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Automation Technologies 5/2014

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Automation Technologies 5/2014

Ten-point-plan for

Ten-point-plan for further growth Gerald Scheffels India´s premier minister Narendra Modi has presented a plan for stable economic growth of the world´s biggest democracy. While European and American companies are investing in India, the domestic industrial giants like Tata, Mittal, Suzlon and Bharat Forge are well established abroad since many years. Headlines like “India´s economy is lacking impetus” could be read in the European financial press in summer 2014, and at first sight they were as ridiculous as the small print in the articles. Why that? There is no denying that the Indian economy grew by 4.9 % (gross national product; GNP) in the fiscal year 2013/14. This not too bad, one should think: In comparison, Germany will achieve a growth of just 1.3 % in 2014 and France a meagre 0.4 %. And, to put it in numbers, the Indian increase of nearly 5 % represents a value of roughly $ 90 billion. Economic growth of 6.5 % is expected for 2015 For 2015, the prospects of the country – which is the world´s second-largest with a population of more than 1,2 billion people – are even better. Analysts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast an increase of 6.5 % for the Indian GNP. And the newly elected premier minister Narendra Modi, representing the economy-friendly Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has announced the basics of an economical reform. The ten-point-plan emphasizes the importance of gaining economic momentum and reducing bureaucratic hurdles. These are good pre-requisites, it seems, for the exhibitors and visitors of the “Industrial Automation INDIA” fair which takes place in Delhi and serves as the global industry´s showcase of industrial automation systems, electrical systems, industrial IT and software and microsystems technology. Some clouds on the horizon It must be said, though, that despite of the general growth of India´s economy there are some clouds not on the horizon but just in the field of vision, and AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 5/2014

news and markets this does not refer to consumer-related industries but to investment goods. According to the German GTAI (German Trade and Invest), demand for high-quality machines and plants has decreased recently, with German imports being reduced by 9 % in the fiscal year 2013/14. All in all, machine imports were 18 % down in comparison to the year before. Even more concerning is the demand for machine tools – always a good indicator for the health of metal-processing industries. For 2013/14 the “Indian Machine Tool´s Manufacturers Association” (IMT- MA) reported a decrease by a third. This is affecting manufacturers in China, Germany, Italy, Japan and the USA who are the main machine importing countries for the Indian industry. Encouraging signals for automation industry On the other hand, the Indian Institute of Packaging is expecting a yearly increase of 12 % for the packaging industry and the next years. As packaging machines and lines are highly automated and equipped with advanced control technology, this is an encouraging signal for automation industry. And GTAI also reports that the local manufacturers of textile machines were able to increase their production and sales by 15 %. Embedded into the global production network Seen from a global view, the Indian industry is well embedded into the international production network. European machine manufacturers – for instance those who serve the textile industry – and their suppliers are producing locally. The global automotive industry is represented with many production sites. On the other hands, successful Indian companies like Bharat Forge, Mittal, Suzlon and Tata have invested abroad and acquired high-tech sites in Europe. Furthermore, many Indian manufacturers mainly for consumer goods have discovered the African markets and are expanding their production facilities. the highly industrialised nations, it is increasingly difficult to achieve a high savings potential by automating industrial processes. In countries like India, the cost-effect relation can be much better. According to Siemens, the automation level in industry is roughly 50 % lower than that in the industrial nations and still 30 % lower than in China. This gap should be closed in the course of India´s progress. The “Industrial Automation Fair” will show components, systems and solutions which are suitable to achieve a higher automation grade in branches like automotive industry and metal processing but also in process industry and infrastructure like energy and water supply. For one thing is certain: Growth of economy and of key performance figures like GNP – and this is a major goal of India´s current ten-point-program – goes ahead with an increasing demand for automation technologies. The right place and the right time for an automation fair So, in consequence, Delhi seems the right place for an automation fair. Prospects for 2015 are encouraging, so the right time is there, too. The exhibitors are well adviced to pay special attention to visitors from packaging and textile industry: These branches are likely to increase production in a double-digit percentage. This means they will need strong suppliers and have potential to invest in new developments. And that is, for sure, a good opportunity to attend an industrial fair and build new relationships between suppliers and manufacturers. Photographs: teaser fotolia New markets for automation There is another reason why India is on the screen of many manufacturers of automation equipment. In AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 5/2014


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