Cover Story

Digitisation: Shifting gears in CE industry


Presenting an in-depth analysis on how renewed focus on digitisation by the construction equipment OEMs is driving the customer demands.

Industry players across sectors such as construction, mining, material processing plant and machinery, vehicles, components and accessories are progressively aspiring for more and driving expectations today.

Creating more customer value
Siva Kasturi, Global OEM manager – India and South East Asia, Shell Lubricants, says, “There is a consistent upward trend in machine availability, capacities and efficiencies in the Indian construction segment. This in turn, is also stemming a spurn of heightened consumer demand.”

He adds, “To meet this demand and reduce the total cost of ownership, we have been offering next generation products and world-class services that generate immense value to our major customers and OEM partners leveraging on digital enabled tools.”

Rapid adoption of leading edge lubricants in India
Lubricant technology is always driven by these changing needs of customers and OEMs. As industry faces the challenges of improving lube for fuel ratio and lowering the cost of production, a key requirement is to lower the operating costs and total maintenance costs. Hence, Kasturi observes a more rapid adoption of leading edge lubricants that provide energy efficiency, productivity benefits and lower the total cost of ownership.

Shell Lubricants invests heavily in research and development which has enabled the company to be the ‘first to market’ several lubricant innovations and value-added services. Kasturi adds, “By working closely with major off-highway and construction equipment manufacturers, our lubricants specialists have developed a deep understanding of construction industry challenges.”

LubeChat – Interactive, intuitive, and integrated digital platform
In view of these trends and industry transformations, Kasturi feels the need of the hour is to enhance customer experiences by incorporating new-age technologies in existing systems. In this light, Shell Lubricants has introduced LubeChat, an interactive, intuitive, and integrated digital platform designed to offer solutions to valued customers – distribution sales representatives, maintenance heads, and service engineers. It is an easy to use, AI-enabled chatbot that can deliver information on real-time basis based on providing a collaborative customer-centered service. The platform optimises customer work efficiency and follows the philosophy of nurturing partnerships- that there is potential for lubrication to deliver significant enterprise value by helping reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and improve equipment productivity. LubeChat is a testimony to the perfect synergy of cutting-edge technology and expertise available at a single invaluable repository.

LubeChat aims to provide a platform that brings a vast array of Shell knowledge, equipping all users with faster, better informed decisions that can ultimately bring down the total cost of ownership. It is easy to use, easily accessible and available 24/7.
The company is looking forward to help its partners and customers find the right products for their equipment and access technical and safety sheets on Shell products. The platform enables them to get the recommended Shell alternative if there are any issues with the current product. As mentioned, it also provides access to case studies demonstrating how existing customers have improved their operations.

Reducing total cost of ownership
Kasturi says “Our offer to the end customer is completely on reducing the total cost of ownership through value improvement projects. To ensure this value is realised, we have robust supply structure for both the products through our regional depots and wide distributor network in India. To complement this, we offer our value-added service like Shell LubeAnalyst, Shell Lube Video Check and Shell Lube Expert for condition monitoring and equipment performance and improving the lubrication area of each segment.”

Electronic sensing and online feedback mechanism
Kennady V Kaippally, Country Manager, Mobile & Wind Solutions, Bonfiglioli, says, “Digitisation is permeating all walk of industry and the construction equipment industry has not been immune to this disruptive phenomenon. Electronic sensing and online feedback mechanism are becoming important for matching the ever growing performance expectations of customers.”

He adds, “These digital tools support the operator by providing him, with all the necessary parameters in real-time. Thus enabling him to have the equipment working in the most optimum mode to achieve fuel economy, productivity and safety of equipment.”

Provides right online feedback mechanism to equipment operators
Bonfiglioli has many unique solutions where electronic and hydraulic features are integrated in mechanical transmissions systems to provide the right online feedback mechanism to equipment operators across applications. One of its patented solutions is integration of load cell with the gearbox. This quickly and precisely measures torque and enables torque monitoring in real-time. Connected via an external cable connection, the system provides an automatic engine shut­down to protect the drive or reduce the capacity of the frequency converter, while providing information to the PLC.

In addition, the system also has an ant seize function which prevents blockages. The evaluation of its data also facilitates the predictive maintenance. The new integrated load bearing system allows Bonfiglioli for the first time in the market to deploy an intelligent solution combining its historic excellence in transmission manufacturing with new age digital tools.

