Preparing India for Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 refers to a trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things (IoT), cloud computing and cognitive computing. Industry 4.0, considered to be the fourth industrial revolution, fosters what is called ‘smart factories.’

Technically speaking, Industry 4.0 brings together Advanced Analytics, Robotics & Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), IoT, Big Data, and Process Digitisation across the business value chain. In layman terms, it can increase the speed of innovation, is consumer-oriented and can lead to faster design processes.

A McKinsey analysis conducted last year suggests that if Indian companies adopt Industry 4.0 across functions like manufacturing, logistics, procurement and supply chain, they can improve operating profits by 40 percent at under 10 percent of the intended capital expenditure.

Keen on strengthening the thrust on Industry 4.0, the government trust India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) has also reiterated that India is looking to boost the contribution of the manufacturing sector from its current 16 percent to 25 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025.

The emphasis on the ‘Make in India’ programme is expected to prepare India for global competition. Industry reports confirm that heavy industries and public enterprises ministry are now working together to help SMEs implement Industry 4.0.

With India’s first smart factory set up in Bengaluru, manufacturing units across the country are keen to leverage the power of data exchange in manufacturing and the Internet of Things (IoT). The Andhra Pradesh government too is determined to turn the state into an IoT hub by next year, a development that is expected to create 50,000 jobs, ensure a sustainable and profitable future and pave the way for our industries to use smart technology that will also improve the work-life balance of employees.

If the current trend is anything to go by, most companies are avoiding making huge investments in expanding their capacity and, instead, putting their money into digital platforms to improve their efficiency and revenue.

Industrial firms are adding sensors to products in order to capture data so that it can be anaysised to predict breakdowns to improve efficiency.

Digitalisation, analytics, IoT, AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain technologies are set to change the way businesses are run today. As the world moves towards Industry 4.0, early movers in automation and new technologies would find themselves ahead of the competition and would be ready to grab new opportunities which are in the offing.

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