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Industry stalwarts who share their insights on the advanced technology trends in the age of integrated industry and the impact of digitalisation in the global as well as Indian contexts

Integrated Industry Going digital & connected: Unleashing added value!!

May 8, 2017

With the recent emphasis on digitalisation in the manufacturing sector, the need for creating a manufacturing ecosystem that allows linkage of multiple digital solutions across various platforms and in-plant connectivity is of paramount importance. Considering this approach will open up avenues for manufacturers to adopt IIoT technologies for better productivity and quality and in turn creating value to businesses. The feature discusses a series of interviews from industry stalwarts who share their insights on the advanced technology trends in the age of integrated industry and the impact of digitalisation in the global as well as Indian contexts.

“Adoption of robotic automation increasing in India” — G Ganapathiraman, Country Manager, ARC Advisory Group India

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

We can go a step beyond ‘Integrated Industry’ and call it an ‘integrated world’. The technologies driving this transformative wave are once again connected via IoT and digitalisation. The IoT architecture builds upon current and emerging technologies, such as mobile and intelligent devices, wired and wireless networks, cloud computing, Big Data, analytics, and visualisation simulation tools. There are four main parts to this — intelligent assets with sensors, processors, memory, and communications capability; data communications and infrastructure; software and analytics; and people and business entities that use the technologies for better decision making and improved business
processes and models.

It is also observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How is such an approach beneficial in your industry or application areas?

A sound predictive maintenance strategy can improve workforce and financial performance. With a combined view of asset availability and other operational constraints, workers can make information-driven decisions. Predictive maintenance solutions help users in industrial plants quantitatively evaluate equipment condition relative to an established baseline or standard; its value is in its diagnostic capabilities, which greatly aid users in the maintenance decision-making process. Industrial plants must investigate predictive maintenance solutions and adopt those that support core enterprise objectives.

What is your opinion on the growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner? How does the overall industry address such challenges?

Digitalisation requires the integration of multiple technology developments with traditional control systems, including cloud computing and smart devices. Each of these developments represents new challenges for plant cyber-security teams.

Many organisations recognise the limitations of strategies that rely solely upon strengthening internal cyber-security resources. Outsourcing responsibilities to external resources is already growing and the future will be more focused on suppliers assuming responsibility for sustaining security of all devices and systems. Current security processes will require review and adaptation for the broader scope of tomorrow’s industrial cybersecurity. They will have to incorporate Security-by-Design, more comprehensive authorisation, broader risk analysis and remote management of devices.

With the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India?

The global trend towards adoption of robotic automation is increasing in India, but is still in the early stages. For India’s push into manufacturing to be successful, we need to prepare for manufacturing as it will be five years from now. Robotic automation is, thus, clearly an integral part of the kind of manufacturing that we in India, hope to do. Although we have the available manpower, technology skills for robotic automation are lacking. This challenge can be overcome with an industry academia partnership.

How is the progress of Industry 4.0 globally and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt this new technology?

The progress of IIoT in a connected world has been rapid. Data is freely available in India or US. Hence with IIoT, the applications & services will readily span across both corporate and national boundaries. Agility and flexibility will be key. Cloud-based solutions can offer an easier solution for connecting disparate technologies across boundaries. This can enable industrial companies to adapt faster to address changing business needs.

“Digitisation prioritises security and safety” — PV Sivaram, Managing Director, B&R India

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

Digitisation is the first step towards digitalisation. Connecting all the data in real-time to a central system gives possibilities for more advanced analytics and higher benefits for manufacturing plants. Increased availability of intelligent things, and more robust and flexible means to connect them drives this effort of digitalisation strongly. In future, it’s possible to imagine devices intelligent enough to configure themselves automatically, develop alternate routes to communicate to the central facility, etc. With a view to providing Integrated Industry solutions, standardisation on open source protocols for efficient machine-to-machine communication is coming into centre stage.

It is also observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How is such an approach beneficial in your industry or application areas?

The latest trends in automation attempts at optimising maintenance costs by replacing fixed maintenance intervals with condition-based preventive maintenance. This enables in taking up maintenance activities only when needed, and at the same time, avoids risking system failure due to neglected maintenance. Condition monitoring makes this balancing act easily achievable. Condition dependent, predictive maintenance is the best way to optimise machine availability to maintenance costs.

With B&R, customers are able to use a single system for process data acquisition, energy monitoring & condition monitoring and that too using standard component.

What is your opinion on the growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner? How does the overall industry address such challenges?

With digitisation, security and safety have the highest priority. Transmission of data needs to be Ethernet based, real-time, hackproof and safe. The industry is fast adopting established open standards in the field of automation. OPC UA TSN (time sensitive networking) has all necessary security mechanisms as required by IIoT – encryption, user authorisation and certificate exchange. Simultaneously, open source Ethernet field networks such as Ethernet POWERLINK already have companion specifications implemented to facilitate secure & seamless connectivity right to the sensors.

With the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India?

The industry has moved to a human-robot collaboration approach, which reduces line stoppages and losses, while at the same time maintains and further enhances the human safety standards. There has been, and still is considerable anxiety regarding robots making humans redundant. If automated robots will take over the menial, repetitive hazardous tasks from humans, it is not a bad thing. We now need to make use of the increasing penetration of broadband to provide quality education & skills to make our manpower ‘I4.0-fit’.

How is the progress of Industry 4.0 globally and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt this new technology?

