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A 99 MEDIA PUBLICATION

VOLUME 10

ISSUE 10

JUNE 2011

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JUNE 2011 VOL 10 ISSUE 10

Fabricating

the Future How 3D printing will displace traditional prototyping methods

INDUSTRY 2.0 - TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT FOR DECISION MAKERS ` 100

STRATEGY Making training programs more effective and useful

TECHNOLOGY Using innovative solutions to improve shop floor practices

SUPPLY CHAIN Combating regulatory action with persistence and facts


editorial Vol. 10 | Issue 10 | june 2011

Managing Director: Dr Pramath Raj Sinha Printer & Publisher: Kanak Ghosh Editorial Group Editor: R Giridhar Design Sr. Creative Director: Jayan K Narayanan Art Director: Binesh Sreedharan Associate Art Director: Anil VK Sr. Visualisers: PC Anoop Chief Designer: N V Baiju Sr. Designers: Prasanth TR, Anil T, Joffy Jose Anoop Verma, Chander Dange & Vinod Shinde Designers: Sristi Maurya, Suneesh K, Shigil N & Charu Dwivedi Chief Photographer: Subhojit Paul Photographer: Jiten Gandhi brand management General Managers: Nabjeet Ganguli, Ankur Agarwal Sales & Marketing National Manager - Sales: Pranav Saran (09312685289) National Manager - Events & Special Projects: Mahantesh Godi (09880436623) Assistant Brand Manager: Arpita Ganguli GM South & West: Vinodh Kaliappan (09740714817) Kolkata: Jayanta Bhattacharya (09331829284) Production & Logistics Sr. GM - Operations: Shivshankar M Hiremath Manager - Operations: Rakesh Upadhyay Assistant Production Manager: Vilas Mhatre Logistics: MP Singh, Mohamed Ansari office address Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt Ltd Kakson House, A & B Wing, 2nd Floor 80 Sion Trombay Road, Opposite R K Studio Chembur, Mumbai 400071. Board line: 91 22 67899666 Fax: 91 22 67899667 For any information, write to info@industry20.com For subscription details, write to subscribe@industry20.com For sales and advertising enquiries, write to advertise@industry20.com For any customer queries and assistance, contact help@9dot9.in Printed and published by Kanak Ghosh for Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt Ltd Plot No. 725 GES, Shirvane, Nerul, Navi Mumbai 400706. Board line: 91 22 67899666 Fax: 91 22 67899667 Editor: Anuradha Das Mathur Plot No. 725 GES, Shirvane, Nerul, Navi Mumbai 400706. Printed at Silverpoint Press Pvt. Ltd, Plot No. A-403, TTC Industrial Area, MIDC, Mhape, Navi Mumbai 400709.

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Is your Future in the Cloud?

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ver the past many months technology vendors have been evangelizing and extolling the benefits of cloud-based services. Proponents tell you how cloud services can reduce your capital spending on IT and the supporting infrastructure; how you can seamlessly scale (both up and down) your IT services based on your needs; and how you can quickly get a solution up and running. They also point to the fact that opting for cloud-based solutions obviates the need for software updates (since it is done automatically for you); how you can conveniently access the IT solution from many different locations; and the high reliability and performance. In fact, we even have Indian companies like Ramco and TCS, in addition to multinational technology vendors like SAP now offering ERP on the cloud. So, should you look at the cloud instead of the traditional in-premise solution? Will the cloud really work? The answer is, it depends. If you are a small manufacturing organization that wants to automate its business processes but cannot afford a high-end ERP solution or lack the technical skills to maintain one, then the cloud is a good option. It can help you get started, and the pay-asyou-go model often works well. You can also scale use in sync with the economic opportunities, and the organization’s growth. Plus, the fact that you can now use a sophisticated IT solution will enable

industry 2.0

R Giridhar editor@industry20.com

you improve your own business practices though the use of embedded best practices and compete effectively with bigger organizations. This can be important, if you are aiming to be a supplier or contractor to a large organization. The other big benefit is that you no longer need to bother about software updates and upgrades, and managing the associated server hardware. For a manufacturer already using a custom ERP (or an in-house developed solution), a cloud-based solution deserves serious consideration. That’s because the existing system is probably inadequate for current needs, has limited features and functionality, is perhaps difficult to roll out to multiple locations or more users; is hard to maintain, and lacks a web-based interface for users. A cloud solution could overcome many of these challenges. For companies that already have an extensive ERP system, moving to the cloud is a serious decision. That’s because the migration would be a enormous challenge. And worries about platform lock-in, reliability of the service provider, data security and management can often supersede the cost advantages of switching to a cloud. If you have made the switch to ERP on cloud, write in and let us know. We’d like to hear about your experiences.

- technology management for decision-makers | june 2011

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contents manufacturing technology 26 Making ERP Fashionable

House of Pearl Fashions employs SAP to gain greater control and visibility over its distributed processes

29 Software Speeds Tool Design

Using PLM tools, Dali and Samir Engineering achieves productivity gains and cost savings

supply chain & logistics 34 Winning Over Lawmakers

Indenting company battles the bureaucracy to overturn an anti-dumping order.

information technology 38 Innovative IT

Motherson Sumi’s CIO spends time on the shopfloor to solve practical problems.

39 Keeping Your Software Legal

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cover story Fabricating the Future

As a quick, low-cost alternative to conventional rapid prototyping techniques, 3D printing is finding increasing favor with designers for creating realistic models.

A new tagging standard for IT solutions aims to ease licensing issues

management & strategy 42 Getting More from Training Programs

Managers need to focus on what happens in the workplace—before and after employees go to class

48 Sealing a Deal in Asia

Cover design: Binesh Sreedharan Picture courtesy: Z Corporation

Local cultures and norms can have a big impact on negotiating strategies

50 Going Global: A European Excursion

In Conversation

For success in European markets you need a good strategy, perseverance and quality consciousness.

52 Improve Business Efficiency

A health index for your ERP can stave off problems, and deliver new opportunities

54 Understanding Corporate Lifecycles

39

Decision-making in organizations is influenced by corporate culture and practices

departments Editorial.......................................01 Industry Update.......................... 04 Techwatch.................................. 12 Opinion....................................... 18

30 2

Yogesh Dhingra COO & Finance Director Blue Dart

june 2011 | industry 2.0

Advertisers’ Index...................... 19

42

- technology management for decision-makers

Book Review............................... 56 Product Update.......................... 60

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industry update

event update

Indian Shipyards to Build Container Ships for SCI

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he Board of Directors of Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has taken an in-principle decision to place orders for building two container vessels with the Cochin Shipyard. This order will make Cochin Shipyard (CSL) the first in the country to produce a container vessel. Each vessel will have the capacity to carry 3,500 containers. The decision to place the order with CSL is part of the Government’s move to support Indian shipyards to achieve the technical capability to build con-

tainer ships. The two public sector undertakings—SCI and CSL—will have to negotiate the price and other terms. Chairman and Managing Director, S Hajara has said that the order will be based on market price, which is around $45-50 million for a 3,500TEU vessel. For Cochin Shipyard, the order will be a challenge and an opportunity, said a shipping analyst. It is understood that the CSL has started scouting for a foreign yard for technical support.

BHEL Bags Order for 5 MW Solar Power Project in Karnataka

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HEL has won a contract to set up a grid-connected solar photo voltaic (SPV) power plant of 5 MW capacity at Belakavadi village, near Mandya, in Karnataka, for the Karnataka Power Corporation (KPCL). The order is valued at `62 crore. The SPV modules for this project will be manufactured at BHEL’s facility in Bangalore.

COMSOL 4.2 Brings More Power, Greater Versatility and Flexibility

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OMSOL has released the latest version of its Multiphysicssimulation environment. Version 4.2, expands the scope of applications covered by COMSOL, and will be available to customers with current subscriptions. “The vision behind Version 4 was to provide a foundation for our customers to reach broader audiences,” says Svante Littmarck, President and Chief Executive Officer of COMSOL. “The implication, and what we’re delivering with 4.2, is an expanded product offering based on that platform.” Version 4.2 adds three new application modules—Microfluidics, Geomechanics, and Electrodeposition—and new LiveLink interfaces for AutoCAD

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and SpaceClaim. “This release really bolsters our offerings to meet market demands in several directions,” says Littmarck. “Mechanical, electromagnetic, chemical, fluid, and CAD interoperability are all covered in this release. Even areas not explicitly addressed will benefit from the improved solver technology.” “By any measure, this is a major release. General geometry and meshing, solvers, postprocessing, and, as COMSOL’s customers have come to expect, user interface enhancements have all been upgraded. These new capabilities reach all products throughout the COMSOL environment, both existing and new,” adds Littmarck

- technology management for decision-makers

Tyrexpo India 2011

Tyrexpo India is the exhibition for rubber & rubber products industry. Venue: Chennai Trade & Convention Centre Tel:+44-1892-770777 Date: Website: www.eci-international.com 5 July to

7 July 2011

JEC Asia Composites

The JEC Asia 2011 Exhibition and Conference is the premier industry platform for showcasing composites innovations in Asia. Venue: Singapore Tele:+33-1-58361503 Email: sinthon@jeccomposites.com Date: Website:www.jeccomposites.com 18 October to 20 October 2011

ACCESS 2011

ACCESS 2011 will display a wide range of products, equipment and technology for the machine tool and engineering sector. Venue: Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai Tel: +91-44-22501302, 22500939 Date: Website: www.tanstia.org.in 14 July to 17 July 2011

Engeetech Expo & Conference 2011

Engeetech Expo & Conference 2011 will provide information about various industrial products and their manufacturers, as well as services. Venue: Palace Grounds, Bangalore Tel:+91-44-43856156 Website: www.ipftradefairs.com Date: 21 July to 24 July 2011

Renewable Energy India 2011 Expo

This show will focus on the bio, hydro, solar, wind, cogeneration, geothermal and energy efficiency sectors. Venue:Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Tel: +91-11-42795000, 42795054

Website:

www.exhibitionsindiagroup.com

Date: 10 August to 12 August 2011

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Time is money. geT more of boTh.

Make a lot more parts in a lot less time with a high-performance Haas Drill/Tap Center. The DT-1 swaps tools in 0.8 seconds, and its 15,000-rpm spindle allows rigid tapping to 5000 rpm, with up to 4-times retract speed. And, 2400 ipm rapids and 1 G accelerations combine to reduce cycle times even further. All this – for a great price.

Typical Haas Ingenuity. Haas Automation

Simple. Innovation.

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Email: indiasales@haascnc.com | www.HaasCNC.com | Made in the USA


industry update Siemens VAI Plans New Factory

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iemens VAI Metals Technologies will set up a new factory to make steel plant equipment. This will involve an investment of about $25 million. Werner Auer, CEO, Siemens VAI Metals Technologies, says, “We are growing our base in India where the steel industry is on a growth path. We want to set up our own factory to make steel mill equipment.” The company is scouting for land in Bhilai and Vizag. The new plant will be the second manufacturing unit for the company, with the first being located at Mumbai. The company is looking to strengthen its base in China, India and Russia during 2011 by boosting its local presence, completing complex projects, and

use innovative solutions to expand its marketshare in the plant modernisation business. Siemens also plans to cut time-to-market for new developments by up to one third. The company is setting up new factories in China and India to manufacture components for steelworks. It is targeting to achieve an annual market growth in the mid-single digit percentage range. “China and India will drive growth with values of up to 7 per cent,” says Auer. Siemens VAI was formed through the merger of Siemens and Voest Alpine Industrial (VAI) of Austria in 2006. The Linz-Donawitz process, presently a standard oxygen steel-making process, was developed by VAI. It was implemented in Rourkela in 1958.

Intermec Enhances Presence in India

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ntermec, a leading provider of mobile computing and data collection systems, bar code printers, label media and RFID solutions has opened liaison offices in Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai. The company has made this investment to service growing demand from customers and partners. The new offices will offer advice and consultation to support the growing base

of business partners and customers. The company caters to the logistics, transportation and consumer packaged goods market. Julian Sperring-Toy, Regional Director and General Manager, Intermec India says, “We view India and the South Asian markets as a core element of our growth strategy for the coming years. We have a long-term investment plan to support it.”

KPIT Cummins Picks Up Significant Stake in Systime

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PIT Cummins Infosystems has entered into a definitive agreement to take 50 per cent stake in Systime. While KPIT Cummins is a global IT consulting and engineering partner to manufacturing and energy and utilities corporations, Systime is a JD Edwards solution provider and an Oracle Platinum partner. Both the companies are planning to focus on select industries. The partnership is expected to increase the combined Oracle practice to more

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than $125 million in 2012. The association is aligned with KPIT’s strategy of serving customers in the manufacturing, energy and utilities industries, where JD Edwards has a significant user base. Meanwhile, Systime is planning to extend benefits of KPIT’s consulting expertise in engineering services, middleware technologies and other ERP solution areas to its customers. KPIT is aiming to achieve $500 million in revenues by end of FY13.

- technology management for decision-makers

Rockwell Automation Acquires Lektronix

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ockwell Automation has purchased Lektronix, an industrial automation repair and service provider with operations in Europe and Asia. Headquartered in UK, Lektronix provides repair services, spares and other maintenance for industrial automation products, including programmable logic controllers (PLC), electric motor drives, industrial computers and computerized numerical control (CNC) equipment. The company’s customers comprise manufacturers in food and beverage, and heavy process industries. Following the acquisition, Lektronix’s management team will join the Rockwell Automation Control Products & Solutions operating segment. “This acquisition accelerates the growth of the Rockwell Automation service business in Europe, and expands our customer presence in emerging economies,” says Hedwig Maes, President, Rockwell Automation’s Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. Lektronix has 11 facilities and eight repair centres in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Kirloskar Brothers Disposes Entire Stake in GEL

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irloskar Brothers will sell its entire stake in Gondwana Engineers Limited (GEL) to Doshion Veolia Water Solutions for `47.44 crore. GEL deals in water and sewage treatment plants, as well as operation and maintenance of treatment plants. Kirloskar Brothers acquired GEL in 2007 for about `7.6 crore. GEL was originally started by S D Shangarpawar in 1982. Doshion Veolia Water Solutions is a group company of Ahmedabad-based Doshion Limited.

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30% *EcoStruxure architecture reduces energy consumption by up to 30%. ©2011 Schneider Electric. All Rights Reserved. Schneider Electric, EcoStruxure, and Active Energy Management Architecture from Power Plant to Plug are trademarks owned by Schneider Electric Industries SAS or its affiliated companies. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Schneider Electric India Pvt Ltd, 9th Floor, DLF Building No. 10, Tower C, DLF Cyber City, Phase 2, Gurgaon – 122002 • 998-2759_IN


industry update Tata Motors Sets Up Dual-Fuel Power Unit

Clean Technology

ata Motors has set up an environment-friendly dual-fuel based power generation facility at its Pune plant. The new plant has been set up in collaboration with Japan-based New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). Tata Motors’ plant at Pune was selected for the project by the Government of India, the Government of Japan and NEDO, to produce power through clean environment technology. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the sponsors and Tata Motors. Two 2.5MW diesel electric power generators sets were identified for conversion into dual-fuel generators, using

he International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, has prepared a road map for introduction of clean technology in India. B K Chaturvedi, Member, Planning Commission, said, “In 2012, we are insisting on a road map so that by certain dates we are able to achieve Euro 6 standards.” The road map states the need to adopt “one country, one standard, one fuel quality” formula proposed by Dr R K Pachauri, Director-General, The Energy & Resources Institute, at a policy workshop held recently.

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Apollo Tyres Forays into Sri Lanka

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eading tyre manufacturer, Apollo Tyres has enetred the Sri Lankan market by joining hands with Ideal Motors, the automobile distribution and marketing arm of the Ideal Group of Companies in Sri Lanka. Ideal is focused on assembly and distribution of automotive spares and accessories through multiple outlets across the country. The company has launched a new company, Ideal Wheels & Tyres, to distribute and retail Apollo tyres. Initially, Apollo Tyres is planning to concentrate on passenger vehicle, cross-ply truck and light truck tyres. The company expects to gradually expand over time to include Apollo’s entire range currently sold in India, comprising truck, bus radial, agriculture and off-highway tyres. Apollo is also planning to introduce its high-end commercial radial range, Endurance, in Sri Lanka. The market in Sri Lanka is dominated by cross ply tyres. Ideal is expecting that its alliance with Apollo will enable it increase its turnover to more than `12 billion in 2011-12.

