Creating Smart Factories

Creating Smart Factories

The recently-held ACT Summit saw manufacturing personalities discuss Industry 4.0 solutions, and an awards ceremony.

by Manish Kulkarni

The 3rd edition of the ACT (ACMA Centre for Technology) Summit was held on December 8-9, 2017, in Pune. The Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), the apex body of the auto component industry in India, successfully hosted the summit with an overwhelming response from the industry.
The theme of this year’s ACT Summit was focused on ‘Digitising Auto Component Industry in India – Creating Smart Factories’. Befitting to the digitisation theme, there was an app created especially for the summit, which had the programme agenda, speaker profiles and exhibitors’ details.
A number of eminent personalities and dignitaries, such as Anant Geete, Honourable Union Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India; Tom Flack, president & chief procurement officer, TATA Motors; NK Minda, president, ACMA; Ram Venkataramani, VP, ACMA; and Srivats Ram, chairman, ACT, were present at the summit.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Guest Anant Geete said, “I appreciate the unparalleled efforts put in by the ACMA Centre for Technology (ACT) in facilitating the adoption of international best practices in the auto component industry. I congratulate ACMA on their efforts to drive the industry forward in a responsible manner and assure that the government will extend full support to ACMA.”
The summit was a congregation of national and international experts in the field of Industry 4.0, who presented and exhibited case studies on the benefits of automation and digitalisation. The key focus of the incisive sessions was to promote sustainable manufacturing and to make India a world-class automotive manufacturing hub.
Alongside the summit, the ACMA Annual Awards were presented. These are the most desirous recognitions within the auto component industry. In all, 57 companies were awarded for their contribution and excellence in the following categories – Technology – Product Innovation, Technology – Process Innovation, Quality and Productivity, Manufacturing, Human Resources, Supplier Development, Export, HSE (Health, Safety and Environment), Small Category Awards, Business Growth, Digitisation, Resource Optimisation, Make in India, and Best ACMA Company of the Year.
An exhibition on innovations, coinciding with the summit, showcased what lies beyond automation for the automotive industry.
Commenting on the digitisation drive, Guest of Honour Tom Flack said, “The Indian automotive industry is going through a transformational period, especially in light of the concept of mobility undergoing a dramatic change. The auto component industry must welcome and embrace the digital revolution to stay competitive and relevant. The time has come for the industry to graduate to Industry 4.0 for better predictability and proactively addressing customer requirements. Industry 4.0 is no more about measuring results, it is about predicting and proactively changing the results. Auto component suppliers need to become ‘full solution’ suppliers from being ‘build to print’. At Tata Motors, we have a philosophy that we are not customers, but partners; we have to work together and teach each other to justify the benefit of digitisation.”
Speaking on the success of ACT and its role in nurturing the auto component industry, NK Minda said, “I would like to acknowledge the tremendous contribution of the ACMA Centre of Technology though its cluster programmes in transforming companies to be globally competitive. Today, the auto industry is at an inflection point as it endeavours to meet changing customer preferences and to be compliant with increasingly stricter regulatory norms. In order to stay relevant, the Indian auto component industry will have to adopt the latest manufacturing techniques and technologies. We, at ACMA, are committed to guide and support the industry in this phase of transition. Our annual ACMA awards presented today are a testimony to ACMA’s efforts in helping the industry become competitive. My heartiest congratulations to the winners.”
“Key expectations of OEMs are zero defects, traceability at affordable costs, continuous cost reduction, capabilities in design & development, and shortest lead time. There is a need to introduce new models in the market frequently, and for this we need to be ready, before someone else is ready for the same,” said Ashok Taneja, MD & CEO, Shriram Pistons & Rings, while moderating the panel discussion on the ‘Role of Digitisation in Quality & Productivity’.
“Digitisation helps us in practicing collaboration in a manner which has not been done before. People in real time production cycles, can now collaborate and work together. This has been hard to achieve,” said Dilip Swahney, MD, Rockwell Automation, during the panel discussion.
The ACT Summit was a great opportunity to learn and network with the industry across the value chain, and provided several practical and tactical insights about the importance of implementing digitisation in the auto component industry.

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