Is India ready for Industry 4.0 ?

Industrialisation started with steam and the first machines that mechanised some of the work that our people did. Subsequently we had electricity, the assembly lines and the birth of mass production and then the third era of industry came in with the advent of computers and the beginning of automation when robots and machines began replacing workforce on those assembly lines.  

Now we are expected to enter a new world of Industry 4.0, in which computers and automation will come together in an altogether a new way, with robotics connected remotely to computer systems equipped with machine learning algorithms that can control the robotics with minimum human support. During the past decades industry 3.0 make a huge leap forward. During this period the civilization changes and revolution comes in computerisation and automation  but now we talks about industry 4.0 where people considering it as a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning and IOT and put together to ultimately make machines capable of making decisions with minimal human intervention. Industry 4.0 is the subset of the fourth industrial revolution. Although the terms “industry 4.0” and “fourth industrial revolution” are often used interchangeably, “industry 4.0” refers to the concept of factories in which machines are augmented with wireless connectivity and sensors, connected to a system that can visualise the entire production line and make decisions on its own. But here the big question arises Is India ready for industry 4.0 ? According to International Yearbook of Industrial Statistics 2016- published by UNIDO with its ranking going up by three places, India has now been ranked sixth among the world’s 10 largest manufacturing countries.  Idea is to encourage multi-national, as well as national companies to manufacture their products in India. With a plethora of crippling regulations and under-developed infrastructure, the Government is focusing more on enabling policies and improving infrastructure for certain key sectors. 

According to IBEF, the Government of India has set an ambitious target of increasing the contribution of manufacturing output to 25 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025, from 16 percent currently. IoT, being one of the most important aspects of Industry 4.0 for India, is expected to capture close to 20 percent share in global IoT market
in the next five years. According to IBEF forecast, the IoT market in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of more than 28 percent during 2015-2020.  Government of India has taken initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ . 

Major Indian states are taking initiatives to adapt to Industry 4.0 like  Andhra Pradesh has taken an initiative to capitalise on the IoT potential in the country. The state government has approved the first-of-its-kind IoT policy with an aim to turn the state into an IoT hub by 2020 and tap close to 10 per cent market share in the country.  The Indian government has created Green Energy Corridors to bring in more renewable energies, to make smart grids that will support the variable input of renewable energies and create storage. India has committed over 1 billion dollar  in this initiative and has started projects in many states, such as Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Himachal Pradesh. 

India’s first smart factory, moving from automation to autonomy, where machines speak with each other, is being set up in Bengaluru. It is making progress at the Indian Institute of Science’s (IISc) Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing (CPDM) with an investment from The Boeing Company. A smart factory, armed with data exchange in manufacturing and the Internet of Things (IoT) is the future and experts are calling it revolution Industry 4.0. Reports peg the smart factory industry to touch US$ 215 billion  by 2025 and all major economies are likely to accept it. 

Various Indian companies are increasing their focus and partnering with other companies for developing new IoT and M2M solutions, the Digital India initiative from the Government of India is expected to enhance the focus on IoT in tackling the domestic challenges.

Several enterprises taking this responsibility seriously and understand the importance of upcoming tech trends as some few of the example of enterprises are Bajaj Auto was one of the first automotive enterprises to initiate automation in the industry. It commenced the process of automation in 2010, today it uses 100-120 Collaborative Robots in its production facilities. Maruti Suzuki manages 7 process shops and 5 assembly lines by around 1,700 robots. Ford has managed to operate the assembly lines and body shop of its Sanand Plant by 437 robots. Hyundai has also taken steps to minimise its labour cost by utilising over 400 robots in Sriperumbudur Plant. The production lines of Tata Nano consist of over 100 robots in the Sanand Plant of Tata Motors. Other enterprises such as Renault are doing some rather interesting work in the field of automation of business process to prevent the accidents. [Source :- Internet] 

As a result, companies are warming up to the idea of connected machines. While Industry 3.0 simply was about the automation of isolated machines, Industry 4.0 concentrates on the end-to-end digitisation of all physical assets and their integration into digital ecosystems with value chain partners”. Essentially, the new paradigm is about the integration is evidenced by 2016 Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum, held at Davos where “Fourth Industrial Revolution” was the key topic. 

Challenges

India’s competitive landscape is continuously changing. Countries are constantly being challenged on technical capabilities Specifically, India faces competition from China and Europe and there is a risk of her being crowded out by the increasing technical capabilities of these regions as they are focusing on medium- value segment where India has always been prominently operating. 

For more than 20 years now, India and China have been competing for the major share of global manufacturing. India’s manufacturing contribution to GDP still is a mere 16% compared to 36% for China. There is, however, an opportunity to turn the tide in India’s favour as China’s shrinking labour arbitrage and strengthening Yuan against the US Dollar has encouraged investors to look towards more cost-effective destinations like Vietnam, Indonesia and India. India’s advantage is its ample supply of skilled technical labour and low cost of manufacturing. Already Havells, Godrej, Bosch and other large manufacturers have shifted units to India. 

India’s Strength over others 

  1. Presence of large pool of skilled and semi skilled people with a strong educational system.
  2. Favourable government policies like lower excise duties, automotive mission plans, the constitution of NEMMP (National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020), FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid land Electric Vehicle) are advantageous for the  sector .
  3. India ranks third in terms of preferred investment destination. (Just after China and the United States) India has emerged as one of the most attractive destination not only for investment but also for doing business in the recent years. 
  4. Lower cost of production due to lower labour rates
  5. Existing Natural resources 
  6. English as one of the major business languages
  7. India’s location, close to markets of South East Asia, Middle East and also Europe.

Well here I just mentioned  few and most appropriate advantages but there are more than this like Improving Infrastructure, Robust Financial Sector & Large Workforce etc.

Conclusion

It is obvious that Indian enterprises have to understand the importance of industry 4.0 sooner rather than later and on behalf of doing great work by our government since 2014 and may continuously progress in this way than  we can say that “yes that India is ready for adapting industry 4.0 ecosystem”

Manshu Sharma

http://openinnovationslab.com/blog/?author=3

To pursue a life-long career in a computer science field that sharp my current skills and increase my strength in the Information Technology industry and to create creative products for fun and easy use.

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