Web-Seminar: “Marrying Industrial Operations and Social Distancing - Way Forward” on Tuesday, on 16th June 2020”

VDMA India

As you are aware what started as a health crisis is now turning into a ‘black swan’ event for the global economy and society. Social distancing has emerged as our only protection against this biological malware that has affected our collective culture and systems.

With  industrial activities have started to resume gradually in the country,  this crisis offers us an opportunity to think both short and long term to ensure that a resilient economy emerges as soon  as possible. Against this background, and with an aim to provide some insights to the manufacturing industry in general and the VDMA members in particular, on the “SAFE” start of the manufcaturing actvities,  VDMA India organised a webinar on Marrying Industrial Operations and Social Distancing - Way Forward” on Tuesday, 16th June 2020.


We were privileged to have esteem speakers joining us for this interactive and informative session:

Dr. Andreas Wolf, Executive Vice President, Manufacturing/ Quality Management, United Automotive Electronic Systems Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China
Mr. Samir Limaye, Vice President, WIMCO Ltd,Mumbai
Mr. Saroj Banerjee, Chief Environment, TATA STEEL BSL Limited, Angul
Mr. George Sparschuh, President, SCHOTT Glass India Pvt. Ltd, Bharuch  
Mr. Rajesh Mishra, Managing Director, VULKAN Technologies Ltd, Pune
MR  Manish Singhal, Director – General Industry, Henkel Adhesives Technologies India Pvt. Ltd., Gurgaon

The session was moderated by Mr. Sandip Roy, Regional Head - East, VDMA India. In his opening remarks he highlighted the main points of discussion like SOP for resumption of work, Machine Safety, Process Safety, Onsite disaster management plan, EHS guideline, Safety audit, and handling, storage of hazardous substance.
Dr. Andreas Wolf, the first speaker of the webinar set the tone of the discussion and explained the main 3 measures taken – Quaritine policy, home office policy and heath monitoring to keep the workplace safe.
The next speaker Mr. Samir Limaye spoke on the initial struggle to obtain the work permit from local authority to start the prodcution being an extended part of the essential services. The takeaway from this crisis is to become dependent, independent and interdependent for sustainable growth.
An online poll was conducted immediately after the address of Mr. Limaye. The question was” would social distancing impact productivity? 60% of the audience said “yes” and 38% said “no”.
Mr.Saror Banrjee from TATA Steel BSL, Angul the next speaker spoke on the concept of “workforce modularisation in pod” which was implemented in the various plants of TATA Steel BSL towards prodcution optimization without comprimising social distancing. 
In his presentation, Mr. George Sparshuh, from SHOTTT Glass, Bharuch,spoke on the various initaives taken,  like longer shift time, arrangement of private vehicle for commuting to factory,   trainig, medical camp, sanitization to name a few, for all the stakeholders together. He also shared his vision of working stying in future factory also.

The second poll was conduted on “Would “new normal" lead to increased cost?” The majority of the responded in its favor. 

VULKAN was one of the very few companies which largely remained unaffected during the lockdonwn because of the plant location in rural belt and also being a supplier to the essectial sectors such defence, as informed by Mr. Rajesh Mishra, Managing Director of the company. By virture of various health and safety measures taken, the company is quite optmistic to compenate the shortfall in production by August this year.
In his address, Mr. Manish Singhal, from Henkel Adhesive the last speaker of the webinar, illustrated on the various measures taken towards customer and employee engagement. In addiion, he also spoke on onsite disaster management plan, workers training and machinery safety. 

Before moving to questions and answer session, VDMA conducted 3rd poll “Whether deploying automation reboot manufacturing, SAFELY”. Responding to the poll, A whopping 86% audience felt in favor and balance 14% against.



Mr. Rajesh Nath, Managing Director, VDMA India, conducted question and answer session.The speakers responded to various questions like how to maintain social distancing when work force increase, Impact in automotive industry in China, special traning for employees, role of automation in risk mitigation and cost reduction. 

Mr. Nath concluded the interactive session with a quote from Mrs. Maire Currie, who said: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood” 

He conveyed his best wishes to all the esteemed speakers and attendees from the industry to start their operation SAFELY. 

The web-seminar which stretched more than 1and half hours, received an overwhelming response as maximum registration limit of 100 participants from the industry and German engineering fraternity was attained within 2 min of starting the web-seminar.