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DIGITALISATION Digital disruption in manufacturing

Feb 5, 2019

When an organisation is innovative, what makes it successful in the industry is the right R&D technique and imbibing an environment of innovation. Besides, industrial manufacturers are also catching up with their counterparts and finding their way into a digital world. In this context, CII Western Region recently organised the 6th edition of the CII West Tech Summit 2018 and the 3rd edition of the CII Smart Manufacturing Conclave, A post-event report…

The world is stepping into a digital driven economy, with efforts in the direction of digitalisation and globalisation, preserving an environment that is unified by digital platforms, supported by a continuous flow of ideas. Also, it’s no news that innovation and Research and Development (R&D) have a dynamic role in augmenting India’s manufacturing proficiency and honing its competitiveness. The 6th edition of the CII West Tech Summit 2018 and the 3rd edition of the CII Smart Manufacturing Conclave, recently organised by CII Western Region, discussed several aspects of innovation, R&D and digitalisation in the manufacturing industry.

The 6th edition of the CII West Tech Summit 2018 explored how digitalisation is changing the manufacturing industry, including the shift to product as a service and challenges encountered on the digitalisation journey, the growth of the industry through R&D and innovation, and the growing circle of start-ups.

The summit kicked off with the welcome remarks by Viren Joshi, Chairman, CII Pune Zonal Council & CEO and President, Sigma Electric Manufacturing Corporation, who welcomed everyone and mentioned that the major factors affecting the growth of India are innovation and R&D, people skilling and Zero Effect zero defect approach. This was followed by a summit perspective by Parag Satpute, Chairman, CII West Tech Summit 2018 & Managing Director, Bridgestone India, where he moderated the entire session and also shed light on the perspective of the conference. Afterwards, Sanjiv Bajaj, Deputy Chairman, CII Western Region & Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv gave a special address. He remarked, “Culture of organisations should be more open and welcoming to new ideas and innovation. Every small improvement causes a big difference.” Giving an example of companies like Uber, Airbnb, etc he emphasised on how innovative inputs instead of traditional approach can lead to success. He also gave an example of how there was a substantial decline in the use of horses during the 20th century after the advent of Ford’s first car explaining the significance of disruptive innovation.

Later, there was another special address by Piruz Khambatta, Chairman, CII Western Region & Chairman and Managing Director, Rasna, where he stressed on how sustainability is taking centre-stage for the industry worldwide. Besides, he gave a brief overview of the CII initiatives taken towards the goal of nation building under the theme of ARISE, which stands for Accountability, Reforms of Policy, Innovation, Sustainability and Employment opportunities. Also, Dr Abhay Jere, Chief Innovation Officer, Innovation Cell, Ministry of HRD, Government of India, gave his views on making students employable. He said, “Students are keen on doing good projects but don’t know where to go. It is important to bring them to a single platform and make them employable. We need to create more job creators and not job seekers.” He further expressed his sentiments on how students can be very helpful with their innovative ideas in finding solutions for the problems prevailing under various ministries. He shared how this initiative was transformed into a Hackathon where the problem statements were collected, and students were open to participate in giving their ideas for resolving these issues. “India was the only country to carry out such an activity at a national level, called the Smart India Hackathon initiative by the Government of India, in which 26 ministries shared their respective problems and got very yielding solutions from the students. We intend to make sure that innovation becomes the fulcrum of our education system as most of our problems can be solved via innovative ideas from the talent of the youth,” he added.

Next, Dr Naushad Forbes, Past President CII & Co-Chairman, Forbes Marshall, gave the keynote address, who further explained that we need to invest money in higher education and let it use it for its own public research. He elaborated, “The objective of public research is not to seek whole new technologies, but getting better educated individuals and talent, which is a lot more valuable to society. 0.3% of GDP comprises of the total share of investment by Indian firms in innovation against a world average of 1.5%. International delegations by CII to countries like Myanmar, Indonesia, etc. helped in deriving that these are emerging markets and are keen to collaborate with Indian firms for symbiotic progress.”

In the inaugural address, Subhash Desai, Honourable Minister of Industries & Mining, Government of Maharashtra, explained. “The manufacturing industry and innovation is changing every day and to a great extent. However, I believe that there is a lot to be done when it comes to establishing the industry-academia linkage. The two sectors need to work more closely.” He also highlighted that the government is coming up with a new industrial policy that focuses on research and development. He added, “We are in the process of introducing some intensives to support and encourage R&D. In fact, the Government of Maharashtra is working actively to broaden the digital platform for the industry. Also, almost all Government services are now online. Plus, the Maharashtra State Innovation Society has been introduced, in collaboration with the Government of India.”

Service is an active process

Besides, a CXO session on the topic, ‘Strategic Imperatives of ‘Product as a service’ and Technovation’ was held, where the discussion was moderated by Parag Satpute, Chairman, CII West Tech Summit 2018 & Managing Director, Bridgestone India. The panelists were Dr R R Sonde, Executive Vice President – Research Technology & Innovation, Thermax; Sanjeev Fadnavis, President, Nitor InfoTech; Dr Soumitra Dutta, Professor of Operations, Technology and Information Management - Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University; Suhas Baxi, Managing Director - South Asia, Konecranes; and Dr Ravindra Kulkarni, Managing Director, Elkay Chemicals.

