Mar 05, 2022
Automation to grow bigger in both adaptation and its role in industry
Automation to grow bigger in both adaptation and its role in industry2022-05-10T05:09:25+00:00

IT & OT convergence will be the key definers of the future and coupled with 5g they will open many new avenues.

Headquartered in Taiwan, with a global presence, Delta is a world leader in Power and Thermal solutions. Delta Electronics India has solidified its local presence in the country with 3 manufacturing facilities and an R&D centre. We spoke to Mr. Manish Walia, Head Automation, India region, who has been with the company for 14 years. In a telephonic interaction with OEM Update, Mr. Walia gave us a frontline view of how technology and digitisation are frontrunners in driving Industrial growth.

Delta at 50

Delta began operations in 1971 and we have now completed more than 50 years in the business. Our company is continuously feted with awards and is counted as one of the top global Taiwanese brands. In India Delta’s brand trust and market share has grown manifold in the past 5-10 years. Employing the same quality standards in both manufacturing and service has been a key factor in our growth. With our innovations Delta will dominate the next 50 years ahead.

From being a machine automation player we have expanded in the last 5-7 years to include factory automation, robotics solutions, vision solutions, camera solutions, and other gantry solutions using motion products. We also cater to end user segments like water, wastewater, cement, steel infrastructure and other segments which are a part of smart cities. Our drives, PLCs and SCADA solutions are used here. In Building Automation, Delta has acquired two companies namely; Lloyd Tech, which is an Austrian company, and Delta controls, which is a Canadian company. Our work in Building Automation includes work through integrators or HVAC contractors. We cater to small power supply and to a medium and large voltage supply. Our solutions include drives, machine tool production and CNCs. We also provide solutions in the pharma sector, the data centre industry and for the entire commercial space.

Delta is committed to a greener tomorrow and energy efficiency is essential to achieving this goal. We offer numerous solutions for renewable energy like our solar energy pumping solution. Our solutions like drives and hydraulic automated motors can reduce energy use by 30 percent – 60 percent. We also have power quality solutions to improve the power conditioning of the plant overall. These help counter the rise of harmonics as a result of the increase in the use of LEDs, UPS or even drives in the industry.

Pandemic an opportunity for more automation

The Pandemic has merely accelerated the need for greater penetration of automation in Industry. As the various waves have shown, the dependence of labour needs to be reduced as safety concerns led to a palpable shortage of labour especially in manufacturing and operations. This scenario in particular has led sectors across industry to push for automation because at the end of the day, consistency is essential in business. Machine players in particular, are demanding an escalation of automation to grow to the next level and offer more suitable solutions to the market. The demand in 2021 has been further led by a huge growth in exports.

The technologies that define automation today

Digitalisation, IIoT, Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing have been points of discussion in Industry for a while now. Many recurring and monotonous processes are now automated and other tasks or inspections have sensors and cameras replacing human intervention with software like SCADA to take it forward. The software algorithms depend on databases and with the number of sensors being employed today, the data is humungous. This data is extremely important and it is only going to increase its role in the future.

For our consumers, digitisation and automation has meant greater process reliability. IIoT has made maintenance easier and gives early alerts of issues to resolve at a nascent stage. This results in fewer breakdowns resulting in greater consistency and an increase in the life of the machine.

IT & OT convergence will be the key definers of the future and coupled with 5g they will open many new avenues. This will make it possible for us to work on a process even as we are 3000 kilometres away from the plant. These feats will require centralised monitoring instead of the widespread decentralised monitoring followed currently. Then management should be able to look at a single dashboard and know all that is happening.

Robots are also an important part of the automation switch. Today, the electronics Industry has the largest scope of use for both small and big robots with soldering, handling cards etc. Other sectors where robots are used in greater numbers are food & beverages and paint. Yet, cobots are slowly but steadily gaining more acceptance in regular systems across industry. With robot penetration nowhere close to China and South Korea, India is brimming with potential. The future of robotics is collaboration with humans and robots working alongside and the banking industry has moved in this direction. With the use of sensors and following other safety functions, these collaborations can widen in scope.

Suggestions to entrepreneurs to implement automation solutions

It would be my suggestion to entrepreneurs and business owners to focus on the cost of ownership, the complete life-cycle of the product or solution vis a vis the initial cost. Looking at it as an investment rather than an expense will help bring its overall benefits like efficiency, cost-effectiveness and energy saving to the fore. Using a product or solution that reduces your carbon footprint benefits not just the company but the planet as a whole. Cost and investment need to be looked at with the bigger picture of the environmental perspective for the next generations.

New Developments in Industry

The PLI schemes introduced for various industries including the semiconductor Industry will drive growth. The economic partnership between India and UAE looks very promising. With Foxconn and Sterlite Technologies planning big investments for semiconductor chip manufacturing India’s dependence on other countries will reduce. These moves will give direction and create Atmanirbharta or self-reliance while adding to the Make In India initiative. We may see big investment being made in battery manufacturing as the EV furthers its burgeoning demand.

Future plans for investment in R&D in the automation processes

Delta has big plans in India both as a manufacturing base and R&D centre. We have recently begun operations in a huge new manufacturing unit. We are also looking to expand our R&D centre in Bangalore by the end of the year. Our focus is on innovating products to serve both low and high power voltage.

The world is changing at a fast pace and adapting is the only way to keep up. There needs to be a concerted effort to embrace what is coming, be it technology like Blockchain or Artificial Intelligence. Similarly at Delta, we are embracing new technologies and using them to explore new areas while creating new ways of doing business.

This is an interesting phase for automation in general, with the industry interest, the clear focus of the government and the coming PLI schemes for different industries. Automation will only grow bigger in both adaptation and its role in industry.

The article was published in OEM Update