Indian machine tool industry is moving towards a smart factory environment
Published by : Industrial Automation
An interview with Mr V Anbu, Director General & CEO, IMTMA and BIEC and President- Elect 2020-2021 UFI (Global MICE Federation).
What were the key takeaways from the recent IMTEX FORMING event?
The 6th edition of Asia’s largest exhibition on metal forming, ‘IMTEX FORMING 2020 & Tooltech 2020’ concluded on an encouraging note. The exhibition witnessed participation from as many as 26 countries and attracted a footfall of 47,944 visitors. Business orders and inquiries generated during the exhibition were higher than all previous editions. Visitors acquainted themselves with the latest innovations in laser cutting, X-ray technology for scanning of assembled parts, customised solutions for automotive companies, rapid prototyping, B2B services in CNC machining, etc., which are vital for moving the Indian exhibition industry forward. Industries are focussing on offering solutions to customers apart from offering products. IMTEX FORMING 2020 & Tooltech 2020 has opened the doors for manufacturing industries to embrace new-age technologies and become competitive at the global level.
What is the present status of Indian machine tool industry vis-à-vis Industry 4.0 and smart factory environment?
Machine tool manufacturers are using the latest technologies to enhance their productivity and the Indian machine tool industry is moving towards a smart factory environment. The machines, subsystems, and devices are fitted with sensors to communicate and made Industry 4.0 compliant. Companies have realised that they can add value by embedding Industry 4.0 concepts into their products. Industries demonstrated how operational, production and maintenance data can be seamlessly captured from machines, equipment, systems, subsystems, and devices and by analysing the captured data productivity and availability can be enhanced. Firms no longer need to be big, even the smaller ones are establishing their footprint in the global market with human-machine interfaces, cloud computing, and connected and smart machines.
The emergence of 3D printing is said to be the next disruptive technology. Is the machine tool industry prepared for it?
3D printing is gaining popularity for engineering complex metal parts where light-weighting, conformal cooling, building complex metal/non-metal mesh structures, multi-material parts are required. It is specifically used for small batch quantity productions and is expected to grow fast over a period of time. It works with exotic materials including titanium, steel, aluminium, and copper, etc. 3D printing is having a niche segment and it is finding applications of its own and augments traditional manufacturing. 3D printing is also finding acceptability for repairing and remanufacturing which is a huge market by itself.
IMTMA is focussing on industry ready engineers – what are the programmes for this?
IMTMA conducts exclusive training programmes for fresh graduate engineers giving hands- on exposure and enabling experiential learning. The training programmes are conducted by experienced faculty and industry experts at its technology centres in Bengaluru, Pune, and Gurugram. These centres impart training in automation, multi-skilled training (mechanical engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, information technology, etc). These programmes impart skill, knowledge, and exposure to students to make them ‘Job Ready’ or ‘Industry Ready’. IMTMA also facilitates factory visits to various industries to make the students familiar with the way industries function.
Formed in 1946, the Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA) has played a leading role in the development of the machine tool industry, which is the backbone for industrial growth in India. This national cause has been the guiding force behind IMTMA and its membership.