Brand Report

“Technological disruption is an opportunity and not a threat.”


Indian manufacturers are at the brink of a technological transformation that is changing the way we work and communicate with each other. While manufacturing landscape is evolving rapidly, it is important for SMEs to learn and understand how global players are driving innovation, creating efficiencies and capturing value to thrive in a connected ecosystem. In this context, the Ethernet POWERLINK Standardisation Group organised the 4th edition of the ‘Smart Industry Conference’, which was partnered by ABB India, Unlimit IoT- A Reliance group company, HyperThings and B&R Industrial Automation.

The conference provided a deeper insight on various aspects such as digitisation in manufacturing, robotics, connectivity, technological trends and business-model transformation. It also addressed software aspects in connection with smart systems providing delegates with a thorough understanding of this pertinent subject. In addition, it also tried to answers questions such as what could be the easy and low risk path helping manufacturers adopt and harness technological change and tackling implementation challenges effectively.

The conferences offered a mix of keynote address, technical presentations, panel discussions and demos, which looked at the different areas of building smart machines and factories. During the keynote presentation, Neeraj Singh, Director – Management Consulting, KPMG Advisory Services Private Limited said, “Technological disruption is an opportunity and not a threat. Digital transformation promises a remarkable change in the way manufacturers operate, with far-reaching effects on business and industry models.” He highlighted five key success factors for early adopters; start with performance, not with data or technology; strive to optimise performance; there is no need of perfect data to get started; Focus on RoI and paybacks and collaboration for success.

This was followed by the presentations from, Alok Maheshwari, R&D Manager, BU Machine & Factory Automation, ABB India on ‘Factory of the Future and the robotic automation’ and Sameer Kudalkar, PFA Sales – Mumbai region, B&R Industrial Automation on ‘Role of Edge architecture enabling ‘Smart Factories’.

Highlight of the conference was a panel discussion on, ‘Building smart machines and factories: concept to implementation.’ The panelists of the discussion were Venkatakrishnan K Technology and Digital Lead, ABB India ; Neeraj Singh Director – Management Consulting, KPMG and Ninad Deshpande Head – Marketing, B&R Industrial Automation. The discussion was moderated by Pooja Patil, Corporate Communication, B&R Industrial Automation. The discussion was themed around underlining the challenges faced by manufacturers while building smart machines and smart factories and, thereafter, designing a roadmap to achieve successful implementation. Detailing challenges, speakers’ stressed on the importance of changing mind-set of organisations while embracing transformation. The manufacturing sector is going through a makeover and the industry, as a whole, needs to think of the next steps in order to embark on their digital transformation journey. It also tried to urge manufacturers to identify the challenges, which they face in their machines and factories and then base the next generation solutions around these challenges rather than implementing technologies just for the sake of implementing.

This highly engaging panel discussion, which also involved audience who asked questions based on their experiences and observations, was followed by presentation on the topic, ‘Role of Digital Transformation Roadmap for Manufacturing Enterprises’ by Narendra Saini, Head – Product Management, Unlimit; Open connectivity standards for Industrial IoT by Ninad Deshpande, Head – Marketing, B&R Industrial Automation.
The audience understood the importance of open source communications for machine-to-machines and machine-to-cloud connectivity. They were convinced that all automation vendors should offer open communication in their devices, which will help them become vendor independent and achieve a vertical and horizontal connectivity. This was further emphasised by the presentation by EIMS India on “Open technologies for successful ERP to shop floor integration: A user perspective” by Kamalnath M, VP solution management. EIMS have successfully integrated POWERLINK into their solutions for all real time deterministic shop floor communication and OPC UA for a controller to IT and cloud communication. These open source technologies have helped them achieve a seamless connectivity from sensors to the ERP.

With around 100 delegates from different industries, the conference provided the know-how for building smart machines and factories, which spanned across various horizons of industrial automation, robotics, open connective and cloud. This 4th edition of Smart Industry Conference provided the delegates with not only advanced automation concepts but also successful implementations of these next generation technologies by Indian manufacturers. It helped delegates to chalk out a roadmap for their own implementation and making their installation smart and ready for Industry 4.0.

“Technological disruption is an opportunity and not a threat.”
Neeraj Singh, Director, Management Consulting, KPMG Advisory Services at 4th edition of the ‘Smart Industry Conference

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