Innovate and Excel

Driving innvation.
Getting future-ready.

At Tata Metaliks, we promote a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Our relentless pursuit of excellence is anchored to our strategic pillar of Innovate and Excel. It acts a foundation to drive process and product innovation, service enhancements and adoption of cutting-edge digital technologies.

Strategic enablers

  • Benchmarking, TPM at shopfloor, ideation platform and knowledge management
  • Process improvement through flagship initiative Shikhar, aiding EBITDA
  • Digital transformation to ensure agility and differentiation

Material topics

  • Market presence
  • Economic performance
  • Customer centricity
  • Material stewardship
  • Responsible supply chain

SDGs impacted

Capitals impacted

  • Financial
  • Manufactured
  • Human
  • Intellectual
  • Natural

Progressing through sustainable innovation

Our robust Innovation framework is helping us build a culture of agility and innovation in the organisation. It is key to our sustained delivery of incremental and breakthrough advances.

During the year, our Ideation platform has served to democratise capturing and sharing of ideas by the shopfloor employees. Participation in Tata Innovista competitions and encouragement by the leadership team to try out new ideas, stretch targets along with the online Rewards & Recognition platform are helping to drive a culture of experimentation and innovation. Collaborative group deliberations and a culture of sharing and adopting good practices have also triggered several ideas to create opportunities for improvement. Shikhar (EBITDA+ improvement initiatives) projects, validated by in-house Business Analysis Group (BAG), helped us achieve a savings of  `71 crore in FY 2021-22, which represents 17% of EBITDA over the FY 2020-21 baseline.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) activities are driving employee engagement and improvements at the shop floor. In the last two years, we have won several competitions organised by CII at the state as well as national levels, which motivates us to foster continuous improvements.

Moreover, we leverage benchmarking, ideation platform and knowledge management processes together with L&D initiatives to provide impetus to our excellence journey. The democratisation of ideation enables the participation of employees across the organisation. The various collaborations within Group and beyond, especially with academia, are enhancing the learning and innovation appetite of the organisation.

Integrated Improvement Framework

780+

ideas were submitted with a 38% acceptance evidencing employee engagement for continuous improvements.

Building process efficiencies through digital interventions

We launched our digital transformation journey few years back, effecting tangible changes across the organisation. Our long-term digital strategy is focused on three themes – Real-time Data Analytics, Smart Machines and Business on Mobile. It measures the outcomes of various digital initiatives based on three metrics — safety, productivity and EBITDA. In FY 2021-22, we undertook a few strategic initiatives such as data strategy design to streamline different source systems and create a single source of truth for the organisation. Project ARUNA, another strategic project, has been rolled out to drive EBITDA-accretive data analytics projects across business functions. This project has already identified value-addition of over `30 crore/annum and more projects are under evaluation.

The biggest achievement of our digital prowess and future readiness so far, has been the successful commissioning of Phase 1 of our new DIP project using augmented reality (AR) as OEM technical experts from overseas could not travel to India, owing to pandemicinduced visa restrictions. The new DIP plant has been designed based on Industry 4.0 principles, with a very high degree of automation. We have also strengthened our capability in the area of robotics and developed in-house first-of-the kind robotics solutions in India’s DIP industry. Currently, seven robots are operational in our existing DIP production lines with several others are under deployment. By end of FY 2022-23, we should have 35+ robots in DIP alone in FY 2022-23.

We have a firm belief that the key ingredient for digital transformation is cultural change. With unique initiatives like DigiTalk, Reverse Mentoring, Digital Champions, Change Agents, and Digital Mindset Activation Workshops, we nurture the capabilities of all our employees to enhance digital culture and capability across the organisation– be it senior leadership, officers, supervisors, or workers.

Powering data analytics

With data analytics being one of the priorities of our digital journey, several use cases around data management and value creation have been initiated in last couple of years. In addition to the pioneering use of AI/ML based Predictive maintenance in our Annealing Furnace (DIP) in collaboration with IIT-Kharagpur, a first in the DIP industry, we have implemented several data analytics projects using AI/ML across different business areas. With the design of our data architecture and strategy through engagement with a leading digital consultant, we have initiated the roll out of data warehouse. This will greatly streamline our data management and help us speed up the data analytics projects. Several EBITDA saving data analytics projects are under implementation.

Relentless innovation

We have a pipeline of structured initiatives designed to achieve incremental as well as breakthrough innovations, many of them being industry first. Major interventions completed include:

  • Use of robots in DIP plant
  • Use of AR for remote commissioning of new DIP unit
  • Sinter speed optimisation model
  • Flux optimisation model to reduce fuel rate at MBF
  • Implementation of phase-I of CRM solutions for DIP Business
  • Virtual/augmented reality based remote maintenance and training platforms
  • AI/ML based analytics programme (Project ARUNA) with many implemented use cases delivering significant EBITDA savings
  • Data strategy design and implementation
  • Collaboration with premier academic institutes such as Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
  • Collaboration with Tata Steel R&D

Recognition for our innovation efforts

  • Robotics team bagged ‘Innovative Best Practice’ award in CII Digital Transformation (DX) Awards 2021 and ‘Silver’ award in 6th Digitalisation, Robotisation, Automation (DRA) Competition organised by CII
  • Sinter Team of Pig Iron Division ranked 3rd and logistics team secured 1st Runner up position in 20th National Supervisory Skill Competition
  • QC Team of Annealing Department, Ductile Iron Pipe Division, won 2nd runner up position in CII 33rd QC Convention (State Level)

Way forward

We will navigate our future course with a prime focus on digitalisation, mindset transformation, and our culture of innovation. We look forward to improved processes, quality, safety, and productivity through the implementation of our Digital Strategy. Several automation drives and analytical interventions that are under implementation across processes would lead to improved behavioural safety, and make way for agile decision making besides improving workforce productivity.