Staying connected has never been easier. The internet has changed the way we lead our lives. Manufacturing is no exception.
Manufacturers are being impelled to adopt internet and digital technologies, the Industrial Internet-led Revolution. All this at a speed and scale that is unimaginable yet inevitable.
This digital transformation will have massive impacts on both low-cost and high-cost countries and affect local and global manufacturing value chain.
A McKinsey analysis finds that India’s manufacturing sector will grow six-fold by 2025, to $1 trillion, while creating up to 90 million domestic jobs.
India’s manufacturers have a unique chance to emerge from the shadow of the country’s services sector.
In manufacturing, the potential for cyber-physical systems to improve productivity in the production process and supply chain is vast; this is an opportunity.
Imagine you have a box, which is a process, let’s say an assembly process. The inputs for this process would be raw materials, sub-assemblies, energy, etc.
As a result, on the output you have the finished part. But the process needs and produces something else; a lot of data.
The main objective of Industry 4.0 is the task to convert this data into information and then into knowledge in real time, in order to make the process more productive, more flexible, to improve the quality and so on.
It is a concept of intelligent value chain organisation where the man, machine and material are connected and talk to each other through enablers such as the cyber-physical systems and Internet of Things.
Technology advances have diminished the boundaries between the digital (cyber) and physical worlds. Intelligent, interconnected systems now seamlessly support activities along the entire value chain.
The industrial sector is in the primary steps of having a continuous or rounded network that has connectivity and visibility.
Forward-looking equipment manufacturers are starting to incorporate built-in communication as well.
They comprehend that by providing connectivity, as well as intelligence around energy states, they can moderate the total cost of ownership of their equipment, and help their customers optimise their operations.
In the industry of the future, the product will become an information carrier and pilot its own way through the production process. Industry 4.0 is less of a revolution and more of an evolution.
The expedition of creating and developing smart factories will be complicated and evolutionary. Requirements for innovation will play a major role in implementing Industry 4.0. With Industry 4.0 beginning, the Gen Z manufacturers will look downright different from what we see today.
Industry 4.0 is relevant for India; it is completely in concurrence to Make-in-India campaign. The number of people using a smartphone in India is huge.
This, for us, is a big opportunity. India is the third largest user base for internet and second largest for smartphones. India is also the IT hub.
The huge number of software engineers plus the affinity of Indians towards mathematics and technology should provide the perfect recipe for Industry 4.0.
In fact, the reality of embracing Industry 4.0 is not far-fetched for manufacturers in India, as elevating manufacturing industry to global levels of excellence is a top priority under Make-in-India.
All the pieces of technology that are required for smart manufacturing are now available in India. The enabler is only a mindset to prioritise the topic and start investments.
Written by: Gaur Dattatreya
The author is vice-president & head of Business Unit, Robert Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions