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HIGH ON ‘ ’ QUOTIENT

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t must not be an absolute reality; otherwise everybody would not be talking about it… It must still be an idea, which is why we only keep talking about it… INNOVATION is that Godot, for whom all of us are waiting. Just like in Samuel Beckett’s famous play Waiting for Godot, where two men expectantly wait in vain for an acquaintance named Godot to arrive. The duo claim Godot is an acquaintance but, in fact, barely know him. They even admit that they would not recognise him if they were to see him… Art does depict the actual… here innovation is that Godot, who we feel we know and wait and talk about. But do we really inculcate innovation in our production systems or are we just too excited with the idea itself?

As Bill Gates rightly said, “Never before in history has innovation offered the promise of so much to so many in so short a time.” India is increasingly becoming a top global innovator for high-tech products and services. However, the country is underperforming in relation to its innovation potential – with direct implications on long-term industrial competitiveness and economic growth. And we can blame it on the typical Indian trait or the jugaad (a term coined in India to refer to unsystematic innovation). While the jugaad took us some distance, for India to unleash its prowess, we need systematic innovation. As per Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study to measure the innovation index of countries, India was ranked 58th among the 82 countries on the basis of patents per million population. So what is the way forward? To get the full benefits, firms must embed innovation into – and not append it into – their businesses. But what is innovation sans challenges. To cite a few examples, a cycle that runs on water and land, a scooter-powered flour mill, a solar mosquito killer, a cycle-powered washing machine are just a few of the over 100,000 outstanding innovations that have come from school dropouts and poor people from rural India brimming with potential, which remains untapped. But, there is a way out. India can maximise its ‘i’ quotient through a consensus-building process that includes a task force of Indian policy makers working with business and social leaders — who would be in the best position to set priorities among the recommendations and develop an appropriate sequencing of activities. So as you get ready to refresh yourself with an Innovation Splash, which talks about Product Design and New Engineering Materials only for the sake of attaining a focus, we salute all the innovators for whom, trying is more coveted than success. The real risk is not failing, it is not trying. Trying is a statement of optimism, and a person, a team or even an entire company grows more by acting rather than by standing still. In the worldview of a design thinker, failure is the best way to clear the fog to see a path to success. So if you are not failing every now and again, it is a sign that you are not doing anything very innovative!

Archana Tiwari-Nayudu archana.nayudu@infomedia18.in

Printed by Mohan Gajria and published & edited by Lakshmi Narasimhan on behalf of Infomedia 18 Limited and printed at Infomedia 18 Ltd, Plot no.3, Sector 7, off Sion-Panvel Road, Nerul, Navi Mumbai 400 706, and published at Infomedia 18 Ltd, ‘A’ Wing, Ruby House, J. K. Sawant Marg, Dadar (W), Mumbai - 400 028. SEARCH - The Industrial Sourcebook is registered with the Registrar of Newspapers of India under No. 67827/98. Views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Infomedia 18 Limited. Infomedia 18 Limited reserves the right to use the information published herein in any manner whatsoever. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the information published in this edition, neither Infomedia 18 Ltd nor any of its employees accept any responsibility for any errors or omission. Further, Infomedia 18 Ltd does not take any responsibility for loss or damage incurred or suffered by any subscriber of this magazine as a result of his/her accepting any invitation/offer published in this edition. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

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CONTENT

3 E DITO RIAL 12 P RO DUCT DESIGN Time For Action Embracing risk to learn, grow & innovate Aesthetic Instincts Embedding design into business Creative Thinking Designing using dynamic decision-making

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‘SMEs need to embrace design as a business tool’

INTE RVIEWS

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Sudhir Sharma, Creative & Chief Executive, IN DI Design

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‘Without a unique design, no product can gain its due credit’

‘Design thinking bridges the gap between creative invention and innovation’

Pradyumna Vyas, Director, National Institute of Design

Ashish Deshpande, Co-founder, Director & Head – Product Innovation, Elephant Strategy + Design

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‘In India, we do not realise Our potential for innovation’

‘To sustain a brand, companies need to constantly design and innovate’ Anuj Prasad, Founder & CEO, Desmania Design

Chandrashekhar Badve, Founder & Director – Strategy & Marketing, Lokus Design

27 DESIGN INNOVATIONS NEW ENGINEE RING MATE RIALS New Engineering Materials Augmenting product design & manufacturing

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Superalloys Making alloys more resistant

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Composites Gaining a distinct edge

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Nanomaterials The nano miracle

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Diamond-like Carbon Coatings Shining armour

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MATE RIALS SHOWCASE SEARCH - THE INDUSTRIAL SOURCEBOOK | J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 1

48 AD IN DEX + P RO DUCT IN DEX


TIME FOR ACTION Embracing risk to learn, grow & innovate ................................................................................... 6 AESTHETIC INSTINCTS Embedding design into business ................................................................................................ 10 CREATIVE THINKING Designing using dynamic decision-making ................................................................................. 12 Interviews ‘Without a unique design, no product can gain its due credit’ PRADYUMNA VYAS, Director, National Institute of Design ..................................................................... 16 ‘SMEs need to embrace design as a business tool’ SUDHIR SHARMA, Creative & Chief Executive, INDI Design ................................................................... 18

‘Design thinking bridges the gap between creative invention and innovation’ ASHISH DESHPANDE, Co-founder, Director & Head, Product Innovation, Elephant Strategy + Design ............ 20

‘In India, we do not realise our potential for innovation’ CHANDRASHEKHAR BADVE, Founder & Director, Strategy & Marketing, Lokus Design .............................. 23

‘To sustain a brand, companies need to constantly design and innovate’ ANUJ PRASAD, Founder & CEO, Desmania Design ............................................................................... 25


TIME FOR ACTION

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t is easy to say that entrepreneurial business people always forge ahead. However, the glamour of bold action is often faced with an obstacle – the specter of risk. New offerings may succeed in the market, but more often, they fail. Competitors may outwit you. Careers may hang in the balance. Taking bold risks does not feel safe. But to seek out ‘zero risk’ is to commit to doing nothing. How does one move ahead and create growth in such an environment? There is a better way. We applied the design process to this challenge, and set out to understand how designers approach risk. What we found is very encouraging. In the world of ‘design thinking,’ acknowledging risk is the first step towards taking action, and with action comes insight, evidence, and real options. To increase their odds of innovating routinely and successfully, today’s organisations need to learn to live with risk the way designers do.

DESIGNER’S APPROACH TO RISK Risk, in the traditional business sense, is an assessment of the downside that might result from taking a particular action. If the perceived level of risk is too high, people working within a business-as-usual paradigm look for a less-risky alternative, or even forego action altogether. We have found that this traditional, negative definition does not exist for most designers. For them, risk is not a measure of ‘the downside’; instead, it is a measure of upside and opportunity. If the risk is not great enough, designers might well ask themselves, ‘why bother?’ Insight 1: Designers do not seek to mitigate risk. When it comes to working with risk, trying is as important as doing. Consider what Owen Rogers, a designer who has worked at IDEO for over a decade, told us. Speaking to a set of experiences gleaned from hundreds of client engagements, he summed up how designers approach risk: ‘For a designer, trying is more coveted than success. The real risk is not failing, it is not trying.’ Trying is a statement of optimism, and a person, a team, or even an entire company grows more by acting rather than by standing still. In the worldview of a design thinker, failure is the best way to clear the

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Embracing Risk To

LEARN, G ROW & INNOVATE

With action comes insight. For a designer, the real risk is not about failure, but about not trying. A person, a team, or even an entire company can witness more growth if they get into action rather than remain dormant.


TIME FOR ACTION

fog to see a path to success. Take the example of the first generation Toyota Prius. With its diminutive wheels and bug eyes, the first generation Toyota Prius looked odd, and its performance was nothing to write home about. Competitors said it could not possibly be profitable. A failure? By conventional standards, yes. From Toyota’s view, however, it does not look like a failure. Rather, it looks like an experience absolutely necessary for creating the second-generation model, which is by all accounts a remarkable success. Designers see risk not as something static, but as a dynamic element and yet another design variable. Amplifying risk is a way to increase the amount of information one receives from experiments and prototypes. Markus Diebel, an IDEO industrial designer, told us, “On every project, we have our hands on a ‘risk dial’. We have designers on one side pulling it towards the red line, and our clients and their systems on the other side pulling it towards the safe zone.” In Markus’s mind’s eye, there is a glossy, black-anodised aluminum risk dial, and his ‘goes to eleven’. Such is a design thinker’s thirst for learning. They actively seek out failures, and even intentionally increase the frequency at which they occur. They then trumpet those failures knowing that the feedback they receive will put them ahead in the long run. This brings us to our next insight. Insight 2: Designers take risks to learn. All this might sound scary to someone who practices ‘business-as-usual’. Are designers all about the adrenaline rush? A clue can be found in what we heard from Madison Mount, who co-leads IDEO’s work in the food and beverage arena. “I am slightly addicted to risk. If I am not taking risks, I feel uncomfortable, because I am not learning,” says Mount. Designers are not hooked on to adrenaline – they are hooked on to learning, and embracing & amplifying risk is a way to learn. The more you try, the more you learn; and the more you learn, the greater the likelihood that you can design a new and better experience for a user. Designers want to create a meaningful & positive impact in the world, and they recognise that taking risks is the way to get there. Insight 3: Designers embrace risk, but their process of thinking mitigates it. Design thinking uniquely combines conscious risk taking with structured risk

mitigation. This is a fascinating paradox – designers embrace risk, but the way they think mitigates it. Each of the three behavioural building blocks of design thinking – empathy, prototyping, and storytelling – serves to simultaneously embrace and mitigate risk.

EMPATHY Design thinking starts with people and looks for evidence of desire. This is one of the most fundamental ways to mitigate risks. This is because marketing things that people do not want substantially increases one’s risk of failure. Ask yourself, what is the bigger risk – placing a bet on a value proposition that customers are asking for either latently or directly, or investing in an idea that springs from the cloistered assumptions of a conference room deep within your company? In a recent innovation project, design thinkers from both IDEO and a bicyclemanufacturing client interacted with potential customers. The conclusion they arrived at was not what they had expected. Instead of a desire for more technical ‘extreme’ biking experiences, what nonconsumers of modern bicycles truly desired was a simpler, more joyful biking experience. And so, they designed a much simpler experience, at the root of which is a bike that avoids complex, over-serving product features in favour of a simple foot-operated brake and an automatic gearbox. Risky? Yes, but only relative to the ingrained bias of the bicycling industry.

PROTOTYPING Design thinking encourages you to gather feedback long before an idea, concept or story is ‘finished’. A prototype, in the hands of a design thinker, is finished when it can teach them something. The goal of prototyping is to accelerate feedback and failure. Failing indicates that you have not quite yet nailed the experience, and suggests what you might try next. Prototyping lets you find problems, but it also teaches you to ‘let go’ of ideas that are not fruitful. Failure due to sins of commission is not a personal indictment, but an incitement to go out and create another prototype. Imagine what could have been if the creators of Iridium, a global mobile phone service, had approached their challenge of orbiting 77 geo-stationary communications satellites from a prototyping mindset. In

addition to the service being expensive, a severe drawback of Iridium was a lack of user satisfaction with the phone handsets, which were bulky and did not work well inside buildings – both fundamental valueproposition flaws. In the end, Iridium’s $6billion system was not viable, resulting in a fire sale for $25 million. Could the Iridium team have used prototyping to uncover these and other system flaws while they were still actionable? We are not technical experts in satellite deployment, but with the optimism that comes with a design thinking approach, anything can be prototyped. The real risk lies in not doing so.

STORYTELLING Crafting and telling simple, emotional and concrete stories is a critical part of the design thinking approach. Focussing on storytelling ensures that the essence of the value proposition is communicated and understood in a way that allows people within an organisation to learn and act. This essence is what Chip Heath, co-author of Made to Stick, calls ‘command intent’. Telling stories that people can internalise is a way to reduce execution risk as they will execute with a common vision in mind. In the absence of data and direct execution experience, well-told stories might be the only way to inspire action and ensure that all parts of an organisation are on the same page.

GETTING STARTED Irrespective of the context, a design thinking approach can help you deal with risk in a more productive, generative manner. Here are seven ways to get started: 1. Cultivate an unreasonable obsession with desirability As we mentioned earlier, beginning with real people and what they need and value is the most fundamental way to mitigate risk. Design thinkers look for evidence of human desire and needs via an unreasonable (business-as-usual standards) obsession with ‘what is desirable’. Why did the Mini become a best-seller for parent company BMW (financial success) as well as the iconic ‘hot-hatch’ of the 21st century? If you look at the competition, it was not the fastest option, nor was it the most reliable. But the Mini cornered the market on desirability on three counts. Its styling grabs us viscerally and its masterful reflective design in the form of cheeky billboards and interactive magazine ads convinced our brains that we

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TIME FOR ACTION

would be better humans if we owned one. The Mini is the product of an unreasonable obsession with desirability. You can cultivate your own desirability chops by using these three experience elements from Don Norman’s book Emotional Design – visceral, behavioural and reflective – to analyse the offerings and services in your own life that make you happy. 2. Act on informed intuition In a speech at Harvard, Andy Grove, cofounder and senior adviser to Intel Corp, made an important point about the relationship between risk and intuition, saying, “I think it is very important for you to do two things: act on your temporary conviction as if it was a real conviction; and when you realise that you are wrong, quickly correct your course.” When faced with a risky decision, and lacking complete data which would only be available at some point in the future, a design thinker decides based on their informed intuition. Design thinkers use their informed intuition and personal evidence to reduce the likelihood that they embark on a journey of solving the wrong problem. Designers know that waiting for perfect data is often the riskiest move of all. It is not as hard as you think to begin to shape and form your own informed intuition. As you create something new to the world, simple conversations with lead and expert users might tell you more than what any detailed survey could tell you. When it is time to begin looking for explanatory data, uniqueness may be more important than liking or purchase intent. 3. Iterating prototype We believe a key measure of the effectiveness of any innovation system is the time it takes to arrive at a first prototype. Be it Paul MacCready crashing and building and crashing his human-powered Gossamer Albatross aircraft in rapid succession, or the crew at Pixar creating incredibly rough videos of movies like Monsters Inc months and years before the start of final production, quickly iterating prototypes is a signature way to mitigate risk by giving you ‘risk-killing’ information. To put this into action, take that challenging project that is worrying you right now and list five or six assumptions you have about potential solutions. Now build something that helps you test one of your assumptions. That something could be a physical model, a quick video showing what the human experience would feel like, or

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even a reverse income statement. Then walk next door or to the next cube and put it in front of your colleague, your spouse or your mother. What did you learn? Repeat this process again and again. A key metric: how long is it taking to get feedback on your ‘big idea’ from another human being? 4. Think big, but start smaller Think big, but use constraints – such as schedule, headcount, and scope – to learn more about what it will take to execute your big picture value proposition without spending big-picture amounts of energy, money and time. Designers love constraints because they give them a toehold, a place to get traction, even in the most slippery of ascents. Limiting the scope of your initial efforts without losing site of the vision you are heading for is an effective way to prove viability. Limiting your scope makes it easier People who employ design thinking know that amplifying risk is a way to create more evidence of what works and what does not. to prototype, which, in a virtuous cycle, accelerates feedback about which constraints to keep applying energy against. In the end, it is less risky to scale a viable proposition than it is to try and make viable an operation already at scale. 5. Treat money as a positive constraint Money is just another constraint, but it is such an important one that we had to give it its own billing. Money is the grease, yet paradoxically, having less of it can make things move faster. It seems to also help brains think more clearly. Jaime Lerner, a renowned Brazilian architect, urban planner, and mayor of Curitiba, says that “creativity starts when you lose a zero from your budget”. To boost the usage of Curitiba’s public transit system, and without access to piles of money or time, Lerner created a lottery which used bus fare as lottery tickets. Treating a lack of money as a positive constraint helps strip away the fatty financial insulation that success builds up. Leaner budgets are less risky because they make it harder not to act. 6. Make a list of the best things that could happen Ross Mayfield, CEO of Socialtext, is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur with an interesting approach to formulating strategy. “As a

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planning exercise, I always try to ask two questions: ‘How could we take more risk?’ and ‘What risk can we take that creates the greatest amount of options?’” As we saw earlier, with Markus Diebel’s 11-digit risk dial, people who employ design thinking know that amplifying risk is a way to create more evidence of what works and what does not. When Mayfield thinks of ways to take more risk, he is actually reducing the long-term risk of his venture by uncovering the kinds of long-term business opportunities that are the lifeblood of a thriving organisation. He creates real options, because this risk-embracing activity puts you in to the flow of opportunities he would not have known existed without thinking through risky scenarios. 7. Seek challenges It is hard for an organisation to be pushing itself to the edge of its capabilities and learning if its people are not adept at living with risk. The ideal situation for someone trying to be innovative is one that balances clear, achievable goals with just enough task challenge so that there is a real risk of failure – enough to light their fires of creativity. Design thinking is the methodology individuals can hang on to in order to navigate challenges and risk. As they do so, they will learn and grow, and in their personal growth is the wellspring of creativity and innovation to feed larger innovation efforts.

