Online sessions were conducted on 18th and 19th May 2021 by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, New Delhi and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) New Delhi for awareness of the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and entrepreneurs towards the CSIR-CMERI developed Oxygen Enrichment Technology.Prof. (Dr.) Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur was invited as the Key Speaker for the said awareness programme. Shri P. Multani, Sr. VP, PHDCCI; Shri Mohit Jain, Chairperson, MSME Committee, PHDCCI; Shri D. P. Goel, Co-Chair, MSME Committee, PHD Chamber; Mrs. PerminderJeet Kaur, Director, ASSOCHAM-Eastern Region; Mr. Ravi Agarwal, Chairman, ASSOCHAM-Eastern Region together with around 150stakeholders from the MSMEindustriesand entrepreneurs altogether participated in the above awareness programmes.
Prof (Dr) Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-CMERI focussed on the MSME sector of the country, stressed that CSR-CMERI is making efforts to boost the MSMEs so that they can manufacture the innovative products of Oxygen enrichment adopting decentralized approaches for its reach to the common masses.Prof.Hirani stated that the availability of Oxygen is not the real problem;rather, he stressed for focussing upon the strategies for distribution of Oxygen and alternative innovative methods of Oxygen enrichment. He also said that people are sometimes unnecessarily scared and they need to be involved and made aware for a positive impact and optimum management of Oxygen Therapy in society. Prof.Hirani also called for reduction of dependency on Medical Oxygen Cylinders as the Oxygen Concentrators have advantages over the Cylinders in terms of transportation and logistics, handling convenience, side effects and toxicity on it’s prolonged usage. Prof.Hirani discussed in detail the techno-commercial aspects of the Oxygen Enrichment Unit developed by CSIR-CMERI and mentioned of some bottlenecks in the availability of raw materials locally and its solutions and stated that CSIR-CMERI intends to boost manufacturing of OEU. CSIR-CMERI developed Oxygen Enrichment Unit (OEU) has several advantages and it can be used for small hospitals, Mohalla Clinics, remote villages, high altitude regions for defence personnel etc. He also added that a lot of freedom have been given to the MSMEs in fabricating and providing them scope for further innovation.
Prof.Hirani stressed for use of proper masks with Concentrator to avoid the potential threat of risk of spreading the infection among others. CSIR-CMERI developed OEU has been made focussing this aspect also and the Fraction of Inspired Oxygen (FiO2) results also shows encouraging results which shows the Institute product’s superiority on the parameters of consistency and reliability over the available similar products in the market. Prof.Hirani also shared that the institute is working on the Hybrid System Configuration Model which involves existing infrastructure of hospitals. Such concepts will reduce the refilling requirement of cylinders by at least 50%. Research work is going on to explore the use of Oxygen Concentrators for industrial usages like welding, cutting etc.
Shri P. Multani, Sr. VP, PHDCCI spoke that the purpose of organizing the programme is to disseminate the technological and business know how of the technologies to all concerned particularly the MSMEs, usage of the technology during the present crisis and post pandemic era. He thanked Prof.Hirani for making all stakeholders aware in a very simple manner. He said that organising such regular seminars and conferences help industrial development and PHDCCI which is a 116 years old organization is playing a key role in this regard for making boost to the MSMEs and ultimately the Indian economy.
Shri Mohit Jain, Chairperson, MSME Committee, PHDCCI expressed that people have been struggling in hospitals for Oxygen. Industries are being encouraged to augment their capacity to produce Oxygen. The government is also making all efforts in this regard towards installation of Oxygen Plants for the production sufficient Medical Oxygen.At this juncture, CSIR-CMERI technology can be a game-changer during the COVID as well as post COVID period. He appreciated the efforts of Prof.Hirani in bringing out the technology for the MSMEs and said that if innovatively used by them, it can help a huge number of patients. He requested that the cost of the device needs to be optimized to the extent possible. He also mentioned that he would request the appropriate authority in the Central Government to allow waiver of the import duty on the raw materials for concentrators like Compressor, Zeolite etc.
Shri D. P. Goel, Co Chair, MSME Committee, PHD Chamber expressed his doubts over the impact of concentrators to the environment which was explained by the Director, CSIR-CMERI. He presented the Vote of Thanks and thanked Prof.Hirani specially for providing the awareness to all the stakeholders in a very simple and lucid way. Appreciating the CSIR-CMERI developed OEU he said that we need not bank upon now on foreign companies and should focus only on this technology provided at a nominal cost in comparison with the available MNCs products.
Mrs. PerminderJeet Kaur, Director, ASSOCHAM-Eastern Region lauded the contribution of CSIR-CMERI for coming out with the technology for the MSMEs and requested them to take the advantage of the indigenously developed product. She also appreciated the decentralized approach of the Institute specially the idea of the Hybrid System Configuration Model for the hospitals. Mrs. Kaur acknowledged the Institute’s efforts in transferring the existing technologies to the 10 MSMEs and discussed their experiences and bottlenecks faced by them in development of the prototype and commercialization of the technology. It was discussed that the requirement of Oxygen Cylinders would be obsolete in the coming days and the bottlenecks being faced in import of raw materials for the Concentrators at the moment would be resolved with the increasing competition in the market and its usage would be common in every household like Air Purifiers and Air Conditioners for the Oxygen therapy as is being used in several countries. Thus, MSMEs have greater avenues for this technology even after the post COVID scenario. As regards the question of repurposing of the existing Nitrogen Plants, Oxygen PSA Plants and systems etc., it was mentioned that though it can solve the issue for a temporary period, we should adopt the Integration Model with some add on features for a longer period of time considering its wider utility and sustainability.
The efforts of Prof.Hirani were appreciated by all the members and technology was termed to be of a novel approach which must be utilized by a large number of entrepreneurs. Enquiries were also made of the scaling up of the technology for larger number of beds. It was also mentioned that the price of concentrators in the market have gone manifold, but emphasised upon the trust and reliability factors and shown confidence that CSIR-CMERI technology would stand to it. As regards the hand holding roles of the Institute after ToT to the MSMEs, CSIR-CMERI assured of providing all possible supports to the needy entrepreneurs.Apart from the above, a number of queries were resolved regarding Compressor Technology and its sources; cost aspects of 5 LPM and 10 LPM Concentrators; technical components of the system like O2Sensors; Control and display system of the machine; performance of machine considering the environmental factors like humidity in the coastal areas etc.