Innovation stokes the fire of growth at the Tata group

For the Tata group, innovation has been a continuous process to develop new, enhanced and relevant products and services for its stakeholders

Edge AI

Tata Elxsi’s Edge AI solution addresses the need for embedded devices to carry out complex computations in artificial intelligence (AI) based algorithms. It facilitates the execution of AI algorithms on low-memory, low-processing power embedded devices. The product drives the smart factory initiatives of a leading Japanese semiconductor major.

Sustainable leather

Leather tanning requires basic chromium sulphate which contains Cr3+ (not harmful). However, crafting of tanned skin may convert Cr3+ to Cr6+ (harmful). Tata International has developed a unique chemical combination, which acts as a reducing, stabilising and chelating agent that eliminates Cr6+ formation completely in the finished product.

Nanoparticle micronutrient

Surplus, the first nano-particle-based multi-micronutrient formulation, is the result of five years of collaborative research by Tata Chemicals Innovation Centre and Rallis Innovative Chemistry Hub. The liquid formulation is a concept-driven agri solution that enhances crop yields and improves the quality of produce at affordable costs.

Social entrepreneurship in waste management

Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company has transformed informal waste pickers into professional service providers and social entrepreneurs through a unique project. The project has transformed the lives of around 428 ragpickers and integrated 210 solid waste pickers into a robust waste management system.

Drone power

Tata Consultancy Services reimagined inventory operations and reduced overall process turnaround time at warehouses by employing smart, autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) powered solutions. The UAV-based solutions have improved efficiency and safety and reduced energy consumption in warehouses.

Construction innovation

Tata Steel’s biggest maximum-capacity crane reduced design cycle time by using standard components and a modular concept in design. Reducing weight and maximum wheel load, without compromising on reliability and safety, the innovative approach helped to reduce the overall cost of the project by nearly Rs30 million.

Automated power poles

Electric poles are susceptible to external factors that create a potential hazard — exposure to the environment, public encroachment, etc. Tata Power-DDL’s solution creates an automated system that identifies and captures hazards in real-time. This enables risk identification so that workers are better equipped to deal with them.

Digital boiler

Manual combustion tuning of coal-fired boilers in thermal power plants comes at a massive cost. To offset this, Tata Consultancy Services developed a digital twin technology that combines artificial intelligence with physics and domain knowledge. The innovation will shorten the time of commissioning boilers and reduce NOx emissions.

Pioneering pharma for maximum social impact

To diversify business, while also maximising social impact, Rallis narrowed their list of feasible products to cyclopropyl acetylene (CPA). CPA products can be used in multiple active pharmaceutical ingredients, and especially in anti-HIV drugs. The commercial use of this product has huge market potential.

Augmenting the thrill of Formula1

Tata Communications conducted the first-ever proof-of-concept test of truly live 360o video feed. It enabled the streaming of 360o video feed and TV broadcast in perfect sync. This will enable sports properties to create a completely immersive fan experience.

Brewing innovation

The in-house development team of Tata Coffee developed a breakthrough innovation – a customised 4-in-1 (coffee, chicory, barley and maltodextrin) instant coffee product. The affordable, premium instant coffee has helped Tata Coffee quickly capture significant business share.

Robots to the rescue

With scarcity of skilled labour, there’s a huge demand for automation in Indian industries. TAL Manufacturing Solutions developed the country’s first articulated robot, the TAL Brabo. Easy to operate and maintain, Brabo can cater to dull, dirty and dangerous jobs and help achieve higher productivity.

Right skills for the right job

Today’s skilling ecosystem has four challenges – trainer quality, lack of life skills training, post-training attrition and authenticity of assessment. Tata Strive’s innovative skilling model created a choreographed training value chain from pre-onboarding through placements. The programme has now scaled up to 60+ centres in 20+ states, benefiting many.

'Green' steel from waste

Slag, a waste product of steel manufacturing, contains valuable elements such as AI2O3 and CaO. Adding the slag in Si-killed steel making helps in making cleaner steel. With nearly 50% CaO, it can replace lime. This will reduce costs, and CO2 emissions by more than 20KT per annum.

Lighter automobile frames

When Fiat Chrysler wanted lighter automobile frames that wouldn’t compromise on safety and reliability, Tata Steel Europe teamed up automotive design experience, materials and application expertise with the latest advanced high-strength steels to provide a product that met all requirements.

Fine aesthetics without painting

Replacing Tiago Nacelle’s engineering plastic grade and exhibit low gloss with short glass soft-touch fibre polypropylene improved haptics and substantially reduced process and material costs. Tata AutoComp Systems collaborated with Tata Motors to successfully implement the execution – the first-time ever, globally.

Digital evidence management

Tata Consultancy Services devised a solution that addresses the issues of data security, integrity and authentication, and provides a unified comprehensive system to manage, transfer and view public safety digital evidence. It provides a holistic, tamper-proof solution to speed up crime prediction / prevention and delivery of justice.

Digital learning hub

Learning platforms do not allow simplified onboarding or distribution of existing courses. So, TCS created the TCS iON Digital Learning Hub for a content owner to host content products, for organisations to purchase licenses in bulk, and as a holistic dashboard for individuals to purchase products.

End-to-end travel solutions

Mobility projects in India focus on infrastructure, not accessibility or quality of service. As the principal design consultant, Tata Elxsi helped Kochi Metro Rail make the metro more user-focused. The company’s innovation ensured India’s first seamless and integrated urban transport system.

Reviving an ancient tradition

Titan Company’s Nazakat Collection marries the heritage of delicate kundan polki meenakari craftsmanship with the finest watchmaking. The one-of-a-kind concept gave a fillip to a declining craft and produced 13 non-replicable watches in a limited collection. The biggest success of the project has been repeat orders from customers.

