Interview

Technology and automation: Bending the market

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Industries have started understanding the custom applications of the technology and have made a quick shift for it to fit in. Maulik Patel, Executive Director, SLTL Group, discuss how technology made a big difference to the manufacturing process and became contagious for the market.

Please take us through Sahajanand Laser Technology’s journey from its inception till now.
Since its inception, Sahajanand Laser Technology has always believed in innovation and it has been always in the roots of growth. Starting from wood cutting CNC machine to innovating and manufacturing world’s first fiber laser cutting system, SLTL Group has been a pioneer in industrial growth. Over, the years we kept on growing while developing a portfolio of remarkable machines with ingenious technology.

How do you reckon the reason for the growth of the laser market in India?
Markets are bend by technology and trends. When fiber lasers were introduced, it made a huge difference to the manufacturing process; trimming the process costs up to five times comparing with conventional CO2 processing. Even the first time set up cost is a low and quick return on investments with a quality product made it a clear spin around. The technology made a big time difference to the manufacturing process that became contagious for the market. The market made a swift shift for technology to slip in.

How do you view GST effect on the laser industry?
Good and Service Tax was a tough step by the Government of India. The idea was to bring in illegal money to halt by demonetisation but as much as the step looks bold, it freezes the capital flow in the SME manufacturing units. This caused a long set back of events and we took a hit in sales, and with client’s ability pay in full.

How do you view implementing automation and CNC machines used side by side?
With growing demands and current movement in the market, manufacturers are cornered to bring down the prices with high-quality output. This has resulted in finding ways to come out with the best to address the issue. One of the viable solutions in the market is to integrate automation with the current style of manufacturing and iterating continuously to make it available with a future line of machines. SLTL Group is currently working on bringing in hardware and software upgrades to fit in automation and smart manufacturing for our current products. For automation, we already have smart inventory system and loading-unloading system to catalyse faster production.

How successful has this been in precision CNC machine tooling?
CNC machines were already smart machines and were designed to ease the manufacturing process. Integration of automation is a very complex process as it deals with merging machine software and automation algorithm. But comparatively, it’s more productive. In the industry, clients are asking for automation in their existing machines which show demand by understanding the capabilities of the technology.

Which has been the biggest trend that has been driving smart/modern manufacturing innovation?
People in the industry have started understanding the custom applications of the technology. The possibilities of connectivity and cross fitting with different machines have been very radical in growth. We, at SLTL Group, understood the possibilities and with the power of in-house R&D, we’ve been building intuitive smart machines.

Considering, the recent industry movement and the consolidation of stiff competition from the global market has pushed in for high manufacturing standards, manufacturers want to cut down huge costs and improve their profitability by maintaining best product quality.

This is the reason why the industry is moving very aggressively towards smart manufacturing.

How do you look into the future of your company?
With SLTL Group’s strong in-house team we’ve many technology integrated products in the development pipeline. We are also exploring the technology inflow in the industry and testing its feasibility with our vision. As a company, we are looking to integrate industry 4.0 and IOT to our current range of products and all the forthcoming products.

“SLTL Group understood the power of in-house R&D and have been building intuitive smart machines”
Maulik Patel, Executive Director, SLTL Group

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