Smart Manufacturing: The Indian Perspective & Imperatives…

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Work Group on Smart Manufacturing under Panel on “Smart Infrastructure” in BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards, the Indian National SDO)

The ‘Smart Infrastructure’ Panel was constituted in April 2015 to cover the Areas of – Smart Cities (ICT Aspects), Smart Energy, Smart Manufacturing and Active Assisted Living under the Convenor-ship of N. Kishor Narang a design engineer with four decades of experience in designing the latest technological solutions.

The panel comprises of a comprehensive mix of domain experts from government, industry, academia, research, design, management & consulting in the relevant fields. Panel has held 6 meetings and tracked & reviewed most of the relevant standardization activities in the Global SDOs, Industry Consortia and other Fora. The panel members also reviewed the needs of Indian Stakeholders in the respective domains and identified the Gap Areas in the Standards to meet the Indian Requirements comprehensively and most efficiently. To address the extensive work multiple Work Groups, Study Groups and Task Groups have been formed to focus on respective areas and share their learning with other members of the panel. Currently, a Task Group has been constituted to prepare a Pre-Standardization Report to provide comprehensive “Actionable Insights for Smart Manufacturing in India” to develop the required Roadmap supported by Policies, Regulations and Standards for the smart manufacturing paradigm.

The Task Group on “Smart Manufacturing” has been constituted to conduct in-depth study & analysis to recommend an India appropriate comprehensive strategy and approach for Smart Manufacturing, which shall enable optimization of the smart ICT infrastructure being deployed in the Manufacturing Ecosystem and help bring down the CAPEX and OPEX in deployment of the Smart Technologies in the Manufacturing. This shall be achieved by proposing a comprehensive strategy to address India Specific problems, challenges and imperatives along with a Standardized Framework for improving the operational & financial efficiency of manufacturing activities. The work flow & plan of the Task Group was decided as:

  1. Review the current market trends and technology trends in context of the Smart Manufacturing Paradigm globally.
  2. Undertake a comprehensive enumeration of the challenges & requirements to address the current imperatives of the Indian Manufacturing Ecosystem.
  3. Provide specific Actionable Insights to enable the Indian Manufacturing to evolve into a globally competitive Manufacturing Destination.
  4. Review ALL the candidate Reference Frameworks, Architectures, ICT Technologies and Standards developed either by Global, Regional, National SDOs or any Industry consortia or fora.
  5. Recommend the India appropriate Reference Frameworks & Architectures and relevant Technologies & Standards for the Manufacturing Ecosystem of the Nation…

The review of the trends and initiatives contextualized with the ground realities in the nation has given the following initial insights:

  • Though globally Smart Manufacturing is being seen as leveraging ICT & automation to improve the overall efficiency in manufacturing ecosystem, which may be sufficient for the developed nations, however, India’s imperatives are much diverse and complex than simply this.
  • India is at the cusp of major economic revolution. India is ranked second behind China in manufacturing competitiveness and has already started narrowing the gap over last few years. “India’s rich talent pool of scientists, researchers and engineers as well as its large, well-educated English-speaking workforce and democratic government regime make it an attractive destination for manufacturers”.
  • Research and development capabilities paired with engineering, software and technology integration abilities are essential ingredients for manufacturing enterprises. India is today viewed as a country with the capability to design, develop and manufacture innovative products for sale in local as well as global markets.
  • These factors explain, in part, India’s rise from a low-cost, back office location to a country that is well positioned to be an active participant in the entire value chain, and is now being viewed as an integral part of the global manufacturing enterprise and location strategy of most of conglomerates with global footprints.
  • The recent Initiatives of the Government like Make In India, Skill India, Startup India, Smart Cities supported by enabling Policies & Regulations have truly energized the citizens, the corporates and global organizations to look at India as most conducive destination for setting up business and manufacturing. India being a big consumption market is an additional Bonus.
  • To make our industries a significant contributor to the manufacturing competitiveness, we need to build up a comprehensive indigenous ecosystem to cater to local as well as global needs. For this, we need to build a sustainable development mechanism and true technical competence in our engineers, design houses and EMS companies so that they meet the ever growing and changing needs and expectations of the global society.

To make it happen, following are the challenges, which need to be addressed: –

How can Industry adapt and create value? Do we have the skilled resources to make it? Is the present system conducive for evolution? Is there a coordinated approach to address this?

