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24.07.2019 10:45 Age: 33 Tage
Category: Geographie
By: Kiese

Touchdown in Singapore

Day 1 of Southeast Asia Field Trip Full of Highlights


Despite all investments in drone technology, DHL presented a heavyweight alternative for parcel delivery in Singapore. Photo by Mr Tan Siong Buck, DHL Express South Asia Hub

RUB geography students Chief Financial Officer Hans-Martin Stech (centre) and his colleagues at Infineon Asia-Pacific in Singapore. Photo by Infineon Asia-Pacific

RUB geography students enjoying a virtual factory tour to understand the semiconductor manufacturing process. Photo by Infineon Asia-Pacific

A busy schedule is a proven recipe to overcome jetlag. 24 hours after touching down in Singapore's Changi Airport, 14 RUB geography undergraduates had already completed visits to four organisations in the city-state. Starting with a visit to semiconductor giant Infineon's Asia-Pacific headquarters, the group visited the German Centre and the Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SGC), before completing the day's programme at DHL's ultra-modern South Asia Hub. This dense programme marked the beginning of a two-week field trip through Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, or SINMALINA for short.

Next to its Asia-Pacific headquarters, Infineon also operates a testing facility for semiconductors in Singapore, applying the latest process technologies. Upstream wafer fabrication is located in Kulim (Malaysia), while assembly operations can be found in Malacca (Malaysia) and on Batam (Indonesia). In the process of their field trip, the group looks forward to visiting both Batamindo Industrial Park, where Infineon started to offshore manufacturing capacity in search of lower factor costs in 1996, as well as the 8,000 staff assembly facility in Malacca.

Tapping into the country's vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, Infineon most recently opened a co-innovation centre currently hosting four start-ups on its premises. Besides seeking to expand its markets, Infineon also wants import some entrepreneurial culture into its organisation in that way. This was outlined by Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Hans-Martin Stech, who welcomed Prof Kiese's field trip group for the third time after 2008 and 2013. He also stressed the company's sustained automation thrust, which most recently included smart factory and Industry 4.0 elements to more than double output whilst retaining its level of employment. Following his presentation, the group proceeded with an impressive real-time virtual factory tour, followed by an introduction to the plant's state-of-the art monitoring and control system.

Quickly heading to Jurong in the West of Singapore, the group visited the German Centre in the International Business Park next. The German Centre provides office space, consultancy services and networking opportunities under one roof to SMEs trying to expand their markets in Southeast Asia and beyond, using Singapore as a hub. After a tour with tenant relations manager Dominique Herold, they were joined by Melissa Brandner, a senior consultant in charge of international trade promotion at the SGC, who gave an overview of Singapore's economy and location factors. In passing, both expatriates also freely shared views on living in Singapore.

When shipping their low-weight but high-value products to their customers, Infineon relies on DHL's logistics services. In 2016, DHL opened its ultra-modern and high-speed South Asia Hub in the Airport Business Park at Changi. A tropical rainstorm and a road accident caused some delay on the way to the far Eastern tip of the island, but the effort was definitely worthwhile. Following a security check to enter the restricted airport zone, the group received a warm welcome and informative introduction to DHL's modern logistics facility from Mr Tan Siong Buck, also including some real-time impressions from the shop floor thanks to CCTV. Within the field trip, DHL served as an example for Singapore's modern logistics infrastructure and services, which allows its many multinational corporations, such as Infineon, to integrate its regional and global production networks efficiently. As for Infineon, the DHL visit also highlighted the constant strive for productivity upgrading that unites the country and the firms operating there.

Singapore, 23 July 2019

Matthias Kiese