EMBRACE RISK AND REAP THE REWARDS In business as in life, we all seek to reduce and manage risk, but we also need to grow and innovate. The best way to achieve both is to embrace risk while also mitigating it. At a personal level, design thinking is a life skill that gives us the tools to recognise risk and act in ways that mitigate it so that our dreams – big and small – can come true. For organisations, this approach provides a consistent and proven way to structure challenging innovation initiatives so that they become less risky. We cannot all be designers, but we can use aspects of design thinking in our lives to embrace, amplify and mitigate risk in order to create lasting value for ourselves and our world. Ryan Jacoby focusses on the areas of Venture Design and Growth and Innovation Strategy at IDEO. Diego Rodriguez is partner at IDEO. This article is an excerpt from Rotman Magazine.


AESTHETIC INSTINCTS

Embedding DESIGN into BUSINESS Firms everywhere are realising that they can jump start growth by becoming more design-oriented. But to generate meaningful benefits from design, they will have to change the way they operate. It is unrealistic to assume that firms will transform themselves completely into design shops. However, given today’s design-centric environment, it is essential that firms embed design into their value system.

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he topic of design is as hot as a pistol these days. Firms look wistfully at the stupendous growth that the iconic iPod has provided to the previously stagnating Apple Computer, and are hopeful that design can help them create their own version of the iPod and restart their growth engines. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as hiring a chief design officer and declaring that design is your top corporate priority. To generate meaningful benefits from design, firms will have to change in fundamental ways and begin to operate more like the design shops whose creative output they covet. To get the full benefits of design, firms must embed design into – and not append it onto – their business. Design organisations vary significantly from traditional firms along five key dimensions. They are flow of work life; style of work; mode of thinking; source of status and dominant attitude. If left unchecked, the stark contrast between traditional firms and design shops on these attributes will impede any attempt by traditional firms to become more ‘designoriented’.

FLOW OF WORK LIFE In traditional firms, the flow of work life is organised around permanent jobs and

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ongoing tasks. In design shops, the work flow is radically different and consists primarily of projects with defined terms. Designers are assigned a project with a specific deadline. Once the deadline arrives and the project is completed, the designer moves on to other projects, which has its own fixed duration. Designers get used to mixing and matching with other designers on ad hoc teams that are created with a specific purpose in mind. They view their careers as an accumulation of projects, rather than a progression of hierarchical job titles – ie. manager, director, AVP, VP, SVP, EVP, and CEO. If placed into a traditional setting with a ‘permanent job’ defined by the performance of an ongoing set of tasks, a designer will feel completely alienated from his/ her ‘normal’ way of operating. Indeed, it could be argued that traditional firms actually fool themselves by attempting to portray jobs and tasks as ‘ongoing’ and ‘permanent’, when in fact, the majority of work life is naturally a set of projects, each with its ebbs and flows. Many managers complain that because they are constantly ‘fighting fires’, they cannot seem to get their ‘real jobs’ done; but I would argue that they have a skewed sense of reality, and that the fire-fighting they are called to do is probably

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more ‘real’ than the set tasks associated with their ‘real job’.

STYLE OF WORK Traditional firms have a style of work that is consistent with the ongoing, permanent tasks that characterise their flow of work life. Roles tend to be carefully, if not rigidly, defined, with clear responsibilities for each individual laid out and economic incentives linked tightly to those responsibilities. Individuals are typically much more adept at describing ‘my responsibilities’ than they are at describing ‘our responsibilities’. They are inclined to work at these responsibilities, refining and honing outputs before sharing a complete, finalised ‘product’ with appropriate individuals. In a design shop, the style of work is much more collaborative. While there is some likely hierarchy within teams, projects are typically assigned to groups rather than to individuals. A design team is mandated to come up with a design solution together. Throughout the process, the team is expected to interact with the client by bringing them into the design collaboration. Because of this collaborative atmosphere, the work style also tends to be iterative – the opposite of waiting until something is ‘right’. This involves prototyping, honing


AESTHETIC INSTINCTS

and refining through multiple iterations with the client. Indeed, ‘final’ only emerges after many iterations. When traditional firms hire designers, their managers often find them disappointing as they bring prototypes for feedback instead of final products. Unfortunately for the designers, these firm managers think they are seeing a final product, and when judged by that standard, the product is patently sub-standard and the designer is considered incompetent.

MODE OF THINKING Traditional firms utilise and reward the use of two kinds of logic: Inductive: Proving through observation that something actually works Deductive: Proving through reasoning from principles that something must be. For example, a retailer may study the cost structure of all its outlets to determine which has the best cost position in order to set, inductively, a cost target for the whole chain. Or a consumer packaged goods firm can use its engrained theory – ie. ‘build market share and profits will follow’ – to deduce the appropriate action in a given situation. Any form of reasoning or argumentation outside these two forms is either discouraged or exterminated. The challenge is always, ‘Can you prove that?’, and to prove something in a reliable fashion means using rigorous inductive or deductive logic. Designers use and value inductive and deductive reasoning too, inducing patterns through the close study of users and deducing answers through the application of design theories. However, they also encourage and highly value a third type of logic – abductive reasoning. As described by Darden School of Business Professor Jeanne Liedtka, abductive reasoning is the logic of what might be. Designers may not be able to prove that something must be, but they nevertheless reason that it may be – and this style of thinking is critical to the creative process.

SOURCE OF STATUS The primary source of status in traditional firms is the management of big budgets and large staffs. When executives have the occasion to boast about themselves, they are inclined to refer to the number of people for whom they have direct responsibility and/or the bottomline that they deliver each year. Contrary to this, in a design shop, one would be hard-pressed to find someone bragging about big budgets or large staffs. If

today’s design-centric environment, traditional firms can – and should – make subtle but important changes in their values to embed and meaningfully exploit design, rather than append it as nothing more than the latest management fad. The linchpin of the required change lies with ‘wicked problems’. Traditional firm values result in assuming away ‘wicked problems’ as the product of immutable constraints with which the firm must live – managers avoid working on ‘wicked problems’ because status comes from elsewhere, and concentrating on ongoing tasks crowds out working on and thinking about it. Even if a ‘wicked problem’ is taken DOMINANT ATTITUDE on in a traditional firm, the lack of The dominant attitude in traditional firms is appreciation of both abductive reasoning to see constraints as the enemy and budgets, and iterative/collaborate work make it less as drivers of decisions. The common likely that it will be tackled productively. argument is, ‘We can only do what our If instead, traditional firms recognise that budget permits us to do’. If only budget wicked problems represent their biggest constraints could be relieved, these opportunities for value creation, they managers seem to imply, so will be spurred to see that much more would be tackling them requires a The possible. As a result, project-based approach – source of ‘budget constraints’ are and that the important status and pride in pegged as the reason role of projects in firm design organisations why a product’s life must not be derives from solving packaging is cheap ignored, but rather ‘wicked problems’ – looking, it is late to protected from the problems with no market, or its range is tyranny of ongoing definitive formulation too narrow. ‘The tasks. They will be budget’ – arch enemy of more inclined to assign or solution. the traditional firm their best and brightest to manager – simply makes it tackle ‘wicked projects’, impossible to do any better. which will signal that solving these In contrast, in design shops the is a very high status activity. dominant mindset is ‘there is nothing that By recognising these issues explicitly as cannot be done’. If something cannot be ‘wicked problems’, the firm – and those done, it is only because the thinking around assigned to tackling the problems – will be it has not been creative and inspired enough. more inclined to recognise that abductive For design shops, constraints are never the logic and iterative/collaborative processes enemy. On the otherhand, they serve to are necessary. Firms that truly want to increase the challenge and excitement level embed design into their fundamental of the task at hand. In fact, given the source operations need to wade into – not avert of status in these organisations, constraints their eyes from – ‘wicked problems’. The actually increase the level of a problem’s response to these problems must be ‘bring ‘wickedness’, making its potential solution it on’, rather than ‘nothing can be done’. much more rewarding. Thus, wading into ‘wicked problems’ using the approach described here will provide a THE JOURNEY FROM catalyst to introducing key design shop APPENDING TO EMBEDDING characteristics into a traditional firm. As It is both unrealistic and unproductive to some of today’s most successful firms have think that traditional firms will ever transform shown, infusing an organisation with design themselves completely into design shops. principles can pay big dividends in terms of There are reasons why even leading value creation. international design shops are tiny by Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management corporate standards. However, given anything, the bragging would be about how small and elite the shop is. The source of status and pride in design organisations derives from solving ‘wicked problems’ – problems with no definitive formulation or solution, whose definition is open to multiple interpretations. The office of a star designer is proof enough. Designers become known for their great solutions, be it the Apple mouse, the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, or the Nike swoosh. These designers enjoy the highest status in their firms and across their industries, and as a result, everyone in the design field seeks to earn status through tackling and solving ‘wicked problems’.

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CREATIVE THINKING

For a company to steer ahead, it has to not only be dynamic and adaptive, but also market driven in order to create value. It needs to harness creativity on a broader level as it is only by adopting a design approach that a company can produce fresh thinking in the short term and informed strategy over the longer term.

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cross industries, business models are being closely examined as new players enter the game and change the rules. While some firms are making efforts to ‘tune up’ their practices, the stark reality is that those who fail to find new ways to create value will be left behind. In this context, the modern enterprise needs to be dynamic, adaptive and market driven. It must concurrently perform two tasks: navigate the choppy waters of the present environment while simultaneously creating value for the future. A company’s decision-making dynamics are a critical dimension of both its adaptability to the present and its future success.

CASE STUDY Following is a scenario that no organisation would claim to be its own, but unfortunately, its elements are too often a reality that impedes progress. At the same time each year, the senior management of ‘Status Quo Co’ heads off

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for its annual planning retreat. Executives review the usual data – business results, market research data and analysis of tactical & operational success. They spot a problem or two, and maybe even an opportunity. They define a strategy for the next 12 months, polish up an impressive strategic plan, and return to headquarters to communicate the mandate. Lower levels of management absorb the plan and present to the senior management their unit’s tactics for achieving it. “See how well we have listened and how smart we are?” they think among themselves. Their forecasts are impressive (just what was asked for) and the plans are a logical extension of what they are already doing and know they are skilled at doing. This continues for another year. Everyone involved moves ahead to execute their razor-sharp plans and diligently sticks to the well-defined path. Any ‘inspirations’ that occur along the way are put on the back burner because they are not accounted for in the plan.

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Two quarters into the year, the numbers are not materialising. Fearing that they have failed to execute their plan, the management fine-tunes its tactics. They pour through their analytics, rearrange spending allocations and push even harder on what they initially set out to execute. The year ends, and they almost miss their numbers. Fortunately, they had a few lucky breaks in the final hours and were able to close a few big contracts. They regret that they had to cut some staff or abandon their pursuit of that new opportunity they wanted to pursue, but this is the reality of business. What makes this scenario worse is that they are heading into the new year with low first quarter numbers and no progress against the breakthrough ideas. While this example may appear extreme, such a scenario is not uncommon. In alltoo-many cases: • Strategy goes one way: top-down • Plans are set and executed, with only narrow course correction allowable • Decision-making is largely linked to


CREATIVE THINKING

delivering on the plan • The primary source of decisions is data, which ‘proves’ ideas have value • There is no allowance for and few resources to experiment with breakthrough future-forward ideas.

THREE GEARS OF BUSINESS DESIGN In situations like this, there is limited practice of what we call the ‘Three Gears of Business Design’: the cultivation of a deep understanding of the human factors that underlie a business; multiple prototyping and iteration of new possibilities; and proactive evolution of the strategic business model. This ‘Business Design Approach’ can have a profound impact on decisionmaking dynamics, from long-term strategic planning to day-to-day problem-solving and business development. Here are six keys to encourage managers to embed design principles and practices into the decision-making process: Embrace user-inspired strategies: Strategies are driven by the market’s explicit & unarticulated needs and what the enterprise is positioned and committed to deliver in the long haul. A

key strategic decision, then, is who to serve and which needs to serve. Good CEOs are personally committed to the customer and astutely tuned-in to their needs, both deeply (what they really need from a product or service, practically and emotionally) and broadly (as a person who appreciates ‘user context’ – the needs surrounding the products and services they currently sell to them). Visualise solutions: Many companies abstractly decide on strategies – via words on a page – that offer scope for multiple interpretations. We often hear business teams admit – long after the strategic planning process and well into execution – “That’s not how I thought it would play out.” By translating words into prototypes, team members can share a clearer picture of what a strategy really ‘looks like’ in concrete terms, whether it be an enhanced customer experience, a new kind of product or service or a new way of operating. Faced with tangible possibilities, understanding becomes clearer and, in our experience, decisions are more inspired. Use a ‘multiple choice’ framework for

decision-making: Unlike ‘Status Quo Co’, where the plan rests on a limited (and rather fixed) solution set, companies that explore a number of solutions early in the process not only realise richer solutions, they also reduce the risk of placing all their bets on one idea. Powerful strategies should provide Dynamic Enterprise Decision-Making

Figure One

Leadership Purpose & Mission Inspire Overarching Strategies Investment & Resource Allocation Sub-Strategies & Tactics

Inform

Execution & Enhancement

Experimentation

scope for opportunistic consideration of market-inspired solutions. The ongoing exploration of alternative prototypes also helps to form better and broader decisions. This keeps peoples’ thoughts open and fresh, and ensures lateral thinking and decision-making. For

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CREATIVE THINKING

example, when it comes to ongoing and what will not. Successful companies quality and productivity improvement, like Nike, Apple, Cervelo, and P&G are Toyota practices ‘Hansei’ (which means intimately involved with their customers ‘stop and reflect’), identifying root and have a successful track record to causes, exploring multiple counter prove the value of close relationships. measures and consulting all partners. While this does not mean running your This approach to consideration, business entirely on ‘gut instinct’, it does experimentation and implementation entail having a more ‘engaged’ team that allows for quick execution once a can accelerate the development process decision is made, without having to and get to bigger ideas. In short, rich rework. It also helps them get the customer understanding enables better, concept right using creativity and insight faster decisions. to arrive at an overall vision for the HARNESSING CREATIVITY ON product or solution. Multiple-choice A BROADER LEVEL experimentation shifts team decisionNow that we have covered some ways to making from a singular ‘go/no go’ to embed design thinking into decision-making, ‘what is the best way’ to achieve better let us look at how companies can harness outcomes. As a rule of thumb, instead of creativity on a broader level: developing one solution to improve Embrace and embed a ‘design approach’ value, consider three ways. Engage users in decision-making: Very into everyday practices: often, teams develop ideas in an ivory This is a dramatic shift from the ways most tower and interact with end-users companies have operated in only when it is time to provide recent years. Ongoing Firms ‘proof’ for their concept. At customer interaction and this point, the investment understanding, prolific that will cost – of time and prototyping and integrate the money – is high, as is experimentation are dynamic form of the risk of the solution a disciplined skill set decision making into their being sub-optimal that fundamentally DNA will enjoy a and having no changes behaviour. competitive advantage recourse. By engaging With this behaviour resulting from speed, the user early in the change comes a new bigger thinking and development process, mindset and bolder greater agility. the user can help guide optimistic thinking. For a decisions through the company like Apple, this concept of ‘co-creation’. This has been part of its DNA since approach helps keep the focus on the beginning. Others, like P&G, what really creates value. Co-creation have made it a priority to train their allows for expedient, efficient strategic organisation and provide means to practice and tactical decision-making. this approach effectively. Nurture a culture of experimentation: Establish an ongoing process for It is valuable to experiment with new reviewing breakthrough ideas early in ideas on an ongoing basis. The resulting development: output not only advances the enterprise Many companies have a ‘stage gate’ in the short term, the sharing of learning approach to project paths, but surprisingly, from these successes provides clues to many do not have an ongoing channel to bigger strategies for the enterprise over review radically new ‘early phase’ ideas. time. This can be a productive way to capture Use informed intuition to guide experience and wisdom to guide and decision-making: The closer you are to expedite breakthrough development. your customer, the less you will need to Create a clear structure for innovation: rely on heavy-duty quantitative research. Many innovation departments come and Furthermore, the value of truly go. The key is to set up a clear structure, breakthrough ideas is close to impossible integrate it into the rest of the operation to ‘prove’. Regular quality interaction and hold people accountable for defined with customers – through site visits, deliverables. Whether via an in-house lab, shop-alongs or co-creation sessions – an internal consultancy or an internal expert builds your instincts as to what will ‘fly’ support group, the greatest successes

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emerge from well-defined structures and clear lines of accountability. Create a culture in which innovation and decision-making is part of everyone’s job: When people do not pursue new ideas because they are not on ‘the plan’ or ‘it is not in their job description’, they will continue to do what is expected. However, if given the licence to experiment and explore, they will exercise their insights and innate creativity to the benefit of the enterprise. ‘Figure One’ depicts a framework of what I call Dynamic Enterprise DecisionMaking. The Leadership of the enterprise sets its purpose and mission, its overarching strategies, and decides how resources will be invested and allocated, including an allowance for ‘future exploration’. The ‘Front Line’ (ie. business unit managers and teams) not only executes and enhances the fiscal plan, but also places an agreed-upon amount of effort against experimentation and exploration of future possibilities. All of this is done in the spirit of open communication and collaboration between the Leadership and the Business Unit. The results of exploration and learning throughout the year inform future strategies and possibilities for breakthroughs that can provide advances in competitive advantage.

