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Indian manufacturing firms pin high hopes on big data, IIoT: EY

The key factors driving digital manufacturing in India include predictive maintenance, connected supply chain, reduced energy consumption, production optimization, lower price of sensors and high computing needs and connected customers

twitter-logoNidhi Singal | March 6, 2020 | Updated 17:47 IST
Indian manufacturing firms pin high hopes on big data, IIoT: EY
"Concepts such as Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory, which interconnect the shop-floor ecosystem through emerging technologies, are now a reality"

According to a recent survey conducted by EY, 66 per cent of manufacturing firms in India ranked big data and predictive analytics as the top investment priority in technology in the next one to two years. The study titled " Will the next transformation in manufacturing be led by digital?", highlight the level of adoption of digital manufacturing and India's preparedness level, the key driving factors, expectations on the benefits and existing challenges that manufacturers face in India.

The study also reveals that 63 per cent of the organizations ranked sensors and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as the second key priority, whereas  33 per cent ranked cloud/integrated platforms along with robotic process automation as the third key priority for investment for transforming their current manufacturing process. The report incorporates first-hand perspectives of major manufacturing firms in India on the recent technological advancements and their adoption, as part of a survey conducted by EY.

Ashish Nanda, EY India Supply Chain Leader said, "Concepts such as Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory, which interconnect the shop-floor ecosystem through emerging technologies, are now a reality. Digitization continues to transform manufacturing processes around the world leveraging technologies such as IIoT, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, etc. However, the adoption of digital technologies in India is still in its infancy, considering that manufacturers have started using these technological advancements recently and with limited scope. Going by the success stories though, it is perhaps essential for manufacturing organisations in India to first understand and then embark on this digital transformational journey to remain competitive and attain world-class status."

For the adoption of digital manufacturing in India, 60 per cent of respondents have a broad understanding of digital manufacturing, whereas only 23 per cent of manufacturing companies have a clear digital strategy. On the level of preparedness, 63 per cent organizations are somewhat prepared in terms of their hardware infrastructure with basic software. Only 9 per cent are ready to a large extent with intelligent infrastructure that connects different processes. And 20 per cent organizations are prepared to a good extent with appropriate hardware and software for data monitoring.

The key factors driving digital manufacturing in India include predictive maintenance, connected supply chain, reduced energy consumption, production optimization, lower price of sensors and high computing needs and connected customers.

Areas, where the manufacturers think that their company will benefit the most while adopting digital manufacturing, include overall monitoring and visualization of KPIs, tracking and tracing the product across the value chain, improving the quality reduce rejection and rework, optimization in the process using additional sensors, and preventive and predictive maintenance.

The key challenges and risks associated in adopting digital manufacturing are unclear economic benefits from digital investments, deficiency in people's skill on technology, analytics, cybersecurity, lack of understanding of the impact of digital manufacturing, insufficient technology infrastructure in terms of hardware and software, risks associated with data privacy and information security, and lack of a clear vision and leadership support.

"Survey findings denote that 17 per cent of organizations are yet to consider or evaluate the potential of digital manufacturing. While many companies have on-going proofs of concept, a full-fledged Smart Factory requires a clear-cut strategy and a well-defined roadmap to be successful in the marketplace," adds Ashish Nanda.

The survey includes inputs from 50 leaders of large manufacturing organizations, including the COOs, CTOs/CIOs, and chiefs of manufacturing, quality and operational excellence, in the pharmaceutical and healthcare, automotive, consumer goods, industrial manufacturing and chemical sectors.

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