Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Interaction- Rahul Shorey, Head- Sales CE, Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery

        

 

Tata Hitachi’s ConSite system is the first and probably only system which offers recommendations to the customers based on their performance and gives a comparative picture comparing it against the regional average

 

ConSite, a telematics suite in Tata Hitachi construction equipment enhances the operational performance of its customers, leading to improved profitability and competitiveness. The company’s consistent growth and success has been built on the foundation of its ability to understand customer needs and provide technologically advanced equipment alongside world - class support solutions. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, RAHUL SHOREY, HEAD - SALES, CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT, TATA HITACHI CONSTRUCTION MACHINERY, speaks about the latest technology trends, his company’s, cutting edge technologies,  data secrecy  and a lot more.

 

 

 

 

Your views on how and to what extent have latest technologies like telematics, AI, etc revamped the project execution in construction/infrastructure domain.

 

Telematics and digital technologies have enabled to bring the worksite to the palms of the project manager. Digital evolution has ensured integration of telematics data with the project team’s internal ERP as well as seamless flow of information between the machine and the system.

 

It has therefore become easier to plan optimum output, schedule maintenance, keep a tab on operation costs, monitor health and productivity of equipment, as well as to make more accurate time projections, which were earlier more heuristic in nature.

 

With ever increasing competition among project contractors and very dynamic currency and commodity markets, maintaining a healthy margin is very challenging.

 

Digital technologies help to plan critical portions of the earlier variable nature of expenses pertaining to equipment. This enables them to focus more on the non-equipment related parts of their business.

 

 

 

Cutting edge technologies featured in your machines, was it leveraged as a value addition to your clients or was it customers demand.

 

Tata Hitachi’s latest ZAXIS GI series excavators come preloaded with ConSite, a telematics suite from Hitachi Japan. Through this system, the operation, location, health and alarm status of the machine can be accessed online. Apart from this, the equipment identifies any faults and informs Tata Hitachi, its dealer and the customer. Detailed troubleshooting is also done subsequently through the system.

 

Apart from this, ConSite computes the current performance and critical health parameters with that of other similar machines in the region and benchmarks the target machine against the regional average according to specific parameters. This helps to isolate extraneous values and to have an idea of the ambient working conditions. This goes a long way to better diagnose the conditions of the machine. Some of these technologies aim at providing solutions to the latent demand of the customer. Sometimes it may be known to them, at other times, it may not be clearly articulated. But seeing the popularity of the system, there is no doubt that it is indeed valued by our customers.

 

 

Provide a case study or details of the benefits accrued to your end user from the digital technologies in your machine.

 

Some of the other benefits of the ConSite system is also to observe the operation patterns with respect losses like idling, swinging, travelling, or use of higher power modes. Some of these parameters are graded as “A” to “D” where A is better. This gradation has been done based on tons of practical experience and vast amounts of operations data analyzed by Hitachi. This gradation gives a direction to the customer to look for losses in his operations and attempt to improve the operations and thereby save money. There are several cases of huge fuel savings due to reduction of such losses in operations by our customers.

 

 

Details us as to how these technologies improve productivity and lower TCO. Also detail us on the initiatives taken by your company to train the operators and end users.

 

Digital technologies help plan for maintenance and breakdowns. Sometimes the cost of unannounced and unanticipated breakdown in some critical activity can have very severe consequences. Knowing the possibility of such a happening upfront can help save on money and distress. Similarly, identification of the exact losses in the operations being carried out is also an easier way to reduce them than working absolutely in the dark. This directly helps increase productivity. Also, resolving breakdowns quickly is enabled by fault diagnosis and troubleshooting guides to enable proactive closure of issues without relying too much on the skill of the service engineer alone. All this helps in improving productive time, and in reducing the cost of operations.

 

Tata Hitachi trains all site operators and operations teams on best practices of operations and maintenance of their machines. Special training is also given to site teams and managers on our telematics systems and how they can be used to improve their operations to work more profitably.

 

 

To what extend and how have these technologies helped your company in Aftermarket services.

 

The increasing population of machines puts enormous pressure on service resources. To maintain good quality and level of service can also put a lot of strain on the profitability of operations. With the use of telematics systems like ConSite, Tata Hitachi has managed to phenomenally increase the productivity of the ground service team.

 

ConSite helps to plan scheduled maintenance services and gives advance information of critical alarms,which often eliminates the need for a breakdown service visit. Even in cases of breakdowns, the auto diagnosis and troubleshooter help close cases quickly and free resources to attend to other machines. Digital solutions also help us identify usage patterns of machines and to plan for service visits thereby bringing even much older machines into the fold of our support system. This not only improves business for Tata Hitachi but also keeps the customer’s machines in good health.

