Terrence Oh has been with Electro Optical Systems (EOS) since June 2009, first as Director for EOS Singapore, and as Vice President of Asia Pacific for EOS since October 2013. Prior to joining the company, Terrence held senior management positions at a number of firms in the automation and semiconductor industries. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Sachi Mulmi (SM), researcher with Frost & Sullivan had an opportunity to conduct a Movers & Shakers interview with Terrence Oh (TO) – Vice President of Electro Optical Systems (EOS).

SM: Please describe your product/technology/solution for our readers?

TO: At EOS, we look to help our customers produce high-quality parts based on our solution offerings which include system, materials, technical service and consulting services. The term ‘3D’ covers a wide scope and EOS participates in the spectrum of ‘Additive Manufacturing’ (AM), otherwise known as Industrial 3D Printing. Instead of milling a workpiece from a solid block, for example, EOS uses AM to build up components layer by layer via digital computer-aided design, using materials which are available in fine powder form. A range of different metals and plastics materials are offered by EOS. Through our AM technology, EOS’ solutions have been transformative for our customers, because they enable a design-driven manufacturing process – where design determines production and not the other way around.

Our technology has been mainly applied in conjunction with Rapid Prototyping in the past – the construction of illustrative and functional prototypes, but are also now being used increasingly in serial production. Our technology provides Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers across various industrial sectors a high degree of design freedom, the optimization and integration of functional features, the manufacture of small batch sizes at reasonable unit costs and a high degree of product customization even in serial production.

For instance, EOS AM solutions have been used to serially produce satellite parts, deep-sea drilling equipment and F1 racing components at reduced costs. Such items were traditionally very expensive to manufacture and require extremely sensitive technical specifications due to the extreme environments which they operate in.

SM: What is your key value proposition that provides your firm a major competitive advantage over other players in the industry?

TO: Complex manufacturing challenges vary between specific industries and customers, and with that in mind, EOS’ solution portfolio is designed to be modular in structure, its elements perfectly harmonized and can be adjusted according to needs. In addition to AM systems, EOS’ solution portfolio also comprises a wide range of materials, software, and processes as well as extensive services and consultation.

Having said that, when working closely with our customers in APAC, we have realized that most companies have the same consistent issues when employing AM solutions:

  • AM technology is still relatively new
  • Available information sources are hardly comprehensible and thus difficult for the customer to grasp
  • There is still a lack of thought-out training courses on additive manufacturing
  • It is difficult for customers to assess the innovation potential of the technology for their own business against this backdrop

Additive Minds

To help our customers better understand and use our AM solutions, EOS has a specialized consultation service called ‘Additive Minds’ that provides strategic advice on decisions regarding AM. It gives EOS the opportunity to alleviate customer uncertainty, reinforce trust and enhance knowledge in both EOS’ solutions and the innovation potential of AM. Customers can now experience faster transformations in their manufacturing processes and accelerate their AM learning curve, allowing them to further tap into the full potential of our AM technology.

EOSTATE

We also understand that our customers operate in industries with binding high-quality standards. Particularly in serial production, companies are reliant on trustworthy quality control and quality assurance systems. Hence, EOS offers customers EOSTATE, a comprehensive range of solutions for monitoring and recording system status, laser output, and material coating and exposure in the build space.
With EOSTATE solutions deployed, deviations from the normal AM processes (especially the melting behavior of materials) can be captured in real time – such early detection allows the customer to better predict and assess the final quality and density of the manufactured parts. The ultimate aim is to recognize possible sources of defects during the building process and reject any defective parts, significantly lowering the costs for quality assurance and improving the cost-per-part ratio for our customers.

SM: What are some of the key drivers contributing to the growth of this industry?

