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Prashant Rao

Head — Application Engineering

MathWorks India

2 Ratings

EVOLVING INDIAN MANUFACTURING ECOSYSTEM Focus on three pillars of technology adoption – people, processes and technology

Mar 8, 2022

…mentions Prashant Rao, Head — Application Engineering, MathWorks India – A leading developer of mathematical computing software for engineers and scientists. In discussion with Anvita Pillai, he delves into the evolving Indian manufacturing ecosystem, the role of emerging technologies and more. Excerpts…

Can you give us an overview of the manufacturing ecosystem in India? How can companies work on building factories of the future?

In the new normal, we see firms diversifying their production bases and the markets they serve. Overall, their objective is to bring resilience in supply chains and flexibility in their production lines. Several global corporations have set up large manufacturing operations in India to adapt to these changes that we are seeing. Additionally, we have a large MSME base with production facilities and lines that have come up to automation but not adopted autonomous technologies – they are somewhere between Industry 2.0 & 3.0.

What is the role of emerging technologies in the manufacturing industry’s digital transformation?

One way of looking at digital transformation, is to see it as the capability of an organisation to combine data usage across engineering and business processes to maximise or optimise the organisation’s overall business operations. Technologies such as data analytics, Machine Learning, deep learning can derive insight from the data and connectivity can be achieved through Wireless/5G technologies. Further technologies that impact digital transformation range from virtual commissioning, digital twins, IoT, cloud computing, to robotics and autonomous systems.

Can you elaborate on MATLAB? How is it a one-stop-shop for all manufacturing-related problems?

MATLAB is a platform for technical computing, which engineers and scientists can use for technical computing, mathematical modelling as well as data analytics. Simulink, which can be used in conjunction with MATLAB is a platform for Model-Based Design. These platforms used in unison offer a single environment across all phases of system development from designing conceptual models, running simulations for verification, and deployment onto a host of different platforms.

No technology is future-proof or risk-free. How can companies build a secure collaborative environment that can meet all their requirements from time to time?

We must take a pragmatic approach and focus on all three pillars of adopting technologies – people, processes and technology. So, pilot the technology by building on an existing model or an existing example in hand, leverage the knowledge gathered from that to empower one’s domain experts and use the learnings to establish the right processes.

How is Mathworks enabling the manufacturing industry to accelerate the adoption of smart manufacturing methodologies?

We try to understand our customers and their challenges and walk the walk with them to enable them to be successful. We work in the start-up ecosystem with nearly hundreds of accelerators, giving them access to our tools for free for the first year. We have also built partnerships with research industry bodies and institutes, such as the Foundation for Smart Manufacturing (FSM), hosted in IIT Delhi.

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