SMEs are contributing to industrial robotics growth in India

  • Interviews
  • Dec 01,17
...says Pradeep Shoran, AGM-Marketing, KUKA Robotics India Pvt Ltd, in this interview with IPF. He believes that robots will play an increasingly important role in new areas of production, processing and handling in the future for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
SMEs are contributing to industrial robotics growth in India

...says Pradeep Shoran, AGM-Marketing, KUKA Robotics India Pvt Ltd, in this interview with IPF. He believes that robots will play an increasingly important role in new areas of production, processing and handling in the future for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

What is the current focus of KUKA Robotics in India?

KUKA Robot Group offers the widest range of applications for current and future production tasks. KUKA offers different variants, versions and expansion options for industrial robots. The continuous on-going development of robot and control technology is enabling robotics to establish itself across a broad spectrum of different markets. Cooperating robots are playing their part tooptimise production processes and make them more flexible, not just in the automotive industry. In this development, several robots work together to machine the same parts at the same time, for example, thereby reducing cycle times or they jointly handle heavy parts to share the payload. An additional new concept is focusing on improving the cooperation between robots and human operators with overlapping workspaces in order to achieve an optimal degree of automation.

How is the present status of robotics in India? Is robotics suited for Indian manufacturing sector (which largely comprises SMEs)?

Industrial robotics has been on a growth trajectory in double digits since last more than 5 years now in India. SME sector in India is one of the key contributors for this growth.  Traditionally, industrial robots were primarily used in automotive industry and its suppliers but now more and more industry verticals in the manufacturing space have started evaluating and using the robots in their processes to meet the ever-growing requirement for productivity, quality and safety.

Are SMEs also looking to use robots on the shop floor? Do you offer products which are suitable for SMEs?

Yes, for sure. To remain competitive in the market adopting customised automation technology as per their requirement is the key. The SMEs also understand this and thus are now more open to adopt these technologies in spite of high initial investment costs.

KUKA has products and solutions which suits to the SMEs requirement. KUKA has industrials robots from payload 3 kgs to 1300 kgs with reach from 500 mm to around 4 metres. KUKA also have ready-to-use solutions for the SMEs for applications such has welding, handling and many more.

Are you seeing a rise in demand for robots from automotive industry in India? What is driving this demand?

In India, the industries buying maximum robots are still driven by automotive sector. In last year’s most of the automotive OEMs invested less in robotics but they wanted their tier-1 & tier-2 suppliers to invest more in robotics. So ultimately, it is driven by OEMs because the tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers can be flexible because one tier-1 can supply to different OEMs. Thus, the utilisation of robots will always be there. Even if the production at some particular OEM is down, still the tier-1 can supply to other customers.

What are your growth plans for India?

Due to rapidly changing product variants, ‘hard automation’ is no longer a cost-effective solution. The only truly viable approach in such situations is to use highly flexible robot technologies/automation. For small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, robots will play an increasingly important role in new areas of production, processing and handling in the future.

KUKA group’s corporate philosophy is: ‘Knowing today what the customers will need tomorrow’. The combination of creativity, dynamism and innovation are thus the key to KUKA Robot Group’s economic success and market leadership. KUKA has indeed already identified the challenges which will be faced by both humans and machines over the next few years, with a deep understanding of its customers’ requirements and developing ideas to meet them.

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