LTTS’s i-BEMS framework provides sustainable solutions, tells COO Abhishek Sinha

  • Interviews
  • Nov 28,23
L&T Technology Services (LTTS), the digital engineering and R&D service company, is addressing the needs for smart products, manufacturing, and operations of the companies in India. Abhishek Sinha, COO and Board Member, L&T Technology Services in this interview share company’s latest achievements in the digital manufacturing lead with the inclusion of big data and analytics, robotic process automation and Industry 5.0.
LTTS’s i-BEMS framework provides sustainable solutions, tells COO Abhishek Sinha

Kindly brief us about your company. How is your company serving the industry in its journey towards digital manufacturing?
L&T Technology Services (LTTS) is a global digital engineering and R&D services company that provides a comprehensive suite of services to help global customers transform their manufacturing operations. As a digital engineering partner, LTTS addresses the needs for smart products, manufacturing, and operations with developed platforms for AI, 5G, and smart buildings. Our digital manufacturing services span the entire product lifecycle, from design to manufacturing to aftermarket support.

Our key services include Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Integrated Asset Management (IAM), Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), and Integrated Content Management (ICM). These services aim to enhance efficiency, reduce downtime, and improve collaboration throughout the manufacturing process.

We distinguish ourselves through our unwavering attention to domain expertise, technological excellence, and the delivery of integrated engineering solutions. Positioned at the forefront of innovation, we invest significantly in research and development (R&D) to ensure that customers have access to the latest technologies and solutions. We believe in a customer-centric approach, tailored solutions, global delivery model, and steadfast commitment to quality. With a diverse client base, including Fortune 500 companies, we build enduring partnerships based on trust and mutual growth. 

With the advent of AI, ML, IoT, 3D printing, cobots, digital twins, cloud, etc, how has the dynamics in manufacturing changed with respect to usage of technologies – i.e. hardware as well as software - in recent years?
As we move towards Industry 5.0, the manufacturing landscape is in the midst of a paradigm shift driven by the rapid integration of advanced technologies, that includes AI, ML, IoT, 3D printing, cobots, digital twins, and cloud computing. This technological shift has transformed the way products are designed, manufactured, and serviced, leading to enhanced efficiency, productivity, and quality.

Physical and digital systems will interact in real-time to drive efficiency and innovation. AI and ML have brought about predictive analytics, enabling manufacturers to anticipate demands, streamline operations, and reduce downtime. IoT has connected devices across the manufacturing floor, offering real-time data for improved decision-making.

3D printing has revolutionised the production process, allowing manufacturers to create complex parts with less waste and shorter lead times. Cobots, or collaborative robots, are working alongside humans to enhance productivity and safety.

Digital twins are the virtual replicas of physical systems, providing a sandbox for testing scenarios and optimising performance. Cloud computing offers scalable and flexible solutions for data storage and analysis.

At LTTS, we are leveraging these technologies to deliver next-gen engineering solutions. For instance, we've developed i-BEMS, a smart campus framework utilising IoT and cloud technologies for energy efficiency and sustainability.

Even though the dynamics in manufacturing have changed dramatically due to new technologies. At LTTS, we're not just adapting to these changes - we're helping drive them.

How do you see the current status of the Indian manufacturing sector? 
Digital manufacturing is growing by leaps and bounds in India, and we are also looking to tap into several new opportunities. One area is in the development of smart digital solutions and services. For example, LTTS has a long standing alliance with PTC to provide these next-generation solutions to shared enterprise customers worldwide, particularly in the aerospace, defense, and transportation sectors. This will enable the digital transformation of data from design to production, fostering innovation and efficiency. 

Another opportunity lies in the ongoing global supply chain crisis which could open new avenues for LTTS, as clients seek alternative solutions to their supply chain challenges. Our expertise in digital manufacturing to offer innovative and resilient solutions in this regard will be key.

We are also focusing on accelerating the transition to smart manufacturing with reduced time to launch new products by almost 25 per cent using virtual workbenches on AWS for software development and testing.

Moreover, LTTS is expanding its Industry 4.0 suite of services by providing a comprehensive one-stop-shop solution covering everything from product design to system implementation. Our progress in areas such as 5G, connected vehicles, and medical technologies alongside digital manufacturing, has ensured that LTTS has become a market leader in the Industry 4.0 segment as well. 

