IoT Playing its Part in Make in India

By Joseph Kiran Kumar, Head- IT, Eisai Pharmaceuticals India

We have come a long way in the industrial revolu­tion from steam engine, the conveyor belt, and the first phase of IT to the Internet of Things (IoT) induced Industrial revolution now known as Industry 4.0.

Almost simultaneously India is embarking upon “Make in India” program which attempts to bring Indian man­ufacturing to the world stage. There is great expectation on “Make in India” campaign which is aimed at putting India on the global stage of manufacturing through technology supported manufactur­ing. IoT is changing many things around us and manufacturing is not an exception. Manufacturing plants that are connected to the Internet are more efficient and productive compared to their counterpart. At time when Indian manufacturers are looking for presence in the In­ternational market and future leadership these critical elements of IoT would give them competitive advantage. IoT gives the companies a serious advantage of connectivity especially for those who have global operations and also to those who intend to go global. IoT neutralizes challenges that exist in the form of inefficiencies in the systems, workforce and brings forth new business opportunities. IoT helps the companies to gain complete visibility across production process, connect production to core business processes and supports custom manufacturing focusing on customer needs.

Management of Production Lines

Production lines are another area of challenge for the companies where the companies would like have an on­line status of production. Any kind of deviation from the standard process would be attended to immediately before it results in any losses due to product problems. Sensors in the as­sembly line connected to various ter­minals can instantly find out the sta­tus of the production and relay that information to the managers & other important members of the organiza­tion. IoT promises to eliminate mas­sive information gaps that exist on the shop floor that would have been impossible to address in the past.

Companies can control and man­age the equipment and instruments from remote locations. A company can control operations of the pro­duction unit in a far away Baddi, Himachal Pradesh from their office in Bangalore.

Safer Work Places

Safe work environment is the para­mount for any manufacturing com­pany. While many Indian manufac­turers comply with management and quality standards a lot is desired in this space as some of the conditions in the manufacturing area are of haz­ardous in nature. Most of the hazards such as in chemical handling, reac­tor management etc. can be handled smartly through IoT thus making the workplace safer for employees.

Challenges With IoT

Manufacturers have to weigh in the risks that come with IoT, especially the exposed protocols, interfaces, firmware, software and authentica­tion controls. Any let off on these would bring in catastrophic results for the company.

IoT enabled manufacturing will make logistics and suppliers stretch quite a bit. Supporting supply chain systems haven’t still scaled up to sup­port the changes that IoT’s are going to bring. Lean manufacturing can certainly reduce inventories; there should be an equivalent implementa­tion of IoT in Supply chain to realize the benefits that IoT can provide to the companies.

There would be a strong need for Information flow to be synchro­nized with the material flow as the line between these flows would blur as the products would be intertwined to the information. In case of cus­tom manufacturing the raw and the semi-finished materials would carry all the information about the cus­tomer to whom the finished prod­uct is going to and subsequent ac­tivities shall be planned accordingly. IT would be in the middle of the scheme as it connects the machines, production components and the manufacturing environment.

Conclusion

"Process and device" will be insepa­rable; physical things become part of the process.

To get any value out of data, that data first needs to be gathered. Indian manufacturers could deploy instru­ments such as sensors and controllers or even smart, networked cameras or RFID readers to measure a wide range of operational processes. These components should be both made ac­cessible and affordable across their value chains—in the plant, ware­house, extended supply chain, and the customer. Manufacturers will need to nurse the skilled talent to get the maximum out of the ecosystem. Training staff and constantly look­ing for the right talent is a critical success factor besides the speed of IoT adaptation.

As the visionaries in India pro­mote “Make in India” the early ad­aptation of IoT by the Indian manu­facturers would propel them into the world stage with quality products for global consumption. At the same time IoT would also help the manufactur­ers to build efficiencies in the system to continuously improve product and process quality. Make in India would put India on a big stage of industry 4.0 and would help the nation real­ize the dream of contribution to the world through manufacturing.

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