Singapore’s A*STAR Offers Precision Engineering Industry Technology Capabilities to Venture into Growing Oil & Gas, Aerospace and Medtech Clusters

Riding on Singapore’s strong 10.5% annual growth by the manufacturing sector in 2010, the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology aims to help the Precision Engineering industry soar to greater heights by equipping the industry with innovative and advanced technological capabilities.

(Visit booths 3J5-01, 4E3-01 and 4A4-01 at MTA 2011, Singapore Expo 1, to view initiatives and technologies for the three clusters.)

SINGAPORE, 23 March 2011: Riding on Singapore’s strong 10.5% annual growth by the manufacturing sector in 2010, the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), aims to help the Precision Engineering (PE) industry soar to greater heights by equipping the industry with innovative and advanced technological capabilities to migrate into the specialised oil & gas, aerospace and medical technology (medtech) industries (Details of the displayed technologies are appended in Annex 2).

SIMTech initiatives and technologies for the oil & gas, aerospace and medtech industries are showcased at MTA 2011, a leading Southeast Asia biennial precision engineering trade event from 23 – 26 March 2011 at the Singapore Expo. The three initiatives provide research and development platforms, technical expertise and facilities which the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within the PE industry can leverage on.

The Precision Engineering Centre of Innovation (PE COI), a national resource located at SIMTech, is proactively developing new initiatives and technologies to upgrade the PE SMEs.

A) Oil & Gas Initiative

The Oil & Gas initiative develops and equips the PE companies with the critical processes needed to produce high value oilfield equipment products, tools and components. The initiative aims to develop indigenous deep-hole gun drilling capabilities on exotic materials to attract a new range of high performance and corrosion resistant oilfield equipment manufacturers to Singapore. Twenty two companies—including oilfield equipment manufacturers, equipment builders, gun drill manufacturers and sensors/lubricant manufacturers are participating in an International Gun Drilling Benchmarking Project led by SIMTech with participants from the USA, Germany, UK, Japan and Singapore.

B) Aerospace Initiative

Taking a multinational corporation-led approach, a research consortium is formed by aerospace multinational and local companies to create niche capabilities in component and MRO manufacturing and non-destructive testing. Aerospace companies are able to capitalise on SIMTech’s cutting edge facilties including CT X-ray for internal structure measurement, residual stress measurement system, material characterisation, robotic automation, ultra precision machining and cutter design to develop advanced manufacturing solutions.

C) MedTech Initiative

The medtech initiative, launched in October 2009 with 26 members, helps local companies venture into the growing medtech industry through a mix of value chain, technology and capability development projects. PE and electronics companies leverage on this initiative to carry out strategic research and development of medtech technologies through alliances with different industry players in the medtech value chain at lower risks and costs. Driven by SIMTech and supported by IE Singapore, Singapore Economic Development Board, SPRING Singapore and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), Singapore Precision Engineering and Tooling Association and the Biomedical Engineering Society, the medtech initiative aims to diversify the capabilities of local manufacturing industries to medtech manufacturing and help them to overcome barriers in this shift.

Since its inception, the Consortium has 31 members. A Polymer Biomedical Product Design Collaborative Industry Project was completed. Six companies have gained competent capability in the design and manufacture of moulds and computer-aided simulation of moulding processes, specifically applicable to high value bio-medical devices. In capabilities enhancement, close to 60 industry engineers have completed the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Graduate Diploma in Medtech Manufacturing jointly developed by SIMTech and WDA. Courses in Federal Drug Administration and European Union regulatory requirements, standardisation, characterisation and manufacturing were also held.

Dr Lim Ser Yong, SIMTech’s Executive Director, commented: “The 3 initiatives showcased at MTA 2011 and implemented by PE COI are driven by industry needs. These efforts will shape the future of the PE industry to focus on high value-add and complex manufacturing, offering the PE industry a sustainable avenue for growth and development.”


About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

A*STAR is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovative-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and seven consortia & centres, which are located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their immediate vicinity.

A*STAR supports Singapore's key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, hospitals, research centres, and with other local and international partners.

Please visit for more information.

About the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech)

The Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) is a research institute of the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). SIMTech develops high value manufacturing technology and human capital to contribute to the competitiveness of the Singapore industry. It collaborates with multinational and local companies in the precision engineering, electronics, semiconductor, medical technology, aerospace, automotive, marine, logistics and other sectors.

Please visit for more information.

Media Enquiries

Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech)
Ms Lee Swee Heng
Corporate Communications
9620 3902


A) Oil & Gas Technology

1. Deep Hole Gun Drilling

In the oil & gas sector, deep gun drilled holes are created on extremely hard and corrosion resistant, nickel and chrome-based alloys to serve as safety, control, wire-lines and flow-line holes to allow for effective command, control and communications between the down-hole tools with the surface control crew. To facilitate communication between surface and the down-hole tools, companies need to create high aspects ratio holes of 700 that are of 5m deep × 7mm in diameter to accommodate flow and wire lines. Many of these down-hole tools are now equipped with highly sensitive instruments such as gamma rays, X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging that requires an added layer of protection using non-magnetic materials such as Inconel 718, Incoly and K-Monel. Such materials are not only expensive but extremely difficult to drill and machine. If the drills are made with incorrect geometry or the drilling parameters are sub-optimal, these will cause rapid tool wear, drill breakages and misalignment of holes which will lead to costly damages in terms of lead time and material costs. SIMTech’s oil and gas initiative is ready to impart knowledge on straightness control in gun drilling of holes, new tool geometry for nickel alloys, gun drills, machine tools, materials and lubricant required for the manufacture of oilfield and down-hole equipment through its line-up of workshops, seminars, consultancies, collaborative industry projects and consortia.

B) MedTech Technology

1. Printed Functional Film

Printed Functional Film is a disruptive technology platform for unmet needs in applications that cannot be addressed using conventional semiconductor or circuit board technologies. By leveraging on roll-to-roll processing and additive patterning of printable functional materials, functional films such as printed heater and printed lighting can be achieved. Potential applications for printed heater include wearable heater and demister in buildings and transportation. Potential applications for printed lighting include backlighting and ambient lighting.

C) AerospaceTechnology

1.Surface Finishing

To create a long-term cutting edge capability, surface finishing technologies are of particular value in the aerospace industry. To improve process yield and create high productivity and part reliability, a collaborative research project is being organised in the area of controlled surface finishing through peening. This project aims at creating understanding in peening capability and peening limits for both manufacturing and MRO activities for the aerospace industry.

Published: 23 Mar 2011

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