Automation and robotics are critical part of human life and organisations
Published by : Industrial Automation
Vinod Kumar Sharma, Vice President – APAC Head Sales and Global Marketing Head, ARi Global Solutions.
What was the rationale behind the company’s formation in 2001 and how has it scaled up since?
Founded in 2001 and operating as ARi since 2006, ARi was created out of a passion to provide engineering solutions across industries. Since then, we have experienced rapid growth, becoming a one-stop solution provider by combining electronics, software, and product design engineering capabilities. Along with this growth, ARi has developed a vast portfolio of products and solutions in the Industrial Automation and Robotics space with excellent quality and safety, thereby completing the transformation into a mature company with a brand that is true to its core values.
ARi provides scalable offerings for every Industrial Automation and Robotics requirement which increase the quality and flexibility of the manufacturing process. With these offerings we are ready to meet any futuristic technology enhancement and expansion opportunity.
Starting from a single office, located in Peoria, IL, ARi has opened 9 additional locations, globally in North America and Asia Pacific regions. (Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Bangalore).
In a field crowded with engineering services providers, what is the USP of ARi?
We distinguish ourselves as an exclusive Engineering Solution Provider to address specific needs and provide unified solutions to tackle the industry-specific challenges. Unified solutions and automation is the need for the hour, wherein the automation could be partial or full – the purpose of automation is to enable humanity in a better manner; solutions should complement the process and improve operational efficiency.
To address these challenges, we focus on specific engineering solutions competency and domains such as product engineering, manufacturing engineering, embedded technologies, electronics, powertrain solutions, digital and connected technology in line with Industry 4.0 space. We operate as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) centric organisation. The solutions we provide to our customers are derived out of a passion to meet current and futuristic needs. Our Industrial Automation and Robotics solutions possess futuristic scalability and can adapt to any change in process/product/technology definition.
How is the business spread of the company between automotive and non-automotive segments?
We work across industries and leverage best practices to build unified solutions for automotive and non-automotive industry. For example advance manufacturing and use of robots are from automotive and aerospace industry but now, each industry is on the lookout for such simplified solutions, which can add benefit to their value chain and provide operational efficiency by leveraging technology enhancement.
Our Unified Solution portfolio offers embedded systems and software, product design engineering, manufacture engineering solutions, powertrain test and validation, engineering IT, and connected technologies. Beyond automotive segment the industries that we cater to are heavy machinery, construction, agriculture, mining, power systems, transportation, oil and gas, process, manufacturing, defense, media and entertainment, R&D and prototyping. Irrespective of the industry we belong to, automation and robotics are critical part of human life and organisations – whether mass production or small scale companies.
What are the types of Automation and Robotics services offered by ARi?
We are offering fully integrated engineering solutions – industrial automation and robotics solutions, i.e., Cobot/robotics solutions, material handling solutions, storage solutions, AMR, traceability solutions, warehouse solutions (ASRS, VLM, etc.), end of line solutions, poke yoke solutions, packaging solutions, transport solutions, assembly solutions, welding solutions, testing solutions and unified products to our clients.
We assist our clients in a variety of ways to help them achieve their business goals. We are the one-stop-solution provider in the industry and we combine the capabilities to offer best- in-class integrated automation solutions under one roof.
The company operates from 4 locations in India. What are the activities conducted here?
As stated earlier, starting from a single office, located in Peoria, IL, ARi has opened 9 additional locations, globally in North America and Asia Pacific regions (Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, and Bangalore). We operate our organisation as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) centric organisation. The competency across domains are global and we leverage global teams to build right solution for each and every customer.
We operate on the mantra: “Global Competency – Common Process – Across the Globe”. We leverage our India offshore competency centre to support our global customers across various domains our global COEs operate from both North America and India. By leveraging global competency, we provide unified cost-effective solutions to customer through offshore competency centre.
Our India competency centre focusses on telematics and display solutions, automation and robotics solutions, powertrain and drivetrain solutions, electrical and electronics solutions, manufacturing engineering solutions, data science and analytics, emerging and alternate technologies, off-road vehicle systems and commercial vehicle systems.
How demanding are Indian clients and how much of the company’s business is generated here (ratio)?
Customer expectations are very clear, they need to speed-up their processes with technology interface and have a unique position among their competitors. It is very important to be on time in the market; speed is highly critical and we as an integrated engineering solutions provider ensure that we are on time, every time.
The demand raised by the customer is important, but it’s also imperative that we understand the problem definition and provide our value-added solution. Our global business is equally shared between USA and APAC regions.
What is the impact of emerging technologies like IIoT, AI and Machine Learning on ARi offerings?
The future industry must manage Tools, Technology and Process in a comprehensive manner. User experience is the key so much so that we talk about concepts like customised mass production.
This is a digital era and we all have realised that each aspect has to be digitally connected. While connecting we need to add value in terms of information and what action is required to enable the entire industrial ecosystem and compliment the process from analytics and forecast front.
IIoT will play a critical role to enhance the system via intelligent technologies such as ML, AI, etc. It will help organisations from efficiency, productivity, and consistency point of views. It’s seen best performance improvement results are achieved when humans and IIoT enabled system and products work hand in hand.
ARi is continuously building solutions by looking at technology transformation and enhancing solution capabilities by leveraging ML, AR, VR and AI space, and ensuring all solutions are created with inbuilt intelligence. We go for the Smart approach whether we are driving Telematics, Engineering and Electronic product development or are working on end to end Industrial automation and robotics solution.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic influenced the business models in general, for ARi in particular?
These are very unprecedented times for the world. We can also see change in the thought process, priorities, strategies, and in overall response by the industry. Industries have faced immediate impact addressing supply chain disruption, stabilising fluctuating revenues, react to evolving demand and identifying new growth perspectives.
Industries are trying their best to keep-up with the situation and return to normal curve. It has also given us a new approach for engineering industries, that things are possible at a distance, we can build and create value for customer organisation without any proximity. We have adopted Virtual working pattern without affecting efficiency and ensuring on-time response. It has made us work on Contingency Plans (such as Business Continuity plan) to minimise the business impact. We have introduced quick changes in the process and ensured online ecosystem while keeping our workforce safe.
Vinod is leading ARi Global team as a Vice President APAC Sales & Global Marketing function, and comes with 24+ years of global experience in Engineering R&D Services and engineering IT solutions space across USA, Europe and APAC. Vinod has performed various roles during his professional tenure, i.e., global sales, organisation strategy, operational excellence, global delivery, marketing, branding and communication across
engineering and IT spaces and worked with global customers to meet their business needs.