Magnetic Moments

Event Report

Smart manufacturing Summit 2017 will trigger a series of changes in the way companies worked. such were the insights.

By Jayashree Kini-Mendes

Staying connected has never been easier. The internet has changed much in the way we lead our lives. Not only are lay people using the internet in all their affairs, but across the globe businesses too are adopting technology in all processes of their work. In manufacturing, this has come to be termed as smart. This could range from IIoT, Big Data, predictive maintenance, nanotechnology, 3D printing, among other things.

This magazine has supported and written much about adoption of technologies in the digital age. It is also for the same reason that Manufacturing Today organised the Smart Manufacturing Summit 2017 on June 23 at Hotel Oberoi Gurugram. This was the second leg of the Summit, after meeting with tremendous success last year.

The day long event began with the lighting of the lamp and a welcome note by Bibhor Srivastava, group publishing director, ITP Media (India).

Kavan Mukhtyar, partner and leader, automotive, PwC India, also the conference chair for the event, related how smart manufacturing is India’s chance to build competitiveness at a global level from a manufacturing standpoint. “We help clients with their digital transformation journey. The auto industry is changing rapidly and it is an opportunity for them to build capacities. There are few learnings I would like to share. Smart manufacturing is not about technology, but rather about building competitiveness. The Smart factory design should be based on the business objective,” he added. His advice to the audience was to build that long-term journey bit by bit and make shorter plans, but technology choices should be made keeping the long-term in mind.

Our keynote for the day was Sudhir Kumar, joint advisor, industry vertical, Niti Aayog. Speaking from the dais, Kumar said, “This sector is seeing new changes and there’s a considerable interest to ensure make Make in India a success. Often we faced with questions such as, will the change impact the investment patterns across different geographies? I must say that we need to increase the share of manufacturing in the economy. The services has been growing fast but to sustain them we need an anchor in terms of manufacturing. Considering that there’s a strong focus on technology as well as labour-intensive sectors, we also need to look at the smaller segment of population that comprise a large sector in terms of jobs creation.”
He added that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has constituted a group to initiate dialogue on these issues and, including Niti Aayog, is looking into this issue from the perspective of smart manufacturing and how technology will affect the current system.

Speaking about factory automation and Industry 4.0, Sunil Mehta, sr. GM, technical, Mitsubishi Electric India, said, “Industrial 4.0 is mainly an industrial revolution. We call it as e-Factory, which we have been implemented in our manufacturing setups in Japan and China. This has also been implemented by various manufacturers in Germany and Intel (Malaysia). What we are talking about is the connectivity of the sensor, the connectivity of all equipment to an ERP level. This also includes software tools such as MES, ERP, and integration of factory automation products to the IT level. The core of smart manufacturing is seeking to improve productivity and quality of products and all this boils down to the connectivity of the equipment. It is for this reason that we are strong in the automotive industry, specially in the two wheelers industry among Hero Motocorp, HMSI, TVS and Bajaj.”

Explaining the confluence of trends that promise to reshape the future of manufacturing, Jagdish Ramaswamy, chief digital officer, head business excellence, Hindalco, elucidated, “Industry 4.0 is here to stay. It has become imperative for everyone to adopt. Smart factories exist to satisfy the needs of the consumer. This also works well for the financial and the banking sector, besides healthcare. We need to understand the business objectives before adopting any technology. What matters is whether any of these will help you offer value to your customers and to your operations. The Aditya Birla Group has 17 businesses and each of them need digitisation in a different way. We got two high-level teams to figure out what’s best for us and we delivered the business value in a quick turnaround time.”

The first panel discussion, Manufacturing in the Digital Era, comprised Sanjiv Kumar Jain, CIO, Spark Minda; Swapan Gayen, CIO, Bharat Seats; NC Chakrabarti, VP & head, smart manufacturing technology, Reliance Industries; Bappa Bandyopadhyay, director, operations & projects, Henkel Adhesive Technologies; Manoj Agarwal, sr. VP, manufacturing, DS Group; Sunil Mehta, Mitsubishi Electric India; and Madhan T, sr. director, IoT solutions, PTC. The panel was moderated by Vijay Kannan, director, digital consulting, PwC India.

