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Philip J Mani, Managing Director, Schmalz India

Image: Schmalz

Industrial Automation “Geared to meet future growth”

Mar 27, 2017

… says Philip J Mani, MD, Schmalz India. In this interaction with Suchi Adhikari, he discusses his company’s customised solutions and the significance of automation and robot technology so as to improve the quality of products and processes. Excerpts…

Can you brief us about the new production building recently inaugurated in Pune and the purpose for expansion?

The new production facilities will double the existing production capacity. Also, we plan to produce some import substitute for our handling system like fabrication and assembly of cranes and mainframe for the wind energy handling devices which will be CE certified.

What are the key emerging trends in vacuum technology in automation?

Vacuum technology is in demand in a variety of industry sectors and is utilised in many ways ranging from individual components to complete solutions. Schmalz is one of the world's leading providers, combining decades of experience and comprehensive expertise with the ambition to create custom solutions for our customers from industry and trade. We help companies in automation technology, handling technology and clamping technology sectors to design their production processes more efficiently and strike new paths with the help of vacuum technology.

With automation and Industry 4.0 being the new focus of manufacturers, what products does your company offer in order to meet this demand?

The basic principle of Industry 4.0 is that by connecting machines, work pieces and systems, businesses are creating intelligent networks along the entire value chain that can control each other autonomously. Networks and processes have so far been limited to one factory. But in an Industry 4.0 scenario, these boundaries of individual factories will most likely no longer exist. Instead, they will be lifted in order to interconnect multiple factories or even geographical regions. Schmalz has already started to align its products suitable for Industry 4.0. The SCPSi compact ejectors and SNGi-AE type Needle grippers are already equipped with an IO link and NFC technology, which make them suitable for Industry 4.0, thus, facilitating the way to communicate and cooperate in real-time. Schmalz will roll out more products in this technology, which will rule the future.

How do you strategies your company’s business model keeping in mind the price-sensitive Indian market for SMEs?

In industries, most of the tasks are being considered as dull, dirty and dangerous for human beings and as such, utilising robotics and automation in these sectors would improve productivity, safety as well as the quality of the end product. Robots are required everywhere to improve productivity. The automation industry is a big consumer of robotic technology. Using such technology, the quality of products and processes will improve considerably. Industries across a range of sectors such as automotive, atomic energy, defence, space, metals, textiles and manufacturing also use robotic technologies extensively. Another market targeted towards the Indian SMEs is vacuum technology, which is employed in a variety of industries. Schmalz aids and assists companies from a multitude of sectors, including the automotive industry, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, the glass and woodworking sector, logistics, packaging and wind energy. We place special emphasis on meeting the specific requirements of different industry sectors and create individual solutions with vacuum technology.

How do you plan to expand your company’s market presence in the Indian market? What are your company’s future plans for the Indian market?

Our company is fully geared to meet the future growth by investing in R&D. Nearly 8.5% of the revenue is invested in innovating the existing products and creating new products, which customers are looking for. We are focused more on providing solutions to customer needs rather than selling our standard products. We customise products based on individual customer needs and our product range is flexible enough to do so. We also work closely with customer requirements and their feedback is essential for improvement of the products.

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