'Automation has recently found its huge benefits in process industries, such as increased productivity, quality and safety at low costs'
The Department of Instrumentation and Control Engineering and the Department of Production Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli organised a Workshop on Industrial Process Automation (IPA) from 2nd to 8th August 2019 sponsored by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) under the Margdarshan Scheme. Dr N Sivakumaran, Professor and Coordinator welcomed the participants
and mentioned that Industrial automation is the key to make process industries competitive. He added that except for a few operations, many processes and systems could be automated, which would help the
companies to be cost-effective and energy-efficient. Dr S Kumanan, Professor (HAG) and Coordinator said that there is a great scope for automation to increase Quality and Flexibility in Process industries
using Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA), Distributed Control System (DCS) and Programmable logic controller (PLC).
Dr K. Srinivasan, Associate Professor and Coordinator highlighted the objective of the course i.e., to provide state of the art technologies in the field of Wireless, Internet of things (IoT) and Cloud computing, and expressed that this would enable to establish industry-institute interaction. The Technical sessions were handled by
the experts from Yokogawa India Limited, Gantner Instruments India Pvt. Ltd., Siemens Centre of Excellence (CoE) and by the faculty members from NIT-T. The Hands-on training in subjects on Cyber-Physical Systems, IoT, PLC, DCS as well as process test rigs shall be provided at Industrial Automation Laboratory, Department of
Instrumentation and Control and Seimens centre of excellence (CoE).
The Training includes hands-on sessions in PLC, SCADA, DCS, Human Machine Interface (HMI), Highway Addressable Remote Transducer (HART)/ Fieldbus/ Profibus/ Wireless protocols for Industrial Automation,
Cyber Security threats, Industrial IoT, Industrial 4.0 and Cloud-based architecture of Industrial Automation. Simulation software-based training on design of classical and advanced controller design for
linear/non-linear processes was also organised.
Ms R. Mahalakshmi, AGM, Yokogawa India Limited, Bangalore inaugurated the workshop and delivered the inaugural address emphasising the need for close interaction between Industry and Academia to solve the
problems faced by the Industry. She thanked AICTE for initiating such industry-institute interaction training for faculty members to enhance the skill set and update their knowledge on industrial requirements.
She stated that they had been using Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems, Distributed Control Systems (DCS), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and Remote Terminal Units (RTU)
for Industrial Process Automation. The academic institutions can find out solutions to the problems with their strong foundation in Process Modelling, State Estimation, Advanced Control Algorithms, Optimization
Techniques, Intelligent System Technologies and Signal Processing Algorithms. The industries can identify the problems, procure the necessary equipment and implement the solutions offered by academia in
Prof M. Chidambaram, Visiting Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, NIT Warangal and Former Director NIT, Tiruchirappalli delivered his valedictory address stressing the need for automation in
the industrial sector and stated that automation in the past was used to increase productivity and to reduce the cost associated with human operators. However, today, the focus of automation has been shifted to
increasing quality and flexibility in the manufacturing processes. He was overwhelmed to see many faculty members (from Mentee Institute and Non-mentee institutes) who were actively interacting with the experts
and he felt that such corresponding initiatives would enhance extensive research in industrial requirements and promulgate R&D avenues in the field of Industrial Process Automation.The workshop was coordinated by Dr S Kumanan, Production Engineering Dept., Dr N Sivakumaran and Dr K Srinivasan, Department of
Instrumentation and Control Engineering.