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Arungalai Anbarasu | Chief Technology & Strategy Officer | Waygate Technologies

Arungalai Anbarasu: A Pioneering Trailblazer with a Unique Perspective

Even the hardest stones change their shapes when facing the continuous water flow. Similarly, women’s leadership constantly soars, bending the inadequate difficulties of making balanced decisions, fostering a culture that benefits everyone. One of many attributes that make women leaders unique is that they might perceive business through an eye of a mother; the way they care, nurture & enable growth then is carried through with their business acumen. Akin to such distinct perceptions, Arungalai Anbarasu, a mother of a 7-year-old daughter (Ada), is passionately keen on promoting STEM women, making the world a better place.

Apart from being a mother, Arungalai leads as the Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at Waygate Technologies (WT), world leader market leader in industrial inspection solutions and a business that belongs to the Baker Hughes energy technology company. She acquired her master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Science working on the Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) thesis. Arungalai and her team spearhead Waygate Technologies’ evolution into a Digital Inspection Solutions (DIS) space. She envisions playing a critical role in the company’s ambition to take energy forward – making it safer, cleaner, and more efficient for people and the planet.

Sculpting Herself

Curiosity leads to questions, and questions lead to answers. As a child, Arungalai’s curiosity got her thinking about where we came from, how things are built, and how the earth was formed, keeping her awake at night. She aspired to become an astronaut, but unfortunately, her poor eyesight became an obstacle, never letting her pursue that path. Thus, she embarked on a path closet to space sailing – Engineering.

After acquiring her master’s degree, Arungalai joined the renowned conglomerate General Electric (GE) in their graduate program called Edison Engineering Development Program. She learned how technology builds and sells solutions that solve different world problems related to energy, healthcare, and transportation, Arungalai built on this experience in multiple roles at GE & Baker Hughes (BH).

Arungalai operated in finance, strategy, operations, technology, and business leadership, before landing on her current role of Chief Technology & Strategy Officer for Waygate Technologies. She looks at the overarching business strategy with her team, delivering breakthrough technology innovation, new business models and digital transformation. She also led the industrial X-ray and computed tomography (CT) business in the past few years at WT.

A Visionary Forward-Looking Partner

Waygate Technologies’ purpose is to provide peace of mind for manufacturers in various major industries by ensuring safety, quality, and productivity.

Arungalai expresses that WT combines over 125 years of experience and the heritage of renowned industry names such as Krautkrämer, phoenix X-ray, Seifert, Everest, and Agfa NDT with a global DNA and the unmatched precision of German engineering. Its business offers a broad portfolio of award-winning solutions in industrial radiography and computed tomography (CT), remote visual inspection (RVI), ultrasound (UT), eddy current, and robotic inspection. They help customers drive their digital transformation by applying state-of-the-art data and analytics to their assets and processes for best-in-class insights.

Arungalai notes, “Today, several brands in the automotive, aviation, space exploration, electronics, energy, battery, and additive industries trust our inspection and testing solutions. Yet as a consumer, you have probably never heard of us or of all the industrial inspection that goes into the car you drove this morning, the flight you took recently; the cell phone you carry in your pocket, or the computer you are seeing this article on – and that is the way we want it.” The most successful inspections are the ones you don’t hear about. She continues, “We like to obsess over problems so that our customers and partners don’t have to think about them.”

Waygate Technologies’ industry-leading digital inspection solution and software platform – InspectionWorks – can collect data from borescope inspections, cell phone cameras and written logs, and correlate an asset’s health. Further, building analytics that automatically detects defects while inspections are in process, saving the customers valuable time and energy in “reading” inspections.

The company’s strong push to drive innovations and deliver data and insights provide exponential improvements in productivity and safety to its customers. Waygate Technologies aims to take the customers from detecting defects to avoiding them.

The Foundational Pillars

Arungalai states that the parent company Baker Hughes shares four main values with its employees:

Grow lets the company see the challenge as an opportunity and learn every day.

Collaborate means inspiring, being inclusive, and bringing out the best in each other.

Lead implies making, inventing, and performing with impact.

Most importantly, Care strives to always do the right thing for its customers, people, and the environment.

A significant and growing feature of its work culture is diversity; it is committed to an inclusive work environment with opportunities for people to reach their full potential. Arungalai wants its workforce to reflect its communities’ global reach and diversity. The company aims to develop a culture based on merit where talent is nurtured, regardless of gender, background, age, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, disability, or sexual orientation.

The Inevitable Future

Arungalai understands that inspections are necessary to cost today, and the future demands more Accurate, Available, and Autonomous processes to be the desired value tomorrow. She envisions inspections to able to:

  • Harvest inspection data and turn it into a key enabler to optimize your asset lifecycle. Imagine bringing “Lab” technologies to “In-Line” operations… production plant of the future
  • Deliver deeper insights by interlacing siloed operations… continuous traceability
  • Add exponential value to asset fleet by connecting and optimizing all devices and workflows… data for planning
  • Create virtual loops from design to production to maintenance; from one generation to the next… Nothing is wasted

She states that when one thinks about industrial inspections today – on any market; and at any customer; the data from inspections today are:

  • Fragmented, siloed, and overlooked information.
  • Isolated inspection tasks as suppliers not integrated.
  • Multi-NDT technologies leading to disconnected results.
  • Limited process feedback with no actionable insights from datasets.
  • Suboptimal approach to manage NDT costs.

Arungalai will be delighted if customers embrace NDT 4.0 to go from detecting defects to avoiding them altogether. Soon, industrial inspection will enable customers to drive innovations.

A Diligent Guidance

Arungalai advises fellow women leaders to create a vision, develop a plan and execute it with perseverance to achieve outcomes to benefit the industry and environment while pushing the boundaries of technology. As the Japanese proverb suggests, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” Arungalai believes it’s equally important to create a vision and execute it with perseverance. In her concluding thoughts, she says, “Push the boundaries of technology, commercial, outcomes within the boundaries of compliance, ethics, and safety to take the first steps that will create progress for the others and you. First times are always tough, but they are the most fulfilling!”