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Rahul Garg

Rahul Garg is Founder & CEO at Moglix, a B2B e-commerce marketplace.

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Future of Indian Manufacturing with IoT

In recent years, Internet of Things (IoT) has been the subject matter of deliberation for businesses all over the world.

The Internet has revolutionized the world as we know it. Smart manufacturing is the shift that is leading the whole world towards a new dawn and is pushing organisations to explore advanced manufacturing through advanced technologies.

In recent years, Internet of Things (IoT) has been the subject matter of deliberation for businesses all over the world. In fact, Industrial IoT, also represented as IIoT has now captured the center stage in propagating transformation in manufacturing globally. A research by Internet Data Corporation (IDC) announced in one of their recent reports that by 2021, global spending on IoT is expected to cross $1.4 trillion, led by bigger enterprise investments in services, hardware, software and connectivity in this segment. The Corporation also predicted that manufacturing; production asset management and freight monitoring would champion the investment areas.

Manufacturing in the new age

As we foray into the age of innovations and advancements, manufacturers are investing in finding technological solutions to improve their business productivity. In order to create agile systems, robust assembly lines powered by technology and opening the doors to automation to deliver high quality products, organisations adopted IoT as a major breakthrough. Early adopters of IoT as a business solution are already seeing the ROI (return on investment) in increased intelligence from fast collection and analysis of gathered data.

The interesting point to note here is that these solutions, especially data collection from sensors and automated data collection devices, are not exactly a new concept for established manufacturers. The technology existed for decades, but the proliferation only happened a few years ago. In an Indian context, the country is poised to have 1.9 billion smart connected devices by 2023 (source: Deloitte TMT Predictions 2017).

It can be said that the traditional supply chain management exists across most manufacturing businesses in India, but the trend is now upwards towards adopting connected systems for predictive analysis on depreciation of existing machinery, efficient asset and inventory management with real time product data through connected deices and machines as well as consumer insights to develop relevant products.  According to research firm IDC, out of global spending in IoT as a service, the highest contribution is coming from the manufacturing industry.

Digitization of manufacturing

Internet of Things, can play two major roles for a company in the manufacturing segment:

  • It can connect ‘things.’ In simpler words, IoT can help product-machines connect to the equipment, speeding up the manufacturing process.
  • IoT allows manufacturers to observe product data through sensor and ADC induced data collection, mine insights and implement them to make smart products.

Offering advanced connectivity across multiple devices, systems and services covering a plethora of protocols, applications and domains, IoT is expected to change how manufacturers operate, build things and successfully sell them to the customer at the end of the manufacturing cycle.

Connected products are now enabled with embedded sensors, data storage, connectivity and software modules to help transmit customer usage data to a central remote IoT platform. Combining this data with that obtained from other external and internal systems, creates the platform for deriving usable insights into the entire framework of functioning including operations, business models and finally, the strategy.

The Government’s call for ‘Make in India’ can be realized with adequate infrastructure in place to facilitate the transition from traditional manufacturing to smart manufacturing. For India to become a preferred choice for global investors in the field of manufacturing, the focus needs to revolve around finding the best ways to introduce automation and connected machinery to the workforce and providing necessary skill-training for hands on deployment. Businesses are struggling with choices to make investments on, but it is strongly agreed that without sufficient skill development, this idea cannot be achieved profitably.

The importance of innovating manufacturing techniques and automation in factories to simplify, speed up and maintain standards only adds to the many things to improve business agility across industries. Implementing IIoT can help organisations achieve a multitude of benefits as below:

  • Predictive Analysis: An unforeseen degradation of machine tools can be avoided by implementing the results of predictive analysis from data recorded by sensors attached to advanced machinery. Cost reduction on implications of depreciating factory heath can be achieved from this exercise.
  • Operational intelligence & Efficiency: An integral picture of all manufacturing units in one place. This helps in assessing cost reduction, safety measures and environmental impact.
  • Asset tracking: Real time tracking of fixed and moving assets is possible with IoT.
  • Cost Optimization: IoT improves manufacturing intelligence, in turn allowing organisations to forecast pocket burns and improve cost efficiencies. The customer will reap the benefits of this progress.

Hence, success in the field of manufacturing business depends on change and how fast organisations and customers adapt to these changes. The world has come a long way from the first tools, the first steam engines to telephones to supercomputers to smart devices. Technology has commanded the direction manufacturing has taken in the past and it will continue to drive innovation and automation in this segment of business.  This new age industrial revolution with technology at its back is inviting investor’s interests and has been able to create a community of innovators, including ours, who believe in building things keeping the end user’s needs in mind. Product design is key to sustain longstanding manufacturing units and IoT will only add to the benefits of industries aiming at building products which are cost efficient and smart. Interconnectivity through internet of things will propel information sharing, helping machine-to-machine communications and will allow manufacturers to perceive product design and manufacturing in a completely new way.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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