IN CLOSING For most companies, getting the most out of the business design principles outlined herein will require some degree of ‘cultural rewiring’, including skill development and strategic allocation of resources for future development initiatives. However, firms that integrate this dynamic form of decision making into their DNA will enjoy a competitive advantage resulting from speed, bigger thinking and greater agility, all of which will help drive success in the long haul. Today’s most successful companies show that ‘the proof is in’: nurturing a culture of dynamic decision-making and experimentation through a design approach can produce fresh thinking in the short term and inform strategy over the longer term. The potential for greater efficiency, employee empowerment and enterprise agility can form the basis of renewed competitive advantage in the ever-changing markets in which we operate today. Heather Fraser, Director, Designworks and Rotman’s Design Initiative. E-mail: heather.fraser@rotman.utoronto.ca


DESIGN DIALOGUE

Without a UNIQUE DESIGN, no product can GAIN ITS DUE C RE DIT “The most crucial factor in gauging the success of a product is the end-consumer. We first need to understand what his needs are and accordingly design a product that will best suit his requirements,” avers Pradyumna Vyas, Director, National Institute of Design during an interaction with Purna Parmar. Excerpts… DEFINING INNOVATION Innovations happen everywhere, at different places, and work at every level – be it in our day-to-day lives or in a complex process such as manufacturing. It all starts as an idea that needs to be translated into a commercially successful business. Here lies the crucial importance of design innovation. To put it simply, design innovation harmonises technology with a novel idea to create a successful business proposition. All we need to do is recognise the innovations and take them forward.

SHOP FLOOR INNOVATIONS To understand shop floor innovations in a holistic way, we must first analyse the interdependencies of core elements that make or break the success of a product. The most crucial factor in gauging the success of a product is the end-consumer. We first need to understand what his needs are and accordingly design a product that will best suit his requirements. This calls for an increased emphasis on design. But here, it is important to note that without a unique design, no product can gain its due credit. The role of the manufacturer, who will give a shape to that idea, follows next. At this stage, a reasonable intervention of technology would lead to the creation of a high quality product at low-cost as it will be mass-produced. And last, but not the least, the product needs to be sustainable in the long run. A perfect blend of all these components will create a winning product. However, for an innovation to be successful and sustainable, a designer needs to take a multi-pronged approach. Firstly, he needs to play the role of a philosopher to gauge future demand trends. Secondly, he needs to play the role of a teacher to impart that knowledge to future design

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professionals. Thirdly, the designer has to visualise how the idea could be turned into reality to get commercial success and fourthly, he needs to play the part of a technician to give shape to these ideas.

INDIAN SMEs’ INNOVATIVE CAPABILITIES India is a young country, where more than 50 per cent of the population falls in the age group of 20-25 years. Secondly, India has enterprising people. In fact, the MSME sector in India is one of the biggest employment generators. Unfortunately, its contribution to the Indian economy is not in proportion with the contributions of the bigger industries in India. For this, Indian SMEs need to drive their R&D initiatives and put a thrust on design innovations.

EVOLUTION OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN IN INDIA India was a protected economy till the 1980s. The industry did not place any emphasis on design and new product development. There was not much competition then and so,

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Organisations need to imbibe a culture of appreciation and have a participatory culture wherein all stakeholders should converge on one platform and discuss their ideas.

the industry did not invest in design for better product development. A culture of reverse engineering soon emerged. However, here it was more of imitation of foreign products. After the mid-80s ie. postliberalisation, foreign companies entered the Indian market and began manufacturing. In order to compete with foreign counterparts and ensure that the products manufactured here matched the quality of the foreign products, companies started investing in design and innovation. This gave birth to innovation-led design and subsequently, innovation-led manufacturing.

MAKING INDIA AN INNOVATION HUB For India to become an innovation hub, it needs to adopt certain practices, which are sustainable ie. the product should consume less energy, it should be made with raw materials that are bio-degradable, the manufacturing process should be green and least waste should be generated as byproduct. At the same time, India also needs to deliver quality products at lowest cost.

STRATEGIES TO FOSTER INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT Today, every division of the organisation – designers, technicians, shop floor managers and marketing personnel – work in silos. They only take part in the activities, which are specific to their key responsibility areas. They do not interact on a regular basis and most importantly, are not part of the decision-making process. This gap needs to be bridged in order to harness the culture of innovation, the employees need to be involved in the entire process of creating a product. Only then will they be able to act as involved and evolved team members.


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PROMOTING DESIGN EDUCATION Let me give you some figures to explain the criticality of making people aware about design education. We produce approximately five lakh engineers, one lakh MBAs in a year in India, but we are not even producing 500 designers. India currently needs 10,000 designers and we have to achieve this in a very short time. The government needs to put in a lot of efforts to bring design into the mainstream. In order to realise this potential, the government had announced National Design Policy in 2007. In pursuance of this policy, Indian Design Council was constituted in March 2009. The objective of this council is to improve design education; and to make it happen, four new NIDs are being set up in various parts of the country.

The council also plans to develop a design curriculum and introduce it in engineering colleges to enhance understanding of how design can help in attaining perfection. The council is also discussing and negotiating this with the ministry over introducing tax benefits for design education and promotion. We are also trying to launch (I) mark in India, most probably, by March 2011. Last, but not the least, the confidence and zeal to pursue an idea, understanding your culture & tradition and taking it forward is what will make you a global leader and offer you long-term returns.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REQUIRES SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS For this to happen, organisations need to imbibe a culture of appreciation and have a

participatory culture wherein all stakeholders should converge on one platform and discuss their ideas and take it forward. Sharing the vision, a participatory environment and investing time & money are important enablers for sustainable innovation.

EMERGING TRENDS IN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN A designer should ensure that his design benefits everyone. A design is not the prerogative of the privileged or the affluent. On the contrary, it must be used to empower the underprivileged. The Tata Nano and swatch water purifier are examples of such an initiative, which must be taken into consideration to provide solutions to improve the quality of lives of the masses.

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DESIGN DIALOGUE

SMEs need to embrace design as a BUSINESS TOOL “As long as copying is cheaper than creating, creating will lag behind. The moment stricter I P R laws that make copying really unaffordable for an entrepreneur come into existence; design will make its mark,” observes Sudhir Sharma, Creative & Chief Executive, IN DI Design. Emphasising on the role of design innovations, Sudhir highlights the pillars of fostering innovations in India during an interaction with Prerna Sharma. Excerpts… INNOVATION ACCORDING TO YOU… Innovation refers to a beneficial improvement, which could be at any stage – ideation, conceptualisation, manufacturing or marketing. Innovations done in the design stages, process or activity are known as design innovations. The term design itself is just about known to industry, I am sure that the industry is still unaware of the concept of design innovation. Here, realisation of resultant benefit is important so that the new concept is not restrained to academic purposes only.

BARRIERS TO INNOVATION We do not encourage experimentation as there is a possibility that the consequences could be detrimental. Apart from this, there is a fear of failure as well as a fear of being identified as a ‘loser’, be it in the academic circle or the industry . I would consider the following as the major barriers for innovation: • Not encouraging experimentation • Only rewarding positive results and not effort, sincerity or intent • Playing safe • Not building an ecology of innovation, but only having isolated functions to innovate • Not investing in the right resources and finances for innovation.

INNOVATION AWARENESS – A MUST We need to build a culture of innovation in India. We already have a culture of creativity,

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but we need to build resources to take it to a stage where it starts paying. Very often, we confuse creativity with innovation and so, first-level awareness of innovation is very important and needs to be demonstrated and documented. Also, there should be a belief that innovation is possible by almost everyone and in any capacity.

ENABLING FACTORS FOR INNOVATION The ability to think outside the box, exposure to the processes of innovation and multiple resources to try and fail investments till the desired result is achieved, are some of the points that act as the enabling factors for innovation.

MEASURING THE SUCCESS OF INNOVATIONS Innovations are always successful, until then, they are only attempts and ideas. The measure (unit) for any innovation is always a benefit that may be tangible, and hence, can be proven. Thus, any innovation can be called an ‘innovation’ only if it can be measured in the form of some tangible benefits.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REQUIRES SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS Long-term benefits can be derived by keeping the cycle of i n n o v a t i o n

operational and being at it always. Continous efforts can also result into beneficial results. It is this constant thinking and prodding that gets a sustainable response.

LATEST DESIGN TRENDS THAT CAN DRIVE THE GROWTH OF INDIAN SMEs Today SMEs need to embrace design as a business tool, take design beyond the product manufacturing cycle and integrate it in processes. Design thinking is more vital for SMEs than design itself.

YOUR VIEWS ON NATIONAL DESIGN POLICY National Design Policy is a draft policy that makes it amply clear that the government is looking at an economy driven by design. It recognises the design industry and focusses on education. I believe it will create more design awareness in the industry and spur design education in India.

FACTORS THAT WILL CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS MAKING INDIA AN INNOVATION HUB

We should not worry about becoming an innovation hub. That will not lead us anywhere. Our Longindustry has to become term benefits more proactive and can be derived by innovative. Titles will keeping the cycle of follow. Innovations will innovation operational. benefit the masses Continous efforts can also and the economy. result into beneficial results. That itself is a big It is this constant thinking reward.

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DESIGN DIALOGUE

PERFECT MIX TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL AND WINNING DESIGN Simplicity of operation, emotional appeal, true to the environment and good built quality are the perfect mix to create a successful and winning design.

STRATEGIES TO FOSTER INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT According to me, the strategies to foster innovations and entrepreneurial spirits include: • Making minds curious

• • • •

Making people ask questions Removing the fear of failure Providing for failures Creating an ecosystem of innovation.

lead to better ideas and innovations on this front. Indian companies have a lot of advantages when it comes to innovations. Culturally we are used to living with constraints and limitations. We are adept at handling variations and multiplicity.

YOUR PERCEPTION ON DESIGN INNOVATION & USER EXPERIENCE AS THE KEY DRIVERS IN THE NEW ECONOMY

DESIGN INNOVATIONS IN INDIA: A PERSPECTIVE

In my view, at the moment we need to create scalable businesses and not worry about creating a global identity. A new economy is anyway centered on users and there is no doubt that design processes will

As long as copying is cheaper than creating, creating will lag behind. The moment stricter IPR laws that make copying really unaffordable for an entrepreneur come into existence; design will make its mark.

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DESIGN DIALOGUE

Design thinking bridges the gap between C REATIVE INVENTION and INNOVATION “India has been the traditional hotbed for innovation. All it needs is a favourable environment in order to incubate,” avers Ashish Deshpande, Co-founder, Director & Head, Product Innovation, Elephant Strategy + Design, during an interaction with Prerna Sharma. Excerpts… INNOVATION – THE GUIDING LIGHT Innovation, in my opinion, is the successful exploitation of new ideas and opportunities. The term innovation has its roots in the Latin word ‘novus’ and is derived into the verb ‘in + novare’, which covers the meaning ‘to make new’ or ‘the act of introducing something new’. Design thinking bridges the gap between creative invention and innovation. Any innovation has to be a balance breakthrough in which ‘innovation’ creates a new opportunity in the way: • An innovation works (technology) • People use the innovation (user benefit) • It can be marketed (business). Traditionally, the Indian manufacturing sector concentrated on technical and productivity-related benefits. The key area of focussing on people, users and consumers has always been neglected. What they did not realise is that most ‘innovations’ today arise from a meticulous understanding of people’s needs, which is the backbone of ‘design innovation’ thinking. Till the Indian manufacturing sector starts looking at its end-users and benefits for people, it will remain distant from the word ‘Design Innovation’. Notwithstanding, there have been quite a few impressive benchmarks where holistic thinking of ‘Design Innovation’ has created differentiated products and service models. A few examples that have left a successful Design Innovation signature on the manufacturing landscape include Tata Nano, Titan Edge, Bosch PF-45, ideaForge Go Charger, Tata Swach, Godrej ‘Chotukool’. Many more innovations are on the anvil as

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enterprises become sensitive to the culture of design-led Innovation.

BARRIERS FOR INNOVATION IN INDIA

first time has a counter productive effect on design-led innovation. Sir James Dyson underwent a torturous journey of 5,000+ prototypes before he could launch a truly differentiated vacuum cleaner. Today, his product brand is a global success. The fifth and final barrier, which prevents enterprises from adopting design-led innovation is that they simply do not know how to implement it. There is a great need to network and seek expertise in implementing design-led innovation and get views from experts in various fields. This broadens the enterprise vision. For example, most manufacturers of components present themselves as technology suppliers and not as interpreters of new paradigms.

India has the potential for setting up enterprises. Manubhai Parikh’s ‘mitti cool’ is a good example of how innovation is a constant driver for people even in India. The greatest barrier innovation faces in India is the fear of diminishing resources. Even in organised set-ups, financial analysis precedes any idea and usually rings its death knell if the idea is not feasible. The second barrier stems from the inability of decision makers to look at the value of design-driven innovation beyond profits into indirect areas like brand assets, customer loyalty, competitive advantage, INDIA – THE LAND OF knowledge and network. The value which CREATIVITY emerges from these indirect areas India is a land of enterprise. The runs deep and creates a longmechanical roti makers are not lasting impression in people’s Setting innovations fostered by minds. a mindset and multinational corporations or The third barrier culture that fosters large Indian appliance comes from a mindset innovation and manufacturers, but micro, – play safe and make small & medium incremental changes. putting together a enterprises. Innovations are minor design process for For Indian improvements and innovation are the manufacturers, the journey are usually quick-fix two key enablers must begin closer to home. solutions to fire fight for innovation. The first step is to accept the response from fact that to be a successful competitive markets. enterprise, one has to adopt a Incremental innovation, on design-driven culture. the other hand, eventually creates The second step is to surround oneself a restricted mindset, which leaves no room with interpreters of various facets of the for landmark innovations. innovation journey be it business, finance, The fourth barrier is reluctance to design, users or technology. These prototype. Trying too hard to get it right the

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Photo by: Joshua Navalkar

DESIGN DIALOGUE

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DESIGN DIALOGUE

interpreters could be in your organisation or could be expert consultants. A wellstructured team of interpreters makes the journey of design innovation easy. Finally, one must keep in mind that it is people who innovate, while organisations only enable.

