This editorial was first published in the June issue of OEM update magazine
By Anil kumar, Director, Inovance Technology India
Inovance Technology India, headquartered in Chennai, employs over 100 people in sales, engineering, and research & development roles, across a Pan-India network of offices. It is the Indian arm of Inovance, a global industrial automation company.
1. What are customers’ expectations for sustainability in the products and manufacturing processes?
I think customers expect their complete solution kit to be sustainable. There are many definitions of sustainability, but I think usually, in a manufacturing context, by “sustainable” we mean cutting energy use. Frankly, in an era of rocketing energy prices, whether you believe in climate change or not, sustainability makes sense.
MD200 AC Drive
And Inovance can help. Here in India there are many many factories that are running motors direct on line. A simple, economical AC drive, such as our open loop general purpose MD200, can slash your energy use, helping both the climate and your bottom line.
2. How do you perceive manufacturing with Industry 4.0/ 5.0 to optimize production in present times of digital adoption?
Optimizing production, broadly speaking, means to enhance productivity. The latest digital technologies can help to do this in many ways. One way is to offer high levels of connectivity between machine components. Remote monitoring is one benefit of digital connectivity. At Inovance, we can use an Ethernet port with a Modbus TCP/IP protocol to potentially allow OEMs to connect to machines that have been deployed in factories. This can enable them to conduct remote diagnostics. Inovance products that have the necessary Ethernet/ Modbus TCP/IP functionality include the AM600 controller, and the IS810 and MD500-PLUS drives.
3. What is the aim of the government to introduce PLI outlay as incentive to aid manufacturing? And will it help to boost manufacturing output?
Well the PLIs are government schemes, but so far as I understand them, they are designed to create national manufacturing champions in areas such as drones, food and automotive. I think it’s a great scheme, and I want nothing more than to see domestic Indian companies achieve manufacturing leadership.
I certainly hope the PLI scheme will be a success. In my view, a realistic outcome of such a scheme is not that India would create a domestic manufacturing champion in every sector, but that we’d create a small number of champions in a few sectors, that would go on to become world leaders and big exporters. For me, that feels like a realistic path to achieving manufacturing success. No country makes everything at home.
IS810N Multiaxes servo drive
4. Whether Indian manufacturers will attract investments to ensure efficiency and sustainable manufacturing?
If they want to become national or international champions, Indian manufacturers will simply have to invest to become efficient and sustainable. This is of interest to me since Inovance specialises in industrial automation and, in my view, to achieve manufacturing champion status, Indian companies will need to be highly automated. It’s the only way to compete against international competitors, and it’s certainly the only way to achieving export-led success in Western markets.
5. How much energy can variable speed drive technology save for factories and does it impact cost?
Variable speed drives can save huge amounts of energy! I think many factory managers in India still don’t quite realise the extent to which this is the case. I mentioned earlier about direct on line motors – where the motor is just plugged directly into the electricity and runs at full speed for 100% of the time. In many such cases, for example if it is driving a fan, that motor only needs to be running 20% of the time. But paying engineers to go round and manually manage this process is not an option. A variable speed drive solves this problem. It is not uncommon for huge energy savings – as high as 75% - to be made in these cases.
MD800 AC Multidrive
Such examples as the above represent the “low hanging fruit” of what is possible. But even the most sophisticated manufacturing machinery can save energy with an advanced variable speed drive. One of our premium product offerings is the MD800 compact AC multidrive. The MD800 has benefits that go way beyond saving energy, but it does use an energy saving common DC bus that can cut energy use in the most advanced manufacturing machinery.
6. Automation solutions can reduce wastage and improve production efficiency within factories, your opinion?
Absolutely. The benefits of automation go well beyond reducing energy wastage. It’s about improving production throughput, so that factories can make more in the same amount of time. It’s about improving reliability, so that production line downtime becomes a thing of the past. And its about designing automation products better, so that they take up less valuable cabinet space in the machine and are as easy as possible to install and maintain. Additionally, automation can play a key role in reducing material waste. For example,by using advanced motion control algorithms, the waste during the production process is dramatically reduced, because there is no loss of material when speed and/or formats are changed.