The advent of industrial revolution – Industry 4.0/Digital 4.0 – has already started transforming the way the manufacturing industry functions. It’s deemed to be a merger of traditional manufacturing practices and sophisticated technologies, thus enabling better decisions and reorientations, bringing about greater efficiency and productivity throughout the plant. To deliver a ROI-based evaluations of learnings, The Economic Times hosted the Plant Leadership Summit for manufacturing plant leaders across sectors with discussions around the challenges they faced from planning to final execution on ground, issues faced with regards to plant, people, processes and technology, to achieve operational excellence and to build the plant of the future.
Devising the future
The skull session on the theme ‘Plant automation through new revolution’ began with a panel discussion on the topic ‘How India can build for the future’. The erudite list of panellists comprised – Sourav Sen, MD & CEO, Elrich India; Krishnan Sadagopan, Sr Vice President, Ashok Leyland; Manoranjan Sahu, Deputy General Manager, Toshiba JSW Power Systems and was moderated by Khushroo B Panthaky, Director, Grant Thornton. Responding to a question posed by Panthaky on how India is shaping for it future, Sen replied, “It is very important to look beyond the short-term challenges and develop the country’s future. Education and skill development are of absolute necessity for a sustainable growth.” Elaborating on the challenges in the automobile sector, the current and the future scenario, Sadagopan mentioned, “Customer requirements & demands are changing. We need to carefully monitor the change and deliver to it faster, better and greater.” Discussing how one can follow the Make in India agenda and work towards making India a $5 trillion economy, Sahu retorted, “It is essential to decentralise and digitise to ensure success. It is equally important to include the remotest part of the country in the development.”
Following this, V Bino George, Head of Business Consulting, Infor South Aisa, hosted a session on ‘Factory of the future – bringing together the operational & informational sides of manufacturing’. During the session, George detailed on everything right from the asset management trends to connected workers to connected future. He mentioned, “Asset management is a culture. With the development of new technologies, it is helping companies create competitive advantages.”
Industry 4.0 has been a driving force in the manufacturing industry. Data, connectivity and customers are the driving force behind making companies smarter and competent. To offer a improved understanding of how Big Data is making the food & beverage industry smarter, Sirish Yadav, Vice-President – Manufacturing & Technology, ITC Foods, presented a case study on ‘Assembly plants with Industry 4.0 at the forefront’. Speaking of smart factories and digital solution for production, Yadav accentuated, “The Indian food industry is on a growth trajectory, and it is helping us embark on the journey of Industry 4.0.”
With an increased throughput in processes that are bottlenecks in manufacturing, the industry has become ever-so competitive. To get a better understanding on how and why one needs to move on and adopt the evolving technologies, Vijay Kalra, CEO, Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers, Chief Manufacturing Operations, Mahindra & Mahindra, hosted a session on ‘Manufacturing competitiveness in the ever-changing world’.
Following this, the symposium witnessed an interactive panel discussion on ‘Planning towards smart manufacturing with solutions to overcome current challenges’. Moderated by Shripad Ranade, Management Consultant, Ikigai Consulting, the esoteric line of panellists comprised, Amar Dhanwade, Head - Operations Strategy, Welspun Group; Tarun Mishra, Founder & CEO, Covacsis India; Senthil Kumar, CTO, Kiran Global Chem and Manish Manek, Chief Plant Officer, MG Motor India. Discussing what Industry 4.0 means for the industries and how has it worked/not worked, Mishra reveals, “The trick lies in not resisting but in quick adoption of the new technologies.” Adding on to the topic, Dhanwade complemented, “You need to take baby steps in adoption and continue the process of learning.” Detailing on how to maximise output throughout the process, Manek accentuated, “Unless the entire value chain is engaged, one cannot draw out the effectiveness or the results desired.” Speaking about the change in traditional manufacturing and the changes encountered, Kumar emphasised, “One should have a clear-cut roadmap of what they are doing. Think big but start small.”
Digitising and connecting
Following this, to give a detailed explanation on how one can digitise their plant, Nikhil Bhat, Head of Business Development, Akrivia, hosted a technology session on ‘Plant digitisation using Akrivia’. During this, Bhat stressed, “You need to connect digitally to perfect reality.”
