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ITAP sets stage again for German, Singapore firms

German and Singapore-based companies look forward to the second year of the Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific trade show.

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The 2019 edition of ITAP will feature 330 companies from 30 countries. This is a massive jump from the 2018 event, where 260 companies from 22 countries took part.

AFTER ending the first Asia-Pacific edition of leading industrial technology trade show Hannover Messe with a bang in 2018, the event is back with even more German and Singapore companies participating.

The trade show in Singapore: Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific (ITAP) - a Hannover Messe Event - was developed between SingEx, Deutsche Messe and the Singapore Tourism Board. It will be held at Singapore EXPO and its MAX Atria from Oct 22-24. It will be held in Singapore in 2020 as well.

The 2019 theme focuses on speeding up Industry 4.0 (I4.0) adoption with practical learning platforms and scalable solutions. Industry 4.0 refers to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its associated breakthroughs in areas such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, robotics and more.

A SingEx spokesman tells The Business Times the 2019 edition of ITAP features 330 companies from 30 countries covering five main display areas: Additive Manufacturing, Digital Factory, Industrial Automation, Intra-logistics and Integrated Energy; as well as national pavilions from Germany, China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Russia and Singapore.

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This is a massive jump from the 2018 event, where 260 companies from 22 countries showcased their products, services and solutions to 15,000 attendees from the Asia-Pacific region.

German Ambassador Ulrich Sante hopes for a strong increase in attendance "when it opens its gates" this year, while the SingEx spokesman says it is "expecting to attract 18,000 attendees from over 50 countries".

Companies such as German firm ifm electronic, which develops, produces and sells sensors, controllers, software and systems for industrial automation, among other things, have already decided to attend ITAP again. A spokesman said ITAP is timely as it brings German tech giants to Asia, to share their technology.

At ITAP, the "Learning Journey" approach, introduced last year, will feature new content and a new Collaboration Lab - a platform for companies to collaborate and co-create by test bedding and retrofitting solutions.

Some participating organisations include German multinational corporation Siemens, Swiss-Swedish robotics and engineering MNC ABB, Germany's SICK Sensor Intelligence, a leading producer of sensors and sensor solutions for industrial applications, and other major players such as Igus and Schunk.

A spokesman for SICK says SICK South-east Asia will have a live demonstration of automation production at ITAP this year. The company has a Singapore unit, which was set up here in 1991.

He explains there is an increasing shift from mass production to batch size, customised production, and the company recognised the growing demand for dynamic and flexible production. Thus, there is a growing "need for configurable devices", and less physical mechanical constraints for instance.

With industry partners, the company will present a scaled-down live production line demo to showcase how such needs can be achieved, with production dashboards that visitors can view on their mobile devices.

The spokesman adds: "The ability to network and control machines and processes using information and communication technologies is set to drastically change production processes as we know them. The production of the future may still be in its conceptual stages right now, but it is already very much a reality for SICK."

The trade show has also brought back several exhibitors such as Mannheim-headquartered Pepperl+ Fuchs. It says: "There is ample room for businesses in Asia to adopt I4.0 technologies to accelerate business growth". This year, it is partnering with Singapore Industrial Automation Association for the new Robotics Experimental Zone.

Repeat participant AEB Asia Pacific, which offers cloud products for streamlining business processes in global trade and logistics, says: "As an exhibitor this year, we want to find customers that will fit their requirements to our solutions and help them to grow.

"This year we will showcase our cloud-based solutions that can be integrated hand in hand with ERP systems such as SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft and others. AEB plug-ins blend in seamlessly and elevate ERP processes to the top tier of supply chain and logistics, trade compliance, and customs management."

Pepperl+Fuchs says: "Industrie 4.0 originated from Germany, and is now widely known globally at varying stages of implementation. With Singapore and Germany facing similar challenges such as an ageing workforce, industrial automation is one way to overcome such problems, and improve productivity."