What is the current potential of IIoT in India? How do you think the manufacturing ecosystem is supporting the growth of smart factories in India?
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 building on new technologies, which will enable us to take advantage of the power of internet. Adoption of these new technologies with existing automation is leading to the development of new solutions, which were not possible before. Huge amounts of data are generated from the daily operation of the manufacturing plants. Using the new technologies, we can now gain better insights that favourably impact safety, security, reliability, efficiency and sustainability. Internet provides the connectivity, collaboration and context. Linking this to the internet has taken in-plant connectivity beyond the precincts of the traditional plant and linking it to the outside world – to multiple locations, and even the entire industrial ecosystem that can collaborate. Quintessentially, this is IIoT.
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 opportunities in the country. 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.
How do you think IIoT can help the ‘Make in India’ initiative become more successful?
The intent behind ‘Make in India’ is to create more jobs – encouraging young people to associate with an organised sector. By using IIoT, people who don’t have access to capital or are located in different regions and not in big cities, can still have access to opportunities. Thus, IIoT can be a key enabler for the ‘Make in India’ mission by bringing people virtually together and by connecting the jobs with people.
Can you suggest some measures that are required for increasing the adoption rate of advanced automation technology in the Indian manufacturing sector ?
Multinational companies help in easily bringing the learnings and new technologies from one part of the world to the other. Often, it so happens that some technologies are not yet fully developed or are in their infancy or ideation stage. In such cases, customers become our partners in developing that ideation and creating a product or solution; thus, increasing the adoption rate of advanced technologies in this sector.
How can the potential of IT & software solutions enable the process industries to be more efficient?
Many industries that are not connected with IT are at a bit of a disadvantage given that today, a lot more software is being used, even by the otherwise traditional industries. There are many software tools and aids coming up that are making the processes in most of these industries quite impactful. Thus, if software and IT is used, the company will be far more efficient compared to the players in the same industry, who
are not adopting it as fast.
However, simply incorporating IIoT is not going to give the desired results. Companies need to ask how they can use the power of internet connectivity beyond the restrictions that existed earlier, and the power of data analytics to gain insights from the experts to solve problems that otherwise were near-impossible to address.
What role does IT play in driving significant advances in the industrial automation solution? Can you highlight developments in Honeywell in this area ?
In terms of advances in industrial automation solutions, no longer are these industrial solutions of a proprietary nature. Advanced IIoT systems have made all these solutions open and available, not just globally, but even locally, for others to come and service. Therefore, the cost of ownership, maintenance and running has been brought down significantly. IIoT has made an impact not only in terms of speeding up operations, but also in terms of doing things by meeting cost-constraints. Currently, Honeywell has about 15,000 engineers, out of which almost half of them are software engineers. This is in sharp contrast from a decade ago when the majority of engineers leaned heavily on the electronics sector. This gives an idea of how IT has impacted our solutions and offerings.
In recent years, cyber security threat has become a growing concern for the industrial automation sector. What are the latest security measures from Honeywell that help defend industrial facilities from cyber attacks in India?
With the progress on IIoT, the subject of cyber security has become very crucial. At Honeywell, it is simply not an optional issue any more. To address cyber security concerns, Honeywell has a solutions suite called Industrial Cyber Security Risk Manager. Risk Manager is a software that one can install on a server, which is connected to industrial automation. The software is able to continuously monitor incoming threats. Often, it is physically impossible to monitor threats in a manual way. Risk Manager can do this automatically across a very large network. It is also designed to monitor the industrial systems and not just a generic IT system.
How do you make sure that you are prepared with the right technology and strategy to ensure the success of an automation project?
As an automation service provider, we have the inherent processes, which enable that the delivered solution and technology ensures safety, reliability and integrity of the overall process. Within those safety boundaries, we find the optimal way of achieving efficiency. Cyber security is another aspect, which is given priority, ensuring that the deliverables of the solutions are safe and secure. In terms of the right technology, our company takes part in seed planting, also known as new products introduction. It surveys the current and future needs and ensures that the technology level is also aligned with the upcoming automation projects. By analysing the trends in the right manner, we realised that many industries would shift towards sophistication on IT and software. This, therefore, prepared us to serve the industry with IIoT solutions for today. ☐