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L R Katrat

Managing Director

Katlax Enterprises

1 Rating

DIGITALISATION SMEs should consider automation as an important prerequisite for growth

Sep 4, 2019

…says L R Katrat, Managing Director, Katlax Enterprises, in an interview with A&D India. He also elaborates on how his company is coping up with the change the digitalisation technologies are bringing in and automation strategy for SMEs. Excerpts…

In one of the blogs from your company, it was mentioned that Katlax is in the midst of a new automation boom that promises to fundamentally transform how manufacturing is done. Would you like to share more details with us on this?

We are transforming from conventional machinery to automated machinery for continual mass production for better output and higher productivity, which is doing more than we expected, impacting individuals and businesses, in many instances without even being noticed. A new generation of robots, which are user-friendly and flexible, usher the SME sector in an era of human-robot coexistence in the workplace. Especially for small and mid-sized manufacturers, a question is arising sooner than most probably expected: “If prices keep declining and capabilities of robotic technologies keep expanding, is it now the time to hire some automated help?” Indeed, many have already answered this question. According a PwC survey of manufacturers, 59% of SMEs are already using some sort of robotics technology.

What are the current trends and new applications in the integrated automation solutions?

The three biggest trends to influence the industrial automation control market from 2016 to 2020, according to a new report released by international market research company Technavio, are cloud-based SCADA systems, increased use of analytics and growing use of programmable automation controllers (PACs).

What should be an ideal automation strategy, especially for SMEs, in today’s uncertain economic conditions?

As machines increasingly complement human labour in the workplace, we all need to adjust to reap the benefits. Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are transforming businesses and will contribute to economic growth by improving productivity. At the same time, these technologies will transform the nature of work and the workplace itself. Machines will be able to carry out more of the tasks done by humans, complement the work that humans do, and even perform some tasks that go beyond what humans can do. As a result, some occupations will decline, others will grow, and many more will change. In the fourth industrial revolution, or as many call it, Industry 4.0, rapid advances in technology are upending business models, blurring lines between industries and companies and demanding an entirely new way of thinking about business.

The SME sector in India has emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy over the last five decades. It contributes about 8% to GDP, besides 45% to the total manufacturing output and 40% to the exports from the country, which has the potential to spread industrial growth across the country. With this and looking at the trends mentioned earlier, the SME sector should consider automation as an important prerequisite for the industrial growth in today’s uncertain economic conditions.

With digitalisation coming in a big way, what are the initiatives from your company in this area, to cope up with the change?

Digital transformation is forcing companies to change their business models and adapt to the new market reality. Today, customers expect relevant content in relation to what they’re doing anytime, anywhere and in the format and on the device of their choice. It’s their journey that dictates your strategy. Katlax has been already in-line with digitalisation and adopted digital technologies like B2B sales, social media selling, Google adds, blogs, flexible IT environment and more.

Where do you see the major growth coming from for your company’s business? Which are the industry sectors under focus?

Our major growth comes from export market and our focused industry sectors include OEMs and online distributors. Industry 4.0 describes the trend towards automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies and processes which include cyber-physical systems (CPS), IoT and IIoT, cloud computing, cognitive computing, artificial intelligence and analytics. Katlax is focusing on connectivity systems in these areas, like M12 A-coded connectors for sensor/actuator application, M12 B -coded for Profibus applications, M12 D-coded connectors for Profinet applications, data transfer up to 100 Mbps and M12 X-coded connectors for Ethernet/EtherCat applications, data transfer up to 10 Gbps.

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