Most of our manufactured products are Industry 4.0 compatible
What is driving the fourth industrial revolution?
With the advent of sensor revolution in recent years, it is possible to deploy a sensor for every conceivable measurement parameter. As a result, volumes of data have become available, whose analysis can benefit operational efficiency of industry and business. Advancements in communication technology, such as 5G, fibre optics and wireless protocols, have further made it possible to exchange data at very fast rate at all geographical locations. Reliable and improved connectivity has enabled data transfer rate up to 10 GBPS. It is essential for all industries to become competitive, for which they require to collect maximum data of their operations, to carry out detailed analysis, which can prompt and help the users to improve their operational efficiency. The combined effect of all the above is driving the Industry 4.0 revolution.
How is India preparing for Industry 4.0 and what sectors are likely to be impacted by the present trend?
India is preparing to implement Industry 4.0 concepts, by spreading and upgrading, internet and communication network. The government has formed the 5 G High Level Forum (5 G HLF), and the network will become operative within next two to three years. This forum will be responsible for allocation of spectrum and for formulating regulations.
Not only industrial sector, but all aspects of our lives will be impacted by the Industry 4.0 revolution. In addition to industries, agriculture, healthcare, education and marketing are some of the sectors that will be influenced by Industry 4.0 revolution.
Many industrial and business houses are realising the potential and benefits that will accrue by adopting the Industry 4.0 concepts.
What are the smarter strategies India should adopt for smart manufacturing?
India should concentrate on build up and spread of fast and reliable internet and communication network, which is essential for successful implementation of Industry 4.0. Conversion of data generated by sensors, into digital technology is equally vital. Adoption of wireless technology is also important, since it will help each sensor to communicate with several other devices. Besides, ‘machine to machine’ communication will provide opportunities to boost industrial production.
What strategies should Indian firms adopt to move towards Industry 4.0?
Indian industries should adopt long range planning to search for and implement new technologies. They should, initially, identify the areas where implementation of Industry 4.0 will yield immediate and maximum benefits. They should make use of latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), cyber security, data analytics, cloud data-base etc and train & skill their workforce in these technologies.
What are the benefits of Industry 4.0 and the challenges industry will face?
Industry 4.0 techniques provide an in-depth understanding and analysis of various operational and economic aspects of the industry/business. Armed with this knowledge they can improve and fine-tune their operations. In many applications, involving Industry 4.0 techniques, use of ‘cloud data storage’ is commonly shared by multiple users, hence, ensuring data security is a prime concern. Besides, processing of voluminous data, its analysis and presentation in intelligent formats is another challenge for Industry 4.0.
What is the future of Industry 4.0, Smart Manufacturing and Automation in the Indian scenario?
On account of its distinct advantages, proliferation of Industry 4.0 is inevitable. In future, one need not be present on the shop-floor to know about one’s industrial/business situation. One can get up-to-date information, in analysed form from any location and take immediate, pragmatic decisions, which will render competitive edge to the organisation. Smart manufacturing and automation are building blocks of Industry 4.0 concept and the need for their adoption will continue to increase. Availability of different types of low cost digital sensors and spread of communication network will further accelerate the process.
How is your company gearing up for Industry 4.0?
At Pune Techtrol, we have already adopted Industry 4.0 concepts. Most of the products manufactured by us have been made compatible with Industry 4.0, by providing them with digital interface. We have also created system hardware and software modules to transmit data relating to various parameters, over GSM/GPRS network in wireless fashion. We make use of ‘cloud data storage’ facility to store data. The data can be retrieved from the ‘cloud data storage’ and may be presented on a personal computer or on a mobile phone, in various formats such as alpha-numeric, bar-graph, trend, pie-chart, etc.
How can SMEs face the challenges of Industry 4.0 – any suggestions and advice?
Economic factors weigh heavily so far as SMEs are concerned. Sensors prices must come down. Similarly, hiring charges of ‘cloud data storage’ facility should reduce. Also, the data charges by mobile network agencies should be lesser to help proliferation of Industry 4.0 amongst SMEs.
Availability of man-power well-versed in the knowledge and use of new technologies is also an important issue. Industry and academic institutions will have to work together for this purpose.
What is the end goal according to you?
For every industry or business activity, quality, cost and timely delivery of their products or services is most important. Industry 4.0 concept has the potential to contribute to these factors by assimilating and making intelligent use of the huge amounts of data being generated by smart sensors. The inferences drawn from the data will have to be communicated quickly to the decision makers. ‘Machine to machine’ communication will facilitate use of robotics and AI in production processes, thereby reducing human intervention.
Improvement in productivity and services are expected to take place, which will result in overall improvement, in the quality of our lives.
Sudhakar R Badiger, B.E (E&C), has 24 years of experience in Sales & Marketing in Instrumentation & Automation Industry.