An Interview with QUAH Beng Chieh, Head of Marketing, Asia Pacific, FARO Singapore
QUAH Beng Chieh is Head of Marketing, Asia Pacific, FARO Singapore. FARO is the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement, imaging and realization technology. The Company develops and markets computer-aided measurement and imaging devices and software. Technology from FARO permits high-precision 3D measurement, imaging, and comparison of parts and complex structures within production and quality assurance processes. The devices are used for inspecting components and assemblies, rapid prototyping, documenting large volume spaces or structures in 3D, surveying and construction, as well as for investigation and reconstruction of accident sites or crime scenes.
It’s time to delve behind products and solutions offered by FARO across a diverse range of industries to improve efficiency, reinventing business practices and contributing to growth of Indian manufacturing sector. QUAH Beng Chieh has been kind enough to give each of my many questions thoughtful attention. Here is the interview.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
As Head of Marketing at FARO Asia Pacific, I spearhead the company’s marketing function across Asia Pacific,leading the Marketing team that’s located in our various regional offices in China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.
Prior to joining FARO, I held marketing management positions in various technology firms, where I was involved in product marketing, regional marketing, business development, and channel marketing.My formal training in Mechanical and Production Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore prepared me well for the specialized, niche B2B markets I’ve had to serve. In my downtime, I enjoy a game of golf, and I like to indulge in different cuisines – like chapati with a good curry!
What are the latest trends and applications in the 3D Metrology Industry Worldwide?
According to Market Research Future, the metrology industry is expected to generate substantial profits by 2027, due to increasing demand for measurement technologies from sectors such as the Automotive, Energy, and Power industries. The report also observed a trend towards more outsourcing in the Healthcare market.
At FARO, we expect that product designs will become more complex, and manufacturers will have to evolve to retain their competitive edge in their respective markets. We have observed an increase in demand for accuracy, reliability, and ease of use across the sectors and industries that we support. Progressively, manufacturers are moving away from conventional hand tools such as Vernier calipers and height gauges, as these hand-held tools are often inefficient and prone to measurement errors. These factors create potential opportunities for FARO to expand its business globally, and we will leverage on the industry’s demand to expand FARO’s current reach.
How important is 3D Metrology technology when it comes to develop better products? What role does it play in product and process development?
With 3D metrology technologies, users from a variety of markets can perform high-precision 3D measurement, imaging, and comparison of parts and compound structures within production and quality assurance processes. 3D metrology solutions feature multiple functionalities, enabling companies to maximize efficiencies and improve existing practices.
In product and process development, 3D metrology technologies can help manufacturers in several ways, such as ensuring alignment, conducting first article inspections, and providing reverse engineering support. FARO caters to a wide variety of markets such as the Automotive, Construction, Die-and-Mold, Heavy Machineries, and Metal Fabrication industries, and our metrology devices have been successful in aiding companies with their dimensional metrology challenges.
What are the products offered by FARO?
FARO develops and markets computer-aided measurement and imaging devices and software. FARO’s products enable companies to maximize efficiencies and improve processes, and its technologies are widely used across industry verticals, including the Automotive, Aerospace, Metalworking, Architecture Engineering Construction, Tunneling and Mining, Energy, Shipbuilding, Manufacturing, Product Design, and Forensics sectors.
Amongst the different technologies developed by FARO, our best-selling solutions include the FaroArm and the FARO Laser Scanner. The former is capable of supporting manufacturers in performing 3D inspections, CAD-to-part analysis, machine alignment, and reverse engineering, while the latter features laser technology that delivers highly detailed 3D scans in mere minutes, making it suitable for accident reconstruction, 3D modelling, architectural preservation tasks, digital factory layouts, and even deformation monitoring.
FARO has a wide range of products. Tell us more about various devices offered by FARO.
At FARO, we have developed a range of advanced 3D metrology and scanning instruments. Some of our recent launches include the FARO TracerM Laser Projector, FARO Laser Scanner FocusM 70, and the FARO Laser Tracker VantageS.
