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Joint laboratories to boost manufacturing productivity

26 July 2013

Dr Lim (left) and Assistant Dean (Research) of the NUS Faculty of Engineering Assoc Prof Tong Yen Wah signing the launch agreement, with (from left) A*STAR Deputy Managing Director (Corporate & Legal) and General Counsel Mr Suresh Sachi and Prof Halliwell as witnesses
The NUS Faculty of Engineering and Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), have launched two joint research laboratories in precision motion systems and industrial robotics on 23 July 2013.

Speaking at the launch, NUS Deputy President (Research and Technology) and Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor, Barry Halliwell, shared that the precision motion systems laboratory aims to develop advanced mechatronics technologies to achieve high-speed and hi-precision motion while the industrial robotics laboratory targets the development of advanced robotics technologies to tackle difficult-to-automate manufacturing processes.

“The joint laboratories will bring together academic and research staff from NUS and researchers from SIMTech, and will also create a new generation of people taking in undergraduate and postgraduate students who are passionate in these focus areas. They will learn research skills and they will also see the high relevance of their research to industry,” said Prof Halliwell.  

With the tie-up, technologies and capabilities will be developed to boost workforce productivity in the medtech, aerospace, marine and offshore as well as precision engineering clusters.

Executive Director of SIMTech Dr Lim Ser Yong said: “Both areas are relevant to the industry and in need of new technologies, especially in complex robotics systems which are very important for helping the industry automate their processes to improve productivity. In high precision motion systems, likewise, we see a strong need for us to push up the value chain in terms of complex equipment.”

Some outcomes expected from the research collaborations include an easy-to-use human-robot interface for the manufacturing industry; a reconfigurable robot work cell for flexible redeployment for the aerospace industry; and technologies for high-speed and high-precision linear motion stages, wide-format roll-to-roll machines, and multi-axis nanopositioning systems.