Education

IIT-M’s tech development centre gives Indian industries access to cutting-edge technology

T E Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on June 06, 2019 Published on June 06, 2019

N Ramesh Babu, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT-Madras and faculty in-charge of AMTDC, with the prototype of ‘the Automation of Grinding Process Intelligence’ machine at the IIT-Madras campus   -  Bijoy Ghosh

The Advanced Manufacturing Technology Development Centre (AMTDC), an industry-academia collaboration set up at IIT Research Park with support from Department of Heavy Industries, is turning out to be a major boon for the manufacturing industry in indigenisation and committing strongly to the Centre’s Make in India programme.

Indigenisation

With the help of the AMTDC, Indian companies are trying to indeginise manufacturing capabilities by designing machines that are on par with, or even better than, imported ones. The companies include Jyoti CNC Automation (Rajkot); Micromatic Grinding Technologies (Ghaziabad); Chennai Metco (Chennai); ACE Designers (Bengaluru); MTAB Engineers (Chennai), and Interface Design Associates (Thane).

Indian manufacturing industry suffers from a lack of a strong R&D base to advance with the latest technologies that will enable it to compete with the best in the world. This has resulted in a loss of nearly 70 per cent of domestic market for machine tools to foreign companies, said N Ramesh Babu, Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT-Madras and faculty in-charge of AMTDC.

The AMTDC is a perfect example of academia, industry and government collaboration towards building Make in India products in the capital goods sector, which was so far thought of as a difficult task in the Indian scenario, he told BusinessLine.

R&D support

AMTDC is a first of its kind in India that provides background R&D support to Indian machine tool manufacturers, and equips the industry with the latest technology, developed through indigenous research. Thereafter it is turned into a commercially viable product.

It has already developed technologies such as next generation high-precision grinding machine and diagnostic tool for grinding process. It has transferred technologies to industrial partners and gained knowledge, expertise and confidence in carrying out innovative projects viable for commercialisation, he said.

The AMTDC, which has so far received nearly ₹56 crore in funding from the government and industry, is currently developing prototypes for 11 industries across several sectors – aerospace, nuclear, machine tool, automotive and engineering, he said.

NK Dhand, Chairman, Micromatic Grinding Technologies, said it is important that many of the technologies being developed at AMTDC are currently not allowed to be imported from countries such as the US, Germany and Japan because of their strategic dual-use nature.

AMTDC has great significance because it is important to create and nurture a sustainable ecosystem for R&D in applied engineering and manufacturing. This will help lead in advanced manufacturing technologies by Indian scientists and engineers.

Endorsing this view, S Sairaman, Technical Director, MTAB Engineers Pvt Ltd, said the company is collaborating with IIT-Madras to indigenously develop industrial articulated robots of 6-10 kg payload capacity and micro-machining technology.

Published on June 06, 2019
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