Imtex Review

M2M: The Next Big Thing


Ace Micromatic Group, a machine tool major, is a group of companies namely Ace Manufacturing Systems Ltd. (AMS), Ace Designers, Pragati Automation, Micromatic Machine Tools Pvt. Ltd. and Pioneer CT. The Group has market presence in several other countries across Asia, Australia, Middle East, North and South America and Europe. In an interaction with Subhajit Roy,CEO, Micromatic Machine Tool Pvt Ltd talks about the byzantine world of Indian manufacturing sector.

According to you, which are the key trends that are going to drive the machine tools sector?
Intelligence built inside a machine is going to drive the machine tools sector. At Ace Micromatic too, we have incorporated some of the intelligent features in our machines. Our software arm, Ace Manufacturing Intelligence Technology (AMIT) has been bringing the power of automated IT solutions and IoT to manufacturing for over a decade. In the last two years,around 30 per cent of our machines are dispatched from the shopfloor itself with built-in basic intelligence called MachineConnect that helps business process automation.

AMIT’s products like TPM-Trak and MachineConnect empower industries to improve their OEE and profits significantly, and also help automate key business processes by collecting, analysing and using real-time manufacturing data to aid decision making also in real time.

How does the MachineConnect work?
MachineConnect assists in acquiring rich, accurate production data with minimal operator involvement, over LAN, directly from the machine. One can access machine data from one’s network into one’s mobile. The result is faster, precise production data and also machine maintenance requirements, using in-built breakdown, preventive and predictive maintenance workflows. All data acquisition from machines is 100 per cent plug-and-play. So overall, MachineConnect helps in driving better production, machine uptime, and, therefore, profits.

MachineConnect is already active on ACE designers turning centres. Recently the company launched the same on AMS Machining centres and Micromatic Grinding Technologies-Grinding Machines.

What is the next level of machine intelligence expected?
Till now, we are ushering the benefits of man-machine communication. The next phase is going to be about connecting machines i.e. Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications without human interface. We believe that,this is the level of Industry 4.0 is possible even in the Indian perspective.

What’s your comment on the performance of Indian manufacturing sector?
Today the figures on industrial productivity is going up. Whether it is scooters, motorcycles, tractors, or washing machines, the numbers are progressing. So, there is a certain amount of development, happiness, contentment and growth in the manufacturing sector in visible. However, the question remains, at what rate we are delivering and growing?

The whole game is all about continuously getting better, and improving manufacturing profitability. There is also a lot of focus on elimination of the human resource by bringing in automation and robotics. At the same time, the human will have to move to those tasks which cannot be done by automation is that happening fast enough?

Also, we need to look at simplification of processes because the new market place is all about shrinking delivery time. So, these are the areas where still lots need to be done in manufacturing.

What is the major pain point for Indian manufacturing industry?
Today, the biggest problem in manufacturing is about vanishing skills and because skills are not available we are looking at automation. We are trying to eliminate the human resource because they are not skilled enough. But, what about the skills in terms of designing, thinking and intelligence? We really have to do a lot of works in this area – a lot of research has to happen;the education system has to change. We need to create leaderships with right kind of mind set.

At your part,what’s your involvement in terms of skill development?
From Ace Micromatic’s perspective, we are trying to make some difference by working closely with the SME where these issues are paramount.

However despite being a group who have constantly been doubling capacity every three or four years, we are still at the crossroads are still looking to further perfect and streamline supply and demand.

Till now, we are ushering the benefits of man-machine communication. The next phase is going to be about connecting machines i.e. Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications without human interface.
T K Ramesh, CEO,
Micromatic Machine Tool Pvt Ltd

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