The 11th VDMA Mechanical Engineering Summit, the annual flagship event of VDMA India, was held on September 16, 2022, at The Ritz Carlton, Pune. The summit commenced with the lighting of the lamp by honourable special guests along with Rajesh Nath, Managing Director, VDMA India.
He spoke about how Ukraine-Russia conflict has affected the global supply chains and created major economic downturns in countries around the world. Further, he explained that through the economics uncertainty created by global inflation, Ukraine-Russia conflict and the COVID pandemic, the Indian economy has not only remained stable but has developed in contrast to other countries.
The address of Nath was followed by the chief guests’ address on ‘Indo-German Relations: Prospective Business Synergies & Government Support’ by Achim Fabig, Consul General, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mumbai.
Maharashtra: The industrial hub of India
This was followed by a special address by Dr P Anbalagan, IAS, CEO, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, on ‘Maharashtra: The Industrial Hub of India’. The main area of focus of Dr Anbalagan was on Maharashtra being an industrial hub and how it is the top state for investment and for companies to set up production and operate with ease. Through his presentation he highlighted how and more importantly why, Maharashtra is one of India’s successful and thriving state for companies to operate, new business to flourish and a magnet for investment to flow in.
Summit Special issue released
On this occasion, the Summit Special issue was released by the dignitaries on the stage during the inaugural session. This issue provided details on the partners at the summit.
The special address was by the Guest of Honour, Rajesh Khatri, Vice President Operations, Passenger Vehicles, Tata Motors on ’Changing Ecosystem in Automotive Industry in India’. Khatri spoke on the automotive industry in India. India ranks first in Tractor Production, two and three-wheeler production and second in bus production. He explained how the global market for automotive vehicles are poised to grow at an astounding rate of 5% CAGR and that the Indian automotive sector has an annual turnover of ₹7.5 lakh crores which accounts for 7.1% of the GDP and employs 35 million people and 4.7% share of exports. Further he is optimistic that the EV penetration in India can go up to 25-30% by 2030.
Oliver Wack, Director (India and East Asia), VDMA Foreign Trade, Germany addresses on ‘Impact of disruptive development on Europe and the global economy’ gave an in-depth overview of the current challenges facing the global market and how the world is recovering from years of unprecedented difficulties.
The knowledge paper by BDB India titled ’Logistics, Warehousing and Material Handling industry highlighting supply chain features’ was released during the inaugural session.
This was followed by a talk by Rahul Bhandurge, Vice President – Business Development, BDB India, on the contents of the knowledge paper and also emphasising the growth in Indian storage and logistics as an industry especially in the last decade as a direct result of the boom in e-commerce and online retail marketing in India.
While presenting in the technical session, Archita Sarkar, Associate Partner, Team Lead Bangalore and Gaurav Jain, Senior Associate, Team Lead Bangalore, Roedl & Partner Consulting on ’Be ready before the Whistle blows’, covered the Whistleblower Protection Act of 2014 which was implemented after the (in) famous case of Shanmughan Manjunath, the Indian Oil Corporation officer, was murdered after he sealed a petrol pump selling adulterated fuel.
The next presentation was made by Ambrin, Vice President, Economic Analysis and Policy, Guidance Tamil Nadu on ‘Manufacturing Ecosystem and Investment Potential in Tamil Nadu’. Ambrin spoke about Tamil Nadu as a key state in the Indian Manufacturing sector.
The last presentation in this session was made by Nikhil Kulkarni, Head, Automation & Industry 4.0, Siemens Advanta Development, Siemens Technology & Services on ‘Industry 4.0 Technologies Driving Future of Manufacturing’. Kulkarni emphasised on the importance of Industry 4.0 and the digitalisation of the entire manufacturing process onto the virtual software.
The second half of the summit kicked off with Nath joining Maier + Vidorno Altios in releasing their report on ’Great Resignation within Engineering Sector: how to hire right’.
Thereafter, Deepmala Dutta, HR Consultant for Maier + Vidorno came up with an in-depth explication on the above report.
Evolution of manufacturing
Another technical session focused on the ‘Manufacturing Evolving into the New Age’ where companies like Carl Zeiss, Festo and Schaeffler opened a new perspective on how manufacturing has evolved.
The first presentation was given by Aveen Padmaprabha, Business Head, Industrial Quality Solution and Manoj Sundaram, Head – Business Development from Carl Zeiss.
The presentation covered the semiconductor manufacturing technology which is the cornerstone of integrated chips that enable objects and systems to communicate with each other.
The next presentation was from Ashwin Vanikar, Head of Application Engineering & Business Region-India from Festo India who spoke about “Automation – A Disruptive Role in Transforming the World of Manufacturing”.
The last speaker of the session, S R Puttalingaiah, Head Life Time Solutions, Schaeffler India upon “Transitioning from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance”.
Nath then kicked-off the panel discussion on “Green Manufacturing -The Way Forward for India”.
The esteemed panellists were, Anshum Jain, Chief Operating Officer, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles; Vyankatesh, Kulkarni, Executive Director-Operations, Mercedes Benz India; Vivek Bhatia, Managing Director & CEO, Thyssenkrupp Industries; and Klaus Maier, Managing Director, Voith Turbo.
Jain was of the opinion that Green Manufacturing is an approach to evaluating and improving the manufacturing process. It is based on Lean manufacturing principles and provides a dynamic, proven and successful approach to going green.
Bigger role of manufacturing
The Government of India would like the manufacturing sector to play a bigger role in the country’s economy. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in its discussion paper on the growth strategy for manufacturing, has set a target to increase the sector’s contribution to the GDP to 25%, from the current level of about 16%. While this growth is necessary, the country’s environmental concerns need to be mitigated.
‘Green Manufacturing’ or sustainable industrial activity is now the need of the hour and no more an empty slogan. As per Bhatia, Green manufacturing involves transformation of industrial operations in three ways:
Using Green energy
Developing and selling Green products
Employing Green processes in business operations
Maier stated that successful implementation of Green manufacturing requires going beyond small standalone initiatives and adopting an integrated three–step framework:
Planning for Green as a core part of business strategy
Executing Green initiatives across the value chain by shifting towards Green energy, Green products and Green processes
Communicating and promoting Green initiatives and their benefits to all stakeholders
Nath concluded that Green manufacturing in India is at the take–off stage. While there has been significant policy development and adoption by the manufacturing industry in the area of Green energy, there is substantial scope on both the policy front and its adoption in the areas of Green products and Green processes.
The panel discussion concluded with the customary ‘Rapid Fire Round’ followed by two Start-up pitches by – Cheesecake Energy and ProGlove.
The awards were for two categories – Work Condition & Work Safety and Energy Efficiency & Conservation with maximum of two companies against each category, were awarded out of the total of 38 nominations received for both the categories.
The winners in the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Award for the Large Category were Continental Automotive Components and LAPP India as the runner-up. In the Medium category the winner was Micro Precision Products – A WIKA Co and runners up was Bucher Hydraulics.
In the Work Condition and Work Safety Award the winner in the large category was Freudenberg-NOK and there were two runners-up, one was Emerson Automation Solutions-Fluid Control & Pneumatics and the other was Krohne Marshall. Under the Medium category the winner was Micro Precision Products – A WIKA Co and the runner-up was R STAHL.