A major trend witnessed today is intelligentised welding technology (IWT) that has become an active part of intelligent manufacturing. Intelligent manufacturing deals with information, networking and intelligent technology during the entire process of welding product manufacturing, including a wide variety of welding materials, structures, technics, processes, equipment and systems, products and market. Keeping this in mind, CII organised the 2nd edition of Welding Conference at Mumbai recently that focused around the challenges and opportunities in the Indian welding sector. It also discussed the present status of the Indian welding sector vis-à-vis its peers globally.
The one-day conference touched upon the various key aspects related to the welding sector in India that included the role and contribution of the welding sector to the Indian manufacturing industry.
Looking ahead to Weld 4.0: The inaugural session discussed ‘Intelligent welding for Indian manufacturing: Are we looking ahead to Weld 4.0?’ that focused on the latest developments of intelligentised welding manufacturing technology globally as well as highlighted the challenges faced by India in this regard. It also focused on the stopgaps faced and suggestions to overcome them. Delivering the welcome address here was A Shivkumar, Conference Chairman and Former Chief Executive, EWAC Alloys, who specified the role of internet like machine data and gadgets in enhancing welding operations. “As per the latest development, welding power source can be programmed to think on its own and decide on arc gap. The machine programme can be controlled remotely from any location in the world using internet. Such welding operations carried out using the digital enablers are often called intelligent welding,” he shared.
The keynote was delivered by Satish Bhat, Managing Director, Ador Welding, who briefed the session on the role of robotic solutions. “Most of the things are related to IoT today. When we talk about Big Data in welding, we collect data in various points of welding and reduce the dependency on the welders to get the best quality of the weld, higher productivity and lower costs. For this, technology upgradation is essential,” he explained. This was followed by a technical address by S Sundarram, Managing Director, Lincoln Electric, who pointed out a few global trends in the indutsry. “Ideas is about the future. Industry 4.0 is changing the world of welding. Global trends like bio-engineered & non-metallic materials, quantum computing & blockchain, virtual & augmented reality are ruling the industry,” he explained. A CII-OPJU whitepaper on the theme was released at the conference. Dr Prabhu Aggarwal, Vice Chancellor, OP Jindal University spoke about the latest trends in the welding sector, as evident from the research conducted.
Aligning innovation to intelligent welding: Innovation in welding mean smarter products & services. It means evolving from disrupted to disruptor. On this, the second session hosted a panel discussion on ‘Aligning innovation to intelligent welding’ that detailed on technology advances, innovation and the various processes of engineering like welding and fabrication.
The panelists of this discussion included Vishwanath Kamath, Managing Director, Fronius India; Dr M Vasudevan, Head—AWPMS, Material Development and Technology Division, Materials Engineering Group, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research; Gautam Banerjee, Managing Director, Kaiyuan Welding & Cutting Automation India and Dr Vijay Nimbalkar, Scientist, Naval Materials Research Laboratory Defence Research and Development Orgnaisation. The discussion was moderated by Prof K Bhanumurthy, Visiting Professor—Dept of Metallurgical Engineering & Material Science, IIT Bombay.
Workforce re-skilling for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Indian welding sector: While skill development is one of the major challenges in the current industry, there is a need for the Indian welding sector to introspect and recognise the importance of the workforce to be re-skilled in order to meet the demands of Fourth Industrial Revolution. The next panel discussion highlighted the intensive efforts needed by both the government and private sectors in considering the efforts in skilling people engaged in welding and related operations.
The panelists of the discussion included Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, Managing Director, Kemppi India; Vikas Swami, Vice President, KUKA India; Pabitra Das, Chairman—Skill Development Committee, IIW India and Rajeev Gupta, General Manager, Jindal Stainless Steel. The discussion was moderated by GA Soman, Principal, Don Bosco Maritime Institute.
Weld monitoring, inspection, quality assurance and safety considerations—Gearing up for ‘first time’ right: Focusing on the sharing of knowledge of current opportunities, challenges and important facts of the market facts of the market related to welding technologies and welding fabrication, the session hosted a panel discussion where the importance of QA and QC in the field of welding, combined with key aspects of weld monitoring and mapping, weld testing and analysis were observed.
The panelists of the discussion were Dr J Krishnan, Former Scientist, BARC and SR Ramanujam, Head—QA, QC & NDE, L&T Heavy Engineering and was moderated by Ashok Malage, Former Head Quality Control & Quality Assurance, L&T.