Globally, Industry 4.0 and IIoT are seeing tremendous investments and early adopters. The Indian industry, as seen, is not hurrying into implementations, but are evaluating, discussing with vendors on the available solutions and then preparing implementation cases, based on ROI. In India, we are on course to successful implementation at several locations in plastics, packaging and automotive industries.

Intelligent machines, which can self-diagnose incipient faults and report autonomously, are no longer in realm of science fiction. This could even lead to machines, which then reconfigure themselves to avoid or reduce production loss.

“Information is the key to business success” — Jitendra Kumar Kataria, Managing Director, Beckhoff Automation

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

Digitisation and vertical/horizontal integration of machines, systems, services, supply chains and integration of customers and vendors are at the core of Industry 4.0 implementation. The contributing technologies like OPC UA, PC-based control & automation systems, cloud computing IT solutions, networking technologies, machine learning, condition monitoring and Big Data Analytics are the basis for implementing integrated factory.

It is also observed that machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How is such an approach beneficial in your industry or application areas?

Failures can be predicted and machine availability can be increased by real-time data acquisition of the machine parameters, operating conditions, vibration levels, energy consumption patterns, job quality & tolerance parameters & its overall status. PC-based control with its ever-increasing high processing capability will assist further in computing the acquired data in real-time & provide the required results.

With implementation of predictive maintenance, one can arrive at a right decision, which can result in reducing downtime cost, better inventory management of service parts, better inventory cost management, avoidance of costs due to emergencies and many more derived benefits.

What is your opinion on the growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner? How does the overall industry address such challenges?

Today, information is the key to business success and profitability. Data security is a matter of concern & hence global industrial standards organisations like OPC Foundation have developed interoperability standard OPC-UA for the secure and reliable
exchange of data in the industrial automation space and in other industries. Security is a fundamental requirement for OPCUA and therefore, integrated in the architecture. Also, India Inc is cautiously graduating to a global level in terms of cloud computing or data sharing because of data security concerns and trust deficiency.

With the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India?

Because cobots are meant to work seamlessly with manual workforce, the infrastructure investments required is optimal vis-a-vis for robots. Being easy to handle, install & teach, the technology just cannot be ignored.

With the ‘Make in India’ initiative, many investments are happening in India and certainly skilled manpower requirements are going to increase. Cobots working along with skilled labours can help increase productivity for such skillful tasks.

How is the progress of Industry 4.0 globally and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt this new technology?

The progress of IIoT in a connected world is enthusiastic about implementing Industry 4.0. It is indeed a global phenomenon but many industries still lack the right implementing strategy for Industry 4.0. Many are planning to initiate projects in this direction. However, most of them lack the right understanding of this concept and either set wrong benchmarks or get misled by commercially motivated proposals.

Indian manufacturers need to review their present approach in a manner that increases efficiencies of their manufacturing plants & overcomes present competitive challenges using the Industry 4.0 concept. There is urgent need for Indian industries to focus on digitising, automating & interconnecting their manufacturing processes & business operations using appropriate automation technologies. IT-enabled services will play a vital role in the future of manufacturing and cannot remain isolated.

“Significant demand for skilled manpower” — Bipin Jirge, Managing Director, IFM Electronic India

What are the major advantages that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

There are many advantages of connected or digital factories. Some of them are trend analysis and predictive maintenance, increased productivity of machines, less inventory costs, one piece lot size for production and higher safety of operations by connecting many related processes.

It is also observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How is such an approach beneficial in your industry or application areas?

Predictive maintenance is one of the major benefits of these technologies, which can bring down machine downtimes immediately. Also, with digitisation of machines, we can plan the spare parts order and procurement processes as well as conduct analysis online and in real time. In this context, technologies related to IO Link will revolutionise sensors and actuators. By using the IO Link technology, sensors and actuators can give a lot of data hidden inside such devices. This is a big advantage in the direction of intelligent sensors and intelligent machines.

What is your opinion on the growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner? How does the overall industry address such challenges?

Security of data storage as well as communication is a major challenge whenever machines are connected to open networks like internet. Although sophisticated algorithms have been developed, which are quite secure, there will be a race against fraudulent/hacking attempts into these systems. This will be an ongoing process so as to improve security against such attacks.

Earlier, it was said that robots will replace human jobs, but with the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India where there is good manpower availability, but lack of technology skills?

In countries like India, there is a significant demand for skilled manpower. Therefore, initiatives such as ‘Skill India’ are important. However, it will take time to develop and upgrade the skills of our manpower. Also, the skill requirement of the manpower will change and move in the direction of higher skill levels as we grow towards higher levels of productivity in the industry. Hence, if we can upgrade the skills of our manpower at a pace needed by the industry, the industry will certainly use this skilled manpower instead of using capital-intensive methods like employing cobots. However, if the work needed to be done is hazardous or demands multiple skills at one location, the industry then may consider employing cobots. On the other hand, cobots themselves have become safe to work along with humans on the same factory floor.

How is the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally, and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt these new technology concepts?

Globally as well as in India, Industry 4.0 is a journey which will take some years to evolve. Several big companies in India have already started this journey and many medium and small scale companies are aware of this concept. Big companies will start implementing these concepts earlier as they have the financial capability to invest in the technology and employ skilled manpower. However, this will percolate to MSMEs as well once the industry impact of this investment made by the big companies is evident to the MSMEs. Furthermore, in order to harness the advantages of connected factory, suppliers of bigger companies may also have to become connected.