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Officials at the inauguration of the dual-fuel based power plant. natural gas as the primary fuel, and diesel as the pilot fuel. The project, which took two years to complete, now enables the diesel generator sets to work with both natural gas and light diesel oil.

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Zuari Invests in Synthesis Energy Systems

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eading importer of fertilizers, Zuari Industries, has invested `22.31 crore in US-based Synthesis Energy Systems (SES), in exchange for 2.2 million shares. SES is a global energy and gasification technology company. It provides technology, equipment and engineering services for the conversion of low quality, low cost coal and biomass feedstocks into energy and chemical products. The company licenses the U-GAS fluidised bed gasification technology

from Gas Technology Institute. U-GAS gasifies coal cost effectively, without harmful emissions. The main advantages of the technology is fuel flexibility since it enables the use of all grades of coal, including low rank, high ash and high moisture coals that are significantly cheaper than higher grade coals. SES and Zuari have been working together to use Zuari’s wholly-owned engineering company, Simon India, for technical services related to Synthesis Energy projects in India.

VisionPro 3D Enhances Assembly Verification, Logistics and Robot Applications

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ognex has released VisionPro 3D for accurate, real-time, threedimensional position information in assembly verification, logistics, and robot applications. VisionPro 3D can work with any number of fixed or robotmounted cameras. The solution analyzes multiple sets of two-dimensional features found by geometric pattern matching tools, and can overcome problems like non-uniform lighting to ensure accurate part

- technology management for decision-makers

location under challenging conditions. Application performance is enhanced by high-precision Cognex calibration tools that adjust for optical distortion and camera position, and synchronize cameras with vision-guided robots. VisionPro 3D suits a variety of stationary and robotic applications, such as racking/de-racking and de-palletizing, as well as kitting and assembly verification in automotive and other precision manufacturing industries.

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industry update Assocham Charts Plan for Agriculture Sector agriculture sector in the next few years. This was stated by Dilip Modi, President, Assocham, while addressing the association’s global summit on ‘Green Revolution II– Growth engine for transformation.’ The chamber is planning to emphasise ‘Soil-to-crop-to-market’ to increase productivity and marketability of farm produce. The other focus areas of the Action The ASSOCHAM plan eyes 10 per cent growth in the agriculture sector. Plan include making a move from consumption-based subsidies to ssocham has prepared a 10-point capital subsidy. The chamber, through the Action Action Plan for the agricultural Plan, also aims to encourage private sector in the country, and is sector participation in agricultural acplanning to implement it with various tivities, focus on agriculture education, State governments. The plan aims to and develop relevant applications. achieve a growth of 10 per cent in the

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PM Approves Draft National Manufacturing Policy

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he draft National Manufacturing Policy was recently approved by a high level committee chaired by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. The policy targets to increase the share of manufacturing in the country’s GDP to 25 per cent by 2025, up from the current 16 per cent. The draft document was prepared by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in consultation with

the Planning Commission and National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council. The policy includes setting up of mega industrial zones with world-class infrastructure facilities. The policy is expected to come up to the cabinet after environmental and labour concerns are resolved through inter-ministerial discussions. The proposed policy measures are also expected to reduce the compliance burden on the industry.

Maersk Line Handles 600,000 TEUs at JNPT in 2010-11

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ecently, JNPT feliciated Maersk Line for handling the highest container traffic at the port during the financial year 2010-11. The company achieved a throughput of 608,033 TEUs. The JNPT handled a total throughput of 4.27 million TEUs in the same period. The award was received by Capt Ravinder Singh and V M Thomas (Operations Team) on behalf of Maersk Line

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from JNPT Chairman, L Radhakrishnan. The function was attended by several senior dignitaries including Vijay Chibber, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping; Dr. S B Agnihotri, Director General of Shipping; N N Kumar, Deputy Chairman of JNPT; K R Bhargava, Chief Commissioner of Customs; former Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of the port, as well as senior officials from the terminals.

- technology management for decision-makers

Ruia Group Acquires France-based Sealynx Automotive

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olkata-based Pawan Kumar Ruia Group has acquired automotive sealing manufacturing company, Sealynx Automotive of France, for an undisclosed sum. Following the acquisition, the company has been rechristened Ruia Sealynx SAS. Sealynx develops and manufactures rubber, TPE, and plastic sealing products for the automotive industry. It offers a variety of sedan sealing products, such as under bonnet seals, on body door sealing products, on door sliding weather strips, fix window seals, trunk seals, and sealing products with fixed glass, as well as cosmetic seals for roof openings. The company also provides convertible coupe sealing products for door front zones, upper windscreen zones, opening rear quarter panels, junction zones, and sheet metal doors; and sealing products for utility vehicles, which include window seals, and sealing products for the rear door area and sliding doors. Sealynx Automotive has manufacturing facilities in France, Romania, Morocco and Tunisia. The firm had a turnover of Euro 68 million in 2010. Its clients include nearly all major automobile companies like Ford, Volkswagan, Renault, Peugeot, Honda, General Motors, Toyota, Audi, Opel and others. Earlier this month, the Ruia Group entered into binding agreements to acquire two automotive sealing systems manufacturing companies - Turkey-based Standard Profil and Germany-based Meteor Gummiwerke. When combined with the French acquisition, the Ruia group will have five sealing system companies in its stable.

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techwatch

Increasing Automation in Engine Assembly

Picture Courtesy: Audi AG

methods for automating engine assembly have proven either useless or too expensive. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU are working in collaboration with car manufacturer Audi to develop procedures and methods to automate the engine assembly processes. They are exploring the use of latest robotic and sensor technologies to Assembly of chain drives is largely a manual process. help eliminate uncertainties during engine assembly. alves, nozzles, pistons, spark The researchers began by evaluatplugs and camshafts—the heart of each car is its engine. ing five-year data on assembly-related engine problems for in-line and V-type This is a complex structure engines, focusing on the parts used and with many levels and individual parts, and needs to be assembled in a precise on the processes involved. “We generalized the engine assembly sequence and way. Parts that are slightly damaged, broke it down into eight blocks. The malformed or assembled the wrong individual assembly functions are also way can cause engine damage. The recorded in a standardized way,“ says results would be an angry customer engineer Christoph Sieben. This makes and damage to the reputation of the it possible to assign errors during ascar manufacturer. sembly to uniformly defined assembly This is one reason why engines sequences and assembly functions. As are still assembled by hand, and need a result of this generalization of engine experienced technicians. The current

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assembly, the analysis can be utilized for all kinds of engines. “We now know which assembly sequences require action,“ claims Sieben. Having analyzed the problems, the research group wants to develop new automation solutions. At the core of the solution is a new type of lightweight robot developed by KUKA: it weighs only 16 kilograms but can lift up to seven kilograms. What makes this robot special is the fact that it is very sensitive and flexible, unlike traditional robots that can perform tasks only within certain parameters. The researchers are looking for new ways to combine innovative sensor technology and robots. “For example, we are examining how medical sensor technology can be used in industrial processing,“ Sieben says. The researchers want to enable the robot not only detect a problem, but also solve it. Sieben explains, “The process monitoring system will need to have the ability to automatically deduce the inspection criteria and the required tolerances during the entire assembly process, and then react to it.” The project is scheduled to end in 2014 with a prototype that can be put into series production.

Flexible Solar Cells Close the Efficiency Gap

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o make solar electricity affordable on a large scale, scientists and engineers have been trying to develop a low-cost solar cell, which is both highly efficient and easy to manufacture. Now a team at EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, led by Ayodhya N. Tiwari, has taken a major step forward. They have boosted the energy conversion efficiency of flexible solar cells made of copper indium gallium (di) selenide (also known as CIGS) to a new world record of 18.7% . This is a major improvement over the previous record

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of 17.6% achieved by the same team in June 2010. “The new record of 18.7% nearly closes the gap with solar cells based on polycrystalline silicon (Si) wafers or CIGS thin film cells on glass,” says Tiwari. One major advantage of flexible high-performance CIGS solar cells is the potential to reduce manufacturing costs through roll-to-roll processing. What’s more, such lightweight and flexible solar modules offer additional cost benefits in terms of transportation, installation, structural frames for the modules, etc.

- technology management for decision-makers

Continued on page no. 14

High efficiency flexible solar cells can significantly reduce the costs of installing renewable energy systems.

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techwatch

Metallic Glass Exhibits a Crystal Heart

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Continued from page no.12

They can significantly reduce the socalled “balance of system” costs. Taken together, the new CIGS polymer cells can be deployed in applications like building facades, solar farms and portable electronics. With high-performance devices now within reach, the new results suggest that monolithically-interconnected flexible CIGS solar modules with efficiencies above 16% should be achievable

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metallic glasses for half a century, and in 1982 found that these glasses do have some atomic structure, forming patterns over distances spanning just a few atoms. But no long-range patterns were apparent. “The structure of glass is still mysterious. We know little about it, even though we use glass a lot,” said Qiaoshi (Charles) Zeng of Zhejiang University in China, who led a research team of scientists from SLAC, Stanford, the Carnegie Institution of Washington,

George Mason University and China’s Jilin University. “And it’s not easy investigating the structure of glass by traditional methods.” Zeng and his colleagues were not looking for order when they squeezed samples of the metallic glass between the tips of two diamonds at Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source, applying 250,000 bars of pressure (250,000 times the pressure of the Earth’s atmosphere at sea level). They were simply doing a series of experiments on how materials behave in extreme conditions. All the samples were taken from a centimeter-long, extremely thin ribbon of the metallic glass. Under intense pressure, all of the samples “devitrified,” abruptly switching out of their glassy state to form a face-centered cubic crystal—one whose atoms are arranged like ping-pong balls packed into a box. What’s more, all the atoms in the crystallized samples lined up in the same direction—an indication, the researchers wrote, that this underlying structure ran throughout the whole ribbon of glass, and was put there when the glass formed. Zeng said the high-pressure technique may offer a new approach for making single-crystal materials from glasses. In addition, he said, it provides a unified understanding of the atomic structures of materials by directly linking the two most extreme examples: highly ordered single crystals and highly disorganized glass.

using the recently developed processes and concepts. The latest improvements in cell efficiency were made possible by improving the structural properties of the CIGS layer and using a proprietary low-temperature deposition process for growing the layers. Consequently, polymer films have become superior to metal foils as a carrier substrate for achieving highest efficiencies. The continuous improve-

ment in energy conversion efficiencies of flexible CIGS solar cells is no small feat, says EMPA Director Gian-Luca Bona. “What we see here is the result of an in-depth understanding of the material properties of layers and interfaces, combined with an innovative process development. Next, we need to transfer these innovations to industry for large scale production of low-cost solar modules to take off.”

Picture Courtesy: Brad Plummer/SLAC

lass, by definition, is an amorphous material; its atoms lack order and are arranged every which way. But, when scientists squeezed tiny samples of a metallic glass under high pressure, they found that the atoms lined up in a regular pattern to form a single crystal. This is the first time researchers have seen this property in a glass. This discovery offers a new window into the atomic structure and behavior of metallic glasses, which have been used for decades in products such as anti-theft tags and power transformers but are still poorly understood. Unlike familiar window glass, metallic glasses are alloys made of metals—in this case cerium and aluminum. They resist wear and corrosion and they have useful magnetic properties. The more scientists learn about the structure of these commercially important materials, the more effectively they can design new metallic glasses and tinker with old ones to improve their performance. Daniel Miracle, a metallurgist at the US Air Force Research Laboratory believes that the discovery will help researchers design better metallic glasses, and may help explain why these materials can be so tough: If each piece of glass is a single crystal at heart, it doesn’t have any of the weak spots at the boundaries between crystals where fractures and corrosion tend to start. Scientists have been investigating

Researchers used a diamond anvil to squeeze tiny samples of metallic glass. Under very high pressure, the samples switched from their amorphous, glassy state to form a single crystal.

- technology management for decision-makers

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techwatch

Better Batteries for Electric Vehicles

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Picture Courtesy: Dominick Reuter

A

radically new approach to the design of batteries, developed by researchers at MIT, could provide a lightweight and inexpensive alternative to existing batteries for electric vehicles and the power grid. The technology could even make “refueling” such batteries as quick and easy as puting petrol into a conventional car. The new battery relies on an innovative architecture called a semi-solid flow cell, in which solid particles are suspended in a carrier liquid and pumped through the system. In this design, the battery’s active components—the positive and negative electrodes, or cathodes and anodes— are composed of particles suspended in a liquid electrolyte. These two different suspensions are pumped through systems separated by a filter, such as a thin porous membrane. One important characteristic of the new design is that it separates the two functions of the battery—storing energy until it is needed, and discharging that energy when it needs to be used— into separate physical structures. (In conventional batteries, the storage and discharge both take place in the same structure.) Separating these functions means that batteries can be designed more efficiently, according to professors of materials science, W. Craig Carter and Yet-Ming Chiang, who led this research. The new design should make it possible to reduce the size and the cost of a complete battery system, including all of its structural support and connectors, to about half the current levels. That dramatic reduction could be the key to making electric vehicles fully competitive with conventional petrol- or diesel-powered vehicles, the researchers say. Another potential advantage is that in vehicle applications, such a system would permit the possibility of simply “refueling” the battery by pumping out the liquid slurry and pumping in a

‘Cambridge crude’ is a black, gooey substance that is used to power a new type of battery. A prototype of the semi-solid flow battery is visible behind the flask. fresh, fully charged replacement, or by swapping out the tanks like tires at a pit stop, while still preserving the option of simply recharging the existing material when time permits. Flow batteries have existed for some time, but have used liquids with very low energy density (the amount of energy that can be stored in a given volume). Because of this, existing flow batteries take up much more space than fuel cells and require rapid pumping of their fluid, further reducing their efficiency. The new semi-solid flow batteries pioneered by Chiang and colleagues overcome this limitation, providing a 10-fold improvement in energy density over present liquid flow-batteries, and lower-cost manufacturing than conventional lithium-ion batteries. The key insight by Chiang’s team was that it would be possible to combine the basic structure of aqueous-flow batteries with the proven chemistry of lithium-ion batteries by reducing the batteries’ solid materials to tiny particles that could be carried in a liquid suspension—similar

- technology management for decision-makers

to the way quicksand can flow like a liquid even though it consists mostly of solid particles. “We’re using two proven technologies, and putting them together,” Carter says. The suspensions look and flow like black goo, and have a high energy density. In addition to potential applications in vehicles, the new battery system could be scaled up to very large sizes at low cost. This would make it particularly well-suited for large-scale electricity storage for utilities, potentially making intermittent, unpredictable sources such as wind and solar energy practical for powering the electric grid. Chiang and his colleagues are now exploring different chemical combinations that could be used within the semi-solid flow system. “We’ll figure out what can be practically developed today,” Chiang says, “but as better materials come along, we can adapt them to this architecture.” Yury Gogotsi, Distinguished University Professor at Drexel University and director of Drexel’s Nanotechnology Institute, cautions that making a practical, commercial version of such a battery will require research to find better cathode and anode materials and electrolytes. However, he adds, “I don’t see fundamental problems that cannot be addressed— those are primarily engineering issues. Of course, developing working systems that can compete with currently available batteries in terms of cost and performance may take years.” The new technology is being licensed to a company called 24M Technologies, founded by Chiang and Carter along with entrepreneur Throop Wilder. The company has already raised more than $16 million in venture capital and US government research financing. Continuing research on the technology is taking place at 24M, MITand Rutgers. The goal is to have“a fully-functioning, reduced-scale prototype system,” that ready to be engineered for production as a replacement for existing electriccar batteries.

