Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions India (PSFSIN) is heralding in the implementation of Industry 4.0 implementation which among other factors also elevates the welding process to the next level says Amrityoga, Sr. Manager-Marketing, Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions India.

With technological advancements made in construction and manufacturing, what are some of the new innovations in the welding sector?
Currently there are three trends visible in construction and manufacturing industry –
Integration of IT technology in manufacturing process (Industry 4.0)
Automation – To address rising labour cost and shortage of skilled work force –
Popularity of Eco friendly cars with high factor of safety – weight reduction with high strength materials

Following innovations are being offered from Panasonic side –
New trend of manufacturing – Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions India (PSFSIN) offers complete smart factory solutions to our customers. As regards welding ,PSFSIN offers internet enabled Machines & Robots and interconnecting software which interconnect welding power sources and also connect to decision makers. Decision makers are able to make decisions based on real time data. The software continuously monitors the welding process and records parameters like wire feed speed, travel speed, current, voltage and heat input for each work piece welded. Welding engineer sitting in a remote location (like his office) with a laptop or smart phone can have access to all the power source data . May be, he can lock the parameters so that during night shift especially , welding operators do not manipulate the machine parameters . Suppliers and Customers can also be connected by this software to the manufacturing company so that they can also have access to knowledge
of status of raw materials and finished goods respectively.

Labour cost rising and shortage of skilled work force –
In 2017 ,India consumed finished steel around 91 Millon ton. As per National Steel Policy 2017 , India’s finished steel consumption in 2030 is estimated to be 230 Million ton. In easy words to understand, what India achieved in steel consumption in 70 years of independence , India has to achieve 152% of that in 13 years. Consumption of steel is directly linked to welding activity. Huge amount of welding required to achieve the 230 Million ton steel consumption. And this steel consumption has to happen to create massive infrastructure to realize the plan of USD 5 Trillion economy by 2024-25 and USD 10 Trillion economy by 2031-32.

India’s is currently facing huge shortage of welding operators. And thus Robotic automation is taking place in a massive way. Traditional users of Robots were Automotive but we have now serious enquiry from other sectors as well like power sector, hospital bed, furniture, Process industry storage vessels etc.

PSFSIN offers TAWERS model of robot ,which are highest speed robots in its category due to innovative bus bar communication between power source and manipulator as compared to conventional serial communication robot available in the market.

PSFSIN also has innovative design digital MIG machines which are feedback driven machine and are forgiving to the mistakes of opetaros and thus support operators to produce mature skill weld at a higher speed.

Popularity of Eco friendly cars with high factor of safety – weight reduction with high strength materials –

Following 2 main purpose ( 4 wheeler’s trend)–
Light weight : High energy efficiency
Body strength: More safety

Tentaive category of Tensile Strength
Steel type Tensile Strength ,Mpa
Mild Steel 200 – 450
High tensile steel 450 – 950
Super high tensile steel 1000 – 1600

High tensile steel demands very sensitive method of welding –
High tensile steel is a very sensitive metal and prone to cracking .
PSFSIN has 2 innovative equipment to perform welding of high tensile welding .

Direct diode 4 KW laser welding Robot- it is a very faster non-contact welding process approx. 4-5 times faster than conventional resistance welding . It is expected to replace conventional resistance spot welding in near future.
Super Active Tawers robot with Heat Balance Control (HBC) – With very litt;e heat input performs welding of high tensile steel equipped with innovative wave form softwares.

How has the digitization of manufacturing industries impacted the welding segment?
India is currently facing huge shortage of skilled welders. But now digital machines with internet enabled support the less skilled operator to achieve mature skilled weld. As the intelligent machine understands the mistake of welder based on feedback system and automatically corrects the parameters to produce good quality weld.

2nd major benefit is that robotic automation with the help of internet enabled communication supports to achieve good welding. And in case of an error , internet enabled communication system creates error alarm and the system stops thus prevents us from wasteful production.

Production flexibility also is more adaptable to customer demands , as command can be quickly given to robot to make change the parameters as per new job.

How well prepared in the Indian industrial sector for Welding 4.0?
PSFSIN meets with many customers and first step is to convince them about concept of Industry 4.0 implementation and its benefit. But we facing 2 kinds of challenges – first is that they want to know of a reference and 2nd is that they consider industry 4.0 implementation to be a costly exercise due to initial high cost.

There are other challenges also like lack of clarity in estimating return on investment, problem of new hardware and software integration. Strong Internet and internet infrastructure availability is a problem.

Initially teething problem also includes lack of skilled workers.

Banks are also unwilling to extend credit due to their existing big NPA’s .

However, we consider that with time things will become more favourable and awareness also will increase among manufacturing companies and Indian companies will adopt Industry 4.0 sooner rather than later

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