Business Today

Hexagon - Shaping smart changes through business critical solutions in India

In conversation with Pramod Kaushik, President & MD, Hexagon India

April 9, 2021 | Updated 15:52 IST
Hexagon - Shaping smart changes through business critical solutions in India
Pramod Kaushik, President & MD, Hexagon India

Q: Please tell us about your journey into the data-driven world.

Hexagon is a global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions. We are putting data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, and quality across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, safety, and mobility applications. Our technologies are shaping urban and production ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous - ensuring a scalable, sustainable future.

Data is in Hexagon's DNA. Combined with a strong R&D base that drives innovation to grow organically, we have acquired companies that range from established leaders with decades of domain expertise to creative start-ups focused on emerging technologies.

We've emerged as a leader in sensor solutions over 20 years, enabling the digital capture and positioning of the physical world. We added software solutions to not only unlock the value of sensor data, but also offer the ability to design, simulate and provide location intelligence of real-world scenarios. And today, we're combining things like machine learning and AI with our sensor and software leadership to create powerful autonomous solutions.

Q: Hexagon has a bold vision for an autonomous future where business, industry and humanity sustainably thrive. Would you please elucidate on this and share some examples?

We are leading a revolution in which autonomy can be achieved for any task, work process, entire operation or industry. This shift from automation to autonomy is so monumental, so critical to our collective future, that the simple notion of putting data to work is our singular focus at Hexagon. At the same time, the path to economic growth does not have to come at the expense of the planet. Every organization we work with is looking for increased efficiency, greater productivity and the highest quality outcomes. If we can leverage data to accelerate all of these things, we can use fewer resources, make less waste, and create less pollution. In other words, we can change the world.

The shift from automation to autonomy will not happen overnight. Hexagon's Smart Solutions portfolios (Smart Manufacturing, Smart Industrial Facilities, Smart Mines, Smart Farms, Smart Autonomous Mobility, Smart Buildings and Infrastructure and Smart Cities and Nations) purposefully empower an autonomous future - where data is fully leveraged so that business, industry and humanity sustainably thrive.

For example, our autonomous technologies provide the ability to "autonomise" any task or process in a workflow to an entire operation or industry (e.g. mobility/transportation) - in which cars, UAVs, industrial vehicles, trains, vessels and more can operate safely, securely, reliably and efficiently thanks to assured autonomy and positioning.

Also, digitization and demands for higher productivity and quality mean considerable growth in the use of automation technologies as manufacturers automate time-consuming and labor-intensive tasks to a greater extent. Hexagon's solutions that incorporate quality control in the shop floor environment and automate the measuring process to enhance productivity respond to this need.

Q: As R&D is among your major focus areas, would you please tell us more about it. What are you currently working on?

With nearly 4,000 employees in R&D and more than 3,700 active patents, our technology leadership is clear. To maintain its competitive advantage and meet increasing demand for solution-centric and enterprise-wide applications, Hexagon annually invests around 10-12 per cent of net sales in R&D.

Hexagon Capability Centre India (HCCI), Hexagon's single largest R&D setup across the globe, registered growth both in headcount and responsibilities during 2020. With a robust infrastructure, their productivity remained intact even during complete lockdown periods. While supporting various global product developments and customer implementations, they also supported Indian customers in areas of Utilities Network, Plant Information Management across Projects and Operations and Metrology Customer Operations.

Hexagon MSC has a development center in Pune which employs over 200+ professionals including experts in multi-physics, multi discipline and software technology. These professionals are from top academic institutions in India and abroad with decades of experience in design, simulation, manufacturing, and software development. This leads to a vibrant culture of innovation and synergy across multiple groups to develop cutting-edge technologies in various products like Nastran, Marc, Adams, Patran, SimManager, etc. These technologies include Electric Mobility, Smart manufacturing, Autonomous technology, smart materials, multi-disciplinary simulations, electronic simulation etc.

