‘Adoption of automation and robotics is increasing to great advantage’
Published by : Industrial Automation
Dr Sanjeev Vithal Rasal, Managing Director, IDEMI – Mumbai.
With your experience at IDEMI, how competitive is the indigenous instrumentation industry?
IDEMI is an organisation established by the Government of India in the year 1969 as a service to the Instrument Industry. The main objective of setting up this institute was to gear up the growth potential of indigenous instrument industry and hence to meet the ever growing instrumentation needs of the country by augmenting productivity quality control in industrial sector – be it in Electrical, Electronics or Process Control Instruments. The institute is looked upon as a nodal centre in view of its multifarious activities offered to suit various needs of the instruments industry. It offers the following services to the Instrument Industry.
Technical Consultancy in various aspects of Instrumentation.
Industry sponsored projects in the Design & Development of Electrical, Electronic & Process Control Instruments & Transducers. Know how available may be transferred to interested party either exclusive or non-exclusive basis.
Calibration and Testing of Electrical, Electronic and Process Control Instruments, Sensors, Transducers & Electrically Operated Domestic appliances.
Calibration of Mechanical Measuring Instruments & Inspection of Mechanical Products & Components.
Technical Training for wide range of professionals in numerous disciplines of Instrumentation.
Design & Manufacturing of Press Tools for sheet metal components, Plastic Moulding Tools, Forging Tools, Pressure Die Casting Tools, Jigs & Fixtures
Manufacturing of critical mechanical components and maintenance spare parts required for Instrument Industry. IDEMI is rendering its services through its various Laboratories, Training Department & Mechanical Workshop.
Instrumentation is one of the major areas of Science & Technology which makes a great impact on vital sectors of national activities such as education, scientific research, industry, agriculture, medicine and health, etc. The accuracy of indigenous instrumentation is increasing at a faster rate by adopting new technologies. The indigenisation of the instrumentation industry will have a great impact on our industries – it will reduce the costs dramatically with user friendly products for the Indian market, which in turn will reduce the cost of capital items substantially.
How significant are the design and development activities at IDEMI?
IDEMI Mumbai has developed various products of excellent quality in the field of electro-mechanical instrumentation. All these products were developed for different organisations in the public and private sectors and MSMEs, among them top companies like BARC, ISRO, NSC, L&T, etc.
Design and development activities at IDEMI with support of the Department of Electronics and Tool Room Division made a significant impact on various sectors of such as electrical and electronics, with industries like medical, defense, etc. This has happened due to development of projects like neurosurgery robots and various electronic and mechanical assemblies for ISRO and the defense sector (e.g., Arihant submarine).
Any breakthrough achievements that have impacted the industry?
Breakthrough achievement is done by adopting innovation for new concept design. Adopting new and latest technology in making innovative products which are of social use. Adoption of Industry 4.0 and emerging technologies like IoT, cloud computing and marketing through social media and training has been helpful to reach customers very easily and deliver on time.
Secondly the calibration and testing facility at IDEMI Mumbai was also used for testing of medical equipment for small scale industries, as after testing at IDEMI Mumbai, the same were exported to European countries, Australia and Saudi Arabia, etc.
IDEMI Mumbai has an Incubation Centre where many incubate companies are coming and taking benefits of the facilities to develop innovative products. Recently few products like 4G tracker system, solar trash compactor, compost making machine and other agricultural equipment have developed at the Incubation Centre.
What is the present state of industrial automation in India in general?
At present in India industrial automation is spreading very fast in almost all industrial sectors. In case of largest automobile manufacturers in India the adoption of industrial automation and robotics is also increasing to great advantage. Robots are utilised on manufacturing shop floors for different applications like welding, painting, assembling, fabricating, etc. However, the adoption is not uniform and differs between sectors. The percentage of adoption of industrial automation in automobile sector is more as compared to others industrial sectors. The growth rate of industrial automation in India is approximately 11.6%. This will increase thanks to new technologies like Industry 4.0 and IoT, etc. The size of the industrial automation industry in India will grow to almost US $7 billion by 2030.
Secondly, apart from automobile sector, the pharmaceutical, chemical and process industries are also adopting automation and robotics at a faster pace now. However, automation in agriculture sector is very low in India and it is time to change this.
What are the barriers in the process of adopting more automation?
The barriers in the process of adopting more automation are as follows:
Less skilled manpower
Huge initial investment/lack of capital
Significant of RoI is variable in different sectors
Rigid human tendency, and
Fear of unemployment.
What, according to you, are 3 areas where 2020 is likely to witness disruptive changes?
Technology is changing at the speed of light, but this is the slowest pace of change we’ll ever see. The tempo of change and adoption is increasing, fuelled by the democratisation of innovation and the impact will be felt in:
Electric vehicles in automotive which will affect the manufacturing technology.
Additive manufacturing and 3D printing will affect metal manufacturing and plastic part manufacturing.
In addition, emerging technologies like IoT, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and virtual/augmented reality will affect all sectors gradually from training, marketing, analysing and manufacturing.
Dr Sanjeev Vithal Rasal is a Lead Auditor for ISO 17025, having attended lead assessor course from SGS & BVQI, UK. His overall professional experience exceeds 34 years, with over 17 years with IDEMI – Mumbai, where he is presently serving as the Managing Director. Focussing on the principle of ‘Sustainable Growth’, Mr Rasal was instrumental in substantially enhancing the business volume of IDEMI from Rs 1.5 cr to Rs 25 cr in less than 12 years. Recognising his outstanding performance and contribution, the Govt of India awarded him extension of service by 2 years post superannuation. Mr Rasal has several achievements and accomplishments to his credit, including establishing ‘Intellectual Patent Facilitation Centre’ and ‘Incubation Centre for Emerging Entrepreneurs’ at IDEMI.