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B&R acts as a trusted automation partner for leading machine builders

Jhankar Dutta, Managing Director – B&R Industrial Automation talks about how B&R is gearing up for CphI 2019 and the various progressions the company has made in terms of innovation and digital upgradations

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Can you explain briefly about the company’s portfolio?

B&R Industrial Automation, a member of the ABB group, is an innovative automation company with headquarters in Austria and offices all around the world. As a global leader in industrial automation, B&R combines state-of-the-art technology with advanced engineering to provide customers in virtually every industry with complete solutions for machine and factory automation, motion control, HMI and integrated safety technology. With Industrial IoT communication standards like OPC UA, POWERLINK and openSAFETY as well as the powerful Automation Studio software development environment, B&R is constantly redefining the future of automation engineering. The innovative spirit that keeps B&R at the forefront of industrial automation is driven by a commitment to simplifying processes and exceeding customer expectations.

We are global automation provider with groundbreaking motion control, machine operation and control solutions for pharmaceutical packaging. Our comprehensive portfolio fulfills all the requirements of a pharmaceutical packaging line – regardless of whether the product is in solid, liquid or powder form or whether it is packaged in blisters, paper, plastic, glass or metal. From blister packaging to fillers and cappers, from cartoning to case packers or palletizers, robotics, integrated machine vision and intelligent product transport – we provide the best automation solutions for pharmaceutical packaging machines and plants. We delivers products such as industrial PC, panels, transport systems, vision system, I/O systems, servo and stepper drives and motors, process control systems amongst others. All our hardware and software are fully compliant with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 regulations. In addition, we provide our customers an add-on package of technology libraries that support all FDA criteria for electronic records and signatures.

What are your plans for the Indian market in forthcoming fiscal? What kind of investment would be made in this market?

The market is taking a conservative approach from the investments but we expect the situation to be better soon and have high expectations and hopes from the market. India is a huge market and government is also supporting the manufacturing with various initiatives and programs, which also provide equal importance on MSMEs and SMEs. As B&R, we not only focus on providing innovative solutions and technologies but also collaborating with machine builders during selection, commissioning, after sales support. With our “World Class Support” initiative, we provide a dedicated hotline, which ensures high quality support and quick response times. Our World Class Support hotline will further enhance our customers’ experience, in turn enabling them to offer their customers faster service and reduced machine downtime.

B&R is committed to promoting talent among engineering community in the context of education in advanced topics of automation with a view to prepare students for the exciting innovations coming in future. The Education Network is a program to promote cooperation between technical training centers, colleges, universities and B&R. Our Education Network is a well-structured program of collaboration to improve the employability of engineering graduates.

What kind of growth do you envisage in the next three years? What would be factors driving this growth?
Digitisation, Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0 have been discussed for some time and we are witnessing some implementations in this direction in India. We expect companies to move in this direction in coming years with an aim to become globally competitive. These will act as some of the major drivers for growth in the Indian market. Changing consumer needs and landscape are further driving changes.

Tell us about your international presence. Any plans to expand your footprints overseas?

B&R Industrial Automation, a member of the ABB group, is an innovative automation company with headquarters in Austria and offices all around the world. B&R India has expanded its Pune office space to 16000 sq. ft. This new and modern office is now fully operational with unique architecture and efficient office automation. Globally, ABB has made largest organic investment in industrial automation at home of B&R in Austria. ABB is to invest €100 million in Austria to build a state-of-the-art innovation and training campus at the home of B&R in Eggelsberg. B&R has also invested in its Gilgenberg site, aiming to establish Gilgenberg as a competence center for the development and production of electromechanical products. B&R motors are already assembled there. In the future, Gilgenberg will also host development and production of the intelligent ACOPOStrak transport system.

What are the growth opportunities opening up in the pharma sector both, globally and India? How poised are you to leverage these opportunities?

Pharmaceutical industry is highly automated. Today, machine builders and plants are focusing on improving productivity, efficiency at the same time optimising operations and processes. Machine builders are looking at reinventing machine design for eliminating the need for conveyors for product transport. Moreover, reducing time-to-market, improving RoI, improving product quality with lower rejections, reducing maintenance and improving machine uptime have increasingly gained importance.

Plants too are looking at higher plant availability with reduced maintenances, higher product quality, reduced losses with higher efficiency and productivity. We provide complete solutions for various needs of pharmaceutical machines and plants. With APROL our process and factory automation solution, plants are able to acquire data analyse it and convert it to valuable information. APROL is equipped with condition monitoring (predictive maintenance) and energy monitoring solution and plants can have a single solution for these requirements. Inspection enables pharmaceutical machines and plants reduce rejections and improve product quality. Inspection was conventionally treated as a standalone solution incurring higher costs and slow response times due to multiple controllers.

B&R has combined the worlds of vision and automation together. With this unique offering, we reduce complexities in incorporating vision systems in the automation system at the same time reduce machine costs. B&R trusts in open connectivity standards and with OPC UA, Ethernet POWERLINK and openSAFETY we enable machines and plants achieve a seamless horizontal and vertical connectivity. B&R acts as a trusted automation partner for many leading global and Indian machine builders.

What are you showcasing at PMec/CphI this year and what are your expectations from the event?

PMEC is the biggest gathering of pharmaceutical machine builders and users in India. We have been participating in PMEC for many years and have seen the show grow year-on-year. This year too, we will showcase our advanced automation solutions, which enable pharmaceutical machine builders to build next generation efficient and productive machines. Visitors will witness our machine and factory automation solutions in Hall 10 Stall 10.B29. They will also be able to see our latest integrated machine vision and intelligent product transport technology. In addition, visitors will be able to see the ABB YuMi and other solutions from ABB focusing on pharmaceutical and packaging industry. We expect to meet all our machine-building customers who are exhibiting at the show as well as meet other show visitors while highlighting our innovative solutions in the pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical packaging market.

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