Schmersal India decides to move towards railway and defence

While industries are battling to equalise their business to pre-Covid levels, companies are working out strategy to open more avenues to expand their business. In this Video Interaction with Pushkar Oak, Sagar Bhosale, MD, Schmersal India delves into safety gaining prominence in switchgears using new age technologies and Schmersal’s coping mechanism to sustain Covid impact.
Schmersal India decides to move towards railway and defence

While industries are battling to equalise their business to pre-Covid levels, companies are working out strategy to open more avenues to expand their business. In this Video Interaction with Pushkar Oak, Sagar Bhosale, MD, Schmersal India delves into safety gaining prominence in switchgears using new age technologies and Schmersal’s coping mechanism to sustain Covid impact.

How Schmersal India serves its customers?
Schmersal India started operations in 2007, as a trading organisation with offices in Pune, Delhi and Bangalore. Very soon the company realised that the market will need safety products but they also were to be manufactured in India to attain economies of scale. This is how the company decided to have its own manufacturing plant in Pune in 2015. We also stated a Free Trade War Zone which is available in mobile. This is dedicated to our customers who have various benefits from the government. We have an export oriented unit (EOU) in Pune. The next step was to support Schmersal Group globally though IT centre with advanced technology for who Schmersal Group.

Schmersal has been in India for around 15 years, what changes have you observed in the Indian Industry?
In the past 15 years, we have seen a sea change. Today safety has gained prominence. Initially, our customers opted safe products to comply with norms while today they are procuring safe products. Customers have started engaging with us right at the start of designing level.

The safety awareness has increased among Indian manufacturers. What are the possible reasons?
There are many reasons, but primary being the availability of knowledge on safety. Companies like us have launched training programmes. In the MSME sector, the awareness of safety has increased. This is due to the free software available on the internet. Safety level of the device can be easily checked using a free software. Training is conducted for operators of the safety products who are not much qualified but use machines daily (Level 1). Level 2 comprises designers of the machine or the engineers. Level 3 caters to a specific application, say a packaging machine.

Besides, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is also adopting the ISO norms which will lead to an increase in machine safety.

How significant role switchgears play to ensure safety of the machine as well as the operator?
When we access a machine for safety, the assessment will fall in either of 3 zones such as Direct Safety, Indirect Safety and Indicative Safety. Direct safety approach is actually designing a machine in a way to do away with switchgears, is also a best form of safety approach. When there is a need for human intervention, a switchgear comes into play, Indirect safety approach is chosen. Wherever Indirect safety approach is not possible, Indicative safety approach solves the issue.

The role of section is very critical as the technology has moved very fast from contact time & non contact time to RFID to contact less. It is important to select right technology for a machine. Another parameter is the user handling the machine, if not skilled and the machine has highest safety installed, it may create a mismatch.

Coming to safety sensors, technology has evolved. In food and beverage you need hygiene programs, in heavy engineering you need specific switches made for heavy duty use.

How is use of new age technologies contributing to the use of safety solutions?
One of the key functionalities is robots. Today we have moved from stand alone robots to robot for entire process and to robots who work in tandem operations safety devices. When such robotics systems are being placed, as a solution provider, we ask them for a layout as we will put up a safety fence. Once this is taken care then the right safety devices are selected. While delivering such a solution where new age technology is involved, we deliberate over following the standards which helps faster implementation of the process and also makes it compliant.

How is Schmersal helping its customers to move towards Industry 4.0?
Today, every discussion with our client will have Industry 4.0. Interestingly, companies are implementing or thinking for implementing IIoT in bits and parts. This is where we share most information with our clients. At Schmersal, the client is made aware about the step by step upgradation and also how this will help to achieve when the complete ecosystem is functional.

Making aware is just not enough. We also held trainings and interactions and share material to help clients learn.

In our factory in Pune, we help build a IoT solution and the same at our Industrial IIoT Centre.

Could you elaborate on recent trends and how Schmersal is tapping it?
The basic underlining trend is of automation. While implementing it is necessary to have safety as a critical aspect. People are demanding more flexibility in production lines. For Ex: Using one production line for multiple production. In such cases implementing safety becomes difficult. It involves conducting risk-analysis of the machine, whole process and then a solution can be provided.

Another important trait we see today is that of confirmation check. Safety devices are merely restricted to on and off of the machine rather there is lot of safety sensors which collect information that can be analysed for predictive maintenance.

What do you suggest government to contain impact of Covid 19?
The government has already started lot of things but it is yet to reach ground reality. There is a scheme to push start-ups. The government issues incentives to them and also some facilities like rent free space. These schemes should be more publicised.

On global front, the government needs to push and make India visible for being one of the most preferred destination for doing business. Meanwhile, our counterparts are doing well in this arena. Further, on industry front, we shall be prepared for such situations by digitising and automation.

Have you altered your growth plans? Elaborate.

We are working over it and all industries are working on it. Looking at the segments that we have been serving during pre-Covid time, the demands have struggled. Thus, as an alternative, we have decided to move towards railway and defence sectors. We have our R&D centres which can help us develop these critical solutions, upholding Make in India vision.

Blurb:
“The basic underlining trend is of automation. While implementing it is necessary to have safety as a critical aspect. People are demanding more flexibility in production lines. For Ex: Using one production line for multiple production. In such cases implementing safety becomes difficult. It involves conducting risk-analysis of the machine, whole process and then a solution can be provided.”

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