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DIGITALISATION Succeeding in the digital transformation journey

Sep 4, 2019

The digital transformation of industry, infrastructure, and cities is underway. Disruptive new technologies have already gained a foothold in most organisations. In this context, ARC Advisory Group recently organised its 17th India Forum on ‘Driving Digital Transformation in Industry and Cities’ in Bengaluru. The event highlighted how industry and infrastructure are moving towards digitalisation, automation trends, new processes and best practices across all industry verticals. A post-event report…

Industrial organisations around the world are entering a period in which new digital technologies augment people and processes to an unprecedented degree. Also, cities require a combined approach to IoT, AI and other technologies. Keeping this in mind, ARC Advisory Group recently organised its 17th India Forum on ‘Driving Digital Transformation in Industry and Cities’ in Bengaluru, which discussed conducting the digital transformation journey, business value from IoT, building a national level data strategy and more.

The two-day event kicked-off with G Ganapathiraman, Vice President & General Manager, ARC Advisory Group, welcoming and addressing the audience. He briefed on the forum agenda, highlighting the topics that will be adressed and discussed, mentioning that the forum is a platform for everyone to connect and share information. “The automation industry is developing and growing at a very fast rate,” he commented.

Undertaking the digital transformation journey

The first keynote presentation was by Bradley G Houk, Senior Engineering Advisor, ExxonMobil, on ‘ExxonMobil process automation journey’, where he highlighted the objectives for ExxonMobil OPA Test Bed. “The objective is to create ‘Test Bed’ to support continued testing of components and standards,” he said. Another intriguing presentation soon followed; Sal Spada, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group, spoke on ‘Driving digital transformation in industry & cities.’ He explained that more than 80% companies undertake the digital transformation initiative, but less than 11% succeed.

The event then turned its attention towards ‘Industry 4.0 applications in Indian industries’ by Dr Rajashekhar Malur, Chief Technology Officer, Tata Consulting Engineers. He said, “We started getting into smart cities in around 2007. All our cities are in various stages of development.” Subsequently, Sameer Prakash, General Manager, Head – Digital Enterprise, Siemens, gave an engaging presentation on ‘Thinking industry ahead’ in which he stressed that when we talk about digitalisation, it is about one ecosystem against the other ecosystem.

The role of AI

The ensuing presentation was a gripping one on ‘Creating, managing and leveraging digital twins’ by Anne-Marie Walters, Industry Marketing Director – Process & Resources, Bentley Systems, where Walters proficiently emphasised that digital twin generates insights. “A digital twin is continuously synchronised from multiple sources,” she said.

How just adding Artificial Intelligence (AI) does not change everything magically, but where a lot more is needed, was expertly highlighted by Chris Hazlewood, Senior Manager, Promotion Section, Overseas Planning & Administration Dept, Factory Automation Systems Division, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, in his presentation on ‘Artificial Intelligence’. “AI does not understand the difference between right and wrong,” he implied and went on, “but it will revolutionise our processes and lives.”

Business value from IoT

After the keynote presentations, it was time for the next segment of the day, ‘Moving toward digital enterprise’. Dr Tomasz Kaminski, Project Director – System Technologies Division, STEAG Energy Services GmbH, gave a captivating presentation on ‘Use of predictive analytics for detection of tube leakages’. “Tube failures is the common cause of availability lost,” he revealed. Succeeding this, Sudheesh Narayanan, MD & CEO, Knowledge Lens, spoke on ‘Leveraging AI and data science for Industry 4.0’. Handily throwing light on the business value from IoT, he said, “It’s about taking devices on an open platform and making them available.”

Benefits of digital retrofits

Going digital is integral to the commercial delivery of safe, flexible operation, which was addressed by Peter Saddington, Business Development Lead – Enerlytics, Uniper Technologies. In his talk on ‘Digital retrofits for power plant efficiencies’ he expounded, “There are various benefits of adopting a digital retrofit, from 10-15% reduction in outage & overall expenditure to 56% internal rate of return (IRR).” Delving further into the event, Sheetal Paralikar, Manager – Business Development, Siemens, spoke on ‘Advanced automation control solution for industries & cities’. Taking a tunnel project into consideration, she conveyed that instead of having everything on paper, we can have a digital twin and hand it over to the end-user.

The event moved into its last segment of the day, ‘Going digital – the Indian scenario’. Transforming the mobility business by selling e-bikes, not as a product but a service, was an area which was further elucidated upon by Lokesh Payik, Chief of Digital Enterprise, Bosch. Through his talk on ‘Digital transformation for industry’, Payik stressed that they first acquire companies and give them complete empowerment, asking for a good product. “Then, whatever we develop, we invest & keep it completely ready and then send it to the market,” he put across.

