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Mohini Kelkar

Director—Business Development

Grind Master Machine

MACHINE TOOLS Automation and robotics will catch up very quickly in the years to come

Jan 22, 2019

All automation must work around robust and reliable processes and fool-proof engineering concepts. If a better, robust process is going to cost more, it is better to opt for it rather than choose low cost automation, which is a myth in my opinion. - Mohini Kelkar, Director—Business Development, Grind Master Machine

With the 50-year completion of IMTEX this year, what significance does it hold for you and your company? How old is your company’s association with IMTEX?

We have been participating in IMTEX since 1985 and have not missed any in the last 32 years. Grind Master has grown with the growth of IMTEX. The show has grown from 1 hall to 6 halls and so has the multi-fold growth of machine tool builders in India. We are proud to participate in the 50th IMTEX this year.

What would be the big strategy/plan that you will be pursuing post-IMTEX in 2019, aimed at creating a big business impact?

Our next generation micro-finishing machine, which is loaded with advanced Industrie 4.0 features is on display. We also have a New ROBOFINISH Series and robotic fettling machine for ferrous and non-ferrous foundry sector. Visitors can expect new technology in the 50th IMTEX. Several foreign and channel partners, as well as dealers, will open new opportunities in India and abroad for all machine tool builders. The main strategy of Grind Master will be creating its brand as global technology leaders.

Digitalisation has been the most talked-about topic in the manufacturing industry today. Besides digitalisation, would you like to highlight any other technology advances that will have the maximum traction in the next two years?

Apart from digitalisation, the manufacturing industry will be focusing on automation, flexible automation in particular. Mass customisation, quick changeovers, and flexibility in manufacturing due to volatile demands from customers is popular today. Manufacturing has to be flexible in terms of the setup. Automation should also be flexible enough to foresee more robotics in the automation space, since the costs of robots is becoming more favourable. Robotics will catch up very quickly in the years to come.

How do you assess the disruptive power of new technologies at an early stage and build a sustainable plan so as to respond to the technological disruptions, in the short-term and long-term?

Awareness of newer technology is crucial, especially in terms of technologies like 3D printing, which were meant only for prototyping initially. It is now making inroads into small or trial batch production and replacing some spare parts. A watch must be kept on all disruptive technologies. We must try to adopt them to suite our manufacturing, put our R&D efforts into understanding the direction these technologies are moving in and how it is going to affect our business. In that direction, the pavilions, which are meant for future technology, will be very interesting. I believe this IMTEX will be informative in that direction.

In your opinion, what is an industrial trend/concept/ myth which you would like to demystify within the Indian manufacturing sector?

Low cost automation is a trend followed by many industries. There is a danger in this of losing the robustness and reliability of the processes. All automation must work around robust and reliable processes and fool-proof engineering concepts. This factor should be taken care of, without any compromise in terms of cost. If a better, robust process is going to cost more, it is better to opt for it rather than choose low cost automation, which is a myth in my opinion.

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