Vedanta Aluminium goes digital to ensure business continuity during pandemic

  • Industry News
  • May 10,21
With this, the aluminium manufacturer will make full use of technology and limit the need for human interventions to sustain operations.
Vedanta Aluminium goes digital to ensure business continuity during pandemic

Vedanta Aluminium & Power Business, India’s largest producer of aluminium and value-added aluminium products, has accelerated deployment of cutting-edge technologies and digital solutions to safeguard its workforce against COVID-19 and sustain production to meet the country’s raw material needs with respect to this strategic metal - aluminium.

Vedanta Aluminium & Power has adopted digital-first ways of working to make its operations future-ready by integrating best-in-class digital solutions, building in efficiencies, and optimizing costs and raw material consumption in its mission to become the world's leading producer of the ‘green metal’ aluminium. Implementation of automation and digitalization solutions at its the plants have enabled the company to produce high-quality aluminium and value-added products for critical industry sectors, while also providing a step-change in health, safety & environment (HSE) performance parameters.

Ajay Kapur, CEO – Aluminium & Power & MD – Commercial, Vedanta Ltd., said, “Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in India last year, we have fast-tracked adoption of best-in-class digital technologies, intelligent automation and inhouse innovations to safeguard our workforce across aluminium & power business units. As India’s largest manufacturers of aluminium, a strategic raw material for the country’s key growth sectors, we are ensuring business continuity with reduced manpower to keep the wheels of the economy running. Looking at the rapidly escalating pandemic scenario countrywide, besides ramping up COVID treatment infrastructure and quarantine facilities, we have also pivoted our ways to working to make full use of technology and limit the need for human interventions to sustain operations.”

The aluminium producer has vaccinated over 7500 of its people across its plants and augmented the capacity of its COVID Care Centres and quarantine centres, which are equipped with medical staff and infrastructure to provide proper care to the affected. Vedanta is also supporting the local district administrations in its areas of operation, helping them with testing kits, medicines and medical gear, oxygen/oxygen cylinder requirement, etc. Few examples of technology deployment by the company to sustain production and support its workforce and communities:

Digital Smelter Solution, the first in India, deployed at its aluminium smelter in Jharsuguda, Odisha, uses digital twin technology for human-less monitoring and control of potline operations, enhances energy efficiency, reduces raw material consumption and arrests wastage of material through remote advisory system.

Digital collaboration platforms with advanced functionalities are enabling seamless connectivity between employees, service providers, customers, and plant sites at all times.

Telemedicine facility for communities at Vedanta’s hospitals in Lanjigarh (Odisha) and BALCO (Chhattisgarh) for e-consultation, along with 24x7 medical helpline and home-delivery of medicines.

First-in-the-industry Deep Learning algorithms and various advanced model techniques allow Advanced Asset Performance Management at Vedanta’s smelters and power plants.

Advanced data analytics deployed in its power plants use digital twin technology for predictive and prescriptive analytics to ensure greater efficiency, avoid downtimes and reduce safety risks with minimal or zero human touch.

OSI soft’s PI (Process Information) System, a one-of-a-kind industrial IoT solution, implemented at Jharsuguda plant uses machine learning and predictive analytics to boost operational efficiency and productivity.

Digital Logistics Control Towers for coal, alumina and bauxite uses classical Machine Learning and OR (Operations Research) based mathematical modelling to reduce commodity costs, pilferages and process ineffectiveness from mines through plants to ports.

Using vision analytics and contextual analytics in multiple plant sites like identification of hot spots in ICTs (information and communication technology) for improving asset reliability.

Vedanta’s Jharsuguda unit is certified with the ISO/IEC 22301:2012 (BCMS – Business Continuity Management System) for business continuity, which certifies that that the company is best prepared for a disruptive incident, while having the capabilities to resume critical functions immediately aided by technology.

To bolster security of workforce and assets, BALCO, Vedanta’s iconic subsidiary, has developed a highly sophisticated Centralized Security Operations Centre (CSOC) that marries several cutting-edge security solutions like edge-based security analytics for incident detection and response to effective management of security resources on the ground, besides enablement of intelligence collection.  

BALCO has recently launched the ‘Sentinel’ application for tracking real-time status (Active/In-Active) of identity cards, thereby strictly monitoring personnel movement inside plant and township premises.

The Manufacturing Execution System (MES) ensures visibility of all critical plant operations and allows for decision making remotely through mobile applications, while employees can maintain social distancing and yet fulfil their activities on the plant floor.

Robotics Process Automation (RPA) is being tested to boost efficiency while optimizing repetitive processes.  

Within the plants, GPS, RFID sensors, OR (Operations Research) based schedule modelling at each operational point capture automated operational parameters, thereby ensuring minimum physical proximity.

A ‘Centre of Innovation Excellence’ has been established to invent the next big thing in aluminium to fuel the company’s competitive edge. The Centre sees the culmination of ideas from key verticals like Research & Development, Technical, Operations and Marketing.

Vedanta’s ‘Centre of Quality Excellence’ ensures global best standards of quality across its value chain, from procurement to sales.

Vedanta Spark, a start-up incubator, fosters ideation and accelerate adoption of emerging technologies. The company is already working with over 20 start-ups on various business solutions for the industry.

Vedanta Saathi, the company’s recently launched flagship initiative for Indian MSMEs, provides technology augmentations and digital solutions like e-commerce for MSMEs to grow and evolve their business in partnership with Vedanta.

Vedanta Aluminium & Power Business, a division of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of Aluminium, producing almost half of India’s Aluminium or 1.9 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) in FY20, and is also one of the largest private power producers in the country. BALCO is a part of Vedanta’s Aluminium and Power Business. Vedanta is a leader in value-added Aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. With its world-class smelters, power plants and alumina refinery spread across India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of Aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.

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