Today, welding is one of the core modern technologies going through a complete evolution. In India, welding contributes significantly to the GDP in several ways, such as welding intensive industries, auxiliary products, complementary goods, employment, and user industries. On these lines, CII recently organised the first edition of the CII Welding Conference 2016 held in Mumbai. The one-day conference provided multiple opportunities to understand the advancements and innovations in welding process and also the problems it faces in India, discussing the ways to solve and overcome them.
Advancements in welding
The first session of the conference covered the topic of advancements and challenges faced in the sector. The welcome address was given by A Shivkumar, Conference Chairman & former Chief Executive, EWAC Alloys. This was followed by an overview of the survey report, given by Chetan Ligade, Director – Projects, BDB India. The next address was delivered by the guest of honour, Y S Trivedi, Executive Vice President and Member of the Board, Heavy Engineering IC, Larsen & Tourbo, who discussed the advancements of welding in manufacturing, construction and country-wide infrastructures and also focused on the stopgaps it faces in India. The final address of the first session was given by Subhash Desai, Hon’ble Minister of Industries and Mining,Government of Maharashtra.
The next session focused on the future trends, which include Internet of Things, automated welding and Additive Manufacturing in India. The keynote for this session was given by S Sundarram, Managing Director, Lincoln Electric, who emphasised on the need for global knowhow and advancements in this sector. Speaking further on this, the next speaker, Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, Managing Director, Kemppi India, opined that intelligent and interconnected systems need to be adopted to enhance automated welding. Then, Gautam Banerjee, Managing Director, Kaiyuan Welding & Cutting Automation, spoke of smarter products and services by adopting smart manufacturing practices. The final remarks for the session were given by Jonathan Martin, Friction Stir Welding Section Manager, TWI and the session was moderated by Shivkumar.
Challenges in welding sector
The next session revolved around the topic of the evolution of material sciences, future prospects and challenges in the welding sector. The first speaker of this session was Abby Joseph, Managing Director, Voestalpine Bohler Welding India, who spoke of advanced technologies, such as lasers and plasma arcs, used in this sector today. The next speaker was G Padmanabham, Director, International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials. The third speaker, PV Venkitakrishnan, Deputy Director, Materials and Mechanical Entity, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO, spoke on how research and development is the key to the overall growth of this crucial sector. The final speaker for the session was Jon Blackburn, Section Manager and Lead – Laser Processing, TWI and the session was moderated by VS Raja, Professor, Aqueous Corrosion Laboratory, IIT Bombay.
Skill development & training
The fourth session covered the topic of skill development and training in the welding sector in India. The first speaker here was N Srinivasan, President, Indian Institute of Welding, who shared that the current average demography in the Indian welding sector is above 50 years of age, which is worrisome. The next speaker was Pabitra Das, International Adviser – India American Welding Society, who noted that there is a lack of skills necessary in the labour force in the welding sector in India. The subsequent speaker was GA Soman, Principal, Don Bosco Maritime Institute, followed by Shrihari Mandaogane, TQM Head, Tata Motors. The final speaker of the session was Amlan Saha, Segment Manager – Automation & Engineering Fronius India and the session was moderated by L Sundar, Chief Technical Officer, Ador Welding.
Safety & non-destructive testing
The last session covered the topic of safety and non-destructive testing for welding in India. The keynote for this session was given by Chris Wiseman, Industry Sector Manager, TWI, which was followed by the next speaker, Arvind Bhide, Bhide Institute of Testing Technology. The third speaker was NH Singh, Technical Director, Institute of Welding and Testing Technology, who shared, “Regulations and standards, with emphasis on safety need to be considered by the government to limit environmental impact. There is also a widespread requirement for nondestructive testing during the manufacturing process so that the risk is reduced, thus facilitating durability and long lasting capacity.” The last speaker of the session was Piyush Tripathy, Business Development Leader, Sure Safety India and the session was moderated by R Srivastava, Deputy Director General, National Safety Council.
Welding is the most widely used technique by manufacturers in India, to join metals and alloys efficiently so as to add value to their products. Thus, to remain a player in the rapidly changing, global, manufacturing environment of the future, the welding\ industry must consider a refined system of codes and standards and also induct various methods of NDT that will be beneficial in due course. ☐