Making it smartly in India

  • Industry News
  • Nov 03,22
India’s manufacturing has been taking a steady stride towards Industry 4.0 in the last few years. As per NASSCOM study report, Industry 4.0 is at an inflection point in Indian manufacturing, with more than two-thirds of Indian manufacturers embracing the digital transformation by 2025
 Making it smartly in India

India’s manufacturing has been taking a steady stride towards Industry 4.0 in the last few years. As per NASSCOM study report, Industry 4.0 is at an inflection point in Indian manufacturing, with more than two-thirds of Indian manufacturers embracing the digital transformation by 2025. It is estimated that Indian manufacturers spent $5.5-$6.5 billion for Industry 4.0 in FY21. While 50 per cent of the Industry 4.0 spend was for foundational technologies (like Cloud and IoT), 35-40 per cent of the companies are at proof of concept (PoC) stage waiting for a rapid PoC-to-production transition. In the next 18-24 months, companies are planning to ramp up investments in emerging network technologies, big data analytics, remote-controlled monitoring and automation.

In India, the level of adoption of state-of-the-art technologies varies across industries with export-oriented sectors like automotive, pharmaceuticals, textiles, etc showing higher level of automation. While companies had already started investing in digital solutions before the pandemic, the adoption of these technologies gathered momentum during the Covid pandemic. A cautious approach towards digitalization made way to enhanced interest levels. For example, the pandemic tested the resilience and flexibility of enterprises in verticals like pharma, which had to manufacture and reach vaccines and other lifesaving drugs across the world.

Some of the challenges in adopting advanced technologies are presences of large number of small & medium enterprises (SMEs), difficult to prove return on investment (RoI), low level of understanding about Industry 4.0, lack of skilled manpower, etc. One of the biggest hurdles, especially in large companies, is the presence of legacy equipment, which either need massive upgradation or complete replacement; thus, needing high upfront cost, which dithers investment.

Most of the companies have already taken steps towards modernisation by using factory automation products like PLCs, HMI, VFDs, AC servo systems, etc. Though robotics is not yet fully adopted by manufacturers, slowly things are changing on the ground. Robotic adoption is increasing in segments where repetitive movements and hazardous tasks are involved.

Digital twin is gaining traction among Indian manufacturers. According to Gartner, over two-thirds of companies that have implemented IoT would have deployed at least one digital twin in production by 2022 to increase their effectiveness. Similarly, companies are opting for additive manufacturing (3D printing) to reduce the lead time and raw material needed to manufacture complicated parts.

With most factories switching to IoT, big data analytics and intelligent machines for increasing their operational efficiency, the smart manufacturing revolution is upon us. Shifting focus from cost to incentives for quality and globally competitive solutions will further boost adoption of smart solutions. Smart factory concept is driving the future of manufacturing by bringing new changes in manufacturing plants across the globe.

The Government of India has set an ambitious target of increasing the contribution of manufacturing output to 25 per cent of GDP by 2025 from 16 per cent currently. To achieve this objective, Make in India must be integrated with the principles of Industry 4.0 and make the transition to smart manufacturing.

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