“Cobot market is picking up in India” — Vivek Gupta, General Manager & Head, Instrumentation Department, DCM Shriram Ltd

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

Currently, process & electrical energy systems are not connected in the true sense. To master the growing complexity of energy systems resulting from greater integration of renewable sources of energy, these systems have to become more flexible and smarter in the coming years. That means industrial power grids will also become more digital. As part of this digitalisation, industrial enterprises face new challenges. This requires intelligent hardware & software products and end-to-end energy management.

It is also observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How is such an approach beneficial in your industry or application areas?

Predictive maintenance will be quite beneficial in terms of knowing in advance the health of the machine and, thereby, taking planned shutdown rather than a breakdown. Technologies have come, which show the trend in terms of pressure, level, vibration, temperature, etc, which is in turn helpful in taking decisions. Also, manual collection of data is eliminated resulting in quicker detection of mechanical breakdowns. Industry data with analytics will play a vital role in this direction. It is important to understand how the data is captured, verified and then reproduced in an intelligent manner.

What is your opinion on the growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner? How does the overall industry address such challenges?

Secured data transmission and its storage is a real challenge in digital industry. Industries are hesitant in data transfer for want of secured manner. DCS are not connected with internet and not even with SAP in most of the process industries in India. With adoption by large industries, confidence will increase and newer methods will be invented, which will make other small/medium industries to step forward. IT giants will have to bring more robust cyber security, thus, making this trustworthy.

With the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India?

The cobot market is picking up in India. Economic-skilled manpower is becoming difficult. In this light, cobots are good—they are not meant to fully replace the labour, rather collaborate with them. They work alongside humans and optimise & automate time-consuming, repetitive and physically challenging activities in the production flow. They are good in task-driven industries like manufacturing, assembly, automotive and food processing. It will help the production staff to help increase productivity, quality and market competitiveness. Increased awareness, specified technical trainings and job opportunities will help technology to win over the Indian market.

How is the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally, and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt these new technology concepts?

Smart manufacturing / smart factory and Industry 4.0 calls for increasing connectedness and automation of devices. Every device or machine has to be ‘smart’. With smart human machine interface (HIS), the manpower has to be equally smart. Growing population, ever-increasing need of complying with global standards, constant need for improving operational excellence, etc are the factors that are constantly slowing the pace towards Industry 4.0. Data security is another aspect. After the announcement of ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ & ‘Smart Cities’, the manufacturing sector has seen a boost. Sectors like automotive, F&B and pharmaceutical sectors have certainly started working on Industry 4.0, but SMEs are yet to step into this.

“Industry 4.0 is all about connectivity” — Martin Rostan, Executive Director, EtherCAT Technology Group

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

In the past, manufacturing focused on mass production—large quantities, high quality, low costs. Integrated Industry means the convergence of automation and IT for more flexible, dynamic and transparent production, including self-organisation and optimisation. One major goal is the efficient manufacturing of smaller lot sizes, such as it is required for customised products.

It is also observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How is such an approach beneficial in your industry or application areas?

Real-time data about the machine parameters & its overall status can be acquired by sensors & monitored centrally for appropriate alarms & alerts. Failures can be predicted and down-time can be eliminated or reduced by Predictive Maintenance.

EtherCAT enables machine controllers to play an important role in achieving such results, since they can provide the real-time capability for demanding data acquisition, which is needed for condition monitoring tasks such as vibration analysis.

What is your opinion on the growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner? How does the overall industry address such challenges?

Concerns regarding data security of cloud-based digitisation are still prominent and influential for the top management in industries. Trust can only be earned by handling cyber security topics carefully and seriously.

Industry 4.0 and IoT demand continuous communication through all levels within the digital factory and into the Cloud, and of course security is a prerequisite for making use of such services. Since EtherCAT is not based on IP-Protocols, this Industrial Ethernet technology blocks IT cyber-attacks by design. For the vertical connectivity above the machine control level, which requires use of IP-Protocols, the EtherCAT technology Group is cooperating with the OPC foundation (OPCF)— ETG and OPCF combine forces to integrate systems into an Industry 4.0 and IoT conformant communication.

With the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India?

Yes, collaborative robots have been around in India and are being used by a few automotive manufactures. Since these cobots are still expensive and require highly-skilled experts to set-up, maintain and operate, this approach requires considerable investment. We, therefore, see the short-term usage predominantly confined to areas where these systems don’t replace human workers, but where the robot precision is required for achieving the manufacturing result.

How is the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt these new technology concepts?

The Indian industries, having access to their foreign partners in developed countries, are proactively positive and are already digitising essential functions within their internal vertical operations processes. But the majority of Indian companies – especially local ones and SMEs – still need to understand the core of this technology concept and attempt to increase performance of manufacturing plants.

Industry 4.0 is all about connectivity. Understanding how machines enabled by real-time Ethernet fieldbus communication are efficiently and securely networked with ERP and MES systems and also with cloud-based services is essential. We see an urgent need for top & middle level management to consider and focus on digitising their processes and manufacturing technologies—not only in greenfield projects, but also in brownfield projects.

“Technological progress is a mixed blessing” — Chetan TA, Managing Director – India, Murrelektronik Pvt Ltd

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

There will be an increased need for manufacturers—independent, harmonious specifications. New communication models will emerge that will bypass the controls. We will need to adapt new communication protocols like OPC US and MQTT to our devices. These advances will make communication with the cloud easier — the goal is to communicate directly from the shopfloor to the office floor.

