We see exponential growth in robotic automation
Published on : Wednesday 08-03-2023
Mukund Shah, CEO, Affordable Robotic & Automation Pvt Ltd (ARAPL).
India is one of the countries with the lowest robot density. What are the factors limiting this density?
India in the past was not focusing on manufacturing; huge imports from China on the pretext of low cost were being dumped in the country. However, the present government’s focus on “Make in India and Make for the World” has generated renewed interest for manufacturing companies to expand for domestic as well as the world market, and as such, a high level of interest is shown by manufacturing companies for automation of their processes including robotic automation.
Robots are unfairly targeted as taking over human jobs. Is this too simplistic when one considers the scope and extent of robotic automation?
This was a mindset in the 1970s when first time computerisation was suggested in LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India). However, since then there has been a huge change in adoption of technology by the general public. Mobiles are an excellent example of deep penetration into rural areas for acceptance of technologies and by now normal citizens have accepted adoption of technology as a tool of making life simple. The direct benefit transfer or DBT, opening of zero balance accounts and promoting digital payments has helped in accepting modern day technology as part of life as such acceptance of robots has become simpler. Robots are the best to handle repetitive jobs, sparing human beings to do more intelligent work. This shift in mindset is encouraging manufacturing companies to deploy robots for such applications.
Do you see a surge in demand for robotic automation in view of the present focus on boosting manufacturing in the country?
Yes, we see exponential growth in robotic automation. Robotic automation was first adopted by the automotive industry and now is being done by various other manufacturing sectors like railways, defense, aviation, furniture, and textiles, also including car parking solutions.
With the convergence of emerging technologies like machine vision, IIoT, and AI/ML – what are the new solutions in the offering?
I will not say it has become easier rather it has made new challenges arise. However new and emerging technologies like IoT and AI/ML have made automation products more advanced, helping management track productivity online.
What are the projects handled by ARAPL for various verticals? How rapid is the growth in warehousing and parking space?
ARAPL has 3 verticals – Robotics Automation, Automated Car Parking and Warehouse Automation. All these verticals there are substantial opportunities. With the huge demand of housing and limitation of space, automated car parking has become a necessity more than a luxury and ARAPL is well equipped to handle this challenge by offering six different solutions as Tower, Puzzle, Chess, Stack, Shuttle, and the latest, complete robotic parking. Thus, we have an entire range of offerings for the housing and commercial projects. As far as automation is concerned, our domestic established players like Bajaj Motors, TVS, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, Ashok Leyland and Eicher Motors are all gearing up to step up their production numbers and introduction of new models demanding large scale automated manufacturing facilities. Other manufacturing sectors see a surge in domestic demand (reduction of China presence) in all manufacturing sectors plus focus on the world market. Due to the advent of E-commerce and demand on huge logistic requirements to fulfill E-commerce orders, warehousing automation has become a must. This being comparatively a new field, there are fewer players to attend to the available opportunities. Knowing this reality, ARAPL has set up a full-fledged subsidiary to cater to this mass by the name of ARAPL RaaS which manufactures robots to reduce the distance to travel by manual labour to fulfill an order.
ARAPL is working at integration vision-based systems and AI – what are the new solutions in the offering?
ARAPL being a technology driven company is always ahead of adapting new technologies in the field. As such all our products are being considered to be made IoT-enabled and to use AI/ML wherever applicable. We are considering a completely new division to work on automation in inspection that will require integration of machine vision.
Mukund Shah is a senior management professional with over four decades of experience in reputable organisations such as Electrotech Circuits India Ltd, Hirel Components India Ltd, Expandus Consulting Pvt Ltd and Badve Engineering Ltd. His deep knowledge in the manufacturing industry stems from his previous work experiences. His exposure to domestic and international markets provides additional insights to ARAPL. His experience has also made available to the social organisations as Advisory Board Member of the UB Gujar Foundation (NGO) and Making a Difference (MAD) Foundation, where he focused on sectors such as education, skill development, and earning opportunities for the rural population.
Mr Shah is a highly talented and well-respected industry leader with extensive expertise in strategic growth and transformation. His ability in developing new setups, managing operations from genesis to the next level of productivity, efficiency, and profitability provide a competitive advantage to the organisation. He has served four terms of two years each as President of IPCA (Indian Printed Circuit Associations) and has contributed in development of Electronic Component Industry by way of delegations to various countries and representation to govt policy making bodies.
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