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Digitising power for future-ready plants

Schneider electric manufacturing today think turf series round table was held in Gurugram on June 4

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Nitin Khare, Schneider Electric India, Bibhor Srivastava, ITP Media Group, Shailendra Singh, Honda Car India, Sushil Chauhan, Sanjiv Kumar Jain, Minda Management Services, Rajesh Sharma, Hero MotoCorp, Sandeep Balooja, S&L Consultant, Gunjan Malhotra, JCB, Ravindra Dayal, Maruti Suzuki, Pradeep Kumar Mishra, JBM Group, Steve Kopsch, Schneider Electric

It’s imperative that manufacturing companies spruce up their energy efficiency rather quickly. There is also a need to go digital. The Round Table focused on just that. Moderated by Bibhor Srivastava, group publishing director, ITP Media Group (India), Nitin Khare, Schneider Electric India and Steve Kopsch, Schneider Electric, the panellists comprised Shailendra Singh, Honda Car India Pvt Ltd; Sushil Chauhan, Honda Car India Pvt Ltd; Sanjiv Kumar Jain, Minda Management Services Ltd; Rajesh Sharma, Hero MotoCorp; Sandeep Balooja, S&L Consultant; Gunjan Malhotra, JCB India; Ravindra Dayal, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd; Pradeep Kumar Mishra, JBM Group.

Kopsch started the session with the key trends and challenges in global automotive industry, followed by panel discussion with first question to panelist “Imagine you are setting up an Automotive facility, what are the key points you will ask for to make sure your infrastructure is future ready?”

Bindal of JK Tyre & Industries said that the group could definitely benefit from the presentation that Kopsch made. However, how prepared is India for such futuristic products? There are challenges and that needs to be first addressed.

Deep said that while his company is the best in what they make, he continues looking at global companies and how they are moving up the ladder. Cost optimisation and improving efficiency in operations is something that Gabriel India will continue seeking.

Chauhan added that breakdowns are quite common. But they have not down to analysing the data yet. “While there are plenty of solutions, we are implementing it in bits and pieces,” he added.

Singh of HCIL said that solutions should be modular and expandable in the future. Moreover, the importance of a software is only seen when the factory starts manufacturing. Until then, all solutions seem good.

Not many people can access the data from the machine, said Jain of Spark Minda. “The CIO and the CTO need to talk to each other to plan for the future. Lack of interface can lead to breakdowns and continued errors,” he added.

Sharma of Hero MotoCorp said that his company has ambitions to become 100% digital by 2025. “Renewable and autonomous mobility will act as disruptive technologies in terms of electrification of plants. It might also increase asset utilisation,” he added.

Balooja said, “India is seeing a paradigm shift in emission norms. “Perhaps, we are the only country moving from BS IV to BS VI and leapfrogging. This comes with plenty of regulations and disruptions. Norms are being changed regularly and more of that will happen in the near future,” he said.

Malhotra of JCB India said that  it is customers who define change, and only later do regulators step in. Change comes from operations and design and these functions add to the story.

Dayal highlighted the way Maruti does things and said that few companies understand the layout of a digital plant. There are facilities being set up which are pure plug and play. But that too is unfathomable for some.

Mishra of JBM Group said that his company has adopted several technologies. But sometimes there are questions thrown as to its full use. Most shop floor people do not take a keen interest in reading data and that is where the full use of the software is not made.

After panel discussion Steve Kopsch presented Schneider’s value proposition and EcoStruxure offers for Automotive focusing smart facility, manufacturing, IT infrastructure, sustainability and evolution of mobility. Session ends with EcoStruxure™ Augmented Operator Advisor live demo focusing benefits of enabling operators to superimpose the current data and virtual objects onto a cabinet, machine, or plant.

Srivastava thanked the participants and the evening ended with cocktails and dinner.

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