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Upscaling operational performance through Modular panel building technology

November 16, 2022 12:22 pm

Upscaling operational performance through Modular panel building technology

Modutec was founded with a mission to simplify panel building and make it affordable, compliant with standards, and offer choice of switchgear for use. Their offerings include Form 1 to Form 4 Type-Tested Modular Switchboard Enclosure Systems in Fixed and Draw Out ranges. These are for indoor use, with an exterior arrangement for outdoor use. They are expanding their range with ready MV Panel Basic Kits and Pan Assemblies for Sub Distribution Boards.
Please tell us about Modutec’s core profile and offerings.
In 1990, I began Load Controls as an electrical switchboard and bus duct manufacturing company with conventional welded fabrication, spray painting and manual assembly methods. The process was pretty complicated, with every project throwing up surprises in quality, timeline, and cost. I wanted to find a better way. With this learning attitude, I visited 18 panel-building companies in Singapore over a week to understand how switchboards were manufactured there. That’s where I came across Modular Technology in building Panel enclosures with just two profiles, like a slotted angle rack! I then went on to research this simple method of panel building. This was so standardised that the costing and engineering could be done on their software, which helped save on the need for skilled workforce. This makes availability faster, smarter, and more environmentally friendly! However, these enclosures were priced at 4X the cost of what could be produced in India.
What are the distinguishing factors of your enclosure control panels and distribution boards?
Today, the two major choices available for a panel builder concerning enclosures are manufacturing them in-house or outsourcing them. When his sales revenues are less than ₹500 Million per annum, manufacturing in-house is simply unviable from an ROI perspective and dilutes the entrepreneur’s focus, taking him away from his core competency of electricals. Such an attempt to foray into mechanical along with electrical generally leads to mediocrity and becoming a “Jack of all Trades”! I volunteered to ask regular patronisers/customers of Modutec what they find as the distinguishing factors that make us their preferred choice for panel building and enclosures. Here are some of the feedbacks received:
• Speed is available when needed, much quicker in the customer’s experience than local manufacturing. A customer can take the structural items first, commencing their assembly and then receiving the doors to complete, all-in record time with precision alignments.
• Flexibility in design aids last-minute client changes, which are not so easy in welded enclosures.
• Modutec Enclosure Systems are Type Tested, which helps him participate in such projects where IEC 61439-1-2 is mandated.
• There is a choice of 6 switch gears to use, with accreditation, which helps him comply with the various preferences of his customers.
• In comparison with other offerings, he finds Modutec affordable in pricing, giving him thus a competitive edge.
What are the challenges faced during the panel-building process? What kind of solution is required?
The five significant constraints for a panel builder to scale his operations are the ready availability of:
Design clarity, speed in submission with accuracy, and approval in time.
Bought components like switchgear, relays, CTs, bus bars etc.
Enclosure System in line with the Customer Approved Drawings. Manpower in the numbers and skills required
Shop Floor space to accommodate the increased requirement for execution.
Of these, the enclosure system availability is generally the bottleneck. In the welded versions, predictability of quality, on-time delivery, and the feasibility of incorporating changes become challenging.
Upgrading to a modular switchboard enclosure system like Modutec has helped Panel Partners scale their operations, and such enhanced inventory turns invariably lead to higher profitability and customer delight.
What measures have you been taking to improve productivity and reliability?
Productivity and reliability start first with 5S implementation. This is rare in MSMEs in India. There are hardly any MNCs who do not appreciate the need for this. Why? They have reaped the benefit of this. If we want to be successful, we must copy and paste what successful industries do. Isn’t it?

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What kind of investments are you making in your R&D facility?
We have a dedicated place on the shop floor for R&D trials as well as a 7-member team who are focused only on R&D activities. Our research investment amounts to about 5 percent of our revenue. One of our organisational priorities is to be “High on Innovation”.
Employees, vendors, and customers are encouraged to share their ideas for improvement. User experienceand aspirations stated and implied, are the foundation of our R&D. We also take inspiration from how our competitors handle these while respecting their intellectual property and focusing on the best possible solution for end users.

Another investment we make is visiting exhibitions in India and overseas to understand what other technologies we can leverage to serve our users. Visiting similar industries, huge ones, and imbibing their ways of working, processes, and culture dramatically helps to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Please shed some light on Modutec’s most recent and in-demand innovations.
Below listed are some products launched by Modutec during the ELASIA Exhibition in June 2022:
MODSIM software aids Panel Partners in arriving at the GA Drawings, Bill of Materials with Catalog numbers, Quantity, Rate per Each, and Amount. It’s a first in its genre in India, being hosted on the cloud and can be operated globally. It offers 3D visualisation with the ability  to print in 2D.
MODSIM Plus software delivers all the development drawings as per the BOM in CAD, which can go directly to the CNC machines for punching.
MODDRW draw out MCC/PCC modular switchboard enclosure systems with door-closed operation technology. This is a much-awaited addition to the range that enables Modutec to now cater to Process Industries, Power and Oil & Gas segments too. If and when a module fails, a similar alternative module can easily replace the faulty one without needing a power shutdown.
How do you see the need for modular enclosure solutions for panel building?
Consider the IKEA model. Modutec is on this same path and does its act in minimalism by simplifying panel building with the use of superior technology, standardised flat packs and estimation software.
The electrical and electronics further add to delivering energy efficiency to our Enclosures based on their design and execution. Modutec, with its range of modular switchboard enclosure systems, therefore evangelises energy efficiency by teaming up with what goes inside it.
For more information, visit us at www.modutec.net

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