1063

JEC Composites Talks: regional gathering of composites professionals at Mumbai

The much-anticipated flagship event in Mumbai was a long-awaited opportunity for the Indian composites community, providing a platform to connect and engage. A diverse audience from different industry segments eagerly attended, eager to network, discover, and implement composites into their products.

JEC Composites Talks: regional gathering of composites professionals at Mumbai
READING TIME

7 minutes, 40 secondes

On December 14, 2023, JEC Composites and FRP Institute held a JEC Composites Talk in Mumbai. The event was well-received by the Indian composites community as it provided a valuable opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing. Attendees were pleased to discuss significant industry challenges and explore upcoming opportunities.

Networking

The JEC Composites Talks offered a special opportunity for both attendees and presenters to connect. The city of Mumbai, India’s financial capital, was the perfect choice for the inaugural event. The well connected city, hosted the business fraternity. The shrinking physical networking space post covid, was reversed; as this event allowed for lively discussions, networking opportunities, brainstorming sessions, and meaningful interactions among attendees (Figure 1).

Fig. 1: Networking at the Mumbai JEC Composites Talks

Indian composites industry trends

The welcome for the “talks” was given by Shekhar Sardessai, chairman of the FRP Institute in Mumbai. Also chairman of Kineco Kaman Composites Private Limited, he then addressed the audience, highlighting India’s potential and key growth drivers in various industries such as aerospace, railways, industrial, defence and space. He emphasised how successful projects, like the Tejas fighter aircraft, Chandrayan Mission and Vande Bharat high-speed trains, have contributed to the growth of composites in Indian products. Additionally, Shekhar Sardessai suggested that FRP Institutes should hold brainstorming sessions to aid in finding solutions for modern product challenges.

Éric Pierrejean, CEO, JEC
Nelly Baron, VP Communications, Marketing & Content, JEC

Éric Pierrejean, CEO of JEC, graced the stage and began by highlighting the synergy between JEC and FRP Institute. He shared that the global composites market is currently valued at €41,4 bn ($45 bn) for materials and €96,61 bn ($105 bn) for parts. The growth in the Asian market has been particularly strong from 2019 to 2022, with projected continuation in Asian market until at least 2027.

He stressed that sustainability is a major focus on a global scale. Sustainability can be achieved through various methods such as reducing, recycling, repairing, reusing, repurposing and recovering. It is worth noting that using recycled carbon fibre instead of virgin carbon fibre can significantly reduce carbon emissions from 25 to 28 CO2/kg to only 2 to 5 CO2/kg. In addition to recycled carbon fibre, other factors such as natural fibres, thermoplastics, hybrid composites and repair methods, will also play a crucial role in reducing our carbon footprint. During the presentation, Éric Pierrejean provided extensive information regarding application categories, types of reinforcements used and different processes within the composites market. He concluded by emphasising that the world is embracing “Made in India”.

Nelly Baron, Vice President of Communications, Marketing & Content, , shared information about JEC Composites Magazine with the esteemed audience. She graciously invited those who are interested to attend the JEC Forum Southeast Asia in Bangkok, on June 11 and 12; a two-day event centered on composites in Southeast Asia. Nelly Baron also emphasised the significance of “Women in Composites“, and how it can benefit the Indian manufacturing sector. Yohann Cailleau, Head of Sales, provided details about JEC World’s statistics and introduced the concept of “Country on Stage” to the attendees.

Speakers

The choice of speakers was great. The finest company leaders from various industry segments. The speakers covered different industry segments, that composite materials provide solutions to. Dr Sanjay Mazumdar, President of Lucintel, shared insights on strategic growth opportunities for composites in India. He began by discussing India’s current economy, which is valued at €3.4 trillion ($3.7 trillion) with a share of €2.76 bn ($3 bn) from the composite industry.

With a focus on meeting the 2030 target, he elaborated on four key growth factors that must be considered. A comparison between India and China was also made, highlighting the use of government investments, labor advantages, innovation, and subsidies to boost exports and economic growth in China. Emphasising on leveraging their own strengths, Dr Sanjay Mazumdar urged Indian business owners to strive for growth, and expressed his hopes for government strategies to align with growth expectations. He also pointed out that there is still much room for growth in India’s eight key manufacturing segments when it comes to using composite materials.

Dr Makarand Ganesh Joshi, Director of R&D Establishment at DRDO

Dr Makarand Ganesh Joshi, Director of R&D Establishment at DRDO, was not only an eloquent speaker but also a subject matter expert in defence composites. He shared with the audience the latest advancements and case histories of composites within the Indian defense sector. The audience was captivated as he presented state-of-the-art systems specifically developed for Indian defense, such as deployable bridges, lightweight personal armor carriers, sonar domes for submarines, and wings for the Rustom UAV. He exposed how composites are used in hoods and shelters for NBC protection, sabot for FSAPDS ammunition, radomes and smart anti-airfield weapons. Last but not least, he pointed up the immense potential of composites in the defense segment, and showcased his laboratory’s expertise in film infusion, nano fillers, 3D printing of continuous filament, and thermoset resin technologies.

