Anant Goenka, Managing Director of CEAT Tyres said that digitalisation has to deliver solutions ultimately. He was speaking after inaugurating the fifth Asian Tyre and Rubber Conference (ATRC 2019) with the theme “Automation Technology: Future Reality in Manufacturing” on June 20,2019, at Hyatt Regency in Chennai, India. He said that though we focus more on automation, technology and innovation we must also stick to the basics.

“The customer demand is now increasing. They ask for products with high-quality, safety and longer life but at a cheaper price. The Return on Investment on digitalisation should be based in terms of what the customer needs,” Goenka said.

He said that CEAT Tyres has evolved from cost-cutting scenario to delivery to the customer, quality, product performance as a priority. The bitterness of poor quality remains longer than the sweetness of lower cost, he added.

While talking about the Indian tyre industry, the CEAT MD said that the size of Indian tyre industry is around Rs 60,000 crore and domestic companies are not only expanding at home but abroad as well. “It helps to narrow the gap between technologies in developing and developed markets,” he pointed out.

Goenka said that a new way is to look at buying tyre building machines and pay as per the number of tyres produced. He opined that Investment in digital will not replace people.

Delivering the special address at ATRC 2019 Kamal Bali, MD, Volvo Group India said that today’s customer is not looking for products but solutions. He further said that the changes we see today in the industry will be entirely different from the changes that will happen tomorrow.

“Digitalisation, changing business model, urbanisation, customers’ expected solutions, sustainability, new millennials – will determine the future course. Today, a single entity, irrespective of how big it is, can not satisfy the entire needs of the customers. It calls for collaboration among different solutions providers,” Bali said.

Harm Voortman of VMI, Holland, has delivered the opening address. He said that Automation brings levels of speed, consistency, and precision that can not be reached by humans.

“The automation level in the tyre industry is slow when compared to the automotive industry. There is still a lot to be gained. The reason for this is the behaviour of rubber components which is very difficult to automate,” he pointed out.

Antony Powath, President, Asian Business Media (ABM) has welcomed the gathering. Tom Thomas, Executive Director, Technology and Projects, CEAT Tyres, is the Chairman of ATRC. There are over 250 delegates participating in the biennial event which concludes on Friday.

ATRC 2019, organized by Tyre Asia magazine from Asian Business Media (ABM), will have six Technical Sessions on two days chaired by industry veterans and papers presented by global experts in the field. Veterans from the leading automobile manufacturers also will be part of the event. The first Technical Session was on “Digital Manufacturing Industry 4.0’. The session was chaired by PK Mohamed, Chief Advisor, Apollo Tyres, India.

Over the past four editions ATRC, which is a biennial event, has become a global brand among leading industry conference in its technical details and organizational finesse.