Mr Cedric Foo, Chairman of JTC,
Mr Manohar Khiatani, CEO of JTC,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to join you here today at the launch of the Surface Engineering
Hub, the first integrated development in Singapore that is customised for the
surface engineering industry.
Importance of the Surface Engineering Industry
2. Surface engineering plays an
integral and significant role in the manufacturing process. It supports many
key industry sectors, such as precision engineering, electronics, aerospace, biomedical, and
offshore and marine.
engineering covers a wide spectrum of activities and has numerous applications.
The correct surface treatment can improve the functionality and performance of
an equipment or product, make it corrosion- and wear-resistant, or enable it to
withstand high temperatures. It provides solutions to engineering problems,
conserves resources and opens the possibility of creating new products. While
the applications of surface engineering may not be obvious to many of us, it is
in fact a critical enabling technology that underpins major industry sectors.
4. In Singapore, the SMEs have played
a major role in growing the surface engineering industry. There are around 94
key players in the industry here. These companies employed over three thousand
people and produced a total output of more than $400 million in 2010.
They provide surface engineering support to large manufacturing companies, as
well as other SME peers, and they are critical to the manufacturing value
chain. Without this capacity in the chain, larger manufacturers are less likely
to base their operations here.
is therefore critical to ensure the continued reliability, competence and
competitiveness of this industry cluster. This is especially so as the
companies seek to improve the attractiveness of their products through technology
upgrading, and at the same time, try to reduce their production costs through
outsourcing and reducing turnaround time and overhead costs.
Government’s Investment & Support for
Surface Engineering Companies
surface engineering industry is not without its fair share of challenges. It faces
intense pricing pressures from China and other emerging economies which have
lower labour costs, favourable currency policies, attractive commodity
subsidies and low environmental regulatory requirements. Prices are thus being
driven down. Coupled with higher overhead costs in Singapore, the profits of our
local surface engineering companies are constrained. Through SPRING Singapore,
the Government has schemes in place to help our companies develop capability in
the areas of automation, technology, human capital development and innovation.
This is to help the industry keep pace with the competition as well as meet the
changing needs of the manufacturing landscape.
from these, another way of bringing down business costs for SMEs is to cluster companies
within the same industry in a specific location. Clustering allows them to share
common facilities, thereby generating economies of scale. Clustering also
creates synergies and partnership opportunities among the companies. Furthermore,
the clustering of companies by industry helps to optimise the use of Singapore’s
limited land resources.
8. To nurture the growth of our industry
clusters in Singapore, JTC has been providing innovative and specialised real
estate solutions that differentiate Singapore from other locations.
JTC’s Latest Innovation – The Surface
9. The Surface Engineering Hub is the latest of JTC’s specialised
infrastructure projects dedicated to the
surface engineering industry. This follows what JTC has done for the other
industries such as the Seletar Aerospace Park, MedTech Hub, CleanTech Park and the
Offshore Marine Centre. In developing this Hub,
JTC had closely consulted their customers, industry partners and other partner
agencies, such as EDB and SPRING. JTC had leveraged on their expertise and
knowledge of the industry.
10. The Surface Engineering Hub will host an
integrated ecosystem of surface engineering companies, equipment suppliers,
chemical solution providers and plating technology researchers. It will provide
shared facilities, such as a centralised waste treatment plant, which aims to
reduce the initial set-up costs and recurring operational costs. The ecosystem
and shared facilities will provide competitiveness and long-term sustainable
growth for the companies.
11. The Surface Engineering Hub will be completed in the second
half of 2013. I am glad to note that the
response to this development has been encouraging. To date, 13 companies,
mostly SMEs, have already shown interest to take up about 40 percent of the
space in the Hub.
12. Ladies and gentlemen, we are very confident
and optimistic about the long-term sustained growth of the surface engineering industry,
and we are committed to the growth of the companies in this sector. This is to ensure
this enabling industry can continue to support Singapore’s manufacturing competitiveness.
13. On this note, I would like to
congratulate JTC on the launch of the Surface Engineering Hub, and wish all customers
and partners every success in this sector.
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 EDB 2010 figures: Total output $413,794,000; value-added $213,311,000; employment 3,310