Injecting hope into technology with HOPE Technik

Innovate. Engineer. Deliver. These are the core values that form the foundation of HOPE Technik’s credo to translate concepts into world-class engineering and technological solutions. This innovative company was even singled out by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Rally speech in 2016. Since its founding in 2006, HOPE Technik has made impressive advances and today, it specialises in industrial robotics, unmanned systems applications, defence and security solutions, smart urban solutions, and bespoke solutions for clients. A versatile range of offerings aside, HOPE Technik is breaking new ground with SESTO Robotics, a subsidiary company dedicated to intelligent automation.

SESTO Robotics offers flexible, smart and efficient solutionsfor manufacturers to automate labour-intensive processes as they adapt to an Industry 4.0 paradigm. The Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) by SESTO Robotics are designed to world safety standards. Guided by a high-precision laser-based navigation system, the AGVs can operate in highly dynamic environments and do not require installations of any lines, strips or markers to the existing manufacturing environment.

SESTO Robotics is setting up a base in the Singapore Manufacturing Innovation Centre (SMIC) at Ascendas OneHub GKC, Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC). SMIC is a collaborative platform jointly created by IE Singapore and Ascendas-Singbridge to enable providers of advanced manufacturing solutions to partner with other like-minded innovative enterprises and co-create “smart factory” standards and solutions.

We chat with SESTO Robotics CEO Michael Leong to find out SESTO’s plans in Guangzhou, China:

What innovations are you working on at SMIC?
SESTO Robotics’ new office in SMIC, Guangzhou, is the company’s first overseas office outside of Singapore. Its strategic location provides SESTO Robotics with an excellent base for reaching out to the Chinese market requiring quality and intelligent automation solutions.

The company’s expertise lies in the field of autonomous technology where we have developed a full suite of solutions centred upon the SESTO Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). SESTO AGVs are designed to automate traditionally labour-intensive material handling processes and the tasks they perform for some of our clients include transporting work-in-progress materials between work stations and movement of bulk materials in warehouses. The implementation of SESTO AGVs and its software system, SESTO SWARM Enterprise, will enable global companies to improve their productivity needs.

In your opinion, what is the role of automation in the modern day business?
Today’s business climate requires enterprises to re-examine existing work processes in order to stay relevant and competitive. Intelligent automation solutions which are scalable and sustainable will prove to be the answer to companies becoming leaders in their respective industries tomorrow.

What do you think is the key to keeping up with rapid industry and technological changes?
Adopting the right mind set and understanding the potential that new technologies such as autonomous robots can bring will be key to keeping up with rapid industry and technological changes. In a global economy that is experiencing slower growth, new technologies can help improve a company’s business positioning, especially in advanced manufacturing.

What do you hope to achieve in SMIC / Guangzhou?
As a company, we would like to engage potential clients and partners in the South China region that are looking for intelligent robotics solutions which can help them achieve the goals of the ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative. In the mid-to-long term basis, we also hope that SMIC will be the gateway for SESTO Robotics to offer our AGV solutions to other Chinese regions.

What are the determining factors on choosing which location to base your company at?
A strategic location close to our clients with a well-connected transportation network and robust infrastructure are crucial for SESTO Robotics. Having a variety of amenities will be important for us to attract the best talents in China to join our team.

The workspace of today has greatly evolved, from the cubicle setting to open-concept and co-working spaces. What will a productive workspace for your industry be?
As a robotics company, a productive workspace is one that encourages open discussions between everyone while providing sufficient spaces for the engineering and technical teams to carry out necessary development and production work.

HOPE Technik has clinched numerous awards, winning the SingTel Best Innovation Award in Emerging Enterprise Awards 2012 and the JEC Innovation Award in 2014 for compression moulding. SESTO Robotics is also the proud recipient of Most Technologically Disruptive Collaboration in SICC Awards 2017, a strong testament to the company’s prowess in engineering and technology development. Having made its foray into the Chinese market, we keenly await new accomplishments from this promising enterprise.

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