Prod­droid de­vel­ops so­lu­tions to im­ple­ment In­dus­try 4.0 in SSIs

Auto components India - - COVER STORY - Story by: Sricha­ran R

Prod­droid Iden­tity, the Chen­nai-based smart fac­tory so­lu­tion provider, helps com­pa­nies im­ple­ment In­dus­try 4.0 by build­ing cost­ef­fec­tive and af­ford­able so­lu­tions for them. Many com­pa­nies are yet to catch up with the fu­ture of in­dus­trial devel­op­ment ow­ing to ex­or­bi­tant cost. Founded in 2014 by Subra­maniyan NK, Prod­droid has been work­ing with some top man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies to digi­tise and op­ti­mise their pro­cesses.

“We are in ad­vanced dis­cus­sions with a top global smart fac­tory so­lu­tion provider to part­ner with its sys­tem im­ple­men­ta­tion. We are also build­ing 2 cost-ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions for the same. Re­cently, we have signed a con­tract with a Ger­man soft­ware com­pany that pro­vides ver­ti­cal sys­tem that has all the pos­si­bil­i­ties of pre­dict­ing, pre­vent­ing and track­ing,” Subra­maniyan said. The par­ent com­pany of Pod­droid, Dik­sha So­lu­tions, was started in 1997 as a ma­chine tool man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany to serve the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try in South In­dia. After years of ex­pe­ri­ence in prod­uct devel­op­ment and tool man­u­fac­tur­ing, Pod­droid be­gan to sup­ply welded as­sem­blies for the top au­to­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ers In In­dia. They are used in pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles of Ashok Ley­land and TATA Mo­tors. It has a spe­cial pur­pose ma­chine build­ing divi­sion which works closely with the tier-1 and tier-II sup­pli­ers for their process au­to­ma­tion and com­po­nent val­i­da­tion ma­chines.

With this strong knowl­edge in man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nol­ogy and in­dus­trial au­to­ma­tion Pod­droid started its In­dus­trial In­dus­try 4.0 Divi­sion In 2014. Since then the com­pany has been work­ing with some of the lead­ing com­pa­nies in this re­gion to digi­tise and op­ti­mise their pro­cesses. Its In­dus­try 4.0 so­lu­tions and digi­tised com­po­nent sim­u­la­tion test­ing ma­chines are be­ing used by sev­eral top au­to­mo­tive com­po­nent man­u­fac­tur­ers. Pod­droid aims to be­come a global leader in pro­vid­ing smart man­u­fac­tur­ing so­lu­tions and con­sult­ing to digi­tise and op­ti­mise in­dus­trial sys­tems.

“The In­dus­try 4.0, or the fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion of digi­ti­sa­tion, is not known to many man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies, even in the western coun­tries. All of them want to be part of it but many of them do not know where to start from, mainly be­cause of the high cost of im­ple­men­ta­tion. Com­pa­nies like Bosch and SAP have pro­grammes that help in the smart fac­tory so­lu­tions, but many small-scale sup­pli­ers may not be able to af­ford them. The tier-II and tierIII sup­pli­ers will not be able to spend much. Above all, there is not much aware­ness, glob­ally,” Subra­maniyan said.

He said, only re­cently the OEMs have started ed­u­cat­ing sup­pli­ers about the up­com­ing sys­tems. There is no time­line so far for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the smart fac­tory and it all de­pends on the mar­ket pres­sure. Sim­i­lar was the case with ISO cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Many were not keen on try­ing it when it came in 2000. But, when the in­dus­try pushed for it, ev­ery­body took it over. “If an OEM or the reg­u­la­tors force the sup­pli­ers for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of In­dus­try

4.0, there will be a huge change. That is not too far away,” he said. On how the com­pany helps in achiev­ing the smart fac­tory so­lu­tion, Subra­maniyan said, “In­dus­try 4.0 works con­nect­ing ma­chines, get­ting the data and analysing them. This should meet all or­gan­i­sa­tional goals also. We ap­proach it and an­a­lyse the sys­tem first. We make a clear ar­chi­tec­ture on pa­per to im­ple­ment the smart fac­tory so­lu­tion in a com­pany. What we bring will be on how the sys­tem can help us solve the prob­lem of or­gan­i­sa­tional goals like prof­itabil­ity, re­jec­tion etc. When we im­ple­mented this in our com­pany, I was able to see a dif­fer­ence.”

Prod­droid has a cus­tomised plan for all. This is be­cause ev­ery in­dus­trial unit is unique and has dif­fer­ent prob­lems. Pod­droid helps the com­pa­nies by giv­ing real-time in­puts, an­a­lyt­ics and so­lu­tions for their soft­ware to help them with the ba­sic data struc­ture they hold. As they have a ba­sic idea of how the process is, things are eas­ier.

“We have a sep­a­rate mod­ule for ev­ery cus­tomer and we have an idea where things could go wrong. In any in­dus­trial com­pany, there are around 20 types of pro­cesses and th­ese pro­cesses have around 50 types of ma­chines. For ex­am­ple, if it is a plas­tic com­po­nent there will be blow mould and pres­sure mould. If it is a forged com­po­nent, it will be hard forged or cold forged. Man­u­fac­tur­ing is sim­ple, and it is not hard like a soft­ware where there are many mod­ules and pack­ages,” he said.

Pod­droid has In­dus­try 4.0 pack­ages for the smallscale units in the au­to­mo­tive seg­ments. “The next big thing auto man­u­fac­tur­ers want to im­ple­ment is the Smart Man­u­fac­tur­ing sys­tems - In­dus­try 4.0 stan­dards. Au­to­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ers want to in­te­grate lean and qual­ity sys­tem into the new sys­tems so that they can en­sure qual­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity of the sup­ply chain. Now this rev­o­lu­tion is called In­dus­try 4.0. In 2010, we did not have any such name. Long ago, in the au­to­mo­tive area, we have im­ple­mented a sim­i­lar sys­tem for con­nect­ing data, stor­ing and vi­su­al­is­ing them,” Subra­maniyan said.

Go­ing for­ward, he said, there will be big growth in the In­dus­try 4.0 im­ple­men­ta­tion in In­dia and the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor here is show­ing great in­ter­est in adopt­ing it.

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