‘The automobile market in India consumes around 90% of articulated robots’
Ajay Gurjar, Dy COO & Head (Business Operations), Yaskawa India Pvt Ltd – Robotic Division, in conversation with Industrial Automation.
Yaskawa has been present in the Indian market since 1980. How has the operation evolved, especially the Robotics Division, since then?
Yaskawa journey in India began with the business of PLC in1980 and AC drives in 1990 and steadily expanded to accommodate growing customer needs. Today, our operations span the length and breadth of the country, and India remains a central hub for our future goals, which is headed by dynamic team.
We address innovation primarily through two distinct product and service categories: Drives & Motion Control and Robotics Automation.
Our robotics applications direct presence in India started in 2005. Core strengths include welding, assembly, coating, dispensing and material cutting.
The Robotics future vision plan will aid better delivery in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, education and evolve into comprehensive human-assist solutions. Our production capabilities are effectively complemented by a comprehensive after sales support and service network.
In India, our corporate headquarters and drives & motion control division is located in Bangalore, the robotics division in Gurgaon and branch offices across Pune, Bangalore and Chennai.
At Yaskawa, we are constantly trying to outperform our benchmarks, with a continuous focus on R&D. Our patents for the world’s fastest robot are among the many significant achievements; it is easy to see that we place quality innovations first.
What is the Yaskawa Motoman range of robots available to the Indian industry in terms of types and payload capacities?
Yaskawa have over 175+ robotic variants, we have been able to successfully integrate over 4500 installations in both general production lines and specific process cells. Yaskawa has huge range form 0.5 kg payload to 800 kg payload and 300 mm reach to 4000 mm reach robots with the environment demand of explosion proof, vacuum, clean room and normal industrial robot range.
Consequently, our installations have been hugely successful across industries – from health care to manufacturing plants, entertainment parks, commercial establishments and core industries such as automotive, light and heavy engineering.
In the Application Robots segment, our expertise addresses needs including:
Pick, pack and palletising from 2 kg to 800 kg load capacity
Painting robots, and
The company has traditionally been strong in welding robots. What are the main user industry segments for these robots?
Yaskawa has around 33% market share in welding segment with the help of OEM customers like Bajaj Auto, TVS Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, HONDA, Suzuki, Maruti Suzuki, Tata and others. In case of 4-wheeler segment major weld areas are covered by Tier1 and subsequent suppliers where Yaskawa holds the maximum market share.
While automobile industry is traditionally high on automation, what is the scenario in other industry segments?
In India the automobile market consumes around 90% of articulated robots, only 5-10% robots are used by other segments like FMCG, 3C, durable goods, Railways, etc. Currently other industries are also keen to move with robotic automation in spite of non-conformity of RoI.
How compatible are Yaskawa Motoman robots these with the concepts of Industry 4.0?
Individually operating Yaskawa robots at sites of manufacturing and other work, it is also possible to use a network to manage the devices as a system from a remote location in an effort to further raise productivity. The linking of industrial devices into a network is being pushed by the latest trends, the representative example of which is Industry 4.0, and Yaskawa is also working at the construction of systems that utilise networks. Yaskawa is for the use of network technology in the sector of industrial robots and the robot controller functions that are a constituent element of that technology. It also explains the Yaskawa robot service using the IoT (Motoman Cockpit) and cloud service (Motoman-Cloud). Motoman Cockpit is a management platform enabling remote control, monitoring, and predictive maintenance of robots. This allows users to create a virtual environment in the office
The machine tool industry is increasingly integrating robots, especially in cells. What is the experience here?
When it comes to the optimum, application-specific implementation of complete system solutions in the machine tool industry, robots often lie at the heart of the system. This requires a very broad range of products and solutions, such as those offered by Yaskawa, ranging from manipulators to controllers and more.
Robots, especially the Collaborative type or Cobots, are now increasingly getting popular. What are the recent launches in this area?
Collaborative robots, also called ‘cobots’, are the newest trend in robotics. A cobot is a special type of industrial robot designed to work with, or closely to, humans. Various technologies can be implemented to reduce the speed of a cobot’s motion when a worker enters its work area, or to sense when the cobot encounters a human and stops or moves away. While cobots have been around for many years, it seems that almost every company and industry has taken some initiative in looking to use the technology.
The Motoman HC10 is the first collaborative robot to be introduced by Yaskawa outside Japan. HC stands for “Human Collaborative.” The prototype, with a range of 1.2 m and handling weight of 10 kg, is planned to be certified according to technical specification ISO TS15066.
How has the entry of collaborative robots impacted the industry – both from vendors and user industries perspective?
Companies should approach the question of whether to use cobots in the same way they approach other business decisions. Cobots can provide tremendous value, but their implementation necessitates proper application. For example, companies need to consider whether the cobots would have jobs that bring the cobots near humans, jobs with smaller payloads or jobs without high-speed cycle time requirements. Do not get caught up in the hype. Evaluate the bottom line, and consider both direct and indirect costs and benefits.
When determining the RoI, be sure to identify the objectives of the project first. The objectives could be both qualitative and quantitative, but even the qualitative ones should have value associated with them. For example, are you looking to reduce costs, improve productivity or increase product quality? These can all be assigned a metric. Offset the benefits with the true cost of implementation, which includes the initial purchase, reduced throughput, labour impact and cobot lifespan. Remember that businesses make good investments when they have a strong understanding and definition of expectations and costs
What is the experience with SMEs in India?
Indian SMEs are always ready to accept and acquire new technologies, new business ideas and automation in industrial and allied sectors. The advent of advanced technology is opening newer channels for SME businesses across several sectors. The technology and innovation is playing a pivotal role in the growth and development of SMEs in India. The presence of unconventional technological platforms is bringing on board a rising number of small players in the Indian market.
One of the path breaking advancements in technology is the development of Robotics and Automation in India and Robotic technologies have certainly transformed SME businesses substantially in India.
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