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Hypertherm Asia regional director on paradigm shift

Source:International Metalworking News for Asia- December 2019

Date Published:1/13/2020 01:01:21 PM

International Metalworking News for Asia asked Aaron Zou, Regional Director of Hypertherm Asia about the future of  manufacturing in Asia, and what they are providing to help manufacturers, as they face the ever-changing production landscape.

Aaron Zou, Regional Director of Hypertherm Asia

To be successful in today’s competitive environment, manufacturers need to consider a paradigm shift — leveraging on innovations, integrating new technologies to current processes, and building new solutions to address customer’s needs and feedback. Future economic growth and the competitive landscape will create more demand for change in the Asia Pacific region, and this change will continue to be driven by automation and digitalisation. Over the last few years, the number of solutions that encourage the introduction of automation and digitalisation to the manufacturing industry has been on the rise. Technologies that are related to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are enabling companies to build up smarter production facilities, and allowing the industry to establish a smart machinery eco-system. Moving forward, product quality will be considered a ‘standard’ feature and customers’ requests for added features will be increasingly influenced by their interaction with the product, service, or solution.

Since opening our first Asian subsidiary in Singapore in 1991, Hypertherm has been actively promoting its solutions across the Asia market, educating users on how its technologies can be beneficial to their business. With the strong cooperation we’ve forged over the years with our partners across Asia, we have observed significant year-on-year growth and expansion across different sectors in the region, including heavy machinery, construction, metal fabrication, and structural steel. As the economy continues to grow — especially in the developing markets within the Southeast Asia region, companies will continue to expand their operations, optimise processes to reduce cost, and expand capabilities to capture new markets. This will result in a continuous demand for efficient metal cutting solutions, and we look forward to new partnerships to meet those manufacturers’ cutting needs.

Automation and digitalisation embedded on the IIoT platform have given manufacturers enhanced equipment and process capabilities, but the search for solutions to improve production effectiveness with additional cost management continues.

In the last few years, Hypertherm has been addressing these industrial demands and trends with the development of a new set of plasma source and controllers, and by improving on-time operations support to customers. Hypertherm’s plasma cutting capabilities remain elevated with continual technological advances, such as the X-Definition™ plasma technology and NC industrial controller which provides real-time feedback on performance to job shops via a Wi-Fi connection — allowing users to connect to the machines with a single device (e.g. smart phone or computer) to collect data on machine performance and maintenance. With its new process technologies that deliver high cutting performance at optimal costs, the X-Definition’s XPR plasma system is a stellar example of how Hypertherm is able to address the challenges ahead for manufacturers in today’s competitive landscape. In addition, Hypertherm also offers a wide range of solutions for automation and portability, including the new sets of our robotic cutting tools and applications, delivered by our new rotary sleeve mechanical solution and the introduction of our off-line robotic software.

Apart from reinventing our cutting systems and software consistently, Hypertherm is also always focusing on great overall end user experience. One example is providing customers with a full suite of preventive maintenance service measures — including complete systems check and timely recommendations on replacement of consumables or parts. This service helps customers to ensure the consistency of their machines and worry less about machine downtimes — allowing them to focus fully on production processes instead. In addition, customers can also learn more about proper plasma cutting operation and best practices for preventive maintenance from our team of experts. All in all, our customers can tap on the preventive maintenance program to maximise productivity, while minimising the operating costs of their cutting systems.

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