Hexagon has a specialized team from R&D focused exclusively on helping customers accelerate data leverage, especially when bogged down by legacy technologies. The solution is called Xalt, a radical new approach to accelerating digital transformation. It's comprehensive in the core capabilities needed today, yet infinitely scalable for the future. Xalt solutions are easy to implement and compatible with existing information and operational technologies. Xalt will fast track a customer's ability to harness IoT data and extract its full potential and value.

Q: Please elaborate on Hexagon's product offerings and projects in India.

Hexagon is engaged with some of the top development projects in India. Be it digitization of Land Management and Records, Dam monitoring, Railway's development, making the nation smart by supporting its smart and safer city projects.

Hexagon Geosystem Solutions are the preferred method, for accurate 3D positioning with Leica SmartTrack+ technology, of many states across India and forms the basis for Digital India. Hexagon Geosystem's optic technology has been further enhanced and offers multi-point measurement. This has added new dimensions to the Reality Capture or Scanning industry. The data captured by Leica sensors can be used by land-use planners to create detailed city models, by forensic experts, modeling and planning of critical infrastructure along with asset management solutions and more. Most of the industry buzz words like Digital World, Digital Cities, Digital Infrastructure, State of the Art Mapping are related to this 3D reality capture technology only. With the optic and positioning-based geodetic instruments like High-Precision Total Station TS60 and TM60, and GNSS - Indian geospatial industry has touched new heights. In India, these are widely used by the departments of dam monitoring, bridge monitoring, structural monitoring, and other mission mode projects of Digital India.

Hexagon Mining is the only company which solves surface and underground mining challenges with proven technologies for planning, operations and safety. Hexagon provides end-to-end solution (Life-of-Mine) to mining industry including exploration, mine planning, engineering, production and operations, safety, survey, monitoring, analyzing and reporting under its product portfolios of MinePlan, MineOperate, MineProtect, MineMonitor and MineEnterprise. The existing customers for various Mining solutions are Coal India Limited, Hindustan Zinc Limited, Tata Steel Limited, CIMFR, DMT Consulting, etc.

Hexagon's PPM division is the world leader for providing solutions to the process industry. The solutions offered by PPM help the world's leading Owners and EPC organizations to create a safe and reliable asset, which allows them to create an autonomous digital twin. This also allows them to take informed decisions based on their own data while removing silos between various functions.

Our Metrology product and solutions are being used in the area of defence. We used our Q-Das software to equip data analysis in one of the factories under defence modernisation program. We are also focusing on the electronic industry, especially phone manufacturing domain, where we have products that can be used extensively in quality as well as production areas. Our focus is very strong in the Automotive industry to cater to the latest developments in this sector, including electric vehicles.

Today's smart cities need cutting-edge data analytics and visualization solutions that bridge the gap between the geospatial and the operational worlds. By combining our location-based data and business intelligence, these solutions fuse an infinite amount of data sources for urban planning, census, transportation, utilities, property appraisal, fire and rescue, citizen engagement, real estate, public safety, and more.

On a similar note, remote sensing technology is improving rapidly and is used extensively in Forestry and Agriculture sectors. Remote sensing technology, combined with newly developed algorithms and data sources such as sensor data, weather data, and population statistics, enables large-scale Smart Farming. The successful implementation of smart farming leads to better monitoring and evaluation of food security interventions.

We provide solutions for public safety and utilities/communications. Our solutions on Emergency Response Systems are already being used by UP Police 112 and Mumbai Fire Brigade. Our Records Management System provides a single source of truth for all crime, criminal, challan/tickets data management to law enforcement agencies worldwide. We have a comprehensive GIS based Asset Inventory Management systems for all utilities and telecom companies.

Hence, Hexagon is continuously developing technologies to achieve its vision of empowering an autonomous future. By pushing the boundaries in fields of reality capture, positioning, design and simulation, location intelligence, and autonomy, we are putting data to work for better results - from travel and transport to construction sites, infrastructure projects to making our cities smarter.

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