Indonesia: May’s reading for the Nikkei Indonesia Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 50.6 in May from a reading of 51.2 in April. However, the reading remains comfortably above the line of 50.0 that separates expansion from contraction.

Qingdao, China: Airbus Group’s helicopter manufacturing arm Airbus Helicopters has started construction of its first assembly plant in China.

Singapore: The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for Singapore dropped 0.3 points in May to a slower expansion rate of 50.8, according to the Singapore Institute Of Purchasing And Materials Management.

Worldwide: Manufacturers expect that their investments in smart factories will drive a 27 percent increase in manufacturing efficiency over the next five years, adding US$500 billion in annual added value to the global economy, according to a research report by Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute.

Moscow, Russia: German automaker Daimler announced plans to open a plant near Moscow for passenger car production in Russia. Located at Esipovo Industrial Park, about 40 kilometres northwest of Moscow, the company will invest more than 250 million euros (US$279.8 million) in the new production facility, where the first cars will leave the assembly line in 2019.

China: Rail vehicle manufacturer Bombardier Transportation announced that its Chinese joint venture, Bombardier Sifang Transportation has secured a contract with China Railway Corporation to supply 144 CRH1A-A new generation high speed train cars for the country’s rail network.

Denmark: General Electric has finalised the acquisition of LM Wind Power. The US$1.65 billion deal had to go through regulatory clearances in the European Union, the US, China and Brazil.

What does the future hold for augmented reality and other forms of human data interaction in manufacturing? By Jonathan Chou

With its durability and vibration dampening properties, granite is the ideal material for all components of industrial metrology. By CP Chuah, general manager, commercial operations Asia Pacific, Wenzel Asia

Singapore: According to the Singapore Economic Development Board manufacturing output increased 21.3 percent in December 2016 on a year-on-year basis. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 16.1 percent. Overall, manufacturing output rose 3.6 percent in 2016 over 2015.

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As Asia's number one English metalworking magazine, Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) is a must-read for professionals in the automotive, aerospace, die & mould, oil & gas, electrical & electronics and medical engineering industries.

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