To give a detailed explanation on the pros & cons of AI on the shop floor and its ability to increase efficiency, Harish Lade, Vice-President Supply Chain, Asian Paints, hosted a session on ‘Pros & cons of Artificial Intelligence on floor shop efficiency’.
Next, Mishra, took the stage to delve on the topic of ‘Real life applications of Industrial IoT and Artificial Intelligence’. During the session, he explained on how the new age technologies are changing the face and the future of factories. Mishra commented, “New generation of manufacturing comes when we welcome an intelligent world of manufacturing.”
Proceeding further, S Vaidhyanathan, Business, Transformation & Operational Excellence Professional, Hinadlco Industries, took the stage to speak on ‘How lean and six sigma can accelerate Internet of Things’. During the session, he elaborated on the areas where lean and six sigma can accelerate implementation of new technologies.
Concluding day one on a prominent note, the symposium witnessed the final panel discussion - ‘Asset management to improve plant reliability’. Moderated by Dibeyendu De, Director, Reliability Management Consultant, the panellist comprised, Prashant Shinde, Group Head – Analytics IoT, Reliability Centre Maintenance CoE, Tata Power; Sundar N P, Independent Consultant and S Vaidhyanathan, discussing the cause why plant reliability hasn’t been achieved and how one can improve & achieve plant reliability.
Evolving and upgrading
The second day began off with an opening address delivered by Subhash P, Head of Manufacturing - Digital, Bosch Engineering Automotive, on how ‘Industry 4.0 can be the key player in changing the shape of manufacturing’. This was followed by a deep assessment on how one can be prepared for the fourth industrial revolution during the session, ‘Getting Industry 4.0 ready’, by Nikhil Joshi, Founder & CEO, SNIc Solutions.
To understand the myriad benefits of preserving quality in the manufacturing sector, the next panel discussion deliberated on ‘The importance of quality in manufacturing’. The faction of panellist included, Nitin D Chaudhari, Vice President, Sandvik Asia; Viren Dhulla, Vice President & Head, Corporate Health Safety & Wellbeing, Vodafone India; Sunil Nighot, Quality Team Lead, Johnson & Johnson and Rajesh Maheshwari, CEO, Quality Council of India and moderator Ankur Basu, Partner, PwC. The session witnessed an elaborate discussion on how manufacturers can ensure quality is maintained and how one can manufacture the quality expected first-hand.
Collaboration boosting productivity
This was followed by another interactive session on ‘Industry 4.0 - Total productive maintenance in digital age’, hosted by Pallavi Wad, Head, Product Supply Organisation for India and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products and Mahendran PA, Director, Global IT Operations, Philips. During the session Wad and Mahendran elaborated on how old technologies can be evolved and used and the use of TPM 2.0 in the context of new age revolution. “In Industry 4.0 the first step that we need to achieve is, visibility to the shop floor officer,” emphasised Wad.
Following this, to give a detailed explanation on how humans and robots would be co-existing in the future factories, Pradeep David, General Manager South Asia, Universal Robots, hosted a session on ‘Factories of the future: Collaborative robots & Industry 4.0’. Subsequently, Harsimrat Bhasin, Co-founder & CEO, Neewee, took the stage to speak on ‘Implementation examples of enlightened manufacturing’. During the session, Bhasin threw light on the changing phase of manufacturing and the necessity of integrated analytics and shop floor.
Giving a new touch to the event, the symposium next witnessed an un-conferencing session on the topic ‘The future of productivity and growth in manufacturing industries’. During this, elected leaders from the audience explained the ‘Impact of technologies’, ‘Impact on human resources’ and ‘Impact of policies on the future & growth for industries’, post critical group discussions.
Moving further, a workshop on ‘Plant leadership and sustainability development goals’ hosted by Dibyendu De. During this, he elaborated on the modern manufacturing and the development thrust plant manufacturing and leadership is undergoing for sustainable development. He mentioned, “Modern manufacturing is in the frontier of growing India.” Bringing the two-day event on a prominent note, R C Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki, summarised the event by delivering the closing speech.
Enabling the revolution
With sustainability and plant performance being a key concern for plant leaders, the platform developed at the Plant Leadership Summit proved to be fruitful to the plant leaders to foster discussions around the challenges they faced and helping create a roadmap to bring about operational excellence and build plants of the future.