ENABLING FACTORS FOR INNOVATION Setting a mindset and culture that fosters innovation and putting together a design process for innovation are the two key enablers for innovation. The success of innovations has to be felt by the people. Hence, the metrics is centered on the people involved or affected by the innovation. However, any innovation can be called an innovation if and only if it is sustainable. For example, Swatch is still a trendsetter, 25 years after it shook the traditional watch industry. As far as key enablers are concerned, I would consider the following: 1. Listen to people (users) 2. Inspire by drawing insights 3. Design the innovation 4. Prototype & test 5. Refine

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DESIGN TRENDS & THE GROWTH OF INDIAN SMEs SMEs form the backbone of the Indian industrial successes. Yet traditional SMEs have been more of jobbers and part suppliers to OEMs rather than wholesome product manufacturers. Today, design can be leveraged by SMEs to introduce composite products. This will pave the way for adding value to their work. Energy, lighting and retail are some of the growing areas where SMEs can contribute with new value-added products.

NATIONAL DESIGN POLICY The National Design Policy, which was unveiled in 2007, was long-awaited by the industry. The policy shows that the Government of India is focussing on improving the value of our industrial output, quality of design education and benefits to common people. The policy focusses on design and will bring in changes the way the corporate world, administration, people representatives and common man would look at it. However, for the policy to be successful, it needs a planned enforcement by the Government of India, a strong acceptance by the industry in practice and a

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great deal of advocacy in administrators’ and people’s mind.

A HUB FOR INNOVATION India has been the traditional hotbed for innovation. All it needs is a favourable environment in order to incubate. In my opinion, the five factors that would make India an innovation hub are: 1. Government becomes design and innovation responsible 2. People participation and leadership 3. National programmes for promoting innovation in all sectors 4. A design-sensitised bureaucracy 5. Creating and linking to a global network.

RECIPE FOR WINNING DESIGN It is important to note that winning and success are not about competitions and awards. In fact, any piece of industrial design is a winner. However, the industrial design needs to fulfill certain criteria. The industrial design has to be successfully accepted by the people. It has to prove beneficial for them and users of the industrial design should be able to sustain it.


DESIGN DIALOGUE

In IN DIA, We Do Not Realise Our POTENTIAL For INNOVATION “Sustainable innovation involves risk but it also requires structure. While a lot can be achieved by ‘continuing to do better’, it will be far more challenging and rewarding to learn how to bring design, smart technologies and the ‘new economy’ together to drive growth in ways that reflect changing concerns and values of a connected world,” affirms Chandrashekhar Badve, Founder & Director, Strategy & Marketing, Lokus Design, during an interaction with Prerna Sharma. Excerpts… ‘INNOVATION’ ACCORDING TO YOU… As leading economist and professor Theodore Levitt, once said, “Creativity is dreaming up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” Innovation always falls right between the big idea and the ability to put that idea into action. Innovation today is the heart of business strategy. Design thinking is the new management practice that fuels innovation. Yet, many businesses are missing out resulting into over-managing and underinnovating. What the Indian manufacturing needs most is a new way of seeing. Companies, today gravitate towards one of two cultures – innovation driven or execution driven. However, they need both to succeed. Design-driven innovations do not come from the market; they create new markets. They do not push new technologies; they push new meanings.

fresh ideas being constantly innovated. With India’s diversity, there is innovation happening at a rapid pace at different places, which go unnoticed. I feel we also need to celebrate these achievements along with failures.

ROADBLOCKS TO CREATIVITY We need to inculcate the culture of ‘open innovation’. The biggest barrier to innovation would be not being

FACTORS DETERRING INNOVATION I strongly feel that in India, we tend not to learn from our failures. The willingness to learn, unlearn and relearn is missing. When it comes to innovation, it is not about whether you fail fast, fail slow or whether you fail at all, but about how fast you learn. The ultimate goal of a ‘learning fast’ approach to innovation is to extract the key insights from your pursuits and the ability to quickly recognise how to modify your situation to take advantage of unexpected learnings, the flexibility and empowerment to make the necessary course corrections. In India, we do not realise our potential for innovation. India has tremendous agility & dynamism and with the highest number of young population, we have a host of

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DESIGN DIALOGUE

able to share it. I think broadening our thinking at a glocal (global + local) level, taking risks, reaching out with our ideas will be the most potent way to overcome the barriers to innovation. Drawing on a wealth of stories and examples would help us overcome the barriers to successful and profitable innovation. We need to create a platform for like-minded individuals where they can share their experiences, and together, these insights would help us foster our creativity into organised channels. The other barrier is mindlessly replicating and not applying any creativity or differential thinking. It starts with our primary education where we have been told to learn by heart and not apply or ask questions. This is where it goes wrong.

ENABLING FACTORS FOR INNOVATION According to Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of World Wide Web, the two sources of innovation are frustration and play. I think idea creation, destructive thinking, scenario planning, alternative approaches to an issue, providing varied outcomes to problems are the enabling factors for innovation.

DESIGN TRENDS DRIVING GROWTH OF INDIAN SMEs

PERFECT MIX TO CREATE A WINNING DESIGN

Cornered from all sides, small companies are left with no option, but to innovate – technology, marketing, sales, finance or human resources. This has contributed tremendously towards design-driven innovation. Indian SMEs are slowly realising the power of brands. Also, there has been a noticeable shift towards innovative packaging, focus on branding, adherence to international design standards and sensitivity to the adoption of bar codes, trademarks, etc.

A successful and winning design is a design that not only satisfies the needs of the consumer and the business, but also does not have any undesired effect on its environment.

YOUR VIEWS ON NATIONAL DESIGN POLICY The fact that the government realises the importance of design, and has attempted to address the issues of the designers/design institutes/design companies and MSMEs has been well appreciated and utilised. MSMEs will certainly enjoy long-term benefits after availing the scheme. The idea of granting subsidy has had a positive effect on MSMEs when considering the design aspect. The

YOUR PERCEPTION ON DESIGN INNOVATION

policies have been heartily embraced as opposed to the initial friction and scepticism associated with government schemes.

FACTORS THAT WILL MAKE INDIA AN INNOVATION HUB

MISCONCEPTION: DESIGN IS AN ADDED EXPENSE

The answer lies in a combination of factors. We have a tech savvy vibrant democracy and a huge pool of talent in terms of language and technical skill. Apart from this, there is an internal domestic market to be tapped along with a booming exports avenue. There is also a learning curve that is perhaps unique to India. Given the minimalist resources and constraints, the beauty of India lies in its capability to nurture talent and innovation.

The biggest fears faced today are of being copied and the risk of failure. Design projects have huge investments and the results are intangible. Hence, companies perceive design as an added expense and not a priority. Conviction with the benefits of design, adoption of good design practices with investments in IPR, copyrights and strategic implementation of design will help companies benefit from design innovations.

We need to create a platform for likeminded individuals where they can share their experiences, and together, these insights would help us foster our creativity into organised channels.

The success of innovations will be demonstrated by happy and satisfied customers. It results in increase in word of mouth and the visibility of the product or service. Increase in demand, recognition and profits form the benchmark for successful innovations.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REQUIRES SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS

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Pursue powerful ideas that can bring forth a disruptive change in the market with a willingness to learn, unlearn and relearn. Innovation and incubation groups with core propositions to encourage people to take new paths, adopt the roads that are less travelled and take risks.

As per the past and current trends, the market is consumer-driven. Consumers are very sensitive and their needs and aspirations frequently change. This is mostly because of increasing awareness and exposure. The market becomes overcrowded with ‘me-too’ products in a very short period because of duplication. In such a scenario, one has to foresee the future and be proactive in order to tap the consumer’s experience. Thus, design innovation and user experience are the means to stay ahead in the competition. In this monotonous market, one has to set a trend and benchmark for innovative solutions. Thus, innovation should be frequent enough for it to remain a brand. Some of the best innovations like Google and Microsoft have come from India. Google Finance is an Indian creation and so are several other best sellers in Google Labs. Microsoft India Labs has been active with innovations like the Split Screen PC (several mice and keyboards can be attached to a single PC).

MEASURING THE SUCCESS OF INNOVATIONS

Sustainable development offers an organised outline based on opportunity and respect for human values. Innovation is about using change to satisfy human needs and values. The process of innovation is taking place within increasingly networked economies with changing social values and growing environmental pressures. Sustainable innovation involves risk but it also requires structure. While a lot can be achieved by ‘continuing to do better’, it will be far more challenging and rewarding to learn how to bring design, smart technologies and the ‘new economy’ together to drive growth in ways that reflect changing concerns and values of a connected world.

STRATEGIES TO FOSTER ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

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DESIGN DIALOGUE

To Sustain A Brand, Companies Need To Constantly Design And Innovate “Design creates and changes perceptions. Designers want to enhance the perceived value of the product. The Perceived Value is not just a combination of two commonly used words but together it creates a great synergy that can change the way businesses work. It is the face value of a product,” avers Anuj Prasad, Founder & CEO, Desmania Design, during an interaction with Prerna Sharma. Excerpts… DESIGN IN MANUFACTURING

BRAND BUILT BY DESIGN

Designers work along with manufacturers to help them design a product that will meet both the implicit as well as explicit needs of buyers. Businesses have to be dynamic to meet the constantly evolving users’ needs. They have to identify and cater to the physical and emotional needs of their buyers. Each business is vying for space, increased marketshare and long-term engagement with their customers. Established brands are investing to maintain their longevity and reach. New brands are trying to establish connect with their customers, while commodities are trying to create brands. Multinationals know the value of design and they invest in it to reap the returns. Indian market leaders, who are established brands, are gradually understanding the importance of design in their new scheme of things. Small players, who are ambitious, feel that design can catapult them into a different league. Small manufacturers and traders want to compete with established players in the industry. They want to change the perceptions of their target audience. This can only happen if they focus on design and its critical importance in manufacturing quality products on a mass scale.

Brands endorsed by design and designs endorsed by brand are the call of the day. Brand is an asset, a long-term investment

that fetches premium and ROI. To sustain a brand, companies need to constantly design and innovate. Innovation has to be on the top of the agenda for each stakeholder in the supply chain. Innovation can no more remain a mere word in the vocabulary of Board of Directors and senior management. It has to be practiced by all.

ATTRACTING TALENT Designers, the new breed of professionals, in the industry can be a great stimulus for innovation. Through an articulate thought process and in-depth understanding of the consumers/users, designers can change the perceptions of the management, retailers and consumers. Through design, a watch has become a lifestyle product from a mere utility, a phone has become a personal product from a mere communication device and a refrigerator has become a kitchen appliance from just a cooling device.

DESIGN PERCEPTIONS Design creates and changes perceptions.

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DESIGN DIALOGUE

Designers want to enhance the perceived value of the product. The perceived value is not just a combination of two commonly used words but together it creates a great synergy that can change the way businesses work. It is the face value of a product. A product should have a legacy of the brand with a design that endorses it. The look of any product provides its buyer a certain level of comfort to proceed further. In simple arithmetic, the perceived value of a product should be greater than the actual cost. ie. If the perceived value > actual cost, then the chances of success are bright, the reverse, ie. perceived value < actual cost is likely to fail, whereas perceived value = actual cost may just make the product struggle to sell in the red ocean. A high perceived value helps in charging a premium, which would mean better margins or better bottomline.

CRITICAL ROLE OF DESIGN IN BUYING DECISION Looks play a crucial role when making a buying decision. But one-time buying may not help organisations sustain in the long run. One needs to engage customers in order to build a long-term relationship with the brand. It is here that the designers need to step in and consciously build a brand experience for consumers. Simple ‘needs’ of the consumers have to be identified and converted into features, out of the box ideas can give surprises (pleasant ones only) and delight the consumers. For example, cars earlier only indicated the fuel level, whereas now, it has additional features which indicate the number of kilometres that the vehicle can run in the remaining fuel. With the traffic nightmare in the metros, the user wants to know how much time it will take to reach his destination. This can be easily executed by integrating the route chosen, GPS and the traffic situation (linked through the satellite). Brand experience can be contagious. It creates word of mouth publicity and increases interest in the product among a larger consumer base. This means more numbers and an increase in topline. Thus we can infer that brand experience = (topline)n where ‘n’ is dependent on how well the designer understands the needs of the users and integrates it with technology and trends in the consumers’ language. A great brand experience can improve the topline exponentially. The most clichéd example doing the rounds for the last few

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years is Apple, iPod, iPhone, etc. In India, Titan has been successful in its pursuit to create a huge footprint in the local market, through strategic design.

industry like Ericsson, Alcatel, Philips, Siemens, etc. The factor that can be attributed to this unprecedented rise in its brand perception, and in turn the market share, is design.

USER EXPERIENCE User experience is supported with great SUCCESS FACTORS FOR DESIGN IN MANUFACTURING customer relationship management (CRM). One of the key ingredients for achieving This would include giving the right success through design is the art of information to the customer at the right manufacturing. The execution of design time. An overdose of information and with fine details, neatness and precision, constant updating may act as an irritant. helps convert an idea into reality. A Information design is another area that successful design requires the creates an emotional connect with support of enthusiastic R&D the customer. Same goes with and innovative service or customer Innovative manufacturing. For support. These are design has to be example, China is excellent tools for brand aptly supported by taking great strides in experience. Service innovative manufacturing. both design and Design is also an Great ideas need to be manufacturing. upcoming area. However, there is a Designers can use the converted right, and this general perception consumer and needs lateral thinking and among Indian stakeholders’ insights a positive attitude consumers that most to design a delightful down the supply Chinese products are service experience for chain. low priced and poor in customers. Evolution of execution and are therefore, design will see a new breed of neither reliable nor long lasting. designers who will design services This impression has rubbed off on the that are not only functional but also high-end products manufactured by China delightful. even though they have been manufactured DESIGN AUGMENTING using stringent quality standards. Many BUSINESS STRATEGIES Chinese consumer durable companies in Great businesses strategise to win in a India have failed because of this generic ‘crowded’ market place. The last few consumer perception. Fortunately, Indian decades were dominated by ‘market products are better placed. The only thing strategy’ and most wars were fought on we lack is manufacturing efficiency to bring price, technology and features. Of late, down the cost while maintaining high quality great businesses talk about design in their standards. communication, Vaio’s ‘Size Zero’ laptop or As mentioned earlier, innovative design Dell’s ‘Personalised Graphics’ on their has to be aptly supported by innovative laptops, or Sony’s ‘Monolithic LED TV’ are manufacturing. Great ideas need to be examples where communication is converted right, and this needs lateral anchored around design. It means that thinking and a positive attitude down the organisations are transitioning towards supply chain. design-centric strategies rather than Markets are in a transient state. focussing exclusively on sales-driven Technology is accessible to all and is being strategies. Rejuvenated organisations are taken for granted by the consumers. re-manoeuvring their vessels through the Consumers need to have an emotional and consciously crafted design routes. Design a sensorial connect with the products they strategy is the new mantra for success. It buy. Personalisation is taking over will create a win-win situation for the sellers customisation. Obsolescence has to be and buyers. consciously planned for the emerging new Take the case of Samsung mobile breed of customers. The future organisations phones. Samsung was way down the ladder will plan their businesses with a user-centric and was treated just like any other company design approach. Those who do not may five years back. But its visionary design have to start all over again. ‘Design means strategy has demolished the bigwigs of the Business’ is the new Mantra!

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DESIGN INNOVATIONS

MULTI-WAY SWITCH It is a modified switch that could be operated ‘n’ ways (contrast from one way or two way switches). Such switches, which can be installed in different parts of a building or premises, operate a single instrument/device. An optional indicator will tell that the device is on or off. For example: One may have a tube light each in five rooms and veranda in one’s house. Now in each room and the veranda, there will be six switches and six indicators, which will be used to switch on/off light in any of the rooms or the veranda. Seeing the six indicators will tell the person where the tube lights have been left switched on.

Benefits: The benefits of multi-way switch are many. Some of them include: • Ease in switching off as one need not go physically to the required room • Monitoring of electricity • Reduction in consumption as a result of this monitoring. Many-a-times, in large buildings or bigger houses, one can have only two way switches, this multi-way switch enables switching on or off lights or a device from multiple points. Several people can switch on the light or a device without having to go to the master switch. The switch has application in restaurants, hotels, oil refinery plants, railways (in signals), etc. The inventor has also developed a control panel, which displays the on and off status of different appliances connected to the system. If a house has multiple doors having switches for the common doorbell, under normal circumstances, one would not know which door should be opened. With his device, one can find out from which door the bell rang.