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opinion

“Business should also learn how to sell things to the poor that they really need.” consumers or should we view them as producers? If you ask a poor person, “what is your real wish? What would you like?” I do not think he says, “you know, what I really would like is more shampoo.” He says, “get me a job that pays me better and

35% Indians are still illiterate, compared

Dr Aneel Karnani

is professor of strategy, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, USA. Professor Karnani’s interests are focused on strategies for growth, global competition, and the role of business in society.

to just 10 in China

I

n India, there has been rapid economic growth for at least a decade or more but the benefits of this growth have not been distributed in an inclusive or equitable manner. Inequality has been growing. The rich have been getting a large share of the increase in wealth that market liberalisation has brought about. So how do we get inclusive growth? The first thing to realise

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is that there is a role for governments here. I do not mean just straight redistribution of wealth, I mean setting the rules of the game such that growth is more inclusive, such as a minimum wage law. However, the business community also has a role to play in trying to nurture more inclusive growth. The question is, how do we view the relatively poor people? Should we view them as

- technology management for decision-makers

per cent

then I will figure out whether I want to buy shampoo or not.” Too many of these companies in the Bottom of the Pyramid movement keep asking, what else can we sell to the poor in small packages or with credit, or some other way? That shouldn’t be the first priority. The first priority should be to increase their income. The trouble is that the economic growth in India since 1990 has been relatively jobless growth, tilted towards knowledge intensive and capitalintensive sectors, rather than towards labour-intensive and low-skill sectors. IT is flourishing in India, but IT is irrelevant to the larger India. We have Tata Steel and that is

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wonderful, yes, but why don’t we make shoes in India, why don’t we make toys? We may look down on shoes—I would hate to work in a factory that makes shoes—but that is how the poor person can get to the next stage. He is not going to become an IT programmer overnight. If you look at other countries in Asia which have had a greater reduction in poverty and more inclusive growth, such as China or Vietnam or South Korea, they did it by creating jobs for the masses. There are people making shoes. The policies of the government have contributed to this distortion. The reason why India has such a large IT sector is not that Indians are genetically disposed to computers, it’s because we subsidised high-quality engineering education. India, for the last 50-60 years since Independence, has prided itself on its wonderful, engineering institutes, but we have 35 percent illiteracy. Whereas, if you go to China, they did not have a world class engineering

school until recently, but have 90 percent literacy. I think literacy and vocational education are much more critical. The same sort of logic applies to capital-intensive sectors. India made it easier to expand in capital-intensive sectors rather than in the labour-intensive sectors, which is the natural place for India to expand. Business should also learn how to sell things to the poor that they really need. For all this talk about selling things in small packages, when I visited villages in Rajasthan a few months ago, the most common thing I saw in small packages was not shampoo or cooking oil, it was tobacco. If we want to sell something to the poor, let us sell them nutrition that is affordable. Let us stop targeting these people for tobacco and alcohol, and let us get nutrition, education, shelter and clean drinking water, clean energy to the poor. Let us market an improved stove that burns kerosene. Let us get electrification. Why is it that 60 years after Indepen-

dence we still have not electrified more than half of India? Economic liberalisation is a good idea—I am a capitalist and I like free markets—but it has to be inclusive. If we don’t get inclusive growth, eventually we won’t get growth at all. There will be, if not a revolution, then a protest. The political parties that promise

“Too many companies in the Bottom

of the Pyramid movement keep asking, what else can we sell to the poor.” some sort of easy subsidies to the poor will gain power, and the pace of reforms will slow down. The trouble is that a lot of the rich people in India do not realise how poor the poor are because they don’t see them. They don’t really see the polarisation that is taking place in India.

Advertiser Index CHEP .........................................................................................25

National Instruments................................................................15

Diesl...............................................................................13, 34-37

Omoron Automation..................................................................64

GW Precision.............................................................................BC

S & T Engineers......................................................................... 27

HAAS Automation........................................................................ 5

Schneider................................................................................7, 9

Havells.......................................................................... IFC, 41-47

Siemens.....................................................................................11

Indiamart................................................................................... 17

Taegutec...................................................................................IBC

Mitsubishi.................................................................................... 3

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industry 2.0

- technology management for decision-makers | june 2011

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Picture Courtesy: Z Corporation

cover story

Fabricating the 3D printing offers a fast, low-cost alternative to traditional rapid prototyping for building concept and working models. 20

june 2011 | industry 2.0

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P

Picture Courtesy: Z Corporation

roduct designers and engineers have traditionally created prototypes from clay, wood or metal. The process often took weeks or months, and sometimes the cost was so prohibitive that designers were often limited to a few alternatives, or skipped extensive prototyping. Of course, this meant that design flaws could remain unidentified until manufacturing began, leading to expensive re-work and lost time. Now, companies are using 3D printing, to quickly bring new products to market, and to eliminate glitches before designs go to the shop floor. An ideal complement to CAD, 3D printing offers a fast, low-cost alternative to traditional prototyping for building concept and working models. Designed for workstation and network access much like a standard laser printer, the use of 3D printing is growing rapidly around the world. The additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing industry rebounded strongly in 2010 from the global economic recession, according to the

Advanced 3D printers enable the creation of complex models in full color, with multiple parts, interconnections and sub-systems

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Bringing Complex Designs to Life

T

he Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) in Bangalore was responsible for designing the Kaveri jet engine for the HAL Tejas plane. One of the greatest challenges in design of the Kaveri engine was the positioning its many piping runs and line replaceable units (LRUs) on the outside of the aircraft. Many of the LRUs are connected to the interior of the engine with pipes that carry hydraulic fluid, fuel, and lubricants. The challenge was to design each piping run to minimize length to reduce weight and cost, while avoiding interference. The initial piping layout was created with CAD software. But, CAD alone can’t portray the complex intertwined piping non-ambiguously to all the developers. “The virtual environment cannot represent the design to the level that we need to meet our requirements,” says Dr. U. Chandrasekhar, GTRE Group Director. “The computer comes close, but close isn’t good enough when you are about to make a decision to invest tens of millions of dollars to bring a new product to market.” Building an engineering prototype was easier said than done, since the assembly had approximately 2,500 engine components. In the past GTRE would have considered building the prototype using CNC machining. However, to build the physical prototype assembly using these methods would have taken at least a year, and cost an estimated $60,000. GTRE also considered stereolithography, but this project was not wellsuited for it due to excessive supports needed for components like turbine blades, combustor swirlers, inlet guide vanes and combustors. GTRE also realized that most conventional rapid prototyping methods would produce solid pipes, which would have eliminated the possibility of flow testing. “Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology provided the ideal solution because the supports and interior of hollow components can be easily dissolved in a water-based solution,” says Dr. Chandrasekhar. “It allowed us to create the geometry we needed. FDM was also much faster [than traditional means] because it is possible to combine several parts into assemblies, which can be produced in a single run.” GTRE also liked the fact that FDM creates parts from real engineering thermoplastics, such as ABS, which allowed them to make high-strength durable components for the project. With over 2,500 FDM components, the Kaveri jet engine prototype is one of the most complex rapid-prototype assemblies ever created. It took GTRE only 30 days to produce all these components from ABS plastic using two Stratasys Fortus machines. It took another 10 days to assemble the engine. The total cost to produce the FDM assembly was about $20,000. “With FDM we created an engineering prototype that perfectly reflected our design intent and facilitated the complex engine development,” says Dr. Chandrasekhar. “It enabled engineers to identify and resolve problems that would have been easy to miss with only the computer model.” The FDM assembly allowed the design and manufacturing teams to better understand how the engine components would need to fit together during manufacturing. In addition, the prototype enabled GTRE’s partners, including the Indian Air Force, to understand the engine. The net result was a lighter engine that took less time to validate and build. Courtesy: Stratasys Inc

industry 2.0

- technology management for decision-makers | june 2011

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cover story

Energizing Product Development

S

tanley Black & Decker (SBD) is a leading global manufacturer of quality power tools and accessories, hardware and home improvement products, and technology-based fastening systems. The $8 billion company has long considered prototyping a critical part of successful product development, and its power tools and accessories division has historically employed physical models to review product aesthetics and ergonomics. Look and feel are every bit as important as specifications to consumers, according to John Reed, master prototype specialist at SBD. “It’s up to our industrial designers to make our tools ones that consumers can’t resist,” he says. However, as SBD product designers became increasingly proficient with 3D CAD tools, demand for early concept models grew dramatically—putting a strain on the prototyping resources. “We used to use a foam-based material to machine concept models or make them by hand,” Reed recalls. “But once we began working more with actual 3D digital models, the time, effort, and expense involved in programming and setting up a CNC machine to produce several iterations of an early concept model became problematic. That’s when we started looking for a faster, more cost-effective, and less resourceintensive solution. Instead of creating CNC tool paths for early concept models and taxing CNC programming resources, we needed something the designers could use to produce their own models.” “We realized that 3D printing technology represented the best solution for addressing our growing conceptual modeling needs,” Reed says. 3D printers produce physical models of computer-aided designs, much like the way document printers print business letters from word-processing files. The company evaluated 3D printing sys-

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tems from a number of vendors, including 3D Systems, Objet Geometries, Stratasys, and Z Corporation, and selected the ZPrinter 310 System. Some of the reasons for selecting this model included output speed, initial purchase cost, ease of use and ongoing material costs. “We wanted a system that was faster, more cost-effective, and less specialized than our CNC mills, so our designers could use it themselves,” Reed explains. “The ZPrinter was also simple to operate and easy to set up. Our designers are now producing more concept models faster than ever before.” The printer selected by Reed can also handle color. “Color is very important. The ZPrinters display fine detail in high resolution and accuracy, including logos, labels and tiny LED control lights. This saves us from having to mask and paint our models, which would be expensive and time-consuming and produce a second-rate model. We can create a schedule a model to print overnight, and have a great-looking, multicolored concept prototype the next morning. The process would take a week or more if we did it the old way, via CNC and hand-painting,” Reed explains. “While a design may look good on the computer screen, there is really no substitute for actually holding something in your hand. With a 3D printer, our designers can knock off several concept models during the early stages of the design process, which enables them to improve the look and feel of our products and avoid costly surprises later on,” Reed asserts. SBD has also found new uses for its 3D printer, such as creating enlarged versions (10 times normal size) of a new screwdriver bit design to illustrate the benefits of the new geometry to retail customers. “Since we installed the 3D printer, we have been able to reduce model production time by as much as 75 percent in some cases,” Reed notes.

- technology management for decision-makers

Courtesy: Z Corporation

Wohlers Report 2011. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of revenues produced by all AM products and services in 2010 was 24.1%, and the industry is predicted to reach $5.2 billion in value by 2020. Additive manufacturing is the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies. This process is used to build physical models, prototypes, patterns, tooling components, and production parts in plastic, metal, and composite materials. Here are some reasons why you should consider using 3D printing technology as part of your product development process:

1

More Options, Quicker and Cheaper

3D printing—especially when done in-house—enables design teams to quickly produce highquality, realistic prototypes with moving parts, at relatively low cost when compared to other methods such as machining or outsourcing. This means that both engineering and design teams can try out more variations and options, quickly and cheaply.

2

Better Collaboration for Manufacturability

The ability to quickly produce real working prototypes that teams can see and touch helps bridge the gap between the virtual CAD design and the final product. Design and manufacturing engineers can use the prototypes as a tool to better communicate how a design looks, feels, and operates. This enables the product design to integrate with manufacturing at an earlier stage in the development lifecycle.

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Picture Courtesy: Z Corporation

Brian McLaughlin from Orchid Design, a division of Orchid Orthopedic Solutions, says “Often, something the designer sees on a rapid prototype—such as an undercut, or some other area of difficulty—will cause them to tweak the design before it goes to the customer or to machining. Or, a customer will say, ‘You created it just as I described, but now that I see it, I think we need to change X, Y or Z.’ 3D printing has definitely had a major impact on the quality and manufacturability of our designs.”

Prototypes can be designed to display the results of finate element analysis directly on parts to facilitate better communication between design and manufacturing teams

3

Insight into Potential Flaws

Prototypes allow designers to catch potential flaws before incurring the exponentially higher costs of re-tooling and rework, reduc-

Speeding Stylish Products to Market

T

he toothbrush may be a humble object in the great scheme of things, but subtle design decisions can make great differences in the ability to clean teeth, penetrate tight interdental spaces, promote healthy gums and win over consumers. This means that toothbrush designers need to worry about the size of the toothbrush head; layout, stiffness and texture of the bristles; the color, style, ergonomics and flexibility of the handle. Designers must adjust these decisions to the projected cost of the toothbrush, and its market positioning. Since toothbrush style is nearly as important to the consumer as clothing style, toothbrush companies are especially eager to put promising new designs onto store shelves as quickly as possible. That’s a major reason why Trisa AG of Switzerland, one of the largest toothbrush makers in Europe and the manufacturer behind some of the world’s most popular toothbrush labels, investigated ways to shorten its design cycle. “We’re constantly looking for better ways to help toothbrush companies appeal to users on both functional and aesthetic levels,” says Martin Bütler, product designer. Trisa was using time-consuming methods to create prototypes of new brushes. The company would either order a prototype on a milling machine, or send the design to a stereolithography contractor. “Either way, models would take nearly a week to arrive, and our modelers would be forced to painstakingly insert one bristle after the other into the brush head, trim the bristles into their final shape, and paint the prototype in the proposed colors,” explains Peter Gross, head of innovation for Trisa. “We were convinced that 3D printing would offer better speed, convenience and potential cost savings.” The company evaluated a number of 3D printing technology options from different manufacturers. Although the machines produced acceptable detail, many lacked multicolor capabilities or were too slow. Finally, Trisa opted for the Spectrum Z510 ma-

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chine from Z Corporation since it was only 3D printer that could simultaneously print in multiple colors in an infinite variety of hues. Since color is so critical in a style-conscious market, monochrome prototypes don’t suffice, and hand-painting prototypes was deemed too time consuming. In production use, the 3D printer creates prototypes three times faster, and is almost 90 percent cheaper than milling or stereolithography. The prototypes no longer require bristle-bybristle insertion, or post production painting. “3D printing has completely changed our practices,” said Gross. “It takes one day instead of at least three to obtain a prototype, and the time and labor costs are one-tenth those of the traditional methods. We’re shaving one month from our year-long development cycle, and are designing better products because we can sample more prototypes.” Trisa’s ability to create more prototypes faster and accelerate new products to market makes a big difference with the major toothbrush brands it serves. “They are astonished by the quality of our new models, and the speed with which we’re producing them,” admits Gross. “Three-dimensional printing is a critical competence for us that builds credibility with our existing client base and is a strong asset for securing new business.” Trisa plans to expand the use of 3D printing technology . “We intend to build on our success by combining 3D printing with other product development technologies in unique ways,” is all Gross will reveal. “In the meantime, we’ll be seizing the advantages of fast, affordable prototyping, accelerated design cycles Courtesy: Z Corporation and earlier product delivery.”

industry 2.0

- technology management for decision-makers | june 2011

23


cover story

► Concept Models: For early design feedback, improved communication, ergonomics testing ► Functional Testing: Verification of form, fit and function prior to full-scale production ► Finite Element Analysis: Prototypes displaying color finite element analysis on the part to identify flaws ► Presentation Models: Communicating with peers and clients, customer testing ► Packaging Development: Streamlining design of consumer goods packaging

4

Higher Customer Satisfaction

3D printing can help improve satisfaction for both internal and external customers. Designers using 3D printing have the ability to quickly produce realistic prototypes for internal decision makers, as well as external clients. The ability to touch a real world concept, combined with testing functionality allows all constituents of the design and manufacturing process to make better product decisions. The bottom line, 3D printing helps organizations get better products to market faster than ever before. “During a project, clients frequently request design changes, or wonder how particular changes may impact the overall aesthetic,” says Piet Meijs of Rietveld Architects. “Our 3D printing system lets us create a whole new model right away, and that wows the client every time.”

► End-use parts: Produce lowvolume parts for integration into final product ► Manufacturing Aids: Produce jigs, fixtures, tooling masters and production tooling 24

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Picture Courtesy: EOS Gmbh

Uses for 3D Printing

ing some of the risk of introducing new products. More prototyping means more opportunity to evaluate whether or not a part will function as intended. In addition, field testing with prototypes that closely resemble the final product can provide valuable insight through customer and user feedback. Shawn Greene from Fender Musical Instruments describes a recent project to develop a light-up front panel for an amplifier. Using 3D printing, Greene produced prototypes of the panel using a clear material, tested it with different types of lights and discovered that light didn’t deflect they way they thought it would. “We had to adjust the design to make it work,” says Greene. “In the past, we would not have done a prototype for that kind of part because it would have taken too long and cost too much money. So, by the time we would have noticed that problem we would have already paid for tooling. Then we would have had to pay for amendments for the tool. The ability to rapid prototype in house saved us a fortune on that project.”

