ACI Bureau

With smart manufacturing on the rise in the manufacturing sector, the Automotive Engineering Show 2019 (AES) recently held in Chennai concentrated on finding ways to boost component and vehicle production. The 12th edition of the event that kicked off on July 4th, witnessed many big names from the industry including Bollhoff Fastenings, Divide By Zero Technologies, Lotos Oil, Nabtesco India etc, explaining their technological advancements in the field of manufacturing.

Rupesh Paparaju, Managing Director, Bettinelli Automation Components Pvt Ltd, Sagar Bhosale, Managing Director, Schmersal India Pvt Ltd, Manish Sahay, Managing Director, Leuze Electronic Pvt Ltd, Sanjeebit Choudhury, CEO, India, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Michael Dehn, General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India Pvt Ltd were present at the inauguration of the event.

AES in Chennai witnessed tremendous growth in the exhibition space and in the number of companies participating. The event showcased technologies and solutions for industrial automation, 3D printing, rapid prototyping, testing, power tools, software and more. Companies like Tata Motors, Staubli, Festo, Eplan, Pepperl & Fuchs, Schmersal, Baumer, Sick India, Pilz India, Wipro 3D, Polyworks, Bharat Forge, Nikon, Carl Zeiss displayed their products at the expo taking the number of companies to 94.

This year AES witnessed around 12 different product launches fitting the needs of OEMs, auto component manufacturers and machine builders. Among the topics that were highlighted at the show were data management for automotive manufacturers, automotive cybersecurity, proactive asset performance management with IIoT and analytics in the automotive industry (India). The event also had workshops conducted by Wipro 3D and Polyworks Software India Pvt Ltd.

Associations like All India Council for Robotics & Automation (AICRA), International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT), Global Automotive Research Centre (GARC), and Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) were also part of the event.

New products on display

Divide By Zero, 3D printer manufacturer, launched AION500 MK3, said to be the world’s fastest FFF 3D printer. It is powered with DBZ patented technology called AFPM (Advanced Fusion Plastic Modeling) technology. The printer can print 10x faster than any 3D printer without losing on mechanical properties, surface finish and accuracy. The high-speed 3D printer uses a special blend of polymers which can be printed faster than conventional 3D printers. It is IoT-enabled and offers professional-level build volume. With multiple connectivity options and sensors, it is one of the most advanced 3D printers available across the globe.

SICK Germany showcased its microScan3, a new generation of safety laser scanners. PHD presented its Pneu-Connect, a cost-effective pneumatic end effector system providing seamless integration for universal robots. This utilises standard PHD pneumatic grippers and works on compressed air – which makes the purchase cost less than half as compared to its competitors. The Pneu-Connect features embedded directional control valves for control of an end-effector through the robot’s tool port. The system easily attaches to the robot arm and is intuitively operated from the Universal Robot interface via the Pneu-Connect UR-CAP software package.

Metal Additive Manufacturing Solution and Service, showcased its Wipro 3Ds steering bracket. It is one of the largest 3D printed automotive components optimised through additive engineering principles and FEA resulting in weight reduction and geometry optimised for the stress path

Nabtesco, displayed its precision reduction gears that are used in the joints of industrial robots to support their accurate and powerful motion

Intech DMLS, a visionary leader in the field of metal-based DMLS 3D printing in India, is working on new innovative process optimisation, new applications and new alloy development. Intech DMLS presented its end-to-end solutions for metal 3D printing technology for the automotive sector.

The software solution provider, Qulaitas Technologies, is bringing in solutions for industrial vision automation, inspection and software based on AI platform solutions. The company showcased advanced vision-guided robotics, surface defect inspection, line scan system, parts inspect etc.

Quantel Technologies India brought its Chroma 17020 high precision system specifically designed for secondary battery modules and pack tests to India. It ensures accurate sources and measurements and a level of test quality that is suitable for performing repetitive and reliable tests. This reliability is crucial for battery modules/packs, for both incoming and outgoing inspections, as well as capacity, performance, production, and qualification testing.

Keysight showcased RP7900 series regenerative power system. It is a family of 5 kW and 10 kW bi-directional, regenerative DC power supplies that reduce the cost of test with highly integrated capabilities. The regenerative capability enables the energy consumed to be put back onto the grid cleanly, saving costs from energy consumption and cooling, while not interfering with the grid. It helps to overcome the toughest power test challenges by delivering industry-leading specifications and innovative features in an integrated solution for today’s advanced high power automated test equipment (ATE) power testing needs. The RP7900 provides the fastest, most accurate, integrated regenerative power system.

Embedded Systems solutions displayed the US-based AKUKA Systems technology – Aukua MGA2510. It is a powerful Ethernet Test system supporting IEEE standards-based automotive ethernet. ACI

Interview

Michael Dehn, General Manager Sales and Marketing, Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India Pvt Ltd.

Q: How do you compare the current edition with the previous one? What are all the key differences?

