Being steadfast and visionary in this cyclical ‘slowdown’
September 18, 2019
A quick peek into the current state of automakers by an industrial automation expert
The word ‘slowdown’ comes with a mixed bag of emotions. For some it’s a complete gloom & inertia but for some, though it may sound surprising, it’s like a sign from the universe to stay put and prep up for the future.
Many of the key automotive manufacturing majors in the country, these days, are falling in the second category. While grappling with the travails of the slowdown, they are making themselves ready for the turnaround! And this is not a dichotomy. They perceive the slowdown as a ‘cyclical’ phenomenon and so it’s believed to revert to its original growth trajectory very soon. Many of the industry experts are expecting to see early signs of improvement from the coming festival season itself.
Hence, though the sales are in bad shape, the profitability has taken a hit however they are not retracting on the key productivity enhancement long-term plans they had charted out before the slowdown sneaked in. This includes deployment of industrial automation led applications and solutions at the shop floors to add value to many aspects like speed, quality, efficiency, safety, agility and flexibility – the whole dynamics of which will certainly emerge as a game changer when the growth trajectory resumes.
Supporting this move is the fact that after many years, the production lines are not under pressure to operate continuously. Line shutdowns are now available giving immense convenience and scope to the production engineering staff and other members , who themselves are relatively less occupied in this slowdown and so they have the bandwidth to experiment and further unleash their technological prowess. The slowdown is also giving them enough time and energies to establish seamless synergies between manufacturing and engineering to bring down cost and enhance productivity.
To sum up, there seems to be continued flow of automation expenditure, and this is going to help them a lot to tackle the turn of tide with better capabilities. They are not letting the slowdown dampen their spirits but are rather using this turn of the tide to prepare better for the future and the reasons seem to be valid.