Changing demographics, increasing connectivity, and the need for real-time insights are transforming the process and discrete manufacturing industries. We are on the brink of witnessing yet another industrial revolution that will set in motion a real time convergence of the digital world and the industrial world.
Frost & Sullivan unveiled its recent study on ‘Industry 4.0’. Industry 4.0 is a platform that enables the unification of information amongst participants in the entire value chain from product inception to design, manufacturing, services, and even refurbishment. The end result will be a grand system in which all processes are completely integrated and will exchange information in real time. This revolution will transform the manufacturing processes in sync with the speed of change in customer needs which implies, making the production process flexible without taking excess time. The four functional pillars or the enablers of Industry 4.0 will be Big Data, Internet of Things, Internet of Services, and Integrated Industries which will converge into three main aspects, namely, Technology, Collaboration, and Processes. These three subsets effectively bring about various aspects of Industry 4.0, providing a basic framework to map suppliers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and production houses across these disparate functional facets.
Muthukumar Viswanathan, Practice Director - Industrial Automation & Process Control and Measurement & Instrumentation, Frost & Sullivan notes,“Industry 4.0 is unique as for the first time in contemporary industrial history we have pre-conceived an industrial revolution. While it is interesting to note that the tenure of each revolution has been diminishing, it is more important for us to acknowledge the fact that the fourth version is likely to unravel much faster when compared to the previous ones.
Make in India: Placing Industry 4.0 in Context
The Indian manufacturing landscape contributes around 16 percent of India’s GDP each year and less than 2 percent of the overall global manufacturing output. Furthermore, this sector employs around 58-60 million people which is just about 12 percent of the overall working populace. With nearly 250 million people set to enter the workforce in the next 15 years, the Indian manufacturing scene is expected to undergo a massive revamp in terms of investment, infrastructure, and technology. Taking stock of the issue at hand, the Indian Government embarked on a strategic initiative to resurrect the declining manufacturing industry in the country. Under the new “Make in India” initiative, the Indian Government has laid out new policy initiatives that aspire to expand the economy’s manufacturing footprint comprehensively. This includes focus on an extensive list of discrete industries for growth in the coming years. Some of the strategic goals of this new program include enhancing job opportunities, minimizing imports, expanding exports and last, but not the least, creating a conducive environment for technological evolution.
With a basic plan laid out for the future of Indian manufacturing, is there an Indian version of Industry 4.0 for emulation? What would be the key attributes of a future factory in the Indian milieu? Can India leapfrog into the age of Smart Manufacturing- skipping key phases which China transitioned across over the last two decades? How can Industry 4.0 impact small and medium-end enterprises in India? What are the various policy instruments that need to be formulated for effective adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies/applications? These are some of the key questions which Frost & Sullivan is determined to understand and evaluate across its research initiatives surrounding the manufacturing space.
What will happen to existing manufacturing companies? Companies who fail to pre-empt this transformation, will be left behind. Their products or solutions may become obsolete and eventually disappear.
However, viewed as an opportunity, if companies and value-chain participants appreciate the benefits of this new revolution and adapt to the changes, then radical transformations in the competitive landscape can be expected. Suppliers would have to reinvent their processes and other capabilities in order to sustain in the rapidly evolving market. There will be new and unorthodox companies with radically new business models making a foray into the industrial space. Traditional industry boundaries are rapidly blurring owing to the nature of applications that may sprout up during the course of Industry 4.0. In such a cyber-physical world, the traditional suppliers may lose prominence and eventually move down as tier 2 companies. Unexpectedly, sensor manufacturers, ICT players, and even banking and financial institutions are poised to make their presence felt in the age of Industry 4.0. However, shrewd and tactical collaborations may allow the traditional industrial players to sustain and possibly offer cradle-to-grave solutions. This will be a utopian view with product offerings becoming a vital part of a larger eco system.
Currently, the team at Frost & Sullivan is studying the implications of Industry 4.0 across multiple geographies- beginning from Europe to the Americas to the Far East. From our extensive interaction with a diverse group of market participants, we believe that although the idea of Industry 4.0, is German in provenance, it has achieved global resonance. With an increasingly globalized manufacturing environment, we at Frost & Sullivan believe that Industry 4.0 must form a key part of the intellectual debate driving the Make in India initiative. This will be an inevitable necessity for the Indian economy in realizing its plans of elevating its manufacturing industry to global levels of excellence.
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