Research Programmes

FOM Roadmap

The A*STAR Model Factory at SIMTech features an actual production environment where industry, academia and researchers work together to co-innovate, translating research outcomes into industry ready technologies. Leveraging integrated strategies for co-creation between government agencies, research performers, and industry across the research ecosystem, the Model Factory provides a platform to test-bed new capabilities towards an era of Smarter, Greener, and More Connected manufacturing.

Towards our eventual aim of achieving autonomous manufacturing, SIMTech has developed two programmes supported by the MTC Industry Alignment Fund (Pre-Positioning) Scheme, namely:

To maximize value creation, integrated strategies are developed across the entire innovation value chain, drawing on the capabilities of stakeholders in the ecosystem, including government agencies, public research performers, universities and industry. SIMTech has developed two programmes supported by the Industry Alignment Fund (Pre-Positioning) Scheme, namely:

1.     Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS) [2019-2022]

Objective: To develop intelligent and contextual decision support capabilities for Cyber-Physical Production System (CPPS)

Cyber-Physical Production System (IAF-PP)

A Cyber-Physical Production System (CPPS) is defined as an operational digital twin, with systems of collaborating computational elements and subsystems that interact with the physical world throughout all layers of the production environment. The CPPS programme was the first substantive work in Singapore to apply AI in Manufacturing for decision support. The programme developed intelligent and contextual decision support capabilities for Cyber-Physical Production System. In line with the vision of Autonomous Manufacturing, it proposed innovative and yet practical Data Science capabilities in key areas of operations management, including planning, quality control, and equipment maintenance.

The CPPS programme has been recognised by the highly prestigious 2023 IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation Outstanding Paper Award, indicating that this programme is at the forefront of research.

CPPS Programme(resized)

The technologies developed in CPPS are applicable to most manufacturing industry operations, although the first target was the Precision Engineering industry. The technologies have been deployed to other industries that include fast moving consumer goods, medical technologies, printing, general manufacturing and also service sectors. The programme concluded in December 2022 and has since led to several (project-based) full implementations of the technologies in companies, along with multiple industry joint labs and follow-on funding for robust productisation of the technologies.

2.     Distributed Smart Value Chain (DSVC) [2023-2026]

Objective: To enable distributed smart value chain with decentralised manufacturing supported by facilitative decision making and a flexible shopfloor.

Distributed Smart Value Chain (IAF-PP)

DSVC Overview

The Distributed Smart Value Chain (DSVC) programme will enable manufacturers to band together to swiftly respond as a connected value chain to fluctuations in demand and supply. This novel approach will allow manufacturers to make business decisions as a value chain, and reconfigure production sites to seize business opportunities that they might not have been able to take on as individual entities.

The programme targets companies with multi-site operations as well as companies looking to enhance their resilience in manufacturing operations. It seeks to increase the competitiveness and resilience of manufacturers in Singapore and beyond, allowing them to collectively take advantage of business opportunities and effectively respond to any large supply chain disruptions.

DSVC will focus on:

·      Decentralised decision-making: To facilitate secure data sharing among manufacturers, including those with multi-site operations, and enable decision-making as a value chain

·       Flexible shopfloor: To support manufacturers in planning for fast changeover of production lines, for rapid actualisation of decisions. Software and algorithms will be developed to enable quick shopfloor response, and hardware changes will be recommended to enable reconfigurability


The DSVC programme is designed around a systems approach, enabling individual areas of focus, augmented by an integrative framework through Proof-of-Concepts. The integrative aspect is provided through the development of a distributed smart manufacturing platform and flexible pilot line with emphases on secure data sharing and system interoperability. These will then support domain-specific solutions at Network, Enterprise and Shopfloor layers based on plug-and-play modules. This approach will enable virtual experimentation within the platforms with feedback loops for learning, with contextual and intelligent decisions that are responsive and flexible to the physical world. The developed technologies will be prototyped and validated through test-bedding at the A*STAR Model Factories and identified industry partners’ sites.

Led by A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), the programme will involve process automation, machine learning and cybersecurity capabilities from other A*STAR research entities – Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) and Centre for Frontier AI Research (CFAR) – as well as AI-centric optimisation capabilities from institutes of higher learning such as Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore).