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The future of automation in cutting

The future of automation in cutting

August 18, 2023 6:48 pm

In this article, Ravichandran Duraisamy, Senior Product Manager, Messer Cutting Systems, talks about modern advancements such as process automation, digitalisation, and robotics in the cutting process. This shift has been noticeable and has given rise to numerous technology-based startups throughout India that cater to the growing demand for innovative solutions in these areas.

As a leading player in the thermal cutting industry, we have observed significant growth in the Indian industrial sector, driven by consistent demand conditions. Despite facing challenges in the global supply chain, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) has shown remarkable progress, increasing from 2.8 percent in 2015-16 to an impressive 21.2 percent in 2021-22. This growth has been substantial enough to elevate the Indian economy from the 10th to the 5th largest in the world over the past nine years, as the Press Information Bureau (PIB) reported.

Looking forward, the recent 2023-24 union budget presents promising opportunities for further development in various industrial sectors. Key areas of focus include Infrastructure and Investment through initiatives like Project Saptarishi and substantial investments in the Railways, with a capital outlay of 2.40 lakh crore. These measures are expected to create an environment conducive to industrial growth and foster economic advancement in the country. We foresee a lot of opportunities in Infrastructure development and related sectors.

Evolution of Indian Industry in the last decade
The industry has transformed, moving away from traditional general engineering methods towards embracing modern advancements such as process automation, digitalisation, and robotics. This shift has been noticeable and has given rise to numerous technology-based startups throughout India that cater to the growing demand for innovative solutions in these areas.

Challenges in the current scenario
One of the major challenges across industries is the need for a more skilled workforce. In the manufacturing sector, the labour cost of skilled workers is approaching the levels seen in the IT industry. Adopting digitalisation and automation is becoming increasingly crucial to bridge this gap and enhance productivity.

Recognising the importance of technological advancements in the Indian manufacturing sector, the government has taken proactive steps to promote Industry 4.0. Initiatives like SAMARTH (Smart Advanced Manufacturing and Rapid Transformation Hubs) and UDYOG Bharath 4.0 aim to encourage the integration of cutting-edge technological solutions to address the workforce and productivity challenges in the industry. Moreover, the re-emergence of COVID-19 may create supply chain disruptions.

The future of thermal cutting
Laser cutting has become the favoured cutting technology in the industry, primarily due to its outstanding performance and cost-effectiveness. Incorporating additional processes, such as beveling and drilling with plasma, has further streamlined operations, reducing the need for multiple post-cutting tasks.

In response to the demand for increased efficiency and cost savings, industries have embraced automation to enhance productivity, optimise material movement, and manage inventory more effectively. Automation is proving to be a valuable solution in light of the scarcity of skilled workforce.

Just as the future of mobile phones in India began slowly but eventually expanded to make us one of the largest consumers globally, automation is expected to follow a similar trajectory across all sectors of Indian industries. Process automation and digitalisation will likely become widespread due to the imperative need to address the challenges of the lack of skilled labour.

Partner of choice
With a rich legacy of 125 years, we are trailblazers in the thermal cutting industry, catering to global customer needs. Our extensive collective experience sets us apart, as does our in-depth application knowledge and capacity to deliver solutions to even the most intricate customer challenges. Our innovative product lineup incorporates state-of-the-art technology backed by a robust after-sales support infrastructure and personalised service assistance.

As a partner of choice, we take pride in offering products that utilise all three energy sources – Oxyfuel, Plasma, and Laser – ensuring we cater to diverse customer categories. Our comprehensive solutions also encompass Material handling and automation, enabling us to effectively serve customers across Pan India.

Our product range is designed to be modular and cater to various customer requirements. We have Bevel Units specifically designed for weld edge preparation among our offerings. Additionally, we offer OmniWin, a cutting-edge Professional Nesting tool to optimise cutting processes efficiently.

Additionally, we offer a range of automation products, including-

  • Machine Insight (MI) for machine monitoring
  • Production Data Capture (PDC) for live data
  • ERP Connect to integrate with customers’ ERP
  • Auto Plate management
  • Integrated machine with software solutions.

These automation products complement our offerings and enhance our customers’ efficiency and productivity.

As a customer-oriented solution provider, Messer India boasts a robust and well-established continuous product development process, enabling us to effectively meet all the diverse requirements of the thermal cutting industry.

 


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