Industry-university chair for electrical research

Initiative with top tech institutions will help KEL develop new market-oriented products

The public sector Kerala Electrical and Allied Engineering Company (KEL) has joined hands with the National Institute of Technology, Calicut, Trivandrum Engineering Science and Technology Research Park, College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Thrissur Government Engineering College, and a host of other institutions to set up an industry-university chair for electrical research.

The chair, set up at the behest of the State government, will address the lack of facilities for research and development in public sector undertakings in the State, says KEL Managing Director Shaji Varghese.

Launch on Feb. 9

The industry-university chair, to be launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the โ‚น12.5-crore Mamala unit of KEL on February 9 via videoconferencing, would analyse ideas floated by the electrical company about its new range of products and involve research students in the development of the product using KELโ€™s manufacturing facilities.

The process would help KEL develop new market-oriented products and open up an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience during their research.

The adoption of the industry-university chair concept to include other areas of activities could help launch another wave of industrialisation in the State.

The KEL official said the NIT-C and the PSU had already signed an agreement for transfer of technology for manufacturing high-frequency electronic transformers. The concept of high-frequency transformers has been developed by researchers at the NIT-C. These are much smaller than the conventional transformers. A proposal has been submitted to the government to begin industrial production of the new technology transformers, he added.

KEL, established in 1964, is fully owned by the State government and has four manufacturing facilities. The companyโ€™s clients include the defence forces and Railways and produces alternators for lighting and air-conditioning rail coaches, distribution transformers, frequency converters, and power packs for missile projects.

The company had a turnover of over โ‚น127 crore and a net profit of โ‚น68 crore during last financial year.

Transformer facility

A release said the Chief Minister would also inaugurate a power transformer manufacturing facility at the Mamala unit of KEL on February 9. The plant had been set up with an investment of โ‚น12.5 crore.

An electrical vehicle charging station would also be inaugurated on the Kochi-Dhanushkodi National Highway near the power transformer plant. It would be useful for vehicles going to Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalam, Idukki, and Munnar from Ernakulam.

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