HR Needs and Skills acquired-GAP Analysis for Textile Machinery segment

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I Importance of HR & Skills in present Employment Trend and Pattern of Indian Textile Engineering Industry

In the Indian Textile Engineering Industry the employment trend is mainly towards Marketing/Sales of machines & spares, Consultancy (Project handling), Academia and Government agencies/bodies. It is observed that due to Modern workshops of the processes like designing, foundry, welding, cutting, bending, molding, simulation, finishing, erection, etc. of other Units like Automobiles, IT, etc. the employment shift is less towards Indian TEI, where even CNC machine units are < 25%.

II HR & Skill Development needed at

a) Educational Institute level with an objective to develop a SMART Student

Today due to Digitalization and Smart manufacturing, the Technological development of Textile machines in metallurgy, design, process, IT, Computerization, etc. are taking place frequently, overcoming the traditional trend of displaying these developments during ITMA, once in 4 years. Such frequently changing technological developments cannot be involved /adopted in the regular syllabus, but can be further updated to the students through following initiatives at appropriate intervals, helping him to be a SMART Student :-

i) Visits of students to International exhibitions,

ii) Guest lecturers of Industry Experts to Institutes,

iii) Visits of students to state-of-the-art Factories with latest technology machines,

iv) Portable Technical Clinics involving machine manufacturers and Industry Experts,

v) Technology Display Centres in the Institutes through tie-ups with machine manufacturers,

vi) Whats app technology group of students roping in machine manufacturers, Industry Experts and R & D Institutes/Associations,

vii) Student’s Corner inviting presentations of students on new technology/process on weekly/fortnightly basis,

viii) On-line webinars on new technology/process through tie-ups with machine manufacturers,

ix) Installation of cut-models of important assemblies of newly developed machine for training purpose,

x)  Installation of latest technology machines through tie-ups with machine manufacturers under R & D/Training/Sample development purpose.

These activities will help the students in getting exposure to new skills by overcoming the lacunae of conventional technologies as per the regular syllabus, reducing the technology/skill gaps especially in the Indian Textile Engineering sector.

b) Industry Association level with an objective of “Adding to skills”

Industry Associations play a very vital role in connecting the Industry with the Government and Academicians. Today due to digitalization the interaction of Industry Associations with the Government has reduced drastically due to availability of all DATA promptly and regularly on the Government web-site; and so their role has changed from a facilitator to a proactive body interacting with its members at grass-root level.

Considering more than 80% of Textile Engineering units are MSMEs, the Industry Associations are expected to organize Technology scouting missions by collaborating with research institutes/bodies, through training programmes on 5s, Kaizen, Lean, Six Sigma-Yellow & Green belt, etc. for skilling the technical man power of their member-units in various important subjects of waste management, personal productivity tool, energy conservation, etc in order to make them competent in delivering the products at world class standards. Also skilling the members for internal audits on ISO, ZED,TUV, etc and Lean Competitive schemes for upgrading their factory set-up at state-of-the-art level. Association also has to take active part in recognizing/ appreciating the member units through business scouting missions giving them opportunity to learn and observe the HR & Skills of Sales and Marketing Teams of their competitors and also to display their own skills at national and international levels through events, thus conveying an encouraging message to others in following these skills, and helping to fill up the skill gaps /short falls on such business oriented platforms. Also coordinating the member units during technology/skill display meetings/trials, etc. of the machine manufacturers during international exhibitions, helps them in understanding newly developed technology/skills which can be further adopted at his/her factory.

Cleaning and Lubrication activities are always neglected however they play a vital role in sustaining the maintenance and performance of the machines. Every machine manufacturer provides a Preventive Maintenance Programme along with the machine manual involving details of Lubricant type, quantity, place of application, etc. However in case of pre-owned imported machines ( such looms have already being installed in huge numbers through TUF scheme) such DATA is found  not available with the machines in many cases, leading to improper lubrication of these machines. Indigenous lubricant manufacturers and suppliers need to work on this aspect, providing an appropriate substitutes for imported products ( ‘ATMA NIRBHAR BHARAT ‘ through ‘Make in India’ initiative) and also organize a detailed Skilling programmes for the  User Industry on ‘ Lubrication with Right type, at Right quantity, at Right place, at Right frequency and with Right Appliance’  jointly with relevant Industry Associations. Since such activities involve lot of human interventions affecting the quality of work, the developments in the lubricating systems have taken place viz. topping can – centralized system – Oil Reservoirs controlled by servo motors for oil filtration on the running machine itself.

