OMRON has been working on expanding its offerings in the Sensors arena that have utility across varied industries like building automation, factory automation, home appliances, vending machines, robotics, automotive, energy and medical equipment. Manoj Kodakkatery, Manager-Business Development, Omron Electronics & Mechanical Components Division, in talks with Niloy Banerjee, Consultant Editor, BISinfotech clear-eyed on Omron’s position and focus in the changing IoT and Industry 4.0 landscape. Edited Nub.
- What are the current types of sensors taking traction in the Industrial market and what key products is Omron catering to match the demand?
One of the sweeping trends across varied sensor segments is the rise in demand of ‘IoT based solutions’. Their role is to realize data collection and its intelligent utilization to impart intelligence to the device so that it delivers exceptional performance on the targeted parameters. OMRON has been working on expanding its offerings in the Sensors arena that have utility across varied industries like building automation, factory automation, home appliances, vending machines, robotics, automotive, energy and medical equipment. These are highly compact and durable sensors which when embedded in equipment/devices, collect data and contribute in the proper functioning of the complete solution. This is possible owing to the technologies they come imparted with, such as – human sensing, condition sensing, heat sensing, flow sensing, object sensing, distance sensing, vibration sensing to name a few.
- Manufacturing automation has taken the 2018 charts. Hence, analysing, optimizing automation performances are getting more vital. Meanwhile, ‘overall equipment efficiency’, (OEE) is been much talked about. How is Omron looking into these critical trends?
Some of our products are contributing effectively towards it like Omron environmental sensors. Monitoring and controlling of the environmental parameters is vital in a production environment since it has a direct impact on productivity of humans as well as machines. We are looking in to providing modules which can improve the productivity. Our C type connector module is an example of this endeavor which will provide drastic improvement on the productivity in the testing line of mobile phones and other devices using C type connectors.
3. What is the role of connected technologies and IoT in India’s industrial development and what challenges and opportunities does it underlie?
The IoT based solutions are one of the most notable aspects to create a ‘Connected Factory’. A connected shop-floor with connected supply chains and connected customers is the need of the hour. IoT is necessary to create a seamless interface between all machine layers and information technology leading to transparent & robust production lines based on real-time data based production management enabling the manufacturers to successfully cope up with key challenges, as they scale up the value chain, such as: reducing downtime, decreasing frequency of sudden failures and improving changeover efficiency. The bag of opportunities is extensive comprising of unprecedented levels of productivity, reliability, perfection, uniformity, flexibility, customized solutions, design & energy optimization, finest asset utilization, big data & analytics, worker and machine safety, zero-defect production and above all a perfect match with global standards. Data security, lack of infrastructure, cost and unavailability of trained workforce are some of the impediments dwarfing the progress of adoption of IoT in the manufacturing sector in India.
- Additional maintenance, computer problems and glitches, lack of modern skills among existing personnel, and the cost of change is said a one of the challenges. There is also some concern over the lack of standards and regulations. In this scenario, do you think the Industrial sensor market can also face the wind?
Yes, there will be challenges related to acceptance of the technology, interoperability, standards and regulations in place, gap between value and cost expectations, etc. But we are hopeful that things will change down the line and will ramp up the market need for sensors.
- OMRON lately expanded its reach in the energy segment, what are your strategies to cap this bullish market?
OMRON has a very strong and proven capability when it comes to promoting the adoption of smart energy solutions in India. They say, “Energy saved is equal to energy produced”, and we all know that our power sector has been grappling with issues like AT&C losses, power theft etc. We have innovative solutions for the power utilities who are one of the key stakeholders in the whole energy segment. Of late, we have been trying to build up a strong interface with them so as to showcase the utility of our solutions in managing the AT&C losses which has been counted as one of the biggest challenges in improving the overall performance of the power sector. We have Tamper Detection Sensors which can be embedded in smart meters. These sensors can detect various kinds of meter tampering such as ESD, Jammer, Magnet, Shock, Tilt and Temperature – many of which are considered non-detectable. The sensor not only detects but also measures the value of tampering. The information related to tampering is then shared with the utilities in real time which can be used to take corrective measures.
- Any key product which you want highlight for our readers?
Omron Environmental Sensor, Dust sensor, Thermal Sensor and Earthquake sensor finding enormous utility in innumerable applications across building automation, factory automation, home appliances, vending machines, robotics, automotive, energy and medical equipment sectors.
- What are the company’s growth strategies for FY2018-19?
For OMRON, customer remains a top priority and we are always ready to take up challenges which not only create value to our clients but also improve the overall end-user experience. When it comes to sensors, we want to facilitate accurate and lean data to help innovators develop customized solutions. We strive to anticipate the needs of the society and find the right partners and system integrators who share our vision and wish to create solutions meant for the greater good of public.