Summary - Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0

The Diamond Jubilee Faculty Alumni Network (FAN) Symposium (US)


Participants: Mr. Ruyintan Mehta, Prof. Makarand Kulkarni, Prof. B. Ravi, Prof. Avinash Bhardwaj, Prof. Suhas Joshi, Prof. Anurag Mairal, Mr. Rajesh Mashurwala, Dr. Pawan Govindaraju.

Indian manufacturing sector is keen on adopting Smart Manufacturing and has taken several initiatives. The Government of India is planning to increase the contribution of manufacturing sector to 25% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025, from the current level of 16%. India is also preparing to face global competition by undertaking the Make in India programme for which Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0 is one of the most effective enabler.
In the session on Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, a brief presentation was made to highlight the initiatives being taken by the Government of India and the research activities being carried out at IIT Bombay in collaboration with industry and other IITs. Opportunities for funding research in this area were also be shared.

Discussion Highlights:

Two presentations were made and the outcomes of the discussions are given below.
Need to evolve a India centric version of Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0 was emphasized for which an initiative to determine the long and short term goals/needs has to be started. This should include active participation from industry representatives of technology startups, MSMEs and corporates.

Cost reduction through manpower reduction is one of the objectives of smart manufacturing approaches adopted by western countries to stay competitive. However, this may not be the right direction for India. India should focus on using smart manufacturing/Industry 4.0 for improving skill levels and through faster and better decision making using insights from historical data. Making insights available to workforce, leading to enhanced performance levels, could be the primary focus of smart manufacturing / industry 4.0 implementation in Indian industry.
This is especially true for the infrastructure maintenance services, which is a sector that has huge potential for growth and is expected to employ a large number of people. Use of augmenting technologies will play a key role in enhancing capabilities of the workforce involved. Example of the wind power sector was discussed where it was mentioned that a large number of wind mills are out of operation due to maintenance related issues. It would be appropriate to determine what role Industry 4.0 could play towards this sector.

The typical hurdles faced by the Indian industry were also discussed. Development of a technology for smart manufacturing / Industry 4.0 is a highly multidisciplinary activity. Institutes like IITs need to set-up platforms that facilitate multidisciplinary teams to work on practical problems in collaboration with industry. 

Mr. Ruyintan Mehta talked about the newer practices in the die and mold making industry and manufacturing practices at one of the Indian industry was shown through videos.