Technology and Design is part of an agreement signed between the university and Keysight Technologies. The American tech firm donated S$8 million worth of equipment to the lab, with another S$2 million in research grants.

SUTD president Thomas Magnanti said the MTL will allow SUTD faculty and researchers, as well as Keysight research and development specialists to rapidly explore and prototype new electronics test and measurement solutions.

“These technologies are critical to the efficient and optimal functioning of many industries, including engineering, manufacturing and defence,” Professor Magnanti said.

According to SUTD, three research projects are ongoing. One focuses on cybersecurity for Industrial Internet of Things devices and systems. A second is exploring new ways to test printed circuit breakers boards as they become smaller, while another group of researchers is developing a method of predictive maintenance to prevent unexpected failures of operating equipment.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran, speaking at the launch of the lab, said the advanced manufacturing technologies developed in the MTL will be applicable to not just companies in Singapore but also the global market.

Trade and Industry Minister (Industry) S Iswaran speaking to researchers who are exploring new ways to test printed circuit breakers boards. (Photo: Lee Li Ying)

“This new lab is another step towards Singapore’s vision to be a global hub for advanced manufacturing, where we are not only a lead adopter but also an innovate and exporter of new technologies,” he said.

Mr Iswaran added that the manufacturing sector is a key pillar of Singapore’s economy, making up about 20 per cent of the country’s GDP and 14 per cent of employment in 2016. The sector also experienced strong growth this year, with a 19.1 per cent year-on-year increase in manufacturing output in the third quarter, he said.

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