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IPF for an ultra-intelligent manufacturing market

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Covacsis IPF brings in better measurement and decision science to manufacturing
Tarun Misra, Founder & CEO, Covacsis Technologies

Considered as the most significant technology initiative of the decade, IoT is predicted to bring a paradigm shift to the manufacturing domain. Tarun Misra, Founder & CEO, Covacsis Technologies, shares how they designed and implemented Intelligent Plant Framework (IPF) solution for the manufacturing sector to bring them under the shade of IoT.

An epochal shift in the manufacturing industry is under way because of ‘Internet of everything and anything’. How do you elucidate IoT as one of the widest environment?
Intelligence through connectivity is propitious. That’s why Internet of Things or Internet of Everything is imperative for the next generation of manufacturing. Next generation of manufacturing is nothing but algorithmic manufacturing. Artificial Intelligence inside the machine and process will lead and do unthinkable collaboration and transparency across manufacturing supply chain. Such technology will help organisation make real-time decision across the hierarchy to redefine the factory’s and people’s efficiency.

A machine will have power to arrest cost deviation and set up a new benchmark for itself by modifying its operation without affecting the quality of the output. Machine will be hugely autonomous and intelligent. The nascent understanding of IoT is a minor step in that direction.

Please walk us through the journey of Covacsis Technologies from the time of its inception.
Covacsis envisioned the advent of new age way back in 2009. That lead to conceptualising the solution which can address the transformation of industry seamlessly and sustainably without disrupting the current generation of manufacturing practices and competences.
• Built a control system agnostic plug and play tool to capture machine data seamlessly in real-time
• Built analytics specific to manufacturing to help operation control productivity, quality and cost losses in real time
• In 2012, Blume Venture invested in Covacsis supporting this endeavour
• In 2014, Cisco and Gennext picked up certain share of Covacsis by infusing equity investment
• Covacsis launched cloud-based SaaS model in 2017 for manufacturing industry
• Covacsis goes international in 2018
• More than 100 plants have been transformed into cutting edge IoT based intelligent factory without any disruption in the life of factory

What gave birth to Intelligent Plant Framework (IPF)? Also, tell us about your partnership with Microsoft to bring out IPF?
Covacsis product team have 25 years of vision strategy and its entire business model and product strategy is aligned accordingly. World is getting intelligent everyday and so are machines and processes. Mostly, these intelligence is modelled in software and used as a tool to make it scalable. Manufacturing is no exception. Intelligent manufacturing is the reality of tomorrow. Therefore, Intelligent Plant Framework was the natural direction for Covacsis.

Partnership with manufacturing was in the space of cloud as infrastructure. Covacsis helped Microsoft to position its cloud SaaS as a useful technology by a way of bundling it with Covacsis IPF.

How would you evaluate the benefits of IPF for the manufacturing industry?
A factory, which was making 100 units at its best, right now, makes 120 units with the help of Covacsis. EBIDTA of a matured operation gives an improvement margin of 1.5-2 per cent. Covacsis IPF brings in better measurement and decision science to manufacturing and it can be seen as a huge and instant impact:
• Making factory more productive
• Better operating cost
• Improving SOP adherence
• Improving transparency in supply chain
• Upgrading decision skill

According to your tweet, “Most essential element for the success of IoT is its ability to curate intelligence from the surface of machine”; can you please walk us through how a machine or device can be made ultra-intelligent?
Only bringing in the machine into the network has no value. Value of IoT is only determined when efficiency is improved by using data. Data, if right and processed better, leads to intelligence, which leads to better decision and improvement.

If we gather data from a non-computing and relatively dumb devices such as motors, pumps, machines and curate intelligence out of it, then we can make a huge impact on individuals and will be able to showcase the collective efficiencies of these devices. Thus, here you get to portray the intelligence of the manufacturing factories.

Lots of such intelligence can be used for predictive production management. Such intelligence can also be used for self-correction using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning algorithms for next generation manufacturing.

What challenges do you face when catering to the Indian market as compared to the global market? Is the Indian market as receptive as the global ones?
Indian market is different than the global market. It looks for lot of service components along with the product while showing highest degree of susceptibility against price. That makes it extremely challenging for any product company to satisfy both the market conditions.

European and American markets, on the other hand, is ROI driven and cost is never a detrimental factor for them. They look for product capability with multiple returns on investment.

This converging of physical and digital world; how do you view its future? What more can Covacsis Technologies contribute to Industry 4.0?
It’s not even a start of the new world. Manufacturing, 20 years from now, will be unimaginably different. Business models will be different. Technology and supply chain will be managed differently. A lot of autonomous technology with serious usages of AI will drive the supply chain. Many new technology companies will enter the manufacturing space to disrupt the space and redefine the value proposition.

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