‘Our theme will be around Energy Management Solution’
Says Sriram S, General Manager – Industry Sales Department, Mitsubishi Electric India, on the company’s participation at ELECRAMA 2018, in this e-interview.
Mitsubishi Electric India Pvt. Ltd.
Mitsubishi Electric has a long presence in India, but Factory Automation is a recent trend. How has this division fared during this period?
Mitsubishi Electric has had long presence in India through various distribution companies however our presence has gained momentum in India since we started our branch office in 2007 and subsequently a subsidiary company in September 2010. Our Factory Automation and Industrial Division caters to the Electrical and Automation needs of various industrial and infrastructure market segments through our range of automation products and switchgearand expertise in developing solutions for these segments. We have had stable growth during the last 7 years of direct operations in India, where-in
India is traditionally viewed differently by global companies and they try to customise products to suit this market. What is the Mitsubishi's Electric experience?
Yes, I agree with you to some extent. However, I feel the market in India is a mixture of technologies which are at different levels of its life cycle. So personally, I don’t think it would be prudent to make products to suit the Indian market alone. Moreover, Indian manufacturers are going global utilising the immense engineering potential that they have, to adapt to the needs of developing as well as developed countries. At Mitsubishi Electric, we try to understand the technological and application needs and advancement requirements across the manufacturing industry and hence the innovations and developments are always focussed around future needs and scalability. We have an India Development Centre here which works closely with our R&D Centres at Japan, US and Europe, and contributes to the development of products which can fit to diverse market needs.
What is the USP of the Mitsubishi Electric Quality or MEQ?
Mitsubishi Electric Quality or MEQ represents Mitsubishi Electric’s dedication to excellence in developing and manufacturing exceptional, eco-friendly home appliances, amazing industrial products, reliable public infrastructure systems like railway products, metro rail products, power semiconductors, etc., and inspiring space technologies and much more.
The concept of MEQ started with the ideology of Mitsubishi Electric factories in Japan, which realised that quality standards and industry standards are not good enough to satisfy the customer. The products need constant development and benchmarking to the highest quality. That highest quality is Mitsubishi Electric Quality which is obtained by continuous R&D and then transferring that knowledge to all Mitsubishi Electric factories across the globe so that any Mitsubishi Electric product made anywhere across the globe complies with MEQ.
Automation in industry is now witnessing a major shift to concepts like Smart Factory and connected plants. Is there a change in the product mix?
There is a growing change in the behaviour of Consumer Purchases and hence Smart Factory and Connected Plants are going to be the key to meet the changing expectations of the consumers. Our manufacturing facilities in Japan and China have already undergone the transformation and hence we have experience in undertaking this transformation both as a user in our own factories and as a manufacturer of products which can enable smartness. We have our e-F@ctory solution, which is a partnership model of bringing together best in class products to connect the field level to the control layer and to the data layer of any factory and across multiple factories.
Our e-F@ctory concept for integrated automation reduces the total cost of developing, producing and maintaining products. We have also developed New Edge Computing Products capable of providing real time data collection, analysis and utilisation of production shop floor data in edge computing domain. Our new FA-IT Open Platform is based on edge computing to accelerate IoT utilisation for smart manufacturing. With FA-IT Open Platform, vendors can create manufacturing applications for operation on the platform, including connecting the platform to industrial networks to collect data from diverse devices and production equipment. The cloud-connected platform can be used to link manufacturing sites with cloud vendors’ own cloud-supported manufacturing-optimisation services for supply chains, administration of multiple factories worldwide, and other applications.
The key intent here is to offer capabilities like Preventive Maintenance and Quality Improvement.
What new products will be launched during the forthcoming ELECRAMA event?
Our theme will be around Energy Management Solution – creating a fusion between Electrical and Automation utilising our highly reliable and fast CC-Link Industrial Ethernet network. As an apart of this display we will also be releasing some of our Energy Monitoring Products.
What are the new trends in CNC controls for machine tools?
CNC Controls has been continuously evolving and now customers are looking for Industry 4.0 compatible range of CNC and field networks. Remote Operation and Monitoring of CNCs, Centralised Data Backup tool for periodical and easy maintenance, Intuitive Machine Learning functions, Predictive Analysis are some of the trends gaining momentum.
More than products it is automation solutions that are sought by industry today. How does the company address these?
In India, Automation technologies have always grown through solutions and not by just selling products. At Mitsubishi Electric India too, we have been working closely with various industries like automotive industry, F&B, pharmaceuticals, process, textile, etc., and have built solutions to their automation needs using our products and engineering capabilities.Moreover, we have a rich experience of delivering System Integrated Solution in countries like Japan, Korea, Europe and China and we bring that experience to India.
Connected plants with IIoT raise security concerns. How does the company address these?
We understand that with the growth of Device and Communication Technologies, Internet security is no longer a network for computers but such various devices which are connected over IIoT as well. At our Development Centres we continuously work to develop security systems which can be adopted in our Automation Devices and Networks.
What is the nature of the company’s activities in India – any manufacturing or value addition happens locally?
In India, we have diverse offerings across Domestic and Industrial usage – including our Living Environment Division which caters to commercial and domestic air conditioners, we have Power Semi-Conductor division which caters to the requirements of Indian Railways, health care industry and renewable sector; Transportation Division caters to growing metro rail needs, etc. But if I have to speak about my own division Factory Automation & Industrial Division, then here in India we have a development centre mentioned earlier, and manufacture a range of PLCs called Nexgenie PLCs; we sub-assemble variable frequency drives, air circuit breakers, moulded case circuit breakers and the CNC controllers. One of the recent additions to our manufacturing is the Smart HMI (GOC) which has got an integrated controller.
What are the company's achievements? Especially in terms of breakthrough product launches?
One of the breakthrough products is the GOC – the Graphic Operation Controller – which was designed, developed and manufactured in India, but now is exported to many other countries. We have also designed and developed Energy Meters and Modular I/Os which will be showcased in ELECRAMA.
What are the future plans, especially with the government emphasis on Make in India?
Mitsubishi Electric in India supports “Make in India” by an array of products and solutions in the electric and electronic domain. Especially in the factory Automation domain our contribution to “Make in India” is very important because our technology is the core to develop world class manufacturing.
Also in the recent years the company has been aggressive in expansion in terms of new factories and investments like the CNC Assembly Facility and Technical Centre in Peenya, and the Transportation Systems Factory in Bidadi. We are also doing sub-assembly activity of VFD, ACB and MCCBs in Pune. The company is constantly assessing the market and industry requirements for the future as well.
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