India Automation Technology Fair - A Report
IATF was launched as a premier B2B event with participation from several Indian and Global majors demonstrating upcoming automation technologies for the Indian market. Automation Industry Association (AIA) and Messe Munich India (MMI) jointly organized the 1st India Automation Technology Fair, IATF, from 1 – 3 February 2013 at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai.
The knowledge base built up across all major industry verticals and showcased at IATF was a tribute to the growing technical maturity of our members and other automation solution providers. Process automation, Electrical automation, Mechanical automation, Robotics, Machine vision, Assembly and material handling systems, smart sensors, controllers, actuators, communication devices, HMI, software, simulation, training, and a host of interface and supporting sub-systems that were exhibited will go a long way to enhance the effectiveness of future automation investment.
Rockwell Automation showcased their new control and industrial networking architecture.Emerson Process Management displayed smart perceptive technologies like Smart wireless, Forbes Marshall, a major player in the area of process efficiency and energy conservation, exhibited steam and water analysis systems.and other products, L&T Electrical and Automation displayed its integrated end to end automation solutions for power plant engineering. Siemens Industry Automation Division, showcased solutions that integrate product development with manufacturing automation to power the digital enterprise and enable companies to improve productivity, optimize manufacturing, and get products to market faster. Also, robotics based solutions for pick and place applications and for precision manufacturing were showcased by Kuka Robotics, Mitsubishi Electric Industries and Titan Automation Solutions.
The event was inaugurated by Mr BR Mehta, Sr. Vice President, Reliance Industries, after which the keynote speakers and dignitaries were invited to assemble at the Innovation Exchange. The Innovation Exchange Programmes at IATF 2013 were spread over all 3 days, giving importance to different facets of the automation sector. The inaugural session saw eminent leaders come together and share their vision for automation industry being a catalyst for the growth of Indian economy. Day 1 and Day 2 panel discussions highlighted technical themes that made an impact on project success and sustainability. Day 3 was about innovation at the grassroots, with focus on SMEs and young people.
While the big buzz was around products and solutions for core industries like Oil & Gas, Automotive, Power etc, it was refreshing to see many unique offerings relevant for small and medium process plants. Over 100 products suitable for adoption by the SME sector were on display. Baumer Technologies India recent launch 'Clever level switch' was given the AIA award for the most innovative technology solution for SMEs. The award was presented by AIA President, Mr. Nandakumar to Mr. Shyam Warialani and Mr. Sascha Engel. While making its recommendation, the jury had observed that the product was unique because it represented a new paradigm in sensing, was cost effective and its self-tuning attribute gave users a great advantage in standardized sourcing. The next best solution award went to Base Automation, an SME based in Chennai, for its ‘Automation enabled poka-yoke systems’.
The AIA pavilion saw a unique packaging line simulation by 4 global automation technology providers (B&R Automation, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric and Siemens) and an Indian System Integrator (Axcend Automation). These 5 companies, all members of the Automation Industry Association (AIA), showcased the simplicity and ease with which multiple machines can self-integrate, communicate and report their operating status to each other. The entire concept and simulation was executed by a cross-functional team of 13 persons drawn from the 5 companies. These individuals were awarded a Certificate of Appreciation, by AIA, for the exemplary commitment and co-operation in pioneering the PackML experience in India. The successful demonstration at IATF 2013, paves the way for further progress in standardization amongst machine builders and provides hope for end users to take the next leap to invest in machines truly integrated for superior line performance. As manufacturing facilities move towards the smart factory concept, there will be a need for real-time performance management across multiple facilities. IT will be the major facilitator of this mega trend. A thin line between automation and IT is testament to the growing role that IT will play in being a part of the future evolution of automation. This automation-IT amalgamation was very well complimented by the products and solution that were on display at IATF.
Traditional adopters of automation solutions will continue to grow but it is important for India that other industries that form a significant share of the economy do not lag behind. IATF 2013 laid a perfect platform for bringing SMEs and MNCs together to drive the next phase of the Indian manufacturing growth.