3D printers make it easy for designers to render CAD models as physical protypes for customer feedback

- technology management for decision-makers

New rapid protoyping techniques like metal laser sintering can be used to fabricate complex metal parts

5

Seeing is believing

Design is both an art and a science that starts with imagination. 3D printing helps quickly transform a concept into something that can be seen and touched. Prototypes are often used to help sell new ideas, so the more realistic the prototype, the better. “You can show someone something on paper all day long, but when you give them a real part that they can touch, they really get excited,” points out Shawn Greene of Fender Musical Instruments. Recent advances in 3D printing technologies and new materials have dramatically improved the realism of printed parts and models, making them more suitable than ever for product design testing. Protypes fabricated with 3D printing techniques can realistically emulate size, shape, feel, function, and movement. Experts predict that 3D printing will evolve beyond just rapid prototyping applications to digital manufacturing for custom jobs, replacement parts and low-volume production. As the technology continues to evolve, it will compete with traditional manufacturing practices, such as injection molding. Courtesy: Objet Geometries Ltd

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manufacturing technology

Making

House of Pearl Fashions deployed ERP to gain better control over its processes, and used it as a fashion statement to ensure employees started using it. by varun aggarwal

ERP Fashionable T

he textile industry is one of the largest employment generators in India, and yet remains a low-margin business. The only way to thrive in this highly competitive industry, filled with process inefficiencies, is to do things differently. This is exactly what House of Pearl Fashions demonstrated with its ERP implementation. House of Pearl Fashions is a Rs 1,850 crore apparel manufacturing conglomerate that helps bring many of the world’s leading clothing brands to market. The company has operations across six continents and plays a dominant role in the supply chain for brands including GAP, J.C Penney, Next, Liz Claiborne, and Esprit. Since 2005, House of Pearl has expanded rapidly after a series of acquisitions that brought manufacturing, sourcing, and distribution facilities around the world. The company produces more than 4,000 styles every year, and warehouses and distrib-

COMPANY SNAPSHOT Company: House of Pearl Fashions Limited revenues: `1850 crore

M Srivenkatesa

Headquarters: Gurgaon, India

Group CIO, House of Pearl Fashions Ltd has achieved transparency and efficiency in the entire supply chain process with SAP.

employees: 10,000

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manufacturing technology utes 5 million pieces of apparel annually in the UK and the U.S.

Good IT or God

Riding on the back of acquisitions, the company was growing at 30 percent, while the industry was growing at 4-5 percent. “With growing business, you need lots of controls in place,” says House of Pearl Fashions, Group CIO, M Srivenkatesa. “If you have a business that goes beyond line of sight, then you need either God or good IT systems to manage it.” Srivenkatesa, who gave up his job as CEO at another company to become House of Pearl Fashions’ CIO, had been looking for “some tool to get that control” since 2006. The company had huge operations in geographies including

Operation Highlights

► 30 percent growth year-on-year brought its

own challenges ► ERP implementation reduced monthly

book-closure cycle time from 20–25 days to 10 days ► Reduced order management lead time ► Reduced inventory levels ► Achieved greater supply chain efficiency and optimised sourcing ► Centralised operations data for enterprise wide consistency ► Enhanced system performance to gain fast response times

Financial and Strategic Benefits ► Integrated enterprise-wide operations to

improve planning and forecasting and achieve greater cost and process efficiencies ► Increased internal control to ensure proper recording, authorisation, and reporting of business transactions ► Improved accuracy and access to operational data to support strategic decisions ► Gained real-time inventory visibility to optimise levels and ensure delivery precision ► Improved collaboration across supply chain to realise optimal profit margins

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India, the U.S., UK, Germany and Hong Kong. “As we got more business, new channels came into being and we came to a situation where nobody knew what’s happening about annual reporting and so on,” the CIO recalls. Then there was the headache of dealing with disparate platforms. The company had a UNIX platform for shipping and commercial business, Oracle for production, and some homemade solutions for merchandising, sales and procurement. “None of these talked to each other. We had a situation where the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing,” Srivenkatesa recalls. From being a CEO of a `300 crore company, Srivenkatesa was getting into the CIO’s shoes to drive the ERP implementation for House of Pearl. Having worked on SAP earlier, he knew exactly what the solution could do for the apparel maker. With little IT experience, but formidable business domain expertise, Srivenkatesa embarked on a journey that required not just process re-engineering but also a massive change management initiative.

Selling SAP

Not that change management was an easy thing to do with a deployment of this scale. The task at hand for Srivenkatesa was to make people shift from paper registers to computers. However, the biggest challenge for them was to ensure that business managers started using SAP. For starters, the company went with an open stream approach wherein there were no checks (audit check, accounting check, compliance check, etc.) put into the system to see how the users responded to the system. “We got a lukewarm response initially, but we felt it was still

- technology management for decision-makers

better than what we would’ve had if we forced the system on people,” avers Srivenkatesa. The company decided to go slow and took about two years to get the entire organisation use the solution. “We ran an internal marketing campaign for SAP, creating positive vibes about SAP in the organisation. We also sent messages saying that people who started using it would have better career opportunities and their market value would improve. That worked fairly well for us,” Srivenkatesa says.

Optimising Order Fulfillment

House of Pearl has been able to improve overall planning and forecasting to achieve greater cost and process efficiency. Centralised data collection has resulted in greater data integrity and accessibility to support strategic decisions and speedy monthly financial closings. Perhaps the greatest gains have been through improved global supply chain management and collaboration. Before, with orders taken in the UK or the U.S. and the corresponding goods purchased where they were most cost competitive, the processes were victim to gaps in communication or execution. “Our distribution and logistics entities were entirely dependent on worksheets and manual followup at every stage,” Srivenkatesa says. “But orders can now be tracked in real time for better visibility and control. Plus, we’re electronically integrated with many of our U.S. customers to reduce our order management lead times.” With SAP software, House of Pearl has gained a higher degree of adaptability so it can react more quickly to changes in demand and opportunities for growth.

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manufacturing technology

Software Speeds Tool Design Automotive supplier realizes significant productivity gains, a 25 per cent cost savings in product development costs, and a 40 per cent reduction in rework.

As shapes

S

needed a better way to handle geometries

ince 1972, Dali & Samir Engineering Pvt. Ltd. (D&S) has been manufacturing sheet metal components and exhaust systems for a wide range of vehicles, from scooters and motorcycles to cars, trucks and SUVs. The company’s product line also includes fuel tanks, hydraulic tanks, vacuum tanks, radiator frames and other assemblies. Its customers include Tata Motors, Kirloskar Oil Engines, Bajaj Auto, and Same Deutz Fahr. Over the years, D&S’s products have changed in a way that challenged the company’s processes for tool and die design. The shapes of the mufflers and tanks grew more complex, and customers’ requirements regarding accuracy increased. “As the shapes started becoming more complex, we needed a better way to handle these kinds of geometries,” says Shivaji Powar, manager of design at D&S. The company faced another challenge familiar to all automotive suppliers: the original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs’) requirements for shorter delivery times.

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became more

complex, we

3D for complex shapes

D&S’s original 2D computer-aided design (CAD) system made it difficult to visualize a design. This sometimes led to human error, which caused problems during production. It was also difficult and time-consuming to modify designs to incorporate customers’ changes. “This was a problem, because our product development process typically involves a lot of back and forth with the customer,” says Powar. “We needed to be able to swiftly make any modifications demanded by the customer.” In its search for a more advanced CAD system, D&S evaluated a variety of high performance product development solutions, and chose Siemens NX PLM software. Says Shashikant Pawar, deputy general manager at D&S, “NX had the functionality we needed for tool design, including parametric modeling, and the ability to modify existing designs in a

minimum amount of time using synchronous technology.” Other features of NX that led to its selection included its ability to easily create 2D drafting and detail drawings from NX solid geometry, as well as excellent visualization functionality.

Software brings big benefits

D&S has seen productivity increase by 25 percent. Significant savings have been noted during modifications of existing designs. Rework time has also dropped by 40 percent. Pawar notes, “NX has enabled us to shrink the time needed to design a new tool— from 4 days to 2 days today. We’ve also seen our product development costs drop by 25 percent. The improvements made possible using NX positions us to achieve our goal of becoming an OEM’s first choice when it comes to exhaust systems and other sheet metal components.”

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supply chain & logistics

Faster, Higher, Stronger Blue Dart may be the undisputed market leader in India, but Yogesh Dhingra, COO and Finance Director, is determined to make the firm a financial powerhouse, and bring in the latest technology to make its service faster and better. by dhiman chattopadhyay

W

hen Yogesh Dhingra, fresh from a six-year stint at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, joined Blue Dart in its Delhi office in 1992, few had heard of this small courier company, generating less than `150 cores in revenue. What happened in the following two decades is the stuff novels are made of. And as the man who led the finance function for 12 of those years, first as the CFO and now as the COO and Director-Finance, Dhingra deserves at least some of the credit for helping Blue Dart become a `1000 crore giant. Blue Dart, which is now part of the global DHL empire (DHL has an 81 per cent stake

30

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in Blue Dart) is by far the largest courier firm in south Asia, with over 40 per cent market share in India alone. Interestingly, much like the company’s rapid rise, Dhingra’s own growth has been spectacular, an indication perhaps of the sharp mind that this Delhi University alumnus. “Even as a student, I would never focus on just one thing. I was interested in a variety of subjects. I remain equally inquisitive about different areas of business today and I think this trait has helped me to a large extent,” he says. As a youngster, Dhingra says he was a bit of a ‘jack of all trades’. “Unlike my elder brother who routinely topped his class, I was just a good student, largely

- technology management for decision-makers

because I would do five things at the same time,” he laughs. Then, however, the expected happened. His brother, five years his senior, took up commerce at the under graduate level. “It was almost a given that I would take it up as well. And I did, even though at that stage I was more keen on becoming a lawyer,” he recalls. There was no looking back, though, once he passed his CA exams. “I cleared the exams in my first attempt. With that went my chances of becoming a lawyer,” jokes Dhingra. He spent the next six years learning the fine art of auditing. “I landed a job with PwC in Delhi and, between 1986 and 1991, audited results of several companies,” he says. Positive

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5

Milestones First job ► At PriceWaterhouseCoopers in New Delhi Big break ► When I was appointed CFO of Blue Dart in 1999 shortly after moving to the Mumbai headquarters from the Delhi office. A ha! moment ► During the mid to late 1990s our cost of funding was around 21 per cent. I took up the challenge, cut a deal with ICICI and reduced the cost to less than half. Little known fact: ► When I need to de-stress, I play squash alone! Dream ► To one day head an NGO and work to improve the world we live in. It is payback time.

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industry 2.0

- technology management for decision-makers | june 2011

31


supply chain & logistics feedback from some clients helped, and by 1991 he had been promoted to manager. “The pay was not that great, but the job taught me a lot. I was enjoying life,” recalls Dhingra. Once again, though, fate conspired to change his career track. “In 1991, the economy opened up and new players came into India. Like my colleagues, I too received offers where the pay package sounded incredible,” he says. But after taking one of those offers and working with a French firm (that gave him a salary three times more than his PwC package) he realised that job satisfaction mattered more than a hefty salary. Luckily, offers were still coming in, among them one from Blue Dart, a small, decade-old courier firm. “It was a gut feeling,” he says, “I somehow felt I would be

We had a fabulous 2010 when revenue grew by 30 per cent and profits by 55 per cent over the previous year.” 32

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happy here. I also liked the job role they had in mind for me.” So in the summer of 1992, Dhingra joined Blue Dart in Delhi, as regional controller for the North Zone. Under him the region rose to one of the biggest profit centres. The management took note and in 1996, he was transferred to the HQ as corporate controller. Three years later he got his big break: the board decided to appoint him as the CFO, a position he held for the next nine, extremely eventful years. A time that saw Blue Dart rise dramatically to pole position in India, get into a global sales partnership with DHL and finally sign an M&A deal that saw DHL acquire an 81 per cent stake in Blue Dart. It was also a period when Blue Dart became the first ever courier firm in India to have its own fleet of aircraft, revolutionising the way letters and packages would be delivered across the country from then on. Today with a fleet of seven Boeing aircraft and nearly 6000 trucks, Blue Dart can deliver packages to 27,000 cities, towns and villages in India and 220 countries, faster than anyone else. It was the deal with DHL, though, that really transformed the company’s fortunes. Earlier, Blue Dart had an alliance with another global giant—Fed Ex, an agreement the former terminated in 2002. “It was a tough period for us since it coincided with the economic slowdown of 2001. We desperately needed a global tie-up. In DHL, we met a perfect match,” recalls Dhingra. At first, a global sales alliance was signed. Within a year, it became clear that DHL was interested in more. The timing was perfect since the original promoters of Blue Dart were looking for an exit. “It helped that the DHL management had a vision similar to ours. Post the acquisition in 2004, their message to us was clear: they would not interfere

- technology management for decision-makers

in the India operations, apart from placing a few of their executives on our board. It has been a happy marriage,” smiles Dhingra. Since then, the company has grown to become a `1000 crore firm (In 2010 it generated revenues of `1100 crore with net profit of just under `100 crore). “We had a fabulous 2010 when revenue grew by 30 per cent and profits by 55 per cent over the previous year,” Dhingra says. It was also a year when Blue Dart started its much talked-about new product: the Cash on Delivery (COD) sceheme that gives customers a chance to pay only after they receive a product. While as COO he also looks at IT and operations today, purely from the finance perspective too, his role has changed over the years. “First we were the number crunchers. Then compliance, risk management and other areas came under the CFO. Now we are not just ‘partners’ but expected to look into the future and come up with business plans for the next 5 years. We need to be visionaries,” he says. His own vision is ambitious: to grab at least half the market share in India in the next two years. A strong believer in technology, Dhingra also wants to bring in the latest tech tools to speed up operations. “We are getting a new machine which can scan thousands of barcodes at one go. Imagine the time we would save,” he says. Speed, after all, is everything in this business. “Another dream is to be able to deliver to every corner of India at a faster pace,” he adds. With new airports coming up around India, that day is not too far off. And when it happens, one can be sure that Dhingra will be there to ensure all deadlines are met, costs kept under a tight leash and returns on investments are fast. Really fast.

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supply chain & logistics

Winning Over Law Makers An indenting company battles anti-dumping duty on a critical manufacturing input. Can it persuade regulators to overturn the decision? by pooja kothari

F

or generations, Rohan Shah’s family has been in the indenting business. So, when he finished his graduation from Bryant University in the US and found an opportunity to represent an international manufacturer in India, Shah promptly started a new business under Amaya Exim. That was in 2006. Amaya Exim represents manufacturers from around the world, and distributs their products in India. It works exclusively with “principals”, as they are called in trade jargon, based in China, Taiwan, United States and Europe, and earns a commission on sales.

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The firm handles products, such as solvents, bulk drugs and intermediates, dyes intermediates, organic or inorganic chemicals and specialty or performance chemicals. These are used by manufacturers across the country. As an indenting agent, it could sell minimum one container of a product, not smaller quantities. So, it would place orders for containers, and sell them to either end-users, who had the capacity to buy an entire container, or to a trader, who would then sell to companies that needed smaller quantities. The business did well. Amaya built a reputation for highquality products and competitive prices—a must in the indenting business. Since the manufacturer sits far away from the user of its products, it is up to the indenting agent to ensure the interests of both the buyer and the seller are looked after. In 2009-10, the company did 540 crore in sales.

- technology management for decision-makers

One of the companies that Amaya represented in India was Changzhou Yabang Chemical Company of China. It was the largest manufacturer of maleic anhydride (MA) not only in China, but in the entire Southeast Asia. MA is a raw material used to make unsaturated polyester resin (UPR). Companies that make composites, or reinforced plastic, use MA. The MA industry in India was almost non-existent. There was one manufacturer in south India, who could barely meet the demand from the entire country. In fact, such was the state of things that users found it more competitive to import MA than purchase it locally. “It was one of our first products, and we enjoyed very good volumes in it. We were the largest indentor of this product,” says Shah. He dealt with nearly 1,200 metric tonnes of MA per month, selling it to a mix of end users and traders. The trades ac-

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counted for a considerable share of Amaya’s business. In February 2007, the government of India moved an initial notification on behalf of the domestic manufacturers of this product, calling for the introduction of an anti-dumping duty on all MA products from China, Taiwan and Indonesia. The duty was to be applicable only to imports from these regions, not

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from the rest of the world. That almost sounded like a death knell for Amaya’s trade in MA. Because margins were wafer thin, any duty would push up prices, and make it less competitive to import the product into India. Amaya first response was that it was someone else’s problem. “We hadn’t lost any money, and we could always find a new manufacturer to represent,” says Shah.

