Article By: Kathryn Gerardino-Elagio
Circumstances have been difficult over the past year. There is no question that none of us anticipated the way the economy would turn upside-down. The pandemic has brought unprecedented levels of uncertainty into every aspect of life. The manufacturing industry and the supply chain are no exception.
As we enter 2021 and a new world of uncertainty, executives and business leaders are working towards implementing appropriate measures for the safety of their employees and future of the company. A key area of strong growth is investment in the upgrade of technology.
Tommy Yu, Marketing Director (Asia) of Hypertherm shared with International Metalworking News for Asia (IMNA), lessons we can learn from post-coronavirus world, what the company is offering, and the future of manufacturing in South East Asia.
Tommy Yu, Marketing Director (Asia) of Hypertherm
IMNA: What are we learning from a post COVID world? What is working – and what is not?
Tommy Yu: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transformation of traditional manufacturing practices by drawing out numerous innovative solutions and services, and by necessitating the integration of new technologies to current processes, to address evolving market needs. Among these are solutions for remote monitoring, which reduce the number of workers required on the shop floor at any point, and for engaging customers remotely. By adopting such new solutions and technologies, businesses can better utilise this unique season to boost production efficiencies, automate processes, and prepare themselves to meet pent-up demand when the market resumes normalcy.
IMNA: How can Hypertherm help customers in South East Asia during this turbulent time? What are you offering?
Tommy Yu: In the current business landscape, manufacturers have to grapple with demands for high-quality products delivered within a short period or with limited manpower, while seeking to also balance upfront investments and long-term operating costs. To address business needs during these challenging times, metalworking manufacturers must consider a cutting system’s reliability, ease of use, and long-term costs before deciding on a system to invest in, despite the availability of solutions in the market.
With a robust and thoroughly-tested solution like Hypertherm’s Powermax®, companies in the region can be better equipped to optimise their cutting operations and overcome these turbulent times. For example, the Powermax system offers an innovative drag cutting technology, which allows operators, regardless of their experience level, to simply drag the torch along a straight edge or template, get the jobs completed efficiently, and produce quality products, all while ensuring projects stay on schedule.
Automated 3D plasma cutting solutions can also help businesses to optimise processes — creating a synergy among components that can seamlessly improve cutting outcomes and enhance productivity. Technologies combining faster cutting speeds, rapid process cycling, quick changeovers, and high reliability allow businesses to boost throughput while dramatically lowering operating costs. In addition, by incorporating new 3D software, like Hypertherm’s Robotmaster®, businesses can significantly simplify and reduce the time taken to program 3D jobs.
Hypertherm is also constantly engaging our customers in order to better support them and enhance their user experience. An example is our remote support offering, which includes remote technical support and online learning resources, to ensure customers have the assistance they require to maintain cut quality and productivity. In addition, we recently launched the Hypertherm Connection Hub, a new virtual event platform, to provide customers with added access to remote ‘live’ product demonstrations, learning opportunities, and conversations with our plasma, waterjet, and software experts.
IMNA: How would you describe your competitive landscape at this stage? How do you think your product portfolio will fare in the market, especially in terms of customer satisfaction?
Tommy Yu: At this stage, there is a plethora of options out in the market, but some plasma cutting systems are more robust and reliable than others are, given that they are manufactured to stringent ISO standards.
Through the expertise of our team and the feedback collected from our users, Hypertherm has been able to create lasting products that truly enhance plasma cutting processes. Built under strict specifications and with quality materials, our plasma cutting systems tend to also perform better in terms of duty cycles.
In addition, consumable life for plasma cutting systems can vary significantly from one brand to another. With longer consumable life, downtime for change-outs and the overall spending on consumables can be greatly lowered. Hypertherm’s patented consumables are proven to last up to 80% longer than other brands. Our focus on technological and manufacturing excellence is what makes our customers trust us. The performance and reliability of our cutting solutions is what they rely on to drive productivity and profitability for their businesses.
Furthermore, Hypertherm is always been focused on offering a great end user experience. Our wide network of professional and localised teams across Asia is committed to providing quick response to support our partners and to engage with our customers. This also allows us to better understand their needs and continue to boost their experience with our solutions.
IMNA: How do you foresee the future of manufacturing in South East Asia?
Tommy Yu: Manufacturers in South East Asia will need to become more digitally savvy and innovate in order to achieve growth and future-proof their businesses in today’s fast-changing business environment. In addition, they may also need to optimise their processes in order to stay competitive, even as their needs continue to evolve.
Hypertherm engineers and manufactures industrial cutting products used by companies around the world to build ships, airplanes, and railcars, construct steel buildings, manufacture heavy equipment, and more. Its products include cutting systems, CNCs, and software trusted for performance and reliability that result in increased productivity and profitability for hundreds of thousands of businesses. Founded in 1968 and based in New Hampshire, Hypertherm is a 100 percent Associate-owned company, employing more than 1,800 Associates, with operations and partner representation worldwide. Learn more at
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