Mr. Manish Walia, Head, Automation Business, India, Delta Electronics, shares his views on Indian Inc. adopting automation as an essential manufacturing practice with OEM Update.
Can you share how your solutions are suitable for Machine tools?
In automation, we have a wide variety of products covering almost all the industries like printing, packaging, textiles, rubber &plastics, pharma, and others. We have also focused on machine tools in the last few years as a core interest area. Focus on the CNC controllers and especially CNC machines with the robots is the combination for which I see great potential with large OEMs as well as MSMEs. We also have a strong robot product line up to 80kg. Though it was known earlier, the need for automation probably has been expedited now. The necessity of robotics and automating the process or dependence has created many business opportunities for us. Delta brings in most of the business from industrial automation and its core customer base for us. The market is learning and looking for automating to improve their overall cost and productivity. So I think the MSMEs and SMEs play a significant role in India.
Commitment toward energyefficient manufacturing
We provide innovative and green energy-efficient solutions for a better tomorrow. That’s the global corporate mission. It remains powerful in whatever we design, sell, and make solutions in systems. So, I know everybody is talking about high efficiency and energy saving, and we are definitely aligned with it. Apart from this, with the RE100 focus, Delta is committed as a corporate to being net-zero by 2030. Globally, we have improved in energy efficiency in the last decade. We saved billions of kilo watt energy, translating into probably millions of reductions of carbon emission, so that is what we have organization Delta, relying on a corporate mission for conservation of this planet – we are in, and that’s what we work for. We produce the products in intelligent factories that smartly use robots, which are highly energy efficient.
India is progressing in adopting robotisation
Now talking about robotisation, it is changing. And it is not just the automotive business that traditionally uses robots. FMCG started, and then we saw pharma and electronics started using robots, and smaller SMEs are also not averse to using the robots. Because of the availability and adaptability, the use of these robots has become much more manageable. It’s not a big tech thing that somebody is scared to start implementing in the process.
Presently, we see the use of SCARA has increased for process automation. SCARA robots are primarily used for automotive, FMCG, packaging, electronics, and even the nonindustrial segments like banking have been using robots. We have grown significantly in bringing the robots closer to multiple components, not just the automotive only, and the cost is also becoming much more affordable. Whether it is collaborative, SCARA, articulated robots, etc., all put together, the volumes will increase and could be more adaptable. The supply chain has been challenging in the last few months. The demand for chips has been at all-time high. But our supply chain teams have been able to do a much better job. I mean, just not the ICs, the raw materials overall have increased, and of course, the Ukraine – Russia conflict has increased all the concerns in place. There is a spike in overall cost.
Modernisation pace of Indian factories
The transition from traditional factories to intelligent factories requires a problem-solving approach. Identify those areas where to make it more intelligent by using censors, maybe robots, maybe something else and making it more efficient so that it is not just saving money, but then process overall is lesser complex. We are also looking at bringing better products out of it in terms of final export using less human resources. If it’s a repetitive job, we can try and see what automation can bring in more benefits. It’s an opportunity.
How you manage big data is another side. That is a big challenge, of course. There’s a lot of data is available, and at the end of the day all the data is essential for business. To identify which data, out of available information is more critical for us. We extract that and then use it for our benefits to make some simulations; some analysis so that we can predict something much ahead for a machine, for a process, even for our supply chains management challenges. A lot of this software, analytical tools, simulation methods are being currently used. The first thing, we acquire the relevant data and use for specific systems. For example, in the machine tool industry, for injection moulding machine, Fetching the data from the multiple PLCs, Delta PLCs; it could be any make, in the whole process in a plant or a machine and then utilising that to create some models to enhance the process.
Today, there is a challenge, as the factories need to be more productive and need to be more competitive, not just in India but at the global level. The Government of India focuses on bringing manufacturing to an international crossroads. We are investing in SEZs, and we have a lot of products that will be not just used in India but exported to the US, Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
The use of automation, the use of robots, or similar processes is helping all these industries to become more competitive, more productive, and in line with other prominent players. More repetitive processes actually should not be attended by humans but should be done through automation. However, the human need is still there. We cannot replace the human mind with a robot. The human being is still the fascinating creature in the world.
The interview was published in OEM Update