Make in India: Placing ‘Industry 4.0’ in Context

With an increasingly globalised manufacturing environment, it is expected that Industry 4.0 must form a key part of the intellectual debate driving the “Make in India” initiative
 The Indian manufacturing landscape contributes around 16 per cent of India’s GDP each year and less than 2 per cent of the overall global manufacturing output. Furthermore, this sector employs around 58-60 million people which is just about 12 per cent of the overall working populace. With nearly 250 million people set to enter the workforce in the next 15 years, the Indian manufacturing scene is expected to undergo a massive revamp in terms of investment, infrastructure, and technology. Taking stock of the issue at hand, the Indian Government embarked on a strategic initiative to resurrect the declining manufacturing industry in the country.
Under the new “Make in India” initiative, the government has laid out new policy initiatives that aspire to expand the economy’s manufacturing footprint comprehensively. This includes focus on an extensive list of discrete industries for growth in the coming years. Some of the strategic goals of this new program include enhancing job opportunities, minimising imports, expanding exports and last, but not the least, creating a conducive environment for technological evolution.
However, Frost & Sullivan study reveals, if companies and value-chain participants appreciate the benefits of ‘Industry 4.0’ and adapt to the changes, then radical transformations in the competitive landscape can be expected. Industry 4.0 is a platform that enables the unification of information amongst participants in the entire value chain – from product inception to design, manufacturing, services, and even refurbishment.
Suppliers would have to reinvent their processes and other capabilities in order to sustain in the rapidly evolving market. There will be new and unorthodox companies with radically new business models making a foray into the industrial space.
This revolution would transform the manufacturing processes in sync with the speed of change in customer needs – which implies, making the production process flexible without taking excess time. The four functional pillars or the enablers of Industry 4.0 will be Big Data, Internet of Things, Internet of Services, and Integrated Industries which will converge into three main aspects, namely, Technology, Collaboration, and Processes. These three subsets effectively bring about various aspects of Industry 4.0, providing a basic framework to map suppliers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and production houses across these disparate functional facets.
Traditional industry boundaries are rapidly blurring owing to the nature of applications that may sprout up during the course of Industry 4.0. In such a cy­ber-physical world, the traditional suppliers may lose prominence and eventually move down as tier 2 companies. Unexpectedly, sensor manufacturers, ICT players, and even banking and financial institutions are poised to make their presence felt in the age of Industry 4.0. However, shrewd and tactical collaborations may allow the traditional industrial players to sustain and possibly offer cradle-to-grave solutions. This will be a utopian view with product offerings becoming a vital part of a larger eco system.
Muthukumar Viswanathan, Practice Director – Industrial Automation & Process Control and Measurement & Instrumentation, Frost & Sullivan notes, “Industry 4.0 is unique as for the first time in contemporary industrial history we have pre-conceived an industrial revolution. While it is interesting to note that the tenure of each revolution has been diminishing, it is more important for us to acknowledge the fact that the fourth version is likely to unravel much faster when compared to the previous ones.”

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