Forging Ahead with Industry 4.0 in the New Normal
Helping manufacturers build a position of strength to operate in a COVID-safe world remains mission critical for this year’s Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC – A HANNOVER MESSE EVENT (ITAP) from 20 to 22 October. The COVID-19 situation has brought tremendous disruption to all industries and economies, forcing manufacturers and businesses to rethink their business strategies, relook business operations, recalibrate their resources and reskill their workforce. There has never been a more urgent need for a deeper understanding and adoption of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) solutions to emerge stronger in a post COVID-19 world.
Going digital-first for expanded outreach and growth opportunities
Amidst global travel and border restrictions, ITAP 2020 is poised to stage a first hybrid edition yet as it goes virtual with a custom-built interactive platform and physical bolt-on activities to optimise engagement and knowledge transfer opportunities beyond physical event barriers of time, language and geography. With ‘Forging Ahead with Industry 4.0 In the New Normal’ as the driving theme, ITAP 2020 devises innovative ways in the virtual space for stakeholders to continue to explore I4.0 solutions to aid and complement business operations.
“Business survivability and transformation are the two biggest challenges our customers in the manufacturing industry are now facing. More than just about increasing productivity, it is about finding new opportunities to urgently accelerate and support their agility and responsiveness,” said Mr Aloysius Arlando, CEO SingEx Holdings Pte Ltd, who co-organises ITAP. “In these trying times, establishing a hybrid platform will allow the community to easily collaborate on feasible solutions, optimise engagement and knowledge transfer, and find new growth opportunities.”
Dr. Jochen Köckler, Chairman of the Managing Board, Deutsche Messe AG, international partner for ITAP 2020, echoed the increasing importance of trade events in facilitating networking opportunities and knowledge sharing for the global community via the digital space today. “ITAP has always stood for innovation, inspiration and inclusivity,” said Dr Köckler. “Going virtual provides the ideal platform for our community to be inspired by and learn about the latest products, collaborate on solutions, and connect with experts from around the world. It is also an important step towards paving the new normal for trade events when borders safely reopen.”
Heeding the call for bite-sized learning
This will not be the ITAP community’s first experience with virtual engagement sessions this year. Since May, SingEx Exhibitions has held regular virtual sessions under the ITAP Connect series, comprising interactive web engagement sessions to enable the community to continue interacting despite not being able to meet in person, as well as share case studies and learnings across borders with solution providers, domain experts and one another.
The series was created to respond to customers’ evolving needs. With the pandemic having accelerated the manufacturing industries’ urgency to learn about and adopt Industry 4.0 solutions, a significant majority also expressed keen interest in digital and bite-sized activities to build their knowledge on how to apply Industry 4.0. The ongoing series began in May and has had five sessions to date ranging from the implications of 3D printing in healthcare and other sectors, to a deep dive on supply chain disruptions and how companies are adjusting to the new climate. To date more than 2,600 participants from the Asia-Pacific region have attended these sessions.
The sessions will also continue in the lead up to the main engagement from 20 to 22 October, when all learning and networking engagements will then be hosted on a dedicated virtual interactive platform. Registered participants will gain access to round-the-clock content on this platform with personalised recommendations of solutions and products, targeted networking and lead generation opportunities. The platform will also provide companies with a one-stop portal to showcase their solutions and conduct demonstrations for their products and services fashioned in the spirit of ITAP’s signature Learning Journey Approach and thematic zones – Gateway to I4.0, Robotics Experimental Experience Zone, the Collaboration Lab, as well as the Digital Sandbox. These will be complemented by physical bolt-on activities at specific locations with safety measures put in place to provide first-hand access to latest innovations, as well as maximize showcasing and networking opportunities for industry stakeholders in Singapore.
“ITAP’s mission has always been about creating opportunities for manufacturing communities to gather, explore and adopt advanced technologies that help them increase their business productivity,” said Mr Arlando. “This year, amidst a challenging operating environment, we have curated a programme to expand those opportunities significantly with a global outreach, as well as created a differentiated and immersive experience that will redefine community sharing, learning, networking and collaboration.”
Mr Lawrence Pek, Secretary-General and Advisor for Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF), said: “ITAP 2020 can help Singapore companies and our SMF members to network, learn and collaborate with their counterparts, both local and global by virtual and physical means, in addition to finding and securing new markets and partners for their products and services. It is an ideal and important platform for Singapore companies to showcase their innovations and technologies as it is likely to be the only likely hybridised exhibition, employing possibly virtual and physical means with a strong Industry 4.0 focus to be staged globally in the current year owing to the Covid-19 saga. We look forward for ITAP 2020 to provide Singapore companies, many of which have developed specialised solutions and technologies to address the challenges posed by Covid-19, to share and showcase their solutions and case studies to the industries regionally and globally.” SMF is part of the International Advisory Committee for ITAP and a key supporting organisation.