As India braces for digitalisation, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is going full throttle in onboarding small and medium enterprises (SMEs) into this drive.
B Santhanam, President and MD, Saint-Gobain India, and Chairman, MADE Sub-Committee - CII, Southern Region gave us an overview of how the survey is being undertaken and the expected outcome. He said South India has taken a lead in many national initiatives and is at the forefront of this three-year project.
Avalon Consulting has been engaged for this survey to determine the industry’s preparedness for digitisation of manufacturing. The results of the deep dive survey will be released on March 23 at a two-day CII ‘MADE in South India’ seminar in Bengaluru, he noted.
Santhanam said akin to the quality movement, the roadmap of which was laid by TN, there was a need to “democratise digital.” It is heartening that large companies are willing to share data and be involved in collaborative efforts.
A mix of companies such as Siemens, GE, Tech Mahindra, Saint-Gobain, Cognizant, TCS and Bosch were part of this initiative, he added. Unless SMEs embrace digital tools and technologies, a wipe-out is certain, he said, citing an example of how the glass manufacturing giant he heads had been able to conserve energy 25 per cent more by creating such digital platforms for energy monitoring systems.
Even stock-taking that typically took four days with a four-month reconciliation timeline till the next audit, had been brought down to four hours with .01 per cent reconciliation level due to digital technologies.
Santhanam remarked going digital does not involve a dramatic change or a massive investment. Instead, it is a simple approach that allows empowerment of employees at the entry level due to availability of data.
Cobots or collaborative bots deployed in assembly line functions were priced between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 25 lakh. Already, machine tool biggies such as Bharat Fritz Werner had adopted these technologies effectively, he added.
With automation taking place, concepts such as robots, cobots, connected machines and frugal engineering are gaining prominence in Industrial Revolution 4.0, he said, adding a digital makeover would bring in efficiencies at the operational level. This digital transformation of manufacturing will allow increased flexibility in customisation, speed, better quality, improved productivity and lower costs.
The impact of digitalisation on the manufacturing sector will dictate the way products are manufactured, services are rendered and skills are developed globally, Santhanam sought to point out.
FRONTRUNNERS IN THE BIG LEAP
How a new initiative will strengthen the ecosystem of digital transformation in manufacturing in South India
- MADE Initiative will create a platform to assess, discuss, and mentor the digitisation of manufacturing
- Digitalisation Readiness Survey to cover CII members in south
- It will improve competitiveness and efficiencies in the shop floor to take full advantage of intelligent technologies
- Working with consultants to create a self-assessment survey to assist companies measure the digital readiness of the company
- A Digitalisation Partners Survey to map digitalisation technology partners like hardware and software providers
- Connecting the supply side of digitalisation with customers
- Creating an effective market place to act as a bridge between firms. Data collected will be uploaded to CII Digital Marketplace
- Digitalisation Competency Development through seminars, webinars and conferences
- Skill sets for digitalisation needs to be mapped and developed