Satish Pathak, Founder & Executive Director, The USP of Samiep’s Digital Controlled Valves lies in its many unique features., explains the Digital Controlled Valve and its rationale.
Digital Controlled Valve
Satish Pathak, Founder & Executive Director, Samiep Technology Innovations Pvt Ltd, explains the Digital Controlled Valve and its rationale.
What exactly is the Samiep concept of ‘disruptive innovation in industrial valves’? What is the USP?
The USP of Samiep’s Digital Controlled Valves lies in its many unique features as listed.
The resultant unique functionality makes it Disruptive Technology that is achieved due to this all new kind of valve type and algorithm of digital controller working together.
There are many advantages listed for this innovation, but how is a single valve in this case able to replace several?
Replacing several valves has two meanings: 1) Replacing by type – None of the known valve types is able to offer the said functionality; and 2) Replacing several valves as number – as explained in point “h” in the features. The statement does not mean what all these valves could do collectively is replaced by one Samiep valve but vice-versa. Here it is how – Samiep Valves have only one single flow-rate that is at valve 100% open. There can be very closely deviated discrete packetised quantities, several in number. Two closely deviated quantities can have difference of few milligrams. A valve of 20 mm outlet can have maximum flow-rate of 30-45 kg/minute; at other extreme end can dispense a smallest packetised quantity that may weigh fraction of a gram – like a drop from an ink dropper. All these combinations are intelligently used dynamically by the digital controller to make it a highly versatile valve.
What are the other services and solutions offered by the company?
Samiep Technology Innovations is not just a valve company. It offers complete automation solutions right from identifying industry’s pain points that includes but is not limited to Mechanical, Electronics, IT and Instrumentation. Samiep’s focus is to make industrial automation an easy game – buy, configure and use – in the interest to free industries from complex and customised automation that calls for intense Capex and limited use. Samiep Valve is an invention that brings in scope for several innovations due to its applicability over hundreds of process requirements across industry sectors. We also have a range of LED display products for Real-Time data for industries and infrastructures like railways, etc. Each automation application needs man-machine interface and further enterprise connectivity. We develop automation software applications in-house. At times, we develop sensors as well.
Valve automation is now a given in industry. You have mentioned simple digital control. Please elaborate on this.
Automation industry today presumes that there is nothing left to introduce anything new in valves. Last three and half decades all focus is shifted to electronics, communication and software. The Automation Service Providers (ASP) and SPM manufacturers provide customised solutions to industries. However, they are fully dependent on ready products and technologies as their capabilities are limited to integration. Today’s popular concept “Coarse and Fine” is the result of it. Digital Controller and our new valve design make the job simple. Let us consider an application of liquid filling by weight.
Today, an ASP/SPM will need a complex automation incorporating:
1) One ball valve and a rotary actuator to get two flow stages
2) Ball valve is connected to two On-Off type valves for actual liquid dispensing
3) A separate tank from where liquid will come to the ball valve
4) Level controller and on-off valves to maintain the level to avoid missing target quantity, and
5) An electronic weighing scale and a PLC to interface and integrate all these.
This will consume a lot of space, more capital investment and offer limited usability. Further, selection of valves and design, programming, trials, tuning is complex.
Samiep Valve and a Digital Controller with an electronic weighing scale can eliminate all above complex automation and save Capex, Space, OpEx while making it more versatile for many liquid media, any target quantity in a simplest way.
Indian industry is fast catching up on the automation front, yet there are certain apprehensions about SMEs. What would be your advice?
Limitations are due to cost of automation, space, complexity, OpEx, ROI, etc. SMEs face challenges for everything. The automation solutions must be lucrative, cost effective, simple to use and maintain, multipurpose so that SME can adapt automation readily, improvise product quality, consistency and throughput. Another fact is, less literate work force is economical that tempts them to execute processes manually. The manual operations are daylong operations; add losses, spillage, excessive production, hampers quality and consistency. I have seen cash wealthy SMEs hook on clients from developed countries. When these potential customers insist on a plant visit, local SMEs face challenges in converting it to real orders. For a country like India, automation is the backbone of economy. Foreign automation companies see huge India market, find local representatives to reach our SMEs and these traders feel too proud that they are representing some company from a developed country. There is lack of holistic approach. India needs to come out with automation solutions that are rugged, affordable and simple. I do not mean Jugaad by this! Standardisation is the key for wider acceptance. Samiep has well identified this space to establish its presence.
You have brought years of experience to this project. What was the inspiration behind this innovation?
I come from a typical middle class background where leaving a job was crime! I had entrepreneurial zeal from very beginning. Learning new things and applying them hands on was a passion. Besides my major in instrumentation, I upgraded myself in embedded electronics and software. Mechanical was a liking too. Being an SME was never a desire. Dream was to establish a tech venture that will make larger impact for long term. Having multidisciplinary skills entered into tailored automation business after employment in two jobs. System Integration was never an interest to me. I was looking for projects that would bring challenges, incorporate all my skills and open windows for innovation. I carried out various projects right from understanding pain points of the client to build and offer complete automation systems singlehanded. Each such project was unique. I was certain that one of such challenges would give me an opportunity worth billion. While facing one such challenge there was a need to find an innovative solution for liquid dispensing valves. Initially, I approached a dozen established players from valve industry but no one came forward irrespective of quantity requirement. I stepped in and invented new valve.
Awards and accolades have followed. Has this innovation also resulted in commercial success? Any plans for expansion?
I have built technology showcase on receiving grant from DSIR, Ministry of Science and Technology. There are walk-ins for live demonstrations, traction coming in from various industries and from ASP/SPM, dealers. Considering the potential for international market and my strategy for manufacturing tech venture, I am inviting equity participation. Recently, Samiep’s Valve technology was ranked among Top-5 technologies at XLr8 Technology Business Accelerator, Tirupati. XLr8 has prepares a globally accepted Quick-Look technology validation report with the help of IC2, Austin. The organisers of Automation Expo, Mumbai offered participation by invite last year that brought generated a lot of interest in this technology, even from organisations that are Pride of India.
What next? Can we expect another such breakthrough, since innovators do not rest on the laurels?
You can very much expect the same. A new version of Samiep Valves is already developed and tested. This will make a paradigm shift ahead of the technology described here. The valves described here are pneumatically actuated however various other actuators also are on agenda. There are plans for developing valves for continuous processes and for gases and steam. There are plans for developing measurement sensors for liquid flow and quantity that are not in use today.