FARO consistently invests in both research and development (R&D) activities and technology acquisition, to develop products that can meet the evolving needs of its customers and of the industry – and that was how the FARO®TracerM Laser Projector was developed. One of FARO’s recent technologies, the TracerMprojects a laser onto a surface or object, which provides a virtual template for operators and assemblers to quickly and accurately position components confidently. With the TracerM, physical templates and hard tooling are eliminated as CAD files are used to provide a virtual templating solution. The risk of human error and costly scrap during assembly is also significantly reduced. Additionally, companies achieve savings on time and expenses associated with using large and heavy templates. More than just a solution to improve quality control processes, the TracerM is a simple, reliable, and cost-effective technology to streamline production processes.
Two other innovative documentation offerings from FARO are the FARO Laser Scanner FocusM 70 and the FARO Laser Tracker VantageS. The ultra-portableFocusM 70 provides an ideal entry point for professional laser scanner users, particularly those from the construction BIM/CIM and public safety forensics markets. The device enables fast, straightforward, and accurate measurements of small construction sites, small-scale facades, complex structures, production and supply facilities. Its key features include an Ingress Protection (IP) Rating of 54 (for use in high particulate and wet weather conditions), HDR imaging, an acquisition speed of nearly 500,000 points per second, and extended temperature range – enabling indoor and outdoor scanning at a distance of up to 70 meters and an accuracy of ±3mm. The FocusM 70 also features remote scanning and limitless scan data sharing via the SCENE Webshare Cloud.
Separately, the new FARO Laser Tracker VantageS addresses large-scale metrology challenges in applications such as alignment, part and assembly inspection, and reverse engineering. With an operating range of 80 meters, the VantageS offers users a truly portable measurement solution with its integrated master control unit (MCU), hot interchangeable batteries, and industrial grade Wi-Fi.
How does FARO products help manufacturers to accelerate decision making and optimize product development?
FARO’s technologies are developed with the end user in mind. At FARO, we believe that it is our responsibility to innovate with the ‘user experience’ as the main driver.For example, Edge 3D Technologies, a company based in Bangalore, India, is a customer who appreciated the benefits of an advanced documentation solution. Providing 3D laser scanning, mobile LiDAR scanning, and point cloud processing services to clients from a wide variety of industries, its founders were familiar with the amount of hard work, time, and training that go into creating 3D models without 3D terrestrial laser scanning.
Right from the beginning, the founders invested in a FARO® Focus3D Laser Scanner X 330 to support its business requirements. The Focus3D played a vital role in Edge 3D Technologies’ success with its clients. The device’s measuring range of 330 m and measurement speed of up to 976,000 points per second allowed the team to cover large areas in a short amount of time, and its ranging error of ±2 mm ensured that FARO’s customer achieved highly accurate scan results.
On the whole, the customer was pleased that the Focus3D helped boost their productivity and efficiency, enabling time-savings of up to 75% and labor cost-savings of 60%. This is an example of how FARO’s technologies have helped companies to increase their overall productivity.
How does FARO support CAD-based inspections? Which products are offered by FARO for CAD-based inspections?
Portable coordinate measurement machines (CMMs) from FARO simplify the implementation of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T), and provide efficient, easy-to-use solutions for CAD-based 3D inspections and nominal comparisons. The process starts off with using FARO’s contact and non-contact measuring tools to take precise measurements of a part or an assembly.
Tools such as the FaroArm, FARO ScanArm, and FARO Laser Tracker or FARO Imager can utilize CAD overlays to check complex geometry against design or CAD comparison to evaluate deviations in surface form and ensure every part is machined to an exacting tolerance. In addition, FARO has developed metrology software such as the FARO CAM2 Measure 10, CAM2 SmartInspec, and BuildIT software to provide users with solutions that enable fast and efficient 3D measurement.
Tell us more about automated in-line inspection process.How does FARO support it?
At FARO, our perception of an automated in-line inspection process is to ‘take the person out of the measurement’. We believe that manufacturers can increase their productivity and reduce costs by automating 3D measurement workflows – and the key lies in simultaneously producing and inspecting with automation.
