ARC recommends companies’ transition to a digital enterprise in well-planned steps and to do so without ignoring the importance of cyber security. Initiatives, such as, ARC’s Digital Transformation Council, have also enabled end-user organisations to remain up-to-date on innovations and share best practices. Focusing on the importance of digitisation when it comes to industries and infrastructure, ARC Advisory Group recently held the company's sixteenth India Forum for the process and discrete industries, in Bangalore, India, titled ‘Digitising and Securing Industry, Infrastructure, and Cities’.
The two-day forum was structured to disseminate information and technology effectively and provide end-users, solution providers and decision-makers an opportunity to network and get an overall view of the market and its requirements. The forum discussed, how today, companies are digitising business processes and exploiting the increasing convergence between Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT), and Engineering Technology (ET) on the plant floor. Governments around the world are supporting manufacturing growth initiatives and these emerging business models allow manufacturers to collaborate more effectively. Also, information-driven digital enterprises leverage new technologies to achieve agility and sustain a competitive edge.
Digital Platform: The new approach
The session topics covered industry and infrastructure moving towards digitisation, automation trends, cyber security, smart technologies and smart cities, and several end-user experiences. Speaking on Sal Spada, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group, USA, elaborated on digital transformation and how it drives innovation in products and industry. He informed that a digital enterprise is customer-centric and demand driven, leverages real-time information throughout the value chain, is agile and flexible, and embraces open and secure hardware and software platforms. He also highlighted that the ‘digital platform’ is the new approach to software and most enterprises today are already using major applications or platforms, such as, ERP, SCM, CRM, MES and automation.
Next, to provide an industry perspective, K S Viswanathan, Vice President, Industry Initiatives, NASSCOM, spoke about how strengthening the digital infrastructure and increasing use of social media is changing the way industries operate. India is the world’s third largest start-up hub and the digital industry is now valued at $167 billion and expected to touch $1 trillion by 2022. Going digital has enabled manufacturing firms to achieve datadriven process improvements. In this context, he spoke about digital trends in the automotive sector: connectivity, autonomous driving, and consumer experiences.
Integrating digital with business process
R Sarangapani, AGM (PE-C&I) at NTPC, provided the enduser perspective, stressing on how digital must be integrated with the business process. He said that mechanical innovations have reached a saturation point and that the future is digital. The key elements are the 3Rs – Right Data to the Right People at the Right Time. He also spoke about the digital twin, the importance of knowledge capture and creating a future workforce with digital skills.
Unlocking the potential with digitalisation was the topic that Sameer Prakash, Head - Digital Enterprise, Digital Factory Division, Siemens, spoke about. He explained how the essential market and customer requirements are speed, flexibility, quality, and efficiency – all protected with built-in/on a foundation of cyber security. The digital enterprise is a holistic approach that integrates and digitalises the entire value chain.
Next, Ricky Watts, Director, Industrial Solutions, Wind River, focused on today’s centralised, decentralised and fluid computing megatrends. He said that evolving market demands impact the business models, which are being swept by two huge waves–the generational upgrade model (legacy system migration) and a software-defined autonomous world (open standards-based supply chains and ecosystem, cloud- and fogbased architectures and the Industrial IoT). He also discussed the legacy challenges of industrial systems and the benefits that cloud computing offers, including agility and scalability.
Digitalising brownfield assets
The last speaker for this session, Anne-Marie Walters, Global Marketing Director, Bentley Systems, spoke about digitalising brownfield assets by combining reality modeling with IIoT. She explained the importance of IT-OT-ET (information–operational-engineering technologies) integration for industry,infrastructure, and cities. For infrastructure project delivery, reality modeling captures the actual context of infrastructure projects through photos and/or scans, creating engineering-ready reality meshes for design modeling, analytical modeling, and construction modeling. In this context, she spoke about BIM (Building Information Modeling) advancement and applications in reality modeling.
Moving towards the digital enterprise
This session was flagged-off by Sunil Mehta, GM, Automotive Business Development Department, Factory Automation & Industrial Division, Mitsubishi Electric India. He spoke about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it is all around us and can be used effectively in the manufacturing sector. Further, he spoke about Maisart–a compact AI system that offers scalability and provided case study examples on driver monitoring.
Next was a joint presentation by Navanith Mohan, Head of Technical Sales – India, and Ramki Sethuraman, Technical Sales Consulting Director–APAC, AVEVA Group, on designing, building and operating with a digital asset. According to them, ‘digital transformation closes the gap between what digital constituents already demand and what analog companies actually deliver’. The trends and initiatives driving digital transformation come under three main categories–market environment, customer imperatives and technology trends and all are interconnected.
This was followed by a joint presentation by an end-user and supplier – H K Kadam, Chief Manager, HRD, Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers and Poonam Parmar, Manager, Wireless Business Development, Emerson. They spoke about the power of wireless to achieve operational excellence in the chemical industry. They also highlighted the Plantweb digital ecosystem, which includes data connectivity, analytics and services.
The power of flexibilisation
The next set of speakers from STEAG Energy Services – B P Rao, MD and Dr Tomasz Kaminski, Project Director, System Technologies, spoke about APC for flexible plant operations. They explained how flexibility in power plants helps reduce the price of electricity. ‘Flexibilisation’ enables power plant owner/ operators to reduce prices, reduce minimum load, and consistently identify limiting components before optimisation. They also showcased successful projects undertaken globally, in terms of duration, technical data, scope and services.
Next, Vivek Roy, Head – Industrial Communication & Identification, Process Industries & Drives, Siemens India, spoke about the challenges for future-proofing and securing industrial communication networks. He said that digitalisation changes everything and the right communication networks enable you to
be ready for it. Plus, he elaborated on how a holistic security
concept must include technology, processes and people.
Going Digital – The scenario in India
Subsequently, Anup Wadhwa, Director, Automation Industry Association (AIA), began a session on building capabilities to leverage cyber-physical intelligence. He said that to fully realise the benefits of cyber-physical-integrated manufacturing in India, we must redefine our production and distribution models, increase manufacturing competitiveness of the MSMEs and modernise vocational training and provide guidance. One such joint initiative - IITD-AIA Foundation – for smart manufacturing has been set up. Also called ‘Samarth Udyog,’ it provides a portfolio of services and is a hub for integrators and consultants.
Next, giving the government’s perspective, Muraleedharan Manningal, Head, State e-Governance Mission Team, Kerala, spoke about digital transformation in India. This was centered on three key areas - digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen, governance and services on demand and digital
empowerment of citizens. He further explained the government’s smart city mission strategy and that 99 cities have been selected across India for integrated and inclusive development – the focus of a smart city, the goals for which are economic development, sustainability and a higher standard of living.
Rajkumar Paira, Senior Analyst, ARC Advisory Group, India, gave the last presentation. He provided an overview of India’s economic and industry outlook across various industry verticals, including automotive, oil & gas and smart cities. He said that India’s economic growth is expected to touch 7.3% in the current fiscal (FY19) and 7.5% in the next (FY20) as money supply has returned to pre-demonetisation levels and disruptions related to the rollout of GST have diminished. In 2017, India exported $295.8 billion worth of goods globally,reflecting a 13.6% increase from the previous year.