However, given his family’s experience in the field, Shah decided against that short-term approach. He instead sought legal opinion on the matter to check whether the decision was a fair one on the part of the government. It made perfect business sense to take this approach. Fighting for the rights of a client based in China would earn them

industry 2.0

Rohan Shah’s

role in supporting his client’s fight against an anti-dumping duty won him the trust of other customers.

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supply chain & logistics

Lawyers will represent in their jargon what you will tell them. You should do your groundwork.” the goodwill of clients from all over the world. “We didn’t tell our client that it was their problem. We chose to reassure them that we’ll get this removed,” says Shah, who had meanwhile been approached by two other manufacturers of MA to represent them instead. Once convinced that he had a “good case in hand”, Shah appointed one of the top practitioners of trade law and took a legal recourse. However, in August 2008, government officials went to China to inspect the plants of

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Amaya’s “principals”, and concluded that China was dumping MA into the Indian market. The government, thereafter, imposed a flat anti-dumping duty of $95 per metric tonne on all MA imports from China. Around the time the final findings of the inspection were made public, the local supplier, on whose behest the government had imposed the duty, shut down his production facility in south India and started importing MA from Malaysia—without any antidumping duty on it. Being India’s largest indentor of maleic anhydride, the duty hit Amaya hard. Between August 2008 and November 2010, the firm did no business in MA, except for the small quantities it sold to export-oriented units that were exempt from this duty. “We did a business of around 100 metric tonnes a month at that time,” recalls Shah. Amaya decided to take further legal action. “We didn’t do that just for our own benefit, but also for the numerous domestic manufacturers, who were using this product,” says Shah. In February 2010, Shah initiated a mid-term review with the government, challenging the imposition of anti-dumping duties, and asking for a second round of investigation. This time round, he was much smarter about the move. He brought on board two associations—the IPA (Indian Plasticisers Association), and UPRA—whose members used this product as a raw material. Amaya built its case from the perspective of those manufacturers, highlighting how their

- technology management for decision-makers

operations were being affected by a monopoly. In addition, since there was no one manufacturing the product in India any more, the entire logic of “anti-dumping” had become flawed. This involved a fair amount of paper work. Despite the presence of lawyers, Shah had to work hard to build the case. “The lawyers will only finally represent in their jargon what you will tell them,” he says. Challenging the government on its decision is a bold step. “Once you decide to do that, you better make sure that you have done your ground work. That means being well-versed with the subject, and drawing up appropriate grounds to fight,” he adds. He co-ordinated with local manufacturers, who were using MA. He helped them fill up a 30-page questionnaire demanding data from importers. “I had to sit with people and explain to them that this was for a bigger cause. There were many who didn’t co-operate. But I got all the big importers to come on board. That made our case stronger,” says Shah. Not ready to take no for an answer, Shah even flew several times to Delhi to make his case to government officials. But finding his way across the corridors of power was easier said than done. The babus of Udyog Bhawan wouldn’t meet him, despite visiting them several times. “So I simply walked into their offices to get a hearing,” laughs Shah. By August 2010, the findings of the mid-term review were made public. “Those were totally in our favour, and suggested that the anti-dumping duties should

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be abolished,” recalls a relieved Shah, who has started indenting in the product once again. The entire episode cost Shah and his principals more than $75,000 in lawyer fees, air fare for trips to Delhi and China, and so on. In hindsight, that seems to be money well spent. In November 2010, the government removed the anti-dumping duty on MA imports. In the first month itself, Amaya did trade volumes of 600 metric tonne, and that has since increased to 1,400 metric tonne per month. Business aside, winning the case has “added credibility” to the company, and earned it lots of goodwill. Amaya’s Chinese principals have greater faith in its ability to represent their interests. The government authorities as well as people in the market know that Amaya is a “serious contender” in its field. “This reputation is only created with time and experience; it cannot be bought with money,” says Shah. Although the legal battle was long drawn out, it was worth it at various levels, feels Shah. At 26, he couldn’t have learned more—not least about the workings of the government from close quarters in these three years. Through the past few years, there were many times, especially when dealing with the government that Shah felt like “giving up”. He learnt who his true well-wishers were. “I got like a 100 phone calls the day we won the case. Everyone wants to be a part of the good times. However, most of these people

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The Experts Weigh In Greater awareness of the environment

Given the volatile nature of the trading business, one needs to continuously track and undertake corrective measures to remain one step ahead of the competition. Shah demonstrated higher ethical standards by not shifting to an alternate supplier. He also displayed capability and resilience by taking corrective measures once he understood the significance of the levy on his business. This in turn helped him in turning the initial loss into a significant advantage, so much so that the gain more than outweighed the loss. However, had Shah kept a closer tab on his environment, especially on the sole competitor from south India, he possibly could have been more effective (even from cost perspective) in his corrective measures. Dumping per se is not actionable; protective measures kick in only if it causes injury to the domestic industry. Given that the nonexistent domestic industry could get investigations initiated, and an anti-dumping duty imposed, indicates a greater ability to exploit an opportunity. In this case, the opposition was caught napping without a strategy to counter dumping and injury claims. Further, it seems opportunities were allowed to slip (for instance, unawareness about closing down of domestic industry at the time of final findings) and relying on mid-term review instead of legal remedies. Overall, Shah was fortunate that ignorance of business environment and regulatory provisions did not cost him dearly and he was able to reverse an adverse situation to his benefit.

Rahul Shukla, Senior Manager, Tax, KPMG in India, New Delhi

Broader perspective and solid homework

The actions taken by Rohan Shah can be interpreted as a challenge to the “disease of acceptance”. Most of us accept the law conferred upon us. However, when Shah was faced with a law that neither favoured him, nor his customer, he decided to challenge it. The imposition of an anti-dumping duty led to an increase in the price of maleic anhydride, which upset the economic equation of manufacturers in the plastic industry. Shah, on his part, realised that the government would avoid doing anything that earned it an unfavourable response from the industry. Hence, he built his entire case from the perspective of a manufacturer. His strategy worked. And the government had to respond positively. The case teaches a clear lesson that when an organisation decides to challenge a bigger one, its success will be based on doing proper homework, and taking into account the consideration of all stakeholders. On the marketing front, it teaches us that if a company shares the troubles and pains of its clients, it’s likely to be more successful.

Samish Dalal, Professor, Centre for Family Managed Business, S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai

weren’t there with us through the struggle of the past few years,” says Shah. The best part is that he has earned his company the distinction of being the only indenting

agency in the country to have fought an anti-dumping case against the government— and won. Photos by: Jiten Gandhi

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information technology

Innovative IT

Vandana Avantsa believes in spending time on the shop floor to develop innovative solutions.

“A tech leader should not just have experience in technology but should also know the working of business. Perseverance and an analytical mind are desirable.

Vandana Avantsa

Photo By: Subhojit Paul

CIO Motherson Sumi Systems

38

T

alk about deploying IT in the most unlikely of places. Vandana Avantsa, CIO of Motherson Sumi, has been there, done that. The undying passion for her work has taken Avantsa where few CIOs have gone before—deploying IT infrastructure in open fields. “As head of IT with Willard India, I was responsible for setting up the IT infrastructure for their upcoming sugar plant in remote Uttar Pradesh. We were virtually setting up IT infrastructure in open fields,” recalls Avantsa, a commerce graduate from Delhi University and an MBA (MIS) from IMT Ghaziabad. This was in 1995 when Avantsa had to develop and implement an integrated application for cane procurement, manage the weighing system, and implement stores, inventory, finance and procurement systems. That the site was 100 kilometres from

june 2011 | industry 2.0

Delhi made it challenging, and being a woman only accentuated the problems for Avantsa. “Being a woman, I didn’t want to stay overnight at the site. So, I traveled 200 kilometers everyday to the site and back to Delhi the same day. It was very taxing as I had to manage work and home,” she says. “But in the end it was very rewarding. The team received accolades for the successful and on-time implementation of the project,” she avers. It was not just during her stint in Willard that Avantsa displayed the never-say-die spirit. It was amply visible in Motherson Sumi. “I have always believed that there is not one big challenge in a CIO’s professional journey, there are challenges every day,” she observes. It was her love for taking up challenges that led Avantsa to move from Willard to Motherson Sumi in 1999. Avantsa’s job at the former company had turned monotonous, while the latter was growing at a CAGR of 40 percent. A growing company throws new challenges at its employees everyday. There have been times when she had to go the extra mile to convince the management on crucial matters. “When Motherson acquired the British wiring and harness manufacturing company,

A CIO does not have to always buy expensive technology

- technology management for decision-makers

ASL Systems, the latter was using its own application. It was tough to convince the management to migrate the company to our application. They eventually agreed, and were happy to see the resulting cost of ownership coming down,” says Avantsa. Who says it’s only the men on the shop floor? Walk into Motherson Sumi’s manufacturing facility and you would find Avantsa there. “I make it a point to spend as much time as possible on the shop floor because the problems are on the floor. One can’t get to know about issues sitting in the office cabin,” she says. This thinking has helped Avantsa to come up with innovative solutions. It was during one of her visits to the shop floor that she noticed expensive copper (used in wiring harness) being wasted. She deployed a home-grown software solution that calculated the length of the wire. The software sent out an alert when the end of a coil was nearing, thereby enabling the worker to put another coil before it finished. “A CIO does not have to always buy expensive technology. This cost effective solution helped us in saving 3-4 percent copper for the company,” she recalls. It is a result of such innovations that Motherson Sumi was ranked second in the worldwide audit conducted by the Japanese parent company of its manufacturing facilities worldwide. “Under the automotive audit, every one of the 110 manufacturing facilities is strictly checked. It was a high point in my career when our unit came second in 2005-06,” she says. Avantsa is in the process of deploying ERP BI suit and PLM. The result of her achievements is that today she is a part of the cross functional team, and also a part of any improvement project in the company.

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information technology

Keeping your

Software

Legal

While a new ISO tagging standard promises to solve software licensing issues, just a handful of publishers have adopted it. by kris barker

5

points

►ISO/IEC 197702 defines a process for creating a “tag” for each software product released ► Adobe and Symantec are beginning to tag new releases according to the standard ► Some vendors have created their own model for tagging ► ISO tagging will not be a practical solution until most software publishers fully adopt it ► The failure to act on tagging stems from a lack of awareness of the ISO standard

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39


information technology

I

n recent years software publishers have stepped up efforts to identify and penalise corporations for the use of unlicensed software. They have also become more aggressive in cases where corporations intended to fully comply with licensing rules, but failed. This is most often the result of IT departments being uncertain of just how many copies of an application are installed and in use, or a shaky understanding of complex product use provisions. The challenges associated with identifying precisely what software resides on desktops,

“The reality IT departments is that

the ISO tagging standard will not be a practical solution until most if not all, software publishers fully adopt it.” coupled with fear of costly audits by software publishers creates an unwinnable challenge for the IT department. Purchase too few licenses: expose yourself to legal risk. Purchase too many: squander your software budget. Neither choice is a win/win. Eighteen months ago an international standard for software tagging emerged to address this issue and finally bring consistency to application identification. ISO/IEC 19770-2 defines a simple process by which publishers create and install an XMLbased “tag” for each software product they release. The data contained within each tag adheres to a documented, standard format that leaves no doubt as to the exact name of the application, the publisher, the version,

40

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and the release date. (The next phase of the standard currently under development, 19770-3, will associate software entitlements, or product use rights, with each application, making compliance efforts even more straight forward). The promise of ISO/IEC 197702 is that IT departments will be able to rely on a single, accurate methodology for generating software inventories and ensuring they have just the right number of licenses—no more, and certainly no less, than required. But while the standard has been available for some time, few publishers are putting it to use. The vast majority of publishers appear to be unaware of the importance of the standard or are simply choosing to ignore it. But, there are exceptions. Adobe and Symantec are beginning to tag new releases according to the standard, and some branches of the U.S. federal government such as the DoD and GSA are moving toward requiring tags in their software procurements. A handful of other publishers have pledged to tag future releases of their software. Alternatively, some vendors have created their own model for tagging their applications. While this may help end users identify software developed by those specific manufacturers, it is far from an industry-wide standard thus leaving the global problem untouched.

All aboard

The reality for corporate IT departments is that the ISO tagging standard will not be a practical solution until most, if not all, software publishers fully adopt it. Even if they begin now in earnest, license audits based on tagging alone will provide little value until virtually all installed applications are replaced with newer “tagged” versions.

- technology management for decision-makers

Let’s look at why it is so difficult to ascertain information about installed software. After all, isn’t it simply a matter of examining Add/Remove Programs? The answer is no. In fact, there exists no single methodology by which applications can be consistently identified and normalised across all titles and manufacturers; even by automated discovery tools that claim to do exactly this. Software inventory products that examine Add/Remove Programs information (stored in the Windows registry), for example, are notorious for incorrectly counting some applications. This is because registry entries are frequently only present for those applications installed using the Windows Installer. Worse yet, for applications that are present, the registry data doesn’t always correlate what’s installed with what actually requires a license. This makes responsible licensing decisions virtually impossible. Other methodologies utilised by inventory tools, such as examining the installer (MSI) database or application file headers, provide similarly incomplete or misleading information, leading to equally problematic outcomes. Because of such shortcomings, asset management tools that rely on the above methodologies require varying levels of human intervention by end users to translate presented data into truly reliable information. Some discovery tools, as a way of circumventing these issues, rely on proprietary software catalogs to identify installed programs. These databases are generally compiled using multiple identification methodologies, but their contents are manually validated and normalised in such a way that they correspond one-to-one with

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licensed application titles. But even with the potential for greater accuracy, software catalogs aren’t necessarily the perfect solution for all companies, as it’s virtually impossible for any database to contain information about every application ever released to the desktop.

Where are the vendors?

There’s no doubt that software identification creates a lot of pain within the enterprise. So why are software publishers not doing more to ease the burden? Let’s face it: when it comes to educating the market about software piracy and enforcing compliance among its end users, the industry is aggressive and well organised. But vendors continue to place the burden of verification and proof of compliance squarely on their customers. Perhaps the failure to act on tagging stems from a lack of awareness of the ISO standard or a lack of conviction that it will solve the problem. Maybe it’s due to the inherent difficulty of justifying product enhancements that don’t contribute to “marketable functionality,” organisational barriers that hinder coordination of efforts across broad product lines, or a perceived lack of demand among end-users. Or maybe it’s simply easier to capitulate to the “chicken and the egg” paradox. That is, software vendors may not commit to the ISO standard until they see critical mass; yet critical mass won’t exist until most vendors are firmly on board. Whatever the reason, until publishers demonstrate they are committed to labeling their software in a way that allows license analysis and compliance reporting to be turned into reliable, automated routine tasks, IT departments will continue to devote countless resources—and a great deal of anxiety—to obtaining accurate views of their license positions. Meanwhile, CIOs must recognise and appreciate the challenges and risks faced by their IT staffs in evaluating their license positions, and ensure they have both the knowledge and tools needed to limp along until the promise of software tagging is fulfilled. Kris Barker is the co-founder and CEO Express Metrix, a leader in IT asset management solutions. Kris was an early participant in the ISO 19770-2 standards work and continues his involvement by participating in the 19770-3 entitlement standard. Kris is also a professional educator, with more than 10 years of experience teaching higher-education students Web development and software programming skills. An aeronautical engineering by training Kris has worked in both development and management positions at WRQ (now Attachmate), DEC and Boeing.

This article appears courtesy www.cioupdate.com. To see more

articles regarding IT management best practices, please visit CIOUpdate.com.

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- technology management for decision-makers | june 2011

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management & strategy

Getting more from your

Training

Programs To improve results from training programs, executives must focus on what happens in the workplace—before and after employees go to class. by aaron desmet, monica mcgurk, and elizabeth schwartz

C

ompanies around the world spend up to $100 billion a year to train employees in the skills they need to improve corporate performance—topics like communication, sales techniques, performance management, or lean operations. But training typically doesn’t have much impact. Indeed, only one-quarter of the respondents to a McKinsey survey said their training programs measurably improved business performance, and most

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companies don’t even bother to track the returns they get on their investments in training. They keep at it because a highly skilled workforce is clearly more productive, and because employees often need new skills to deal with changes in an organization’s strategy or performance. Given how important skilled workers are, companies must do better at creating them. When senior leaders focus on making training work—and get personally involved—improvement can

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come rapidly. The content of the training itself is not the biggest issue, though many companies could certainly improve it. The most significant improvements lie in rethinking the mind-sets that employees and their leaders bring to training, as well as the environment they come back to afterward. These are tasks only senior leaders can take on.

