Organised by CII, the objective of the conference on future factories was to capture the forces that are shaping the Indian manufacturing industry and understand the worldclass competitive companies, who have a strong focus on design, innovations, emerging technologies and new processes that can build the needs of growing industries. The conference also hosted a small exhibition where various companies exhibited their competencies on automation and digitisation. Over 20 speakers and 200 industry captains attended this programme.
Addressing the conference, Srikant Jainapur, Chairman, CII Central Gujarat and Chief Executive, L&T Sargent and Lundy, highlighted, “Gujarat today is the hub of large MNCs and manufacturing MSMEs. This era is of cooperation, i.e. joint ventures. Industry across the world is looking for partners to start operations in India. Gujarat and particularly Vadodara, is today the most preferred destination for joint venture due to its strategic location, industry-responsive workforce and a track record. These joint ventures and influx of industries will make Vadodara the hub of manufacturing in the next decade.”
Prashant Amin, Chairman, CII Gujarat State Council and Executive Director, Elecon Group, apprised the delegates, “We must be cognizant of the transformations around us, as these transformations are being driven and will drive our choices, and our choices will drive how far we collectively go as a nation.” The transformations are not merely limited to a specific field, but cut across various socio-economic aspects. The transition from foraging to farming happened around 10,000 years ago and was made possible by the domestication of animals. The agrarian revolution combined the efforts of animals with those of humans for the purpose of production, transformation and communication. While the first and second industrial revolution took several hundred centuries to take place, the third and fourth happened within decades. Many jobs that exist today will not be there after 10 years and new jobs like Drone Traffic Controller will come in place.
Speaking on the importance of technologies was Yatindra Sharma, Past Chairman, CII Gujarat State Council and Managing Director, KHS Machinery, who emphasised on the importance of new technologies. “Today the world needs more precise goods with speed. The production time has reduced by over 50% in the past few years. The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor will create immense opportunities for local companies in Gujarat. What they will need is precision and speedy production. Local companies need rapid adoption of new technologies to match with the demand side.” Adding further to it was Sunil Parekh, Corporate Strategic Advisor, Zydus Group & Jubilant Group, who stressed upon building digital culture and mind set to adopt breakthrough innovations. “Focused interventions on digitisation would help you to have competitive advantage in the market,” he shared.
Lastly, Piush Bansal, Chairman, CII Manufacturing Conference 2017 & Unit Head, Apollo Tyres announced that CII will initiate manufacturing clinics where industry veterans will help MSMEs to upgrade their technology.
Upgrading technology advancements
During the conference, the first technical session was on optimisation. Owing to the challenging economic conditions and tough competition that bring constant pressure to keep costs down and profitability up by maximising capacity utilisation, industries need to optimise their resources and operations while negotiating the manufacturing complexities. This involves continuous improvement in people, processes and equipment while ensuring quality and safety across the operations. Existing tools and practices followed by industries along with case studies were discussed during this session.
Automation demands huge capital investment which requires mass production for a quick return on investment. While large industries are able to afford and opt automation, medium and small-scale industries find it difficult to adopt automation. The second technical session was focused on addressing the current challenges faced by the industry engaged in high-volume production and new technologies, which can help the industries graduate from conventional manufacturing to some degree of automation based around the existing equipment, tools and methods. In addition, rapid digitalisation is shaping technology changes and fostering productivity improvements in the manufacturing sector. This growing trend is geared to be a driver of change in the way businesses function. Given this context, this technical session also focused on future trends and advanced technologies for industries.
At the end of conference, there was a panel discussion with the theme ‘Vision 2025 for future factories’ to understand the readiness and bottlenecks for laying down future-ready factories.