Proven technologies could become obsolete: Dr R Chidambaram

India needs to shed the temptation of working with proven technologies unless they are being improved continuously.

Dr Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor, government of India said that proven technologies if not updated continuously could become synonym for obsolescence. The need, therefore, is for India to become the first introducer of new technologies.

Dr Chidambaram was addressing scientists and engineers from the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) and Germany’s National Academy of Science and Engineering (Acatech) to mull strategies for technological co-operation in advanced manufacturing.

The seminar was conceptualized  by Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC) on “Strategies and concepts for Advanced Manufacturing” and jointly organized by Indian National Academy of Engineering and (INAE), India and National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), Germany.

Co-operation between India and Germany will go a long way in helping India emerge as a leading knowledge economy with global leadership in science, engineering, technology management and Innovation, he felt.

India needs to leverage international co-operation, as a partnership of two equals, to strengthen science and technology initiatives for mutual benefit, Chidambaram said, while speaking at the Indo-German Science and Technology Center workshop.

By combining traditional technological R&D with innovation, India can achieve excellence in R&D. The principal scientific advisor said technology consortia within the country have come together to marry exceptional technologies and solve real technology challenges.

Underlying the need for enhanced academia industry interaction Chidambaram said that academia must bring in their strengths in research and industry must bring its execution capability to identify products that need development.

INAE president Dr Baldev Ra said that INAE’s technology co-operation with German National Academy of Science and Engineering is to address emergence of smart factories as also new technologies that will help analyze ‘Big Data’ for engineering applications.

In Smart Factory session, Prof Dr Fritz Klocke, RWTH Aachen, Germany said, “The Smart Factory has to have adaptability, resilience and productivity. The data recorded by sensors provide transparency and might be used for onsite optimization of processes and sound decisions, to feed holistic process chain models and self optimization.”

Prof Dr Klocke is developing smart devices which follows the rules of production engineers. He is also planning to take Smart Factory concept to research as it will help in bringing researchers together.

Nagesh Nadamaluri, senior general manager, Mahindra & Mahindra spoke about the key enablers of smart factories such as connected manufacturing, convergent networks, manufacturing operations management, digital manufacturing and advanced manufacturing.

He laid emphasis on the fact that disruptive technologies helps in manufacturing agility and flexibility.

In the Human Factor Session, Dr P Nandakumar, vice president, Mahindra & Mahindra said, “We would like to create Digital Mahindra and the focus is on product, people and process and people have to be trained on different capabilities in the changing scenario.”

He laid emphasis on integration of labour union with the company as it helps in productivity and creation of grey collar workforce which has the agility and wisdom of both white collar and blue collar workers, so that they can effectively program, troubleshoot and maintain technology driven computer and network oriented devices.

HR professionals need to develop strategies on how to attract, develop and retain the Millenial generation workers by undrstanding how they are different and then designing processes, training and other programs specifically for them, to ensure their success in the industry.

Dr Carsten Ullrich, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, Berling, Germany said, “Mastering smart production requires deeper knowledge and job expertise than ever before.”

In many domains the usage of Artifical Intelligence in Education (AIED) has enabled significant flexibility and personalization of learning processes so one can see emergence of application store with respect to different services and making them accessible on some cost for training employees.

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