1

Help people want to learn

Adults learn in predictable steps. Before employees can master a new skill effectively, for example, they must be convinced it will help improve their organization’s performance, recognize that their own performance is weak in that area,

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and then actually choose to learn. Yet most corporate training programs overlook these prerequisites and just assume that employees “get it.” This approach is a big mistake because it allows normal patterns of skepticism to become barriers to learning. The results are familiar to anyone who has attended a corporate training event. Instead of approaching training as active learners, many employees behave as if they were prisoners (“I’m here because I have to be”), vacationers (“I don’t mind being here—it’s a nice break from doing real work”), or professors (“Everybody else is here to learn; I can just share my wisdom”). To avert these outcomes, companies must help employees to internalize the need for change and to develop the desire to gain the skills that will bring progress. The best method is to include trainees or their peers in determining what changes need to be made and why, thereby creating credible ambassadors for the effort. If this isn’t possible, a similar purpose is served by beginning a training program with an analysis of the existing performance problems of the individuals or business units involved and of how the new skills will address these problems. Consider the case of a retailer that knew its customer service and selling skills were relatively poor. In response, the company formed teams of district managers, customer service representatives, and sales-people to help it understand its current skill levels and to plan improvements. To observe good customer service, the teams visited high-performing organizations, such as the Ritz-Carlton. The teams also conducted mysteryshopping exercises, in which they did not reveal their corporate affiliations, at the stores of competitors, where they received mixed service at best, suggesting that service improve-ments could become a real competitive advantage. Teams also conducted exit surveys of the retailer’s own customers to correlate the quality of their experience with how much they purchased and whether or not they intended to return to the store. And the teams observed hundreds of their colleagues in action—enough to believe that the company was not delivering a great customer experience and that change was necessary. To improve customer service and selling, the teams then designed new processes and tools, including guidelines that helped salespeople translate product features into benefits that shoppers could relate to. Next, they began piloting the improvements at a few stores. The results were impressive—a double-digit leap in conversion rates and rising sales in important product categories. Better yet, after showcasing the results at a meeting of the company’s retail managers and establishing the program’s credibility, the teams found the managers clamoring for the chance to have training start at their stores.

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management & strategy

Getting training content right

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ompanies can sharpen the content of their training programs by applying a little common sense and attention to well-known practices in areas such as adult learning. Yet we find that these practices are often so obvious that executives don’t bother to revisit them or measure performance against them, thus allowing training programs to drift away from best practice without anyone even realizing it. In our experience, five straightforward tips can help: ● Many training programs frame their definition of success in terms of “things we want people to know” rather than “behavior we want to see.” Consciously focusing on the latter objective helps planners to choose more appropriate content and to measure success afterward. ● Focusing solely on functional skills (for instance, selling techniques, customer segmentation, or total-cost-ofownership analyses) is a mistake. While vital, these “hard” skills often require “soft” ones (such as general leadership, change management, or communication) to make changes stick. Best-practice training programs interweave these soft skills seamlessly. ● Adults learn best when applying newly acquired skills to solve real problems. Yet training programs rely heavily on lectures, role playing, and “war stories.” At best, these methods raise the participants’ awareness of important concepts, but they typically fail to transfer any actual skills. Active learning is the answer: great training programs encourage participants to practice new skills in the context of real-life situations or include projects that can noticeably improve an organization’s results as learners build their skills. ● It’s difficult to create a meaningful learning experience for every trainee, given the frequent diversity of backgrounds,

2

Uncover harmful mind-sets

Even when employees do learn what they’re taught, they very often don’t apply it. If this happens, the training will be wasted—no matter how good it is. Preexisting mind-sets are one frequent cause of this problem. Companies should therefore ferret out problematic mind-sets with the same rigor they put into diagnosing skill gaps. For instance, a big retailer had been trying to increase its

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A holistic approach sets the right expectations and aligns employees.

experience, and knowledge. Many companies deal with this problem by developing role- and tenure-specific programs, but even these can miss the mark because of individual strengths and weaknesses. What’s more, many programs use precious in-person training time to impart basic knowledge that is often far too rudimentary for many participants. “Mass customization,” which in this context often means using tech-

focus on customers for more than two years. It invested millions of dollars in teaching a five-step selling process, monitoring customer feedback, and rolling out e-learning programs to improve its employees’ knowledge of the products it sold. Salespeople passed every certification test they were given yet still didn’t use the new skills on the floor. Customer feedback and store performance remained lackluster. To figure out why, the company conducted a mix of employee

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interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Two troubling mindsets emerged. First, salespeople fundamentally believed that the behavior of shoppers had shifted, so that they now primarily browsed in stores and made most purchases online. Thus, employees associated attending to shoppers with a low payoff. Second, salespeople clung to age, gender, and racial stereotypes about which customers would make purchases—and tended to ignore the others. An examina-

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nology to help learners customize the focus and level of their lessons, but can also include tactics such as allowing individuals to choose different levels of training or giving them input into designing their training, allows employees to learn the basics online, ensures that groups have a level playing field for in-person training, and enables organizations to focus in-person training on the most important skills to drive business performance. ● The most obvious skill gaps often occur in pockets of organizations, and companies rightly focus training energies on them. But don’t overlook how training will affect employees elsewhere in a company. For instance, consider one that wants to improve its ability to conduct total-cost-of-ownership analyses and so trains its purchasing department in those skills. After beginning to use them, the purchasers may very quickly face resistance from colleagues in other departments affected by their decisions (say, a switch from one supplier to another), if colleagues don’t understand why the purchasers are working differently or how to accommodate the changes. To help ameliorate such problems, selected employees in the adjacent departments must be retrained in complementary skills. In a purchasing program, this might mean teaching product developers and people who find supplies for new products how to interpret total-cost-of-ownership analyses so they can set specifications that fit the new procurement strategy. Changes can go as far as altering the development of new products or launching processes to fit the new procurement system. Such a holistic approach helps to set the right expectations and to align employees collectively with the new behavior.

tion of shopper survey, purchase, and conversion data proved both mind-sets false. The company relaunched its training efforts, now grounded in an open discussion of these two mind-sets, using facts to dispel the myths and to build new enthusiasm for customer service. Salespeople began to apply the methods they’d already learned, which quickly drove a 150-basis-point improvement in conversion rates at the pilot stores and a 20 percent improvement in their net income.

3

Get the leaders on board

To ensure that the lessons stick when training ends, companies must have meaningful support from the relevant leaders beforehand. This point

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management & strategy sounds obvious, but we’ve seen many training programs stall when leaders agree with program goals in principle yet fail to reflect them in their own behavior, thereby signaling to employees that change isn’t necessary. For example, one industrial company noted a need to upgrade the skills of its marketing department. The HR staff launched a well-conceived program—based on a clear definition of the new skills good marketers must have—that included a curriculum developed by a leading university. In parallel, the company hired several employees who had the skills it was trying to foster and who would, presumably, help their colleagues develop them.

Only 50 per cent of organizations

even bother to keep track of participants’ feedback about training programs. 46

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After sending marketing staffers through the program, however, senior executives still expressed frustration with the department’s capabilities. Worse, many marketers appeared to be spending time on things that weren’t really marketing, such as resolving customer service breakdowns. A closer examination revealed that the new marketing skills hadn’t taken root, because the company hadn’t trained the department’s leaders, who lacked the necessary skills and could not be effective role models. Further, the leaders were not prepared to change the way they ran meetings, made decisions about branding or advertising programs, conducted performance dialogues, or coached others on marketing skills. Consequently, employees perceived that their bosses weren’t particularly interested in having them apply the new skills and that they should continue to spend a significant amount of time on old activities, such as resolving customer crises. Outcomes are much better when business leaders participate in the design and delivery of training programs and connect them to the new ways of working. For example, one consumer goods company hoping to bolster its marketing skills began by including senior managers from a range of functions in a detailed discussion about what marketing skills were needed. Marketing leaders then restructured the relevant processes—for instance, those related to generating customer insights—to leverage the program’s content explicitly. To drive home the importance of implementing the new skills, company leaders went through the training first; many taught subsequent courses and also served as role models to reinforce the new behavior afterward. The program as a whole improved business

- technology management for decision-makers

performance tremendously, helping the company to shift from declining or flat unit volumes to double-digit volume growth and from stagnant net sales and operating-margin growth to a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9 percent.

4

Reinforce the new skills

Participants rarely leave any training program entirely prepared to put new skills into practice. Old habits die hard, after all, so reinforcing and supporting new kinds of behavior after they are learned is crucial. Furthermore, companies typically expect employees to go back to work and figure out for themselves how to incorporate what they’ve learned into their day-today activities, which often take up all of their time as is. This was a particular problem for a biotech company trying to beef up its poor performancemanagement skills. (Indeed, at the outset of the effort, performance management was so rudimentary that employees didn’t even have job descriptions.) The company dedicated itself to improvement and trained all its managers in the necessary skills. But when those managers got back to work, they couldn’t find the time to integrate performance reviews into their routines and got no help doing so. Two years later, nothing had changed, and all that the managers had learned was lost. Contrast this experience with that of a large manufacturer also trying to improve its performance-management skills. The company had trained its frontline supervisors on coaching and on conducting better performance dialogues with line workers, and the supervisors had agreed to begin practicingthe new skills immediately. The supervisors even

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had laminated cards they could use as “cheat sheets” to guide the conversations. But back on the shop floor, a multitude of distractions, fires to fight, and other mundane barriers made it easy to slip back into old habits. In fact, a checkin later during the week when the training occurred revealed that the supervisors weren’t practicing any of the new behavior. When company executives asked why, it became clear that the supervisors hadn’t made the time—in part because the coaching and feedback conversations would be difficult but also because the supervisors felt management wouldn’t support their efforts. Previous training exercises, the supervisors noted, had never been accompanied by follow-up. To show that things would be different this time, the executives insisted that the conversations take place and even shadowed the supervisors on the shop floor to help them. While this was uncomfortable for everyone involved, the supervisors soon gained confidence using the new skills and began to see results. Indeed, within just two months, productivity, reliability, and safety performance had all improved, and the plant was able to produce 25 percent more output than it had in the past.

5

Measure the impact

Measuring impact seems basic, but most companies simply don’t do it. McKinsey research finds that only 50 per cent of organizations even bother to keep track of participants’ feedback about training programs. Worse, only 30 per cent use any other kind of metric. What this means, of course, is that many companies essentially measure the effectiveness of training by asking the participants if they liked it. Besides the risk of encouraging “edutainment” over substance, the problem with this approach is that it penalizes programs that push people outside their comfort zones. What’s more, it leaves HR departments and other developers of training programs flying blind about their impact. The solution is to track the impact of training programs against whatever hard business metric they are meant to improve. If that’s not possible, measuring leading-edge indicators, such as actual behavior change, can provide insights. Training can go wrong in all kinds of ways. But the most important failures occur outside the classroom. By focusing on creating a receptive mind-set for training before it happens—and ensuring a supportive environment afterward—companies can dramatically improve the business impact of their training programs. Aaron DeSmet is a principal in McKinsey’s Houston office, Monica McGurk is a principal in the Atlanta office, and Elizabeth Schwartz is an associate principal in the New Jersey office. This article was originally published in October 2010 on The McKinsey Quarterly, www.mckinseyquarterly.com. Copyright (c) 2010 McKinsey & Company. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.

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strategy

Sealing A

Deal In Negotiating a deal in Asia is not just about a smart presentation. Understanding and following the local culture and its peculiarities can make or break a deal.

Asia

by david lim

W

e do business with people we like. It does not mean we do not do business with people we dislike, but all things being equal, we award contracts to and work with people we like. In Asia, a common mistake is assuming that we are just one big group of people who think and behave alike. But I can tell you that a Chinese business person from Malaysia, Singapore, China or Hong Kong will have enough cultural and national biases to make even dealing with ONE Asian race—say Han Chinese—pretty tricky at times. Let us focus on one aspect, doing better in negotiations, for example. One of the first things we normally do is build rapport. This is a complex mix of reaching out through language, gestures, actions, words and protocols designed to bring ourselves closer to another person—even if it is someone we have some misgivings about. In many Asian cultures where the Chinese race dominates, certain threads and cultural issues are key in understanding how rapport works. However, in this article, I want to move away from the more conventional information which are based on obvious customs and business etiquette. Instead, let us go deeper into the Asian psyche.

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CONTEXT: Small things such as signs and gestures mean a lot in societies which have a lot of respect for rank. First time meetings where you bring a small token or gift that represents your nation or company are welcomed and seen as a sign of courtesy. FACE: You create rapport by giving appropriate face to all staff present. Going over the head of someone in a negotiation process may lead to loss of face, and you will not win that person’s support in future. Here is an example when it can go wrong. An acquaintance of mine was once assigned to close a multi-million-dollar deal in China. For three days, he had to wine, dine and entertain the buyers. When he fell ill on the fourth day, he excused himself from the evening sessions. Upon his return to Paris, his boss told him that the Chinese feedback included a retort that the harried executive had not shown them enough ‘face’ when in China. They lost the deal. POWER-DISTANCE: Geert Hoftstede’s studies in the concept of ‘power distance’ in culture continues to fascinate me. For many years he measured and studied employee value across cultures. The term ‘low’ and ‘high’ power distance refers to the relative inequality of distribution of power within a society or organisation.

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Many Scandinavian countries, for example, have a ‘low’ power distance culture, with fewer layers between the boss and the shop-floor worker. Culturally speaking, Scandinavian countries are also egalitarian in terms of wages and standard of living. The scores of these countries hover around 30 on Hofstede’s scale. India has one of the highest Power Distance (PDI) scores for culture, with a ranking of 77 compared to a world average of 56.5. This Power Distance score indicates a high level of inequality in power and wealth within the society. This condition is, to some extent, accepted by the population as a cultural norm. China scores even higher at 80, while Singapore is not very far behind. In this context, in an everyday negotiation, understand that in ‘high power distance countries,’ there are likely to be many more gatekeepers who you may need to win over before you actually get to negotiating with the economic buyer. In a low-power distance context, far less rapportbuilding energy may be required. The greater hierarchy in Indian and many East Asian cultures also suggests that approaches to negotiation may require the unpeeling of the proverbial onion—discerning just who is the economic buyer and who are the influencers involved in the process. CONFUCIAN PRINCIPLES: Though not explicit, many East Asian companies still believe in the philosophy of the ancient Chinese philosopher who outlined how we should live, run governments and lead a household. These include principles that championed respect for elders, filial piety, a strong work ethic and effective governance of the state. You cannot effectively negotiate any Chinese who has some Confucian exposure, and not realise its influence. So, in the context of a negotiation—respect your elders, though you may diplomatically disagree with their position. When it comes to filial piety, it is a phrase that is almost never used in Anglo-centric societies. When you get a culture which focuses on individual freedom over collective interests, when you call your father by his first name—you get a society far divergent from Chinese cultures where filial piety reigns. It extends to taking care of your parents even if you do not get along with them. In a family-run business (and many large Asian businesses are still family-owned), understand the power dynamics of the matriarch or patriarch and find out if the Harvard-educated eldest son will really ride roughshod over his father. If you wish to be on the winning side, think about these when building rapport with Asian decision-makers—show some respect, be open, listen when the oldest/eldest at the table speaks and understand the context of the familial situation. You will be respected and liked. It will create a good impression! David Lim, Founder, Everest Motivation Team, is a leadership and negotiation coach, best-selling author and two-time Mt Everest expedition leader. He can be reached at his blog http://theasiannegotiator.wordpress.com, or david@everestmotivation.com

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strategy

Going Global Penetrating European markets requires a combination of strategy, perseverence and attention to quality. by sunaina sehgal

