Bottlenecks and Challenges for Implementing Industry 4.0 in India
Published on : Thursday 06-05-2021
Asim Sinha emphasises the need for industry stakeholders to use this pandemic time for implementing Industry 4.0 and other initiatives.
The World Economic Forum's Networked Readiness Index (NRI), also referred to as Technology Readiness, measures the propensity for countries to exploit the opportunities offered by information and communications technology (ICT). A holistic research by the World Economic Forum (WEF) is used to demarcate the adoption of Networked Readiness Model by various countries. The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) 2016 Global Ranking indicates the standing as: Singapore 1, Finland 2, Sweden 3, Norway 4, United States 5, Netherlands 6, Switzerland 7, United Kingdom 8, Luxembourg 9, Japan 10, Hong Kong SAR 12, South Korea 13, Canada 14, Germany 15, Malaysia 31, China 59, Thailand 62, Sri Lanka 63, India 91, Pakistan 110…
We can see here India’s position was really bad and was just ahead of Pakistan. That itself says everything. Did we ever think why?
Why are we so much behind in Industry 4.0 implementation? Actually, time has come now to think about this failure, where we stand in competition to other developing countries and why. What we are supposed to do and what we are not doing? Because time is running out now and if we can’t correct our strategy we will remain at the same low rank even after a few more years. We all know as per our PM Narendra Modiji’s dream and Make in India initiatives we are in competition with China and I am sure until and unless we implement Industry 4.0 concepts, India will never reach that level.
Industrial companies must take different approaches to leveraging the power of IIoT in challenging times, but reforming the operating model with IIoT solutions is always helpful.
Based on my past experience in Indian industry like Patanjali Ayurved, listed below are some key challenges:
1. High cost of scaling
2. Lack of resources/knowledge to scale
3. Lack of data analytics skills in-house
4. Jugaad attitude from plant floor level to top management level many times is the biggest constraint
5. Lack of courage among investors or management due to unclear RoI and value of the Project. It is because of low transparency from the supplier's side
6. Lack of trust and fear of failure
7. Lack of interest in innovation in team – Because people don't want to come out of their comfort zone
8. Lack of coordination from management
9. Less support from shop floor employees – Many times they think automation will take their jobs. Which is in fact not true. Automation is to help them in their job and help improve OEE.
10. Risks to data security because of incompetent IT department
11. Unclear budget value presented by project head
12. Lack of leadership support and attention
13. Too many stakeholders and many having different concept, and
14. Country’s political situation & policies.
We need to understand we have entered a new era of Industry 4.0, in which computers and automation have come together in an altogether new way, with robotics connected remotely to computer systems equipped with machine learning algorithms that can control robots with minimum human support. Industry 4.0 has highly intelligent connected systems that create a fully digital value chain. It is based on cyber physical production systems that integrate communications, IT, data and physical elements and wherein these systems transform traditional plants into smart factories. But I have seen during the last 5 years of my total 23 years of industry career, people using buzzwords, showing day dreams to the management, spending huge money from customers hoping some kind of magic will happen soon. Big automation companies spend months and months understanding customer requirements, brainstorming in calculating OEE formulas, listening to all stakeholders all day, with little progress on ground.
After a decade of stagnated productivity, forecasters predict the 4th Industrial Revolution is expected to create up to US$3.7 trillion in value globally by 2025. But unfortunately, Pilot Purgatory became the biggest barrier to the successful adoption of Industry 4.0 in most of our industries here in India. This is one of the biggest challenges in India right now. With the Government of India pushing manufacturing through the ‘Make in India’, the initiative has garnered considerable attention from the industry and brought the spotlight back on the manufacturing sector. But in reality it is not happening in India very soon. Not only in India, globally Industry 4.0 projects have witnessed a failure rate of 72%. Then the defiant question that comes to mind is, why the success rate for Industry 4.0 is so very less. What are the factors affecting this revolution?
Need of automation in Covid-19 pandemic time
Many questions have been asked in various forums related to the actual need of automation in our factories during this Covid-19 pandemic.
It has been seen, every few years, industrial work gets reshaped mainly due to technological forces or economic forces. But this time with the Covid-19 pandemic, work in every industry is now reshaping and the new kinds of roles are growing with three trends, i.e., Remote work, Digitalisation, and Automation.
The biggest challenge is only 20-25% of the workforce could actually work remotely in the long term. Many managers are very worried that they don’t know how to manage their employees remotely because sometimes, they have all these persons sitting in front of him and that’s the sign of working. And now when workers are far away from them, they don’t really know what each person is doing. And especially when their objectives are not clear or the outputs are not clear, then, it’s very difficult to say whether the person is actually doing the work.
As there were spikes in demand for various kinds of things during Covid-19, the only way companies could respond is through automation with the attendant challenges of reskilling people. So it’s a tougher future. But if we manage to help workers make it through this, it could be a brighter future for our businesses as well as for our workers.
These changes in industry take different shapes as we have witnessed during recessions over the past several decades. And in the few years following the recession, we actually saw automation levels and automation adoption rise very rapidly, because that’s the time when businesses are very keen to capture efficiencies, stabilise the cost base, and in many other ways, respond to the new economic realities post the recession.
