Vedanta Aluminium leverages smart technology to combat COVID-19

Updated on Tuesday 11 May 2021, 11:50 AM

The company has adopted digital-first ways of working to make its operations future-ready.

Vedanta Aluminium & Power Business has accelerated deployment of cutting-edge technologies and digital solutions to safeguard its workforce against COVID-19 and sustain production to meet the country’s raw material needs with respect to this strategic metal – aluminium, the company said in a press release.

The company said it has adopted digital-first ways of working to make its operations future-ready by integrating best-in-class digital solutions, building in efficiencies, and optimizing costs and raw material consumption in its mission to become the world’s leading producer of the ‘green metal’ aluminium.

“Implementation of automation and digitalization solutions at its the plants have enabled the company to produce high-quality aluminium and value-added products for critical industry sectors, while also providing a step-change in health, safety & environment (HSE) performance parameters,” it said..

Speaking on the occasion of National Technology Day, Ajay Kapur, CEO – Aluminium & Power and MD – Commercial, Vedanta Ltd., said, “Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in India last year, we have fast-tracked adoption of best-in-class digital technologies, intelligent automation and inhouse innovations to safeguard our workforce across Aluminium & Power Business Units.”

As India’s largest manufacturers of aluminium, a strategic raw material for the country’s key growth sectors, he said they are ensuring business continuity with reduced manpower to keep the wheels of the economy running. “Looking at the rapidly escalating pandemic scenario countrywide, besides ramping up COVID treatment infrastructure and quarantine facilities, we have also pivoted our ways to working to make full use of technology and limit the need for human interventions to sustain operations.”

The Business has vaccinated over 7500 of its people across its plants and augmented the capacity of its COVID Care Centres and quarantine centres, which are equipped with medical staff and infrastructure to provide proper care to the affected.

Vedanta said it is also supporting the local district administrations in its areas of operation, helping them with testing kits, medicines and medical gear, oxygen/oxygen cylinder requirement, etc.

Some of the technology deployment done by the company include:

– Digital Smelter Solution, deployed at its aluminium smelter in Jharsuguda, Odisha, uses digital twin technology for human-less monitoring and control of potline operations, enhances energy efficiency, reduces raw material consumption and arrests wastage of material through remote advisory systems.

– Digital collaboration platforms with advanced functionalities are enabling seamless connectivity between employees, service providers, customers, and plant sites at all times.

– Telemedicine facility for communities at Vedanta’s hospitals in Lanjigarh (Odisha) and BALCO (Chhattisgarh) for e-consultation, along with 24×7 medical helpline and home-delivery of medicines.

– First-in-the-industry Deep Learning algorithms and various advanced model techniques allow Advanced Asset Performance Management at Vedanta’s smelters and power plants.

– Advanced data analytics deployed in its power plants use digital twin technology for predictive and prescriptive analytics to ensure greater efficiency, avoid downtimes and reduce safety risks with minimal or zero human touch.

– OSI soft’s PI (Process Information) System, a one-of-a-kind industrial IoT solution, implemented at Jharsuguda plant uses machine learning and predictive analytics to boost operational efficiency and productivity.

– Digital Logistics Control Towers for coal, alumina and bauxite uses classical Machine Learning and OR (Operations Research) based mathematical modelling to reduce commodity costs, pilferages and process ineffectiveness from mines through plants to ports.

– Using vision analytics and contextual analytics in multiple plant sites like identification of hot spots in ICTs (information and communication technology) for improving asset reliability.

– The Manufacturing Execution System (MES) ensures visibility of all critical plant operations and allows for decision making remotely through mobile applications, while employees can maintain social distancing and yet fulfil their activities on the plant floor.

– Robotics Process Automation (RPA) is being tested to boost efficiency while optimizing repetitive processes.

– Within the plants, GPS, RFID sensors, OR (Operations Research) based schedule modelling at each operational point capture automated operational parameters, thereby ensuring minimum physical proximity.

– A ‘Centre of Innovation Excellence’ has been established to invent the next big thing in aluminium to fuel the company’s competitive edge. The Centre sees the culmination of ideas from key verticals like Research & Development, Technical, Operations and Marketing.

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