A European Excursion

R

Picture Courtesy: pc anoop

ajesh Karki was surprised to hear a German business owner tell him that Indian companies have come a long way. “Twenty-five years ago, my father would say they didn’t do well in product, service delivery and technology. But, the ones today are improving fast.” This insight suggests an important breakthrough in mindset and attitude—that the typically conservative European market is open to new faces. “It’ll help Indian firms infiltrate the European market,” explains Karki, who owns and heads a research and advisory firm, and helps mid-sized Indian firms design international entry strategies. Several Indian mid-sized companies are keenly looking at Europe as an important geography for expansion. There is a unique combination of factors at play. Since the global financial crisis, many European firms, either sick or under debt, have been acquired by Indian names. Think Corus. Certainly, there are good deals available, and with the cost of wages, and capital cost incurred by companies on a steep rise in India, Europe isn’t nearly as expensive as it once was. Also, some European countries are taking advantage of this interest. Austria, for example, altered its direct investment protocol. “Indian enterprises are logically driven to go there,” says Karki. While many take to sub-contracting, distribution arrangements, technology transfers, overseas acquisitions as possible routes, a European getaway isn’t for the faint hearted. The services sector, led by software development, pharmaceuticals and business processing outsourcing has done well in Europe, but manufacturing and hospitality

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industries, still find it tough to ease into the continent. Creating a powerful “India-owned” brand is definitely many miles away. Indofil Industries, a 850 crore agrochemicals manufacturer, used the globalisation zeal of the early 1990s to expand its international operations. Its goal was to become a leading exporter. It established itself in other Asian markets like Indonesia, Malaysia, and also in Africa and the Middle East. In Europe, though, it got caught in a maze of rules. To register its products with the European Union, Indofil needed to submit safety reports on toxicological, ecological, environmental and public safety. “Compliance in Europe is stringent, time taking and costly. We hired European lawyers to walk us through the requirements,” says R.K. Malhotra, chief executive officer and president of Indofil. Adapting to European standards, especially on health and safety food guidelines, labour, environment and residue laws, needs careful consideration, warns Narendra Rane, vice president of international operations at Indofil. Also, the European Union (EU) might be a harmonious trading block, but each member country has its own interpretation of acts and regulations. “Indian enterprises may also feel a subtle discrimination against foreign companies,” adds Karki. It’s definitely an interesting scenario for those who enjoy a challenge. Indofil’s woes were further compounded by the nature of their business. Regulators asked them to furnish a study on their generic products. Because generic companies were prohibited from repeating existing studies, Indofil had to generate results by undergoing all non-animal tests, and buying animal data tests by paying original data holders. “For players like us, these costs were incurred with a complete uncertainty on payback,” explains Malhotra, adding that they finally managed to set up in Europe after “hard negotiations”. Appointing European consultants in technical fields helped, adds Rane. “They established correct systems and procedures. Our quality has improved drastically.” Others, too, have encountered challenges with their European forays. Many have had to take smart detours to survive. Matrix Clothing, a Gurgaon-based textile company, supplies zip fasteners to brands such as H&M and Marks & Spencer under their brand name, Texcom. In 2008, it moved its operations to Turkey to be closer to their clients, and benefit

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from a more mature logistics and supply chain ecosystem. “But, the wages hit us. They are about four times higher than India. Also, rules are mind-boggling. We had to make sure the zippers were lead free, and only natural dye fabrics was used,” says Gautam Nair, Matrix’s managing director. To help cultural integration, Texcom brought on a local Turkish partner to head European operations. “He understood the people better, and could articulate our demands,” Nair explains, adding their Turkish technicians were also invited to India to help evolve a uniform work culture and standardised ethics and quality codes between the two geographies. Today, Matrix is an 250-crore company, and Texcom, their zip fastener brand, tripled its business after setting up in Turkey, which has helped them retain the “EU tag”—without getting knotted up in the restrictive rules. Karki endorses Matrix’s thinking–of taking baby steps into Europe. “EU is fragmented on the basis of economic well-being. North Europe is more economically well off. Typically, companies wanting to enter Germany have had to infiltrate Spain first, and then expand resources to Germany.” Going through the US is the safest option. An American green signal can be a useful thing to pack as you head to Europe. Almost all Indian software companies (Infosys and Patni Computer Systems) tried their luck in Europe only after establishing themselves as big brands in the United States. Like the Tata Group, others have taken over European companies and retained the brand names to gain acceptability. Bharat Forge, a leading manufacturer of machine components, acquired a German company called CDP. Under the CDP Bharat Forge banner, it began supplying automotive components to brands such as Audi and Mercedes. Companies are fine with giving up the opportunity to create an India brand, and sticking to the safe supplier route when in Europe. For example, wind power company Suzlon acquired Denmarkbased Vestas, enabling it to establish supply channels and alliances. But, again could not position itself as an “Indian” company. Despite the challenges, Indofil’s Rane advises companies to stay the course, adding the European economy is altering itself. “Our manufacturing and food production companies can today enjoy great opportunities in Europe.”

industry 2.0

Destination Planning The Red Flag ► EU is fragmented

in nature; business owners need to negotiate among different countries and rules

► Understanding labour laws and Europe’s famed 35-hour week is a challenge ► Mindsets are closed in nature; easier to access after US success ► Indian firms haven’t been able to go beyond being suppliers; no ‘India-owned’ brand names The Green Flag

► Huge market; even slim growth can lead to large pies ► Good deals can be spotted, especially in manufacturing and distribution companies ► Good exercise for company to rise up and meet European standards ► Outlook is slowly changing

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strategy

Improve Business Efficiency By deploying a health index for your enterprise application you can proactively fix problems and identify new opportunities. by puneesh lamba

B

usiness efficiencies can never reach a level that satisfies a CEO completely. This simply means that we need to constantly keep on improving on it. As you iron out one area of business processes to make them more efficient and effective, other areas will starting popping with new inefficiencies as per the market dynamics. It is not the fault of the employees all the time. New requirements of the

Is your ERP still the best solution for your business? 52

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market force them to take their own small measures to adopt newer practices which might not be the best practices, and these bring in new inefficiencies. One option to reduce these inefficiencies is to constantly review them and address the issues urgently. The second option, which I want to highlight here, is utilising your ERP Health Index. To start with, what is an ERP Health Index? Do you have one for your ERP? Well, let me start explaining the concept of ERP Health Index or EHI. Every ERP has a set of processes mapped to the technology as per the business metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). During the course of implementing the ERP solution, these business metrics are identified, frozen and a process is setup in such a way that these metrics attain their best values. Normally, what happens after some time, the best practice processes which were put in place while solution deployment are either changed, or are not best practices any more and need to be changed. Now, how do we ensure that our ERP still has the best solution suited to our business? EHI helps in measuring these changes and you can achieve the following: • Know the existing state of ERP in terms of the business metrics and KPIs • Find the desired state of ERP • Assist in reaching the desired state in a certain time frame Normally an EHI has two important sections that are: functional—which focuses on KPIs measurement, their best in class values and ways to improve those KPIs and, technical—which focuses on the technical aspects of ERP telling you about the performance of the application,

- technology management for decision-makers

integrations, data duplicacy and redundancy in the system etc. Both these sections have a set of configurations and scripts that will extract information from your ERP, present them as a dashboard, compare them with industry best in class standards and recommend the actions that will help you improve your processes in ERP to ultimately improve your business efficiencies. I keep saying that you can improve only what you can measure. You need to measure your correct “on- time delivery” status in terms of percentage on-time delivery as well as drill it down to find out where in the value chain is the real issue. EHI formulation process will help you find out the exact issues and nail them down. Similarly, businesses can improve the performance of their ERP application just by finding out and removing custom components that were created some time back but not being used currently just because business introduced better processes, or they were automated or are not part of your best practice process anymore. But still they are sitting in your application and consuming ‘priceless’ resources. EHI can help you find out these and remove them, which will improve the application’s and hence staff’s productivity. Every CIO should be aware of the major business KPIs, keep measuring them using ERP and provide inputs about opportunities to improve. CIOs also need to ensure applications are on a ‘further improvement path’ so that with minimum resources, business expansion can be handled easily. Puneesh Lamba is Group General Manager and Head of Enterprise Applications in Punj Lloyd Limited

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strategy

Understanding Corporate Lifecycles Decision-making in companies is often influenced by corporate culture—and where they are in the lifecycle. by harsh chopra

O

rganisations are like living organisms. They exhibit predictable and repetitive patterns of behaviour as they grow and age. At each stage of their lifecycle, entrepreneurs face a unique set of challenges. It all begins with “courtship” just before an organisation is born. The founder is excited and is constantly selling his idea to family, friends, bank-

ers, partners, and whoever else is willing to listen. He’s testing the viability of the idea, and building commitment for tough times ahead. At this stage, entrepreneurs must be careful to do a reality check. Many get carried away by their own ideas. Some are likely to give away significant stakes of ownership to financiers, only to regret it later. They don’t know the value of what they are giving away. Courtship typically leads to a marriage, and to a child, or in this case, a company being born. An entrepreneur’s personal life is completely put on hold during this phase. A supportive spouse and

Organisation Lifecycle

Stable Prime Unfulfilled Entrepreneur

Growth

Adolescence

Aristocracy

Divorce Premature Ageing

Go-Go

Early Bureaucracy

Founder or Family Trap Bureaucracy Infant Mortality

Infancy

Affair

Courtship

Death

Time Source: Managing Corporate Lifecycles, Dr Ichak Adizes

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family become essential ingredients for success. Smart entrepreneurs encourage their spouses to share the pain and joy of giving birth to the company. Business school skills are useless in a typical start-up—there is no strategy or long term planning—just survival. Companies need constant handholding and supervision as they lurch from crisis to crisis. There are no policies or budgets, and administrative procedures will fit the back of an envelope in the founder’s pocket. It’s here that the commitment of the founder is constantly tested. If you’ve successfully navigated the infancy phase, and have cash rolling in, your business has worked. The company now moves to the Go-Go phase. The wins make the founder feel he is invincible. He can’t see any problems, only opportunities. It isn’t uncommon at this stage for an overconfident founder of a company selling cosmetics to buy a shopping centre. Unchecked diversification can land the founder in deep trouble and wash away years of his hard work. Another common problem at this stage is that everything is “top priority”, and there are dangers of spreading yourself too thin. There simply aren’t enough resources to chase all the ideas, and sometimes the best ones get lost. Many entrepreneurs forget to prioritise in their heady rush. The founder of the International House of Pancakes famously said about his Go-Go period. “I felt the world is on sale”. The next stage—adolescence— is like a rebirth. The company can’t be managed arbitrarily any longer, and systems and controls need to be put in place. The founder has to delegate authority. The company moves from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy where the king abides by the constitution. Still,

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despite the founder knowing he needs to delegate, relinquishing his power and authority isn’t easy. He forgets he cannot command his teenage daughter the way he did when she was a baby. Founders must change their leadership style to match the new circumstances. Some leaders are designated as chairman but act as COO, CEO and head of sales all rolled into one. I had the opportunity to work with the world’s biggest eyewear company headquartered in Milan. Its famous founder, Leonardo Del Vecchio, had a unique management style. He lived inside his company’s factory in a village in North Italy and clocked 14 hour days throughout his working life. The organisation structure was simple. On top was God, and next to God, was Del Vecchio. Everyone reported directly to him. This went on till the company crossed the billion dollar revenue mark. He’d occasionally announce his intention to professionalise but invariably would jump back in the thick of things. He only brought in a professional CEO when he turned 70. But, even now, his home is in the same building in Milan where the company is headquartered. Typically, at this adolescent stage, the founder’s success is picked up by the business press. He starts appearing on the cover of business magazines and gets drawn into the “successful entrepreneur speaking circuit”. Stories headlining “how I made my first deal” and “my journey from a village in Rajasthan to Mumbai” start appearing. Once he gets a taste of life in the visible lane, he realises there are many more things he’d like out of life than just running a business. It dawns on him that it is only by having his company run on auto pilot that he can satisfy his other interests.

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When companies make the transition from entrepreneurship to professional management, new policies and systems are created. The organisation’s culture changes, as well, and this is often a difficult time for the company. A power struggle normally erupts. The loyal old guard resents the new professional team, and constantly romanticise about the good old days when the company was run from a garage and board meetings were held in a coffee shop. The founder, who is more likely than not to be itching to resume responsibilities, hears these grumbles. Most decide the CEO is not a good cultural fit. Also, the CEO is likely to be frustrated by the resistance shown to the systems and processes he’s trying to introduce. He either resigns, or is fired, and the cycle of hiring a new professional starts all over again. Companies that are able to successfully make this transition from “adolescence” to “prime” reach the peak of their lifecycles. In their prime, companies have a well developed vision, values and an institutionalised governance process. By now, they know what to do, and also importantly, what not to do. They understand profitability, growth and the importance of relationships and corporate image. During the late prime stage, another critical shift takes place. Power is transferred from line to staff functions—finance, legal and human resource heads become more important than the sales hands. This is the first signal of the start of the decline. The riches of prime can quickly morph into the entitlement of “aristocracy”. It’s here when the company’s risk taking ability declines. Hunger for growth abates, and focus shifts to past achievements, not future glory. Managers begin to dress formally,

and boardrooms are done up in aristocratic dark wood tables, soft chairs, and portraits of founders in formal suits staring down from the walls. Walls are decorated with fine pieces of classical art and often the chairman spends more time on his art collection than on business matters. The culture becomes more rigid and new ideas aren’t as well received. The company suffers from what is called the Finzi-Continis syndrome—it denies reality. This afflicts many founders. Escorts, led by its founder H.P. Nanda, was one of the biggest success stories of North India at one time, but its failure to professionalise sent it

The firm’s risk taking capability declines at the

aristocracy stage. Hunger for growth abates and focus shifts to past glory. into a decline. On the other hand, companies like Dabur and Marico made the transition to modern, well-managed companies, and now take on the might of multinationals in a hyper competitive FMCG market. Ultimately it is the ambition, drive and mental age of the entrepreneur which decides how an organisation ages. This is not related to chronological age—some people start thinking “old” in their 40s and some in their 50s. Companies can move from stages within years or they can be stuck at one stage for decades. Harsh Chopra is the country manager and founding partner of Adizes Institute of India—a business consultancy and conflict management firm.

industry 2.0

- technology management for decision-makers | june 2011

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book review

Creating And Managing Value

In Value: The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance, authors Tim Koller, Richard Dobbs and Bill Huyett, of McKinsey & Company discuss how to build lasting corporate value. by deepak garg and anoop chugh

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The book will give you the

courage to sometimes go against the norm, and accept that there are no free lunches. It will help you to thoughtfully analyse the competitive dynamics of your industry, make and defend, decisions that will create value for investors and society at large.

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he financial crisis of 2008 rendered us all shy of taking risks. After all, the experience, observation, and intuition everyone seemed to have developed before the recession didn’t count for anything. The run-up to the financial crisis of 2008 is but one example of how easily financial myths, fads, and misconceptions overwhelm wisdom. Will life, henceforth, for stakeholders and investors be governed by the play-safe formula “low-risk, low-return,” as we are still nursing our wounds from the downturn? Not necessarily, if the four cornerstones of finance are kept in mind while taking financial decisions, believe Tim Koller, Richard Dobbs and Bill Huyett, partners at management-consulting firm McKinsey & Company, in their ready-reckoner on long-term value creation—Value: The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance. When this piece of advice comes from the most trusted external advisors to top management, you know it is to be taken seriously. The authors have zeroed in on four cornerstones of finance that should act as catalysts for more constructive value-oriented dialogue among executives, boards, investors, bankers and the press—resulting in courageous and even unpopular decisions that build lasting corporate value. The learning from the latest financial crisis, and periods of economic bubbles and bursts throughout history has taught us that the laws of value creation and value measurement are timeless. The four cornerstones of value propagated in

- technology management for decision-makers

the book are in line with the timeless law of value creation—when people invest, they expect the value of their investment to increase by an amount that sufficiently compensates them for the risk they took, as well as for the time value of their money. The first and guiding cornerstone is that companies create value by investing capital from investors to generate future cash flows at rates of return exceeding the cost of that capital. Named, the core of value, it signifies the faster companies can grow their revenues and deploy more capital at attractive rates of return, the more value they create. The second cornerstone of finance divulged in the book is a corollary of the first: Value is created for shareholders when companies generate higher cash flows, not by rearranging investors’ claims on those cash flows. The authors have named it the conservation of value, or anything that doesn’t increase cash flows via improving revenues or returns on capital doesn’t create value. The third cornerstone is that a company’s performance in the stock market is driven by changes in the stock market’s expectations, not just the company’s actual performance. It has been called the expectations treadmill—because the higher the stock market’s expectations for a company’s share price become, the better a company has to perform just to keep up. The fourth and final cornerstone of corporate finance is that the value of a business depends on who is manag-

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ing it and what strategy they pursue. Named the best owner, this keystone says that different owners will generate different cash flows for a given business based on their unique abilities to add value. These frameworks provide a stable frame of reference for making sound managerial decisions that lead to lasting value creation. On the contrary, ignoring the cornerstones may lead to decisions that erode value or lead to outright corporate disaster. The book cites the example of leverage. As the market heated up in 2007, many savvy financial services firms thought leverage could be used to create (as opposed to merely redistribute) value. The misconception clashed with the four cornerstones leading to higher risks, and the resultant fall. The second part of the book establishes how stock markets and real economies are typically aligned, hardly ever perfectly aligned, and rarely very misaligned. Executives and investors who understand this are better able to make value-creating decisions. Conversely, ignorance of the linkages between the market and the real economy can lead to questionable decisions by executives. The book further cites the importance of distinguishing between stock market bubbles, bubbles in other assets, and financial crises. Though, it’s considered difficult to analyse such bubbles because there is no inherent value against which to compare the market value. The chapter instructs executives to take strategic decisions based on an intrinsic discounted cash flow (DCF) approach. After all, what matters is the long-term behaviour of any company’s share price, not whether it’s 5 or 10 per cent undervalued this week. Part three of the book deals with managing the value that has been created for the company. The book refers to how we miss value creation opportunities because we can’t identify the one or two most important factors that influence the company’s ROIC—namely, what is the business’s competitive advantage and how is it affected by the industry’s structure and competitive behaviour? It is often competitive advantage, industry structure, and competitor behaviour that drive ROIC; probably, why some companies earn 10 per cent returns while others earn 50 per cent returns. In all likelihood, the most difficult part of creating value, and applying the four cornerstones, is getting the right balance between delivering near-term profits and return on capital, and continuing to invest for long-term value creation. The book will give you the courage to sometimes go against the norm, and accept that there are no free lunches. It will help you to thoughtfully analyse the competitive dynamics of one’s industry, and make, and defend, decisions that will create value for investors and society at large.

