With the interference of digitalisation, certain complex processes in the factory have become simple and can be done without human intervention. Every now and then there are certain trends emerging in the industry, & to discuss these trends, the International Society of Automation (ISA) recently hosted the Process Automation Day in Pune, India, under the theme ‘ISA standards & advanced technologies’. The event discussed on topics of interest for batch & continuous manufacturing process industries like F&B, pharma & drugs, chemical, etc.
Automated & connected
The event kick-started with an inauguration speech by Ravi Maknikar, President, ISA Pune Section, wherein, he discussed the theme and aim of ISA to turn itself into a go-to unit for tech & automation. Following this, Umesh Kulkarni, Director – Engineering & Projects, Serum Institute India, delivered the keynote speech. During this, he briefly discussed the process automation in the pharma industry, the role of automation and its importance in the sector. He emphasised, “When you think of automation in any process, you need to believe that you are going to serve yourself.”
To discuss the importance and application of batch process manufacturing, the necessity to adopt it and issues typically faced – the high pressure for productivity, reduction in time to reach the market, increasing market complexity, etc, Ashutosh Kshirsagar, Global Process Technical Consultant, Rockwell Automation, hosted a session on ‘ISA-S88 the batch control standard’. During the session, he cited, “Batch process is where the complexity starts, because various products have various processes involved.” Following this, Nandkishore Bhise, Sr Product Manager, Connectwell Industries, spoke on the ‘New trends in connection and automation technology’, wherein, he discussed the latest technologies and solutions provided by Connectwell and how it can help one enhance their automation experience.
Subsequently, Aniruddha Tiwari, Sr Sales Engineer, Beckhoff Automation, briefed up on how one can discover & rectify the problems in their process automation, connected system challenges, integration of IT & OT, PC-based control systems and how EtherCAT can enable and enhance automation, via his session, ‘Advance control system for process industry: PC-based’. While elaborating on the use of EtherCAT for automation, he mentioned, “PC-based control systems are extremely effective as it delivers in both, hazardous and non-hazardous environments.”
Integration & optimisation
Following this, Kishore Mahamunkar, Business Development Manager, Process OEM, Rockwell Automation India and Govind Lathkar, Global OEM Technical Consultant, Rockwell Automation India, hosted a session on ‘Smart skids’. During this, the duo elaborated on the ISA-S88 standard, how one can augment the power of skids, the approach that one can undertake to implement the technology, its pitfalls and how one can upgrade it to a smart manufacturing level. Elaborating on enterprise integration, Mahamunkar mentioned, “The journey towards enterprise integration cannot happen when you ignore the machine at the core process.”
To detail on the topic of ‘Process optimisation using ISA standards’, Sandeep Redkar, Manager – Process Solutions, Rockwell Automation India, was welcomed on to the podium. During this, he focused on the ISA standards, what it constitutes and the concept of high performance, with reference to BP Amoco, Texas 2005 case study. Talking on ISA standards, he accentuated, “The ISA standards represent the best standards that have been contributed in the past 40 years.” He further added, “Change in our mindset is the most priceless thing that we can bring into process automation.” Next, Sandeep Betigeri, Head – Engineering, Burkert Contromatic, resented on ‘Latest technologies in process measurement & control’. During this, he elaborated briefly on the IO link and its advantages, control head types and Industry 4.0’s role in enhancing the automation production process.
To give a clearer perspective on attaining energy efficiency to cater smoothly to the market needs and to have an efficient Facility Management (FM) framework, Shripad Kulkarni, Manager R&D, Forbes Marshall, convened a session on ‘Energy efficiency through process automation and data analytics’. Speaking on utilising Predictive Maintenance for saving energy, Kulkarni emphasised, “The demand from customers for sustainable products is what is going to make automation successful.” Further, to explain the implementation of process automation in distillery plants, Sunil Kagwal, Director and Business Head, Distillery & Bio Ethanol Plants, Möjj Engineering, presented a case study on ‘Importance of process automation in a distillery plant’. Via his case study, besides describing the process of automation in a distillery, Kagwal also touched upon the safety aspect and the saturating requirements of a distillery plant.
Securing perspective and augmenting automation
Bringing the one-day event to an end on a prominent note, Ramani Iyer, Founder, Every Drop Counts Foundation, and Past DVP, ISA D14, concluded, “We have come a long way in the field of automation. In the early days it was a hard grind, but today, we have covered a lot of ground in attaining efficient automation.” The Process Automation Day hosted by ISA turned out to be a successful event that helped end-users & consumers gain a better perspective on how IoT would help enhancing process automation & the core necessity to adopt it.