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Textile industry is looking at digitisation as an enabler for quality improvement

Dec 01, 2019
Textile industry is looking at digitisation as an enabler for quality improvement

B&R is an innovative automation company with headquarters in Austria and offices all around the world. As a global leader in industrial automation, B&R combines state-of-the-art technology with advanced engineering to provide customers in virtually every industry with complete solutions for machine and factory automation, motion control, HMI and integrated safety technology.

Jhankar Dutta, Managing Director, B&R Industrial Automation, speaks on the importance of automation that can go a long way in promoting Indian industry’s domestic production and export.

What are the various process control systems B&R India offers to the textile industry? What are its salient features?

Our process control system is modular and scalable range, which ranges from smaller textile machines to large-scale plants. With our process control system, we provide a distinctive scaling possibility, which makes it possible to cover every area of a line and a plant. Our scalable process control system massively reduces engineering effort on one hand while also lowering operation and maintenance costs throughout the entire lifecycle of a system on the other. In order to operate with maximum efficiency, a textile factory floor must work together as a single, coordinated unit like a closely-knit piece of fabric. B&R APROL process control system makes it possible to control systems even more precisely and make even better use of processing resources. APROL enables systematic analysis of recorded operating and process data coupled with business intelligence.

Users can gain valuable information for the decision-making process with the help of standard, personalised, interactive and ad hoc reports. APROL EnMon, ConMon and PDA easily meet the increasing customer demands of energy savings, reducing environmental impact, reducing unplanned downtimes, predictive maintenance and data acquisition. We offer intuitive diagnostic functions, remote diagnostics and open interfaces, which ensure unobstructed production without unnecessary downtime. In addition, with open communication protocols such as OPC UA, MQTT and AMQP we provide a seamless IT/OT convergence.

With Industry 4.0 knocking at the door of the Indian textile industry, give us the importance of automation that can go a long way in promoting Indian industry’s domestic production and export.

With Industry 4.0, Indian textile industry is also undergoing changes in some areas such as machine development, factory shop floors, etc. Automation has long changed manufacturing and digitisation is further changing the way factories operate. Textile industry is looking at digitisation as an enabler for quality improvement and cost competitiveness. This has prompted the use of connected equipment, software and advanced automation technologies in various areas such as yarn production, fabric production, finishing, production management, inventory management and other areas.

The common advantages of automation known to everyone are higher productivity, more efficiency, better quality, more customised products, improved safety and reduced lead times. Higher the degree of automation lowers the overall cost and betters the quality. However, human and machine safety, energy savings, less maintenance, self-diagnostics and predictive maintenance to increase machine and plant uptime are some of the challenges the textile industry is facing. Cutting-edge automation solutions and technologies help tackle these challenges, achieve excellent performance and stay ahead of competition. New trends are not only reshaping manufacturing processes but also helping plants and factories become smarter, connected and more efficient.

Majority of Indian textile industry lies in MSME, and how can automation be an answer to their needs?

One of the biggest benefits of automation and technology are that it helps optimise or make a process more efficient. The automation solutions help companies immeasurably reduce operational inefficiencies and SMEs and MSMEs can use these solutions to improve their processes. However, in transforming processes from manual to semi or fully automated ones, there are many processes, which are time-consuming, several challenges like cash flow, which needs to be sorted out.

What are the plans of B&R for the future? Will there be more products, investment, etc.?

Indian textile industry is cost sensitive and many factories still are semi-automated or manually operated. According to reports, around 70 per cent of the Indian textile machinery requirements are met by imports. In such fierce competition, it is essential for SMEs and MSMEs to focus on higher productivity with efficiency.

At B&R India, our vision is to be automation partners for Indian machinery manufacturers enabling them build high performance, efficient machines and becoming competitive globally. We are proud of the fact that we are already working with market leaders from textile market. In addition, the assistance provided by the Government will play an important part to increase domestic production of machinery. Factories in textile industry should encourage domestic machine manufacturers rather than trusting on machinery imports.

Tell us about B&R’s R&D activities in India?

Our team is composed of industry experts with technical background. The experts identify market trends and communicate toR&D team. Every year, B&R invests nearly a fifth of its revenues in R&D activities. Through creativity and a high level of commitment, more than 360 development engineers work at our company headquarters in Eggelsberg to launch innovations and market changing technologies every year.

What do you think the industry and the Indian Government must do to promote automation in the textile industry?

The Indian Government is playing an important role to increase domestic production of machinery. The government is working towards modernising machines and adding state-of-the-art facilities, which invites foreign investments with innovative technologies. We would like to urge Indian textile industry to encourage domestic machine manufacturers rather than trusting on machinery imports.