Smart manufacturing in India – L&T leads the way

06 Jun 2022 | Business Today Desk

Industry 4.0 implemented at its 12 manufacturing facilities, including at Hazira.

IIOT or the Industrial Internet of Things is enabling Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution across the world. L&T, a leading Indian multinational engaged in EPC Projects, Hi-Tech Manufacturing and Services, is a pioneer in the adoption of Industry 4.0 in India.

Larsen & Toubro saw the opportunity of digital as two-fold. First, to Digitally transform its own operations and use these new technologies to get better at what it was already doing well. Second, to look at Digital as a new business opportunity that could shape its future portfolio. L&T started doing both and it acted swiftly with determination, speed, and scale. Beginning with digitalisation of its Construction business, it started executing Industry 4.0 agenda across its Hi-tech Manufacturing facilities.

“We at Heavy Engineering embraced digital technologies to differentiate our products & services. At our digital enabled AMNHE complex we have deployed more than 100 IIOT welding Smart Workstations, which helped us establish not only reliable consistent On Time delivery performance for our customers, but also create new global benchmarks through significant improvements in productivity and quality. De-skilling of operations has helped us to operate multiple IIOT smart workstations by one operator” says Anil V Parab, Senior Vice President & Head, L&T, Heavy Engineering.

“L&T today is proof that Digital Transformation can be done, at scale and speed and yields tremendous benefits and transforms how people work and take data driven decisions.”

The nerve center of much of this sea change is at L&T’s largest manufacturing facility, the A M Naik Heavy Engineering Complex at Hazira, Surat in Gujarat, which is as large as a modern township where the company leverages IIoT.

Besides Hazira, L&T has 12 other similar engineering and manufacturing sprawls in other parts of India. L&T has undertaken a digitalisation and IIoTisation initiative everywhere. Its footprint at the company can be seen across all areas be it manufacturing, engineering, quality, marketing, finance and many more.

One of the leading clients of Heavy Engineering arm of the company, Mr. Kimitoshi Sano, Technical Leader, Vendor Technical Support Group, Mechanical Engineering Department, JGC Yokohama, Japan comments on benefits of IIoTisation accruing to L&T’s customers, “Quite impressed with the digital IIoT welding stations & internet enabled facilities at A M Naik Hazira Manufacturing shops. Having visited 400+ fabricator across the globe, I can put on the record that facilities developed at Larsen & Toubro are unmatched in the present times.”

L&T’s manufacturing complex at Hazira is a multi-facility campus that covers a modular fabrication facility, heavy engineering, defence and power equipment manufacturing facilities. Besides, the complex also has one of the world’s largest forging facilities, large scale material handling capabilities and a roll-on-roll-off slipway.

“I have no hesitations to say that L&T is one of most sophisticated IIoT shops in the field of pressure vessel business and capable of meeting future challenges,” Mr. Sano added further.

L&T Heavy Engineering (LTHE), one of L&T’s many business verticals, has the largest shopfloor at Hazira – about 1-lakh sq m spread over multiple bays. Over the past few years, LTHE has been automating its manufacturing processes by leveraging digital technologies and IoT. One such innovation ensures the delivery of the right welding consumables to specified locations within the huge shop floor.

While this is a small yet significant example of innovation and automation, HE is doing a lot more. For instance, starting in 2019, it IoTised all its head welding stations. One welder operates three stations remotely. This makes the life of a welder easy and increases his/her productivity even on a preheated job of up to 200 degree Celsius.

Almost all the other L&T verticals that have units at Hazira – L&T Defence, L&T Hydrocarbon, joint ventures such as L&T MHI Power Boilers (LMB), L&T-MHI Power Turbine Generators (LMTG), L&T Howden and L&T Special Steel & Heavy Forgings (LTSSHF) have many automations to showcase.

On their shopfloors, L&T Defence, L&T Hydrocarbon and LMB have each deployed robotic welders. It performs more efficiently and with higher precision than a human. L&T Defence has also deployed a digital CNC gantry milling machine that has ‘revolutionsed’ its machining process. In machining jobs, the gantry type CNC milling machine can deliver accuracy even at 20 microns.

LMB, which manufactures supercritical boilers and pulverisers for power plants, has also IoTised all its major manufacturing equipment such as gantry driller, overhead cranes, horizontal boring machines, air compressors, etc.

These initiatives towards smart manufacturing results in ensuring real-time safety, enhanced productivity, global quality, on-time delivery, unique customer experience in the supply of complex engineered to order hi-tech equipment to varied industries.

The digitalisation and IoTisation initiatives on L&T’s shopfloors are representative of the silent revolution the conglomerate is ushering in India’s manufacturing spectrum. As regards future engineering, what L&T is doing today, others will surely aspire to do tomorrow.

- END -


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