The Indian Industrial equipment industry is backbone of the manufacturing sector and one of the key drivers to economic growth. This sector supplies all the necessary equipment and machinery to other sectors such as mining, construction, power, agricultural, chemical, pharma, consumer products and more. The equipment industry in India has the potential to meet both the domestic as well as the international market demand. Due to COVID-19, the sector has seen significant challenges due the decrease in demand of equipment. However, the demand is anticipated to increase significantly in 2021. Also, there is an expectation of further increase in de-mand as many companies are diverting their supply chain to India. To meet this rise in demand and remain competitive in market, equipment manufacturers need to retool and reinvent the way they design and manufacture their products.
Simulation for Product Design and Manufacturing
Engineering Simulation is the process of using computer-based modelling of real-world objects/system to understand its behaviour and predict the effect of changes. Traditionally, it was predominantly used for design validation of products. Now, it has become more pervasive and is being used over the entire life cycle - from design ideation stage through manufacturing, operations, and maintenance. Using simulation, the equipment manufacturers can quickly turnaround the project, enhance design, reduce operating cost, deliver breakthrough innovation, and get the competitive edge.
Many manufacturing industries are already using simulation as an integral part of their product development. However, there are many, specifically the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), who are yet to adapt this technology in India.
Digitalization in Manufacturing
Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) is the way to bring digital transformation in manufacturing of equipment’s. IIoT is nothing but connecting various manufacturing devices using sensors, actuators, and other devices networked together
with computers. The sensors collect critical production data and use computers or cloud to process this data into valuable insights about the manufacturing operations. This enables manufacturers to take strategic decisions to improve the efficiency, reduce cost, enhance safety and shorten the time to market.
Downtime due to breakdown of critical parts is costly to manufacturers in terms of loss of productivity as well as the maintenance cost. Hence, it is critically important for manufactures to ensure that all equipment is functional at their optimal performance level. Traditionally, reactive or preventive maintenance was used by manufacturers to maintain their production machinery. In reactive maintenance, the parts are either replaced or fixed after they breakdown. Whereas in preventive maintenance, the parts are either changed or maintained before they fail.
Industry 4.0 and the development in Internet of Things (IoT) introduced the concept of predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance allows manufacturers to monitor their equipment regularly and foresee the failure before they occur. This can help to plan maintenance more efficiently and reduce downtime due to failure of parts.
AR/VR in Manufacturing
Engineering Simulation is the process of using computer-based modelling of real-world objects/system to understand its behaviour and predict the effect of changes
Mahesh Kadam, Technology Expert – Manufacturing, Ansys
Augmented Reality (AR) is the technology that enhances your experience of real word products with computer generated perceptual information. Virtual Reality (VR) is the technology where your perception of real word product is completely based on virtual information. AR/VR technology is popular in gaming and infotainment and it’s gradually getting popular in various other industries as well.
In manufacturing industry, this technology can be used in various ways. VR can be used to demonstrate how the actual product will look like without creating a physical prototype. AR can be used to substitute the instruction manuals with digital instructions, which are overlaid on the operators filed of view, reducing the mental efforts and time to read and to memorise them.
AR/VR technology can also be used in remote maintenance, where the technical team sitting in a remote location can assist operators. This can help reduce the down time and increase productivity. VR can also be used to train operators to handle machinery and conduct processes in virtual environment.
With each new development in mechanical engineering, there is the ongoing demand from operators for technically fully matured machines that are not only easy to service, but also available on a daily basis with a long lifespan and a high level of energy efficiency. In order to meet these multiple demands, manufacturers need to embrace simulation in industrial equipment manufacturing.