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Advancing precision in manufacturing through Hexagon MI’s metrology expertise

Advancing precision in manufacturing through Hexagon MI’s metrology expertise

January 31, 2024 8:10 pm

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence is providing value to manufacturing with cutting-edge metrology. From laser techniques to inline inspection, Hexagon MI drives efficiency, reduces costs, and transforms industries globally, asserts Anup Verma, Managing Director – Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence India. 

What role does Hexagon MI’s metrology play in ensuring precision and quality control in manufacturing?

Within Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (Hexagon MI), we recognise the crucial significance of metrology in the manufacturing industry, especially in quality assurance and control. Metrology, the scientific study of measurement, is fundamental in ensuring that products exceed precise specifications. Emphasising precision is essential to produce top-notch components and prevent potential quality issues from inaccurate measurements.

Metrology, an indispensable part of manufacturing, enablesy out detailed precision measurements and inspecions at every stage of the manufacturing process. This rigorous approach helps reduce defects, minimise the likelihood of product recalls, and enhance customer satisfaction. It is about more than maintaining standards. The metrology fosters reproducibility, ensures reliable comparisons, and facilitates seamless collaboration across various departments.

At Hexagon MI, in addition to conducting measurements, we empower manufacturers by providing them with the capability to retrieve, analyse, and actively leverage data from every crucial phase of the manufacturing process. Our expertise and experience arms customers with tools and assurance, enabling them to accelerate innovation, minimise time-to-market, and consistently deliver high-quality products.

How does the integration of laser techniques enrich metrology, especially in challenging areas like metal forming?

Laser techniques in metrology have changed the approach in measuring and inspecting parts, particularly in demanding domains such as metal forming. These techniques are particularly effective when dealing with large parts. Key applications include CAD (Computer-Aided Design) comparison, part and die matching, and colour mapping. Its remarkable speed, accuracy, and precision set laser metrology apart, allowing for measurements with minimal error margins.

In today’s landscape, laser technology is virtually ubiquitous in metrology equipment. Whether used directly or as an accessory for specialised applications, the integration of laser techniques has become a standard. Another emerging field is optical metrology, which is gaining significant traction, particularly in electronics and medical device manufacturing. This domain leverages the power of optics for highly accurate and efficient measurement and inspection, catering to the intricate needs of these sectors.

How does Hexagon MI’s commitment to innovation enhance productivity and growth in precision-centric industries?

Hexagon MI is leading the charge in revolutionising manufacturing through recent breakthroughs like Shop Floor Machines and Inline Inspection technologies. These advancements are designed to offer flexibility, reduce setup times, and ensure higher accuracy. It results in increased productivity through efficient data collection and analysis. Hexagon MI is committed to delivering these benefits across various sectors.

These technological leaps are particularly influential in industries where precision and geometric accuracy are paramount, such as manufacturing, automotive, electronics, aerospace, and defence. The metrology segment is witnessing robust growth, and we anticipate this trend to continue in the coming years.

Additionally, with the integration of robotics, collaborative robots (cobots), automation, and AI in the industry, there is a growing need for comprehensive education and skill-building programs, especially in India, to prepare the workforce for emerging challenges and opportunities.

How do you perceive the importance of metrology in influencing the automotive industry?

Metrology’s influence on the automotive industry is profound and multifaceted. It is not an overstatement to say that without the precision and accuracy afforded by advanced metrology, the automotive sector would face complex challenges relating to quality, functionality, and cost-efficiency. Perhaps even more crucial is the role metrology plays in ensuring vehicle safety, which has recently reached unprecedented levels.

With the introduction of autonomous and electric vehicles and as production processes become increasingly automated with the integration of robotics, metrology’s role becomes even more pivotal. These new designs and production capabilities bring unique challenges and requirements. And, the metrology is exceptionally well-equipped to meet these needs.

The advent of inline metrology techniques, including enhanced sampling rates, real-time reporting, and IoT and machine learning integration, is revolutionising automotive manufacturing. These advancements enable the industry to produce high-quality vehicles consistently, optimise production costs, and increase profitability. In essence, metrology is not just a tool for measurement. It is a driver of innovation and excellence in the automotive sector.

How is the metrology role extending beyond traditional sectors into diverse areas?

While traditionally essential in manufacturing, healthcare, and aerospace, metrology extends its influence into other vital sectors such as electronics, energy, medicine, and defence. In these domains, metrology is evolving from a conventional measurement tool to a critical component for part validation and quality assurance. As the world embraces globalisation, the importance of metrology in supporting diverse industries becomes even more apparent, especially in a country like India, which is actively participating in this global ecosystem.

India’s commitment to self-sufficiency is apparent in its emphasis on electric vehicle manufacturing, electronics production (including white goods and mobile devices), energy-related items, and initiatives for indigenisation, modernisation, and privatisation in the defence sector. These efforts highlight the increasing significance of metrology in ensuring the production of cost-effective and globally competitive products. These are bolstering the growth and sustainability of the metrology sector. Furthermore, government policies, such as redefining MSMEs, encouraging private participation in various sectors, and increasing FDI in defence, align well with global standards and further augment the role of metrology.

