With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, the manufacturing sector in India is seeing significant changes with contributions from government programmes such as the ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ initiatives, etc. Keeping this in mind, the 15th edition of the CII Manufacturing Summit, held recently in Mumbai, brought together experts who gave their insights on the trends, challenges and the way forward for this sector in India. The theme for this year’s event was – Next Gen Manufacturing: Winning through technology & innovation.
Make in India: Taking stock
The inaugural session was focused on Make in India – Taking stock. The welcome address and introductory remarks were given by Sudhir Mehta, Chairman, CII (WR) & CMD, Pinnacle Industries, who said, “With the help of the recent government initiatives, a thrust on innovation will spur new products and perhaps even new industries & the Indian industry will steadily integrate much deeper with global supply chain.” The next speaker was Jamshyd N Godrej, Summit Chairman & Past President, CII and CMD, Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co. He shared, “Globally, manufacturing is entering into a new era with the advent of next generation manufacturing technologies. India needs to proactively invest in building capabilities and become globally competitive.”
This was followed by the release of the CII–BCG report titled 'Next Generation Manufacturing: Winning through Technology & Innovation, where BCG assesses current state of Indian manufacturing sector, looks at the countries rising as global manufacturing hubs, analyses the impact of Industry 4.0 technologies on global as well as Indian manufacturing, and lays down imperatives for the industry as well as government. The overview of this report was given by Arindam Bhattacharya, Senior Partner & Director, BCG India. Additionally, a special address was given by Sajjan Jindal, CMD, JSW Group, who emphasised that the cost of manufacturing should come down substantially to enable India to become the manufacturing hub and tap into the export markets more efficiently. The next speaker was Ajay Shankar, Chairman, Expert Committee on Regulatory Approvals, Dept of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry. He mentioned, “We can achieve 14% manufacturing rate through a three-pronged approach – labour intensive manufacturing framework, smart PPP in the sunrise industry and labour intensive manufacturing.”
Industry 4.0 – Impact on Indian manufacturing
Industry 4.0 stands for the changes that are collectively being driven in manufacturing companies by 9 distinct trends – autonomous robots, simulation, software integration, Internet of things (IoT), cyber-security, cloud, Additive Manufacturing, augmented reality and Big Data. The collective impact of these trends have been mind boggling in some countries. Costs have been halved and delivery/availability performances have reached all-time highs. However, many of these changes have still not impacted the Indian manufacturing sector in a major way.
The second session covered the topic of when and how Industry 4.0 will impact Indian manufacturing. The first panelist of this session was Andreas Wolf, Head - Manufacturing & Quality, Bosch India. He emphasised on the need for skilled labour in India for Industry 4.0 to flourish and said, “India needs investments in terms of skilled and trained workforce for the Industry 4.0 revolution to take place in India.” The next speaker was Pawan Goenka, MD, Mahindra and Mahindra. He discussed the three concerns that Industry 4.0 poses in India, which are, loss of jobs, rescaling of labour force and required investments. Discussing his insight on how to create a lower cost model for Indian SMEs, he shared, “Currently, in India, the cost of labour is going up and the cost of automation is coming down. With more local development, robots will become cheaper. Thus, factories will grow by adding automation.”
The third speaker of the session was Ashish Bhat, Executive VP & Head, Digital Factory, Siemens India. He shared his opinion on whether going automated means taking jobs away from the labour force and said, “If we are able to produce competitively, we create more consumption. Hence, we will have more automated plants, which will eventually hire more workers, thus creating more jobs for the labour force.” The final panelist of the session was Raj Singh Rathee, MD, Kuka Robotics and the session was moderated by Arindam Bhattacharya. This session highlighted that implementing and working on Industry 4.0 will not only change the face of manufacturing, but it will also involve digitisation of all operations.
Creating an innovation culture
The next panel discussion was on innovation, which engaged the audience with discussions around the importance of innovation. The session explored ways in which an innovation culture could be created in companies. The first panelist of the session was Tapan Misra, Distinguished Scientist & Director,Space Applications Centre. He was followed by Tushar Garg, Senior Fellow, National Innovation Foundation and RR Sonde, Executive VP – Research Technology & Innovation, Thermax. The next speaker was Geetika Kambli, Managing Partner, Future Factory and the session was moderated by Arun Bruce, Partner & Director, BCG India.
The speakers pointed out that innovation is a key to implement any change, including changing the traditional way of manufacturing to implementing new technology. The emphasis on leadership was also given, with leaders who are also risk takers. Industry to industry collaboration is another characteristic that needs to gain momentum so as to achieve high level of innovations in the country.
Transforming manufacturing: Bringing Industry 4.0 to life
Adoption of technology and participation in the fourth industrial revolution is not an option for the Indian manufacturing sector but it is an imperative. The fourth session discussed on how to bring the fourth industrial revolution to life in India. The first panelist of this session was Ailke Heidemann, Principal, BCG Germany, who shared a global perspective on how Industry 4.0 is transforming manufacturing. She highlighted that complexity leads to challenges that Industry 4.0 can address and that now is the time to adopt Industry 4.0 as declining costs help drive its development. She further stated, “Industry 4.0 is not replacing lean & structure; rather it is complementing and enhancing them.”
The next speaker was TV Narendran, MD, Tata Steel. Sharing the Indian perspective, he spoke on how to approach this journey of digital transformation in India. He said, “Leadership must understand and appreciate this phase of digital transformation. Everyone should have a reverse mentor and younger employees should be a mentor of the leadership team. This is a great way to connect with the younger demographic.” The fourth session was moderated by Anirudh Tara, Principal, BCG India.
Shop-floor level innovation
While industry 4.0 may be more of a reality in the advanced economies and in a nascent stage within India, many Indian companies have already begun to deploy technological advancements on the shopfloor. The fifth session covered shopfloor level technology innovation.
The main highlight of this session was the contest on Industry 4.0 and the display of technology and case study presentations of selected contestants, which included presentations from officials from Universal Robots who showcased collaborative robots, Siva Rama Krishna, AVP, MothersonSumi Infotech & Design and Avinash Joshi, GM, Project Engineering, Hero MotoCorp, who spoke on digitally integrated system, automation and IIoT. The winning team of the contest was from Hero MotoCorp and the runner up team was from Motherson Sumi Infotech & Designs.
The valedictory session included speakers who summed up the summit’s takeaways. The first speaker of the concluding session was Ninad Karpe, Deputy Chairman, CII (WR) and Director, Aptech. He shared that the summit was quite engaging and has left an impact on the manufacturing fraternity. The next panelist was Arun Maira, Former Member of Planning Commission of India & Former Chairman, BCG India. He emphasised, “The value that human beings provide to enterprises is critical and we must find innovative ways to put more humans into the system.” He further stressed on the need to find innovative ways to create more livelihood. This session was concluded by Jamshyd N Godrej, who remarked, “We hope that the summit has helped everyone learn something and I hope all of you will leave with ‘one big idea’ that is needed for your business.” ☐