VIT–SEDAXIS Centre of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing inaugurated to support training, start-ups and research.
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Additive manufacturing (AM) is the answer towards promoting sustainability in the digital manufacturing era of Industry 4.0. AM reduces the number of steps in the manufacturing workflow with minimal material wastage and helps in reduction of carbon footprint. AM gives the engineers numerous degrees of freedom in design and manufacturing, and thus can bring unique products faster to the market. The Indian government has recently published its Additive Manufacturing Policy that enhances the adoption AM technologies by Indian MSMEs to support Make in India.
Nearly 10 months after the signing of a MoU to help make AM more mainstream amongst the Academic, R&D and SME/Start-up communities, the VIT-SEDAXIS Centre of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing was formally inaugurated on July 20th , 2022 amidst the enthusiastic participation of delegates from Academia/R&D, Industry and Government. The Centre is the result of a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a prestigious academic institution in India, Vellore Institute of Technology (Chennai) and their Industry Partner and AM Solutions/Services provider, Sedaxis Advanced Materials Pvt. Ltd. It is located inside the VIT Chennai campus situated on Vandalur-Kelambakkam Road, Chennai.
The Centre was inaugurated by VIT Chancellor Dr. G. Viswanathan, while the Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr. V. Kanchana Bhaaskaran VIT Chennai delivered the welcome address. Mr. Vishwanath Godavarty, Business Head, SEDAXIS Advanced Materials Pvt. Ltd. briefed the audience about Vision & Mission of the Centre and elaborated on its state-of-the-art facilities. He also detailed on how the Centre’s objectives were beautifully aligned with the strategy outcomes as envisaged in the National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing laid out by the Govt. of India in Feb. 2022.
The Chief Guest Mr. Hans Raj Verma, Chairman & Managing Director, The Tamilnadu Industrial Investment Corporation, Chennai., indicated the current economic situation and the responsibility of the society to revive the industrial sector and congratulated SEDAXIS for bringing out a Centre of Excellence in Chennai and appreciated VIT Chennai for incepting a Centre towards achieving this goal. He also inaugurated the Panel Discussion on Industry Academic Ecosystem to support the National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing Policy and Make in India. The
panel members who represented federal, industrial as well as academic views included:
1) Dr. Sreenivas Rao, Outstanding Scientist & Director, Naval Science and Technological Laboratory, DRDO, Vishakapatnam,
2) Mr. Sivarajah, Mission Director and CEO, Tamil Nadu Startup and Innovation Mission,
3) Dr. Nikhil S Tambe, CEO, Energy Consortium, IIT Madras,
4) Dr. Devendran, Managing Director, ST Advanced Composites, Chennai and
5) Mr. Vishwanath Godavarty, Business Head, SEDAXIS Advanced Materials Pvt. Ltd.
The members discussed the status of the 3D printing movement in India, applications, current research trends in the nation and emphasised the need for scaling up the reach of 3D printers even to remote locations of India. Mr. Vishwanath Godavarty from SEDAXIS urged the State Govt. of Tamil Nadu to join the partnership with VIT and SEDAXIS to generate mass awareness and promote mass adoption of 3D Printing amongst the MSMEs in TamilNadu.
Following the panel discussion, VIT’s Chancellor and former Member of Parliament, Dr. G Viswanathan opened the Centre in the presence of all dignitaries. This was followed by a tour of the Centre and its facilities by Mr. Vishwanath Godavarty, SEDAXIS Business Head. One of the biggest USPs of the Centre is in its ability to provide low-cost access to skill building, research and manufacturing to the three key stakeholder communities for 3D Printing – Students, Researchers and SMEs/Start-ups. The Centre will conduct a series of workshops with a core theoretical element supported by a mandatory hands-on training element to stakeholders from industry and academia. The Centre also claims to be the most affordable in the region for students and SMEs to avail design, engineering and manufacturing services from. For researchers, the Centre boasts of an array of 3d printers all using open materials and some allowing for complete control of parameters governing the 3D Printing process, thus enabling active and unhindered research for the burgeoning R&D community in India. The Centre with a full-time resident manpower of experts from design, engineering and production/post-processing has already begun supporting Doctoral Research students from within VIT, Chennai on their research projects. The Centre has also undertaken projects with leading institutions like IITs, NITs and IISc to showcase the potential of select hardware and software infrastructure within the Centre to support their research needs. The Centre will also feature prominently in VIT Chennai’s rich industry outreach initiatives wherein VITs current and future industry partners will be able to avail of the Centre’s AM resources for industry projects and services. The establishment of the VIT-SEDAXIS CoE for AM, the first-of-its-kind in the nation, sets a benchmark for the realization of Additive Manufacturing’s true potential and benefit when academia and industry choose to come together to accelerate the awareness and adoption of Digital Manufacturing in India.
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