It is also observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How is such an approach beneficial in your industry or application areas?

Predictive maintenance helps prevent downtime by notifying maintenance when devices have reached the end of their lifetime. This could be as simple as changing out a cable or an entire valve island or power centre. Machine builders are interested in implementing devices with PM because the more information they have regarding the condition of their systems, the maintenance will be better. Murrelektronik has embodied the PM approach in our Emparro power supplies, Mico Pro current monitoring, and we are working on a joint development project to bring this technology into our cordsets.

With the evolution of digitalisation, there is also a growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner. What is your opinion on this, and how do you think the overall industry is addressing such challenges?

We see the opportunity for a security gateway that secures the communication and firewalls against hackers and manipulations attempts, as well as machine-to-machine communication (security protects safety). Another important area will be the protection of digital property and proprietary information – it’s vital to define transparency and publication of information, especially when components from different manufacturers are working together. Murrelektronik is part of the Leaders Circle in the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturer’s Association (ZVEI) and is helping define the requirements and solutions to these challenges.

Earlier, it was said that robots will replace human jobs, but with the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner.What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India where there is good manpower availability, but lack of technology skills?

Technological progress is a mixed blessing. It is changing the nature of work in ways we don’t realise. Automation can’t be stopped by fiat or regulation. With our weak record so far in capital goods development and manufacturing, we are unlikely to become the centre of production of the means of automation. Thus, our push into manufacturing will take time to fructify. If we want it to be successful, we need to prepare for manufacturing as it will be five years from now, not the way it was five years ago.

How is the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally, and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt these new technology concepts?

Since our products are Industry 4.0 ready, we are seeing increasing demand from the last two years. In reality, the maximum growth in India for Murrelektronik has come from our Cube67 Field IO & decentralised system. But the challenge remains on our infrastructure and increased networks speeds to make shopfloors IIoT ready. There is an increasing realisation today that the manufacturing sector’s need is just not availability of space & raw materials. The digital network needs to be at par with the western countries so that we remain competitive & attract global manufacturers.

“Human-robot collaboration is part of Industry 4.0” — Pradeep David, Country Head – India & Sri Lanka, Universal Robots

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

The revolution of manufacturing industry is currently in version 4.0. Industrial robotics has proven to be a key technology for flexible automation in manufacturing and assembly. At the centre of change are industrial robots that are going from being heavy, inaccessible and dangerous machines to becoming production assistants, working side by side with a human. Technical and legal norms clearly state whether a certain application is hazardous for a human and whether it is acceptable in a workplace. Emergence of collaborative robots has begun an era of new opportunities for industry, enhancing elasticity of production processes while maintaining safety.

With the evolution of digitalisation, there is also a growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner. What is your opinion on this, and how do you think the overall industry is addressing such challenges?

Our cobots come with internet connectivity via the Ethernet port. We are committed to protecting the Intellectual Property of each of our clients. The following communication technologies and protocols have been used in Universal Robots: TCP/IP 100 Mbit, Modbus TCP, Profinet and EthernetIP. All four communication protocols are available for free within each cobot. A major trend in the wave of Industry 4.0 or IIoT is the DIY concept, which allows for greater customisation and ensures that the data is secured within the walls of the organisation.

Earlier, it was said that robots will replace human jobs, but with the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India where there is good manpower availability, but lack of technology skills?

According to a PwC survey of US manufacturers, over one-third of manufacturers said that the biggest impact robots will have on the manufacturing workforce in the next three years is that they will lead to new job opportunities to engineer advanced robots and robotic operating systems. Universal Robots are the leading manufacturers of advanced user-friendly and light cobots from Denmark and only recently expanded their presence in the Indian market. Human-robot collaboration is an integral part of Industry 4.0 and these cobots actively participate in IIoT and smart factories.

This approach is particularly appealing to the Indian manufacturing industry because labour-intensive conditions and cobots together can help the Indian market to achieve the best of both worlds by making precise use of this technology. This is seen with some of the collaborators of Universal Robots, which include Aurolab and Bajaj Auto.

In the case of Bajaj Auto, it has witnessed a gradual rise in the productivity and efficiency in their production. It also increased the productivity of their employees along with their product quality after associating themselves with Universal Robots. It has deployed over 100 cobots since 2010 and they are now the third largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. They are of the view that some of the added benefits of the cobots include easy use, low annual maintenance and higher energy efficiency.

Can you give your observations on the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt these new technology concepts?

Statistics by the International Federation of Robotics state that the number of robots imported in India is about 2500 in number, which is quite low compared to China, that imports 30 times of this amount. India has been slow to adopt this technology, primarily because of the low cost and abundant supply of labour.

“Opportunity for further improvement” — Ramji Singh, Associate Vice President – Sales,Schmersal India

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

Fully-integrated processes as well as digitisation will be the next generation of industrial automation. We are witnessing that robots are not going into the market as a standalone solution as it is being integrated with various machine & process like— machine tool + robot, press machine + robot as well as in our day-to-day operation in personal & professional life to avoid manual operation and increase productivity.

It is also observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How is such an approach beneficial in your industry or application areas?

