Economic Times: February, 2016
Mumbai: In May 2014, Anil Bhingurde, chief operating officer of TAL Manufacturing Solutions of Tata Motors, made a presentation on the company's robotic venture to Ravikant, the chairman, and to the board of the company.
A prototype robot actually welcomed Ravikant with a garland, which today has transformed into Tata Brabo, India's first indigenous industrial-articulated robot ready for launch in two months.
During the presentation, Bhingurde had projected the potential of the robot to be a few hundred units per annum, to which Ravikant had said, "You have missed out on some zeroes, go find them and come," recalls the COO, stressing the Tata Group's emphasis on automation, with an eye on future.
To be showcased for the first time at the Make in India week in Mumbai, Brabo has been developed in-house by a team of six engineers whose average age is 24 years, led by Bhingurde. The development cost is Rs 10 crore. "These are made in India, made for India. The idea is to drive automation in the market by offering affordable and cost-effective solution," says Bhingurde.
The design of the robot was done in-house at TAL, styling was done at Tata Elxi, and manufacturing of some parts at Tata AutoComp, while Tata Capital provided the finance.
TAL Manufacturing doesn't intend to compete with global biggies such as Fanuc, ABB and Kuka's, but instead plans to target the micro, small and medium entreprises with an affordable robotic solution starting at Rs 3 lakh (for 2 kg) to Rs 6 lakh (for a 10 kg payload). There are over 5,000 products being manufactured by India's small enterprises -from traditional business to high-tech products, which may need such robots. The Rs 9-lakh crore MSME industry is likely to double in the coming years, and to reach that kind of size and scale, automation will play a big role, an opportunity that TAL Manufacturing Solutions doesn't want to slip up on.
There's a market of approximately 1,000 big robots in India annually, according to International Federation of Robotics, and from next year, the demand will be 5,000 robots, globally. Thanks to the creation of a new entry point, the market is likely to grow 10 times in five years to 15,000, says Bhingurde.
Although Nachi, Panasonic and Universal have started showcasing smaller robots in India, Brabo enjoys a significant 35-40% cost advantage due to its localised offering.
TAL Manufacturing Solutions, a Tata Enterprise, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Motors. Telco Automation Limited (TAL) was formed in 2000 by merging two mother divisions of Tata MotorsBSE -4.88 % -machine tools and growth.