Electronic controls for off-highway is the need of the hour
AVTEC, one of the largest independent manufacturers of powertrain and precision engineered products in India, is also the leading supplier of high-precision cycling and hauling transmission aggregates and components for the off-highway market. Prabhakar Kadapa, MD and CEO, AVTEC Ltd, says, “With our offerings, we serve a broad array of applications like mining, construction, oil field, material handling, railway and wind energy.”

He adds, “With all OEMs working diligently towards designing and manufacturing vehicles compliant with the latest emission norms, the use of electronically-controlled engines and transmissions is the need of the market.”

AVTEC’s off-highway business unit at Hosur is taking rapid strides towards the introduction of indigenously developed electronically controlled transmissions. “The main concentration has been to create a link between the mechanical components in the transmission with its sensors to transmission control unit and effective communication between engine and the equipment,” Kadapa says.
AVTEC has developed HATS (Hauling Automatic Transmission System), its own electronic controls for transmissions catering to mining, oil field, and the construction industry. The development of HATS electronic controls is the resultant of AVTEC’s in-house research of over three years at its Tech Centre at Hosur.

The HATS controls with its proven state-of-the-art technology and robust design, has already been rigorously tested at the test bench and also on field, exceeding all the industry requirements on functionality, performance, and environmental safety.

HATS brings flawless communication
HATS bring revolutionary controls with flawless communication between the engine and other systems. It deploys a real-time micro control unit with a math-optimised core, integrated with powerful peripherals facilitating high system efficiency, reliability and flexibility.

It is equipped with features like GPS and can be integrated with telematics for data transfer and easy trouble shooting in the field which is a prerequisite for many OEMs.

The HATS system can work in vehicles with 12V or 24V electronic systems. It also comes with prognostic features, supporting the field maintenance team by providing information on transmission maintenance requirements. The diagnostic data is provided in a format which can be easily understood by operators and field staff.

Real-time data capture and trend analysis
HATS come with an in-built storage memory which captures real-time data and can be utilised for creating trend analysis and diagnostics. Apart from this, it extends the storage facility by way of interfacing an external memory expansion unit.

AVTEC’s efforts are in line with Government of India (GoI) initiative of ‘Make in India’, to develop self-sustained, technologically advanced and reliable solutions for the customers.

Advanced automation solutions for mobile machinery
B&R presents the future of mobile automation
Automation technology for mobile machinery is currently in a state of transition. B&R is a renowned brand in Industrial Automation for its technology leadership will be presenting its new control systems for mobile machinery at EXCON 2017, Bengaluru in Hall 4, and Stall L308 from 12-16 December 2017.

Innovative solutions for a technology craving industry
Faced with unrelenting demands for higher productivity, the agricultural and construction industries are turning to increasingly automated and networked machinery. Ninad Deshpande, Head – Marketing, B&R Industrial Automation Pvt Ltd, says, “B&R solutions allow automation concepts for construction equipment and municipal vehicles as well as for agriculture and forestry applications to be implemented easier than ever.”

He adds, “Customers benefit from an easy-to-operate development environment, high-performance real-time operating system and ready-made software components.”

The modular X90 control and I/O system
B&R continues to open up new possibilities in mobile automation with its innovative X90 product line for mastering mobile control and I/O tasks. The comprehensive set of standardised components is perfect for implementing flexible automation concepts. The heart of the X90 system is a controller with a powerful ARM processor and 48 multifunction I/O channels. Basic features include interfaces for CAN, USB, Ethernet and the real-time POWERLINK bus system.

Maximum flexibility, protection and integration
The extremely robust cast aluminum housing provides space for up to four expansion cards. This makes it possible to add additional I/O channels, interfaces and even a complete safety controller with safe I/O. All products in the X90 family are designed for use in harsh industrial environments. They can handle operating temperatures from -40 to 85 C as well as strong vibrations or shocks in addition to being resistant to salt, UV light and oil. The X90 system offers modular and hardware-independent software development using modular software blocks, which greatly reduce software development times and ensure software reusability. Safety technology and extensive troubleshooting options are also fully integrated in the B&R system and available to X90 users without limitations.

Siva Kasturi, Global OEM manager – India and South East Asia, Shell Lubricants

Kennady V Kaippally,
Country Manager, Mobile & Wind Solutions, Bonfiglioli

Prabhakar Kadapa, MD and CEO, AVTEC Ltd

Ninad Deshpande, Head – Marketing, B&R Industrial Automation Pvt Ltd

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