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The two-day conference held by the ARC Advisory Group brought together end users, technology solution providers and industry thought leaders on a common platform

Image: ARC Advisory Group

Industry in Transition Realising the Digital Enterprise

Sep 11, 2017

With the rapid pace of digitalisation, adopting digital transformation is the need-of-the-hour. This can be done by implementing an open platform, which will help create value by connecting everything. In this context, the ARC Advisory Group held its fifteenth India forum recently in Bengaluru where experts from the discrete and process industries shared their insights on how to undergo digital transformation. A post-event report…

The latest advancements in technology in the industrial sector has pushed forth industrial companies and manufacturers to revisit their own business processes and technology approaches. Several companies, today, are considering employing a ‘digitised’ business process and exploit the increasing convergence between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) on the plant floor so as to achieve operational excellence, while maintaining transparency across the value chain. In this context, the ARC Advisory Group, recently held its fifteenth India forum for the process and discrete industries titled, ‘Industry in Transition: Realising the Digital Enterprise’ at Bengaluru. The two-day conference brought together end users, technology solution providers and industry thought leaders on a common platform, who shared the best practices on connecting and collaborating in an information-driven world.

Achieving digital transformation is key

The first day of the conference started with a keynote presentation on the topic, ‘Industry in Transition: Realising the Digital Enterprise’ by Andy Chatha, President & CEO, ARC Advisory Group. Stressing on the importance of achieving digital transformation, Chatha explained that this process of digital transformation must be seen as a business improvement opportunity. “Achieving digital transformation can help one to improve business responsiveness and agility, come up with new business models and revenue streams, add new services based on smart and connected products, increase market share, grow existing markets and create new markets,” he noted.

This was followed by another keynote presentation by Vikas Deshmukh, Vice President – Technology Centre of Excellence, Reliance Industries, who shared his insights on the same topic but focused specifically on the petroleum downstream aspect. The next keynote presentation of the day was given by Sameer Prakash, Digital Enterprise – Head, Siemens, who spoke on ‘Driving the digital enterprise’. Agreeing to Chatha, Prakash also observed that digitalisation is the need-of-the-hour. He stated, “Manufacturers must embrace technologies and transform their business into a digital enterprise, which can be applied across the entire value chain.”

Operational improvements

The next speaker of the session was Peter Zornio, Chief Technology Officer, Emerson Automation Solutions, who spoke on ‘Harnessing the power of industrial IoT to achieve operational certainty: The path to top quartile performance’. Speaking on the importance of applying operational improvement through industrial IoT systems, he said, “As proven ROI is still a concern for many end users, a scalable approach with flexible business models is the best option.”

The next presentation was given by Ashish Kawale, Senior Business Consultant, Infor – South Asia, who spoke on ‘Modernise your manufacturing’. He stated that 80% of the data that companies need to run their supply chains is locked up in partner systems. “Thus, manufacturers need to consider network-enabled supply chains, which will allow for continuous visibility and converge physical and financial supply networks, giving access to this data,” he said. This was followed by another presentation by Anne-Marie Walters, Global Marketing Director, Bentley Systems, who discussed the topic, ‘Going digital: Industrialising BIM to speed project delivery and leveraging the digital DNA to improve asset performance’.

Moving towards digital enterprise

The next session was given by MS Niranjan, Director, Engineering & R&D Council, NASSCOM, who spoke on ‘Industry in transition: Realising the digital enterprise – NASSCOM perspective for GSPs’. Pointing out that digital manufacturing could reduce operating costs by 10-25% across the value chain, he highlighted the challenges surrounding the digital transformation initiatives. “Some of the challenges include understanding behaviour or impact of a new customer, lack of data or ROI to justify value of digital transformations, risk management compliance and legal complications, resources, changing company culture to be agile and lack of digital transformation budget allocation,” he explained.

Smart innovation platform

The subsequent presentation was jointly given by Anil Bhise, Senior Manager – Product Marketing, Mitsubishi Electric and Vineet Nayyar, Cluster Leader for Industrial Sector – North & East India, IBM. They covered the topic, ‘Plant-wide predictive production analytics on an open platform informed by condition monitoring at the machine level and reducing plant stops related to machine failure’. Elaborating on the importance of having an open platform, which will help create value by connecting everything, they pointed out that this would bring access to multiple vendor devices and networks, legacy systems, diverse IT software, diverse data storage and formats and an array of various cloud environments.