Innovative quotient: Apart from the design of the switch, there is a technique in laying out the wiring also, which complements the design and use of the switch. These switches effectively make system centralised. This switch can also be used as one way switch, two way switches or a high power switch by just altering the wire connections. Innovator: Satish Kumar, Hamirpur, HP

ELECTRONIC ROBOT The innovator has developed an electronic robot that can be used in hazardous areas for command and control. This unit can be controlled by a TV remote and can ‘see’ and maneuver around obstacles, take photographs as required, detect fire, smoke and monitor humidity levels.

Advantages: Due to its reach in some of the humanly inaccessible areas, it could help in mines, locating survivors in fallen buildings as well in defence. The robot has 40 ICs (integrated circuits), more than two hundred transistors and 900 resistors apart from other components. It also has 10 wheels, 5 motors, 6-volt battery and a few sensors.

Salient features: • The robot is also able to work as a fire alarm and indicate humidity levels. • It also has a small device to launch a missile or a bomb for defence purposes. • The inventor has thought about ideas of giving automatic signal to the trains on a single track coming closer to each other within a specified distance, so as to avoid accidents. Innovator: Prem Singh Saini, Ambala, Haryana

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DESIGN INNOVATIONS

ELECTRONIC CIRCUIT The cost incurred for the maintenance of the motor is sometimes more than the cost price of the motor itself. Burning of coil is one of the major reasons. This device protects motors used for agricultural and industrial applications and prevents the motor from burning due to voltage fluctuations, phase loss & reversal, dry run & overflow, overload and many other real life situations in the fields. Technicalities: Excessive voltage fluctuation in electric supply is the curse that most of the rural people have to live with. Poor quality of the electric supply often leads to frequent or premature burn out of the coils of motors. The electronic circuit attempts to provide a total protection to the motor as far as possible within a limited budget. It is specifically targeted at the motors meant for powering water pumps for agricultural applications. The circuit switches off the motor when any of the functional parameters gives rise to the possibility of burn out of the field coils. Miniature pilot lamps light up to indicate the exact reason for which the supply to a motor has tripped. By eliminating the particular fault or by waiting till the fault automatically gets eliminated before restarting the motor, it is possible to eliminate motor burn out. Many farmers, who have used the device and followed the instructions properly, have not faced problem of breakdown of their electric pump over the past four or five years. The device can incorporate a log to record the operation of the pump and can help in regulating electricity use during periods of rationing.

Salient Features: • Have 18 temperature sensors • Day night system and water level indicator • Under and over voltage monitoring • LEDs for fault status and variable current setting • Automatic stop and start facility • Analog current setting & restart code setting.

Plans: There are plans to introduce remote-control facility to the system so that an electrically operated pump can be controlled, sitting at home at a distance of even 10 km.

Advantages: • Prevents burning of motor • Displays on a dial the reason for failure of motor • Acts as a safety device for the users • Helps in easy and rapid detection of errors • Easy to repair and adjustable. Innovator: Bharat Shrirang Kamble, Solapur, Maharashtra

CONVERSION OF CIRCULAR MOTION TO RECIPROCATING MOTION This mechanism consists of a set of internal gears; one spur gear, which revolves within a directing gear whose teeth are cut internally, which, is fixed firmly to the casing. Functionality: One end of connecting rod is fixed to a crank pin; so as to enable the pin to revolve freely and in turn is fixed firmly overlapping the small gear (spur gear) at eccentrics. The small gear is firmly fixed to a shaft that freely revolves in a circular disc, which is attached to the main shaft. When the connecting rod moves up and down vertically, the crank pin also moves in the same direction, without any side ways movement as in the slider crank mechanism and the spur gear revolves freely within the directing gear driving the disc in a circular motion. The power-transmitting end of the connecting rod does not move in a circular motion but travels vertically up and down or horizontally back and forth side ways. The loss of power due to side thrust caused by slider crank mechanism is reduced, resulting in increased efficiency.

Applications: It can be applied in lathes, pumps, saws, etc. Innovator: Joshua Devanathan P, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

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Innovation trigger: For many years, research engineers in the field of Mechanical Engineering have been trying to find an alternative for the slider crank mechanism. It is only the conversions of reciprocate motion to circular motion and vice versa. This innovation replaces the slider crank mechanism, which works on the principle of hypocycloid. This mechanism consists of a set of internal gears. The powertransmitting end of the connecting rod does not move in a circular motion but travels vertically up and down or horizontally back and forth side ways.

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DESIGN INNOVATIONS

DOUBLE SHUTTLE LOOM The innovative ‘Double Shuttle Loom’ works in the same principle as that of any other standard manual shuttle. The main difference lies in having two shuttles to weave two fabrics with the same effort. In the double shuttle loom, there is a common horse shoe in the middle. When the first shuttle strikes from one end, the middle horse-shoe strikes the shuttle second shuttle in the same direction. Therefore, both the shuttles move in the same direction simultaneously and the middle horse-shoe strikes one shuttle at a time. Advantages: • The only treadle operated shuttle loom with double shuttles • The output is double of any other normal loom as it weaves two fabrics at a time, with marginal increases in cost. • The changes in configuration and addition of ball bearing systems make the machine much lighter in operation than other traditional shuttle looms. • The present model costs about `15,000 and other loom may cost about `10,000 – `12,000, depending on quality. Innovator: Ngangom Nabakumar Singh, Thoubal, Manipur

MULTIPURPOSE FOOD PROCESSING MACHINE This machine is a multipurpose device capable of pulverising and extracting oil/gel from various herbs. The machine is a vertical free-standing cylindrical unit mounted on four legs. The raw material is fed from the top and the processed output can be collected at the bottom. The machine consists of an autoclave unit for sterilisation, a boiler unit for boiling, the extractor unit for extracting juice or gel, a drive means for a source of power attached to the apparatus. The extractor unit comprises one frame, one condenser with flexible coolant, a set of blades connected to the frame and a grinding system. The main chamber is enclosed with an oil jacket to avoid direct heating of the herbs.

Applications and Dispersion: The complete specification for patenting the design was filed in February, 2009 in Dharamveer’s name. Funding to the tune of `2.8 lakh under the HDFC revolving fund scheme was provided by GIANNorth in the year 2008 to him to manufacture and sell a few units. Costing `1.20 lakh a piece, he has sold more than seven units in Haryana and neighbouring states under the brand name of Prince, which is his son’s name. He has also been supported under the Micro Venture Innovation Fund (MVIF) for prototype development and test marketing. Innovator: Dharamveer Kamboj, Yamunanagar, Haryana

Salient features: Temperature and pressure can be set manually using the gauges based on the raw material and desired product outcome. It can also be used for ancillary functions including boiling, sterilisation (autoclaving), pulverising, mixing of produce such as amla, saunf, mushroom and orange. The unit can process 100 kg of Aloe vera in an hour. About 1.25 kg of Aloe vera leaves are converted to 1 litre of gel in the unit.

Innovativeness: The prior art describes machines wherein the Aloe vera gel is extracted by way of squeezing the Aloe vera leaves, generally between roller pair or other pressing arrangements. There are dedicated machines, which do activities including washing, trimming, positioning, peeling and squeezing of the leaves. However, no single equipment could be found in prior art, which performed multipurpose activities such as extraction, pulverisation, mixing and grinding the materials. This machine also acts as a boiler, steriliser and cooker besides being used to extract the juice or essence from various plants or parts thereof. Interestingly, the machine also allows the operator to use heating as an option and not deploy it if only pulverising and grinding is required for certain produce types. As compared to available options, this machine is cost-effective, portable and suitable for on-farm processing. It can also be operated by an unskilled worker and be used to process a variety of herbs. I N N OVAT I O ON N EN E N A B L ER ER National Innovation Foundation (NIF) was set up in February 2000, supported by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, as an autonomous society, with the main goal of providing institutional support in scouting, spawning, sustaining and scaling up grassroots green innovations. The governing council of NIF has several distinguished members and is chaired by Dr RA Mashelkar, Former Secretary, DSIR and former director general, CSIR. Prof Anil K Gupta, IIM, Ahmedabad, is the executive vice chairman of NIF. For more details, email your queries to Prof Anil K Gupta at anilg@iimahd.ernet.in/ info@nifindia.org

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NEW ENGINEERING MATERIALS Augmenting product design & manufacturing ........................................................................... 31 SUPERALLOYS Making alloys more resistant ..................................................................................................... 34 COMPOSITES Gaining a distinct edge ............................................................................................................... 38 NANOMATERIALS The nano miracle ....................................................................................................................... 41 DIAMOND-LIKE CARBON COATINGS Shining armour .......................................................................................................................... 44 Author: MAK Babi, Metallurgist & Plasma Technologist E-mail: maxbabi@gmail.com


NEW ENGINEERING MATERIALS

AUGMENTING P RO DUCT DESIGN & MANUFACTU RING When designing a product, the designer has to ensure that his product is intelligent ― a combination of functions, sensible production methods, sustainable material use and an attractive and useful interface ― and its design is appealing enough to add value to the product. Hence, the designer has to be involved in the material selection process so that he understands the material and its properties well enough to make optimum use of it. Augmenting product design & manufacturing, new engineering materials provide an array of opportunities for designers to create winning products… J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 1 | SEARCH - THE INDUSTRIAL SOURCEBOOK

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roduct design is the first fundamental step towards manufacturing. The job of a product designer is like that of an architect who must be a master of two disparate disciplines namely; art and structural engineering. Without art or craft product design would seem monotonous and look regressive material-wise, functionwise, miniaturisation-wise/multiplicity-offunctionality-wise, and economy-wise. For a novice, rather than knowing what to do; knowing what not to do becomes more important. Designers today cannot dissociate themselves from reality and offer products that are not competitive or have an inbuilt obsolescence. Most products that have a ‘lasting value’ have a strong market feedback that is continually assessed by production, planning, marketing and quality control personnel. To design a product from an engineering materials point of view, the designer of any product, other than software, must be involved in the material selection process. The designer must understand the material to be able to design the product. But first, the designer needs to look at the functions of the product. The designer should analyse the product and consider factors such as its functionality, cost and the end-consumer.

European nations continued living inside a bubble for decades, ignoring the art and craft of automobile design, and modelling their passenger cars on the functional, but ugly, Lada or Volga of the erstwhile Soviet Union. These cars were big, bulky, almost unwieldy and by today’s standards not roadworthy. With the introduction of democracy and the capitalistic ventures, these cars became history in no time. On the other hand, Porsche or Ferrari, who introduced some of the most revolutionary, epoch-making models through geniuses like Pininfarina, Ghia or Bertone – combined high performance with seductively designed aerodynamic bodywork that made history. In due course of time, designers like India’s Dilip Chhabria established their design studios to inject even more horsepower into their creative innovative designs. For nearly four decades, the US automakers produced gas-guzzlers that sometimes consumed five litres of petrol/ diesel to traverse 1 km. Frequent bailouts by the government kept this industry going despite incurring huge losses. For half-acentury, the US cars have hardly ever been exported to compete with other global manufacturers. One could discount the showy, impractical limousines for the monarchs and dictators which are mere showpieces.

ANALYSING A SYSTEM Before analysing a system, we need to break it down into individual components. For example, when analysing a bike, we need to look at its frame, forks, wheels, saddle, etc. We need to consider the mechanical, ergonomic and aesthetic requirements for each part. We also need to consider its function, production quantity, methodology of production and the kind of materials that could be used while manufacturing. The intended lifespan and cost of the product can also a play a vital role in material & manufacturing process selection.

ROLE OF INSPIRATION Inspiration drives all innovation. Experts tell us that birds and bats, for instance, played a central role in one of the more triumphant feats of human engineering – building an airplane. In the 16th century, Leonardo da Vinci sketched designs for gliding and flapping machines based on an anatomical study of birds. The socialist regimes in several East

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IMPRACTICAL IDEAS • Stainless steel cars: Every designer knows that stainless steel is a heavy alloy and is much heavier than the mild steel rolled sheets used in car bodies. Wood, aluminium, and other exotic materials including fiberglass have also been used. But none have been able to replace the much lighter stronger and longer-lasting steel. • Plastics and polymeric material: Plastics and polymeric material were neither strong nor rigid or stable against ultraviolet rays. Therefore, an entire generation of toys with very limited lifespan was available in third-world countries. Even today, plastic footwear popular with working classes during rainy days are made from cheap materials that will not last even a year. • Aluminium alloy bikes: These were lightweight and strong, and an entire bike could be lifted with two fingers. However, their lifespan was not long enough. Today, titanium alloys are

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considered the best replacement materials for superbikes as they give it a longer lifespan. • Plastic bodies for railway compartments: These were experimented with in the UK for some years. But the major problem was slow deformation of the shape – since the best of plastics without reinforcement tend to deform under their own weight when large in size.

FUTURE OF ENGINEERING MATERIALS Professor Tadeisz Zabarowski from Romania stresses on the role of material selection for the design and manufacturing processes of new products having the highest attainable quality, optimum performance and lowest cost level. History indicates that the significant rise of the standard of living and production is related to the introduction of new material groups. These would have their properties adjusted better to the customers’ growing sophisticated requirements. Today, a contemporary product is composed of a host of elements made from varied materials. For example, the average car is composed of about 15,000 elements, whereas the passenger aircraft has more than 40,00,000 elements. According to Nicola Stattmann, industrial design will become more important. Here is why: • There is more to design than appearance: Design is not only about the decoration and visual appeal, it is about the knowledge of how to construct, develop and produce ‘intelligent products’. ‘Intelligent’ basically refers to a combination of function, sensible production methods, sustainable material use and an attractive and useful interface. All these qualities are necessary to design good products. • Design development: Competition between producers drives industrial design development. Design is seen as the added value that enables producers to sell high-quality good products in an increasingly competitive market. • Consumer awareness: Consumers know more about design and its importance, and therefore, increasingly demand products with good design. The development of industrial design is driven by criteria such as minimising the environmental impact, sustainability, the


NEW ENGINEERING MATERIALS

need for lightweight construction, reduction of components and integration of functions. Technical innovation, cost and environmental issues are the main criteria when it comes to properties and characteristics that are sought after. As a result, we are striving for materials that are thinner, lighter, bio-degradable and more ‘intelligent’ in terms of having integrated functionality. This means that materials can combine properties in the most efficient way, react to their surroundings and the environment by measuring & responding and their characteristics can be transferred to, or transformed by various processes into completely different materials. The reasons for such materials are functionality, reduction in the number of components needed (which means they require less assembly) and the integration of ergonomic needs. Examples include ceramic paper, (wood/metal/ceramic/ paper) foam and metallised plastics (metal particles within the plastic) all of which combine the advantages of two or more materials into one new material. Maximising characteristics such as safety, resistance to strain and abrasion, flexibility and temperature resistance as well as minimising weight, cost and density are some of the criteria which also play an important role in the development of materials. Materials with one or more of these ‘optimal’ properties can open up new markets and provide a product with additional functionality. Simultaneously, new technologies enable faster processing, cause less damage to the environment and reduce expenditure on machinery and tools. All of these increase flexibility and enable faster responses to rapid market changes & demands, quicker assembly of prototypes and individually manufactured custommade products. In the rubber industry, the trend is to use thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) because of their fantastic mechanical properties, such as shock absorption and above all, their feel and flexibility. According to National Institute of Science & Technology (NIST) in the US, the current situation and forecasts require engineers to co-ordinate activities aimed at saving the available raw materials by: • Opting for easily available material and using materials, which are rarely available and close to depletion, in an economical way while designing.

• Making optimum use of energy and recycling materials. The progress of civilisation will be – to a great extent – dependent on the development of new engineering materials. These materials will make it possible to engineer the design of many new products encompassing: • The development of modelling relationships among chemical composition, structure, parameters of the technological processes, and service

Design is not only about the decoration and visual appeal, it is about the knowledge of how to construct, develop and produce ‘intelligent products’.

conditions of the engineering materials • The development of the pro-ecological manufacturing technologies with the lowest possible harmful environmental impact and/or influencing the environment and atmosphere • The development of surface engineering and related technologies in order to increase significantly the competitiveness of products and technological processes • The development and deployment of the industrial applications of the ‘intelligent’ materials and automatically supervised technological processes • The development of manufacturing technologies thus making it possible to employ the existing high-temperature superconductors in market products • The introduction of new heat-resistant and high-temperature creep-resisting materials for service at elevated and high temperatures, especially for the space • The development of composite materials obtained using nonconventional technologies • The introduction of new generations of bio-materials and bio-mimetic materials that will make it possible to extend the

range of possible medical interventions and implanting the artificial organs and limbs to improve the level of treatment of diseases and injuries.