Digital empowerment

Presenting the topic ‘Smart manufacturing, IIoT and Industry 4.0 for India’, Madhusudan Kestur, Director, Ace Micromatic Manufacturing Intelligence Technologies, stressed that Industry 4.0 is necessary as manufacturing data will grow exponentially and because it also brings global opportunities. The session after this was led by Uma Balakrishnan, CEO, Axcend Technologies & Vice President, Automation Industry Association (AIA), presenting the topic ‘Bridging ecosystem for digital empowerment in manufacturing’. Balakrishnan suggested that the management must empower the operator and give them the opportunity to see themselves grow.

Following this, the first day saw its last session with Subhash Chandra Bankey, Senior Manager, IT-Digital & SBU Operation; & Indradyumna Datta, Digital Lead – Operations & Enabling Functions, Cairn Oil & Gas, Vedanta, who gave a presentation on ‘Doing more with less in production operations with exception-based surveillance’. They explained that with a growing economy, India has an immense appetite for oil and emphasised the types of artificial lift systems that help suck oil from the well.

The second day of the event was initiated by Ganapathiraman in his presentation on ‘Digital transformation overview’. He distinctly remarked that every organisation needs digital transformation, or else it won’t be in the business for long.

Building data strategy

We are rapidly progressing from a knowledge-driven economy to a data-driven one. From this perspective, Achyuta Ghosh, Head of Research, NASSCOM, spoke on ‘Building a national level data strategy for India’. He earnestly cited that India has the opportunity to gain significant competitive advantage in the data-driven economy. He also put across some illustrative national data strategy considerations, such as, addressing ownership & control of data, enabling safe, legal data sharing and data governance.

Challenges impeding IIoT growth

The third session of the day commenced with Vivek Roy, Chief Manager – Marketing, Siemens, speaking on ‘Cybersecurity & network transparency’. He said, “As digitalisation is changing everything, to stay successful, three key elements need to be considered – availability and application performance, transparency and security.” After this, Amit Shrivastava, Director, Business Development – Digital Twin Solutions, Bentley Systems, gave a presentation on ‘The digital twin solution for process industries’. “Digital twin is one of the top ten strategic technology trends for 2019,” he conveyed.

The second day turned to its next segment – ‘Digital transformation for industry and cities’. The subject of ‘Challenges in digital transformation for Indian process industry’ was taken up by Vivek Gupta, Assistant Vice President – Instrumentation, DCM Shriram & Steering Committee Member, Digital Transformation Council, ARC Advisory Group. While elucidating on the challenges impeding IIoT growth, Gupta pointed out that lack of end-to-end encryption, disparate regional standards, and scalability challenges are some of the challenges standing in the way.

Being proactive

Subsequently, Retd Lt Col L Shri Harsha, Deputy Program Director & Construction Manager, Visakhapatnam Smart City Project, discussed ‘Big Data in city administration’. He emphasised that smart city concept is about how proactive one is going to be in decision making. “Without this, data is completely useless,” he elucidated. The next session began with Arun Yadav, Manager & MES Solution Lead, Pulp and Fiber Business, Grasim Industries, discussing ‘Global implementation of smart manufacturing solution and design and implementation of greenfield smart factory.’ He pointed out some basic business needs like, single system to access all plant process and asset related data & eliminate spreadsheet and calculations in silos.

Heading towards digital success

The second day came to its last segment – ‘End user experiences – going digital’. The first session of this segment had Anuradha Shenoy, Chief Manager – Information Systems & Digital, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, talking about ‘Digital initiatives at BPCL refineries’. Shenoy focused on the company’s strategic focus for refineries, in which operational excellence, project conceptualisation and innovative technologies, are all tied up with people engagement. In addition to this, the interest of the audience was further augmented by the session on ‘Digitalisation in Tata Steel’ by Gaurav Saran, Senior Manager, Process Technology Group, Tata Steel. “We go for data empowered decision making, internal collaboration to establish the digital backbone and process visualisation and diagnostics to embrace digital disruption,” he told the audience.

The event soon came to its last session – ‘Digital transformation in Indian industries – an end-user survey’ by Rajkumar Paira, Senior Analyst, ARC Advisory Group. Paira explained that the ARC research is intended to shed light upon the digital transformation of the industry, including IIoT uptake in the industrial space. “To head towards successful digital transformation, it is important to make honest assessments, account for the human element and have a cohesive strategy,” he affirmed.

Both the days of the fastidious event had one-on-one discussions with the audience where the presenters and speakers answered questions on their presentations.

With inputs from Sharada Prahladrao, Editor & Public Relations Manager, ARC Advisory Group

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