Predictive Maintenance will improve quality, ensure a better & safe workplace, increase productivity and also help in our ‘Skill India’ operation. Such system requires comparatively better-skilled personnel to operate with full efficiency, but we must also look into reliability of such systems in the Indian working environment & other environmental condition at various time frames.

What is your opinion on the growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner? How does the overall industry address such challenges?

We need better infrastructure with a 360 degree approach to improve from all the sides as it is going to be a challenging task. But if we see the development in networking & IT infrastructure from the past few years, I do not see it as a concern, but as an opportunity for further improvement to align with the global market & development in industrial automation as well as encourage more Indian industries to become Indian MNCs.

Earlier, it was said that robots will replace human jobs, but with the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India where there is good manpower availability, but lack of technology skills?

In the Indian market, acceptability and adaptability are important. Same is the case with the robots being presented in the industry. Now, the global market is open & it is up to us to abandon or embrace the technology as it has become a necessity in the Indian market to cope up with the advance technology to enter into global market, to become more competitive & match international quality for long-term sustainable growth.

With the new government, different initiatives like ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’ and ‘Ease of Business’ will facilitate the job creation, foster innovation, enhance skill development and in turn, change the mindset.

How is the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally, and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt these new technology concepts?

Today, various seminars and workshops are being conducted on Industry 4.0 to increase awareness in the market, highlight benefits, infrastructure requirements, etc to encourage industries to take initiatives and move ahead with some vision. Further, education is still required as all related industries & partners need to form a committee to decide the roadmap for 2020, to spread more awareness, design implementation plan, generate reference and success stories, etc, so that it becomes a necessity in today’s market trend.

This will also open an opportunity to include global safety norms & standards due to the requirement of different modes of operation of different kind of machinery for a better & safe workplace. We, as Schmersal, provide all possible contributions as one of committee to make this successful. This will generate prospects for us for internal development, including products, solution & services to align with the Industry 4.0 platform.

“Moving towards intelligent sensors” — Sunil Mehta, General Manager – Technical Support, Factory Automation & Industrial Division, Mitsubishi Electric India

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

Today, industries are witnessing ‘Integrated Industry’ via integration of factory automation systems and IT systems. There is a global trend for integration of manufacturing facilities to ERP systems within companies and to supply chain by integrating vendor’s facilities. Smart manufacturing or Integrated Industry can be realised by integrating the lowest element (sensors) from shopfloor to topfloor over high speed Industrial Ethernet network. With technological advancements and IIoT equipment becoming more intelligent, this data produced can be easily transported in network hierarchy. Introduction of IoT is necessary for connecting production site and value chain. Edge area connecting IT systems and Big Data at the production site plays an important role in IoT introduction and in realising smart manufacturing.

It is also observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How is such an approach beneficial in your industry or application areas?

In today’s environment of manufacturing facilities, most of the equipment and processes are automated by using factory automation products like PLCs. The trend is moving towards intelligent sensors. Thus, implementing such advanced technologies is useful in predicting the failures before the actual failure occurs and reducing the down-time of the equipment. Our company has implemented a system at a leading automotive car manufacturer, where we have installed intelligent sensors for identified motors to monitor current, temperature and vibrations of motor. Implementation of such kind of systems will give an early intimation and major breakdowns can be avoided.

What is your opinion on the growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner? How does the overall industry address such challenges?

Today, most companies are concerned about the storage of Big Data. Industries are working on how this data can be secured and stored. Many automotive manufacturers are deciding whether to keep this data within or store it to an external cloud. Various options are available and automotive companies are taking advantage of it.

With the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India?

Robots are playing an important role in manufacturing industries and there is good scope for robotic business in India. Mitsubishi Electric has introduced robots in the Indian industry three years back and we are observing good growth. Robots will play a significant role in areas where production rates are high and where human operation is critical or not possible. With the advanced technologies and safety today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand. Since skilled manpower and technicians are becoming expensive, introducing robots will be useful to make products more competitive without
compromising on quality.

How is the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally, and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt these new technology concepts?

The Indian industry is getting ready for adopting Industry 4.0 or IIoT. In the last financial year, on various forums, this topic was discussed and presented by experts from different industries. We, at Mitsubishi Electric, introduced the e-Factory concept in 2003 in Japan and now here in India. This concept is integral to building reliable and flexible manufacturing systems, offering high speed information transmission over robust and high speed CC-Link IE Network.

“Access to plant networks must be controlled” — Dick Caro, CEO, CMC Associates & Certified Automation Professional (ISA)

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally given that the factories and energy systems are going digital and connected?

The industries in process & power sectors are gradually moving from analog measurements, data transmission, and control actuation, to digital measurements and data transmission. There are currently more than 50 million analog instruments installed with a remaining service life averaging 20-30 years. They are not easily or economically replaced even though digital standards exist and products are available. Majority of new plant construction uses digital field measurement instrumentation and positioning of control actuators.

There are two innovations emerging for the process industries: 1) economical converters for analog field instruments to add the missing digital technology and adapt to an industrial Ethernet-based plant network, and 2) use of VFD on centrifugal pumps to control flow instead of using a control valve, compressed air actuator, and a digital/analog positioner.

What is your opinion on the growing concern over the transmission & storage of data in a secured manner?

With plant LAN of the past, security was achieved by obscurity; protocols were non-standard and wired networks were generally not accessible from outside the plant. All of this has changed since we are now favouring standard Ethernet networks and Internet connections are common. Wireless networks extend beyond the plant fence as well. Security must now be explicitly configured into these networks. While there are many methods to secure transmissions, industry must select one and only one method to enable open data interchange between devices. This has not yet been done.

