India is expected to emerge as the world’s third-largest passenger-vehicle market by 2021. Moreover, with the Govt of India’s initiative in adopting BS-VI and EV mobility and the current rapid technology transformation in the automotive manufacturing industry, it was the need of the hour for a platform that could impart knowledge on the latest technological developments in the automotive industry, the roadmap needed to achieve an innovation culture and the strategies driving successful OEM-supplier partnerships for a profitable growth. The International Automotive Manufacturing Summit 2019 (Pune, Maharashtra), jointly organised by Publish Industry India and Ringier Events, offered a great knowledge & networking platform. The summit was supported by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) as the knowledge partner and Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) as the association partner.
Adapting to the emerging technologies
The first day of the extolled event witnessed presentations from manufacturing professionals, experts & technocrats. The discussions covered the topics such as the changing landscapes, transformations, upcoming trends, best practices, and much more. The event began with an opening speech by Shekhar Jitkar, Publisher & Chief Editor, Publish Industry India. Giving a brief insight on the growing automotive market with supporting statistics through his presentation, Jitkar cited, “India is set for the exponential growth and the automotive manufacturing industry should be prepared for the changing scenarios of the industry and build a perspective on trends shaping the Indian market.”
This was followed by a keynote speech by Satyajeet Kulkarani, Manager – EDS, ARAI. Then, the guests speakers like Vijay Kalra, CEO, Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers & Chief Manufacturing Operations, Mahindra & Mahindra; Pramod Khot, Vice President, Powertrain Manufacturing Head, Fiat India Automobile; Sudhir Gurtoo, MD & CEO, Leadec India; Dr Pradeep Chatterjee, Head, Digital Transformation & Change Management, Tata Motors; M M Singh, Executive Advisor, Maruti Suzuki India; Viraj Kalyani, Founder & Chairman, Kalyani Studio; Rajib Kumar Jena, Vice President, Bajaj Auto; Pankaj Srivastava, AGM, Honda Cars; Dr Ravi Damodaran, Chief Technology Officer, Greaves Cotton addressed the audience with their power-packed knowledge and experience.
Also, there were technological presentations by Steven Lee, Vice President – Sales & Marketing, SEYI; Anuj Budhiraja, Regional Head, Stratasys India; Anil Kumar, Lead Application Engineer, Ansys India; Volker Hermann Derflinger, Global Head – Customer Solution Centres, Oerlikon Surface Solutions; Sadeesh Premananth, Managing Director, Kirti Metal Forming Solutions; Paul Lin, Regional Sales Manager, Chin Fong; Uday Dixit, Product Sales Manager, Car Body Solution, Carl Zeiss; Richard Su, Sales Manager, Overseas Dept, Taiwan Takisawa Technology; William Lee, Overseas Sales Manager, Jainnher Machine; Daniel Chuang, Special Assistant, SIGMA CNC Technology Machinery.
Adopting manufacturing excellence
Penetrating deep into the changing dynamics of the manufacturing industry through all the intellectual sessions, the day one ended on a high note with a panel discussion on ‘Manufacturing excellence with technology innovations’. The list of erudite panellists included Krishna Bhojkar, Head, Manufacturing Engineering, Volkswagen India; Ravikumar Sirge, Divisional Manager, Industrial Quality Solutions, Carl Zeiss; Pravin Saraf, President of Operations, Endurance Technologies; Dr Ravi Damodaran, Viraj Kalyani, Rajib Kumar Jena. The convention deliberated on the challenges faced during the formulation of the roadmap to excellence, modus operandi of achieving and sustaining manufacturing excellence, pressures faced to improve operational performance, readiness of the market and the industry to accept transparency because of digitalisation and the measures essential to turn India into a manufacturing success.
The facts made by the panellists, thereby in conclusion, abridged the need for a far-minded and broad-sighted visionary leader for organisations to be successful and the need to invest in people and talent, who will bring in better returns and more growth. For an institution to move towards achieving excellence and sustain that excellence, it is pivotal to have a plant strategy and a business strategy that go in sync and it is even more important to use the right technology without adjusting for cheaper technologies that do not meet the plant requirement. It also further deciphered the importance of maintaining quality to harness excellence and the desideratum for India to slowly move from being known as a service providing country to a product making country
Second day of the summit
The second day of the International Automotive Manufacturing Summit 2019 turned out to be as engaging as the first day, which addressed several essentials of the automotive industry, in India and globally. The elements that it focused through its remarkable guest addresses were the overview of China, USA & Asia markets and disruptive innovations in the automotive industry. The speakers included the names like Ammar Master, Senior Manager, Asia Pacific Vehicle Forecasts, LMC Automotive; Suresh Babu Muttana, Scientist D, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt of India; Yumi Kawabata, Strategic Advisor, Bitgrit Inc.
Furthermore, through its winning keynote address, it threw light on the government’s role in developing manufacturing technologies for EV mobility and the public-private partnership in this area. Moreover, the second day also saw attention-grabbing technology presentations by Jacky Wong, Regional Sales Manager, LK Machinery; Raymond Lei, Director of International Trade, Yuhuan CNC Machine Tools and Tan Wei Kar, Director, Everlon, which spoke about their solutions and productivity for automotive and auto components.
Challenges & work done in the EV space
The summit soon turned its attention towards the much-awaited panel discussion of the second day, where it addressed the topic ‘Advanced manufacturing technology in EV mobility’. The discussion was moderated by Sudhir Gurtoo. The esteemed panellists for the discussion were Suresh Babu Muttana; Ankit Adhiya, Lead Technology Specialist, ANSYS India; Jitendra Shah, Founder & Director, Jitendra EV Tech; Rakesh Kalra, Former President, Foton India; and Alka Bhagat, Head of Business Development, BASF. The panel discussion revolved around the charging infrastructure being one of the key pillars for EVs to kick-off in India, feasibility of EV mobility in the coming years, the government’s role in driving the EV mobility, collaboration with academics, and the challenges related to FAME 2.
One challenge that is seldom spoken of in the EV space was brought up during the discussion: skilled labour. It was discoursed that all of the labour that works in the traditional auto industry will face a very different set of challenge when EVs come about. So, they will need dedicated courses or training centres to educate them.
The discussion also brought to attention that the government has realised that there is the need for some allocation of funds for R&D, which is why they are going to invest close to ₹ 1000 crores in R&D alone. Furthermore, the panellists conferred that lots of investment is being made in non-fossil fuel development by OEMs and most OEM manufacturers are able to develop an EV strategy for themselves.
The panel discussion gave the audience a new view on how e-mobility can make its way into India more effectively and successfully. It made clear that with a change in mindset, EV can be accepted in India.
Visit to the Mahindra & Mahindra – Automotive Plant
The summit saw its conclusion, leading to the plant visit at Mahindra & Mahindra Automotive Plant – a state-of-the-art eco-friendly manufacturing facility, in Chakan, near Pune, that integrates the best in technology, operational excellence, and green practices. The plant is a greenfield manufacturing facility, fully equipped with press shops, body shops, CED lines, paint shops and assembly lines, and many have won several accolades since their inception. The company recently crossed a significant milestone, rolling out the 1 millionth vehicle from each of its 3 automotive manufacturing plants in Chakan, Zaheerabad and Haridwar.
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