Shooting the first question to Bandyopadhyay on how digitally advanced are the companies now, he replied that Henkel has just launched its 2020+ Vision and one of the two priorities happens to be agility and digitisation. “We are in the process of making a masterplan in digitisation, not only in operations, but also in the market, vendors side, and across the entire value chain. Globally, we have appointed a CDO (chief digitalisation officer) and that way we ensure we move ahead.”
Agarwal averred that digitalisation offers accurate information and helps to utilise it in the interest of the customers. It helps in creating better products and that’s most important.

Speaking about how operations can be made responsive, Gayen said it reflects on the cost-efficiency of product and adds to the quality, while transforming the effectiveness of the workplace. Jain added that traditional IT has come a long way from deploying basic ERP and merely running operations. “We have tried to connect the vertical and the horizontal and looked at procurement to supply chain and even included the machines. No more does anything work in silos. Today we are talking about bringing in visibility to the entire operations of the plant,” he added.

Explaining how digitalisation works at Reliance Industries, Chakrabarti said that all systems may not be connected to each other, but certain processes are. The company is trying to optimise its present situation and they would like to see the future through the present and past data. Application of analytics and knowing the market dynamics through optimal use of data would be an ideal situation.

Digitalisation does not mean wiring up the entire place, said Madhan of PTC. “One should not adopt technology if they are not going to see business outcome. Operations should be monitored only if it changes the way things are done,” he said.
Considering that data is already available in the controller, Mehta said most companies have little idea about gathering that data and using it to their advantage. Companies need to transport that data and work on the analytics, only then does digitalisation makes sense.

Speaking on Shop floor technologies for building smart factories, Anil Bhise, sr. manager, product marketing, Mitsubishi Electric India, said, “Smart manufacturing can be made an art, where the challenges are different for different industries. When Coca Cola tried a massive customisation plan to add the consumer’s name on the bottle, and the company makes 150 million, it worked well for them. But when seen from a manufacturing standpoint, it was a huge exercise. Technology helped them do that. It becomes even troublesome when one considers garments makers who need to maintain accuracy for online buyers. Digitalisation is making all this possible. Our software e-Factory is helping manufacturing companies see immense possibilities,” he added.

Ashutosh Apte, digital business & industry director, discrete manufacturing, SAP, decided to speak on From (Io)Things to Outcomes with SAP Leonardo. “Working with automotive OEMs and component makers, and large industrial houses to define their digital roadmaps, I have come to realise that there are few companies who actually shop through the roof. But they need to do that. Technologies are reaching a point of inflection and can cause unprecedented change. Large companies are getting disrupted or transforming themselves to stay ahead of the times. There are some companies changing the way they interact with customers, or their manufacturing methods, or getting into new industries. Fundamentally, a lot of things will change most of the things that we were used to.”

We then moved on to the second panel discussion for the day, The CXO Dialogue. The panellists comprised Palash Roy Chowdhury, MD, India, Pratt and Whitney; Jagmohan Singh, regional director India, Sri Lanka & Maldives, Lockheed Martin; Ravindra Dayal, executive director, Maruti Suzuki; Jagdish Ramaswamy, Hindalco; and Ashutosh Apte, SAP. Kavan Mukhtyar, PwC India, moderated the discussion.


Dayal highlighted how Maruti Suzuki has connected all its dealers and the company is spot on about the kinds of activities happening in sales. Having understood this, it also becomes the starting point for a new model. “When we design a car, we work closely with the customer needs and then with the engineering and manufacturing team. Various techniques are used to get the perfect car,” he said.

Chowdhury spoke about leveraging technology and data to break barriers. A lot of innovative technologies have emerged and the confluence of these technologies is steering the change. There are a lot of applications happening at the national and state level to benefit citizens. Industries like aerospace apply these technologies to the entire value chain i.e. right from concept development to design to prototyping, engineering and manufacturing, and in real time.

