Swedish technology major Hexagon AB, a global provider of new-age technologies, is driving productivity with geospatial and industrial enterprise applications with sales of 3.1 billion euros. Hexagon Capability Centre India (HCCI), Hyderabad, is one of the key technology global R&D hubs for Hexagon. Its solutions integrate sensors, software, domain knowledge and customer workflows into intelligent information ecosystems that deliver actionable information. In India, its vision is to partner with the central and the state governments for solving some of the toughest current challenges being faced by the country in the field of agriculture, mining, defence and infrastructure. In an interaction with BV Mahalakshmi, Pramod Kaushik, president, Hexagon India, says that urban planners ideally aim at developing the entire urban eco-system, which is represented by the four pillars of institutional, physical, social and economic infrastructure, for comprehensive development of a smart city. Excerpts:
Can you outline the vision for the Indian market and the growth potential?
Our vision is to partner with the central and the state governments for solving some of the toughest challenges being faced by the country in the field of agriculture, mining, defence and infrastructure. We are aligning ourselves with various key initiatives of the Indian government like Make in India, Digital India, Zero defect Zero Effect (ZED) and Bharatmala. We are closely working with other organisations in key initiatives like smart cities projects, safe cities, emergency response by providing public security initiatives like UP Police– UP 100, MP Police – Dial 100, Rajasthan Police – Dial 112, facilitating command and control centre that unifies emergency services like police, fire and ambulance. This helps the distressed in the critical hour, not only saving lives but ensuring better law and order in the states. Besides, we are working with the state governments to accurately estimate the fibre optic network length as part of BharatNet by using remote sensing technology covering all the villages as well, thus, saving over- and under-estimation. Our integrated mining solutions enhance safety of the workers, reduce cost and increase the yield. For instance, in Coal India, we have provided automation and fleet management system in eight mines.
We also provide solutions in agriculture on the laser levelling solutions which reduce water consumption by 30% and farmers in Punjab, Haryana and western UP are successfully using this technology and saving water in summer. We are now rolling out this solution to other states by working with various state governments. Some of the other projects in the agriculture domain are crop forecasting with MNCFCC, agri insurance for Iffco-Tokio, weather forecasting for Skymet Weather. In the spatial data infrastructure domain, our key projects are National Spatial Data Infrastructure and Karnataka State Spatial Data Infrastructure.
What are the initiatives taken for developing solutions for a smart city project and how important are these initiatives?
Our solutions are geospatially-enabled. In our approach to the Smart Cities mission, the focus is to create a replicable model which is technically integrated and connects all silos and acts like a lighthouse to other aspiring cities. Our approach is that smart cities would have milestones which include geospatial analysis, sensor or sub-system or process integration, planning and coordination and management or visualisation. Hexagon Geosystem solutions help underwater sensors create 3D pictures of the entire pipeline and electric network to manage the outage.
Your company is focusing on India as a market for smart manufacturing, smart quality and automation using robots for Indian industries. What are the updates on the same?
Hexagon MI (manufacturing intelligence) is gearing up for the fourth industrial revolution of cyber-physical system. Hexagon machines, feedback sensors, strong anticipating algorithms/software with integrated robots/automation are forming a digital thread in closed loop which can help traditional Indian industries to sustain and grow in this competitive global scenario. Changing customer demands and shorter product lifecycle, 24/7 operations, tougher and newer regulatory compliances, cost cutting pressures are few of the market forces which Indian industry needs to respond to sooner than later and Hexagon MI facilitates in responding to this demand with its integrated portfolio of machines, sensors, automation solutions, software for machining (CAD, CAE, CAM), quality controls and statistical process control.
Our technology also enables the manufacturers, especially the automotive industries, to have inline inspection and inline quality checks on the go. We are focusing on key segments like aerospace, automotive, railways and defence. We are in touch with senior officials from the government, working on the modalities for setting up a Centre of Excellence, along with other industry bodies for smart manufacturing. Hyderabad houses a sizable number of aerospace and defence organisations and we are closely working with them in providing technologies in manufacturing and geospatial segment. Weapon programming, positioning accuracy, all of it together help to get the cutting-edge technology in defence.
There are reports that Hexagon has developed technologies which can find out what is below the ground, above the ground and in the air. Would you share some details about these technologies?
We have a ground penetrating radar for finding out what is beneath the ground. We also combine them with scanners stream for simultaneously measuring the reality above and below the ground. We have a complete suite of technologies like terrestrial laser scanners, total stations and air borne sensors to map everything on the ground. We have capabilities to measure carbon monoxides and aerosol in air by using newer technologies.