Access to plant networks must be controlled. In the past, this was restricted by physical access to the communications cable and terminations. Now, because access can come through the internet we must do more. Firewalls are designed to keep out unauthorised access, but they have been breached before. It is then the responsibility of network management to restrict access to industrial networks through a process called “provisioning” in which nodes on the communications network must be admitted through a process of authentication.

For many years, we have stored data in a historian, usually for the sole purpose of producing trend lines on a graph. Now, accumulated data is being inspected using a system of “big data analytics” to attempt to extract useful data. Unfortunately, big data analytics is not a useful way to create process models by itself. To determine static and dynamic process models, specific model building techniques called statistical design of experiments must be used to analyse process response to the impulse forcing inputs in manipulated variables. While the cloud offers virtually unlimited data storage, few process control system users or their vendors have sufficient security protection to use cloud storage.

Can you give your observations on the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally?

Most hyperbole about Industrie 4.0 or IIoT does not address the true driving forces – the distribution of intelligence to the edge of the network. The problem is how to safely, securely, and efficiently integrate distributed intelligence into a whole system. In process control we have faced this problem since 1986 with the creation of Fieldbus systems in which field instruments were given computational power equivalent to centralised control systems. We solved most of these problems except for security through the standardisation of Foundation Fieldbus in 2001. However, Foundation Fieldbus represented an economic threat to vendors of centralised control systems (which oddly are called DCS), and have not been widely used because of these economic threats.

In factory automation, there has been a continual development to distribute intelligence to remote I/O units, but no efforts have been made to integrate distributed control into a full system as has been done for the process industries by Foundation Fieldbus. Yet, it must happen and it will happen when users realise the benefits of building a fully distributed automation system.

“Towards capacity optimisation” — Arunkumar Janarthanan, Practice Head, Industrial Automation & Process Controls, Frost & Sullivan

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

As per our analysis, the number of connected devices is expected to multiply significantly changing the factory and energy systems landscape. As digitalisation increases, the new matrix of cross industry influence will emerge leading to a scenario that could be termed as ‘Industry Convergence’ (Integrated Industry). The need for industry convergence will be driven by the core endusers’ need to enhance productivity. The convergence of IT and OT will result in the creation of advanced process applications supporting real-time decision making. Productivity, energy efficiency, time-to-market and innovations are the crucial factors driving this.

It is also observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How is such an approach beneficial in your industry or application areas?

The situation has clearly shifted today towards capacity optimisation, rather than capacity creation. The renewed focus on cutting waste out of operations and improving asset uptime has left the plant managers with the need to increase output for a given fixed input. The primary way of achieving this is by reviewing predictive and preventive plant maintenance practices and by optimising the process. Typically, process optimisation involves operating process parameters at the edge of the envelope by utilising advanced process solutions.

What is your opinion on the growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner? How does the overall industry address such challenges?

Enhanced digitalisation leading to interconnectivity and integrated processes enables efficient operating environment leading to significant improvement in diverse parameters, such as productivity, energy efficiency and time to market.

Traditionally, cyber security was always considered as the forte of IT function within the plant but we need to clearly understand that the IT function may not always be fully aware of the nitty gritties of the operational technologies. To address this scenario, the industrial control solution providers should target collaboration with cyber security firms in securing the control systems, and in turn, the plant.

With the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India?

Industries of the future will witness humans and robots working collaboratively through human-machine interfaces without the need for safety barriers. Unprecedented demand for working age population in the developed economies has created a significant need for skilled workforce and adoption of robotic solutions and aided human intelligence. In India, we have abundant working age population, but the skills quotient is a critical gap. In this context, we cannot assume that the demand for robotics will be less. Automation is definitely an enabler for better human productivity rather than replacement for humans. Increased adoption of robots will not only enhance productivity and quality, but also replace the unskilled workforce with skilled workforce.

How is the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally, and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt these new technology concepts?

Globally, the adoption of IIoT is expected to redefine the nature of industrial solution providers. A shift from product to process and revitalisation of supply chain is expected to emerge. Who is my customer and who is my competitor? These are the key questions asked by industrial solution providers as we witness convergence and disruption in this sector. In the Indian context, we may not be witnessing a large scale evolution in the short term, but we will definitely witness it in select areas.

“Anticipating huge growth in IoT market” — Hans Bangert, Managing Director, Bosch Rexroth India

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

Few changes in recent past, which enabled factories & energy systems to adapt digital & connected solutions include price of sensors dropping at all time; usability of software and hardware significantly getting increased; computing power (CPU) getting more powerful, cheaper and compact day-by-day; data storage (cloud space) becoming cost-effective and available nearly unlimited; data mining giving new possibilities to analyse Big Data on practically real time and the principle of decentralised networking proving its performance & advantages in many cases.

It is also observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How is such an approach beneficial in your industry or application areas?

We offer this solution to our customer for their hydraulic systems and machines. It is all about collecting the data (via sensors), analysing them with respect to the application area (need sound application know-how) and visualising the data, which makes sense to the user. We are equipping our own team to use this technology (remote service support) to immediately response to the customer’s request.

Once the plant is digitally connected and all data flowing to the secured cloud space is analysed with our know-how, we can help customer to do the predictive maintenance and not reactive maintenance. This approach helps customers to reduce the accidental down-time of machine and operate the plant at optimal capacity.