TO: Within Asia, we have seen how digital technologies have disrupted the manufacturing industry to become key drivers. In the past decade, the widespread automation of industrial processes and increased use of data and analytics in operations have basically birthed the ‘smart’ factory of the future and ushered in the age of ‘Industry 4.0’. In these factories of the future, AM plays a key role alongside new technologies like sensor systems, robotics, and machine-to-machine to person communication. Such technologies mean companies, regardless of size, must embrace digitalization if they want to remain competitive.

As innovation cycles shorten through digitalization, industrial champions of the future will be those who can successfully disrupt products and business models. When we look at the solutions available in the market today, AM is a solution that singularly offers enormous potential for businesses to disrupt and innovate.

Integration of AM into conventional processes

The future inevitably lies with the integration of AM into existing, conventional manufacturing environments. However, rather than think about AM as a way to replace conventional manufacturing methods, businesses may be better off thinking about how AM can be integrated into existing production environments. The nature of customer requirements today, set against the backdrop of ever-changing market conditions, requires the digital combination of conventional and additive technologies, so that flow of data and parts are continuously optimized and companies become more flexible and agile.

Product optimization creates cost savings

The aim is to get the best of both worlds in terms of product optimization. Factors such as quality control, the total cost of ownership, further industrialization – including automation and scalability – are very important to this end. EOS handles these requirements step-by-step to create new solutions specifically designed to the customer’s business.

With a strong portfolio in powder-based AM solutions that incorporate digital technology, EOS allows businesses to overcome today’s production demands that conventional manufacturing methods have been unable to address, as well as the challenges of tomorrow.

SM: How is expiring patents an opportunity for APAC manufacturers? At what point is 3D printing cheaper than traditional manufacturing?

TO: With expiring patents, we will see more players in the industry offering similar solutions. With more players, this will help spread AM into the market at a quicker rate. EOS see this as an opportunity but stays ahead of its competition by introducing newer technologies and innovations.

Industrial 3D printing or AM is already at a point whereby it can be cheaper than traditional manufacturing processes. This is possible by integrating several parts of a product into one part with a certain level of complexity thus reducing assembly costs. This nonetheless is dependent on the ability of product designers to integrate parts at the design stage.

SM: How will 3D printing shape the end-to-end value chain in the manufacturing sector?

TO: In factories of the future, a vibrant ecosystem will exist where system, material and process parameters are intelligently harmonized to ensure reliable, high quality parts and thus facilitating a decisive competitive edge. Furthermore, highly skilled consultants and employees with deep technical expertise are also required to maximize the transformative effects of digital technologies.

This is especially true for industrial 3D printing, where the software-related optimization of various process steps forms the basis for series manufacturing. The AM process, from part design to industrial 3D printing, therefore becomes closely interlinked in one software environment, enabling AM to be deployed with greater speed and reliability and be directly embedded into existing manufacturing environments.

How EOS has cemented its presence in the 3D printing value chain

Looking to contribute to the further digitization and automation of the manufacturing value chain, EOS has partnered with leading manufacturers and industry suppliers to further push the boundaries of how AM can transform the manufacturing value chain. For instance, EOS has joined forces with Premium AEROTEC and Daimler AG to develop and integrated aluminum-based AM production processes into an automated production line for aerospace structural components.

Previously, titanium powder has been the industry’s material of choice for such components. With the proposed aluminium-based system, which is to be developed cooperatively by the three partner companies, cost savings can be achieved and be transmitted not just to the aerospace but also the automobile industry. By doing so, EOS is enabling the opportunity to open up innovative AM technology for an even wider range of applications across various verticals.

If you have any further questions/comments please contact: sachi.mulmi@frost.com

For more information on 3D Printing and Its Growing Importance in the Asia-Pacific Manufacturing Industry, please visit https://store.frost.com/3d-printing-and-its-growing-importance-in-the-asia-pacific-manufacturing-industry.html

About Frost & Sullivan

For six decades, Frost & Sullivan has been world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success.

Frost & Sullivan

For six decades, Frost & Sullivan has been world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success.

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