POTENTIAL OF MATERIALS Issues related to materials play an important role in deciding the development potential of their societies. The integration of advanced design and manufacturing processes of state-of-the-art products and consumer goods are an important part of this development and encompass the progress of design methodology as well as new designs created using CAD. The key factors here include: • The development of new technologies and manufacturing processes • The technological design methodology of modem manufacturing organisation and operational management along with computer assisted manufacturing • The development of material design methodology, improved functional properties with pro-ecological features and minimised energy consumption • The development of the science of computerised materials and the computer assisted materials design methodology. Among all the main development trends of advanced design and manufacturing processes of novel advanced products in the forthcoming decades, the importance of materials science and engineering boils down to: • Materials design • Their chemical composition, constituent phases and micro-structure • Properties required to use them in the final products, computational materials science as well as the indispensable materials’ properties and manufacturing processes affecting them • Advanced analytical techniques employed in investigation and synthesis of materials to their nano-crystalline and atomic scales inclusive • Techniques of the future for manufacturing the engineering materials composed of atoms and molecules and the development of nano-materials, smart materials and the biomimetic ones. Thus the stress on applied research and development rests on an unpredictable mix of social, political, trends-oriented likes and dislikes of users, major lobbying, advertising, and subliminal techniques of marketing.

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SUPERALLOYS

MAKING ALLOYS MO RE RESISTANT The need to increase the efficiency and extend the lifespan of energy-conversion facilities has consequently resulted in the necessity for superalloys. Superalloys have outstanding mechanical strength and are resistant not only to high temperatures, but also creep and oxidation. A lot of work has gone into stretching the stability of superalloys to make them more resistant in the past decade and this trend is expected to continue.

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SUPERALLOYS

P

ost WW-II period, which witnessed an accelerated research on jet engines and gas turbines, called for huge advances in applying wear, corrosion & oxidation resistant and hot hardness/high temperature stability to alloy steels. Nickel-based superalloys do not deform at temperatures close to their melting points when appropriately water-cooled. Thus, nickel and chromium-based superalloys containing more than 25 per cent of the two metals became the main contenders. Superalloys not only exhibit outstanding mechanical strength but also corrosion & oxidation resistance and creep resistance at high temperatures. The use of superalloys has therefore, gained momentum especially at a time when efforts are on to increase the efficiency and extend the lifespan of energy-conversion facilities. Materials in these new scenarios depend on improved materials and manufacturing techniques. Even though most of the commercial grades are still based on metallurgical concepts that date back to the 1980s, they have typically been employed in only a few prominent areas. However, researchers in both the industry as well as the academia face two major challenges – improving temperature capability and adapting manufacturing processing to new application fields.

WHAT IS A SUPERALLOY? A superalloy is a metallic alloy which is resistant to high temperatures, often in excess of 0.7 of the absolute melting temperature. It is creep & oxidation resistant and can be based on iron, cobalt or nickel, the latter being best suited for aero-engine applications. The essential solutes in nickel-based superalloys are aluminium and/or titanium, with a total concentration typically less than 10 atomic per cent. This generates a twophase equilibrium microstructure, consisting of gamma (γ) and gamma-prime (γ’). It is the γ’ which is largely responsible for the elevated temperature strength of the material and its incredible resistance to creep deformation. The amount of γ’ depends on the chemical composition and temperature. Strength versus temperature The strength of most metals decreases as the temperature is increased simply because assistance from thermal activation makes it easier for dislocations to surmount obstacles.

However, nickel-based superalloys containing γ’, which essentially is an intermetallic compound based on the formula Ni3(Al,Ti), are particularly resistant to temperature. The presence of γ’ makes nickel-based superalloys relatively insensitive to temperature. Response to surface treatments Much work has gone into stretching the

1)

Aluminides: The final composition and structure of this coating depends on the composition of the substrate. It lacks ductility below 750°C and exhibits limited thermo-mechanical fatigue strength. Platinum aluminides: It is similar to the aluminide bond coat. The only difference is that it has a layer of

2)

Al or Ni

Al Ni

Al

Al

Ni

Ni

Ni Ni

Al Al

Al Ni Al

Crystal structure of γ’

Crystal structure of γ’

stability of superalloys to make them resistant to continuous exposure to high temperatures. While in most cases plasma spraying of alumina and other advanced ceramics is used, physical vapour deposition or plasma-enhanced chemical deposition may also be used where thin-film superhard coatings are needed with high gloss and finish. Bond coat materials used for thermal spray adheres the thermal barrier coating to the superalloy substrate. The bond coat also provides oxidation protection and functions as a diffusion barrier against the motion of substrate atoms towards the environment. There are three major types of bond coats: Future superalloy developments will focus on reduction of weight, improving oxidation and corrosion resistance while maintaining the strength of the alloy. With increasing demand for turbine blades for power generation, another focus of alloy design is to reduce the manufacturing cost of superalloys.

3)

Platinum (5-10 μm) deposited on the blade. Platinum is believed to aid in oxide adhesion and contributes to hot corrosion. The cost of Platinum plating is justified by the increased life span of the blade. MCrAlY: This is the latest generation of bond coat and does not strongly interact with the substrate. The Chromium provides oxidation and hot corrosion resistance. The aluminium controls oxidation mechanisms by limiting oxide growth. The Yttrium enhances the oxide adherence to the substrate. Investigations have shown additions of Rhenium and Tantalum to increase the oxidation resistance.

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES Creep resistance is dependent on slowing the speed of dislocations within the crystal structure. In Ni-base superalloys, the γ’ phase [Ni3(Al,Ti)] present acts as a coherent barrier to dislocation motion and is a precipitate strengthener. Chemical additions such as aluminium and titanium promote the creation of the γ’ phase. The γ’ phase size can be precisely controlled by careful precipitation hardening heat treatments. Many superalloys have a two-phase heat

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SUPERALLOYS

MICROSTRUCTURE AND HEAT TREATMENT To optimise properties (often of a coatingmetal system), Nickel-based superalloys are, after solution treatment, heat treated at two different temperatures within the γ/ γ’ phase field. The higher temperature heat treatment precipitates coarser particles of γ’. The second lower temperature heat treatment leads to further precipitation, as expected from the phase diagram. This latter precipitation leads to a finer, secondary dispersion of γ’. The net result is a bimodal distribution of γ’, as illustrated in this figure.

prevented by coating the blades.

OXIDE DISPERSION STRENGTHENED SUPERALLOYS Oxide dispersion strengthened superalloys can be produced from alloy powders and Yttrium oxide, using the mechanical alloying process. The Yttria gets finely dispersed in the final product. It is also a very stable oxide, making the material particularly suitable for elevated temperature applications. However, mechanical alloying is a very difficult process and so, such alloys have limited applications.

APPLICATIONS OF NICKEL BASED SUPERALLOYS treatment which creates a dispersion of square γ’ particles known as the primary phase with a fine dispersion between those known as secondary γ’. Many other elements, both common and exotic, (including not only metals, but also metalloids and non-metals) can be present; chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, tungsten, tantalum, aluminium, titanium, zirconium, niobium, rhenium, carbon, boron/hafnium are a few examples.

ALLOY COMPOSITIONS Commercial superalloys contain more than just Nickel, Aluminium and Titanium. Chromium and aluminium are essential for oxidation resistance, while small quantities of Yttrium help the oxide scale to cohere to the substrate. Polycrystalline superalloys contain grain boundary strengthening elements such as boron and zirconium, which segregate to the boundaries. The resulting reduction in grain boundary energy is associated with better creep strength and ductility when the mechanism of failure involves grain de-cohesion. Some carbides tend to precipitate at grain boundaries and hence, reduce the tendency for grain boundary sliding. Elements such as cobalt, iron, chromium, niobium, tantalum, molybdenum, tungsten, vanadium, titanium and aluminium are also solid-solution strengtheners, both in γ and γ’. There are also carbide formers which include Carbon, Chromium, Molybdenum, Tungsten, Niobium, Tantalum, Titanium and Hafnium. There are, naturally, limits to the concentrations that can be added without inducing precipitation. It is particularly important to avoid certain embrittling phases such as Laves and Sigma. There are

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Turbine Blades no simple rules governing the critical Nickel-based superalloys are mainly used to concentrations. It is best to calculate or manufacture aero-engine turbine blades. A measure the appropriate part of a phase single-crystal blade is free from γ grain diagram. boundaries. Boundaries are easy diffusion The single-crystal superalloys are often paths and therefore, reduce the resistance classified into first, second and third of the material to creep deformation. The generation alloys. The second and third directionally solidified columnar grain generations contain about 3wt per cent and structure has many γ grains, but the 6wt per cent of Rhenium respectively. boundaries are mostly parallel to the major Rhenium is a very expensive addition but stress axis. The performance of such blades leads to an improvement in the creep is not as good as the single-crystal blades, strength. It is argued that some of the but they are better than the blade with the enhanced resistance to creep comes from equiaxed grain structure which has the the promotion of rafting by Rhenium, which worst creep life. partitions into the γ and makes the lattice A big advantage that single-crystal alloys misfit more negative. Atomic resolution have over conventionally cast polycrystalline experiments have shown that Rhenium superalloys is that many of the grain occurs as clusters in the γ phase. It is also boundary strengthening solutes is removed. claimed that Rhenium reduces the overall This results in an increase in the diffusion rate in Nickel-based incipient melting temperature superalloys. (ie., localised melting due The properties of The to chemical superalloys deteriorate if use of segregation). The certain phases known superalloys has single-crystal alloys as the topologically gained momentum, can therefore be close-packed (TCP) especially at a time heat treated at phases precipitate. when efforts are on to temperatures in The addition of increase the efficiency and the range 1240Rhenium promotes extend the lifespan of 1330°C, allowing TCP formation, so the dissolution of alloys containing energy-conversion coarse γ’ which is a these solutes must facilities. remnant of the have their Chromium, solidification process. Cobalt, Tungsten or Subsequent heat treatment Molybdenum concentrations can therefore be used to achieve reduced to compensate. It is controlled and fine-scale precipitation of generally not practical to remove all these γ’. The primary reason why the first elements, but the Chromium concentration generation of single-crystal superalloys in the new generation superalloys is much could be used at higher temperatures rather reduced. Chromium does protect against than the directionally solidified ones was oxidation, but oxidation can also be

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SUPERALLOYS

because of the ability to heat treat the alloys at a higher temperature. A higher heat treatment temperature allows all the γ’ to be taken into solution and then by aging, to precipitate into a finer form. Superalloy blades are used in aeroengines and gas turbines in regions where the temperature is in excess of about 400oC, whereas the titanium blades are used in cooler regions. This is because there is a danger of titanium igniting in special circumstances if its temperature exceeds 400oC.

greater quantity of fuel to be burned in each stroke. This boosts the engine’s power output. The turbocharger consists of two components and a turbine, which is driven by exhaust gases from the engine. This in turn drives an air pump, which forces more air into the engine. The typical rate at which it spins is 100-150,000 rotations per minute. Because the turbocharger is driven by exhaust gasses, it gets very hot and needs to be oxidation resistant and strong.

PRESENT STATUS AMONG COMPETING MATERIALS

Turbine Discs Turbine blades are attached to a disc which is connected to the turbine shaft. The properties of aero-engine discs are different from that of a turbine because the metal experiences a lower temperature. The discs must resist fracture by fatigue. The discs are polycrystalline and are usually cast and then forged into shape.

Nickel-based alloys have been so wellentrenched in most demanding aerospace applications that at present there seems to be no competing material in sight. There is always scope for better, lighter and stronger materials to be developed, but they may perhaps be costlier.

TURBOCHARGERS

The availability of superalloys in the past decades has led to a steady increase in the turbine entry temperatures and this trend is expected to continue. Sandia National Laboratories, US, is studying a new method

An internal combustion engine generally uses a stoichiometric ratio of air to fuel. A turbocharger forces more air into the engine, thus allowing a correspondingly

FUTURE: R&D OF NEW SUPERALLOYS

for making superalloys, known as radiolysis. Radiolysis introduces an entirely new area of research into creating alloys and superalloys through nanoparticle synthesis. This process holds promise as a universal method of nanoparticle formation. By developing an understanding of the basic material science behind these nanoparticle formations, there is a speculation that it might be possible to expand research into other aspects of superalloys. But there may be considerable disadvantages in making alloys using this method as well. About half of the uses of superalloys are in applications where the service temperature is close to the alloy’s melting temperature. It is common therefore to use single crystals. The above method produces polycrystalline alloys which will suffer from an unacceptable level of creep. Future superalloy developments will focus on reduction of weight, improving oxidation and corrosion resistance while maintaining the strength of the alloy. With increasing demand for turbine blades for power generation, another focus of alloy design is to reduce the manufacturing cost of superalloys.

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Image Courtesy: DK Composites Sdn Bhd (Malaysia)

COMPOSITES

Gaining a DISTINCT E DGE Composites have historically been used for their outstanding mechanical properties and low densities. Apart from its lightweight properties, the use of components can provide distinct advantages like low maintenance and longer life span, which have led to its widespread adoption and use in several industries.

C

omposites refer to engineered or naturally occurring materials that are made from two or more constituent materials having significantly different physical or chemical properties. Among all the globally popular engineering materials, composites have found more usage in upper-end research and development. When it comes to composites, many in the industry would be familiar with fibre reinforced plastic/polyester (FRP) or glass-fibre reinforced polymer

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(GRP) products (For eg, moulded seats at public places, telephone booths, lightweight boats, and, in some cities, public toilets). Other specialised versions of composites are advanced composite materials (ACMs) also known as advanced polymer matrix composites. These are generally characterised by unusually high-strength fibres having unusually high stiffness. The high-strength fibres are low in density and occupy a large fraction of the volume. Advanced composites exhibit desirable

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physical and chemical properties that include light weight coupled with high stiffness (elasticity), and strength along the direction of the reinforcing fibre, dimensional stability, temperature & chemical resistance, flex performance and relatively easy processing. Advanced composites are replacing metal components in many uses, particularly in the aerospace industry.

CLASSIFYING COMPOSITES Composites are generally classified into


COMPOSITES

metal matrix composites (MMCs), polymer matrix composites (PMCs) and ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) depending on their matrix phase. The physical properties of composite materials are generally orthotropic (different depending on the direction of the applied force or load). For instance, the stiffness of a composite panel will often depend on the orientation of the applied forces and/or moments. Their overall performance depends on properties of matrix and reinforcement; size and distribution of constituents; shape and volume fraction of constituents and the nature of interface between constituents. Apart from this, some of the favourable properties of composites include high stiffness and high strength; low density; high temperature stability; high electrical and thermal conductivity; adjustable coefficient of thermal expansion; corrosion resistance and improved wear resistance. Materials within these categories are often called ‘advanced’ if they combine the properties of high (axial, longitudinal) strength values and high (axial, longitudinal) stiffness values, with low weight, corrosion resistance, and in some cases, special electrical properties. ACMs have broad, proven applications, in the aircraft, aerospace, and sports equipment sectors. ACMs have been developing for NASA’s Advanced Space Transportation Program, armour protection for Army Aviation and the Federal Aviation Administration of the US, and high-temperature shafting for the Comanche helicopter. Manufacturing ACMs is a multibilliondollar industry. ACMs are used to manufacture a range of products right from skateboards to tennis racquets to crucial components of the space shuttle. The industry can be generally divided into two basic segments: Industrial composites: This large industry has been in existence for over 40 years now and utilises various resin systems including polyester, epoxy, and other specialty resins. These materials, along with a catalyst or curing agent and some type of fibre reinforcement (typically glass fibres) are used in the production of a wide spectrum of industrial components and consumer goods – boats, piping, auto bodies and a variety of other parts and components. Advanced composites: The advanced polymer matrix composites/ACMs industry is characterised by the use of expensive,

high-performance resin systems and highstrength, high-stiffness fibre reinforcement. The aerospace industry, including all types of military and commercial aircraft, is a major customer for advanced composites.

