Choi Yong Suk says...‘Data Analytics and Preventive Maintenance are key words for factory automation’
Murata recently launched its portfolio of Smart Factory solutions at electronic India. What are these?
The theme of our exhibition this year was Smart Factory Automation (SFA). However, the products that we have showcased are not only limited to SFA applications only. They can be used for other applications such as Automotive. One of our key words is “electrification” of the automotive industry. Murata’s core technologies will contribute to automotive electrification gradually, such as the Hybrid cars and EVs.
Murata’s offering is focused on sensing and wireless communications, which is inevitable for Industry 4.0. We believe we can contribute by helping our end-users to realise their concepts into actual products. We believe that in the connected world, data acquisition, analytics, Artificial Intelligence will be common proceedings across industries to support the Internet of Things phenomenon.
What is the significance of this launch, and how different are these from competing products?
With our broad variety of sensors and communication modules, we can detect worker’s location and safety information by some wearable devices. Using our communication module we can transmit the data to cloud or centralise the control tower, so that server can detect and secure the safety of the workers. By adding sensors to machinery, the cost of machinery down time can be reduced, and efficiency increased. This is not only applicable for automotive but also for other applications.
Data analytics followed up Preventive Maintenance will be the key words for factory automation especially in those industries which involves large scale facilities and manpower for production efficiency and safety. We believe that in the connected world, data acquisition, analytics, artificial intelligence will be common proceedings across industries to support the Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon. As immediate synergy point, Murata wants to contribute our cutting edge technologies in the area of data acquisition – power, sensing, wireless communication – from the perspectives of smart factory, data from humans, machines, energy efficiency; and from the perspectives of automotive, electrification to achieve safety, autonomous, ADAS, connected cars to infrastructures in the mobility ecosystem.
The company has a wide range of products and application segments. What are the focus segments in India? What about factory and process automation segments?
It depends on each client’s needs and requirement. Given the fact that it is still not at full blooming stage yet, it might be too early to designate the specific area. However, we are hearing clients’ inquiries from all those four aspects.
As a matter of fact, there will be different challenges and needs from different types of factories and also geographical influence. With existing products, we are trying to seek understanding of the challenges, needs faced by the factories in India and consider the appropriate product roadmaps to enable technologies and support a perfect ‘Make in India’ dream initiatives to factories in India.
What is the nature of Murata activities in India? Do these include manufacturing locally?
Automotive is one of our core markets in India. More than half of Murata India’s revenue is coming from the automotive customers. Not only Tier 1 or Tier 2, we are also strengthening our relationships with Tier 0 and local OEMs in India. As an important targeted market, we are currently paying more attention and liaising with the related customers.
On the other hand, we are also doing the marketing for the whole line up of Murata’s products for various electronics markets and electrical industries. At this moment, we do not have any manufacturing facilities in India.
We are viewing India as a global R&D hub for global projects. Besides, there is also strong interest in Indian government initiatives for ‘Digital India’ which is expected to be realised soon. Murata can contribute as a technology enabler to industrial devices and machine manufacturers through our components, modules products and also to factories with unique products to be readily adopted like RFID tags and wireless sensors.
How does the company view the present business environment in India?
Indian government regulations are getting stricter for safety purpose, which is causing increased demand for our products like, capacitor and thermistor. For example, seat belt will bring demand for piezo products, such as buzzer, whereby it can detect if the passenger is wearing the seat belt or not. We can expect more demand by the new regulations of the government, but this could be just for a short term.
For longer term, indefinitely, Indian automotive will move towards V2X trend. Car to car communication will become essential. At such, many passive components and communication modules will be needed. We are preparing for such future demand.
What are the future plans?
We would like to see the possibility of reverse innovation as well. We would like to be prepared for the sudden use cases here. We also believe that we can find the seeds of needs and then define the needs to make new products by using our existing and new technologies to contribute and share them to the global market.
Moreover, Murata aims to develop new business together with our Indian partner-customers, including by supporting smart-factory automation, in response to government initiatives to increase manufacturing and efforts to increase process efficiency for factory automation. We would like to provide our value not only with our own products but also with our partners/alliance, showing synergy, in order to fulfil our clients’ requirements timely. For that objective, we will keep looking for local talents who can share our vision and missions, and grow together with us.
Pix1: Yong Suk Choi, Managing Director, Murata Electronics (India) Private Limited.
Pix2: Yong Suk Choi (right) with Gary Han Wee Kwang, General Manager, Murata Electronics (Singapore) Pvt Ltd at electronica India 2018 held at Bangalore recently.
Choi Yong Suk joined Murata Electronics Singapore (Pte) Ltd in 2008, starting his career as a sales representative. From 2013 to 2017, he assumed the role of general manager and oversaw nationwide sales and two branch offices at Murata Electronics Malaysia (Sdn) Bhd. In early 2017, Choi was tasked with expanding Murata’s sales reach and exploring diverse business opportunities in India. He became managing director of Murata Electronics (India) Private Limited in March 2018.