So this time also we expect something similar – in case of this particular phase as well – to see automation levels rise, and we are seeing things like Industry 4.0, Industrial IoT, robotic automation around the world are starting to rise, and we’re seeing the stock prices of companies that produce automation-related products actually start rising. So there’s an anticipation that this will be a greater shift or a trend going forward for more industrial automation. So basically this is a need as per the current situation in the entire world.
Applying IIoT to secure business continuity
Faced with the Covid-19 crisis, industrial leaders have one business imperative: maintaining their operations. IIoT, implemented in a plug-and-play mode, can be instrumental in ensuring business continuity and minimising economic damage by ensuring employee safety and security, improving liquidity, and lowering short-term costs.
Cost saving & safety
Companies are suddenly dealing with work from home on a large scale, as well as new concerns about protecting their remaining on-site employees, and have adapted their workforce organisation as a consequence. IIoT tools can play an important role in ensuring a seamless transition through these changes in our manufacturing environment.
As the crisis unfolds, industries can benefit from short-term cost reductions with the help of several IIoT-enabled tools as follows.
Remote employee collaboration: In general, the more digitised a company’s processes are, the simpler it is to collaborate remotely. Off-the-shelf IIoT tools support the continuation of operations with fewer employees on site, since they facilitate remote work in direct and indirect functions. Measure production levels, and improve performance gaps across shifts. Other IIoT tools, such as digital heat maps, can support root-cause analyses for various problems. With machine breakdowns, for instance, IIoT tools can receive input from sensors that help pinpoint problems, such as broken components or oil leakage that could interfere with production. Teams can then review the tool outputs and discuss the potential sources of error over video conference.
Digital performance management: IIoT-based software solutions can provide a real-time dashboard of key performance indicators to support shop-floor performance dialogues, increasing transparency. These tools also allow the tracking of improvement actions and send alerts to operators via mobile devices. The software evaluates machine data, such as information on overall equipment effectiveness, part production, and quality through IIoT connectivity. Improved performance management can help companies boost labour productivity by 20 to 40 per cent.
In-line process optimisation: IIoT can increase production efficiency of single machines or entire production lines by using advanced analytics to optimise process parameters. The algorithm analyses information on all available variables, including production, scheduling, asset condition, and input goods. Data from individual machines get combined with information about the overall production program, allowing companies to optimise machine settings based on previous and subsequent production steps. This allows companies to adjust production schedules quickly to account for changes in demand or unexpected supply-chain disruptions.
IIoT-enabled asset optimisation: This use case involves using advanced analytics to identify the root causes and countermeasures related to the three drivers of overall equipment effectiveness (OEE): availability, performance, and quality. For instance, an aerospace supplier had a low OEE when producing an important airplane component. It then used IIoT solutions to monitor and detect certain problems, such as tool wear and missing materials. Based on this sensor information, the company was able to optimise job sequences in a central control room. With these improvements, the company achieved 80 per cent OEE.
Supply-chain integration across the value chain: IIoT facilitates real-time data exchange between all supply-chain participants, creating an integrated view of production programs, scheduling, inventories, quality, and anticipated delivery times. In addition to building transparency and trust, such tools can also reduce supply-chain costs and risks – for instance, by receiving signals from connected machines when they are running out of raw materials, or by tracking the flow of materials along the supply chain using geolocation tags. With these insights, companies can optimise inventory levels, production planning, and transport utilisation through a more holistic approach. (The information on inventory is used to improve planning across the supply chain, including decisions about producing materials.) Companies will also learn about supply-chain problems more rapidly, allowing them to act before they escalate.
As an automation expert, I strongly advise all industry stakeholders to use this pandemic time for implementing Industry 4.0 and other important changes in your plants and factories without any further delay so that you can help your business as well as your workers. Our project strategy at IIOTexpert is completely based on the World Economic Forum and Mckinsey concept of Lighthouse model factory for companies to escape from pilot purgatory. Helping through used cases, we do initiate our every project with small steps and a small investment but with a big vision.
Asim Sinha is the CEO of IIOTexpert, a Bangalore-based System Integrator & Channel Partner in India for Vorne Industries Inc., a cloud based Industrial IoT Company based in Chicago, USA. He works at multiple levels with leaders of manufacturing companies to implement technology that turbo-charges continuous improvement and change management initiatives. He has over 23 years of diversified experience with expertise in end-to-end implementation of digital transformation and process automation globally, including Instrumentation and IoT-enabled Manufacturing Solutions in Oil & Gas, FMCG, Automotive and various other industries.
As a BE electronics graduate Mr Sinha started his career from Rockwell Automation India and Crown Cork and Seal Inc., USA. After returning from the US in March 2006, he also served in refineries like Reliance Industries Limited, Jamnagar; HPCL Mittal Industries Bathinda; and FMCG plants like Patanjali in India in a leadership role for the next few years.
Asim has worked on manufacturing and digital strategy, Industry 4.0, IIoT, DCS, SCADA, EMS/MIS/MES, IIOT, ICS OT, electrical distribution systems, smart grid, smart switches, substation automation and warehouse automation system. He has helped companies analyse, quantify and optimise stalled or failing continuous improvement initiatives through data and process change. Asim knows the pain areas of the plant very well because he worked in plants for a long time and so he also knows that companies have the resources to improve, but they need the tools to leverage their resources, and this starts with understanding the corporate automation strategy. He is transforming businesses with Industry 4.0/IIoT Technology solutions based on WEF Lighthouse model factory concept.