LIMITATIONS OF COMPOSITES Despite their strength and low weight, composites are not a miracle solution for aircraft. They are hard to inspect for flaws and some of them even absorb moisture. They can be expensive, primarily because they are labour-intensive and require complex and expensive fabrication machines.

ALUMINIUM – A BETTER OPTION Aluminium, by contrast, is easy to manufacture and repair. Anyone who has ever met with a minor car accident has learned that dented metal can be hammered back into shape, but a crunched fibreglass bumper has to be replaced. The same is true for many composite materials used in aviation. Aluminium is a very tolerant material. Despite being dented or punctured, it will still hold together. Composites are quite the contrary. If they are damaged, they require immediate repair, which is difficult and expensive. An airplane made from aluminium can be repaired almost anywhere. This is not the case with

Metal-ceramic composites

Metal-polymer composites Metals

Ceramics

Polymers

Ceramic-polymer composites

composite materials as they use different and exotic materials. Therefore, composites are used more in military aircraft, which are constantly maintained, and not commercial aircraft. Aluminium still remains a remarkably useful material for aircraft structures. Metallurgists have been constantly trying to develop better aluminium alloys (of which aluminium-lithium has been the most successful. It is approximately 10 per cent lighter than standard aluminium). In the late

1990s, it was used in a space shuttle’s large external tank in order to reduce weight and enable the shuttle to carry more payloads. However, the adoption of aluminiumlithium by commercial aircraft manufacturers has been slower due to the expense involved in using lithium. But it is likely that aluminium-lithium will eventually become a widely used material for both commercial and military aircraft.

METAL MATRIX COMPOSITES Metal matrix composites (MMCs) are widely used. For example, the material used to cut tools and drills commonly called ‘tungsten carbide’ consists of tungstencarbide particles embedded in a cobalt matrix, thus making it a metal matrix composite (MMC). This MMC has much greater fracture toughness than monolithic tungsten carbide, which is a brittle ceramic. Tungsten-carbide particle reinforced silver has been used in commercial circuitbreaker contact pads for many years. Ferrous alloys reinforced with titaniumcarbide particles, marketed under the trade name ‘FerroTic’, were used for many years in industrial applications that needed hardness, high stiffness and lower density. Aluminium MMCs reinforced with discontinuous ceramic fibres are used in automobile engine blocks and pistons to boost wear resistance, allowing elimination of cast iron inserts and sleeves. Other MMC applications include robot and high-speed machine parts, power-transmission lines, helicopter rotor-blade sleeves, fighteraircraft ventral fins, and jet-engine fan exitguide vanes. They have also served in a number of military optomechanical system parts. The most important structural MMCs today consist of various Aluminium Silicon Carbide (AlSiC) materials. They have a wide range of properties and are made using a variety of processes. In general, they have much higher specific stiffness and lower CTE than monolithic aluminium.

POLYMER MATRIX COMPOSITES Most Polymer Matrix Composites (PMCs) have industrial and commercial uses. They are the most important class and consist of polymer matrices like an epoxy reinforced with fibres. In a few cases, whisker (elongated single-crystal) reinforcements are used. A material which combines different types of reinforcements is called a

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COMPOSITES

1700

1200

Si, GaAs, Silica, Alumina, Beryllia, Aluminum Nitride, LTCC

600 HOPG

Diamond-particle-reinforced metals and ceramics

Thermal conductivity (W/mk)

500

Silver

C/Cu 400 C/C

Copper SiC/Cu

300

C/Ep

C/AI Aluminium

200

Cu/W

SiC/Al (Al/SiC) Si-Al

100 Invar

Kovar

E-glass PCB

0 -5

0

5

10

15

20

25

Coefficient of thermal expansion (ppm/K) Composites are increasingly being used because of their physical properties. These include thermal conductivities higher than copper and low coefficients of thermal expansion and densities. When it comes to typical mechanical engineering applications, advanced composites offer significant improvements over traditional materials such as steel, aluminum, cast iron, and granite.

Thermal Conductivity versus coefficient of thermal expansion for various materials

hybrid composite. There are numerous composite materials having a wide range of properties. However, there are certain generalisations about their properties, which are: 1) They all have high strength and high stiffness. 2) They have low density and strongly resist fatigue and creep. 3) They have low coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE) and basically do not corrode. Some composites also have extremely high thermal conductivity, high temperature capability, or both. E-glass is the most widely used reinforcement, primarily because it has been around the longest, and is the least expensive. Its main drawback, however, is low modulus that has led to the use of carbon fibres, which are much stiffer and stronger. Carbon fibres have become the workhorse reinforcements for PMCs. They are made from three key precursor materials – polyacrylonitrile (PAN), petroleum, and coal tar pitch. Fibre elastic moduli range from 235 to 895 GPa (34 to 130 Msi), tensile strengths range from 3,200 to 7,000 MPa (450 to 1,000 kpsi), while fibre densities range from 1.7 to 1.9 gm/cm3.

OTHER SYNTHETIC FIBRES USED IN COMPOSITES There are many other synthetic fibres used

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in structural composites, including various types of ceramic, such as silicon carbide, boron, and aluminium oxides. There is also high modulus polymerics including aramids (For eg., ‘Kevlar’ 49) and ultrahighmolecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). These types of fibres belong to a special class of composites used in ballistic protection. These so-called armour-grade composites are constructed with low (less than 20 per cent by weight) resin content to maximise the inherentlys high resistance of their fibres to transverse impacts. There is a growing use of renewable natural fibres, such as bast and kenaf, even though these are not high-performance materials. For applications in which both mechanical properties and low weight are important, the useful figures of merit are specific strength (strength divided by density) and specific stiffness (stiffness divided by density). Heat dissipation is a critical problem in both electronic and optoelectronic semiconductors, such as diode lasers and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Copper and aluminium can cause high thermal stresses when they are attached to semiconductors and ceramics used in electronic and optoelectronic applications. This is because these metals have high charge-transfer excitons (CTEs), but semiconductors have CTEs in the range of 2 to 7 ppm/K. An increasing number of low-density PMCs

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and MMCs have been developed with higher thermal conductivities and lower CTEs than copper. They can also reduce weight by 85 per cent and size by 65 per cent and are candidates for low-cost, netshape-fabrication processes. AlSiC composites are the most important of the new-generation thermal-management materials replacing copper, aluminium, and alloys of copper-tungsten, nickel-cobalt-iron (Kovar) and copper-invar-copper. Kovar has a CTE similar to that of hard (borosilicate) glass and is a candidate for glass-to-metal seals. Invar is a nickel-steel alloy noted for its extremely low CTE. SiC content in AlSiC composites can be adjusted to match the CTE of ceramics (aluminium oxide and aluminium nitride) used in packaging and having particle volume fractions of 0.7. Composites having particle loadings of 0.2 have CTEs resembling those of glass-reinforced epoxy composites of printed circuit boards. Carbon-epoxy composites are being used to reduce the CTE of E-glass-reinforced printed circuit board materials such as FR-4. Their use reduces thermal stresses and warping, which are key modes of failure.

CERAMIC MATRIX COMPOSITES Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) are the least developed of the composites. Its applications include aircraft engine parts, missile and spacecraft thruster nozzles, high-end automobile brake rotors and cutting tools.

GROWING PROMINENCE But if composites have such a wide variety of uses, then why are they not commonly seen in the market? One of the key reasons is – real and perceived – cost. The acquisition cost of composites is often higher than that of incumbent materials. However, this is not always true. Most laymen would think of a composite as just another plastic. Some composite manufacturing processes allow parts consolidation that can reduce machining and assembly costs. In addition, many fabrication processes are highly automated, and this impacts overall costs. Even if the acquisition cost is higher, there can be significant life cycle benefits that can make the outlay worthwhile. These benefits include reduced fuel and energy consumption, longer life, less down time, and so on and so forth.


NANOMATERIALS

THE NAN

MI RACLE Scientists and engineers have, through the use of nanotechnology, created nanomaterials that have changed our way of life. Nanomaterials take a materials science-based approach to nanotechnology and are applicable in various fields. The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;small wonderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; has already made a huge impact and promises to convert the theoretical predictions surrounding it into future delights.

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NANOMATERIALS

F

ifty years ago, Dr Richard Feynman hinted at a revolution in engineering materials when he made the prophetic remark: ‘There’s plenty of room at the bottom’. Feynman had also prophesied that manipulations of applications for data storage would eventually scale down to a single atom. Today, scientists and technologists have gone a step forward by showing that even ordinary metals and materials possess magical new properties in nano form. Nanomaterials have, in the recent past, found hundreds of thousands of new applications – an achievement no group of materials can claim to have accomplished.

device concepts and manufacturing methods. Nanostructured materials may be grouped under nanoparticles (the building blocks), nanointermediates and nanocomposites. Various classes of nanoparticles that serve as the building blocks of nanomaterials and devices include:

NANOCRYSTALLINE MATERIALS These materials include ceramics, metals and metal oxide nanoparticles and are assembled from nanometre-sized building blocks, mostly crystallites. The building blocks may differ in their atomic structure,

WHAT ARE NANOMATERIALS? Nanomaterials are those materials that have at least one very small dimension on the order of nanometre (1 nanometre = 10 Angstrom = .001 micron = 10-9 metre). Nanomaterials always deal with solids and possess unique properties. The size of the particles controls the colours that are emitted when the particles are exposed to UV light. Only certain chemical compositions will have this property as this behaviour is not generic to all nanoparticles. Nanotechnology is unique because certain phenomena occur only when characteristic dimensions reach the nanometre scale.

Before the infinite applications of nanomaterials are discovered, a better understanding of how nanomaterials work, act, respond to stimuli, and perform under all situations is very essential.

NANOSTRUCTURED MATERIALS These are materials having a microstructure whose characteristic length scale is on the order of a few (typically 1-100) nanometre. Effects controlling the properties of nanostructured materials include size effects (where critical length scales of physical phenomena become comparable with the characteristic size of the building blocks of the microstructure), changes of the system’s dimensionality and changes of the atomic structure and alloying of components (eg., elements) that are not miscible in the solid and/or molten state. The synthesis, characterisation and processing of nanostructured materials are part of an emerging and rapidly growing field. Research and development in this field emphasises scientific discoveries in the generation of materials with controlled microstructural characteristics, research on their processing into bulk materials with engineered properties & technological functions, and the introduction of new

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crystallographic orientation and chemical composition. In cases where the building blocks are crystallites, incoherent or coherent interfaces may be formed between them, depending on the atomic structure, the crystallographic orientation and the chemical composition of adjacent crystallites. In other words, materials assembled from nanometre-sized building blocks are microstructurally heterogeneous and consist of the building blocks (eg. crystallites) and the regions between adjacent building blocks (eg. grain boundaries). This inherently heterogeneous structure on a nanometre scale distinguishes them from glasses, gels, etc. that are microstructurally homogeneous. Nanocrystallites of bulk inorganic solids have exhibited size-dependent properties, such as lower melting points, higher energy gaps and non-thermodynamic structures. In comparison to macroscale powders, increased ductility has been observed in

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nanopowders of metal alloys. In addition, quantum effects from boundary values become significant leading to phenomena such as quantum dots lasers. One of the primary applications of metals in chemistry is their use as heterogeneous catalysts in a variety of reactions. In general, heterogeneous catalyst activity is surface dependent. Due to their vastly increased surface area over macroscale materials, nanometals and oxides are ultra-high activity catalysts. They are also used as desirable starting materials for a variety of reactions, especially solidstate routes. Nanometals and oxides are also widely used in the formation of nanocomposites. Apart from their synthetic utility, they have many useful and unique magnetic, electric, and optical properties.

FULLERENES AND CARBON NANOTUBES Fullerene chemistry continues to be an exciting field generating many articles with promising new applications every year. Magnetic nanoparticles (nanomagnetic materials) show great potential for highdensity magnetic storage media. Recent work has shown that C60 dispersed into ferromagnetic materials such as iron, cobalt, or cobalt-iron alloy can form thin films showing promising magnetic properties. A number of organo-metallic-fullerene compounds have recently been synthesised. Of particular note are a ferrocene-like C60 derivative and pair of fullerenes bridged by a rhodium cluster. Some fullerene derivatives even exhibit superconducting character. There has been a report of a fullerene containing, superconducting field-effect device with a Tc as high as 117 K. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are hollow cylinders of carbon atoms. They look similar to rolled tubes of graphite. Their walls are made up of hexagonal carbon rings and are often formed in large bundles. There are two types of CNTs: Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs): These consist of a single, cylindrical graphene layer. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs): These consist of multiple graphene layers. The unique physical and chemical properties of CNTs, such as structural rigidity and flexibility continue to generate considerable interest. Additionally, CNTs are extremely strong, about 100 times stronger than steel. CNTs can also act as


NANOMATERIALS

either conductors or semiconductors depending on their chirality. They possess intrinsic superconductivity, are ideal thermal conductors and can also behave like field emitters.

CARBON NANOTUBE-BASED NANODEVICES Carbon nanotubes have had many experimental breakthroughs that have led to realistic possibilities of using them commercially. The applications include field emission-based flat panel displays, novel semiconducting devices, chemical sensors and ultra-sensitive electromechanical sensors. Carbon nanotubes can have metallic or variable semiconducting properties with energy gaps ranging from a few megaelectronvolts to a few tenths of an electronvolt. Experiments probing the density of states confirm these predictions. Conductivity measurements on single nanotubes have shown rectification effects for some nanotubes and ohmic conductance for others. These properties suggest that nanotubes could lead to a new generation of electronic devices. Simulations to investigate the interaction of water molecules with a nanotube tip revealed an atomistic understanding of the interaction, which is critical when designing commercialquality flat panel displays around carbon nanotubes. Their use as ultra-sensitive electromechanical sensors has also been explored.

nanometre sizes, large numbers of reactive end-group functionalities, shielded interior voids and low systemic toxicity. This unique combination of properties makes them ideal candidates for nano-technology applications in both biological and materials sciences.

formation of nanoscale aluminide secondary phases in aluminium alloys, thus increasing their strength and corrosion resistance. Magnetic multilayered materials are one of the most important aspects of nanocomposites as they have led to significant advances in storage media.

NANOINTERMEDIATES

POLYMER-CLAY NANOCOMPOSITES

Nanostructured films, dispersions, highsurface area materials and supramolecular assemblies are high utility intermediates to many products with improved properties such as solar cells & batteries, sensors, catalysts, coatings and drug delivery systems. They have been fabricated using various techniques. Nanoparticles are obvious building blocks of nanosystems but, require special techniques such as self-assembly to properly align the nanoparticles. Recent developments have lead to air-resistant, room temperature systems for Situated as we are, between theoretical predictions and impending delights of the future, it seems right to take stock and assess the impact of nanomaterials as engineering materials.

nanotemplates with features as small as 67 nm. More traditionally, electron beam systems are used to fabricate devices down to 40 nm.

DENDRIMERS (ORGANIC NANOPARTICLES)

NANOCOMPOSITES

In recent years, a new structural class of macromolecules â&#x20AC;&#x201C; dendritic polymers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; has drawn the attention of the scientific community. These nanometre-sized, polymeric systems are hyperbranched materials having compact hydrodynamic volumes in solution and high, surface, functional group content. They may be water-soluble but, because of their compact dimensions, they do not have the usual rheological thickening properties that many polymers have in solution. Dendrimers, the most regular members of the class, are synthesised by step-wise convergent or divergent methods to give distinct stages or generations. Dendrimers are defined by their three components: a central core, an interior dendritic structure (the branches), and an exterior surface (the end groups). They are characterised by

Nanocomposites are materials having a nanoscale structure that improve the macroscopic properties of products. Typically, nanocomposites are clay, polymer or carbon, or a combination of these materials with nanoparticle building blocks. Nanocomposites, materials with nanoscale separation of phases can generally be divided into two types: Multilayer structures: These structures are typically formed by gas phase deposition or from the self-assembly of monolayers. Inorganic/organic composites: These composites can be formed by sol-gel techniques, bridging between clusters (as in silsesquioxanes), or by coating nanoparticles in polymer layers. Nanocomposites can greatly enhance the properties of materials. For example, ppm level impurities can result in the

The large industrial demand for polymers has lead to an equally large interest in polymer composites to enhance their properties. Polymer-clay nanocomposites are among the most successful nanotechnological materials today. This is because they can simultaneously improve material properties without significant tradeoffs. Recent efforts have focussed on polymer-layered silica nanocomposites and other polymer-clay composites. These materials have improved mechanical properties. Increased mechanical stability in polymer-clay nanocomposites also contributes to an increased heat deflection temperature. These composites have a large reduction gas & liquid permeability and solvent uptake. Traditional polymer composites often have a marked reduction in optical clarity. However, nanoparticles cause little scattering in the optical spectrum and very little UV scattering. Although flame retardant additives to polymers typically reduce their mechanical properties, polymer-clay nanocomposites have enhanced barrier and mechanical properties and are less flammable. Compression-injection molding, meltintercalation, and co-extrusion of the polymer with ceramic nanopowders can form nanocomposites. Often no solvent or mechanical shear is needed to promote intercalation.

