Factory Automation Rising In India: Delta Electronics

Manish Walia, Head Automation, South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal), Delta Electronics
  • As per the company, machine automation still leads the automation trend in India
  • Many experts see machine automation as the bridge from ‘no automation’ to factory/process automation

The automation unit of Delta Electronics is witnessing an increase in the number of institutions opting for factory and process automation. Manish Walia, Head Automation, South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal), Delta Electronics, in an interaction with the Electronics For You team, noted that while the ratio between machine automation and factory/process automation was significantly low before the start of the pandemic, the same is now 80:20.

He said, “While most are still opting for machine automation, factory/process automation has seen a good jump.” Interestingly, he is also responsible for automating Delta-owned factories and machines.

More importantly, there also seems a shift towards a bigger interplay between different segments of Delta Electronics.”I would say, maybe 5%, at this point, or even 7%. But then it will grow because of the sales platform which we have as an organisation,” he explained. Walia has been a leader in the automation domain  with Delta for over 15 years now. He has been in the industry for over three decades.

In the simplest of terms, machine automation means automating a single or a couple of machines in a production line. In contrast, factory automation means automating a complete production line. In both scenarios, it is up to the owner to define the amount of human intervention needed in both.

Reasons Machine Automation Is Leading

Validation and Proof-of-Concept are two of the top reasons that machine automation has become the go-to strategy of many companies. Some experts also see the same as the bridge between no automation and factory automation as the same requires a big CAPEX and none of the companies are interested in spending on something without the POC of it.

Walia said, “We don’t pitch for large volumes of orders without going for a POC. As a customer, one would like to see the advantage before deciding to spend money on automation.”

He further added that it is the consumer’s satisfaction levels that decide whether there will be larger automation orders in the future. The industry’s developed potential to automate legacy machines is one more reason that several sectors can now test automation at a smaller scale before adopting it to maximum levels.

As for factory automation, the uptick has been from the ones who have already tested automation and those who are setting up production lines from scratch. This is because automating a new product line is comparatively easier than an existing one.

Walia sees automation as a CAPEX expense for a company as the warranties cover all bits of the same for a definite period, after which the companies can choose to purchase annual maintenance contracts from the automation player.

However, it is critical for the company willing to test automation to find the bottleneck at which they want to apply automation. “Automation works best if you know what problem you are trying to solve. Professionals can help only when you tell them where you need help,” Walia said.

He added that most hardware and software elements used in the automation solutions provided by Delta Electronics are manufactured in-house. The Taiwan-headquartered company generated $12.73 billion in revenue in 2022, whereas the same for 2021 was $11.26 billion.

As per Mordor Intelligence, the India Industrial Automation Market size is expected to grow from $13.23 billion in 2023 to $25.76 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 14.26% during the forecast period (2023-2028).


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