The first of its kind Internet of Things (IoT) cluster is slated to come up in Pune. A proposal for the S L Kirloskar Centre of Excellence for IoT for companies working in the Industry 4.0 is being put before the government by a consortium of start-ups, industry associations, solution providers and manufacturing industry.
The idea behind the cluster is to Indianise Industry 4.0 to Indian conditions and realities instead of just replicating what was done under Industry 4.0 in Germany or ape what US, Japan or China is doing. The cluster will enable Indian manufacturing industry to adopt these new emerging technologies. Pune has IoT solution providers, consulting companies, training institutions, IoT users and a large manufacturing based so the whole ecosystem is already available here and getting involved in this initiative.
This also complements the electronic cluster coming here. Vinay Nathan, CEO, Altizon, an enterprise IoT company, which is part of the team leading this initiative, said the government was open to setting up such an IoT cluster in Pune and the Department of Heavy Industries is supporting this plan and are holding meeting with industry representatives to take this forward and also providing financial assistance. The SLK Centre will provide a blue print for enterprises big and small to adopt these technologies and bridge the technology gap. We will work on an industry neutral vendor agnostic model, Nathan said.
MCCIA, TiE and CII, lots of vendors and large manufacturing companies are willing to share know how in creating of an IoT repository, Nathan said. The Tata Strategic Management Group is working on a framework and the Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies will be creating a repository or used cases.
Vikram Salunkhe, MD, Accurate Gauging & Instrumentation, who is also spearheading this IoT cluster, said this will be a Section 25 company and it is in a preliminary stage of preparing detailed project report. “Industry 4.0 was created in Germany in response to shortage of skill and people which needed high level of automation but in India the context is different and our problems are different and we don’t need to replace people but have to adapt it to our needs and come up with a human-centered use of technology,” says Salunkhe. This is what the IoT Cluster would be doing.
According to Salunkhe, till now what was happening on the Indian shopfloors was that there are a lot of CNC machines but they sat in silos and most decision on the shopfloor happened on historic information and that needs to change fast as a lot inaccuracy needs to come in. “The whole manufacturing industry is changing and it is an opportunity for the Indian machine tool industry to embrace IoT,” Salunkhe said.
“Industry 4.0 is a methodology and unless everyone participates they do not see value. While bigger companies have resources to invest, the smaller ones do not. So Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies need to do a lot of work. So a cluster would enable everybody in the ecosystem to participate and be part of this value chain,” Salunkhe said.
Almost all the giants in this space from Siemens, Bosch, GE to Thyssen Krupp, John Deere, Volkswagen, Bajaj Auto are operating in Pune and have expressed interest in creating this ecosystem which could take share in six months time.