Automation in Indian manufacturing

Technoshell Automations grows using B&R automation solutions

VIAShardul Sharma
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Technoshell Automations
Nikhil Baste, owner of Technoshell Automations

Nashik-based Technoshell Automations manufactures machines for printing and packaging applications. The company expertise lies in designing and manufacturing of high-quality automated hot foil stamping machines and labelling machines as well as machines for tube capping and packing. Technoshell caters to customers in personal care, cosmetics, automotive, FMCG, among others. The company has a significant footprint in the export market and supplies its machines to more than 35 countries. About 60% of Technoshell’s business is derived from exports.

Technoshell’s 1800 square meter plant in the Nashik MIDC has an in-house setup for wiring of control panels and software programming and has state-of-the-art production capacity with latest CNCs, VMCs and inspection instruments.

Leveraging the B&R technology
During its initial years, Technoshell deployed embedded controller developed in-house. However, this turned out to be a handicap, as overseas customers were not very receptive to the controllers. “Thus, the company felt the need to move to a globally renowned brand of automation controllers and products,” says Nikhil Baste, owner of Technoshell Automations. “We choose B&R as our automation partner and have been using their solutions for the last 12 years. We got the right quality versus cost ratio with B&R. We believe in long-term partnerships at the customer’s end as well as the vendor’s end,” says Baste.

Fortunately for Technoshell, partnership with B&R came at the same time when the company forged a technical collaboration with a Swiss machine manufacturer who was also using B&R as one of their automation partner. “Thus, we did not have to change anything to move jointly ahead in the market. B&R offers a seamlessly coordinated product range that covers all performance classes. Apart from this, commitment and support from B&R team is always up to the mark, which is a value addition for us,” shares Baste.

Automation and Industry 4.0
In the Indian packaging sector, consumer demands and advanced production processes are fuelling rapid adoption of new technologies such as industrial Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 and digitization. According to Baste, manufacturers have started realizing the benefits of Industry 4.0 in terms of competitiveness, efficiency, agility, lower costs and higher returns, etc. In the packaging industry, machines must be very reliable as they operate at high volumes and any unplanned production downtime is a nightmare, he says.

“Manufacturers do everything in their power to avoid unplanned downtime and turn to predictive maintenance approaches, which reduces or even eliminates unplanned equipment downtime. Remote access and data logging are also in demand. Such solutions are always welcome by the industry. One feature I want to highlight is the use of mapp Technology from B&R in our newly developed hot foil stamping machines, which drastically reduces the development time for new machines and systems. mapp has also enabled easier maintenance and diagnostics by giving us access to control variables without the need for dedicated software, special training or access to source code. With mapp, we are able to provide such high-end technology solutions, cost-effectively to our customers,” shares Baste.

Technoshell is also expanding to help achieve its growth target of becoming a Rs. 100 crore company. “We have already expanded our operation and factory in Nasik and have acquired space for a second facility. In coming years, we aim to make our factories Industry 4.0 ready and we look at using B&R’s APROL factory automation solution. Experience gained through the adoption of these new technologies within our own manufacturing facilities will help us understand the need of our customers better and offer them appropriate solutions,” states Baste.

Technological adoption key to growth
Adopting new advanced technologies is the need of the hour for Indian machine manufacturers, especially capital equipment manufactures need to be in touch with latest technologies, argues Baste. “Manufacturing the same machine and selling it will only suffice and guarantee a machine manufacturer revenue for about two or three years. If he fails to adopt new technologies, he will eventually be outdated and lose market share. My suggestion to our fellow Indian machine manufacturers is to embrace new technologies as early as possible and stress on quality to reduce cost of ownership and be competitive globally. Technoshell is proud to be a technology leader in our market,” Baste concludes.

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