What is your opinion on the growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner? How does the overall industry address such challenges?

Secured data storage is a hot topic these days and we at Bosch are very much focused on this concern. Software security is a well-known topic, but hardware security is not always taken into account. Some hardware solutions are already designed with innovative chips that will hold security keys installed directly on the piece of equipment, making it impossible to tamper with, but also allowing a faster and more reliable software authentication. Risk cannot be eliminated, it can only be managed.

With the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India?

Digital and analogue assistant systems will support people better than ever, taking over dangerous or difficult work. Human-machine collaboration will increase in a safe and intuitive way – but machines will continue to play a subordinate role. People’s health and well-being will be safeguarded and enhanced through adaptive workplace ergonomics, digital assistance functions, and ability amplifiers. In India, we must acknowledge that we have highly skilled manpower available with youngest average age in the world. In future, we will need differently-skilled people.

How is the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally, and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt these new technology concepts?

Whether Industry 4.0, Industrial Internet or Connected Industry – the IoT and services is making its arrival in our production facility and vice versa. With 250+ plants across the world, we are implementing these new technological concepts in our own plant. This not only helps us improving our own plant efficiency, but is a learning experience for us to improve our offerings to our customers as well.

From the Indian industry perspective, we expect a huge growth in the IoT market. It is estimated that the IoT market will grow exponentially by 2020. The scope will be in the areas of utilities, manufacturing, transportation, logistics & automotive industry.

“Flexible to explore technological updates globally” — Kalidas Bhangare, Managing Director, Testo India

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally, given that the factories and energy systems are representing Integrated Industry?

The latest technologies are coming from digitisation of the existing systems. Traditional methods are now getting replaced with smart solutions, networked & wireless operation and cloud technology. Machine-to-machine communication controlled & coordinated precisely has improved the operation in any industry or factory. Single touch governance of any set-up with the ease of saving & transferring data over networks makes the technology more user-friendly, interactive, cost-effective and ultimately fulfils the aim of Integrated Industry.

It is also observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How is such an approach beneficial in your industry or application areas?

Predictive maintenance is technically the repair or adjustment that is done to the existing system even before any actual damage happens. This approach enables the set-up to function in a smooth & steady way. As far as our product application areas are concerned, we are already using this concept to rectify several possible threats. Our range of thermal imagers easily highlight the thermal impressions of defected areas in applications such as electrical system, pipelines or ducts, thermal plants, building thermography, etc, which could be a serious concern in the future, if not noticed.

What is your opinion on the growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner? How does the overall industry address such challenges?

There are hindrances when it comes to the transmission, sharing & storage of crucial data over cloud or any other online soft medium. There is a lack of confidence regarding this, also sometimes the systems are not flawless and the services offered are not upto the mark, which can be precarious, but the industry is now opening up and accepting such challenges. People are now becoming aware about the best data storage mediums, several alternatives and benefits related to them. For instance, our WiFi Data Logger – Saveris 2 is advanced in online data monitoring system. With a secure online storage of all readings in Testo Cloud, the data can be managed & analysed online by the user via smartphone, tablet or PC, anywhere and anytime.

With the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India?

Today, industries have become more focused, curious and flexible to explore the technological updates globally. Even the government is now more inclined to address such issues and create a technological infrastructure that is paramount. Our manpower has also been a great learner and implementer throughout. Cobots is just another turn in the journey of advancements and India itself, being a centre of invisible discoveries, is capable enough to absorb many such technologies.

How is the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally, and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt these new technology concepts?

IIoT has become a new establishment in industrial operation and functioning. Globally, it has shown tremendous effect on almost every sector in a very small time span. Digitisation and smart solutions have become the need of the hour and is rapidly influencing the Indian market. IIoT has promoted the usage of smart & networked equipment that reduces downtime of any facility, keeps lesser human involvement, and implies automatic operation of devices that can communicate, interpret & adjust on its own seamlessly. The emergence of IIoT ensures prominent growth in the Indian market with equal acceptance and usage.

“There must be a comprehensive security strategy” — Sanjay Kulkarni, Managing Director, Pilz India

What are the major technological advancements that are witnessed globally given that the factories and energy systems are going digital and connected, which defines ‘Integrated Industry’?

Integrated Industry means creating a seamless integration at all levels and giving the devices a connection to interact with each other. In the recent times, we are seeing many technological advancements in this field. Majorly, we are witnessing tremendous growth in technologies like Artificial Intelligence, robotics, human-robot collaborations, the Internet of Things, energy storage and predictive management, which is also known as warning management. Other than that, technologies related to data processing, data augmentation and cloud computing are also becoming advanced at an unprecedented rate.

Moving into the era of intelligent machines, it is observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear which is also termed as Predictive Maintenance. How do you think implementing such an approach will be beneficial in your industry or application areas?

This approach is beneficial for any given industry. If the faults are detected beforehand, this concept will reduce downtime and ensure effective spares and production management. With this, the chances of stalled production due to product failure will come down considerably. This is specially going to be beneficial for large-scale factories having many production lines and factories producing goods in bulk.

From safety point of view, this will also reduce accidents happening in industry due to product failure, as machine will not break down unexpectedly. It will help in protecting staff as well as capital.

With the evolution of digitalisation, there is also a growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner. What is your opinion on this, and how do you think the overall industry is addressing such challenges?

