Sonali Mulay, Director & Head of Tools Production Unit, Sandvik Coromant in an interaction with Industry Outlook Magazine shares her views on how the recent technological advancements are shaping the future of the Industrial machinery manufacturing industry, how the Industrial machinery manufacturing industry is adapting to produce more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly machinery with sustainability and more.
Sonali Mulay is a seasoned leader with 25+ years of experience in team management spanning manufacturing, facility management, and sustainability, driving operational efficiency for organizational growth. She completed her Masters in Business Administration from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies.
How do you see recent technological advancements shaping the future of the Industrial Machinery Manufacturing industry?
Recent technological advancements profoundly influence the Industrial Machinery Manufacturing industry, primarily through digitalization. This transformation necessitates the convergence of machining expertise, operational technology (OT), information technology (IT), and specific technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. Integrating these elements into a cohesive strategy empowers manufacturers to adapt, streamline operations, and ensure future resilience.
Companies are expanding their capabilities and embracing digitalization, leading to innovative collaborations between equipment providers and IT firms, creating substantial value for customers. Additionally, the automotive industry is witnessing a shift towards lightweighting, particularly with the use of aluminum to enhance sustainability. However, machining aluminum alloys presents challenges such as complex processes and tool requirements. Overcoming issues like time-consuming setups, subpar surface finishes, burr formation, and uneven tool wear necessitates the adoption of appropriate tools for efficient aluminum machining.
With increasing emphasis on sustainability, how is the Industrial Machinery Manufacturing industry adapting to produce more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly machinery?
In the pursuit of sustainability, there is a shared goal to reduce carbon footprints and increase the utilization of green energy by 2030. To align with this strategy and the Clean Energy Strategy framework, continuous efforts are made to minimize environmental impacts within the industry. A significant source of CO2 emissions stems from electricity consumption, often derived from coal sources. To address this, work is underway to reduce internal electricity usage, optimize electrical consumption, and leverage solar power through rooftop installations. Moreover, to offset CO2 emissions, Renewable Energy Certificates (I-ReC) are being obtained in proportion to emissions.
While there remains much progress to be made in achieving global climate objectives, it is a collective challenge that demands attention. The manufacturing industry, along with broader society, has a role to play by championing innovative solutions that contribute to a healthier and more sustainable world.
Can you provide examples of how the industry adapts to meet evolving compliance requirements?
Compliance is not just about following laws to avoid fines or even jail. Having control over our compliance is crucial for building and maintaining trust with customers, suppliers, other stakeholders, and the general public. Companies with the highest level of integrity are proven to be better workplaces, more sustainable, and more profitable. But it requires courage and a company culture spreading from the top down to the floor and up again.
It's the business' responsibility to make sure that the compliance processes are in place and working in the organization. Therefore, business managers need to build and maintain a robust "compliance house" for their respective parts of the organization. Increasing engagement within the company, building a strong brand, and managing reputation to help achieve business objectives Compliance at Sandvik is about adhering to rules and standards concerning four areas: Anti-bribery and anti-corruption ("ABC"), Anti-trust or competition law, Data privacy, Trade and customs.
How are companies within the industry embracing digitalization and data-driven approaches to enhance production processes, quality control, and customer experiences?
The rise in industrial automation in India is a major factor that is driving the machine tool market share growth. The growing demand to reduce manual labor inputs and increase productivity has fuelled the adoption of automated technologies. Industrial automation is improving the bottom line, operational efficiency, and productivity of manufacturers. The adoption of 3D printing technology is another factor supporting the machine tool market share growth in India. The major factors driving the adoption of 3D printing are its low manufacturing cost, faster manufacturing, easiness to be upgraded, low energy consumption, and reduced waste production. Additionally, the adoption of 3D printing technology will grow in the machine tool market in India as the technology will enable adherence to the specification requirements of different customers. In 2023, our mission will remain centered on shaping the future of manufacturing through digitalization in collaboration with our vital and exciting partners.
With a focus on sustainability, how is the industry addressing product lifecycles and promoting circular economy principles in machinery design, production, and end-of-life processes?
In alignment with sustainability goals, a focus is placed on specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as good health and well-being, gender equality, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation, and infrastructure, responsible consumption and production, and climate action. Custom sustainability goals tailored to businesses are essential to enhancing sustainability while promoting growth, with integration into core business processes being critical.
While basic sustainability measures like small-scale recycling projects and reducing paper usage in meetings are entry points, they fall short of comprehensive sustainability strategies in manufacturing and engineering firms. Ideally, sustainability efforts should enhance business functions relevant to market positioning.
To improve the metal production sustainability, priorities include:
Tool recycling: Approximately 95% of used carbide inserts can be recycled, with tungsten comprising 75%. Tungsten reserves can last for a century with responsible recycling.
Tool reconditioning service: Encouraging customers to utilize tool reconditioning services, which restore nearly all solid carbide tools to their original specifications, extending their lifespan.
Could you provide insights into the current global trends driving demand in the Industrial Machinery Manufacturing sector?
Urbanization: With over half the world's population residing in cities, expected to reach two-thirds by 2050, urbanization brings both challenges (pollution and infrastructure issues) and opportunities for innovative solutions. Meeting the demands of growing cities necessitates a digital transformation in both the public and private sectors.
Industry 4.0: Industry 4.0 is reshaping our lives and work by combining advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Manufacturing is increasingly driven by digitization, leading to the emergence of smart factories. Automation enhances flexibility, efficiency, and precision in manufacturing, resulting in predicted growth in labor productivity, capacity utilization, and total output.
Demographic Shifts: The global population is projected to grow by over 1 billion by 2030, primarily in emerging markets. Aging populations and declining birth rates create a workforce challenge. Manufacturers may face labor shortages, reduced productivity, and skill gaps. Early investment in automation and digital skills can address these workforce shifts.
Sustainable Development: Challenges like water scarcity and rising CO2 levels demand a shift towards sustainable practices outlined in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. Manufacturing can play a pivotal role by sourcing ethical materials, decarbonizing supply chains, and transitioning to a circular economy. Leveraging technology for operational efficiencies is essential for meeting sustainability goals in the manufacturing sector.