In April 2019, German engineering conglomerate thyssenkrupp announced its plans to open an AM TechCenter Hub in Singapore, expanding its operations in the ASEAN region. To mark the recent launch of the new additive manufacturing center, thyssenkrupp has published a white paper that investigates the potential of AM in the region.
The white paper, entitled “Additive Manufacturing: Adding Up Growth Opportunities for ASEAN,” lays out a number of compelling projections, including the potential for AM to create three to four million jobs by 2030 in the ten countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The report itself was researched and developed by thyssenkrupp with support from a multidisciplinary team of experts and partners in Singapore, including EOS GmbH and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC).
Impacts of AM in ASEAN
The white paper reveals a number of exciting prospects for additive manufacturing in the ASEAN region, including job creation, an increase in economic value and more. Some of the key points highlighted in the report are the following:
- Today, additive manufacturing is still not broadly adopted in the ASEAN region, accounting for between 5 to 7% of Asia’s total AM spend estimated at $3.8 billion for 2019.
- Despite this, there is lots of potential for growth in the ASEAN market, especially considering its contribution to the global manufacturing output. In the region, manufacturing accounts for roughly 20% of the overall GDP, while the sector employs nearly 50 million people and is expected to keep growing.
- Additive manufacturing is expected to generate around $100 billion of incremental value by 2025, impacting the region’s projected GDP by 1.5 to 2%
- The proliferation of AM will also enable ASEAN members to reduce import dependence, with the potential to impact at least $30 to $50 billion by localizing manufacturing. Overall import dependence could be reduced by up to 2%.
thyssenkrupp’s study also emphasizes that AM can help to contribute to sustainable development in the region and improve competitiveness in established global value chains across industries like automotive, electronics and chemicals. The technology can also contribute to accelerating the region’s growth in industries like aerospace, medical devices and healthcare.
“As our study shows, additive manufacturing delivers enormous potential to transform the ASEAN region and level up vital sectors,” commented Jan Lueder, CEO of thyssenkrupp Regional Headquarters Asia Pacific. “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 additive manufacturing adoption and development. We have found such an ecosystem in Singapore, and that is one of the key reasons in establishing our first additive manufacturing TechCenter Hub outside of Germany.”
AM TechCenter Hub
thyssenkrupp’s new AM TechCenter Hub in Singapore is serving as the company’s regional hub for its existing TechCenter in Mülheim an der Ruhr in Germany. The Singapore-based location will focus on innovations around both metal and plastic AM solutions for customers in marine and offshore, automotive, cement, chemical and mining industries, among others.
The white paper was presented at the official launch of the Singapore AM TechCenter Hub, an event which was attended by top executives from thyssenkrupp, as well as representatives from the Singapore Economic Development Board and key business partners in the region.
“Our Additive Manufacturing TechCenter in Germany has been at the forefront of many innovations in AM,” said Lueder. “And we aim to bring these important and transformative innovations to our customers in the Asia Pacific region via the Singapore hub.”
Lim Kok Kiang, Assistant Managing Director, EDB, added: “Singapore has invested more than $200 million in additive manufacturing-related research, to develop new capabilities that can better serve the growing demand in Southeast Asia. thyssenkrupp’s Singapore AM TechCentre Hub is an exciting and timely addition to our efforts in this area, leveraging our diverse manufacturing base and strengths in Industry 4.0 to create innovative solutions for its customers, from Singapore. We look forward to working with thyssenkrupp in strengthening our status as an additive manufacturing hub for Asia Pacific.”
Within the ASEAN region, Singapore is an important player in AM, representing about 40% of the AM market in the region. Malaysian and Thailand represent the next 40% of the market by value.
“The biggest roadblock for additive manufacturing adoption is not the technology but lack of know-how today, and this is where we can create value for our customers building on our deep AM expertise,” said Abhinav Singhal, Chief Strategy Officer for thyssenkrupp Regional Headquarters Asia Pacific and one of the authors of the white paper. “We believe that all stakeholders—governments, businesses, research institutions—should come together and harness the potential of additive manufacturing to truly transform the region’s industries and realize our shared vision of growth and development. The time to act is now.”