NIT Kurukshetra’s vision is to be a role model in technical education and research. Its mission is to provide quality technical education that develops innovative professionals and entrepreneurs. It consistently undertakes research that generates cutting-edge technologies and futuristic knowledge, focusing on socio-economic needs.
Technological advancements are accelerating and in turn, transforming the global economy. The National Institute of Technology (NIT), Kurukshetra is one of India’s first technical, higher education institutes. During its journey of over five decades, the institute has made remarkable strides in teaching, learning, research, innovation, entrepreneurship and outreach activities.
NIT Kurukshetra understands it is cardinal for the current education system to be equipped with infrastructure to stimulate innovation, sustainability and employment. Therefore, it collaborated with Siemens Digital Industries Software and Siemens’ partner CoreEL Technologies, which acted as the system integrator to establish the Siemens Center of Excellence (CoE) in 2019. Its goal was to become a globally recognized and leading center for skill development and translational research for empowering indigenous manufacturing.
Typically, engineering students can participate in an internship, which will equip them with hands-on, industry experience they need to excel after graduation. However, with lockdowns and social distancing health measures due to the Coronavirus disease of 2020 (COVID-19), internships have become scarce. This led to a major global paradigm shift.
Industries are at the cusp of massive transformation due to digitalization and the exponential use of technology. Entering the Industry 4.0 world is a significant initiative for closing the gap between industry and academia.
“NIT Kurukshetra’s vision is to be a role model in technical education and research, in response to global challenges,” states Dr. Satish Kumar, director at NIT Kurukshetra. “This aligns with the current technological needs of the global marketplace and India’s government initiative to fill-the-void in skill development. NIT Kurukshetra wanted to align the education system with the skills required for Industry 4.0 and provide students with complete access to facilities in any industry. It was seeking to develop a workforce that is ready for the industry with the skills needed to enter the realm of fast-paced digital transformation.
NIT Kurukshetra developed an innovative internship program spanning over four and a half months. It is centered around using software and hardware at Siemens CoE. In addition, students were provided with significant industry faculty support.
“The Siemens Center of Excellence will enable the young engineers to access the benchmark technologies in the automotive, industrial automation, industrial machinery, aerospace, robotics, defense and energy saving fields,” explains Kumar.
Siemens CoE helps bridge the gap between technical education and technological brilliance by administering hands-on training with the software and hardware used in the real-world. This holistic development enables students to become successful entrepreneurs and self-reliant in the domestic manufacturing sector, preparing them to contribute to the Make in India program. This is a national program in India, which facilitates investment, fosters innovation, enhances skill development, protects intellectual property and builds the best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure in the country.
The center is equipped with industry-grade software design tools and hardware setups with a focus on smart manufacturing. The facility includes end-to-end product design and development, test and optimization, automation and robotics. It provides students with a competency-based learning forum for empowering education to drive innovation.
“The aspired target for NIT Kurukshetra will be a breakthrough in generating the best-in-class workforce with better employability in the global marketplace,” states Kumar.
Siemens CoE is comprised of 11 specialized laboratories:
The internship program at Siemens CoE enabled students to gain hands-on experience with Siemens’ software and hardware used in various industries at a single location during COVID-19. Students were granted exposure to the building blocks of various technologies and given the confidence to undertake industry-grade projects.
Over 350 students benefitted from the internship by successfully completing 40 projects. The students also enabled the Siemens CoE to receive a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 75. Students gained and improved their skills with software like NX and Simcenter 3D and applied this knowledge to solve real-time industrial problems.
They also used Plant Simulation in the Tecnomatix® portfolio to design and optimize manufacturing plants for automotive parts, food processing, coins, toys and textiles. By using tools in this software such as bottleneck analyzer, energy analyzer and charts, students were able to flexibly change layouts throughout the design process and eliminate bottlenecks between workstations.
NIT Kurukshetra is now receiving inquiries from students from other institutes across the country. It has also inspired other institutes in the country with a CoE to design their own internship programs.
The distance between a probable future and a possible future is always shortened by resilience and determination. Making the youth ready for the future is a chord that cannot be missed.
The center is now focusing on skilling and re-skilling programs and has designed 38 courses that are run by industry experts. There are currently 13 industry professionals who work at Siemens CoE that have academic and industry experience. Siemens CoE supports the industry by providing new solutions and empowering students by upgrading their skills in industry-grade technology. So far, over 1000 candidates have been trained in numerous domains.
Industry experts at the facility are working on two research and development (R&D) projects assigned from a research organization. Siemens CoE is working on the collaborations with academia, industry and research organizations and has partnered with 11 institutions with more in the pipeline.