Singh of Lockheed Martin has a different manufacturing process as compared to others. Additive manufacturing will hugely impact this sector, and change the way this sector has been progressing. The emergence of advanced and special materials will change the way products are made. He added that Lockheed Martin would love to manufacture in India once they have sorted out the technical issues. Replying to a question thrown from the audience, Ramaswamy said that a collaborative world is what companies must look at. “Critical suppliers must be an intricate part of the OEMs business. It is up to the OEM to attend to this,” he added.

Apte cited an example of a power components supplier who approached a vendor to enable them to work together. There is a new kind of reliance that is happening in the market and this will help everyone in the long run.

Post lunch, Kishore Jayaraman, president, India & South Asia, Rolls Royce, elucidated on Industry 4.0 as a must for the aerospace industry. “India has seen the cycles of 1.0 and 2.0. Industry 4.0, factories of the future, and smart manufacturing are about increasing production and making things simpler. The country is doing much in the way of 4.0 and the world is learning. “Every single turbine that comes out from us comes with a petabyte of data. But we have to discern the right data that we can use in the future,” he added.

Srinath Koppa, head, lifecycle collaboration software, Siemens PLM, spoke on Enabling the digital thread across an enterprise – as a foundation towards Industry 4.0. “Materials are changing and the traditional method of using materials are also changing. We have composites and new types of manufacturing methods. Products are getting complex. For instance, the pioneer of a cellphone (Nokia) has disappeared and new ones have emerged in their place. Sustainability can be a part of manufacturing operations as that powers processes and the organisation,” he added.

The last presentation for the day was from Sushant Arora, co-founder & head (business development), Cleanmax Solar. Speaking about managing costs through sustainable measures, Arora said that the company looks at sustainability and within that energy and within that solar. “A decade ago, lots of companies had huge sustainability and carbon reduction aspirations. But achievement was incredibly small. The problem was the capital such projects need. It’s not trivial and is non-core. The other was expertise. In the private sector, this can be taken up through a developer who puts up a solar farm in a remote location and from that plant uses the grid to wheel power to the manufacturing unit,” he said.

We then came to the last panel discussion for the day, which was Sustainability Panel: Lean across the sectors. The panellists comprised Ganesh Mani, senior VP, production, Hyundai Motor India; Vikas Singhal, VP manufacturing, technology & supply chain, Whirlpool of India; Sudip Bhattacharya, sr VP, manufacturing & deputy plant head, Daikin; Sanat Sahu, head operations, Hella Automotive; Deepak Uppal, executive director, Vatika Group; and Sushant Arora, Cleanmax Solar. Bibhor Srivastava moderated the panel discussion.

Srivastava asked Sahu to relate some of the measures they have taken in their company. Sahu said that his company has taken steps towards reducing energy consumption and has decided to put up solar units every year. In terms of production, they have introduced MES in the plant, which helps them garner visibility across all spheres.

Mani said that HMIL sells more than 5 million cars a year and for this reason has installed a global energy monitoring system. HMIL has moved from electricity to steam to compressed air and then water. One needs to measure cost impact vs cost result. The company also uses LEDs, creating awareness about usage of water, regenerative thermal oxidiser to reduce consumption of water at the paint shop, among other things.

Expounding on the exploitation of natural resources, Bhattacharya said that industries play a major role in controlling pollution and delivering sustainability. Solar panel introduction is one of the trends now.

Uppal elucidated that Vatika is a design driven and technology organisation with stress on sustainability. This means conserving natural resources. Selection of equipment at the first stage is what helps bring in energy efficiency. Manufacturing companies must measure the COP and create benchmarks that will help them decrease the load on the equipment. Such kinds of products are also being developed in India.

Pushing the much spoken saying that we should not borrow from future generations, Singhal said this generation needs to find a way to leave the world in a much better condition than was handed down to us. Companies should learn to make products using lesser resources, and rely less on power and water. This can be achieved by streamlining processes and his company has done that.

Arora said that more companies are taking responsibility and thinking about such policies that is driving the business models. Once they have gathered such a vision, then it needs to be made a reality.
Mukhtyar ended the conference by summing up the major points of the day, while Bibhor Srivastava offered a Vote of Thanks and expressed gratitude to the participants and the audience for the learnings and patience during the day.


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