Automation

Next-gen automation in alignment with Industry 4.0

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Ramji Singh, Vice President-Sales & Marketing, Schmersal India Pvt Ltd, in an interaction with Aultrin Vijay of OEM Update, discusses Schmersal’s participation in IMTEX 2019 and how Industry 4.0 and predictive maintenance has been beneficial for the company.

What products were launched at IMTEX 2019?
We promoted machine safety and automation solutions this year. In this exhibition, our key focus was on complete integrated machine safety solution for robotic operation. We promoted machine safety by aligning with the Industry 4.0. So, this could also be called as “Safety 4.0”.

We focused more on advanced safety PLC, which is connected through all component through the serial diagnostic to take data. Our PLC can work as a gateway and then can further communicate on Profinet and Ethernet. The same PLC can be used and can be selected with any protocol, which is required for the control system. This can be further upgraded to industry 4.0.

What were your expectations from IMTEX 2019?
In IMTEX, we wanted to increase our markets share in the automotive industry, Tier 1 and 2. This is the area where we want to focus by offering complete safety solution for machine tool industry as well as robotics. These are the areas, which require very high level of safety standard. We can support this industry as a safety partner, from service to product to solution.

How far has Make in India campaign been beneficial for Schmersal?
We manufacture certain product range in our factory in Pune in alignment with the international safety standards and directives. We were in IMTEX with a Make in India approach. In our stall, we used a robot built in India, which is manufactured by Tal. Some of the products showcased at our stall is made in India and some of the others are brought from Germany. We offered complete solution for robotic operation to create a safe workplace.

Not a single Indian company is completely adopting Industry 4.0. What is your take in that?
Basically Industry 4.0 is a good concept, but as of now companies are in the learning stage and developing prototypes. However, the effort to implement Industry 4.0 is moving very fast and will be implemented across industries very soon. We have also invested in R&Ds to come up with next generation automation by aligning with Industry 4.0.

What’s your take on cyber security?
Cyber security is one of the important things that should be given focus on. Secondly, nobody knows what type of data should go to the cloud. Also, we need to define the meaning of cloud. Some part of the cloud could also be our internal server. Every company has a lot of sensitive data, which requires high level security. Nobody would like to make it public by taking them to cloud. So, this is one area where everybody is working on.

What would be Schmersal’s focus for this year?
We used to focus on product and components. From last year, we started upgrading our team and our major focus is to promote complete machine safety solution. We have another division named tec.nicum, under which we are promoting services for machine safety such as risk assessment, safety logic, CE marking, apart from conduction off trainings and workshops to educate the market.

How far has Industry 4.0 been beneficial for Schmersal?
Industry 4.0 is going to be beneficial because this is the next generation of automation. So, it is going to be very useful for the market. The main thing is predictive maintenance, which gives data about the product’s health, frequency of operation, maintenance, current status of any field devices, etc. So, it is definitely going to be more helpful to enhance the safety standard in the market and that will help create a safe workplace.

How well is Schmersal doing in India?
Schmersal India was established in the 2007. In 2013, we started manufacturing in Pune. Our growth is much more than the average market growth. We are doing well and we have a long way to go. We are getting good support from our German counterpart to expand our existing manufacturing unit. We have also started an export oriented unit in our factory to manufacture products and export to other parts of the world. So, India is going to be one major hub, not only for Indian market, but also for the international market.

Are Indian products competitive enough with global counterparts?
Though the products are manufactured in India, the quality checking is done by our German counterparts in Germany. Every componentis checked and approved by our Germany team before being sold. Basically the quality is aligned with German standards.

Every component manufactured in Indiais checked and approved by our Germany team before being sold; the quality is aligned with German standards
Ramji Singh, Vice President-Sales & Marketing, Schmersal India Pvt Ltd

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