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Cover Story | April 2018

Not just energy efficient, our products are smarter too

Sanjeev Arora, Senior Vice President-Local Business Unit Head, Motors and Generators, ABB India Explain the products displayed during the event.

How energy efficient are these products?

We have displayed energy efficient motors. Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing a revolution in the motor business. New slip-ring motors, which are displayed, is highly energy efficient. When we talk about power consumptions, motors play a major role. Almost 40 per cent of the power is consumed by electric motors. This is where the need to save power arises.

We have displayed IE4 range of motors, which comes in the range of 11 KW to 55 KW. We have indigenised these motors in our factories. For the global market, we have motors above 55 kV range. Our motors will pave the way for future energy efficiency when it comes to more stringent specifications on energy savings.

Our products are not only energy efficient, they are smarter too. It is not that usual thought of product with protruding shaft, we have also a line towards the Industry 4.0 and now we are quite close to IoT. We have introduced a smart sensor, which is very easily placed on top of the motor and this device captures the online running data of the motor and through bluetooth, it can be seen on our mobiles. This is a big revolution in motors. For example, in steel industry, hot steel rolls out, and the ambience is not safe for people to go there and actually physically access the motor. In these situations, IoTs play a major role.

With wrist bands, which is becoming common, one can get the data of the motor. A major breakthrough is when predictive maintenance can be done and the downtime can be reduced by almost 70 per cent. From the inventory usage and time management of people, productivity would go up by another 30 per cent of the plant.

Talking about energy-efficient motors, how will IE4 motors help in saving power consumption?
It is a gradual process and right now we are in inception. You can see, in countries like Australia, USA and Europe, MEPS were already available. India is just in the beginning phase. If you go by the available statistics, low-voltage motors produced in a year is close to about 10,000 MW, but the data would be way beyond that.

Even if we save 0.5 per cent of the total energy and multiply it with kilowatt hours, the figures would be humongous. People are predicting that if we produce energy-efficient motors, it will help save around Rs 10 billion every year. All the motors will eventually be graduated because as per the law, no Indian manufacturer can produce any motor that is less then IE2. Even imported motors, which are installed in India, needs to be IE2.

The government has come out with minimum energy standard. How will it impact the power sector?
Keeping in mind the larger interest of the country, this is a very prominent step. When you talk of the capability of organised or unorganised sector for motors, I am pretty confident that this would pick up very quickly and there will be no demand-supply gap. This is not happening all of a sudden. The government has given sufficient time for people to learn and migrate. We have been producing IE2 and IE3 motors for the last two years..

From which sector do you see the demand for IE4 motors?
The cement industry did face a lot of problem last year. But when you look at the government initiatives, I can tell you that utilisation of cement plants have gone up from 45-50 per cent to 70 per cent. A lot of cement companies are announcing new projects. Down the line, we will witness greenfield projects also.

India is behind in adoption of digitisation specifically when it comes to motors or industrial activity. Where do you see the growth demand of drivers?
I would like to take you back to the history when mobiles were introduced. The facts and figures are in front of everybody. People in India are very adaptable, and they actually are willing to have new technology. But the main thing is the affordability factor. If you have an affordable technology people will go for it. In the last five to six months, we have piloted a lot of projects in most of the industries - be it cement, oil and gas, HVAC, plastics or food and beverages. We have almost 50 smart sensors running across various sectors. Already they are witnessing a lot of benefits.

From where do you find the demand for generators or motors? What is your outlook for the sector?
Till the first quarter of 2017, the wind sector was in the right direction. In 2016, we had almost more than 5 GW of installation in one year, which was a record at that time. Yes, the tariffs and policies have become a major hindrance. Because of this, we have lost a lot of precious time - say about six to eight months. Having said that, now we are seeing that the auctions are happening and jobs are getting awarded. We are very bullish on that. Probably in the next couple of months, we would see a bit of a turnaround in the wind business.

How has Make in India progressed in your segment? What are your suggestions to give a boost to this revolutionary concept of Make in India?
ABB is in India for more than 50 years now, and we have a range of products that are already getting manufactured in India in various locations. Coming specifically to motors, if you check back, we will be one of the first MNCs to come up with these kind of product range that are completely indigenised in India. Right from the half HP motor to an 8-MW motor, all are indigenised in India.To add to that, in the last two years, we have brought a lot of global products. Some of the products that we manufacture are already being exported to the Middle East, Europe, and a few orders to be executed to the US.
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