Operational technology is getting more & more connected to IT

  • Interviews
  • Oct 31,23
In this interview, Bipin Jirge, Managing Director, ifm electronic India Pvt Ltd, explains the importance of automation to gain competitive-edge in the industry.
Operational technology is getting more & more connected to IT

Digitalization is driving the manufacturing towards higher quality, safety and consistency, based on real time information being collected and processed at IT end. Digital manufacturing is offering us huge opportunity, states Bipin Jirge, Managing Director, ifm electronic India Pvt Ltd. In this interview, Bipin Jirge explains the importance of automation in gaining competitive-edge in the industry.

How is ifm electronic serving the industry’s requirement?
A wholly-owned subsidiary of ifm electronic gmbh, ifm electronic India has been serving the domestic market for last more than 28 years – with offices across the country. We offer automation solutions for various industry verticals like automotive, machine tool, steel, cement, food, packaging, construction machines, water, port equipment, etc. We offer hardware as well as software solutions for Industry 4.0 implementation.

To maintain competitiveness every company (including your customers) is aiming to improve productivity and efficiency. How are you helping your customers to achieve this objective?
We offer automation solutions which are implemented on the plants & machines which results into cutting long term costs, predict breakdown, real time maintenance, increase OEE etc for our customers.

What kinds of new features (hardware or software) are you adding for offering innovative products/solutions? Any recent example, you would like to share with us?
We are pioneers of sensors and solutions with built in digitalization technologies like IO-Link where customers get end to end sensor data as well as diagnostic data in the digital format from the sensors to IOT servers. This is an innovative concept being adapted by many customers in India, having derived concrete advantages for digitalization as well as reduction in wiring costs.

What kinds of changes are you seeing in the manufacturing sector due to new technologies (hardware as well as software/digitalization)?
The change we see in the manufacturing is very much in the direction that OT (operational technology – that is machine controls) are getting more and more connected to IT (information technology – that is IOT servers) giving data to company ERP systems directly from the machines in Real time. This enables companies to take decisions in real time.

With India emerging as a major sourcing hub for engineering goods, how important will it be for Indian companies to adopt digital/automated solutions for manufacturing?
It is very important for engineering manufacturing companies to go digital, as their customers across the world are now demanding real time data from their supply chain partners. This data could be regarding quality parameters, details regarding work in progress, as well as final delivery schedules.

"Digital Manufacturing" is a buzzword across the industries. What kinds of business opportunities it presents to your company?
Digital manufacturing is offering us as well as across the automation suppliers’ huge opportunities as digitalization is driving the manufacturing towards higher quality, safety and consistency in manufacturing world, based on real time information being collected and processed at IT end. All this information chain demands more feedback devices (sensors) as well communication systems across the machines/ plant equipment (communication systems) connected to IoT servers / ERP systems concurrently (IoT hardware and software). These offer huge business opportunities for companies offering these solutions.

What are your growth plans?
We are one of the most innovative automation companies across the world and we offer every year new automation solutions (be these in the field of sensing solutions for quality, condition based maintenance as well as track and trace systems) which are being absorbed by manufacturing industry across the world. The new products which are launched across the world are mostly launched concurrently also in India.

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