 

 

Detail us on the challenges faced while adopting and imbibing technologies in your machines, availability of vendors, customized software requirements and acceptance of these technologies by medium and small users.

 

While Tata Hitachi was clear about the benefits of such advanced technologies, it was difficult to make the customer not only appreciate its benefits but also to pay for it. With perseverance and detailed efforts taken to demonstrate the benefits to customers through several dedicated improvement projects at customer sites, these systems have now come to be appreciated by customers.

 

The path of development for us was also not easy. For our indigenous models like SHINRAI backhoe loader, TL340H wheel loader and the EXSeries Excavators, we had to develop our own telematics system. We had to iterate several steps till we could create a product that would offer superior value to the customers. Knowing well that telematics is a technology that is going to be a latent need of the customers, we decided not to wait for customers to ask for it, rather we made it a standard across all our machines.

 

 

How do you ensure the data is secure and there is no loss of data on account of internet connectivity and other operating challenges.

 

There are several agreements, and data security protocols in place to ensure data security as per our IT policy. Though we partner with different strong telecom players, network connectivity is definitely a challenge in the hinterland.

 

For this, our telematics hardware has been designed to store data locally for a lengthy period of signal blackout time so that it can be retrieved and repopulated the moment it gets back within range of network. This helps us to record the data in the system despite practical connectivity-related challenges.

 

 

All major OEM’s today are offering telematic and latest technologies, what are your company’s USP’s and how do you plan to stay one step ahead of competition.

 

While most OEMs offer telematics solutions, Tata Hitachi’s ConSite system is the first and probably only system which offers recommendations to the customers based on their performance and gives a comparative picture comparing it against the regional average. This helps the owner to identify areas of improvement and to even monitor improvement. The troubleshooting guide is also another area which goes a long way in reducing the breakdown time of the machines usually lost during fault identification and resolution in other machines.

 

Tata Hitachi also has its ears to the ground to identify the challenges being faced by our customers in their operations.We are working relentlessly to offer solutions that will help improve the profitability of the customers.

 

Unmanned machines are already in existence in countries abroad, is your company planning to launch any in India and by when.

 

These technologies are at a fairly nascent stage and are at best at the prototype or advanced prototype stages at most OEMs.

 

Tata Hitachi feels that such levels of technology are still too early with respect to Indian conditions, especially seeing the availability of operators and the cost of such technology.

 

 

Has your company adopted Industry 4.0 in your manufacturing operations, what benefits have you reaped by adopting Industry 4.0. Problems faced in Human-Machine Interface to implement Industry 4.0.How have you tackled problem of integrating legacy systems/software/machinery in your adoption of Industry 4.0.

 

Drawing on its superior automation capabilities and OT/IT expertise, Tata Hitachi has come up with a soft application, namely BOTS, to help manufacturers manage volume and compliance and apply predictive analysis on machine performance.

 

Furthermore, Tata Hitachi has also introduced an advanced automation solution for manually-driven and error-prone assembly production. It has innovated a leading export-oriented Digital Gearbox Assembly Shop deploying automation and IoT in the assembly process. From kitting of parts, assembly, painting to dispatch, the entire transmission gearbox is now digitally assembled.

 

The use of advanced sensors like high-definition cameras and flow meters to digitally monitor and control vital parameters reduced inline quality defects by 70%.

 

Digitally tracked real-time loss analysis enhanced the operational efficiency of each shift from 65% to 80%. Real-time preventive maintenance lessened mean time failures by 50%.

 

Digital monitoring ensured that parts stock and reordering is error-free.

 

All the processes during previous manual setup exhibited a variance of 50% in cycle time between models.

 

The automated operation, however, helped cut down the total cycle time of all the models by 30%, saving costs and improving efficiency.

 

 

Future technology trends and how geared up is your company to make your machines more smart and intelligent.

 

The future certainly looks very interesting with respect to increased use of tech solutions on machines.

 

There are possibilities of improved integration of telematics data to organizational systems to plan and predict product demand, performance, parts, life of key aggregates, and improve durability and reliability.

 

At the customer’s end, there is scope of improvement in terms of monitoring production, improving awareness of position and eliminating guesswork in digging or cutting a profile on the ground among several others.

 

Tata Hitachi, as we said previously, is having its ears to the ground to identify such needs, to develop technologies at a level of commercial viability and to deploy the same to serve our customers.

 

For more details visit: www.tatahitachi.co.in

 




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