Smart Factories of India
There has been a rapid advancement of technology in various fields, especially manufacturing, over the last few years. Technology-led changes are actually driving the next industrial revolution. Across the globe, the factories are getting smarter with connected products and their systems operating as part of a larger, more responsive, and agile information infrastructure. The main aim is to take advantage and improvements in efficiency and profitability, increased innovation, and better management of safety, performance and environmental impact.
The question is whether Indian infrastructure is ready for this and whether it is equipped with the knowledge and skills required to adapt to these evolving advanced technology concepts?
Only 28% of the Indian manufacturing industry has an implemented smart factory and across geographies, it is 43%. The wave of a smart factory started by the adoption of Industry 4.0, since then it has been essential for the survival of the manufacturing industry. The Government’s Make in India initiative will be a key enabler of connected factories in the country is believed by Probodh Chiplunkar.
The concept of connected factories has given rise to the altering landscape, where senor-enabled machines effectively communicate with other machines, devices, and people, gathering the pool of data that can be used to make informed decisions. Industry 4.0 is a collection of 10 different technologies like
- The Cloud
- Big data and analytics
- The industrial Internet of Things (IoT)
- Horizontal and vertical system integration
- Augmented Reality
- Virtual Reality
Industry 4.0, has procreated yet another formidable manufacturing force: machine-as-a-service (MaaS). Machine learning as a service market is expected to exceed more than $3,754 million by 2022. Whereas a 3.3 billion M2M (Machine to Machine) global connections are expected by 2021.
The future of digital manufacturing will bring all the operational efficiencies aspects of the manufacturing industry together – be it traditional industries (automotive, coal, electrical, etc.) or high-end industries (miniaturization, printed electronics, etc.). The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) research says that the tasks performed by the robots across all manufacturing industries will increase to about 25% by 2025, from the current global average i.e. around 10%. More adoption of robotics will boost productivity by up to 30% which in return generates a performance improvement of 5% year-on-year and eventually brings down the average manufacturing labor costs also.
Yet manufacturers are working towards becoming digital enterprises to driving growth, profitability, innovation, and customer engagement.
Challenges faced by Indian Manufacturing Industries
The Indian manufacturing industry is fast in grasping technology; it needs to confront the impediments that can impact the adoption of connected factories. It becomes difficult for the companies to have less human supervision and this act as a barrier.
Pushing wireless connectivity can represent a change in the network infrastructure design. To bridge the gap of connectivity an integrated tool can be used to keep a track of inbound and outbound shipments for location-related information, timely order fulfillment, and critical in-transit parameters as temperature for example.
A key enabler of connected factories in India is the Government’s Make in India initiative, which aims to develop the country as the factory of the world and create highly skilled jobs in the sector. The governing committees and leadership people should have a firm defined decision-making processes.
The most crucial is security, which companies can’t afford to ignore. The systems have to be strongly secure the data and communication as well as protect the intellectual property. Data security has been a concern due to the increase in integrating new systems and creating more access to those systems.
It is required to up-skill and re-skill workers while also giving them the required time to get accustomed to the new technology.
- The main benefits of smart manufacturing in India are:
- Lower costs and enhanced revenue generation
- Asset efficiency
- Improvements in safety and sustainability
- Mass Customization and reduced energy consumption
- Knowledge transfer
- Better analysis of inputs
- Optimization of production flows
- More efficient collection of production data
- Improved usage of production resources, including raw materials and energy
- Limit wastage
In the process creating more agile and market focused competencies, smart manufacturing is all about driving digital value chains. The Connected factories are going to be crucial for the ability to integrate global production and supply chains to enable the flow of information in real-time and create opportunities to develop analytics frameworks for driving efficiency.
Investments in R&D, and skilled workforce along with a robust human-machine interface would be the key differentiators for manufacturers to commence on connected factories. A real breakthrough in smart manufacturing will come when the SMEs in India start partnering with IoT platforms start-ups that enable higher efficiency.
The early adopters of smart manufacturing will have the early-mover advantage, while those who fear to take the risk will become irrelevant and are left behind.