August 30, 2021 4:00:45 am
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology may soon come out with a production-linked incentive (PLI) kind of scheme for additive manufacturing of electronic components, sources said.
In meetings held over the last month, the IT Ministry had reached out to electronics component makers to understand their requirement so that a suitable policy could be designed accordingly, one of the sources said.
“Specific lightweight products which are used in critical electronic equipment and are very expensive to replace are among the priority items. We are looking at other areas beyond electronic manufacturing for the second phase,” a ministry official said.
The Indian Express had in December 2020 reported that the IT Ministry was likely to come out with a policy on additive manufacturing soon. The new policy was aimed at promoting 3D printing on an industrial scale and helping domestic companies “overcome technical and economic barriers” so that they could build supportive and ancillary facilities for world leaders in the technology, such as the US and China.
As per a draft of the policy, the Ministry values additive manufacturing or 3D printing industry at $35.6 billion by 2023, up from a less than $7 billion in 2017. For the electronic manufacturing component space, the Ministry sees potential for 3D components in wearable devices, soft robots, structural monitoring and building elements and radio frequency identification devices.
3D printing or additive manufacturing uses computer-aided designing to make prototypes or working models of objects by laying down successive layers of materials such as plastic, resin, thermoplastic, metal, fiber or ceramic. With the help of software, the model to be printed is first developed by the computer, which then gives instructions to the 3D printer. Like the other PLI schemes, the incentives for companies in the 3D or additive manufacturing space would be on achievement of a minimum threshold of cumulative incremental investment and incremental sales of manufactured goods net of taxes. There could, however, be some relaxation for companies in this space as it is a relatively new sector, an official said.
“For the electronics manufacturing sector, which is a high volume production area, the demand and proliferation right now is very low. We plan to encourage companies application areas are smart glass, power electronics, sensors and non-electronic components in electronics such as mobile accessories and give them some incentives beyond PLI as well,” the official said. Asia leads the world in 3D printing and about 50 per cent of its market is cornered by China. But, globally, the US leads with over 35 per cent share.
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