Dr R.N. Krishna, Director of KC CONTECH and Sambasivan Ramachandran, Director of Jushi India Fiberglass Pvt Ltd

Dr R.N. Krishna, Director of KC CONTECH and Sambasivan Ramachandran, Director of Jushi India Fiberglass Pvt Ltd, took to the podium to discuss the uses of FRP composites in infrastructure and building. This topic has particular relevance in Southeast Asian countries and holds vast potential for various applications. During their presentation, they emphasised the significance of FRP rebars, carbon reinforcing and other components. While the Indian standard for this technology was recently published, it still requires some time before it can be fully implemented. Nevertheless, structural engineers are making steady progress in achieving 3 times tensile strength using non-corrosive and lightweight materials.

Vice President of Research & Development at TATA Autocomp Systems Ltd, Sajal Ghosh

During the conference, Vice President of Research & Development at TATA Autocomp Systems Ltd, Sajal Ghosh discussed the use of composites in both automotive and mass transit industries. His comprehensive presentation touched upon current and future market trends, as well as past successful case studies. He provided a wealth of knowledge on the numerous industry applications of composites and also emphasised the challenges faced in achieving high volume production. He noted that even a 10% reduction in weight can result in a 6% to 8% increase in fuel efficiency for internal combustion engines, and up to 10% increase in range for electric vehicles. Additionally, he highlighted other performance requirements such as EMI for conductivity, FR for batteries, FST for metro panels and anti-graffiti surfaces for railways. It is evident that performance requirements are not the only driving factor, but environmental preservation also plays a crucial role.

Dr PKC Bose, co-founder ENREGO Energy GmbH and advisor to Enercon Global

Dr PKC Bose, co-founder ENREGO Energy GmbH and advisor to Enercon Global, spoke on advanced composites, sustainable energy prospects and opportunities in India. His speech was both a sprint to technology evolution in wind energy segment made by India and a student’s vigor for India to excel in composites technology.

Dr Amit Salvi, senior scientist at TRDDC, TCS

The myriad of stories about rendezvous of composites with manufacturing, was followed by Design, life cycle mapping and sustainability in composites. Dr Amit Salvi, senior scientist at TRDDC, TCS, elaborated on the role of digitization in accelerating composite development. He emphasised the importance of creating digital twins at various stages of the product’s life cycle, from conception to maintenance. The speaker also highlighted the need for access to early knowledge on product performance and failure modes. He then delved into the process of material selection and optimising cure kinematics through digital twin technology, as well as exploring the potential of polymer biodegradation. The audience was thoroughly engrossed and captivated by this glimpse into the future.

Audience interaction

The accent of the talks was the active involvement of the audience. Following each session, there were engaging question and answer sessions, fueled by a multitude of thought-provoking questions and a genuine interest in finding practical solutions. As a result, it became necessary to limit the number of questions asked after every session (Figure 2).

Fig. 2: Question and answer session

Panel discussions

For the panel discussion on “the way forward for Indian composites industry”, FRP Institute wisely chose a relevant topic: skill development and sustainability. This topic gathered attention from both the panelists and audience alike (Figure 3).

The panelists delved into the intricate details of skill development —its scope and scale— emphasising its importance in advancing the Indian composites industry. As a sunrise industry, it is imperative for growth to be exponential, much like a multiplying yeast. This puts pressure on skill development institutes to disseminate knowledge on a larger scale. Various challenges and possibilities were also discussed by participants. Moreover, the panelists emphasised the need to incorporate sustainability alongside growth, as India’s composites industry is deeply tied to mass manufacturing. The closer our solutions align with environmental concerns, the lesser our carbon footprint will be.

Fig. 3: Panel discussions

Words of attendees

“This is needed for this industry. We are greatly benefited by the initiative of JEC, and I hope this happens every year”, said Suhas Kolhatkar, CEO Composites Innovator.

“It’s a great initiative taken by JEC and FRP institute. This was absolutely missing. The opportunity of sharing of ideas, and network with each other; gives an excellence possibility to provide solutions to various problems”, reckonned Gautam Watve, MD at Suyash composite industries pvt ltd

“Very wise words of wisdom, knowledge sharing was there. Other than Indian, various European raw material suppliers needs to be the part of this”, stated Avanish Dwivedi, Vice President Kineco Kaman Composites Structure.

“The event is more than I expected, despite being vetran since 20 years. It is amusing to see people conducting new innovations. I wish to connect with even more people every year”, emphasised Trupti Arabatti, CEO Terrastems.

Conclusion and constraints

The JEC Composites Talks were a fantastic event that encompassed knowledge sharing, engaging emerging minds, connecting business owners and generating ideas for industrial obstacles. Attendees expressed a desire for regular gatherings of the like across India.

More information www.jeccomposites.com