The Piramal Glass plant in Kosamba, Gujarat, is an export powerhouse which has adopted digital technologies like IoT and cloud rapidly and effectively. A lodestar for brownfield facilities looking to transform themselves into a globally-competitive, data-driven, Industry 4.0-enabled facility, Piramal Glass has minimised the cost of transformation by using largely domestic Indian start-ups that offer frugal and customised solutions to specific challenges across the supply chain.
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 the only 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.