Jul 20
Dependable Doer
Dependable Doer
WAY back in 1997, L&T had supplied 11 high-pressure heat exchangers to the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) in Assam. In 2010, during an unplanned shutdown, one needed to be replaced on account of emissions issues, so NRL procured it from another supplier on price grounds.
However, the new exchanger brought with it frequent maintenance issues. The vendor did not undertake on-site repairs, and the queries from NRL were met with unsatisfactory responses. This led to repeated production losses.
NRL, therefore, decided to replace this problematic heat exchanger. L&T sent NRL a budgetary quote and specifications of technical requirements – all geared to ensure flawless operation. Learning from experience, NRL categorically specified that the vendor should have proficiency in on-site maintenance services.
Apart from L&T Heavy Engineering’s past track record of supplying more than 350 high-pressure heat exchangers, its Modification, Revamp & Upgrade (MRU) wing has experience of overhauling more than 100 HP exchangers, globally.
L&T won the order in an open competitive tender process. The contract was awarded to L&T at a challenging time – the middle of the horrendous second wave of COVID-19.
The diligent efforts of L&T Heavy Engineering’s Heat Transfer Equipment project team led to the successful execution of the order. This achievement, in the face of the challenging pandemic conditions, demonstrates L&T’s technical competency and capability of seamless execution.
L&T not only completed the contract but walked the extra mile and delivered the equipment this June – two months ahead of the contractual delivery date. This exceptional achievement was result of doubling the speed at automated workstations, IoT, setting up of a digital factory and ensuring first time right.
“We place on record with immense satisfaction that L&T has successfully achieved completion ahead of project schedule, with uncompromised safety and quality requirements despite the challenges faced during COVID-19 outbreak,” an elated NRL wrote in appreciation. Does anyone need any further testimony to L&T’s customer-centricity?
Jul 20
Detect & Defeat
Detect & Defeat
IN the dead of night, a suspicious dot moved, undetected in the dark sky, rapidly approaching one of India’s high-sensitive security nerve centres. It quickly zoomed past multiple detection sensors, getting dangerously close to its target. But, unknown to it, when this enemy aircraft reached 30 km from its target, its presence was detected by an Active Electronically Scanned Array search radar.
As the aircraft neared its target, a track radar locked on to it with pinpoint accuracy. And, as it moved within the striking distance of three km, a rapid-fire 40mm gun, loaded with ‘smart’ ammunition, opened fire. In seconds, the enemy aircraft was destroyed!
But the dot wasn’t flying solo. It was accompanied by another – flying strategically close, to avoid detection. No problem for the search radar as it had already detected this second enemy plane as well. The rest was routine. The search radar pointed the target location to the track radar, and the track radar, in turn, to the gun, and the second plane too was brought down in no time.
Meet Sudarshan, a close-in weapon system, which provides the final protective shield for any vital installation. Indigenously developed, this state-of-the-art system of systems is designed to protect critical assets – such as air bases, military stations, and power plants – from aerial threat.
A combination of search radar, fire control radar and anti-aircraft guns, Sudarshan can detect any type of aerial threat within a 30-km radius. Equipped with radars and electro-optic tracking system, each Sudarshan foray can provide 360-degree area protection in all weather conditions. Its command-&-control module automatically evaluates a threat and assigns the target to an appropriate weapon system.
Sudarshan’s automatic Threat Evaluation and Weapon Allocation software (TEWA) can identify, classify, and prioritise different aerial threats, then allocate suitable weapon systems to eliminate each one of them. TEWA assists the flight commander in simultaneously tackling multiple targets. Sudarshan can interface with other air defence assets, such as long-range surveillance radars and Very Short-Range Air Defence systems.
It has been designed and engineered by L&T Defence’s technology experts from guns, ammunition, radar and communication domains. L&T Defence produced it in just two years after the bid submission. It’s an excellent example of well-coordinated teamwork from a cross functional Defence team.
Sudarshan cleared stringent user trials conducted by the Indian Air Force under grueling hot desert conditions in Rajasthan in May and September 2021, with temperatures hovering around 47-degree Celsius. The proof-of-performance testing included tracking of high-speed targets, hitting high-speed targets, parachute dropped drums – and all of this under both day and night conditions.
Having passed the user trials with flying colours, Sudarshan is now all poised to cater to the security needs of the nation.