Attempts have been made to analyze the situation in India and to get a snapshot of the current scenario regarding adoption of Smart Manufacturing in India. A caution must be sounded here that the scenario is mixed, as the manufacturing landscape in the country is a mix of very sophisticated large manufacturing units, as well as basic “tool room” type units of the SME segment – which constitutes a significant component of the manufacturing segment in the country.

Primary Drivers Fuelling adoption of Smart Manufacturing process in India:

  • Integration of Manufacturing Process with other systems like ERP/CRM – 17.7%
  • Reduction of Wastage/Rejections – 17.4%
  • Better utilization of manufacturing assets /better uptime – 16.7%
  • Integration of Supplies into manufacturing process – 14.9%
  • Integration of all shop floor assets into single network – 14.5%
  • Efficiency improvement in IT driven manufacturing process – 14.2%
  • Others – 4.6%

As we can see, almost all the major drivers are related to integration of information flows between systems and enhancing the ability to integrate real-time information into a Decision Support System for manufacturing – thereby driving efficiency improvements.

Leading inhibitors for adoption of Smart Manufacturing in India:

  • Low people & process maturity – 21.7%
  • Lack of technology standards -18%
  • Budgetary constraints – 16.4%
  • Difficulties in tool/process integration – 10.7%
  • Lack of IT resources & fear of missed upgrades – 11.5%
  • Risks / Lack of top management support / no precedent – 17.6%
  • Security Concerns – 4.1%

Potential components for Smart Manufacturing initiatives in India:

  • Interconnected machines, assets etc. – 21.9%
  • Mobile devices – 16.1%
  • Analytics S/W – 15.3%
  • Cloud computing (including migration) – 12.4%
  • Big Data S/W – 10.9%
  • On premises IoT Servers – 8%

As we can see, these are “baby steps” being taken – to get different plant assets to start “talking” to each other. They are leveraging off existing assets (note the reference to cloud computing, big data and mobile device integration) – which points to Step Zero as the integration of existing (legacy) assets into the unified information network, so as to enable seamless flow of data. Note also the concerns with security and interoperability being voiced in the previous table.

Business case – There is a consensus within the manufacturing community and among stakeholders that improved communication, coordination and collaboration would enable better use and leverage of the resources being deployed to achieve common desired goals of more efficient, agile and sustainable global manufacturing systems.

Industry Requirements – Industry seeks to operate safe, secure, sustainable, energy efficient, environmentally conscious manufacturing operations that produce competitive quality product in their target markets. There are published regulations in many geographic markets for many of these system attributes and International Standards available for all of them.

In order for the manufacturing operations to meet the regulations and standards required, all functional elements of the total system need to integrate and interoperate together to achieve a desired system goal derived from the manufacturing business policies and their implementation strategies:

Safety & Security, Sustainability, Energy Efficiency, Environment protection, Materials, Green House Gas, Carbon Foot Print, Waste/ Recycle, Health & Safety…

Conclusion – The Smart Manufacturing imperatives in India are beyond the global imperatives; hence India is looking at Smart Manufacturing as an inclusive strategy (beyond simply leveraging the ICT) to empower the Indian Manufacturing Ecosystem to catapult Indian Economy on a comprehensive growth trajectory…

The standardization initiatives in this domain shall strive to look at enabling Indian companies to leverage the power of ICT technology to improve profitability and achieve sustainable growth. The goal is not to blindly follow western models, which focus exclusively on automation to achieve these goals, but to evolve “India-appropriate” models, which address the unique challenges of the Indian environment. India cannot afford to consider Smart Manufacturing as a separate domain, rather as a homogenous sub-domain in the comprehensive & complex domain of Smart Infrastructure.

Hence, India is looking at a homogenous & harmonized set of Standards, Architectures and Frameworks amongst all individual domains like Smart Homes, Smart Buildings, Smart Grids, Smart Manufacturing, Smart Cities being the complementing components of the uber complex paradigm of Smart Infrastructure.

It is envisaged that common, unified and harmonized Standards shall bring the cost of all products, systems and solutions with multi-domain applications down comprehensively, avoid the market fragmentation & segmentation, and multiply the volume of manufacturing of the respective products and systems hence boosting the Manufacturing Ecosystem…

Interested in being part of the Indian Standardization Journey in Smart Manufacturing and/or Smart Infrastructure??? Connect with me ASAP…