Sharing his views, Dr Sonde said, “Customer expectations have changed dramatically. As technological changes are galloping, business fundamentals are also changing. If I know my system well, I can give the customer a much richer experience. Because of AI, the way I have examined my system, etc. my level of technological update has changed my understanding of the whole equipment. While the fundamentals remain the same, what changes is the manifestation.” Talking about the factory of the future, Baxi elucidated, “Most of the equipment that are there right now will have to work with interconnectivity and flexibility, which will become a design for the future factory. So this is a change which is being brought in by digitalisation and becomes another factor of R&D that makes it extremely important.”

Sharing his views, Dr Sonde said, “Customer expectations have changed dramatically. As technological changes are galloping, business fundamentals are also changing. If I know my system well, I can give the customer a much richer experience. Because of AI, the way I have examined my system, etc. my level of technological update has changed my understanding of the whole equipment. While the fundamentals remain the same, what changes is the manifestation.” Talking about the factory of the future, Baxi elucidated, “Most of the equipment that are there right now will have to work with interconnectivity and flexibility, which will become a design for the future factory. So this is a change which is being brought in by digitalisation and becomes another factor of R&D that makes it extremely important.”

Further adding his thoughts on data, Fadnavis cited, “A lot change in business models is data driven. Knowing if one has a predictive monetising model depends a lot on the data.” Speaking about the chemical industry, Kulkarni went on to say that there is a trend of speciality chemicals trying to take on a bigger role and that they are becoming more of domain experts and connect to the end industry.

Furthermore, talking about the idea of product to service, Dr Dutta said, “The notion of product to service has been there from before; what has changed is the relative value of customers and its impact on the company. Service is an active process, not passive. The company needs to have the capability to interact with its customers, the experience that they are going to provide and the whole way how they are going to transform the customers’ lives.”

Basics will never change

Soon after this, another panel discussion was held on the topic, ‘Technovation driving the digital future’. The discussion was moderated by Shaffic Ahamed, Convenor, CII Pune Panel on IT & VP and Country Manager - IT, Sandvik Asia. The panelists were Nilesh Sahasrabudhe, Co-convenor, CII Pune Panel on IT and Country Manager, Tieto India; Dr R Venkateswaran, Senior Vice President - IoT Solutions, Persistent Systems; Manoj Pandey, Vice President - Customer Success, UiPath India; and Prashant Kirpekar, General Manager - Sales, Johnson Controls (India).

Speaking on skill-sets, Kirpekar informed that the basics will never change. “Once the basics are firm, one can move forward. We have a lot of skill-sets in India and we adapt fast. Everyone has to change according to the ecosystem,” he said. Plus, stressing on two aspects, Pandey said, “The first aspect is that technology has helped us jumpstart and we have to see how to utilise it. The second aspect is Robotic Process Automation (RPA), where RPA enables anyone to configure software so that they can emulate a human action as we interact with a digital system. So, a digital workforce is being created here, who can do a task once requested.” Sahasrabudhe went on to say that IoT and robotics is not new, but the way it has been reaching out to the masses is a game changer and that is where the new business models are coming in. Venkateswaran also added that speed is what will decide a company’s survival in changing technologies today.

The world of start-ups

The summit further delved into a session ‘M-Tech - An exclusive technology start-up’, an opportunity for start-ups to showcase their products and services to corporates, which included Ashank Desai, Chairman - CII WR Sub Committee on Start-ups and Entrepreneurship & Founder, Mastek; Pratima Kirloskar, Chairperson – CII WR Sub-committee on FBN & President Innovation Society, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd; Viren Joshi, Chairman, CII Pune Zonal Council and CEO & President, Sigma Electric Manufacturing Corporation; Indraneel Chitale, Partner, Chitale Group; and Harshvardhan Gune, Head Strategic Product Division for Railways and Defence, Worldwide Oilfield.

The start-ups showcased were ClairViz System, Sattvarise Technologies, Diacto Technologies, DigiShala, ConstroBazaar, and One Green Diary. Ranjeev Singh, Head Product & Technology, ClairViz System, spoke of the company’s core objectives, such as, digital manifestation of best practices for increased competitive advantage and real time actionable intelligence for real time decisions and consistent quality. This was followed by Devdatta Puntambekar, Founder & CEO, Sattvarise Technologies who highlighted the various challenges in the manufacturing sector like, product design feasibility & ergonomics. Up next, Om Prakash Maurya, CEO, Diacto, who spoke on doing a 360-degree view of the end-product. Afterwards, Uday Shankar Das, Director, DigiShala spoke about its content, which is in the form of a book, which was followed by Amit Sharma, Marketing Manager, Constro Bazaar, talking about being an online purchase manager for all the needs of construction materials. The last presentation was by Yogesh Wagh, Founder, One Green Diary, where he threw light upon Rise POS by One Green Diary, where a cloud-based solution offers small merchants to manage sales, inventory and customers even from their smartphone.