Jul 20
Transformational Touch
Transformational Touch
LEADING think-tank and research platform – the Economist Impact – from the prestigious Economist Group has featured a case study demonstrating how the digital transformation of L&T Financial Services (LTFS) is enhancing the lives of its customers.
The study, released by the publication on 20 May 2022, narrates how LTFS uses digital technology to empower its loan officers to serve customers, especially farmers and women micro-entrepreneurs scattered across rural India.
“Our role as a lender is to provide access to funds and democratise credit. Digitisation is helping underserved communities access organised credit, rather than having them depend on the unorganised sector for improving livelihoods. Access to formal credit is crucial to stimulate growth in rural communities,” the Economist Impact report quotes LTFS’ MD & CEO, Mr Dinanath Dubhashi.
The report says that around 86% of India’s 10 crore farmers till only (or less than) two hectares land and they face bigger hurdles than commercial farmers to secure loans. They are often at the mercy of the unorganised loan sharks.
To fill this gap, in stepped LTFS, becoming a game-changer. LTFS streamlined its IT infrastructure, credit engines, analytics, communication and data storage; used Google Cloud Professional Services to overhaul legacy systems and develop a digital loan application that automatically populates customer data, resulting in faster loan approvals.
The initiative freed loan officers from their desks so they can broaden the client base through hybrid work. Google Workspace enabled its loan officers to collaborate even during the lockdowns. A bespoke app enabled loans for rural customers to be processed while in the field, saving applicants the trouble of trudging to application centres.
In the three years since adopting this in-the- field loan approval technology, LTFS’ customer acquisition has increased by 35-40%. Loans can now be approved in less than a minute and disbursed within 24 to 48 hours.
This transfer of money to farmers and rural women entrepreneurs is helping underserved communities become part of the mainstream through technology. Read the full report at https://econ.st/3N07crL
Jul 20
Welding Wonders
Welding Wonders
PLANNING, smart work and innovation are the secrets of success. Riding on the wings of these enablers, L&T’s Modification, Revamp and Upgrade (MRU) arm recently executed and won major orders.
MRU’s 6th coke drum project, for Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), involved working simultaneously on three coke drums, with a challenging shutdown duration. A large weld overlay deposition had to be undertaken from within the drums. The shutdown period was largely dependent on the weld deposition rate, which necessitated round-the-clock arching.
Aided by L&T Heavy Engineering’s Technology Innovation Cell, maintenance and execution teams, the MRU arm developed an innovative welding technique, enhancing the automated GMAW welding by twin-torch welding. The welders were specifically trained to attain proficiency and handle multiple machines individually. The plan included preparations for simultaneous working at different elevations at peak time.

• India’s largest-ever weld deposition – 17 tonnes – in a coke drum repair project

• 28.64m x 2.1m area weld overlay completed by auto GMAW welding in one setting

• Working inside the drum with weld temperatures ranging from 150 degree Celsius - 180 degree Celsius, with round-the-clock arching

• Simultaneous inside overlay repair and outside circ-seam crack repair, reducing post-heating and equipment cooling time

• Adhered to 25-day timeline – despite client delays
The extensive experience and high skill level of the L&T team led to the safe completion of the project – with no quality giveaways, despite the immensely challenging target.
Metaphorically as a reward for the success in the MRPL project, a key hydrocarbon customer in the Middle East recently awarded an arterial contract to MRU.
The scope includes detailed engineering and supply of critical equipment and components, leading to multi-disciplinary site work. It will require staggered shutdowns during which the revamp has to be undertaken.
Next, as part of the Barauni Refinery expansion, MRU won a contract from the Indian Oil Corporation for revamping its Residue Fluid Catalytic Cracking unit. It involves capacity augmentation of the Unit and conversion into an INDMAX FCC unit. This will enhance the crude processing capacity of the refinery from 6 MMTPA to 9 MMTPA.

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