‘Technology can make India self-reliant’

The industrial world is facing urgent challenges where rapidly changing technology and models need to be adopted to ensure speed, flexibility, quality and efficiency of production or assembly as well as enabling new business models.

BHASKAR MANDAL, Head-Digital Industries, Siemens India
BHASKAR MANDAL, Head-Digital Industries, Siemens India

Is India ready to ride the Fourth Industrial Revolution and realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to make the country self-reliant and not remain dependent on the global supply chain? Bhaskar Mandal, head – Digital Industries, Siemens India, says that the only way India can achieve its vision of Atmanirbhar or self-reliance is technology. “Industry 4.0 and its constituent digital technologies will play a key role here. Through digitalisation, Indian manufacturing enterprises especially SMEs can enhance efficiency, reduce cost of production, minimise manufacturing defects, and shorten production time,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview. Excerpts:

How are digitalisation and automation game-changers in the digital transformation revolution?
The industrial world is facing urgent challenges where rapidly changing technology and models need to be adopted to ensure speed, flexibility, quality and efficiency of production or assembly as well as enabling new business models. Most importantly, the world’s resources are finite and getting scarcer and we all need to make more with less. In other words, we need to become more efficient and flexible so that we can drive sustainable innovation for a world we want to live in today and tomorrow. What is really going to help all these challenges is digitalisation and a complete and holistic digitalisation flow across the different aspects.

A key part of this approach is the use of the ‘Digital Twin’, which merges all the data from the entire lifecycle of products and production, from the initial concept to the finished products and their production to performance. Cutting-edge technologies make it possible to understand this data and use it intensively. This level of digitalisation can also help enterprises get scale to fight scale—mass customisation in a very short cycle-time from optimised production lines. This allows smaller companies or smaller economies to fight against the scale that would come from larger competitors.

What is Siemens’ digitalisation play in enhancing productivity?
To address how Indian manufacturers can utilise digitalisation to address growing manufacturing challenges, we transformed our Low-voltage Switchgear factory in Kalwa into a globally benchmarked Digitalised Factory in 2017. It is now a perfect showcase for Indian enterprises, especially SMEs, in terms of mastering increasing product and process complexity, reducing time to market, adapting to changing market requirements, deliver individualised products and secure continuous product improvement. Siemens has not only its own manufacturing facilities, but also labs and digital experience centres for educating, assessing and providing Indian manufacturers to ‘touch and feel’ Industry 4.0 related technologies and learn/ explore relevant domain specific use cases. We have Experience and Application Centers for Digital Innovations in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Noida and Gurugram where engineers work with customers to develop digital innovations and PoCs for various applications including data analysis and machine learning.

Siemens has been fully committed and we believe in the potential of the Indian manufacturing industry. Towards this, we have been supporting and have been involved with all stakeholders, be it our customers, the industry, academia, institutions and the regulatory bodies.

How is Siemens securing the future with integrated cutting-edge technologies?
Adoption of IIoT to connect the legacy manufacturing assets and cloud-based data analytics applications to acquire shopfloor insights are increasingly providing the basis for fast and accurate day-to-day decision making. Increased use of simulation tools is giving entrepreneurs the power of experimenting with alternatives and select what is most beneficial, both for product design as well as for manufacturing processes. Integrated manufacturing setups are increasingly more efficient and productive, helping India’s manufacturing sector, especially SMEs, to be globally competitive. Robotics and additive manufacturing are encouraging industry to question the status quo and be responsive to the dynamic market demands, especially during these challenging times.

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