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The emergence of Drone Manufacturing in India: Current status, projections, sectors, top companies and more

Karkhana Team

From combating climate change to photography and filming, and from the agriculture sector to the defence sector, drone technology has taken over the world. Countless articles and studies project overwhelming growth in the industry. An article, for example, by the Business Standard, talks about the growth of the drone services industry in the next 3 years, which is expected to grow to over Rs 30,000 crores along with the generation of over 5 lakh jobs.

This growth will lead to numerous new drone companies in India and startups that will make this growth possible. Anyone who is planning to build a business in the drone sector needs to understand the current market, areas where drones are gaining traction, components of a drone, manufacturing processes and more. This blog covers all this and more.

Areas where drones are changing traditional systems

The biggest reasons for the increase in drone manufacturing are diverse use cases in numerous industries. Drones have simplified processes and enhanced efficiencies in countless sectors like:

  • Agriculture for studies, insurance, planning, and more
  • Videography, filming, and photography
  • Defence for communications, surveillance, attacks and more
  • Surveillance and inspections in mining and linked sectors
  • Assessments in solar panels
  • The construction industry and numerous others

Why are Drones becoming mainstream?

Drones have the potential to completely revolutionise numerous industries, and with increased demand and adoption, drone companies in India are further enhancing drone capabilities. IoT and artificial intelligence, specifically, are making drones super useful and easy to use for various applications. On a broader scale, drones over the past few years have become:

  • Affordable for numerous sectors
  • Easier to use
  • Safer to operate
  • Smaller in size (for relevant use cases)
  • Feature full

Indian Government’s push to promote Drone manufacturing

The Indian Government has taken various steps to promote drone companies in India and the overall growth of the sector in the country. Here are a few schemes pushed forward by the Government:

  • PLI scheme to promote drones and drone components with a budget of Rs. 120 crore
  • SVAMITVA scheme that will carry out drone mapping over 6 lakh villages
  • Launching of the Digital sky platform

Major Drone companies in India and upcoming startups in the Drone manufacturing space

There are numerous drone companies in India and promising startups in the Indian drone space. Here is a small list:

  • Paras Aerospace (A defence company that designs, develops, and manufactures drones)
  • Throttle Aerospace
  • General Aeronautics
  • Idea Forge
  • Asteria Aerospace
  • Skylark Drones

Manufacturing is not the only area; there are drone companies in India and startups working in drone training, insurance, services, and other areas.

How is a Drone made?

The first thing one needs before planning or venturing into drone manufacturing is knowledge about all drone components. There are different types of drones with specific functionalities, but the major components powering all these types are:

  • Payload unit: It is responsible for carrying the load of the drone and other components. This unit contains the fuselage and frames.
  • Motors: Used to power the rotation of the propellers.
  • ESC (Electronic Speed Controller): It controls the speed of the motor and connects the motor to the battery.
  • Propellers: These give speed and load-lifting capabilities to the drone by creating a difference in air pressure.
  • Battery: It provides energy to the motor, which is further passed on to the propellers. Mostly, a LiPo battery is used in drones.
  • Flight Controller: It uses transmitters, sensors, and other parts to assess balance and facilitate telecommunication with the drone. It also helps the drone to return to the starting position.
  • Electronic controls: There are other electronic components like the Electronic Speed Controller and Transmitter-receiver to control the flight.
  • Landing gear and linked drone accessories: These are installed for the safe landing of the drone and also protect it from emergency landings.
  • Camera: The type of the camera varies based on the use case or the kind of drone.
  • Frame: This is used to fit all the drone parts together.

Any drone can have numerous other parts based on what it will be used for.

Manufacturing processes and materials used in building Drone components

Each drone component is made using numerous manufacturing processes (based on the type of drone/drone component being made). Some of the major processes used are:

  • 3D printing
  • CNC machining
  • Injection moulding
  • Vacuum casting
  • Sheet metal fabrication

Other linked manufacturing processes include: 

  • Precision machining
  • Aesthetic value addition
  • Surface finishing

Different kinds of materials are used in manufacturing, with the main ones being:

  • Aluminium
  • Magnesium
  • Plastic 
  • Elastomers

Current manufacturing challenges for Drone startups and companies

The drone ecosystem in India is in its early stages, and there are only a handful of drone companies in India. This leads to numerous challenges for startups and companies like:

  • Difficulty in finding reliable suppliers who have previously manufactured parts that you want for your drone. The manufacturer should have the technical knowledge and capabilities to manufacture the drone part efficiently, which is a huge challenge currently.
  • Drone part vendors are usually reluctant to deal with startups and small drone companies in India and have minimum order quantities set in place.
  • Understanding the right pricing for manufacturing and procuring parts is a big challenge because there is no standardisation in the market.
  • Support from expert engineers and other technicians is currently scarce in the manufacturing sector.
  • Low levels of trust because there are no systems to test and understand the right manufacturing partner for your needs.

Karkhana.io digitizing Drone manufacturing for startups and companies

Karkhana.io has helped startups, and drone manufacturing companies in India digitize their manufacturing and get the best resources for manufacturing drone parts without worrying about quantities or other technicalities. Drone parts made by Karkhana.io include the drone frame, camera mount, battery caddy, bearing shaft, enclosures, hub mount, support stand, servo mounting, and antenna tracker among other parts.

Simply by uploading the CAD designs on Karkhana.io’s portal, startups and companies can completely digitize the processes of manufacturing. This includes getting quotations within days, instant DFM feedback, manufacturability feedback via our in-house expert engineers, project management, transparent pricing, quality checks and logistics.

The process also includes regular quality checks, audits of suppliers, order updates and more.

Want to supercharge drone manufacturing for your business? Start by registering on our digital platform.

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