NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News  » Business » A robot gives Tata Motors reasons to smile

A robot gives Tata Motors reasons to smile

February 07, 2017 12:45 IST

TAL Manufacturing Solutions expects its indigenously made affordable industrial robot, the Brabo, to boost the robotics vertical and contribute almost 40 per cent of its overall revenues in the next five years. Sohini Das reports.

Tata Motors

IMAGE: TAL Manufacturing Solutions, an arm of Tata Motors, had showcased the Brabo at the Make in India Summit last year. Photograph: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters.

Tata Motors arm TAL Manufacturing Solutions Ltd had showcased its indigenously made affordable industrial robot the Brabo at the Make in India Summit last year. 

Betting on this new product, for which the company estimates sufficient traction among small and medium businesses, TAL expects the robotics vertical to contribute almost 40 per cent of its overall revenues in the next five years, from a marginal share at present. 

Amit Bhingurde, TAL's chief operations officer-robotics, told Business Standard they have already sold around 30 robots after they went to market in October 2016. Of these, only four-five were sold to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the rest being sold to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). 

TAL currently draws around 70 per cent of its revenues from the aerospace vertical where it is a supplier (tier-I and tier-II) to big names such as Boeing, Airbus and Rolls Royce. 

The manufacturing solutions vertical accounts for most of the remaining revenues as the robotics vertical is still in a nascent stage. 

But Bhingurde is confident that with a lead pipeline of more than 400 Brabos, and plans to focus on exports, the robotics vertical is likely to grow to a 40 per cent share of overall revenue within the next five years. 

Brabo Tata Motors

IMAGE: The Brabo costs between ₹4.75 lakh and ₹6.5 lakh, and the cost is recovered within 15-18 months of commissioning the robot. Photograph: Courtesy

The Brabo, which can be useful in materials handling, cementing applications, assembly operations etc., has been popular amongst SME customers, because of its affordability. 

It costs between ₹4.75 lakh and ₹6.5 lakh, and Bhingurde claims the cost is recovered within 15-18 months of commissioning the robot. 

The job that an operator takes seven days to complete is done by a Brabo in 2.3 days, thus significantly reducing the turnaround time. 

TAL's team is now working on developing additional features for the robot, including welding, soldering, riveting actions etc. 

"With the growing shortage of skilled manpower, ever-increasing wages, IR issues with existing labour unions and changes in regulatory framework, there is a strong case for adopting automation in the industry," TAL said on its website. 

Bhingurde said according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the demand for industrial robots in India (the category the Brabo operates in), is around 6,000 units per annum. 

TAL has a manufacturing capacity of 3,000 robots in a year, which can be readily expanded up to 10,000 robots a year based on demand. 

Bhingurde, however, feels they are expanding the market by tapping SME customers.

"Nearly, 80 per cent of robots made in India were till date going to OEMs. But, the SMEs represent a huge untapped market," he said. 

TAL has already exported one unit each of the Brabo to Dubai and Italy and is now working on getting additional international certifications that would enable it to tap more regulated markets such as the US in the long run. 

For now, India is definitely the focus market.

Sohini Das