Automation Expo 2018: Wave of Success
Published on : Monday 30-11--0001
Finally, the morning of 29th August 2018 and all roads led to the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre at Goregaon’s famed NSE Complex, Mumbai’s premium international exhibition venue. The word had spread that robots have arrived at Goregaon and ready to demonstrate a thing or two about the changing manufacturing landscape across the country; the ubiquitous Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is demonstrating various hitherto unthinkable possibilities of connecting not just men and machines, but also machines and machines, and everything else, gleaming data like never before, and sifting it for useful bits and bytes. Indeed, the talk was about promises to be an altogether different world of manufacturing in a few years from now. So from seasoned professionals to budding entrepreneurs, a steady stream of people eager to find out what exactly is in store began arriving at the venue of Automation Expo 2018, for a ringside view.
As exhibitors lend finishing touches to their booths, the excitement was building up with the arrival of the a cultural troupe lending the festive air a typical Maharashtrian ceremonial flavour with the blowing of the traditional ‘tutaris’ (trumpets) and the beating of drums. With the arrival of the Chief Guest, Mr V V Surya Rau, Group President, Safety and Operational Risk, Reliance Industries Limited, began the ceremonial march of the cultural troupe followed by the Chief Guest accompanied by Dr M Arokiaswamy, Managing Director, IED Communications and the visionary behind the Automation Expo series of exhibitions. They were followed by the Members of the Steering Committee – Dr B R Mehta, Senior Vice President, Reliance Industries, Dr K Nandakumar, Chairman & Managing Director, Chemtrols Industries Ltd and Dr Thampy Mathew, Managing Director, Pepperl+Fuchs (I) Pvt Ltd. The rest of the entourage was formed by the esteemed Members of the Board of Governors – the guiding force behind the expo, and VIPs and other dignitaries specially invited for the occasion, as it proceeded to the specially built dais for the Opening Ceremony in Hall 2. In the process, Automation Expo 2018 reached another milestone, of holding the show in two halls of the sprawling complex, the surest sign that the event is now growing.
The proceedings began with a short prayer recited by Ms Jyothi Joseph, Director, IED Communications, followed by the traditional Lighting of the Lamp Ceremony.
“There are many new things that we are doing in this year’s Automation Expo, which is bigger than the previous editions. It is a moment of satisfaction to see the event grow as the adoption of automation is growing in the industry in our country,” said Dr M Arokiaswamy, in his welcome address at the Opening Ceremony. “We have several concurrent events running during the four days of the show. The CEO Summit will discuss automation trends, the Conference on Industrial Internet of Things will discuss the implementation of IIoT. Additionally, we will also have FDT Developer Workshop, Conference on Environmental Management, Roundtable on Factory Automation, Fieldcomm Conference, etc. The Innovation Zone has had a tremendous response from young engineers and it should be a must-visit for today’s students,” said Dr Arokiaswamy.
“I am privileged to welcome all of you to the opening ceremony of Automation Expo 2018,” said Dr B R Mehta, as he invited the Chief Guest to deliver the welcome address.
Mr V V Surya Rau began his Inaugural Address by thanking Dr M Arokiaswamy for giving him the opportunity to learn by seeing. “For the last two days I spent a lot of time to understand what is automation,” said Mr Surya Rau in all modesty. “I presume you are going to use automation to bring out of the chaos and the ambiguities, which will make India grow to what we dream. As per the IMF report, India, a USD 2.26 trillion GDP economy today, is supposed to rise to USD 43 trillion by 2050, if we have growth of 7-8% per annum. At that time, if the forecast is right, China will be USD 50 trillion and US will be USD 38 trillion. But there are constraints. The first constraint is environmental. We are signatories to the Paris Convention and we should not have more carbon dioxide emissions than what we have today. This is only possible if we have disruptive technologies and that brings us to this show – Automation Expo, for solutions,” he said, and declared the 13th edition of Automation Expo open.
After the customary round of the booths in both halls, Mr V V Surya Rau said, “It is overwhelming, a wonderful opportunity for professionals in automation to learn what is happening. I feel this event should be webcast live for the benefit of end users, many of whom are unable to visit, an opportunity to see the latest developments in the field of automation.”
Talking about the exhibitors’ perspective, Mr Jonas Berge, Director – Applied Technology, Emerson Automation Solutions, Singapore, said, “It is interesting to see so many visitors here looking for solutions to implement digital transformation to run their plants and schedule the maintenance activities with improved safety and productivity. At our booth we introduced them to the PlantWeb Digital Ecosystem which really has all the building blocks to implement digital transformation.” Adding to that, Mr Anil Bhatia, Vice President and Managing Director at Emerson Automation Solutions, India, said, “I am happy about our participation here which is a value for money in terms of return on investment. It is a unique platform that brings together all the stakeholders from the automation industry, from students at the lowest rung of the ladder to CEOs of both vendor and end user companies, which is something that happens only at this event.”