The following discussion was given on ‘Smart innovation for the digital enterprise’ by Srinath Narayan, Director – Strategy & Business Development, Siemens Industry Software. Speaking on realising the digital strategy by delivering the smart innovation platform, he stated, “The smart innovation platform consists of having engaged users, intelligent models, realised products and sustainable systems.” The subsequent presentation was given by PV Sivaram, President, AIA & Managing Director, B&R Automation, who shared his insights on the topic, ‘Industry 4.0 – Way forward in India’.

Automation trends & cybersecurity

The following presentation was given by Shaunak, Deputy General Manager, Steag and Rajbans Talwar, Consultant in Optimisation, Steag, who covered the subject, ‘Toward information convergence – Merit order rating, maintenance management & management dashboard’. This was followed by a talk by Justin Nga, Commercial Engineering Director, Industrial Cybersecurity Lead, Belden, who explained the concepts related to ‘A structured and practical approach to industrial cybersecurity’. Thereafter, an informative discussion followed on ‘Realising the digital enterprise at ABG’ by Himanshu Vyas, Senior Vice President – Technology, Aditya Birla Group and finally, the first day was concluded with a final presentation from Ganapathiraman, VP & GM, ARC Advisory Group, who gave a brief summary of all the topics discussed.

Evolving technology trends

The second day of the conference kick-started with a presentation from Ganapathiraman on ‘Evolving technology trends impacting manufacturing industry’. He highlighted that modern business pressures are driving manufacturers to become real-time, integrated enterprises and achieve operational excellence. This was followed by a discussion by Ashok, Deputy Project Director, ADA, who elaborated on ‘Industry in transition: Realising the digital enterprise – Aerospace industry’. After this, a discussion ensued on the topic, ‘Unleash the power of wireless to achieve operational excellence in refinery’, which was led by Khushbu Chaplot Chaudhary, Leader, Plantweb Solutions, Emerson Automation Solutions and Sunil Mohan Jadekar, Chief Manager – CES, HPCL Mumbai Refinery. Thereafter, another presentation was held on ‘Advance controller requirements for digitalisation’ which was given by Milind Kulkarni, Chief Manager – Business Development & Factory Automation, Siemens.

Digital trends – User experiences

The next half of the conference witnessed a presentation from Parthasarathy, Director – IT, Antrix, who shared his insights on ‘IoT in aerospace sector’. Elaborating on the benefits of IoT in aerospace manufacturing, he noted, “IoT enables a fully integrated, software-based, total production optimisation system, bridges the gap between engineering and manufacturing, together will full tracking of assets on the production floor to create a true real-time, holistic optimised decision framework.” This was followed by a presentation by MK Srivastava, GM (PE-C&I), NTPC, who spoke on the topic, ‘The digital enterprise in the power sector’ where he shared his insights focusing on the power sector. This was followed by a case study on ‘Digitally enabled lean through Industry 4.0’ by Chethan K, Group Quality Director & Manufacturing Excellence Champion and Praful Kushwaha, Manager – IT Services, Bharat Forge.

The final half of the seminar included a presentation on ‘Industry in transition: Realising the digital enterprise for machinery industry’ which was given by Chandrashekar Bharathi, Managing Director, Ace Micromatic & Madhusudan N Kestur, Director, Ace Micromatic. Then, Sanoj James, Head – Engineering, Juwi – Southeast Asia, spoke on ‘Industry in transition: Remote monitoring of solar farms – Juwi experience’. Finally, the conference concluded with a presentation from Vivek Gupta, General Manager & Head – Instrument, DCM Shriram, who explained the concepts related to ‘Automation challenge: Alarm management’. The seminar ended with a vote of thanks, given by Rajkumar, Analyst, ARC Advisory Group.

Key takeaways…

The seminar showcased that it is important for manufacturers to adopt digital transformation by implementing an open platform, which will help create value by connecting everything. Building a digital enterprise will bring about operational excellence and cut costs across the value chain. The following are key considerations when building such an enterprise:

  • Importance of engaged users: It gives everyone in the innovation process the most up-to-date information to make the best decisions in the shortest time

  • Importance of intelligent models: It produces the best performing innovations using the best process by leveraging self-optimising models throughout the product lifecycle

  • Importance of realized products: Bring ideas to life faster by seamlessly connecting the digital and physical worlds of product and production

  • Importance of sustainable systems: Build a platform for innovation that ensures long-term ROI by quickly assimilating new applications, technologies and delivery models.

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