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Bookshelf

Is My Machine Ok? by Robert X. Perez & Andrew Conkey Publisher: Industrial Press Price: $24.95

High Performance Polymers and Plastics by Vikas Mittal Publisher: Wiley-Scrivener Price: $175.00

Green Products by Joao Neiva de Figueiredo & Mauro F Guillen Publisher: Productivity Press Price: $49.95

Recycling Capabilities by Rapid Manufacturing by Mehdi Golrang & Mohsen Rahmandoust Publisher: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing Price: $69.00

Composite Materials by Luigi Nicolais, Michele Meo & Eva Milella Publisher: Springer Price: $199.00

Machine Vision Handbook by Bruce G. Batchelor Publisher: Springer Price: $679.00

industry 2.0

- technology management for decision-makers | june 2011

57


book review

For the Leaders of Tomorrow In his new book, Ravi Chaudhry discusses some vital leadership traits to ensure success.

R

The book presents a new look

at leadership and attempts to address two key challenges: how to transform today’s leaders and how to transform today, the leaders of tomorrow.

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avi Chaudhry’s new book, Quest for Exceptional Leadership: Mirage to Reality outlines the emergence of a new fifth phase of human enterprise that is redefining the criteria of success as well as re-configuring the routes to success. The author analyses the changing paradigms and provides a down-to-earth, realistic blueprint to acquire relevant leadership traits. Corporations do not have the option to wait; they have to re-align themselves with the new reality now. Based on substantial research and analysis, the book introduces some innovative concepts such as: • Seven prime realities that adversely impact our businesses and lives. • Seven allies to catalyse change that can augment social consciousness in business. •  Five circles of leadership attitudes to assess where you are. •  The journey from base camp leadership traits, to the summit of exceptional leadership. The author makes a compelling case claiming that those who embrace the new realism will achieve sustained profitability for their companies and “triple top line of joy, peace, and contentment” in their personal lives. It also focuses on corporate governance and ethics, an attempt to create a critical mass of today’s as well as tomorrow’s leaders to start pursuing the path outlined. It analyses the business-politics nexus and other prime realities that have virtually brought the world to its knees. For

- technology management for decision-makers

instance, in the first chapter Chaudhry says: “We no longer have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.” Chaudhry also identifies seven key players that could help bring about a transformation to “dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics.” The book presents a new look at leadership and attempts to address two key challenges: how to transform today’s leaders and how to transform today, the leaders of tomorrow. In practical terms, this means: how to de-corrupt the minds of today’s leaders and how to make the minds of coming generations incorruptible. It has been well received so far. “In his book, Chaudhry has stressed the quest for exceptional business leadership that recognises and acts on the basis of the new realities and challenges of the 21st century,” says JeanPierre Lehmann, Emeritus Professor of International Political Economy, IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland. Others such as industrialist Ratan Tata too sound impressed. “I hope the book reaches out to enlighten the citizens of our country about the ills that are prevalent and helps in building a better society for the coming generations,” he writes. Chaudhry, the founder Chairman of CeNext Consulting and Investment Pvt Ltd, a firm that provides strategic advisory services to corporate boards, has indeed written a masterpiece worth reading.

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3/23/2010 2:32:15 PM


product update Pallet Wrapper

Industrial Touch Monitor

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aleWrap has introduced the GW-4100 robot pallet wrapper with height-adjustable mast for easy movement throughout a warehouse. The product can be used with GaleWrap-oriented film to eliminate load failures. It handles up to 37 loads/hour and features a telescoping mast for accommodating loads up to 6 feet 11 inches high. The product includes a fully automated wrap-up/ down cycle, built-in film cutter for safety at completion of the wrap cycle, push/pull mushroom emergency stop button, simplified control panel functions and a safety contact edge. GaleWrap Tel: +1-866-4253727 Website: www.galewrap.com

Torque Sensor

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CB Piezotronics has introduced the 4115K rotary torque transducer. The transducers use non-contact, rotary transformers for sending excitation voltage to, and receiving measurement signals from, the strain gauge instrumented rotating sensor element. The new product features flange and splined shaft designs, which conforms to AND 10262 and 20002. The unit is suitable for use in torque studies on aerospace hydraulic motors and pumps. Other applications include dynamometers, drive shafts, transmissions, fans and electric motors. The units have high torsional stiffness and low rotating inertia. Models are available with several measurement ranges and speeds up to 15,000 rpm.

dvantech has released ITM-5115, a 15-inch XGA industrial LED monitor with fully flat resistive touchscreen. The new product line provides a wide selection of industrial grade display solutions. The basic ITM-5115R M is a stand-alone monitor display with VGA/ DVI input interfaces; the ITM-5115 C series, with an optional box computer in the rear is an all-in-one total solution; and the ITM-5115R L and P series allow integration with Advantech pluggable embedded box computers via a 36-pin LVDS input interface and 164-pin golden finger connections. The ITM-5115 backlight panel provides a bright display with a wide dimming range. The unit is designed for industrial applications and harsh environments. The product supports operating temperatures from -20 to 60°C and the flat-sealed front panel has IP54 dust and liquid protection. The absence of an inverter facilitates reduced EMI emissions. The monitor has side frame rails to help conceal a variety of peripheral connection cables. The touch screen, front bezel logo, and installation accessories can be fully customized. The ITM-5115 is suitable for kiosk/POI use, HMI equipment controller monitor or other self-service equipment. Advantech Technologies Tel: +1-949-789-7178 Website: www.advantech.com

Ball-bearing Bush

H

asco has launched linear ball-bearing bushes, designed primarily for precise guiding of ejector plates in injection moulding tools, compression moulds and diecasting moulds, and for guiding mould plate assemblies. The new product enables high load-bearing capacity and unlimited stroke lengths without any movement of the cage. The units roll continuously in the rotating ball tracks, eliminating the possibility of denting the guide pillar. The product can be easily installed in H7 drill holes. It can withstand operating temperatures of 180°C. The units are useful wherever precise guidance of plates in the mould is required. Hasco Hasenclever Tel: +1-023-519570 Website: www.hasco.com

PCB Piezotronics Tel: +1-716-6840001 Website: www.pcb.com

Pull-to-Pressure Tool

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ennEngineering has launched Atlas AE938 Pull-to-Pressure tool for installing blind threaded inserts. The portable tool’s pressure-controlled setting allows for installation of the same insert type into various material thicknesses without requiring adjustment. The product features an auto-reverse mode after fastener installation. The tool prevents over-installing or double installing to ensure integrity of fastener threads. The unit is engineered for installation of steel, brass, aluminium or stainless steel blind threaded inserts, which provide strong threads in thin panel sections where only one side of a panel is accessible for hardware installation. Access to both sides is not required. The inserts install from the front, and enable easy final attachment of components using a single mating screw. The tool is supplied with gun and unified or metric tooling to install blind threaded inserts from #440 through 3/8” or M3 through M10. PennEngineering Tel: +1-800-2374736 Website: www.pemnet.com

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- technology management for decision-makers

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product update LED Driver

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lacialLight, a sub-division of GlacialTech Inc, has launched the GlacialPower LED driver, bundled in the AR111 Vega Series – models GL-AR111AD and GLAR111AN. The GlacialLight Vega AR111 Series is designed for indoor use. Both dimmable and non-dimmable bulbs are available. Bundled with the GlacialPower LED driver GP-LS10P-36, the GL-AR111AD and GL-AR111AN models feature lower levels of heat-generation. The AR111 Vega Series bulbs have been designed to contain no hazardous chemicals, such as mercury, or emit harmful UV or IR rays. GlacialTech Inc (Taiwan) Tel: +886-2-22441227 Website: www.glaciallight.com

Circular Saw

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Inspection System

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udolph Technologies has launched a new NSX 320 automated macro inspection system designed specifically for advanced packaging processes that use through silicon vias (TSV) to connect multiple die in a single package. The new product provides critical inspection capabilities for edge trimming metrology, wafer alignment during bonding processes, sawn wafers on film frames and other TSV related processes. The new unit is suitable for foundries, IDMs, fabless and equipment manufacturers. It provides critically-needed defect inspection capability for new packaging processes-at full production throughputs. The product features XSoft system software capabilities including high- speed staging, on-the-fly image capture and a wide range of sensor and objective options. The other features comprise the ability to perform dimension measurement; the addition of 3D sensors for TSV depth or bump metrology and the ability to flip wafers to allow inspection of both front and back surfaces. The unit also includes inspection tools that provide macro defect inspection for back-end integrated circuit manufacturing processes. Macro defects (defects 0.5 micron and larger) can be created during wafer manufacturing, probing, bumping, dicing or by general handling, and can have a major impact on the quality of a microelectronic device and the yield of the manufacturing process. Rudolph Technologies Tel: +1-973-6911300 Website: www.rudolphtech.com

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- technology management for decision-makers

ower tools manufacturer Skil has introduced a 3.9 kg circular saw with a 184 mm cutting blade. The product is powered by a 1500 watt motor for faster cutting speed and is the highest power-to-weight ratio in the circular saw category. The new machine is suitable for both standard and heavy duty applications, and can be used to cut a wide range of materials, including softwoods, hardwoods, timber floor boards, laminated wooden boards and skirting boards. The product helps overcome the ‘sight to line of cut’ problem by introducing a two-point view of the cutting line, allowing users to follow the line from both sides of the saw blade. The left side also features a cutting window that provides the user with a clear line of sight. The unit has a die–cast aluminium body along with strong guard, stainless steel foot plate, enhanced carbon brush, bevel and depth setting mechanism and end cap design. The upper and lower metal guards of the product have a thickness of 2.5 mm. The lower guard features a patented, anti-snag design, which allows it to withstand the rigours of rough cutting applications, particularly when making narrow cut-offs. The product features an integrated auxiliary handle, which provides extra comfort and optimum sawing guidance control. The other features of the product comprise a lock-off switch that allows users to operate the switch from either side of the handle, and an optimized chip ejection system, which helps in bundling of chips as they flow out of the dust port in the upper guard, allowing for improved dust management. Bosch Limited Tel: +1-800-4258665 Website: www.skil.co.in

Transfer Cart

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reform Corporation has introduced a new cart design allowing one person to move heavy grinding wheels from tool or storage rooms to machines without the aid of a powered vehicle. The unit accommodates four grinding wheels; however the design can be modified to hold additional wheels. The storage sections are adjustable to accommodate varying wheel widths. The angle of the retaining supports for the grinding wheels allow them to be easily lifted either in or out by hand or with a lift assist device. The bottom support pipes are covered with an abrasive-resistant ultra high molecular weight polyethylene tubing. It has four, 4-inch urethane casters. Two are fixed for safe, stable movement and other two have locking brakes for safety while loading or unloading. Creform Corporation Tel: +1-800-3898823 Website: www.creform.com

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Keylock Switches

Encoder

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KK Switches has launched CKM series of high security keylock switches for panel mount applications. The product is suitable for high security applications. The product includes a five tumbler locking mechanism and finds applications in control and automation environments, computers and communication equipment and military and medical devices. The product features silver contacts and a vertically rotating self-cleaning switching mechanism. The unit is available in standard size with 16 mm double flatted bushings that sit securely in the panel. The interior construction has two sections, with the contact section sealed away from the key section to protect the contacts. The keys are available in flat or tubular styles, with flat keys being reversible for easier setting. Keys are supplied with randomly assigned numbers. The product is rated at 3A@250V AC and is constructed of fibreglass reinforced PBT insulation material. It can withstand 15 kilovolts of electrostatic discharge.

Oriental Motor USA Tel: +1-800-418-7903 Website: www.OrientalMotor.com

Environmental Control System

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etcase has introduced ‘Series 50’ range of extruded aluminium enclosures. The new product has been designed for hand held and desktop mounted electronics. The enclosures are available in a range of six standard sizes with external dimensions from 3.22-inch x 1.06-inch x 5.11-inch to 4.80-inch x 1.85-inch x 8.66-inch. The enclosures consist of an extruded case body and two tough ABS end panels which are mounted by self-tapping screws. The screws are hidden by four snap-on covers to provide a clean appearance with no visible fixings. The covers can be removed with a small flat screwdriver. The enclosures can be sealed to IP 65 (NEMA 4) with an accessory sealing kit.

exter Research has launched an infrared detect and manage environmental control system to multiply greenhouse productivity. The new IR Detect and Manage (DRD&M) system monitors and adjusts plant root and leaf temperatures separately to permit a maximum deviation of 2.5° celsius. It supports local cultivation of ornamental flowers and plants. The system can be integrated with just-in-time watering schedules to optimize transpiration and to reduce plant fertilizer and fungicide costs and pollutant run-off. The unit can be fully automated and can provide wireless notification to monitoring stations. Notifications can be in the form of data streams, email and text messaging and may be received by cell phones and computer tablets, as well as by desktop and laptop computer monitoring stations. The new temperature sensor module (TSM) is supported by software integration. When temperature deviation threatens to exceed 2.5° Fahrenheit, the monitoring system activates thermoelectric modules, heaters, fans or other devices, to warm or cool the roots, as necessary, to adjust them to an optimal thermal relationship with the plant leaves.

OKW Enclosures Tel: +1-800-965-9872 Website: www.metcaseusa.com

Dexter Research Tel: +1-734-4263921 Website: www.dexterresearch.com

NKK Switches Phone: +1-480-991-0942 Website: www.nkkswitches.com

Extruded Aluminium Enclosures

Product update

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riental Motor has introduced a standard three channel, 500 line TTL-based encoder option for its RK series, an AC input stepping motor and driver package. The RK series is available in four frame sizes – 42 mm, 60 mm, 85 mm and 90 mm (geared only). The product line offers a resolution of 0.72º stepping motor with strain relief, a wide motor selection with three gear types and a microstepping driver with drive built in. Besides, Harmonic (HG), Planetary (PS) and Taper Hobbed (TH) gears are also available for all frame sizes.

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Have you LAUNCHED an INDUSTRIAL product recently? Why don’t you share its FEATURES and Functionality with the Readers of this magazine? industry 2.0

- technology management for decision-makers | june 2011

63

Just send a detailed report to: editor@9dot9.in Don’t forget to attach a high resolution image.


TaeguTec India P Ltd. Plot Nos.119 & 120, Bommasandra Industrial Area, Phase 4, Bangalore 560 099, India Tel: +91-80-2783-9111 E-mail: sales@taegutec-india.com http://www.taegutec-india.com


R.N.I. No. MAH ENG/2001/4796 Tech/MH/MR/SOUTH-127/2006-08

Industry 2.0 June 2011  

Fabricating the Future

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