To support this process, FARO recommends robot-based inspection, surround-scan inspection, and flexible deployment. For robot-based inspection, FARO’s Robo-Imager solution is capable of automating the inspection and verification of parts at any location in the production environment. This benefit significantly reduces cycle times for inspection and eliminates scrap and costly rework. For automated inspection, one or more Cobalt sensors can be attached to a robot.
For surround-scan inspection, Cobalt sensors can be deployed in multi-imager array configurations, which expands the scan area for quick and automated inspection of all surfaces of an object. This deployment reduces cycle time by delivering rapid, automated, and comprehensive inspection. By surrounding an object with multiple Cobalt sensors, data points can be captured simultaneously.
Flexible deployment integrates robot-based inspection with the surround-scan inspection. Combining multi-imager array deployment with robot deployment, multiple Cobalt sensors are mounted on a robot to expand both the field of view and the reach. This process simultaneously improves throughput and quality by verifying parts and assemblies as they are being produced.
Besides hardware, does FARO offer software tools?
FARO has designed a suite of software tools to accompany its devices for best performance. To optimize the user experience, different software systems have been designed for specific solutions. For instance, the FARO SCENE 3D laser scanner software was developed to process 3D point clouds collected by the FARO FocusS, Focus3D, and the Freestyle3D Laser Scanners. We have also created the FARO CAM2 Measure 10, an all-in-one metrology software for all tactile measurement and noncontact 3D scanning applications. This software is ideal for CAD and non-CAD inspection, as well as GD&T. In addition, the FARO PointSense 18.0 software suite is compatible across the broad range of Autodesk architecture, engineering, construction, and surveying products for the construction and architecture industries.
Separately, we also have the FARO Zone 3D, a revolutionary software application for public safety professionals. This software is the first of its kind to enable investigators to move fluidly between 2D and 3D environments, and enhance the quality of incident reconstruction analysis. Suitable for applications including 2D and 3D diagramming for crash, crime, and fire investigations, animation and analysis of forensic scenes, and court-room presentations, the Zone 3D is a powerful tool that can be used with virtually any measurement source.
How important is India as a growth market for you? How does FARO provide technical support to customers in India?
India is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. With the India government pushing for infrastructure investments, the immediate future is bright for companies operating in the industrial manufacturing and construction segments. Additionally, with the ‘Make in India’ program firmly in place, India is reforming to become the third largest global economy by 2030. For these reasons, we continue to see India as a key part of FARO’s business, and our three offices in New Delhi (FARO’s head office in India), Chennai, and Pune are prepared to offer comprehensive support to our customers in this region.
We observe that the Indian manufacturing industry is maturing, and companies have become more discerning. Increasingly, manufacturers are adopting higher standards and demanding greater precision and speed in their operations, especially for inspections and quality checks. To support customers in this regard, FARO continues to invest in its R&D activities to develop even more innovative and high performing measurement technologies. We also frequently gather feedback from customers at trade events – which directs our R&D projects. We are also organizing the FARO 3D User Conference to connect with the 3D communities again in September. Held in Mumbai, the event will focus on uncovering the potential of 3D terrestrial laser scanning technology and solutions. India is an important market to FARO, and we remain committed to the manufacturers here, supporting them with our advanced metrology technologies.
FARO is the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement, imaging and realization technology. The Company develops and markets computer-aided measurement and imaging devices and software. Technology from FARO permits high-precision 3D measurement, imaging, and comparison of parts and complex structures within production and quality assurance processes. The devices are used for inspecting components and assemblies, rapid prototyping, documenting large volume spaces or structures in 3D, surveying and construction, as well as for investigation and reconstruction of accident sites or crime scenes.
FARO’s global headquarters is located in Lake Mary, Florida. The Company also has a technology center and manufacturing facility consisting of approximately 90,400 square feet located in Exton, Pennsylvania, containing research and development, manufacturing, and service operations of our FARO Laser Tracker and FARO Cobalt Array 3D Imager product lines. The Company’s European regional headquarters is located in Stuttgart, Germany, and its Asia Pacific regional headquarters is located in Singapore. FARO has other offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Turkey, the Netherlands, Switzerland, India, China, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Australia, and Japan.
Further information: www.faro.com/india
FARO Business Technologies India Pvt. Ltd.