konnect Issue-date: 31st Jan, 2019.

Visit to Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore

Oct 10, 2018 – SR Venkatapathy

At the invite of Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore (KCT), and on behalf of ISAB, I and Rajashekar visited the college 09-10th October, 2018.

The effort was coordinated on KCT side by Prof Umesh, faculty advisor of KCT student section. The hospitality extended for stay and comfort was excellent. The campus itself hosts excellent guest-house facilities.

KCT – Electronics and Instrumentation department is connected with ISA and have a ‘student charter’ from ISA from 2010. Hitherto attached to ISA-South India Section, KCT has now opted to come under ISAB umbrella from last year. This visit was to formalize the renewed formation of the student section and help the college rejuvenate the activities of the student section. A function was organized by the department in this connection on the 10th instant to which we were invited.

ISA Student Section – KCT activities were formally re-launched on this day in our presence with all the student office bearers getting named and commencing their involvement. Second and third year students, were present in large numbers together with the entire faculty of the Department. Hosts on stage included the Head of the Department Dr Ezhilarasi who is eminently qualified and has a rich experience in teaching.

Raj briefed the audience on ISA activities and highlighted benefits that students may want to derive as being members of the professional body. The faculty are quite familiar with benefits that accrue in associating themselves with professional bodies such as ISA. I provided them with a presentation on “Trends in Manufacturing Automation” with emphasis on how the students could choose to orient their thought processes to leverage the emerging technologies in Manufacturing. Automation challenges and opportunities that present themselves with the emerging technologies was sought to be conveyed through the example of the oil and gas industry. We believe from the feedback received that this was well received.

We also had a very interactive session with the students and faculty after the presentations. My own reaction to the interactions was that the students have a good grasp of the subject of automation and a good cross-section are fairly inquisitive; in my opinion a hallmark of a good education environment. The questions ranged from Artificial Intelligence to process automation to electric vehicles. Interestingly, the 1-2 • Copyright 2018 © SR Venkatapathy queries were laced with seeking an understanding of the social impact of technologies discussed.

We were taken around the facilities, particularly the laboratories built by the Department. Impressive indeed. Process Automation laboratory was impressive with an array of practical and demonstrative set-ups to appreciate processes and instrumentation and control interface. A separate calibration laboratory (which is expected to be spun off with NABL accreditation); a PLC laboratory (mostly Siemens) where students have developed several significant practical applications; a DCS laboratory that hosts a Yokogawa DCS system and a unique interface for students to have a hands-on understanding with about 70 workstations connected to the system; and instrument systems laboratory provide an excellent eco-system for learning Instrumentation and controls.

We held discussions on the way forward for ISAB – KCT interactions. The salient ones are as under:

As a footnote, I would may mention the fact that the campus is located about 15 to 20 kms from the city centre and closer to the Tech parks of Coimbatore. The sprawling campus is very self-contained. And yet, trip to the campus need careful logistics planning since it is some distance from railway station (though relatively close to airport)