‘In the digital age, stakeholders need to adapt technology rapidly’
Published on : Wednesday 22-01-2020
Aniruddha Shahapure, Chartered Engineer & Certified Industry 4.0 Professional
What are the leading trends in factory/process automation segment the industry is likely to witness?
Control of industrial machines, equipment and devices with the help of advance systems and software with its processing defines Industrial Automation. Today advanced digital tools like machine learning, cloud, robotics, etc., are available to support this. These systems have changed the growth graph exponentially and each automation component, whether its Process Automation (PA), Factory Automation (FA), Wired/Wireless Networks, Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA) or last mile components such as Switches Sensors/Chipsets, all are being refined.
The digital revolution of manufacturing and process automation have not transformed at the same rate though. However it is changing and there are visible trends with integration of industrial automation into business information and control architecture, enabling manufacturers to compete successfully.
The functions of FA and PA which will prominently see growth in 2020 are:
Supply chain – Design, manufacturing and packaging
Tracking and tracing – Identification, tracking of goods, and
Basic parameter sensors – Temperature, pressure, etc.
Is the formal education sector prepared for the digital leap in terms of skills required?
In the digital age, stakeholders like teachers, learners, institutions and governments will need to adapt to the rapid advances in technology and major changes to the world of work to solve complex challenges.
There is a need for a more compelling directive to be defined to these stakeholders with the complex and continuous nature of digital education. Articulating the benefits of digital advances and education techniques with required skills should help achieve desired outcomes.
There are two main sets of skills – digital and technology skills and soft skills – which are increasingly needed in order to participate in the digitally connected society.
The young generation is digital native of today’s life, who can now become their own educators too. Young members are often more familiar with technology than their parents or grandparents were.
This reversal of roles also seems common. The young members understand that teachers do not have the same aptitude and level of digital skills as they themselves do.
Major issues to be addressed include:
- Lack of skills development: Technology skills should be part of teachers’ development and training for upskill. The teachers should be systematically trained to deal with the increased use of technologies and adoption process.
- Intentional barriers: Some institutions remain closed to digital learning, some educators are not ready to accept the changes, hence restrict the adoption and use of the digitisation.
- Authorities and stakeholders: There is need to understand the directive efforts by education technology providers to explore tutoring of proper use of the technology.
The sale of industrial robots witnessed a rising trend in India. Will this impact the job market?
Industrial robots with its affordable prices, are already causing impact on the traditional processes and services. Looking at digital transformation in industry and the rising sale of industrial robots, it will majorly affect the job market of semi-skilled job profiles and outsourcing model. But it is important to understand that robots will lead to job displacement, not loss. Furthermore, this could project growth in job market like crowd sourcing, working from home and tele-jobs, etc.
Are the SMEs keeping pace with their larger counterparts in digitisation?
SMEs adopting digital transformation have about twice the revenue growth in comparison their offline competitors. SMEs in India are aware of this, but are still at the doorstep of digital revolution, not yet inside. The process of digitisation of SMEs been looked as large opportunity by tech companies, where they can profit tremendously. However, by helping SMEs grow through technology innovation the process can be expedited to reach the goal faster. In my opinion we need to give some more time and out reach help to SMEs to adopt digitalisation.
What are the new products/developments expected from your company in 2019.
Being a consulting organisation we will be focusing on defining standards for new commonly adoptive communication protocols, data security and sensor application techniques. Open source development tools and adaptive protocols are being developed and deployed.
Aniruddha Shahapure is a Chartered Engineer, Certified Industry 4.0 Professional, CI4P™, and Senior Member IEEE (SMIEEE). Practising engineering for more than two decades, Aniruddha has a consistent track record of successfully employing best business practices that improve efficiency and reduce operating costs whilst increasing productivity, all to tight timescales and within budget.