Manufacturing is acknowledged as a developing country's stable engine for economic growth. For the economy to grow, manufacturing vision must be fuelled by innovative and creative leaders, said DrKalam, at a recent forum of Automation industry leaders.
Manufacturing companies looking for sustainable competitive solutions can draw inspiration from that vision. In an era where reduced budgets limit the scope for trials and error, Automation Tech 2013 served a timely reminder for manufacturing leaders to be future ready. On Friday, the 18th October, the link between Manufacturing Competitiveness and Automation was explored at the Automation Tech Conclave, organised by AIA in Pune.
In his opening address, keynote speaker Mr K Nandakumar, President, Automation Industry Association drew an analogy from America’s School for War, saying “It’s a world of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity). To sustain the VUCA world, we must be conscious of how we Manufacture. Feed into the Global Grid, shape Consumer demand, reform Governance and Price our Planet. Presenting an appropriate definition for Automation, he said, “It is the Industrial Infrastructure that delivers ultimate customer experience making positive difference in the Community.”
Padmashri Dr Vijay Bhatkar, Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Delhi, and known for his path breaking pursuits in Government, Industry, R&D and Academia, was the chief guest. “In Automotive we have transformed from total backwardness. Ability to add value in manufacturing is important for manufacturing industry to thrive. Whenever we have had a challenge or have been denied anything we have responded. The present time offers an opportunity to create intelligently designed machines to add intelligence on the matter and the energy we process. In the future we may be able to think and control. I would like to see Automation peaking in the city of Pune, which is also the Engineering Capital of India.”
Sanjay Kachre, Head Operations at Kimberly Clark shared how automation strategies impact all manufacturing, because complexity of operations continues to increase. To make the transition to Sustainable Manufacturing, Kachare said “the increasing need for energy efficiency, emissions monitoring, regulatory tracking, process changes, packaging changes, asset upgrades, and new controls and metering places greater demands on Design and Engineering teams to collaborate in bringing new functionality and enhanced visibility to Manufacturing Operations.”
Vishwas Chitale, Director & CTO Chitale Dairy emphasised that holistic use of automation across the entire business process is warranted. He shared how his business is managed with dynamic Business Intelligence Dashboards that provide drill down capability to view and analyze cost and production information coming in from real-time data collectors. “It’s not all over yet,” declares Mr Chitale, “we aim to connect the cows to the cloud.”
Nidamaluri Nagesh, a recipient of the prestigious Boss Kettering Award for Innovation on Collaborative Robots and currently Sr GM with Mahindra Vehicles, dealt with Automation Game Changers, Connected Manufacturing and Disruptive technology. Quoting a Gartner report, Nagesh emphasized "Over 50% of internet connections in the PLANT are THINGS. Manufacturers need a fully connected enterprise to compete in today’s global economy. They need to connect their manufacturing operations and business systems while sharing performance data with machine builders and tier suppliers to improve processes, increase production and reduce risk.
At Autom@tion 2013, global technology giants like Microsoft, Rockwell Automation and Siemens also pitched in with their sneak previews of future automation technologies. To sum up, Autom@tion Tech really showed how Automation is a hidden value amplifier and how manufacturing businesses can unlock profit potential with real-time decision power. AIA also launched its news magazine, Automation India, introduced as an open and collaborative forum to share unique experiences and challenges.