From autonomous driving to Artificial Intelligence, technology is transforming manufacturing processes at every turn. Keeping this in mind, the recently held ACMA Technology Summit & Awards 2019 (Edition 5) – Exploring New Frontiers of Technology, highlighted the changing technology and trends, & also explored topics around technology in terms of mobility need and ecosystem, the automotive business, EVs, along with some gripping panel discussions.
The two-day event kicked-off with the welcome address by F R Singhvi, Chairperson, ACMA Skilling & Mentoring and Joint Managing Director, Sansera Engineering. “For the growth of our companies, we need to adopt new technologies and use them for global requirements,” he told the audience. Following this, Deepak Jain, President, ACMA and Chairman & Managing Director, Lumax Industries, spoke about the current situation in the industry. He said, “In spite of the downturn, we need to focus on three things – technology, quality and people.”
Electric cars not the only solution
Ensuing this, the guest of honour, Girish Wagh, President & Head, CVBU, Tata Motors, took over. Speaking on similar lines as Singhvi, Wagh affirmed, “If we break down technology into layers and bring them in layer by layer, it will lead to higher volumes and reduced costs.” The next guest of honour was Dr Martin Koers, Managing Director, German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), Germany, who stated that electric cars alone are not the solution. “We are convinced that depending on the mobility need, we need different technologies,” he clarified.
This was followed by the release of ACMA – Frost & Sullivan Study – Mega Themes of the Future and Implications for the Indian Auto Industry. Next, there was an MoU signing ceremony with CDAC & SAEINDIA as knowledge partners for ACMA Centre of Excellence (ACoE). After this, the inauguration of start-ups & innovation expo took place.
It was soon time for ‘Session I: Leading through technology’. The first presentation was by Dr R Mukhopadhya, Director & CE, Hari Shankar Singhania Elastomer & Tyre Research Institute (HASETRI) and Director (R&D), JK Tyre & Industries, on ‘Green mobility – Challenges & opportunities for automobile & elastomeric auto-component industry’. He explained, “The shift to EVs will have a tremendous impact on technical rubber components over the next decade.” The next presentations were by Arun Rao, Senior Director, Dassault Systèmes India, on ‘Automotive suppliers – Connected value network’ and Sarwant Singh, Managing Partner, Frost & Sullivan, on ‘Mega themes of the future and implications for the Indian auto industry’. The final presentation of the session was by Sagar Bhosale, Managing Director, Schmersal India, on ‘Safety in the Era of Industry 4.0’, who explained Smart Safety 4.0 in a nutshell and future challenges.
Knowing the ecosystem
As the summit moved forward, the audience looked forward to ‘Session II: Keynote address by transformation leaders’. Pradeep Bhargava, President & Chairman of Board, MCCIA, gave a presentation on ‘Need of ecosystems for sustainable growth’. “We need to see what we want to do as industry participants to know the ecosystem and contribute,” he conveyed. Next, Vikram Salunke, Managing Director, Accurate Gauging & Instruments, expounded ‘Quality 4.0’, where he mentioned that the key reason to work on Industry 4.0 is to get value from data.
Dwelling further, Biswajit Bhattacharya, Partner & Executive Director, Automotive Industry Leader India SA, IBM India elaborated on ‘Technology trends – Block chain, design thinking, AI, autonomous driving, etc’, where he informed that the next few decades are going to belong to the engineers and technologists. This was followed by a video presentation by Prof David Mendlovic, Chairman, Industry Affiliation Programs for Future and Vice Dean – Research of the Faculty of Engineering, TEL AVIV University, Israel, on ‘My journey from academy to entrepreneurship: 5 key take away’, one of the key take away being that accurate definition of the problem is more than 50% of the solution. There was also a short presentation by Dattatraya Navalgundkar, Director, C4i4 Lab. “We have done massive study across India on different automotive clusters in the last two years,” he informed.
The summit soon neared ‘Session III: To achieve different, think differently’. The first presentation was by Raju Ketkale, Senior Vice President & Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, on ‘Future electrification technologies and strategies for low carbon society in India’. “SHEV runs 60% time on battery and have average 56% better FE than ICE on road,” he averred. Following this, the next presentation was on ‘Water conservation technology – Zero discharge’ by P G S Dinesh Davidson, Asst Vice President (Operations), J K Fenner India, through which he spoke on multiple projects under the initiatives of rainwater harvesting, zero discharge and how to reduce water consumption in a process by adopting alternate process.
Satheesh G, Senior Director & Head – Intelligent Transportation & Networking Section, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), took over next and spoke on ‘C-DAC solutions for smart cities’, wherein he threw light on Adaptive Traffic Control System (ATCS). “ATCS operates on two levels – traffic signal controller and other field equipment at local level and ATCS application software running on a computer at the central level,” Satheesh G explained.
