Industrial Automation Magazine India



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How industry should cope with the disruption ?

During these trying times when the industry is heavily affected with economical issues came up the pandemic called Covid 19 and disrupted the industry completely. We at Industrial Automation Magazine have taken an initiative to bring the industry together and share their viewpoints so that others reading can take measures accordingly to have minimal damage.

About the industry expert

Disclaimer: The views expressed in interviews are personal, not necessarily of the organisations represented.

Shajee Kozhukkunnon, comes with 25+ years of experience in the industry working with Various MNCs like Schneider Electric, Cutler Hammer and Moxa. Currently he is leading the rail business for Moxa India. He has been a speaker in many Rail events in India. He is an IIM Bangalore Alumnus and a graduate in Electrical and Electronics engineering.

Has the present Corona Virus strain caught the world unaware and unprepared ?

Yes, it is obvious. Nobody ever imagined anything of this sort will really happen. We never had any prior experience of such a magnitude to even imagine it.

What are the implications for business in the near, medium and long term ?

In the near term the business will have a deep negative impact especially in April-Jun Quarter. However in the medium term we are optimistic to see a V curve of revival. The glimpses of this revival can be seen in the Jul-Sep Quarter itself. In the long term, from 2021 we hope to see a sharp reversal of trend and have a big positive growth in the infrastructure as we expect government will inject money into these sectors.

How can governments be better prepared to handle such pandemics in future ?

Such extreme cases come very rarely. Even if they repeat after few years the requirements will be totally different. However if the similar cases repeat in the near future, the operating procedure learned now can be extremely useful.

High accuracy thermal scanners are available but are not used possible due to high costs. Would they be more effective ?

Temperature is just one of the many possible symptoms of COVID19. Measuring the temperature alone is not a comprehensive test to confirm any disease. High accuracy is not one of the key thing here. Hence going for very high accuracy temperature measurement devices does not really add value.

Now that businesses are getting used to the Work From Home culture, will this signal a paradigm shift ?

Not really. Work from home is not effective across all sectors. IT sector may be an exception. Rest all sectors still need physical presence. As soon as the epidemic is under control, the employees will be back to their offices. However, international travel can be avoided making use of the online meetings. This could become a norm soon, as it is more cost efficient and time efficient.

Some analysts have suggested this crisis will boost automation and make a case for Lights Out manufacturing. Your comments ?

I also think so. There are indications from the pharma industry for the demand for touch free operation and data collection. This will also create more usage of wireless technology in networking and data collection. This will be a new trend post COVID19. Lights out manufacturing could be a case in developed countries, but it will take a long way for India to catch up to such systems considering the prevailing high unemployment situation and cheap labor availability.

What are the lessons from this crisis ?

The key lessons from this crisis are:
1. In the Corporate world most important resource is manpower and they are retained in Crisis situations
2. Majority of People are optimistic and they are active in this lock down sharpening their skills.
3. Patience and discipline deliver the results in any worse condition.

#April 2020 Covid Special

To say the world is passing through trying times is to state the obvious. Also evident is the fact that for too long the world has been ignoring the warning signs of environmental degradation fuelled by human excesses and greed. But this is no time for ifs and buts, nor recrimination. Instead, the crisis should be used as an opportunity to make the required course correction to make the world a safer place for all living beings, and the ecological balance, restored. Industrial Automation invited a cross section of industry leaders to offer their views and possible course of action as a way forward from this situation, even as governments across the world and the people are trying to make sense from the still evolving scenario. To read the full cover story Please click here