Mr. Anup Wadhwa
Anup is an Alumnus of IIT Delhi from where he completed his Bachelor degree in Technology in Electrical and Electronics. His passion for Digital Electronics took him to an exciting career in the field of Industrial Automation.
How did AIA get created and what was the purpose of creating this entity
We had a couple of bodies that represented various constituents of the industrial Automation space. Some were local arms of global bodies – like ISA and others were divisions of broader industry associations like the C& I cell within the Manufacturing Council of the CII. All of these had one common defining characteristic; they were run according to the charter and priorities of the parent organization. Many of the Automation firms were associated in some way or the other with these bodies. As the Automation scene unfolded in India, it became clear that we needed one overarching body to guide and lead. A dedicated, focused approach was considered necessary that would be directly led from the forefront by the local leadership of our Automation Industry.
In 2004, 8 top companies came together and AIA was formed. Today we have more than 50 members
How does AIA serve the Automation Industry and how does a company become a member of AIA
AIA is a fully represented body that serves all constituents of the Industrial Automation space. Companies offering Sensors, or Motion controls, or HMI, or Robotics or System Integration or Training or Analytics are together with the PLC and DCS providers. This makes us a viable forum for user Industry, Educational Institutions and Policy makers to relate with.
The membership criteria is simple. Companies seeking membership need to be registered in India and Industrial Automation must be a prime business for them. The fee structure is graded according to the business turnover. Our website, www.aia-india.org provides full guidance on how to apply or seek more information.
How will Automation SMEs get benefitted by becoming a Member of AIA
They get a relevant and established network to interact with and pursue ideas of common interest. They get speaking and engagement opportunities to demonstrate their vision and capability. They also learn from the big companies some good aspects of Industry practices. AIA gives each one a complete sense of inclusion because we have only the Automation agenda to deal with.
The entrepreneurs behind these companies are all capable leaders and many of them are eager to fulfill their leadership aspirations beyond P&L. We hope this year we can create collaborative opportunities exclusively for the SMEs. We welcome them and their ideas.
According to you, which Industries in India have benefitted the most by implementing Automation and what is the status for those industries today
Industries like Automotive, Power, Oil and Gas have always been at the forefront because of issues like reliability, safety, etc. All major vendors of Automation pitch for business from these sectors and compete fiercely. So by default, these users get the latest products. However, the actual benefit is a function of leveraging the technology. And that is a people and process application related issue. Companies with global leadership goals like Reliance, Nestle leverage the most because operational KPIs are delivered using a well designed Automation strategy. They are willing to pay for features like Analytics, Simulation, Interoperability, Others prefer cost-cutting and that has inherent risks of lowering the potential realization of benefits. My take is that as we mature, the triad of Client, Consultant and Channel ( automation supplier) will jointly evolve and determine the best value proposition. Industry specific opportunities and competitive pressures on end users will only aid that triad to think innovatively and unlock more features and capability from the investment.
How has the Communication and Internet Technologies influenced the deployment of Automation in Industry. And how does it benefit the industry and the customer.?
Emerging technologies and protocols are exciting and promise more value than ever before. The reason is simple. They improve the information flow across relevant devices, people and applications. So more areas come under effective supervision and control. The convenience of managing is a big advantage. Available technologies also score high in terms of reliability, smarter user-interfaces and attractive form factors. Overall, the value propositions have crossed the resistance threshhold, so customers are willing to experiment with the latest – be it wireless transmitters or mobile computing or Internet reporting. And as our economy allows easy imports of devices, more options are emerging, more volumes are being generated, more case studies are available on hand, and that leads to a virtuous cycle.
Which Industries would be the major future markets for Automation and what would be latest trends in way it is deployed
Energy efficiency and Safety are two substantial drivers in all segments. For process automation companies, Oil and Gas will continue to be a strong vertical. Pharma and F&B are emerging markets keenly pursued by all automation companies. As investors realize the strategic advantage of complying with global statutory norms, the machinery business will also pick up. Providing manufacturing flexibility and efficiency will be key objectives for system integrators.
Major investments in Infrastructure will continue. Multiple modes of Power Generation, Grid Management, Urban Renewal projects in Public Transportaion and Housing, Modernisation of Water Treatment & Supply Waste disposal, even Telecom related projects, are going to add significantly to the deployment of robust Information Management and Automation solutions.
The role of statutory bodies and consulting companies is expected to be crucial as they normally get associated in the early stages of technology planning and investment. The automation industry, on its part, will be expected to step out of its traditional foothold in automotive, metals, cement etc, and build domain expertise in all the emerging areas. The early years of automation concept selling will repeat again, albeit with much more professional rigour, considering that our Industry has now achieved adulthood status !