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Accelerating the Trend of Utilising Robotics to Automate Production Processes

Mahesh-WagleCybernetik has been set up as a consultancy in 1989 by a group of engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras, India and the State University of New York at Buffalo, USA. From 10 people operating in less than 100 sq.m. workspace, their footprint in India has expanded to 30,000+ sq.m. across four units, two each in Pune, Maharashtra and Nadiad, Gujarat. A one-stop shop for all automation needs, the company operates through three verticals namely automation, process, and extraction that combine innovation and experience to design, manufacture, and install end-to-end turnkey automation systems to service the food, chemical, pharmaceutical, and other production industries. During an interaction with Nitisha; Mahesh Wagle, Co-founder & Director, Cybernetik shares his plans to accelerate the trend of robotics utilisation to automate production processes in order to manufacture high-quality goods.

Kindly talk about Cybernetik and its latest products.

Cybernetik’s mission is to provide excellence through technology, vision, and practical experience. A one-stop shop for all automation needs, we operate through three verticals namely Automation, Process, and Extraction that combine innovation and experience to design, manufacture, and install end-to-end turnkey automation systems to service the food, chemical, pharmaceutical, and other production industries. All of our solutions are tailored for the unique and specific needs of each client.

Considering our presence in a broad range of industries from wind to pharmaceutical packaging, we can cross-pollinate a wide range of ideas and concepts to deliver out-of-the-box solutions for tech problems that aren’t addressed by standard machines.

For instance, for a reputable participant in the snack food market, we created and implemented a Continuous Mixing & Extrusion System (bhujia maker). The client required, among other things, that the automation generate treats with a homemade flavour and aroma. Through careful management of the process parameters and sequencing, we were able to give the best of both worlds.

In the food business, we automated the industrial cooking process for a significant Ready-to-Eat/Heat (RTE/H) snack food producer, resulting in significant improvements in quality, hygiene, and efficiency.

Some of our other ground-breaking projects include:

  • Robotic sawing and drilling equipment – Useful for several wind turbine manufacturers to replace special purpose machinery (SPM), resulting in a 35–45% reduction in cycle time. It can fully eliminiate rework due to improved precision.
  • Multi-station automation equipment the quick construction of artillery shells for a manufacturer of munitions –The solution first puts the shell’s component components together, then it verifies that they are in the right relative positions. Previously only achievable through manual operation, a procedure manufacturing ammunition cartridges is now entirely automated.

According to a new portal, Cybernetik is aiming to build 5x more factory robots with new unit. Kindly throw some light on its current status.

The 5th manufacturing unit in Raigad, Maharashtra spans across 20 acres at 80,000 sq mt and has a capacity of 120 people. With the new addition, we are looking forward to increasing our production capacity by 15x and catering to several international export markets given its connectivity to the airport and port.

With Buffalo Extraction System, Cybernetik has signed an acquisition in June. What will be the next agenda? Explain.

Ahead of the acquisition of Buffalo Extraction Systems, quite recently, we forayed into a new area of automated solutions including the extraction of organic materials for cosmetics and bio-products through the company. This goes in line with our vision to expand our business into numerous markets as a growing company. It was with the same thought when we launched the Global Partnership Programme, through which we aim to share with foreign partners our subject expertise. As mentioned earlier, with the 5th manufacturing facility, we aim cater to several international export markets such as the USA.

How robots are revolutionising the automotive industry and what developments we can expect from the coming year?

In many diverse components of the automotive industry’s manufacturing process, robots are important players. They are utilised in numerous processes, such as assembly, welding, machine maintenance, material removal, painting, and other risky jobs.

Robots can reduce production costs and get rid of monotonous, physically taxing jobs. Additionally, by shielding people from harmful chemicals, odours, and physical stress, robots can make manufacturing occupations safer. Robots are doing increasingly challenging production tasks and improving product quality as technology advances.

Collaborative robots are becoming more commonplace thanks to recent developments in robotics technology. Collaborative robots, or ‘Cobots’ can work “shoulder to shoulder” with human workers in a shared workspace. By partnering with a human worker to finish complex jobs, they are safe, effective, and accurate, helping to enhance the overall performance metrics of the tasks assigned.

In the coming years, data-driven manufacturing will become more prevalent. Manufacturing will transition from automation to autonomy as Industry 4.0 technologies such as AI, ML, Virtual Reality (VR), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), predictive data analytics, and Augmented Reality (AR) become more advanced. The data-driven model will streamline supply chain and manufacturing operations, increasing resource utilisation and related efficiency as a result.

In electric vehicles industry, what will be your latest offerings and how you are going to promote it?

With the recent focus on EVs, we have been actively collaborating with automakers to develop battery packs that could address safety concerns and are tailored to Indian conditions. In order to automate the procedures at the production plant, we’ve collaborated with some of the industry’s top players, including Bajaj, TVS, and Tata Motors and developed turnkey solutions for them in the area.

Automation is a great way to assemble batteries that last at least for the duration of their specified life and propel the EV across the maximum possible range.  In this regard, we provide solution for fast, accurate, and efficient assembly of cylindrical and prismatic EV batteries. Our solutions provide advantages such as optimum battery life via complete tracking of all quality parameters, total integration of operations from cell testing to stack formation and then to testing at the end-of-line, customized operations via SCADA, safeguarding against electrostatic shocks through ESD Workbench, high speed with accuracy via Servo, Vision Systems, Robot, and Fixtures, error proofing through Poka Yoke and electricity saving via regenerative discharging. By imparting this knowledge to all our audiences as well as addressing the safety concerns associated, we hope to further EVs in the country.

Kindly talk about the year 2021-22 and what is your plan for 2023?

For us, 2022 has been a very exciting year. We took on a number of complex projects that most businesses would often be hesitant to take on. For key players on the Indian market, such as BASF, Sanofi, Bayer, Suzlon, Bajaj Auto, and Bharat Forge, we have created solutions to automate critical business processes. To partner with enterprises globally on robotics and process automation projects, we launched the Global Partnership Program.

Our future plans call for increased usage of augmented reality (AR) to hasten the virtual commissioning process. This is a small portion of a larger strategy to streamline the entire process from design through commissioning. Among the most crucial aspects of this endeavour is the quicker and more accurate integration of data from process simulation into design.

How you are planning to meet the rising demand of automation demand?

Meeting the rising demand for automation was one of our main motivations to establish our new factory. We hope to accelerate the trend of utilising robotics to automate production processes in order to manufacture high-quality goods.

We have been working with some of the biggest robotic manufacturers in the world, which include ABB, Mitsubishi, Yaskawa, Epson etc. We have worked on extremely complicated turnkey projects where complex integration of robots, vision and haptic sensing, servo controls are required.

In order to expedite the virtual commissioning process, we want to use augmented reality (AR) more in the future. This is a component of a bigger initiative to streamline the entire process, from design through commissioning. An essential part of this effort is the quicker and more accurate integration of data from process simulation into design.

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Nitisha Dubey

I am a Journalist with a post graduate degree in Journalism & Mass Communication. I love reading non-fiction books, exploring different destinations and varieties of cuisines. Biographies and historical movies are few favourites.

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