Future of Manufacturing- Digital Manufacturing

Udayant Malhoutra, CEO/Managing Director of Dynamatic Technologies Ltd, a high tech manufacturing company spoke on Future of Manufacturing during Synergia Conclave 2019.

Background

The changing dynamics of production and distribution, along with paradigm changes in consumer demand and the emergence of “smart” products, are compelling manufacturers to delve into radically new ways of creating and capturing value.

Analysis

Today’s times are marked by disruptions at the global level and Udayanat Malhoutra spoke on about similar disruptions using the lens and prism of manufacturing and economics. He is imminently qualified to speak on the subject as Dynamatic Technologies is a manufacturing designer of verily highly engineered products-construction equipment, agricultural machines, military aircraft and transportation equipment. This company has a humble beginning in Bangalore but grew out across southern India as also acquired businesses in UK, Germany and the US.  The company has built a global enterprise that works with some of the world's finest companies as their global single source - BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, Maserati to name a few.

Today a company can ride on technology to grow. Dynamatic Technologies acquired a metallurgy company in Germany and combined it with Indian software to create a new plant with robots along with only 15 workers producing 1.3 million parts per annum.

Manufacturing today is totally autonomous and the machines work completely unmanned. These machines are interlinked, are capable of working autonomously and can be remotely programmed. The management can actually see how the production is going on their mobile phones sitting anywhere in the world.  

In 1990 when the Soviet Union collapsed Indian battle tanks which were produced in Russia, weren't able to get spare parts. That's when the company was able to enter defence production as one of the pioneers in India. Today they work with the DRDO, on Lakshya Drone and with HAL as a developmental partner for control surfaces, for a jet trainer. They also make 1/6th of the airframe of the SUKOI 30 and the main fuse large for the Tejas. 

Along their digital journey in manufacturing, the company while being a very small company, was very impactful. It designed and built the URANIUM encapsulation system for the Indian nuclear program.  Today they have become a global sole supplier to Boeing, BEL Helicopter and to Airbus. But to ensure volumes in production, they changed their business model.  Realising that to achieve the expanded outcome they won't be able to do it just in India. So the acquired business that would network and fit into their digital vision in the UK knowing that UK had a very specialized manufacturing machine capability with very complex parts. They also had access to qualified raw materials and they had access to low-cost capital. So Dynamatic Technologies put very advanced low-cost robotic machines there and skilled their own people. 56 villages around Bangalore were identified to train children of artisanal families. Today these are best of breed world-class artisanal aerospace workers. The company successfully married a low cost of capital in UK with the low cost of labour in India. 

The company has turned the manufacturing of aero parts upside down. Instead of the final assembly being done in the west and parts being made in the east, they make their parts in the west with robots. Then they fly those to India to assemble. The best German machines, the best Swiss robots, English machines technology, Indian artisans, global manufacturing programs are all combined to arrive at the most profitable and efficient manufacturing.

When Airbus came to Dynamatic Technologies, 10-11 years ago they were an automotive hydraulic company with a lot of engineering capability and making a small number of an interesting aerospace part for the Indian market. The first thing that they did when they got the drawing, was to digitise everything. They don't use paper in the company. Using digitization they have found opportunities for improving the build rate and build quality. By tightening up the tolerances but working within the design envelope of Airbus they had a very remarkable outcome. They were able to achieve a 100 per cent on-time delivery, zero-defect since the first part supplied. What is interesting is now in 2020, the next generation has been engineered by for the Airbus. Working within the design envelope, what they are doing is taking something that was built with 200 parts and shrinking it to 20 parts. So it is a better fit, stronger capability and thus are saving 12 million dollars a year for the customers. What is interesting is this entire thing is monolithic machining. It is one of the new waves of manufacturing. It can shrink parts that were built by design in the past and with new machines and new technologies. 

The other interesting thing that the company does, which is another interesting and very important global trend, is the circular economy. They generate 1000 tonnes of aluminium swarf. Their peers who manufacture everything in India, sell that to a salvage dealer. What Dynamatic Technologies does is to brick it and give it back to the mill so that it comes back into the system. So actually it becomes more cost-effective more profitable and better for the environment.  

Assessment

  • Manufacturing is no longer simply about making physical products. Changes in consumer demand, the nature of products, the economics of production, and the economics of the supply chain have led to a fundamental shift in the way companies do business. 
  • Customers demand both personalization and customization as the line between consumer and manufacturers become indeterminate Added sensors and connectivity turn “doltish ” products into “smart” ones, while products increasingly become platforms—and even move into the realm of services.  
  •  As technology continues to advance exponentially, impediments to entry, commercialisation and learning are eroding. New market entrants with access to new tools can operate at a much smaller scale, enabling them to create offerings once the sole province of major incumbents. 
  • While large-scale production will always dominate some segments of the value chain, innovative manufacturing models—distributed small-scale local manufacturing, loosely coupled manufacturing ecosystems, and agile manufacturing—are arising to take advantage of these new opportunities.   
  •  Dynamatic Technologies is an excellent example of an Indian company using Indian artisans, upskilling them and smartly aligning western machinery with Indian software expertise to compete globally in the highly competitive aviation industry. 

 

Comments