c) Government level with an objective of ‘ATMA NIRBHAR BHARAT’

Government has to play an important role in encouraging the students in the Textile Engineering field. Due to Digitalization, the DATA in regard with industry’s stability/growth and future prospects is available to every student at ease and so today they take independent decisions in regard with their carrier without interference of family members, ancestors, etc. which was followed traditionally. Further it is observed that the students prefer white caller job with User-friendly, healthy and environment-friendly work atmosphere having a set-up of state-of-the-art technology.

Following initiatives may help in reducing the skill gaps and improve HR

a) SMART DATA Clinic

India’s textile machinery trade with the world  was US$ 4857.91 million (12.31%) in 2018, out of which imports contributed to 83% i.e. US$ 4032 million; while Exports were only 17.29 % i.e. US$ 839.78 million, thus the sector still lags globally standing on the fourth position. Further the figure of in-house production of Textile Machines, Spares and Accessories is US$ 858.13 million, fulfilling only 46.61% of Home –consumption against the demand of US$ 1625.51 million and far behind of our target of US$ 50,000 to 85,813 million for 2026-27.

In order to improve and encourage the employment status of this field, the above DATA needed to be presented and linked with the opportunities in new developing areas of technology and techno-commercial, scope and availability of turnkey projects, scope of employment through Government schemes/policies, etc. at national and international levels. In nutshell SMART DATA Clinic should serve the purpose of a Clinic, giving a platform of solution to everyone right from student, employee, employer, Industry expert, etc. and will further encourage the flow of Textile Engineers as same as Textile Technologists.

b) TUF scheme for TEI

We are aware that huge numbers of pre-owned imported looms equipped with computerized gadgets have been installed in India under TUF scheme. However it is noticed that many entrepreneurs of decentralized sector with a set-up of 8 to 50 looms couldn’t avail the after sales services and also couldn’t employ a special technical man power to attend these high value sensitive IT Gadgets, which are important technology accessory of these Hi-tech shuttleless looms. It would have been appropriate if such activities would have been involved as the part and parcel of this subsidy scheme, involving Student, technical man power (Industry Expert/Consultant) and machine manufacturer to deliver these services and help in reducing the skilling gaps further sustaining the performance of these looms. Such scheme needed to be framed out for TEI along with a scope for Student, technical man power (Industry Expert/Consultant) and machine manufacturer.

Focus for Innovative HR & Skills promoting Indian TEI

  • Fashion show specifically highlighting the features of machines
  • Projecting machine features while sale/marketing of fiber, yarn, fabric, garment, etc.
  • Machine manufacturers to be proactively involved in the pilot plant projects and thesis of the students
  •  Convey the user-friendly, eco-friendly and operational safety  features of machine at the factories/mills through attractive display boards/posters

Conclusion

It is said that more funds needed to be invested on R & D in order to overcome the technology gap in Indian TEI, to deliver state-of-the-art machines/spares to cater in-house production and import substitution, and capture the global market. However the study by UNESCO of Gross expenditure in R & D in various sectors spend by the Government, Business Enterprises and Educational Institutes, state that Indian Government is 2nd highest in the contribution when compared with other 9 countries, whereby Japanese Government is spending the least on R & D among all and still in Technology aspects Japan is considered at top among all. Which calls for evaluation of Government funds in Indian Textile Industry and thereby appropriate allocation of the same with a result orientation strategy for R&D and Skilling projects of Applied Research, JVs, Technology transfers, Skill-cum development, etc in TEI and further make the Indian Textile machines/Spares a brand for Global market. This initiative will ultimately encourage new skills/start-ups in Indian TEI, and will also make it ready for HR and Skills considering the requirement of  35 million skilled workers, by 2024-25 as per the sector growth rates.

N. D. Mhatre,

Director General (Tech), ITAMMA