Prime purpose
The Delhi-based Prime group is preening itself towards developing high technologies in response to market needs

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 Business India :-
 Page 106
  Press Reviews > Business India -
Page - 106
  B U S I N E S S     I N D I A          May 9-22, 2005                                                          Technology  


It is a cutting edge technology that is designed to dramatically reduce cost and time overruns in ship-building.

Ship Electromagnetic Design Framework (Ship EDF) is a solution that holds out vast benefits to ship designers. And it is this and other innovative technologies that are being pioneered in India by Delhi-based Prime Group.
Commencing operations in 1986 as Prime Chemfert Industries (Pvt.) Ltd., which later became the flagship company and was rechristened PCI Ltd., the group has emerged as a multi-technology frontrunner. With a consistent growth of cover 50 percent over the past three years, the group, over half of whose manpower of 475 comprises qualified engineers, caters to a wide spectrum of high-technology industries, including power and energy, electronics, precision engineering, machine tools, software and infrastructure development. Apart from Ship EDF, PCI Ltd. is a leading force in the fields of cable fault location, thermography systems, high voltage test equipment for electrical installations, mentions Surinder Mehta, its founder chairman and managing director.

His enterprise operates through 22 countrywide, two factories in Gurgaon, Haryana, and representative offices in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Says Mehta, "Our focus has been on introducing, adapting and disseminating high-technology innovations in the Indian environment, which enhance productivity, efficiency and cost effectiveness."

Referring to Ship EDF, Vivek Saxena, a company director, explains that the system development was started in 1982 by IDS S.P.A of Italy, the firm having devised this technology for some modules
Ship EDF provides a simulation environment for the electromagnetic design of modern ships covering Electro-Magnetic


Computation (EMC), Radar Signature Reduction and Control (RCS) and infra-red applications over the full frequency spectrum. The framework matches the requirements of the new

Mehta says Prime's focus is to shift from generic-driven to new-age business

generation navel units designed to reduce ship signatures and integrating new concept combat system equipment. It is a computer aided design (CAD) software package that integrates in a seamless framework, a set of electromagnetic computation modules capable of simulating all requisite parameters. "The product is aimed at the shipbuilding industry, military study centers equipment manufacturers and ship system integration companies," says Mehta.
As the mission of the EDF solution is to provide a design that increases the vessel's survivability in hostile environment, its applicability is in the naval environment. Saxena explains that in a usual shipbuilding exercise bereft of this technology, the vessel would be built and then launched for trials with various sensor packages and also for testing its signature on infrared or EMC from the 'enemy's' point of view to evaluate its detestability.

Requisite modifications would then be carried out in the design to minimize this signature so as to enhance


its stealth capability, crucial in naval warfare. "But such modifications are really solutions of compromise once he ship is already built, since some aspects can never really be modified," maintains Saxena. "Besides, all these trials took inordinately long and modifications consumed even more time." Hence, apart from the operational cost of the several sailings involved, the commissioning of the ship as an asset to the navy would also be delayed by at least one to two years, he remarks, adding that Ship EDF solution would circumvent this loss.

The technology entails feeding the CAD drawing of the ship into the Ship EDF software, which then performs complex processing and generates a model of the ship. This is then dovetailed with the sensor data of the radar and infrared and EMC characteristics that the opposition may be using. The software is then able to simulate the ship's signature, that is, its physical and radar detestability by which the required design modifications can be carried out on the computer itself. Only a validation then needs to be done during trials, obviating the hit and trial approach to design. "Minor aspects such as readjusting the angle of the funnel, relocating a particular antenna, or repositioning a mast or a gun mount can all contribute enormously to the change in the radar or IR signature," Saxena mentions. "By doing this on the initial CAD drawing itself, the designer is able to accomplish an optimum design."

Each system costs Rs. 2 crore and is a one-off installation for shipyards, particularly naval shipyards. "To our Knowledge, there is no other such comprehensive solution in the world," points out Saxena, who adds that the Indian Navy and most major navies of Europe and North America are using these systems.