Greening steel production

LD slag is generated in bulk during steel production. Tata Steel recycles only 45% slag, which contains valuable elements like iron and lime. The company’s new recycling technology converts LD slag into reusable products. The first-of-its-kind breakthrough has resulted in zero ground dumping of the waste product.

Secure networking for apps

The change in global business app topology required a reinvention of networking to fit new app technology and a decentralised innovation paradigm. NetFoundry is Tata Communications’ innovative solution to provide the internet’s reach and economics with the security and reliability of custom hardware and dedicated telco circuits.

Composite radome

The Centre for Airborne Systems needed composite radome, and chose a flexible nomex honeycomb core sandwiched between glass face sheets. Since flex core was expensive, Tata Advanced Materials looked at forming rigid hexagonal honeycomb core to the specified thickness, and developed the technology to form the core in-house.

Pinhole detection

Manual detection of pin holes on cold-rolled strips of steel is unreliable. In order to avoid passing a defective piece to the customer, Tata Steel developed an automated image-processing-based Hole Detection System at its CRM plant at Jamshedpur, which helps detect minute holes in cold-rolled steel strip products.

Bulk transport deal

To strengthen their foothold in Africa, Tata Motors designed an innovative end-to-end transport solution. The product was customised, a hassle-free finance solution was provided for 12 years through EXIM Bank, and training was provided to operate the buses. A repeat order is a measure of the company’s success.

Mature alternative for packaging material

Polymer cannot be welded to coat conventional three-piece cans. The only available polymer-coated product is expensive and only works for specific products. With the innovative technology developed by Tata Steel, a wide variety of Protact-coated can sizes that are food-safe, lacquer-free and directly printable can be produced.

Online measurement of rhombodity

Liquid steel converted into square billets changes into rhombus due to non-uniform cooling. Rhombodity is the difference in diagonals. Sorting and inspecting huge billets manually is unsafe. Tata Steel developed an in-house imaging solution to measure the billets online, thus reducing holding time and safety and quality.

A safe approach to open stream casting

Continuous open stream casting of steel is hazardous. The opening of the strand often results in metal spillage, resulting in an unsafe environment and production loss. To ensure a safe environment, Tata Steel came up with a barrier between the liquid metal and workers, using refractory tubes.

Productivity and quality improvement

In multiple variant production lines, the parts handled is high. Leveraging information technology, Tata Motors developed a system to eliminate human error in manual selection of parts. The IT-enabled solution for manufacturing lines supplies correct parts directly to the point of use, enabling defect-free manufacturing.

Shine like a diamond

With Tanishq's diamond rate being much higher than competitors, the challenge was to give a high-perceived value-for-money product to customers. Research lead to a stone that could mimic a diamond, as well as an innovative 'culet cup setting' to add lustre. The resultant designs enhanced the product spread.

Redefining our heritage

In a bid to redefine the heritage jewellery space, Tanishq introduced the Shubham Collection – a heritage collection inspired by the temples of India. Incorporating distinctive workmanship from across India, the elegant jewellery can be worn everywhere by the modern woman, yet proudly passed on as timeless family heirlooms.

One floor – three modes

Jaguar Land Rover’s new ‘smart floor’ innovation provides dual functionality of a load space partition and a backrest support. Developed by JLR’s innovation team, the feature has generated three patents, offering core functionality for a tailgate event experience – which is a key USP for the new L460.

Soft sensors replace human intuition

Hearth liquid level in blast furnaces cannot be directly measured due to the high temperature. Tata Steel developed a soft sensor to give blast furnace operators a real-time depiction of hearth conditions so that they can optimally drive the casting practice.

New tin-free steel

Tata Steel Europe has developed a new tin-free steel product based on prevalent trivalent chromium coating technology. In contrast to electrolytic chromium coated steel, the new product is completely European REACH-compliant, thus offering a new, sustainable alternative for the former.

Active classroom

Tata Steel participated in the Active Classroom by SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre at Swansea University to support the ‘Buildings as Power Stations’ concept. The Tata Steel Active Classroom showcases its advanced construction products and rapid-build construction technologies that will enable construction of large numbers of affordable housing.

The slimmest watch in the world

A historical achievement in the international watch industry, the Titan Edge was the slimmest commercially available watch in the world. Titan later improved upon its signature model with the Skeletal Edge in 2012. Now, Titan has crowned that achievement by introducing the slimmest ceramic watch ever made.

Virtual reality ecosystem for special needs children

TCS has developed a low-cost solution built on gesture, leap motion and virtual reality platforms that provides a customised suite of exercises to improve locomotive functions of special needs children. Virtual Habilitation is a technology-driven application that exploits gaming to help ensure motor development in fun, interactive ways.

Vitellus

Tata Consultancy Services’ unique solution, Vitellus, takes data analytics to the decision-makers and enables them to understand hidden patterns and insights in data. It simplifies complex data across industries and business functions to improve objective decision-making and strengthen competitive advantage.

Waste recovery

Impurities like soluble soda ash in trona ore crystallises into deca post production. The environmental impact and costs of dredging or expanding the containment ponds was prohibitive. Tata Chemicals built a purge deca recovery plant to recover waste sodium, producing additional soda ash and extending the life of the ponds.

CFO cockpit

CFOs are tasked with monitoring and reducing travel and living expenses. Tata Consultancy Services met that need with the T&L CFO Cockpit. The intuitive, user-friendly, web / mobile application offers strategic and tactical simulators and advance AI that allows decision-makers to reduce overall costs up to 50%.