Other regular participants echoed the feelings. “We found exhibition was well organised, promoted and executed. We have come across healthy amount of customers, competitors and innovative technology suppliers,” said Mr Shani Parikh, Manager – SEU, Brand & Communication, SEW Eurodrive India Pvt Ltd. Mr Milan Desai, Vice President – Control & Industry Solution, Phoenix Contact India Pvt Ltd, said, “The exhibition is good. We confirm our participation for 2019.”
“Automation Expo 2018 was a successful show for us where we experienced good footfall. We met many potential buyers who showed interest in our product range and services. Showcasing our latest offering for Smart Factory at Industry 4.0 zone helped us to connect with visitors who were looking for reliable partners for their Industry 4.0 needs,” said Mr Sanjay Kulkarni, Managing Director, Pilz India Pvt Ltd.
It was not just the regular participants who were happy. So was the case with first time participants, as expressed by Mr M Thakur, Director, Aditya Robotics & Automation Private Limited. “We have participated in Automation Expo for the first time; however, we are pleasantly surprised to receive the support from staff and courtesy extended to us. We will definitely participate next year also,” said Thakur.
The two main foreign group participations happened from China and Taiwan. “I am happy to continue working for the Automation Expo! And I would like to thank you for your support and help. Every time I met up difficulties, you are always on my side. For 2019, I am confident to achieve another high target of 700 sq.m,” said Ms Sara Li, China Representative for Automation Expo who is based in China.
The show witnessed a continuous stream of visitors on all four days and the weather played no spoilsport during the duration of the exhibition, the occasional shower was no dampener. “I am visiting for the first time, but my colleagues were here last year too. I am interested in IIoT technologies for implementation of the e-factory concept and this is the best place to find solutions. The sheer number of exhibitors is overwhelming. We have spent a lot of time here today and have to come tomorrow as well, as there is a lot to explore,” said Vinayak Mithbaokar, Chief Business Officer, Pratiti Technologies. Another visitor, Jignesh Vora of Vora Controls, said, “I am a regular visitor to this event, and I have come from Gujarat, staying here for two days to cover all the booths. It is a good place to meet so many automation sector vendors at a single venue, the only such event in India. I like talking to visitors from other states and now also visiting the Innovation Zone to see what the students are doing.”
“The footfall tells the story by itself!! Lot of prospective visitors with data collection – from PLCs, sensors were the theme. Other leading companies already focusing on the preventive analysis, condition monitoring also had a good insight on digital twin. Understanding Augmented Reality solutions along with IIoT – were a handful of people. Appville Softwares is extremely happy. The exhibitors could have put 3 halls easily,” said Bala of Appville Softwares, Coimbatore, another first time exhibitor.
The Innovation Zone, introduced last year for the first time at this event, became an instant hit not just with students, but also industry visitors. This year the centre of attraction was a solar-electric hybrid car prototype designed and built by the students, who drove it to the venue from the suburbs, on the city roads.
Other concurrent events during Automation Expo 2018 included the CEO Summit that discussed current automation trends; a Conference on Industrial Internet of Things which deliberated upon implementation of IIoT; a FDT Developer Workshop; a Conference on Environmental Management; a Roundtable on Factory Automation; and the Fieldcomm Conference.
Automation Expo 2018 was jointly organised by Centre of Excellence – IoT, a joint initiative by MeitY, ERNET and NASSCOM in partnership Indo-American Chamber of Commerce with Indo-African Chamber of Commerce, Indo-Arab Chamber of Commerce and Bombay Small Scale Industries Association, among other supporting organisations.
The 13th edition of Automation Expo concluded on 1st September 2018 on a positive note, setting new records in terms of exhibitors and visitors. “We have just concluded yet another highly successful edition of the Automation Expo series,” said Dr M Arokiaswamy, Managing Director, IED Communications Ltd. He continued, “I am happy to note that the exhibitors have received a very good response and the visitors have expressed satisfaction at the broad range of technologies on display, especially in the areas of IIoT and Digital Transformation that are of great interest to companies in the manufacturing domain as well as core sector industries.”
The last word perhaps, should go to the Chief Guest of the Opening Ceremony, Mr V V Surya Rau, who said, “Thank you very much for providing me with a life time opportunity to experience the excellent job you are doing in providing a platform for spreading the disruptive technology of automation to the ignorant many, through the 900 stalls of this exhibition. The most significant one is your providing 12 stalls for the innovating student fraternity. There are infinite business opportunities in utilising automation in improving safety, productivity and quality in the hydrocarbons industry – wishing you many more years of such exhibitions cum conferences. Giving a Maharashtrian touch to the Welcome Ceremony with gender diversity has been unique and will remain forever as my most cherished moment. Kindly convey our sincere appreciation to the unsung people behind this mammoth effort.”