Mahindra deploying multiple AI tools across manufacturing plants as it lines up mega investment – ET Auto


Mahindra deploying multiple AI tools across manufacturing plants as it lines up mega investment – ET Auto

M&M has already started using various digital tools to enhance efficiencies and increase the output across its various facilities.

New Delhi: The India manufacturing tale has been one of fits and starts. The share of manufacturing in GDP rose in FY24 to just under 10% against a contraction in the previous fiscal but over the last decade, there has hardly been any meaningful increase in the contribution of manufacturing to GDP, despite the ‘Make In India’ push and emphasis on building in India and buying Indian. But India’s manufacturing story may yet have a happy ending, if plans of some large OEMs in the automotive space are any indication. Increasingly, makers of components as well as vehicles are deploying cutting edge AI and ML tools across their manufacturing facilities to lower costs and improve efficiencies. Coupled with cheaper labour and some other inherent advantages, like the ‘China Plus One’ strategy adopted by large global suppliers, India’s chances could become brighter.Take Mahindra & Mahindra, the farm equipment and auto major, for example. It has struck a high note on India’s manufacturing prowess, lining up INR 37000 crore investment across its various businesses for the next three years, compared to just INR 4833 crore in FY24. That is a nearly three fold annual increase. A large part of this sum will be invested in creating manufacturing capacities, Chairman Anand Mahindra has said, adding that the group will launch 26 models and facelifts in the next five years.

“India’s emerging role as one of the vital nodes in future-proofed supply chains across industries opens doors for growth within India and expansion abroad…India is the cheapest manufacturing destination in the world. There is good supply of labour. The need for jobs for young people, our demographic dividend, is high. Externally too, conditions are working our favour. It’s time to seize the day,” Mahindra said in the latest annual report.

M&M held about a fifth of the market in SUVs last fiscal, while in the farm equipment segment, its share was little over 40%. The large capex lined up between now and FY27 will likely be used optimally through the deployment of the latest digital tools across various facilities.

AI/ML power efficiencies:

M&M has already started using various digital tools to enhance efficiencies and increase the output across its various facilities:

-The creation of Intershop conveyor DES model and What-If scenarios analysis at the company’s Nashik plant is helping M&M reduce hangar utilisation by 10%

-At Chakan, an AI augmented digital Twin Project has been implemented to improve efficiencies. And the TTAT (Total Turnaround Time) project, again at Chakan, has allowed the facility to handle 5000 trucks daily, after an advanced application in the production environment alleviated congestion and streamlined the management of inbound trucks

-Spot welding processes are being monitored using machine learning techniques to reduce defects, rework or scrap during the manufacturing process

-A Generative AI chatbot is generating why-why sheets for troubleshooting at the company’s Chakan plant. This reduces time needed to address maintenance issues.

Is it any wonder then that the Chakan plant of M&M was able to churn out 45% more vehicles in FY24 over the previous fiscal at 3.73 lakh units while the Nashik plant produced 12% more at 2.05 lakh vehicles?

-Even in tractor manufacturing, digital tools are improving production metrics. A diverse inventory of more than 500 tractor varieties is being managed across multiple locations through digital stockyard management tools; a control tower has been set up to manage the supply chain; AI-based analysis and cobot/robot based applications are being used for informed decision making; traceability of critical components across factories for more than 50 such parts is also being done using digital tools.

  • Published On Jul 4, 2024 at 12:51 PM IST

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