Dehn: When I joined I already saw that with AES we have a very particular challenge at hand. I could see that the previous edition in 2017 show did not go very well. So I put this as one of my priorities to not only get the show back on its feet, but to get it to make it a really great show. I am really glad because all the big names are here and it’s very hard to achieve. We have involved all the exhibitors in our marketing meetings so that ahead of the show the visitors see not only the branding like Automotive Engineering Show, they also witnessed what is inside. As a visitor, you should know who is there? What do they have? What Innovations can I see? What is industry 4.0? What are the latest trends? That’s what I want to know as a visitor. So we have incorporated a lot of content from our exhibitors and that changed absolutely everything for the current edition. These high-quality companies are here because of the interest in this market and in Chennai which is one of the biggest automotive hubs in India.

Q: So you mean to say that you have achieved what you wanted to?

Dehn: I am actually very happy with this level that we have reached and because of what this show is this year. The next edition would normally be in 2 years, but we have now decided to launch it in Pune next year in May. So we are very happy with this current edition and we want to just make sure that we can be present next year in Pune as well.

Q: Does it mean that hereafter AES will happen every year?

Dehn: Yes, so it’s like alternate editions. Depending on how it goes next year, but I have no doubt that after the show it will have a very good base for the next year.

Q: What is the main reason for choosing Pune as your next destination? Why not New Delhi?

Dehn: It is one of the locations that came up more when we talked to and we felt that the meat over there is bigger. That’s why we chose Pune. We cannot always decide in isolation, we have to talk to our partners or exhibitors, and our association partners. So just make sure that what we do next is in line with what the industry wants and not in line with what we want.

Q: If you look at the current market situation, the automotive industry is slowing and most of the companies utilise such a period to upgarde their facilities. So do you think AES is happening at the right time?

Dehn: If you look at the bigger picture, let us say a longer time span, every temporary slow-down is always followed by an upswing and exhibitions are useful in good times as much as in bad times. Only the focus is changing. Of course in the bad time when there is a slow down the right people want to upgrade their facilities. They want to have more time on their hands to realise innovation and effect efficiencies equally in the good times to make more business. So it doesn’t matter really, good time, bad time, slow down or boom. Exhibitions will always be there to capture the moment of the market and make people make use of that moment. To answer your question, in a slowdown, yes, people are looking more to capital investments and trying to even expand their business to be ready for the next upswing.

Q: What were the new trends in this edition of AES and what were the new product launches?

Dehn: We had at least 10 product launches. I always have to add that because I’m sure there would have been more product launches that the exhibitors may not have told us. For the 10 that we know about the focus areas were automation, 3D printing, measuring and metrology. You can see some astonishing innovations here in 3D printing which are 10 times faster than their previous editions. These kinds of things really matter to the visitors of the show, though it is not huge as Automechanika.

Q: How do you bring your visitors, the key decision makers of the companies?

Dehn: That’s like you are going with a microscope through the market and picking very specific people and that is on the one hand, which is the hardest part and on the other hand is our speciality, that’s what we are good at and it’s a combination of measures that will lead to that audience. But, we do really focus on trying to identify the very specific visitors that we need and then of course the hard part is to convince them to come, because even though visiting is free of charge but spending your time is still something you need to be convinced of. We also decided that it’s worth for a important visitor to fly in from Delhi to visit the show because this combination of exhibitors is not available anywhere else. So we do not have a mass marketing approach for these shows. Our exhibitors also tell us who they want to see and we’re depending on what our exhibitors tell us and combination of that then builds our marketing strategy.

Q: AES 2019 is the 12th edition; how has it grown over the years and what is your plan for the next edition?

Dehn: From last show to this show we have grown some 30%. This industry is a lot smaller than in terms of numbers of companies and so on the growth is not endless here, but for us what is important is that we create and remain the most relevant platform for the automotive engineering fraternity. So that is something which is super important for us. And I think with this edition we have clearly proven that there is only one show and this is like a family gathering for this industry. I see a healthy growth but for this industry there’s a limit to grow also.

Q: Is there any plan to take AES to the global level?

Dehn: I don’t see the opportunities right now. Actually in other markets we also cover this space with a different brand, so we have a more general automation show, which is called SPS. Therefore we are active in this field but not necessarily with the same brand.

Q: What kind of new initiatives are you planning for the next edition?

Dehn: Rather than launching 20 new product segments that we are focusing on, I want to be as complete as possible in the existing ones. So we want to be as complete as possible in 3D printing, measurement and metrology and automation as much as we can. We will also add one or two new focus areas to the show, which we feel are most relevant so that we don’t spread ourselves too thin. Any product that I am advertising to my visitor base, I want to be sure that if the visitor comes he can see several competitors of that product because that’s really the reason why this visitor needs an exhibition to see products from different sources and he can compare them and then choose the best out of them. So that’s why I want to be as complete as possible.

– Bhargav TS

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