Enabling the Local Industry to Emerge Stronger
A*STAR and Local SME ATC Collaborate On Sustainable MRO Repair Work For Singapore Airlines
21 Jun 2023
SINGAPORE – The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and local SME, Applied Total Control Treatment Pte Ltd (ATC) have completed a technology transfer, enabling ATC to take over the repair line for the refurbishment of Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) cabin components. The repair line allows SIA to integrate sustainable practices into its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) processes by adopting a repair and reuse strategy.
A*STAR and local SME ATC collaborate to refurbish Singapore Airlines’ cabin components
Under the joint laboratory set up by SIA, SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) and A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) in 2019, A*STAR’s SIMTech developed repair process methodologies designed to recoat surface-damaged copper trims. This new technology has allowed SIA to reduce the amount of waste generated from discarded copper trims, and significantly decrease the lead time for the replacement of copper trims.
Through the pilot repair line set up by A*STAR’s SIMTech, more than 2,000 repaired trims have been delivered to SIA and SIAEC. The repaired trims are 50 per cent more durable according to laboratory test results. With this repair line, the lead time for replacement has decreased from six months, for procuring Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts for replacement, to just three weeks for repairs using the new technology.
To continue and scale up the repair work for SIA and SIAEC, A*STAR’s SIMTech and ATC signed a license agreement to facilitate a technology transfer, enabling ATC to take command of the repair line. This includes moving the production line to ATC, as well as providing training to ATC’s technical team to operate the repair process and maintain the repair line.
“We are excited about co-innovating and establishing this successful repair line with SIA and SIAEC, which has led to waste reduction and more sustainable processes. Furthermore, the technology transfer to ATC has allowed the local SME to gain a new capability, and we look forward to working closely with ATC to improve repair efficiencies in our next phase of collaboration,” said Dr David Low, Executive Director of A*STAR’s SIMTech.
The technology transfer allowed ATC to gain new competence in the metallisation of polymers, complementing its expertise in metal plating and finishing. On top of the 2,000 repaired copper trims that A*STAR’s SIMTech had delivered under the pilot repair line, ATC subsequently delivered more than 3,000 copper trims to SIA with zero rejection rate since taking over the repair line. The estimated revenue for ATC for this project is $1 million over the next three years.
A second phase of the technology transfer to upgrade the repair line is currently in progress. The enhanced capability will improve the repair efficiencies of copper trims and enable the repair of previously unrepairable parts, reducing even more waste.
“This collaboration with A*STAR’s SIMTech has allowed ATC to gain new capabilities in the metallisation of polymers, especially for used ABS polymer, which is not an easy material to plate metal over as there may be adhesion problems on the previously etched surface. This new technology will complement ATC’s deep expertise in metal plating and finishing as we seek to grow our business, having moved to our new plant. We are also excited to be a qualified vendor to our national carrier, SIA, and also add value to the local aerospace MRO ecosystem,” said Mr Marcus Sia, Managing Director of ATC.
- End -
About the agency for science, technology and research
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector R&D agency. Through open innovation, we collaborate with our partners in both the public and private sectors to benefit the economy and society. As a Science and Technology Organisation, A*STAR bridges the gap between academia and industry. Our research creates economic growth and jobs for Singapore, and enhances lives by improving societal outcomes in healthcare, urban living, and sustainability. A*STAR plays a key role in nurturing scientific talent and leaders for the wider research community and industry. A*STAR’s R&D activities span biomedical sciences to physical sciences and engineering, with research entities primarily located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis.
About Applied Total Control Treatment Pte Ltd
ATC is a one stop solution provider for quality surface finishing. ATC has grown to create a tradition of complete customer satisfaction. We offer metal finishing services including plating of zinc, nickel, chromium, gold, silver, chrome, various types of anodizing for aluminium, conversion coating such as passivation and phosphating. We also provide powder coating and wet painting services. We serve industries such as aerospace, telecommunication, oil and gas, semiconductors, bio-medical and optical. We are proud to be Nadcap accredited and AS 9100 Certified.