Automation sector witnessing surge in investments

We believe that the manufacturing sector in India is on its way to witness a boost in investments in automation, with a growing focus on quality, efficiency, productivity and shortage of skilled workforce
 OMRON Corporation, is a diversified company operating in industrial automation, electronic components, social systems, healthcare, and environment fields. It’s one of the global leaders in the field of automation with around 36,000 employees in over 35 countries. OMRON Automation India caters to various industrial segments namely packaging, automotive, material handling, solar, food and beverages, textile and panel handling applications. Recently, the company has opened its 5th ATC in world and 1st in India. In an exclusive interview with OEM Update, Takehito Maeda, MD, OMRON Asia Pacific Pte Ltd., Industrial Automation Business and Sameer Gandhi, MD, OMRON Automation, India, talk on current status of manufacturing industry in India and how ATC can help manufacturing industry to increase their productivity and improve their setup in a short span of time.
OMRON has launched its first automation technology centre in India. Could you brief us on its unique features?Takehito Maeda: Overall there are lots of changes happening in the world, so we have to create facility which caters to all different types of industries. In current situation, there are various challenges and to overcome them, we need to collaborate, then only we can give the best services. ATC has been created to support the manufacturing units because when they have to setup a facility in a short time we can do the concept testing here and it can help them to speed up in setting up their unit.
The centre has on display OMRON’s key portfolio of industrial automation range as well as the technical and application support capabilities through actual demonstrations on machines and laboratories. The display includes our SYSMAC platform which integrates logic, motion and vision.
How is it going to benefit the Indian industry?Takehito Maeda: The population of India is very large and this has a direct relation with the consumption patterns. Hence, an improvement in the manufacturing output through automation has the potential to bring in a significant improvement in the quality of the products leading to an improvement in the consumers’ lifestyle which in turn shall again cause an increase in demand. For example, the food and beverage manufacturing industry has a huge scope of automation which if exploited effectively can benefit the manufacturers immensely as well as provide better quality products to the consumers while at the same time reducing the wastage.
Based on the philosophy of ‘you create the concept, we will help you to make it work’, the centre aims to showcase OMRON’s expertise in the ‘sensing and control’ technology so that the customers are able to test their new ideas, experience and understand how they can bring more improvements to their current manufacturing setup and can become more competitive in their respective fields in the industrial automation domain. Not only food and beverage, it can also cater to many more sectors such as packaging, FMCG, pharmaceutical, special purpose machines, automotive and textile by catering to the advanced requirements of the manufacturing segment like productivity, quality, efficiency and safety.
How significant is the Indian market as far as your global business is concerned?Takehito Maeda: India holds a key position in our ‘Asia Hotspots’ strategy amongst the other two countries – Thailand and Indonesia. The strategy aims to strengthen OMRON’s industrial automation business in these countries. I think this is the right occasion to share that OMRON’s overall perspective on India as a promising destination for the same.
The first one is the rapid growth in automation. We believe that the manufacturing sector in India is on its way to witness a boost in investments in automation, with a growing focus on quality, efficiency, productivity and shortage of skilled workforce. This is paving the way to the requirement of additional production processes in the manufacturing world such as vision inspection to improve quality. OMRON is the only player which offers integrated automation and vision sensing technology together, through the Sysmac platform.
The huge population base of 1.22 billion people is another factor leading to a significant growth of the consumption in the country further causing an increase in mass production of foods, necessities, and expansion of related industries such as automotive, food and beverages, medical, and textile.
I would like to specifically describe the potential of the automotive manufacturing industry. India stands 6th in the annual production of automobiles. It is around 3.38 million as on 2013 and is hopeful of witnessing significant acceleration in the coming years.
The investment in the social infrastructure of the country is also going up and shall continue to do so in the long run.
All these factors have a cumulative effect on the needs of the manufacturing sector further lending credibility to our decision of choosing India as the destination of opening our 5th Automation Centre in the world.
How India can become a global manufacturing hub?Sameer Gandhi: India has got a burgeoning population which is entering into the middle-class and it’s a consuming class, so the demand is going to increase. As a country we have enough resources, when the demand increases, suppliers also increase. The value chain from suppliers to consumers will have to be more and more automated and that will increase the demand for the manufacturing industries setup. The two key ingredients required are more automation and infrastructure support.
What are the factors that can stimulate India’s manufacturing growth?Sameer Gandhi: We’ve all the key pieces with us – the demand, natural resources and technical skills. Now it’s just a question of getting the acts together. One of the greatest problems in India is of course land, then infrastructure, ports for import-export and within the country; we have road infrastructure which needs to be improved.
What will be your company’s roadmap in the wake of India’s growth story?Sameer Gandhi: We want to take advantage of the growth opportunities. We believe that this growth will bring in lot of opportunities to improve manufacturing setup and this is where people will need more and more automation. This crates an opportunity from OMRON to take advantages. So, we are ready with our product range, setup, people and a thorough experience of the Indian market.
Takehito Maeda, MD, OMRON Asia Pacific,Industrial Automation Business

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