The automotive industry in India is making increasing investments in robots on shop floors to handle complex and repetitive tasks given the need for precision, safety and quality.
In 2016, a survey by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Tata Strategic Management Group concluded that the use of advanced robotics on the manufacturing floors is one way of going forward not only for the Indian companies but also to take ahead the government’s signature ‘Make in India’ campaign. “It is crucial to adopt futuristic manufacturing trends such as greater use of advanced robotics,” the survey states. And this stands particularly true for the automotive OEMs and component manufacturers. “Advanced robotics goes beyond the conventional robots already adopted by the Indian industry. It can dramatically improve productivity and safety. Its adoption along with other advanced technologies can help Indian manufacturing leapfrog competing countries,” said Shripad Ranade, Practice Head – Automotive & Engineering, Tata Strategic Management Group.
Advanced robotics refers to any sensor-based robots that attempt to mimic human intelligence. The survey found that about 17 per cent of the respondents were prepared to go ahead with investment in advanced robotics at the earliest and commit 15-30 per cent of their capex outlay for the same. In the automotive sector in India, the use of robots is on a definite rise. For example, according to a media report, the plant of Ford Motors at Sanand in Gujarat had, up to last year, more than 500 robots on the shop floor, with up to 90 per cent of the work automated. As per another media report, Volkswagen India’s Pune plant and Hyundai Motor’s Chennai plant too have impressive installations of robots on its manufacturing and assembly line. Companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Royal Enfield, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors have also increased the levels of automation in their newer plants, especially in the body shop.
“The quality and safety standards too have turned more stringent.”
Practice Head –
Automotive & Engineering
- R S Thakur,
TAL Manufacturing Solutions