Schneider Electric’s domain expertise in hardware and software has helped it create a proprietary and comprehensive suite of Industry 4.0 solutions. The company is now deploying these in all of its eight manufacturing facilities spread across India with favourable results: 30% reduction in energy costs, 10% improvement in mean time to repair and 5% improvement in logistics. Schneider intends to make these Lighthouse network facilities, thereby setting the standard for other manufacturing MNCs in India.
Fellow, Indian Navy Studies Programme
Cdr Amrut Godbole, a senior serving naval officer, is currently Gateway House Fellow, Indian Navy Studies Programme. A mechanical engineer by profession for the last 20 years, he has served on a variety of war ships as Engineer Officer, looking after the operation and maintenance of propulsion (gas turbine engines), power generation and auxiliary systems. Six years into his naval career, Cdr Godbole did his master’s in marine engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (2008). He was soon after appointed to the Navy’s premier technical training institute, INS Shivaji, Lonavla, as senior instructor of the gas turbine division where he guided the project for the development of controllers for gas turbine generators. He was also associated with the operational audit of warships and the training of their staff at the Sea Training Division, Mumbai. He has also been Manager (Quality Assurance) at the Gas Turbine Repair and Overhaul Facility of the Navy in Visakhapatnam. He is an alumnus of the Naval College of Engineering, INS Shivaji, Lonavla. His areas of interest include: technology absorption and adaptation techniques, disruptive technology, and geopolitics.
Areas of expertise: Operation and maintenance of marine gas turbines; design review of propulsion and systems in ship-building; marine engineering.
Last modified: June 17, 2021
Using computer vision and AI to capture factory-wide data of human operators, Drishti Technologies co-relates human actions to line efficiencies, bottlenecks and root-cause analysis. Indian manufacturers operating at the lower end of the automation curve can use this combination to improve productivity, safety and quality by a deep-dive into human-action analytics.
C4i4 is a part of the Government of India's Samarth Udyog initiative, and aims to hand-hold micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the journey towards digitisation. Though MSMEs account for 45% of manufacturing output and 40% of exports, almost 90% of them lack access to markets beyond their limited geography. C4i4 helps them scale productivity and quality, and compete in global markets.
The 50-year-old Siemens facility in Kalwa adopted the Internet of Things, cloud and digital twin technologies to transform itself digitally and optimise manufacturing processes. It led to a 20% increase in productivity, and has made its product competitive with its German counterpart.
In Dec 2020, U.S. private equity firm Blackstone acquired a controlling stake in Piramal Glass, in recognition of its inherent business value and accelerated digital journey. The plant in Kosamba, Gujarat, is an export powerhouse which has adopted digital technologies like IoT and cloud, and is a lodestar for brownfield facilities looking to become globally competitive, data-driven, and Industry-4.0 enabled. Early digital innovation helped restore plant-wide operations within a week of the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst adhering to stringent regulatory norms and workforce restrictions.
In March 2021, the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced the addition of 15 manufacturing facilities to the prestigious Global Lighthouse Network. Two Indian companies were on the list – the Tata Steel facility in Jamshedpur, and the ReNew Power facility in Hubli. This is twice the number of Indian companies on the list last year. Many more facilities will likely be added to the WEF list, as several prepare to graduate their manufacturing businesses to keep up with Industry 4.0.
Digital manufacturing is the next wave of business globalisation, which, post-pandemic is not just blind automation to save costs but the smart use of digital tools to modernise industry and create good quality jobs. Digital manufacturing is the next leap for India’s tech leadership - the first being the software outsourcing movement in the 1990s. This time around, government incentives are aligning with industry interests. It offers India a chance to reposition itself globally, and play a leadership role.
Tata Steel is one of the few global companies on the prestigious Global Lighthouse Network for its advanced digital manufacturing systems - and it was the first Indian company on the list. The vision of a digitally integrated manufacturing facility was introduced when the Tata Steel Kalinganagar plant (TSK) was conceptualized in 2006. The subsequent implementation and continuous upgrade of the facility has made it a global benchmark. This case study on TSK's journey can guide other companies to overcome challenges in upgrading systems, using artificial intelligence and big data analytics to increase efficiency and drive innovation.
COVID-19 has forced India and its manufacturers to quickly step up their adoption of digital manufacturing processes. There are four elements of this ecosystem already in place – the digital infrastructure, government schemes, academic learning, and a burst of start-ups. This, supported by key policy decisions by the Indian government, will propel Indian manufacturing to higher levels of efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness.
The world is experiencing two simultaneous transformations: a decoupling from China and the building of an alternate supply chain, and the creation of new, cutting-edge industrial process called digital manufacturing. It is part of the larger wave of Industry 4.0, an integration of industrial processes with the Internet of Things. India already has some of the key elements in place, and some successes to build on.