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IIoT Are You Ready?


An in-depth analysis on the preparedness of Indian manufacturing sector in terms of adoption of IIoT.

Manufacturing is a major growth sector for the Indian economy and today the Indian companies are not only trying to meet the domestic demand but are also competing in the global market by increasing their footprint in the existing markets and by venturing into newer geographies. As the industries evolve, the need for accelerating the efficiency and productivity of various operational processes is rising, relatively.

With the advancement in Information Technology, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has become a buzzword for many industries, ranging from telecom, logistics, manufacturing etc. IIoT is all about connecting the industrial assets in manufacturing locations, such as machines and control systems, with the information systems, with the people who are operating and with the business processes. Morgan Stanley projects that the IIoT market will reach $110 BN by 2020, while Accenture predicts that IIoT will have even more significant and multiplier effect on the global economy to the tune of $ 14.2 trillion, by 2030. Key knowledge organisations have predicted a significant market and substantial growth for IIoT bolstering the fact that the impact of this technology will offer tremendous leverage and have a longing impact in manufacturing ecosystems. According to Arun Rao, Director – Geo Strategic Operations & Alliances, Dassault Systèmes, “Businesses that have embraced the IIoT have seen significant improvements in safety, efficiency, and profitability and this trend will continue as IIoT technologies are more widely adopted.”

Here we discuss the preparedness of different industrial segments in terms of adoption of IIoT.

Machine Tools
IIoT is considered as one of the primary trends affecting industrial businesses today. In order to be future ready, industries are pushing to modernise systems and equipment to meet new regulations, keep up with increasing market speed and volatility, and deal with disruptive technologies. Commenting on the preparedness of IIoT in manufacturing, Maulik Patel, Executive Director, Sahajanand Laser Technology Ltd, feels, “Manufacturers must change their processes and how they work. Although for some companies, accepting this change can be scary by pushing them further towards their familiar working practices.”

Siva Kasturi, Asia Pacific Regional OEM Manager, Shell Lubricants, believes that the value of IoT lies in the data that is collected long with the insight or proactive response gleaned from such data either in isolation or (more often) when integrated with other types of data, yielding unique insight.

IIoT helps in catalysing and transforming various industrial operations. It is of paramount importance in bringing about the revolutionary benefits of predictive and proactive maintenance, real-time monitoring, resource optimisation, efficient diagnosis and much more. However, it has been observed that the primary factors, like boosting operational efficiency, increasing productivity, and reducing the complexity of process in the industry plays a vital role in the adoption of IIoT by manufacturing industry.

Experts believe that by ignoring IIoT, manufacturers can put their company at risk of being left behind as their competitors are embracing the technology and continue to march forward.

Industrial Automation
In an era where time, productivity, machine uptime and quality output predominantly are more critical than ever, IIoT holds the key. IIoT supports everything from remote monitoring and telemetry to predictive maintenance. At the same time, it improves workforce productivity, operational efficiency and enhances customer experience. As per Gartner, over 20.4 billion smart devices will be connected to the IoT by 2020, indicating the huge potential in the years to come, informs Manish Walia, Head – Industrial Automation Business Group, Delta India.

According to Meenu Singhal, Vice President – Industry Business, Schneider Electric India, “Industrial businesses are facing a multitude of challenges – increased market pace and pressures, huge order of magnitude cost reductions that can only be achieved by unprecedented levels of operational efficiency and new demands on safety and cybersecurity.”

As the number of connected devices grows, we can expect a growth in the adaptation IIoT globally as well as in India feels Sanjay Kulkarni, MD, Pilz India Pvt Ltd. He adds, “The concerns related to the IIoT are of security and data protection.”

With rapid march of IIoT, a backbone of e-factory set-up, it has become a dire need for manufacturers to stay closely connected in order to amalgamate different technologies like Machine Learning, Big and Sensor Data, Machine-to-Machine Communication and Automation to boost operational efficiency, increase productivity and reduce complexity of process, to gain edge in competitive market and open new revenue streams, observes Nishit Behera, Executive Director – Business Development & Strategy, RSB Transmissions (I) Ltd.

Gone are the days when machines were completely dependent on manual interventions to run and monitor them. The automation revolution of the last century ensured reduced manual intervention to run machines. The advent of IIoT changed the game completely. Besides providing visibility on process and condition monitoring of machines, it allows central connectivity to a server. This facilitates correlation of signals from devices, which can be analysed and used to make intelligent predictions and provide actionable insights.

The word ‘revolution’ gives us a clue as to the type of change we can expect to see. Tomorrow’s interconnected factories will offer completely new opportunities for optimisation, as well as reducing energy consumption and waste at all stages of production. The change will be profound, but not unfamiliar, informs, Lokesh Saxena, Managing Director, DISA India Ltd.

However, Gurmeet Singh, Managing Director, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Ltd observes that, for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India, digitisation may prove a bit difficult as it requires basic IT infrastructure, including software and hardware, which would entail investment. He adds, “Unfortunately, the SME sector’s inability to keep pace with digitisation is denting its competitiveness.”

Based on a report by Deutsche bank the adoption of IIoT will help the manufacturers to increase their productivity by 30 per cent. Overall the elements such as connectivity, efficiency, scalability, time savings and cost savings for industrial organisations has been improved. It also allows the industries to get the most value from their system without being constrained by either technical or economic limitation.

“With the increased adoption of IIoT, manufacturing will become a decentralised and an autonomous process,” says Mahathi Parashuram, Regional Head – Public Affairs, Communications & Relations, Grundfos Asia Pacific Region.

Moreover, with emerging and advanced technologies like IoT, 3D Printing, Big Data and analytics, players are empowered to design, modify and create products and solutions that customers are looking for. Through these technologies, companies are now able to produce customer-centric solutions which should ideally be the main architecture of the design principles, informs, Palanisamy PL, Director – Sales, Manufacturing and Services, Danfoss Drives.

There is no doubt about the fact that IIoT is one of the primary trends affecting the manufacturing businesses today and it will have an even bigger impact in near future. Manufacturers need to work hard towards modernisation of their systems and equipment, so as to embrace the benefits of IIoT and see improvements in productivity, quality, maintenance, safety, decision making and most importantly, the sustainable growth.

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