With India emerging as a major sourcing hub for engineering goods, how important will it be for Indian companies to adopt digital/automated solutions for manufacturing?
India has become one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, with its manufacturing sector making significant strides on the global stage in the past five years, according to a BCG report. The adoption of digital and automated solutions for manufacturing is not just important, but critical for Indian companies, especially as India emerges as a significant sourcing hub for engineering goods. From the perspective of an Engineering Research & Development (ER&D) player, this transformation is key to remaining competitive in the global landscape.

Solutions, such as AI, IoT, and robotics, have been shown to significantly enhance productivity, reduce costs, and improve quality in manufacturing. They enable manufacturers to derive meaningful insights from data, optimise operations, and achieve agility.

Additionally, automation can offer unparalleled flexibility and scalability. Automated systems can be quickly reprogrammed to adapt to changing demands, making manufacturing processes more resilient.

Furthermore, embracing an end-to-end digital customer experience can provide a strategic advantage. It facilitates real-time tracking, personalised service, and efficient communication, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. At the same time, unconventional automation solutions like collaborative robots are enabling manufacturers to grow and innovate, further underscoring the importance of these technologies.

At LTTS, we have been the pioneers in the adoption of digital and automated solutions and we believe that this transition will not only drive operational excellence but also foster innovation, agility, and customer-centricity.

What steps are you taking to make your products/solutions “smart”, “intelligent”, etc? Any recent example, you would like to share with us?
As an engineering services company committed to delivering next-generation technology solutions, LTTS is continuously innovating and enhancing its products and solutions to make them more intelligent, connected, and data-driven. This aligns with the company's focus on enabling smart manufacturing and the transition to Industry 5.0. We have taken some key steps to make our products and solutions smarter and intelligent. Firstly, we have embedded AI and ML into our products and solutions to facilitate real-time data analysis, predictive maintenance, autonomous decision-making, and adaptive behavior. This promotes higher efficiency, productivity, and quality for our clients.

Secondly, we are utilising IoT and data analytics. By connecting our products and solutions to the IoT ecosystem, we're enabling real-time data collection, aggregation, and analysis. This offers valuable insights into product performance, user behavior, operational processes, and allows for ongoing improvement and optimisation. We have also adopted edge computing and cloud-native technologies for distributed processing, scalability, and flexibility in our products and solutions. This ensures faster response times, reduced latency, and efficient handling of large volumes of data.

Thirdly, we're using robotics and automation to optimise manufacturing efficiency and productivity. Our expertise ranges from designing and developing robotic systems for tasks like assembly, material handling, and quality control, to implementing automation solutions such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs).

In conclusion, by merging our engineering expertise with digital technologies, we're providing bespoke, innovative solutions tailored to meet the unique requirements of our clients.

High upfront cost is a big put-off for companies who intend to adopt digital solutions. Are there low-cost entry routes into digitalisation? How is your company supporting the needs of SMEs?
There are indeed low-cost entry routes into digitalisation, and several companies are working towards making it easier for businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to adopt digital solutions. Research shows that certain digital solution areas could provide cost-effective and evidence-driven digitalisation pathways for construction SMEs. 

L&T Technology Services (LTTS) is playing a significant role in this area. The company is focusing on developing smart digital solutions and services, particularly for sectors like aerospace, defense, and transportation. Their expertise in digital manufacturing could provide innovative and resilient solutions amid the global supply chain crisis, proving particularly beneficial for SMEs seeking alternative solutions.

While the cost can sometimes be a barrier to digital transformation, many low-cost entry routes are emerging, and LTTS is providing valuable support to SMEs in their digitalisation journey.

What are the emerging trends in the manufacturing sector with respect to digital manufacturing?
The following points highlight the upcoming trends in the realm of digital manufacturing within the manufacturing sector: 

Data security and privacy: It has become increasingly important for manufacturers in India as they embrace Industry 5.0 technologies and connect more devices and systems to the internet – which increases cybersecurity risks for manufacturing companies as it expands the attack surface for cybercriminals. 

Big data and analytics: Data analytics is becoming increasingly important to manufacturers as they seek to make better decisions based on data. This includes providing solutions such as data collection, data storage, and data analysis.

Industrial internet of things (IIoT) integration: Harnessing the capabilities of IIoT, we interconnect machines, devices, and sensors in manufacturing settings. Through real-time data collection and analysis, we empower proactive monitoring, predictive maintenance, and enhanced overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Our IIoT solutions foster improved decision-making and the optimisation of manufacturing processes.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR): Leveraging AR and VR technologies, we enhance manufacturing processes, training, and maintenance. AR solutions offer real-time visual overlays, empowering technicians with contextual information and guidance during assembly or maintenance tasks. VR simulations provide immersive training experiences, minimising the learning curve and bolstering safety.

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