By Milind Kulshreshtha,
Industry 4.0 Revolution is characterized by the confluence of numerous technologies that come together to digitize manufacturing, value creation processes and related industries. Thanks to the technological advancements, companies are now able to leverage data from multiple sources, such as connected machines, equipment, IoT sensors and many others to transform their existing manufacturing processes to achieve production efficiency at multiple levels and realize new business models through the digitalization of their existing business operations. Industry 4.0 exists in our world in some other avatars as Education 4.0, Agriculture 4.0, Shipping 4.0, Ports 4.0 etc.
Samarth Udyog Bharat 4.0
Industry 4.0 for Make in India and Atmanirbharta for the manufacturing sector too is being promoted by the Government since a manufacturing base provides a steady growth (especially when compared to service-based economy). In order to bring in this crucial digital transformation in manufacturing, multiple institutions are already functional under the Samarth Udyog Bharat 4.0 initiative. Samarth Udyog Bharat 4.0 is an Industry 4.0 initiative under the Ministry of Heavy Industry & Public Enterprises and it includes manufacturers, vendors and customers as the main participants. In order to spread awareness about Industry 4.0, five Common Engineering Facility Centre (CEFC) are working in India:-
(a) Centre for Industry 4.0 (C4i4) Lab, Pune
(b) IITD-AIA (IIT, Delhi- Automation Industry Association) Foundation for Smart Manufacturing
(c) Industry 4.0 India at IISc Factory R & D Platform
(d) Smart Manufacturing Demo & Development Cell at Central Manufacturing Technology Institute, CMTI Bengaluru
(e) Industry 4.0 projects at Department of Heavy Industry Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Advanced Manufacturing Technology, IIT Kharagpur
Industry 4.0 Benefits
By digitalizing the shop-floor, MSME manufacturers can receive various immediate and long term benefits such as instant analysis of production status, error eliminations. Some of the long-term benefits are in the form of increased operational efficiency, quality and flexible reporting process. The real-time analysis of production through data collection and visualization tools as an update of the production status gives a new perspective of the manufacturing process. This provides a better insight into the machinery, personnel and the process efficiencies. Further, the associated digital documentation eliminates the errors like incorrect manual entries or version control issues and sets a proper digital ‘approval’ hierarchy in place for an efficient process. These advantages help any manufacturer to save time and reduce expenses, thereby making his product more competitive in the market.
For example, the use of AI for predictive maintenance of the process machineries is an established commercial tool with Industry 4.0 vendors. The smart prediction algorithms maximizes the equipment efficiency to increases its availability for operations and, thereby, reduce cost. Systems integrated with predictive maintenance software generates timely actionable alarms for the maintenance team even before the process gets suddenly interrupted by defective machinery. The companies which have implemented such new digitalization tools to improve their machine maintenance commenced the journey with first implementing toolsets like production scheduling, workflows and inventory management etc. to improve operations and process flows. With this digital transition, they were able to reduce the time spent in recording, documenting and correcting data and, instead, the engineers were able to track more variables, thus allowing the company to improve the preventative maintenance results.
India’s Digital Transformation Goal
In November 2020, the government set up a 22 member Inter-ministerial Committee to strengthen the Capital Goods sector for enabling its contribution towards the national goal of achieving the USD 5 trillion economy (inclusive of USD 1 trillion from the manufacturing sector). The government has already set a target of increasing the contribution of manufacturing output to 25 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025.
The inter-ministerial Committee’s agenda on Capital Goods sector includes technology development, mother technology development, global value chains, and skill development as per global standards and improve custom duties procedure to make the Indian manufacturing sector globally competitive. There is an aim to make India the manufacturing hub for the world. During the sixth inter-ministerial Review Committee for Capital Goods scheme held in Jan 2021, creation of an eco-system for R&D for manufacturing technology through the development of web based open manufacturing technology innovation platforms has been planned.
It is imperative that more and more industries and professionals undertake the skill enhancement programmes, not only for immediate implementation, but also to make the employees future ready. The pandemic times have already made Industry 4.0 digitalization popular, however, a hitch in the mindset of industry personnel somehow still exists for participating in the automation projects and training. A top-down approach in India for implementation of Industry 4.0 seems to be the way ahead even in the MSMEs, and senior level managers may need to take this initiative forward to make India a vibrant manufacturing economy on the global map.
(The author is CEO of AIKairos which runs the Industry 4.0 implementation and education programme in India. Email: email@example.com. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)