EVs will lead to higher employment
The final presentation of the day was by Ashwini Tiwary, Founder & CMO, Autobot India, on ‘Electric Vehicle technology: An emerging industry for business and employment’. “As the European Union has started manufacturing EVs, their employment rate has gone up and the same is bound to happen for India,” he expounded.
Spotlighting new technologies & initiatives
The second day of ACMA set off with a round of dialogue with elites from various organisations discussing ‘Success stories & new solutions’. The sessions comprised Alka Pande, Advisor, and Rahul Konde, Co-founder & Director, Sapour Technologies, discussing the use of ‘Digital traceability to reduce vehicle recall’. Talking about the current status of vehicle recalls and its limitations, Pande emphasised, “The sector is currently seeking complete assurance and quality.”
Following this, Narismha Suryanaryana, Co-founder and CTO, TallyX Inc, enlightened the audience on new IoT-enabled solutions to minimise the huge credit gaps in the MSME sectors during his talk on ‘TallyX blockchain solution’. Thereafter, Kody Baker, CEO, VeloMetro Mobility, introduced their enclosed electric assisted vehicle, designed to provide a car functionality, ‘Veemo – the crossover of micro mobility’. Next, Mansi Das, Group HR Head, Saden Vikas India, and J Murganandan, MD, Esteem Polymer Products, and ACMA Gold Award winners, shared their success story and approach behind their initiatives.
Driving the change
Next, the event witnessed an erudite panel discussion on ‘Exploring new frontiers of technology’, which was moderated by Kavan Mukhtayaar, Partner & Automotive Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers. The session kickstarted with a question on how technology is affecting the automotive industry and the necessity to be prepared for the technological change. To which Rajneesh Vashisht, Vice President, CDMM – Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra, answered, “We will need to change our mindset going forward. OEMs alone cannot manage the change.”
Sharing about the disruptions that would be caused by three-wheelers and how it would change the industry, Rahul Karambelkar, Vice President, Materials, Bajaj Auto, emphasised, “All the changes and challenges have helped the industry move ahead and adopt better technologies.” Adding to this, Sowmya Chaturvedi, Supply Chain Head – India Area Business Organisation, Cummins India, commented, “Collaboration opens up a platform on a global level. We need to collaborate with suppliers, OEMs, etc for max efficiency.”
Illustrating on the future challenges after implementation of BS VI and the need for OEMs and suppliers to upgrade to deliver, Yogesh Umbarkar, Vice President, Asia-Ricardo Software, Ricardo India, mentioned, “Changes in technology have really given us a good opportunity to upskill ourselves & match on a global level.” Talking about how to be prepared for disruption, Singhvi commented, “Technologies will keep changing; there needs to be more planning instead of panic.” Further, giving a perspective on the government efforts, (Retd) Col A K Nath, Executive Director, CDAC, A Scientific Society of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, GOI, accentuated, “The government is enabling collaboration on India’s first microprocessor and is also working towards capacity building.”
Smart, electric & connected
Next, the session ‘EV, future mobility & smart city’; it began with Som Kapoor, Partner – Retail & Future of Mobility, Ernst & Young, who presented on ‘Integrating smart mobility into smart city’. This was followed by Sivam Sabesan, Managing Director, CharIN e V, India, hosting a session on ‘CharIN e V – The path to a global EV charging system’.
Subsequently, while elaborating on ‘Ather 450: The intelligent electric scooter and an electric vehicle charging network-AtherGrid’, Ravneet Phokela, Chief Business Officer, Ather Energy, mentioned, “Data & intelligence power the capability set for new experiences and business opportunities.” To conclude the session, Dr R Gopalan, Regional Director, International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), presented on the ‘Indigenous development of battery for Electric Vehicles’. Expounding the 21st century energy demands and energy crisis in the transportation sector, he revealed, “For the automotive sector, EV is the simple solution to curb the pollution problems.”
This was followed by a ‘Valedictory Session’, during which Jain emphasised, “Our competitiveness relies on fulfilling the needs of our customer, being cost-competitive and offering superior quality.” Then, ACMA’s guest of honour, Ashok Sharma, Assistant Vice President & Operating Head, Honda Cars India, gave a quick update on the industry, and mentioned, “Digitalisation and new business models have reformed the entire automotive business. The auto industry needs to make strategic decisions now to have maximum growth.” The event culminated with another ‘Address by guest honour’ Pravin Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India.
Recognising consistent innovation
Aside from being a well-rounded event that revealed various understandings of the industry, ACMA also presented a platform that lauded and gave recognition to the noteworthy works in the industry. It felicitated industrialists who did prominent work under the categories of – ‘Excellence in export’, ‘Excellence in new product development’, ‘Excellence in new product design and development’, ‘Excellence in process technology’, ‘Excellence in manufacturing’, ‘Excellence in HR’, ‘Excellence in supplier development’, ‘Excellence in HSE (Health, Safety & Environment)’, ‘Excellence in inclusive growth - A Make in India drive’ and lastly, ‘Recognition for unique initiative’.