Digital disruption in manufacturing

The emergence of newer technology has highlighted the need for secure, cost efficient and trustworthy technology within the Indian industrial sector. In this context, the 3rd edition of the CII Smart Manufacturing Conclave, which was organised on subsequent day of the Tech Summit; highlighted the role of technology in Indian enterprises. Through its various sessions and panels, the conclave conferred upon topics such as, digitisation of data in enterprises, benefits as well as interferences of technological ventures with routine operations, and investing wisely in futuristic technologies to increase production and make profits.

The conclave began with an inaugural session conducted on the topic of Digital Disruption in Manufacturing. A warm welcome was extended by Shaffic Ahamed, Chairman, CII Smart Manufacturing Conclave 2018 & Convenor, CII Pune Panel on IT & VP and Country Manager-IT, Sandvik Asia with his welcome remarks to all the esteemed panellists and guests present. This was followed by a special address by Viren Joshi, Chairman, CII Pune Zonal Council & CEO and President, Sigma Electrical Manufacturing Corporation.

A distinctive address to the zealous audience was then delivered by Erwin Steinhauser, Managing Director, Sandvik Asia followed by a final remarkable address by Shishir Joshipura, Past Chairman, CII Pune Zonal Council & Managing Director, Praj Industries. The concluding remarks were presented by Nilesh Sahasrabudhe, Co-convenor, CII Pune Panel on IT & Country Manager, Tieto India.

Opportunities to capitalise on data

The first panellist session of the day was the CXO Session on the topic of Data Monetisation— Opportunities to Capitalise on Data. This session held a discussion regarding the quantification of the impacts of daily production on financial performance with visibility to the machine level, the opportunities for the introduction of integrated solution or value-added services for an enhanced customer experience, and the usage of advanced analytics by process-based industries to increase yields and reduce costs.

The panel discussion was moderated by Viren Joshi and the panellists of the session were Atul Narkhede, CEO, GS Lab; Kranthi Tata, Executive Director—Manufacturing and Supply Chain, General Electric and Pratap Patjoshi, Chief Information Officer, Mercedes Benz India. Elaborating on the advantages in the use of analytics in industries, Narkhede cited, “With data from operating machines, you can analyse which parts or resources of your enterprise is underutilised. This type of analysis can only come from this type of fine-grained data.” The discussion was followed by questions from the audience, which the panellists enlightened upon eagerly.

Embracing the digital mindset

The second session of the day deliberated on the topic of opening up to digitisation and was aptly titled, “Embrace Digital: More about Mindset than Technology”. This session also included a panel discussion on the key points of creating a culture where learning (data-based decision making) and empowerment (employee up-skilling and ecosystem development) are the hallmarks. It also focused on the changes required in the management process in an organisation, i.e. legacy view of operational data in silos in integrated view of continuously generated data.

The session was moderated by Nilesh Sahasrabudhe and the panellists for the session were Shridhar Shukla, MD, kPoint Technologies; Abhay Pendse, Vice President and Head—Shindewadi Works, Godrej & Boyce Mfg; and Satish Kumar, Quality Head, Adient India. Speaking on the application of technology in companies to help people garner interest in learning, Sahasrabudhe elucidated, “When it comes to technology, it is a concept of gamification, which ensures that it is fun for users to learn the technology. Thus, technology can be used to motivate people to learn.” Following another amazing round of the panellists answering doubts and questions of the audience, the session was concluded.

Digitally connected enterprises

The final session of the conclave highlighted the topic of “Exploring the world of digitally connected enterprises”. The session revolved around the subject of factors, which would impact businesses in the upcoming years, the integration of the digital and the physical to achieve business objectives and technologies that can be easily adopted by Indian industries.

The panel discussion was moderated by the session chairman, Anant Gijare, Director—Industry Solution, GS lab and the reputed panellists for this informative session were Dr Arvind Tilak, CEO, Ascent Intellimation; PV Sivaram, Non-Executive Chairman, B&R Industrial Automation; Khalil Nathani, National Sales Manager—End User Business, Rockwell Automation and Samit Das, Principal Architect—Digital Transformation, Wipro. While stressing the importance of using technology for the ease of an industry, Sivaram emphasised that it is important to be up-to-date with the latest advancements. “Whatever tech you use, please make sure that it is not at the end life-cycle of that technology. Look for emerging technologies,” was his candid advice to the eager audience members.

The future ahead

The end of the last panel marked the conclusion of the CII Smart Manufacture Conclave 2018. The closing remarks were delivered by Ahamed, who thanked the panellists for enriching the conclave with valuable information and thanked the government for their aid and support. In his closing remarks, he extended a welcoming proclamation for a digitalised future and concluded, “There is a convergence of three things—IT, OT and Engineering Technology. The convergence of these three technologies is paving the road for the future ahead.”

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