Sharper Focus

Sharper Focus

Reinventing the future saw stiff competition from participants at Vadodara and Indore.

In its Fourth series, Manufacturing Today once again organised Aditya Birla Group presents Reinventing the Future. The third leg of the competition once again visits four cities, namely, Vadodara, Indore, Chennai and Bhubaneswar. The four cities were chosen carefully based on their manufacturing expertise.
The Aditya Birla Group espoused the theme of Great Teams at Work this year. Reinventing the Series is a platform for manufacturing companies to share ideas and compete on Cost Optimisation, Quality, Technology, Safety, Sustainability and People Initiatives.

During the day, 15 companies made presentations on the five topics that were allotted to them.
The keynote address was delivered by Rohit Pathak, president & CEO, Aditya Birla Insulators. In his speech, he said, “Manufacturing is the core of every economy. Today, we might think of e-commerce, digitalisation, but that is an offshoot of core manufacturing. Companies should look at strengthening their manufacturing base. Germany is probably the only country where prospective employees seek out manufacturing jobs. About 80% of global trade is physical goods and this can also come from production. The US has emerged stronger in the last two years because it maintained its manufacturing stance.”
In Technology, Apollo Tyres highlighted how it had integrated IT in manufacturing. The introduction of SCADA helped the company in inventory and FIFO management, material traceability, improve product quality, better utilise capital and human resources, and eliminate wasteful activities.
Speaking of Cost Optimisation, the GE T&D team presented ‘Improvement in efficiency using concepts of lean manufacturing’. Application of this model in manufacturing of HVDC converter transformers and reactors showed significant savings. The outcome: Improved delivery time, which helped to reduce inventories; and better cost optimisation due to savings in labour hours. The company also reduced labour hours by 40% in HVDC converter Trafo and 20% in reactors.

The companies that made presentations during the day numbered 17.
Ashish Dwivedi, president, specialty chemicals, Aditya Birla Group delivered the keynote speech. In his address, he thanked the teams for agreeing to compete. “There is a new kind of universe being created around manufacturing. Although manufacturing has been contributing about 17% to the GDP, this was on a decline as other sectors were growing. Going forward, there’s going to be immense push to manufacturing from policy-makers, government and even heads of villages – a phenomena that China has witnessed. Manufacturing will also get localised, and not stay confined to large plants and only cities. I see this happening in India. Manufacturing companies and people are instruments of history and creating growth for India. There are forces at play that are looking at ways to differentiate manufacturing. Digitalisation and IoT is driving companies to work out new methods to work and I am sure in the future, the growth of the manufacturing sector will be exponential and novel things will happen.”
In their presentation, the team of John Deere, Dewas plant, spoke on ‘Eco-friendly pretreatment by reducing Phosphate sludge through new innovative process’. The project was a case study and implementation of Zirconium pretreatment process, a new technology in market, and an innovative approach to reduce sludge generated during the phosphating stage of pretreatment in the paint facility. This was the first such implementation in a tractor industry and JDDW not only successfully implemented it but also realised its benefits in terms of quality, cost and safety.
The team of Kirloskar Brothers chose to speak on Industrial Safety. Visualising the need to conserve energy and fuel for a better tomorrow, the plant has designed its products to make them energy-efficient and customised to meet various requirements. The outcome of the project was to inculcate a safety culture in the organisation; increase participation & create safety awareness; reduce incidents; and promote safety culture as an integral part of the processes.
The Aditya Birla Group is a global leader in manufacturing and with such initiatives would like more Indian companies to understand the impact and the various aspects of manufacturing. This knowledge sharing programme is just one of the steps it takes.

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