FUTURE OF NANOMATERIALS Nanomaterials have a wide variety of applications in various fields. Situated as we are, between theoretical predictions and impending delights of the future, it seems right to take stock and assess the impact of nanomaterials as engineering materials. But before the infinite number of applications of nanomaterials are discovered, a better understanding of how nanomaterials work, act, respond to stimuli, and perform under all situations is very essential. It will be interesting to see what amazing materials the new-age scientists can create.

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DIAMOND-LIKE CARBON COATINGS

SHINING ARMOU R For a number of years, the economically and technologically attractive properties of diamond-like carbon or DLC have drawn unparalleled interest. DLC can be applied to almost any material including carburised steel, aluminium alloys, rubber and resin that is compatible with a vacuum environment. Its shielding properties and growing economic benefits are indicative of the bright future that DLC coatings will witness in the years to come.

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DIAMOND-LIKE CARBON COATINGS

D

iamond-like carbon or DLC, as the name implies, possesses some of the valuable properties of a diamond. When applied as a coating in pure form, it can be harder than a natural diamond. Its high-surface hardness along with a host of other desirable physical properties, like corrosion resistance and lubricity, render DLC coatings an important landmark in advanced materials. Thus, DLCs can be relied upon to offer extraordinary protection to a wide variety of solid materials ranging from plastics to exotic metallic alloys against abrasive wear and attack from atmospheric moisture and chemical vapours. All its properties make DLCs highly suited to tribology – a branch of engineering that deals with the interaction of surfaces in relative motion (as in bearings or gears): their design, friction, wear and lubrication – which is a complex science.

FORMS OF DLC DLC exists in seven different forms of amorphous carbon (non-crystalline form) materials that contain significant amounts of sp3 hybridised carbon atoms and display some of the unique properties of a diamond. The reason that there are different types is that even diamond can be found in two crystalline polytypes. By mixing these polytypes in various ways at the nanoscale level of the structure, DLC coatings can be made amorphous, flexible, and purely like sp3 bonded diamond, at the same time. The hardest, strongest and slickest mixture is known as tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C). When a 2 μm thickness coating of ta-C is applied to common stainless steel, it can not only increase its resistance against abrasive wear but also extend its lifespan from one week service to 85 years. Such ta-C can be considered to be pure form of DLC, since it consists only of sp3 bonded carbon atoms. Fillers such as hydrogen, graphitic sp2 carbon and metals are used in the other six forms to reduce production expenses or to impart other desirable properties. Carbon exists in several forms namely; graphite, diamond and fullerenes. All these forms are crystalline in structure and have varying properties based on the bonding order of the carbon atoms. DLC, on the other hand, is amorphous in structure, and contains both sp2 and sp3 bonded carbon. The low temperature coating process makes DLCs particularly attractive for applications where the substrate cannot

experience elevated temperatures. It can be deposited not only on carburised steel or aluminum alloys, but also on many kinds of rubber and resin. It has a low friction co-efficient (about 0.1) even without lubrication.

metal cutting tools, including lathe inserts and milling cutters. It is also used in bearings, cams, cam followers, and shafts in the automobile industry. Despite its favourable tribological properties, DLC must be cautiously used on ferrous metals. If it is used at higher DLC DEPOSITION temperatures, the substrate or counter face TECHNIQUES may carburise, which could lead to a loss of DLC films can be prepared from a variety of function due to a change in hardness. solid and gaseous source materials using a Applications of DLC typically utilise the variety of methods and precursors. These ability of the material to reduce abrasive include: wear. Tooling components such as end RF plasma-assisted CVD (RF-PACVD) mills, drill bits and dies & molds often use DC plasma-assisted CVD (DC-PACVD) DLC in this manner. DLC is also used in the Plasma-enhanced CVD (PECVD) engines of modern supersport motorcycles, Electron cyclotron resonance microwave Formula 1 race cars, NASCAR vehicles, and plasma CVD (ECR-PACVD) as a coating on hard-disk platters & read Sputtering heads to protect against head crashes. Vacuum arc deposition Virtually all of the multi-bladed razors Filtered cathodic vacuum arc (FCVA) used for wet shaving have the edges coated deposition with hydrogen-free DLC to reduce friction Ion beam deposition. and preventing abrasion of sensitive skin. PECVD encourages Some forms have been certified deposition at lower in the EU for food service temperatures and and find extensive uses in DLC pressures than would the high-speed actions coatings have be required for involved in processing excellent tribological thermal CVD. Also, novelty foods such properties. Thus, DLCs surfaces exposed to as ‘chips’ and in can be used in plasma are subject guiding material applications that to bombardment flows in packaging by energetic ions, foodstuffs with experience extreme whose kinetic energy plastic wraps. contact pressure, both can vary from a few in rolling and THE WAY electron volts to sliding. AHEAD hundreds of electron DLCs have been volts. Ion bombardment of commercialised for nearly two this nature can have a very decades now. So far, no other thin film significant impact on the properties of superhard coating within the gamut of the deposited film. Increasing ion Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) bombardment tends to make the film techniques could possess such a wide denser and cause stress, thus making it variety of physical properties like wear more compressive. The same internal resistance, high glossy finish, lubricity and stress that benefits the hardness of DLC stability against a wide range of corrosive materials makes it difficult to bond such environments. coatings to the substrates as the internal Apart from the two major application stress tries to remove the DLC coatings off areas – automotive industries and sheet the underlying samples. metal forming industries – there are many TRIBOLOGICAL others like the biomedical implants and a APPLICATIONS hundred other uses where anti-corrosive DLC coatings have excellent tribological properties or chemical inertness of DLCs properties and are often used to prevent comes a cropper. The aerospace industry, abrasive and adhesive wear. Thus, DLCs nuclear industry and spacecraft industry are can be used in applications that experience some other areas where DLCs have found extreme contact pressure, both in rolling greater acceptance. Due to this versatility in and sliding contact. For example, DLC is use, and ease in applying, the outlook for used to prevent wear on razor blades and DLC coatings seems very bright.

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Pipes

MATERIALS SHOWCASE

Electrical and electronics engineering Product: OLED lighting included in composite parts Company: Huntsman Advanced Materials (China) Partner: Holst Center (Netherlands) and Groupe Oreca (France) In this joint collaboration between Huntsman and the Holst Centre for the development of high barrier coating for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), the rear mirror of the Oreca Le Mans racing car uses a carbon composite material that incorporates a low energy consumption lighting functionality based on OLED technology. A thin, flexible barrier coating was developed by Huntsman Advanced Materials and then successfully processed by the Holst Centre, which then produced the final OLEDs. OLEDs are paper-thin, flexible and lightweight devices that consume up to 70 per cent less energy than conventional light sources, making them prime candidates for the next generation of lighting. The film’s barrier properties provide an unprecedented level of protection. A one-shot process to integrate the final flexible OLEDs into the composite structures was developed by Huntsman Advanced Materials and then applied by Oreca to the manufacture of the rear mirrors. The OLEDs can be integrated, bonded and protected through different standard processes. This innovation is expected to bring added value to future market applications, for instance in mass transportation, design, architecture, signage and others.

Advanced raw materials

Product: Sophisticated anti-corrosion technologies using a very special composite system Company: Fuji Resin Co (Japan) Partner: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan), Toshiba (Japan) and Hitachi (Japan) Chemical-resistant thermosetting resins such as vinylester, phenolic and epoxy resins are used with glass fibers, glass flakes and fillers as raw materials. A special processing technology is developed by Fuji Resin to replace other materials such as lead or glass. The composite pipe solution developed has a very long life and displays high resistance to corrosion and abrasion.

Mass transportation

Product: High performance glass fibres for HDPE composite pipes Company: Jushi Group (China) Partner: Flexpipe Systems (Canada)

Product: Composite car body for low-floor buses Company: Hankuk Fiber Co (Korea) Partner: ADS Rail Co (Korea), Dongil Transportation Co (Korea) and various divisions within the Hankuk Group (Korea)

Jushi’s high performance glass fibre E6DR-735386T is an E6TM glass with special corrosion resistance and high strength, a special sizing treatment and filament drawing process. It was developed to reinforce HDPE for the manufacture of composite pipes. The strong abrasion resistance and excellent processability of this glass fibre product helps to improve composite production efficiency. The product development process started in March 2009 and lasted more than a year. In September 2010, samples were provided to Flexpipe Systems and other customers, who have now accepted the product.

Hankuk Fiber’s innovation is in the mass production of CNG Low Floor Buses, built with a composite car body, for the Korean domestic market. A resincoated glass-fibre fabric, AL H/C and reinforced structures are used as raw materials for the manufacture of such composite car bodies. A composite car body provides many advantages as compared with existing steel car bodies, including an aesthetically pleasing, streamlined design, reduced weight that saves a minimum of two metric tonne to improve fuel efficiency, more effective assembly, improved flexibility of external parts, improved strength and stiffness. Mass production of the bus started in November 2009, following a 38-month study phase and approximately 12 months of testing and certification. There is great market potential globally for this type of buses, as the use of CNGpowered buses has been spreading steadily since the early nineties. Hankuk is currently the only manufacturer of low-floor CNG buses in South Korea that applies composite materials to the whole body.

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Automotives

MATERIALS SHOWCASE

Product: Ribs and space frame unit for cars Company: DLR German Aerospace Center – Institute of Vehicle Concepts (Germany) Partner: ACE Advanced Composite Engineering GmbH (Germany) The rib and space frame unit for cars is made up of three ribs (replacing the former A, B and C pillars) connected with metal longitudinal rails and castings. The simple geometry of the metal profiles compensates for the higher cost of the carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) parts and allows a variable vehicle design in terms of length. Within the new vehicle structure, the B rib is one of the most stressed parts in case of a side impact. The DLR’s aim was to create a structure combining outstanding performance and lightweight design for the B rib. The circular design itself offers the advantage of withstanding high radial loads (side impact). This geometry was combined with carbon fibres and the corresponding part design fulfilled both requirements. The DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts has developed a technology solution to meet the current challenges faced by many car manufacturers in the integration of CFRP into the vehicle body. The value created by the use of CFRP in this automotive application results in a high safety level while reducing the weight of the part and its adjacent components (about 35 per cent weight reduction as compared to the reference structure).The aim of the current development is to prepare the B rib for the American side-impact test, which is currently the most demanding.

Process Product: Click and coat technology Company: Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH (Germany) Partner: Forschungszentrum Juelich (Germany) and Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) Coatema’s new Click&Coat technology features a highly adaptable and flexible concept combining different production processes in the area of coating, printing and laminating. Click&Coat offers not only the flexibility of different coating technologies, but also numerous plant layouts and process sequences – compared to current pilot and production coating line concepts for coating of paper, textiles or films that are “fixed solutions”. The basic idea is to use standard modules, assembled together to rapidly create a specific production unit. This concept is very useful for research centres and companies that frequently change their production. The Click&Coat technology can be used very easily and simply in different processes. With regards to the composite market, the first line is currently being installed and will be capable of implementing five different coating methods for direct or indirect coating on paper, rovings and other typical composite substrates.

Building and construction Product: Manufacture, installation and cladding of the lotus-shaped structure of the Arts and Science Museum in Marina Bay waterfront in Singapore Company: DK Composites Sdn Bhd (Malaysia) Partner: Gurit (Australia) The freestanding structure, resembling a lotus flower, is being cladded with 12,500 m2 of glass fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP) sandwich panels, 2,900 m2 of stainless steel composite and 1,300 m2 of aluminum composite, making it one of Southeast Asia’s most prominent architectural and engineering feats. The construction project overseen by DK Composites involved the design and manufacturing of more than 12,500 m2 of surface cladding GFRP composite materials that meet stringent fire rating standards. The monolithic design of the structure, with no visible joints, is made up of approximately 2,800 panels with 1,800 different shapes. The design, fabrication and installation completed at DK’s factory in Malacca, Malaysia, from which the panels were shipped to the site in Singapore by truck. There was no past precedence from other projects in the world for such a large structure, and it is among the largest free standing composite structures in the world today. The speed of installation, lightweight structure, and the completely seamless surface offered by DK Composites were essential for the completion of the project within a 12-month period, ending August 2010.

Courtesy: JEC Composites is dedicated to promoting composites internationally. It supports the development of these materials by fostering knowledge transfer and exchanges between suppliers and users. For more information, contact David Boissinot Media and Digital Marketing Manager – JEC E-mail: boissinot@jeccomposites.com

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PRODUCT & ADVERTISERS’ INDEX To know more about the advertisers in this magazine, refer to our ‘Product Index’ / ‘Advertisers’ Index’ or write to us at b2b@infomedia18.in or call us at +91-22-3003 4640 or fax us at +91-22-3003 4499 and we will send your enquiries to the advertisers directly to help you source better Products

Pg No

Products

Planning & co-ordination.............................................................. 13

Adhesives ...................................................................................... 9 Arbitary/function generators .............................................Back cover Conference - Machining Technologies .......................................... 49 Controllers .................................................................................. 22 Controls & automation ................................................................ 13 Customerised software development........................................... 50 Digital multimeters ...........................................................Back cover Dosing pumps ............................................................................. 22 Electronic dosing pumps .............................................................. 22 Electrostatic liquid cleaners ........................................................... 37 Enterprise application development.............................................. 50 Exhibition - Imtex-2011 & Tooltech-2011 .................................... 15 Frequency counters/timers ...............................................Back cover Low vacuum dehydration & degassification .................................. 37 Metal cutting tools .................................................Back inside cover Mixed signal oscilloscopes ................................................Back cover Motorised metering pumps.......................................................... 22 Oscilloscopes ...................................................................Back cover

Pg No

Advertiser

Tel. No.

Pg No

Plant electrical .............................................................................. 13 Power supplies ................................................................Back cover Project engineering & management.............................................. 13 Project engineering ...................................................................... 13 Sealants.......................................................................................... 9 Software outsourcing ................................................................... 50 Solid carbide drills with IC .....................................Back inside cover Solid carbide drills ..................................................Back inside cover Solid carbide mills ..................................................Back inside cover Solid carbide reamers with IC................................Back inside cover Solid carbide reamers ............................................Back inside cover Solid carbide special drills .......................................Back inside cover Solid carbide special mills .......................................Back inside cover Solid carbide special reamers .................................Back inside cover Surface treatment .......................................................................... 9 Vertical machining centers .....................................Front inside cover

E-Mail

Website

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A3 Logics (I) Ltd

+91-141-2771816 hq@a3logics.com

www.a3logics.com

FIC

Ace Manufacturing Systems Ltd

+91-80-28360508 ams@bgl.vsnl.net.in

www.amsindia.net

15, 49

Bangalore International Exhibition Centre

+91-80-66246600 info@imtex.in

www.imtex.in

37

Ferrocare Machines Pvt Ltd

+91-20-26830655 info@ferrocare.com

www.ferrocare.com

BIC

G W Precision Tools India Pvt Ltd

+91-80-40431252 info@gwindia.in

www.gwindia.in

13

Grindwell Norton Limited

+91-80-28472900 projmarketing.gnoblr@saint-gobain.com

www.sgindiaprojects.com

22

Heidelberg Prominent Fluid Controls

+91-80-23578872 prominent@hpfcindia.com

www.prominentindia.com

9

Henkel Adhesives Technologies India

+91-80-25357771 marketing@loctite.co.in

www.loctite.com

BC

Tektronix India Pvt Ltd

+91-80-22275577 india.mktg@tek.com

www.textronix.com Our consistent advertisers

COC = Cover on Cover, FIC = Front Inside Cover, BIC = Back Inside Cover, BC = Back Cover

INDIA’S Most Futuristic Show on

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