There is a positive change happening in the industry
Published by : Industrial Automation
Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, Managing Director South East Asia & India, Kemppi.
What are the factors contributing to the low robot density in India in general?
India is emerging in the Robotics segment. Most of the industries are equipping their production lines with robots. The current statistics are showing that automation is in huge demand. Post Lockdown, industries are trying to install more robots to ensure seamless production. Considering the factors influencing robot density, cost of the robots is a major factor. Lack of skilled labourers to operate the robots also turns out to be a reason. Upskilling and reskilling of employees are required to make them capable of operating robots and this will help in the long run.
What are the segments besides automotive that can use more robots?
Robotics and Artificial intelligence are the new age technologies used by industries to improve the quality of production. Apart from automotive sector, robots are equipped in industries such as electrical and electronics, chemical, machinery, biomedical, defence research, food and beverage and others.
Will the rapidly changing geopolitical scenario help India scale up manufacturing and lead to greater use of robots?
The Indian economy is going through a phase of rapid industrialisation. Make in India movement is supporting the growth of new industries and production facilities in India. This is creating a huge demand for automation and robotics. These rapid industrial changes will be reflected in the robotics segment as well.
Are Cobots with their greater appeal bridging the gap?
Collaborative Robots (Cobots) are designed to share workspace with humans and makes automation easier. These robots are designed to work along with humans and not to replace humans. This creates a positive effect on the employees. The installation and setup of Cobots are much simpler and cheaper. Employees can easily adapt with Cobots and this will help in familiarising the employees with robotics and new age technologies. Cobots will contribute to increasing the productivity.
In the aftermath of Covid-19, many start-ups have drafted robots as frontline warriors, especially service robots. How can this trend be channelised more effectively?
This is a positive change happening in the industry. Organisations are adopting new age technologies to ensure seamless production in this pandemic situation. The statistics show that industries are installing more robotic solutions to improve the productivity. Robotic integrators play a pivotal role in providing comprehensive solutions to end users.
Will the growing use of AI and ML provide the much needed boost for wider use of robots?
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotics combined together open up a new dimension of automation techniques. With the welding segment moving towards automation, KEMPPI has a vision of upgrading the welding technology with Artificial Intelligence. We will be continuing to introduce the Power sources that every robot falls in love with.
How relevant is RPA in manufacturing? Globally, several companies are now increasingly using RPA for back office activities related. Is this gaining traction?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) increases productivity. With RPA, organisations can streamline their operations and automate their processes. RPA plays a major role in improving the quality of production; human errors can be minimised. Back office automation plays a crucial role in improving the operational efficiency. It helps in workflow management and quick decision making.
How do you see automation transforming the future?
Automation is the future. The industry is going to witness rapid expansion in automation and robotics. Every individual should reskill to adapt this rapid change. Automation opens up a new arena of career opportunities to the youngsters. Our academic curriculum should be updated so that the students are industry ready for the new age technologies. Automation will transform the existing production lines and this is going to be a major change which we will witness in the near future.
Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, a BE, MBA from NIT Trichy, is currently the Managing Director at Kemppi South East Asia & India. Having a lot of credentials to his name, Mr Mohapatra has devoted himself into upgrading India’s ‘skill development’ sector and is a member of the National Skill Development Council, FICCI. Not a stranger to plain facts, Mr Mohapatra finds himself wondering about the global economy if all the women in the world were also a part of the workforce. To see this through, he has started the Best Female Welder competition in India which is now accredited in the world. Within a span of just a few years, he has also set up 20 ‘Centre of excellence for Skill development’ and we can be assured that the number is to rise. For a major portion of his life, Mr Mohapatra has been affiliated with the welding industry not just on a national level but an international level; he is also a Core Committee Member of the Welding Council, CII, Member, Indian Institute of Welding, and a Council Member of Manufacturing in CII Tamil Nadu. He is also a member WIM, Malaysia and SWS Singapore. A veteran orator, Mr Mohapatra is also a TedX speaker and a keynote speaker at several conferences and universities all over India. Bringing Industry and Academia together is his passion. He is an Industry Advisor to OP Jindal University and Mentor to Navonmesh Prasar Foundation – A school for Rural innovation in Odisha.
#August 2020 Magazine Cover Story
ROBOTS IN MANUFACTURING Globally, AI powered robots with autonomous learning capabilities are transforming the manufacturing landscape. The word robot has a Slavic root, the meaning associated with labour, and that is how it has come to be relevant, the most common justification for the use of a robot being it takes the drudgery out of monotonous, repetitive tasks, often also difficult or dangerous for human workers. The first modern robot was patented by George Devol, an American inventor in 1954, but it was put in use by General Motors only in the early 60s, so the history of the modern robot is just about 6 decades. To read the full cover story Please click here