Amidst these developments, Hexagon MI stands ready to meet the emerging challenges and requirements. With continuous technological advancements, the need for innovative solutions in metrology is now more critical than ever. We at Hexagon MI are poised to address these needs and ensure that our solutions meet and exceed global standards and expectations.

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How is Hexagon addressing the challenges posed by global economic uncertainties, particularly regarding logistics costs and supply chain disruptions?

The industry is navigating significant challenges marked by unpredictable logistics costs and delivery challenges, disruptions in the supply chain, and the impact of lockdowns in major economies. These factors have put considerable strain on the industrial sector globally. However, a positive trend is the market’s resilience, especially in India, which has often demonstrated a robust ‘V-Shape’ recovery, sometimes even surpassing previous performance levels.

India’s position as a major domestic consumption market offers a substantial buffer against these global challenges. Our reliance on domestic sales and growth has been a silver lining during these turbulent times. Nevertheless, we are not immune to market volatility, particularly in electronic component shortages, logistics issues, and rising input costs. These factors have compelled us to adjust pricing strategies to sustain operations.

Better forecasting is the key to navigating these challenges effectively. At Hexagon, we are deeply invested in improving our forecasting capabilities to anticipate market fluctuations better and adapt accordingly. This proactive approach is crucial for us to continue thriving despite ongoing global economic challenges.

What are your perspectives on ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and Make in India initiatives concerning their impact on the metrology sector?

The ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives are well-timed and align effectively with the prevailing global emphasis on self-reliance and innovation. In this era of globalisation, no country, including India, can afford to remain isolated. Key areas such as electric vehicle production, defence indigenisation, and privatisation are pivotal in driving India towards self-reliance. These sectors, along with the ambition to produce low-cost, globally competitive products, provide a significant impetus for the growth and sustainability of the metrology sector.

Government reforms, such as redefining MSMEs, expanding the scope for private sector participation, and increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), particularly in the defence sector, are integral components of the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign. These initiatives are essential catalysts in facilitating the growth of various industrial sectors, including metrology.

As technology advances, the need for innovative solutions in the industry becomes increasingly crucial to meet and exceed global standards. At Hexagon MI, we are fully prepared to embrace these changes. We are committed to adapting and providing cutting-edge metrology solutions. We align with India’s growth trajectory and the ambitious goals of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ campaigns.

Are Indian manufacturers capable of competing with their global counterparts?

Absolutely, yes. India is on the brink of a significant transformation in its manufacturing sector. At a time when traditional manufacturing powerhouses are grappling with overcapacity, quality control, and a shift towards consumption-led growth, India is strategically positioning itself to enhance its global manufacturing competitiveness. This shift is about more than just scaling up production. It is about redefining the manufacturing landscape with a focus on sustainability, quality and efficiency.

Essential to this transformation is establishing a reliable national infrastructure, particularly in the crucial areas of power and transportation, which play a vital role in the competitive manufacturing sector.

The Government of India’s recent policies and initiatives, such as the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, are catalysing this change. The PLI Scheme is designed to boost manufacturing in strategic sectors like electronics, pharmaceuticals, and automobiles by incentivising companies based on their sales growth, focusing on value addition. Infrastructure development and ease of doing business will be the key to this growth. These are expected to drive foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and spur new startups in the country.

How has metrology evolved post-pandemic, especially in the context of smart manufacturing trends?

The next-generation industrial metrology and inspection market size is projected to reach $16,104.2 million by 2030*. The increased need for precision and reliable metrology services is driven by the rising requirements for connectivity, big data analytics, the expanding automotive sector, and the surge in the manufacturing of electronic components in India.

Moreover, the integration of cloud services for inspection and measurement data, coupled with the rising demand for Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing. These are anticipated to propel the industrial metrology market further. We are seeing a surge in demand across various sectors, including electronics, machine tool probing for inline inspection, and data connectivity. The evolution of central dashboards, the integration of AI in vision systems, and the production of components for green energy collectively influence changes in our sales dynamics. As a result, we are now inclined to explore the unexplored market segments.

The sustained emphasis on the ‘Make in India’ initiative and the flourishing startup ecosystem has resulted in the emergence of numerous Indian organisations in the manufacturing sector. This trend contributes to increased sales of traditional products, fuelling optimism for the metrology industry.

Please share your feedback about the IMTEX 2024.

The feedback from IMTEX 2024 has been overwhelmingly positive, highlighting Hexagon’s significant impact on the Indian manufacturing landscape. Visitors at our booths were particularly intrigued by our latest offerings like Nexus, GLOBAL S, Captura 3.2.2, Simufact, and the AS1 XL Scanner. These solutions sparked in-depth discussions and queries, reflecting the industry’s eagerness to embrace digital transformation. Our interactions with various manufacturers revealed a keen interest in integrating these advanced technologies into their operations, underscoring the potential for a robust pipeline of collaborations and innovations in the coming year. IMTEX 2024 has not only reinforced its stature as a premier event but also cemented Hexagon’s role in propelling India’s manufacturing ambitions to new heights. The event was a testament to the dynamic and evolving nature of the industry, and we are excited to be at the forefront of this transformation.

*Source: Next-Generation Industrial Metrology and Inspection Market Size, Share, Competitive Landscape and Trend Analysis Report

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