“Companies are now investing more in CAE solutions”
Next-gen entrepreneurs are proactively to trying new technologies as they understand the need and importance of changing with times.
Next-gen entrepreneurs are proactively to trying new technologies as they understand the need and importance of changing with times. Digital transformation with IoT is a must to compete in the world of Industry 4.0, opines Vikas Khanvelkar, Managing Director, DesignTech Systems Ltd - a leading CAD/CAM/CAE, PLM solutions, additive manufacturing technologies and engineering services provider from India. DesignTech has strategic business partnership with global majors like PTC Inc, Stratasys, Solidscape 3D Printers, Altair Engineering, MathWorks, Synopsys, etc. In this interview with Rakesh Rao, Vikas Khanvelkar elaborates on how software tools can be used for achieving manufacturing excellence to increase competitiveness.
How can companies, looking to increase productivity, benefit from DesignTech services?
At DesignTech, ever since our inception in 1998, we have been working closely with the mechanical engineering industry in India, helping them make a transition from traditional processes of yesterday to adopting the latest technologies to match the global standards of engineering excellence.
Back in 1998, when 3D modelling software were not very popular in India and were considered an expensive investment, DesignTech worked on demonstrating the value proposition of adopting these software to the SME segment, thus playing a pioneering and vital role in popularising the new technology to the medium scale industries. Similarly, today, DesignTech is helping companies leverage advanced technologies such as PLM, CAE software, 3D printing, IIoT, and augmented reality (AR) for achieving their product design, development, manufacturing, and productivity goals. We work with our customers closely like a consultant, understand their working processes and challenges holistically and then suggest them solutions and/or services that would help them meet their challenges while also enabling them generate highest possible ROI.
How are today’s manufacturing plants different from yesteryear?
Ousting traditional manufacturing approaches and methodologies, companies in India are now embracing new ways and technologies for manufacturing. If the Indian companies have to remain relevant in the highly competitive global manufacturing segment, they will have to let go off the past ways and means of manufacturing and adopt the latest technologies and approaches to produce quality products at competitive prices.
Besides CAD technologies, companies are now investing more in CAE solutions that can help them evaluate product design robustness, performance and identify weaknesses at the early stages of product design. 3D printing technologies are also seeing increasing adoption not just for product design and performance visualization and validation, but also are being used as production machines to produce customised parts for end use applications. CAM software are used for achieving manufacturing excellence through ideal tool path generation.
PLM solutions help companies manage their entire design data and resources including Man, money, machines and material, thus covering the entire product lifecycle processes to achieve greater efficiency. Today, companies use digital manufacturing solutions to design plant layout through ideal assembly line planning, robotics and human ergonomics analysis for seamless man and machine coordination, for augmenting the manufacturing productivity, and reducing the wastage of time and efforts, while also increasing the working safety and security of the work forces engaged in the manufacturing processes.
All these new technologies are helping companies achieve product design engineering and manufacturing excellence.
The new generation management that are now taking over the companies’ operations are proactive to trying new technologies as they understand the need and importance of changing with times. They know that we cannot afford to be laggards and still expect to retain a leader’s position in the market space. India already has earned a reputation for being an IT hub of the world, but manufacturing is the next alternative that will bring more foreign companies to India. With government focusing on Make in India campaigns, encouraging FDI, introducing policies for ease-of-doing-business, and focusing on skill development, we can see India gear up to go closer to becoming a highly competitive destination for manufacturing.
In terms of smart manufacturing where does India stand compared to other developing countries?
Smart manufacturing concept is a part of a larger Industry 4.0 idea. Digital transformation with IoT (Internet of Things) is a must to compete in the world of Industry 4.0.Industry 4.0 is a revolutionary concept that will transform the way manufacturing has been carried out. IoT will be at the crux of it. Industry 4.0 basically is complete digitalization of processes, advanced automation and robotics, self-monitored and guided systems through artificial intelligence (AI) that would manage the day-to-day working of the factories. This is predicted to be the next big Industrial revolution. The human interface would be minimum as regular processes would be largely governed, managed, and executed through AI. The human interface component would be limited up to defining standards, providing logics and deciding the key boundaries and parameters within which the artificial Intelligence subsystems would operate and would be allowed or given liberty to make independent decisions. There will also be complete digital integration with suppliers and vendors. The entire communication, management and review of processes and data would be conducted and shared digitally. It will be an ‘All Connected’ manufacturing platform
In today’s competitive world, technology is seen as an enabler and the adoption curve is shorter. While technologies, such as AI, IoT and Industry 4.0 are at a nascent stage of adoption in India, as more and more use cases come to light, the adoption is bound to accelerate.
Currently, there is a demand for dashboard view as organisations want to gain insights into details, such as machine uptime, service dashboards, spares availability, to name a few. It’s time that organisations will start exploring other applications areas and benefits of these technologies. Of course, lots of training and investments need to be done in the space.
What should be the role of government in encouraging companies to adopt latest manufacturing technologies?
Smart manufacturing is the future of manufacturing industry. Companies that do not reinvent themselves as per the changing times will perish and won’t be able to sustain in this competitive segment. If Government of India has to make Make in India’ campaign successful, then they have to help Indian manufacturing companies migrate from the ways of the past to adopting the new age technologies and approaches of manufacturing.
The government can do so by introducing initiatives such as spreading awareness of the changing industry trends and technologies; making these technologies available to the SMEs at reduced costs through services at institutional engineering clusters; and developing skilling initiatives so that the manpower trained on these latest technologies is available. It should form committees to consult and work closely with the SMEs to help them perceive the advantages of adopting these technologies. Besides, the government should urge banks or other financial institutions to make the funds available at reasonable interests and lenient than usual payment options for the SMEs so that they can invest in these technologies.
Are you planning to launch any new product/solution for helping companies to become ‘Smarter’?
DesignTech Systems Ltd has newly tied up with PTC as its value added reseller to promote and sale their Creo CAD, Windchill PLM, Thingworx Industrial IoT (Internet of Things), and Vuforia AR solution in India. We have also tied up with Open Mind Technologies AG for its hyperMILL CAM solutions that offers 2.5D, 3D, 5-axis milling and turning, as well as machining operations such as high-speed cutting and high performance cutting.
At DesignTech we have now expanded our presence to Singapore and Malaysia by signing as a value added reseller of Stratasys for its range of 3D printers and Altair Engineering for its CAE suite of solutions. DesignTech now is also the authorised partner in Singapore and Malaysia for Rosetta Stone which is a cloud-based Adaptive Blended Language Learning solution.
Besides that, DesignTech Engineering Services Division has also started their operations and now has a physical presence in the US and Germany. Through our Services Division, we are working very closely with companies from India and overseas helping them attain their objective of product design and engineering excellence.