Ashish Gaikwad, Managing Director, Honeywell Automation India Ltd

Ashish Gaikwad, Managing Director, Honeywell Automation India Ltd

11:31 AM, 14th July 2017
Ashish Gaikwad, Managing Director, Honeywell Automation India Ltd
Ashish Gaikwad, Managing Director, Honeywell Automation India Ltd.

Going digital, one step at a time

In an interview, Ashish Gaikwad with Chemical Today Magazine points out that going digital is the only way forward for the industry. However, he is also of the opinion that Indian SMEs need to change their mindset first before changing their technology. And this can be done with one step at a time.

By Shivani Mody

Use of digital technologies (apps, virtual simulation) for process industry.

The use of mobile apps for process operations is happening right now for the day-to-day operations. Considering working professionals, people will live the same lives in their private and professional surroundings. And working with apps is fast becoming a major part of everyday living.

Our 3D virtual simulation technology is focused on both console and field operators. The software solution specifically addresses operator competency issues and helps prepare them faster through realistic training experiences. In developing or emerging economies such solutions can help to address the issue of skills challenges. Added to this, training with the simulation technology will be an interesting learning for professionals and students both alike. In future, collaborating with universities for such professional learning can be a possibility.

‘Connected Plant’ helping to develop the connected supply chain.

Firstly we need to have the visibility of the end to end supply chain. We need to start from the demand - what is being asked for in the market and if you are even able to predict that demand because you have past data and you have certain data analytics. Also sometimes the data and requirements, especially for the chemical industry have a seasonality, for eg. considering the agrochemicals segment, they have more demand during the monsoon period. This gives a set of chemical requirements during certain periods that can be bundled along with the demand. If we can predict these demands and bring the data into the production part of the plant, it will support the purchase of the raw materials in accordance with the end requirement. This will help in connecting the dots and also show the power of connected. This way, you are not planning in isolation but are working as per the demand from the various teams and market place. You are also able to manage the demand looking at your maintenance and downtime schedules, for the plants. This will also enable you to plan maintenance and downtime schedules well in advance and during slow periods. If you do this well and if you have insights from the software, then your productivity can go up multifold. That’s where you can reduce waste, improve efficiency, plan for proper time to market. We have multiple products that help in bringing the entire supply chain together to work as an integrated entity. This is also same in the case of refineries as well.

Digital technology implementation at Reliance India.

One of our prominent client’s in India is Mumbai-headquartered Reliance Industries Limited having holdings across the oil & gas supply chain, in exploration and production, refining and petrochemicals.

Reliance has implemented Honeywell’s software and technology to improve upon the performance of the entire enterprise. With the Real Time KPI Performance Management system, Reliance delivers performance matters and captures knowledge. They have intelligent programmes to prioritise actions. The system supports collaboration from a single uniformed performance management system from the engineer in the field, to the shift manager in the control room, to the vice president of operations in the board room. Reliance uses one system to collaborate, move quickly and coordinate decision making. The company is operating the Plant of the Future today. Its digital transformation has created a connected enterprise that is safer, more efficient and ultimately more profitable.

Automation solutions adoption by chemical companies.

Our approach is not a big bang but to do pilots and then scale it up. I advise chemical companies to start small. They can do proofs of concepts. Take a small portion of it and implement it successfully so that the mindset can be changed. More than the technology it is the mindset that we need to change. That is always a challenge. About 25 years ago when automation was to be implemented by the industry, people were not convinced that automation would really make a difference and improve productivity. Today nobody is questioning it. When you put up a plant, automation is automatically a part of it. Nowadays, management is not questioning the reasoning or asking for a justification of the ROI. We envision the same phenomenon for the Connected Plant offerings, and largely for the IIOT, maybe five to ten years from now. But for that, we need to improve the confidence of the community and in turn confidence of the industry. This can be surely achieved by successfully implementing smaller pilots or proofs of concepts and that is the opportunity as well.

Implementing Connected Plant solutions for SMEs in India.

The bigger industries will definitely go ahead and take advantage of the connected plant solutions. They have the bandwidth, the intent and the need as they scale their operations. But the small and medium enterprises is a space where we need to nudge the technology towards.

If we activate productivity in the SMEs in India the ‘Make In India’ concept can really be successful. The challenge, however, is that maybe individual small manufacturers may not have enough capital or operations to adopt these solutions. This is a reality that cannot be denied. But here we can leverage the economies of scale. We can bring in some of the solutions that are exclusive to bigger customers, by dividing the cost into multiple SMEs in a particular area. That is one of the areas we can make a difference. There can be a cluster-wise implementation say between the belt of Mumbai to Baroda/Ankleshwar/Bharuch. Here the advantage is that there is an ecosystem that already exists. Individually the companies may not be able to afford all the solutions. But if they come together and partner with industry players such as Honeywell then the solutions can become affordable. We are also interested in working more with the government, federations such as the CII and cluster associations to make this idea reality.

Solutions for India.

In India, we provide both the standard and customised solutions. We cannot have one size that fits all. Even if it is the same chemical industry, every plant is different and there will be certain nuances that need to be addressed. Our solutions are flexible in order to bring in all the good practices, which are standard and then tweak it for it to become customizable for a particular facility need.

© Chemical Today Magazine

See the Interview in Chemical Today magazine

View the magazine on Mobile, download the Chemical Today magazine app 



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