‘Digitalisation will massively change the world of work’
Published by : Industrial Automation
Sagar Bhosale, Managing Director, Schmersal India Pvt Ltd.
What are the leading trends in factory/process automation segment the industry is likely to witness?
Increasing digitalisation and intelligent networking of components, machines and processes will remain the dominant trends in industry. Following this path, we will witness a huge potential for increased efficiency and productivity. Companies that exploit the opportunities of digitalisation will be able to gain a competitive advantage in national and international markets. They will be more flexible, faster, more resource-efficient and thus more cost-effective to serve individual customer needs.
Is the formal education sector prepared for the digital leap in terms of skills required?
The digital transformation is a challenge not only for companies, but also for the society as a whole and even the individual. Education is one of the central resources that will determine future growth opportunities and competitiveness of a country. Therefore, improving the quality of schools and educational institutions and increasing investment in education to improve the educational level of the population is of considerable importance to each country. Digitalisation will massively change the world of work; therefore, lifelong learning is required in order to adapt and keep pace with these changes. This requires more resources not only for the classic education in schools but also for occupational training at the workplace. Also, employees must be encouraged to acquire digital knowledge and to be open for lifelong learning.
The sale of industrial robots witnessed a rising trend in India. Will this impact the job market?
The effects are twofold: For one thing, robots could take on many routine, simple tasks in the future and they can relieve people of monotonous, exhausting or even dangerous work. In addition, the growing use of robots makes Indian companies more competitive. On the downside the increasing automation and use of robots can lead to changes in the labour market and the loss of jobs. But the trend towards expanding automation which is reflected by the growing use of robots may at the same time create a demand for new key qualifications such as IT experts, data scientists, data analysts or IoT solution architects. This might become a great opportunity for this country, since India already has many qualified IT developers. In any case, there will be a shift in demand from unskilled workers to more qualified workers. Therefore, education and training will continue to grow in importance for the professional success of individuals.
Are the SMEs keeping pace with their larger counterparts in digitalisation?
India’s micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprise sector is a vital contributor to the country’s economy. However, most of these companies fail to keep pace with digitalisation even though awareness about this issue is increasing. The government is also aiding the efforts to expand digitalisation by introducing schemes like Digital India, E-Governance etc. Business experts say that the SME sector has the potential to increase revenues by 51%, while enhancing operational efficiency and expand customer reach by adopting digitalisation. When companies recognise these opportunities and act accordingly, the future of this sector will be promising.
What are the new products/developments expected from your company in 2019.
Schmersal is currently focusing its development efforts on the creation of efficient, Industry 4.0-ready safety solutions. For example, we have designed various installation systems such as SD bus, safety field box etc. with which diagnostic data and status information from different safety components can be communicated to a superior control level. The evaluation of the diagnostic data transmitted by the safety sensors plays a key role in condition monitoring concepts and predictive maintenance. Also, we have recently presented for the first time our new safety light grids SLC440/COM with Bluetooth BLE: This is an active optoelectronic protective device that makes all status and diagnostic data on the operating status of the device available on smartphones or tablets via a Bluetooth interface on a real-time basis. Another innovation that Schmersal will launch on the market is the AZM40 - the smallest electronic solenoid interlock in the world. Despite its compact size, the AZM40 has an amazing 2000 Newton interlocking force. This new solenoid interlock meets the requirements of many users looking for space-saving solutions, as space required is a decisive cost factor in production.
Sagar Bhosale has more than 22 years of industry experience, having started his career with MDS Switchgear (now part of Legrand group) in the sales team. He also worked with Crompton Greaves and had a long stint with Schneider Electric before joining Schmersal India Private Limited, which was a new start-up in India in 2007. Starting as a Regional Manager, he is currently Managing Director of Schmersal India.