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Smart manufacturing made possible through digitalization

Smart manufacturing made possible through digitalization

We got in conversation with Mr Ankush Khanna, Director- Commercial Brand Marketing (South Asia Pacific), ExxonMobil, to discuss the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). Below are a few excerpts.

Ankush Khanna, Director- Commercial Brand Marketing (South Asia Pacific), ExxonMobil Ankush Khanna, Director- Commercial Brand Marketing (South Asia Pacific), ExxonMobil

Q1. How is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) enabling modern businesses to overcome challenges induced by the pandemic, especially in the manufacturing sector?

A: The entry into Industry 4.0 has long been in the pipeline and the pandemic has further accelerated change, forcing companies to make the digital transition. Given the unprecedented nature of current times, IIoT promises to help enterprises navigate through a series of crises: ensuring business continuity during Covid-19; returning to business with increased flexibility to help them thrive in the ‘new normal’; and lastly, improving and adapting businesses in a world changed by the pandemic. Enterprises will increase automation investments for future-proofing against pandemic and increasing resilience. According to the Vodafone 2020 IoT spotlight report, 84% of companies that had begun to adopt IoT tech found it positively impactful for their business during Covid-19.

Today's manufacturing industry aims to leverage the power of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data to achieve increased efficiency and productivity in supply chain and operations. Furthermore, an enterprise connected by IIoT enjoys several benefits in ensuring business continuity despite restrictions, allowing more flexible workflow management that is suited to the ‘new normal’ and encouraging innovation for better productivity and output. Simultaneously, it enhances security, reduces downtime, and significantly cuts maintenance costs.

Q2. Given the focus of the government on an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, how do you view the IIoT opportunity globally and in the country?

A: The global IoT market is expected to grow exponentially once the world enters a new post-Covid-19 business environment, with the release of pent-up demand and new technology investments to minimize impacts from future disruptions. The IIoT market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.7% to reach USD 263.4 billion by 2027 as per a World Economic Forum report, driven by applications such as industrial automation and predictive maintenance.

India too poses an incredible opportunity for the digitization of manufacturing industries and the rate of technology adoption has been enthusiastic across sectors. As per Deloitte’s recent survey, the Indian IoT market was expected to grow 7x to USD 9 billion by 2020 which is drawing attention from leading players of the IIoT world.

With the government’s ambitious “Smart Cities Mission” coming into the picture, IoT adoption could be seen happening across industries such as utilities, manufacturing, automotive and transportation & logistics. This is a great start to an automated and more reliable ecosystem that will help Indian enterprises to stay globally competitive and realize government’s vision of becoming ‘Aatmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) and a global manufacturing hub.

Q3. How is ExxonMobil enabling manufacturers to stay competitive in the rapidly evolving environment?

A: At Mobil™ Lubricants, we have pioneered the journey towards a digitally connected manufacturing world with a wide array of technical services under our Mobil ServSM Lubricant Analysis (MSLA) program to give businesses an operational advantage. MSLA aims to help the operations team optimize equipment maintenance programs and machine availability, and it also provides insights to enhance productivity and safety at the same time. Besides providing a complete line of hydraulic oils, compressor oils, gear, oil, and greases, Mobil also offers a range of technical services such as hydraulic inspection, energy efficiency study and IIoT insights, catering to industries such as plastic, auto-components, cement, steel, wind turbines, coal and gas turbines, among others.

Among these services, Mobil Serv IIoT Insights is a next-gen condition monitoring program that transforms oil maintenance with live information and actionable insights through IIoT technology. The ability of  Mobil Serv IIoT Insightsto convert raw production data into actionable insights and its AI/ML-powered functionality helps the manufacturing team receive customized alerts, optimize energy consumption, measure equipment effectiveness, and enable trend monitoring, among others. Therefore, Mobil Serv IIoT Insights is a much-needed asset to help manufacturers make swift decisions while enhancing their competitiveness and safeguarding business efficiency.

Q4. Can you share instances of how Mobil has helped customers achieve operational efficiency through digital data analytics?

A: As the pioneer of lubrication technology innovation, Mobil understands the power of data. The Mobil™ Solcare Service app is among the innovative offerings that use data science for machine shop monitoring. Through the app, one can receive real-time data, use digital signatures for validation and achieve efficiency with in-app feedback and performance ratings. This can help increase business efficiency through in-depth analytics, enhanced record-keeping, and increased accountability by providing tailor-made recommendations.

Two industrial manufacturers in South India: Unicast Autotech Pvt. Ltd. and Microtech CNC Pvt. Ltd., were able to recently achieve better machine performance with the use of Mobil’s lubricants and digital services. With the use of Mobilcut™ 250, Unicast Autotech was able to cut costs significantly as well as lower cost per component by 8% while achieving improved surface finish. Microtech CNC also gained significant savings while lowering cost per component by an impressive 20%. Along with recommending the product, Mobil’s association with Microtech CNC and Unicast Autotech extended to service delivery and upkeep. Mobil’s dedicated Solcare interface assisted in regular coolant monitoring along with digital data analytics and sharing through the app.