The challenge for security is that – unlike functional safety – security mechanisms need to adapt continuously to new threats. Thus, there must be a comprehensive security strategy comprising multiple layers. We need to protect the network over which the components are connected with each other. Factory should also be shielded from the outside world by some special firewall concept. While the confidentiality of information enjoys top priority in the office environment, in the production sphere, data availability comes top of the list because this is a key prerequisite for smooth production processes. There are many guidelines and standards currently being designed for bringing both security worlds together.

With the evolution of cobots, today, humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India where there is good manpower availability, but lack of technology skills?

Collaborative robots or cobots is a concept where human and robots will work shoulder-to-shoulder for creating new avenues. Robots can be used to automate and streamline repetitive or potentially unsafe processes, whereas humans can work on creative aspects and areas, which require certain critical human sensibilities.

Can you give your observations on the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt these new technology concepts?

The progress on Industry 4.0 in India is slow but steady. People are still oblivious to the concepts of Industry 4.0 or IIot but are very much interested to implement advanced technology within their budget. However, large production houses and corporates are well aware about these concepts and are working further on building factories of future considering the ever-increasing market demands and ensuring customer satisfaction.

“India has an edge over other countries” — Ashish M Gaikwad, Managing Director, Honeywell Automation India, Country Leader, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) India

What are the major technological advancements witnessed globally, given that factories and energy systems are going digital and are connected, which defines ‘Integrated Industry’?

With the costs of sensors and connectivity declining, the focus has shifted on mobility applications and advanced automation. The adoption and subsequent integration of these new technologies with existing automation solutions is leading to the development of a whole new ecosystem of solutions. Using these new technologies, we can now gain better insights that can help us make far better decisions that favourably impact safety & security, reliability, efficiency and sustainability. The internet provides connectivity, collaboration and context. The linking of multiple digital solutions has taken in-plant connectivity beyond the precincts of the traditional plant to multiple locations – extending it to an entire collaborative industrial ecosystem. Quintessentially, this is the industrial internet of things (IIoT).

It is observed that the machines will recognise faults even before they appear, which is also termed as ‘Predictive Maintenance’. How do you think implementing such an approach will be beneficial in your industry or application areas?

Our research indicates that about 67% of manufacturing executives are pressing ahead with plans to invest in data analytics. The reason is that they view data analytics – a key component of IIoT – as a viable solution to a cycle of problems that lead to downtime and lost revenue. Executives need to keep their businesses running smoothly and safely, and they are banking on IIoT technologies to help navigate challenges. This is where predictive analytics achieved through effective IIoT solutions can help companies break out of that cycle.

There is a growing concern over the transmission and storage of data in a secured manner. What is your opinion on this, and how do you think the overall industry is addressing such challenges?

In the process industry, there are stringent norms of security and the data operations are always through secure clouds. There are two types of secure clouds. Large enterprises may own a cloud environment of their own – a private cloud, which only that specific enterprise can access. It has its own strong security mechanisms. Smaller enterprises who may not be able to afford a private cloud can access a cloud shared only by members in that cluster.

Humans and robots are working hand-in-hand in a safe and efficient manner. What is your opinion about the future of such technologies in countries like India where there is good manpower availability, but lack of technology skills?

India has an edge over other countries with its younger population being IT-savvy. Combining the power of IT with the initiatives being taken in manufacturing will open up further opportunities. The manufacturing ecosystem is also being developed and evolved by players in this industry. Companies, governments, universities and colleges, consumers and service providers are part of this ecosystem. Due to raised awareness levels, everybody is working towards similar goals, which will bring the momentum in creating this ecosystem.

Can you give your observations on the progress of Industry 4.0 or IIoT globally and in India? How ready is Indian industry to adopt these new technology concepts?

The potential is large and untapped when it comes to IIoT in India. It will be through building on top of what already exists today in the manufacturing industry and adapting new technologies, which will enable us to address unsolved problems and enhance overall productivity by taking advantage of the power of the internet. The best is yet to come and is surely ahead of us.

Image Gallery

  • G Ganapathiraman, Country Manager, ARC Advisory Group India

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  • PV Sivaram, Managing Director, B&R Industrial Automation Pvt Ltd

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  • Jitendra Kumar Kataria, Managing Director, Beckhoff Automation

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  • Bipin Jirge, Managing Director, ifm electronic India

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  • Vivek Gupta, General Manager & Head, Instrumentation Department, DCM Shriram Ltd

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  • Martin Rostan, Executive Director, EtherCAT Technology Group

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  • Chetan TA, Managing Director – India, Murrelektronik Pvt Ltd

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  • Pradeep David, Country Head – India & Sri Lanka, Universal Robots

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  • Ramji Singh, Associate Vice President – Sales,Schmersal India

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  • Sunil Mehta, General Manager – Technical Support, Factory Automation & Industrial Division, Mitsubishi Electric India

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  • Dick Caro, CEO, CMC Associates & Certified Automation Professional (ISA)

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  • Arunkumar Janarthanan, Practice Head, Industrial Automation & Process Controls, Frost & Sullivan

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  • Hans Bangert, Managing Director, Bosch Rexroth India

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  • Kalidas Bhangare, Managing Director, Testo India

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  • Sanjay Kulkarni, Managing Director, Pilz India

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  • Ashish M Gaikwad, Managing Director, Honeywell Automation India, Country Leader, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) India

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