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The rise of smart automation

The rise of smart automation

July 31, 2023 2:36 pm

The Indian manufacturing industry is embracing smart automation in its production processes. They are investing in various automation technologies that align with the scale and complexity of their business operations.

In the lively landscape of Indian manufacturing, a silent revolution is underway, transforming traditional processes into a new era of innovation and efficiency. Smart automation, powered by advanced technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and machine learning, has taken centre stage in the quest for increased efficiency and product quality. Also, test and measurement equipment plays a crucial role in maintaining the optimal condition of machines by promptly addressing minor wear and tear, thereby enhancing their longevity and effectiveness. Furthermore, automating regular and repetitive tasks diminishes reliance on manual labour, increasing overall efficiency and productivity.

Embracing cutting-edge technologies, Indian manufacturers are ushering in a new era of production processes to meet global standards, enhance product quality, and stay competitive in the global market. This story explores the profound impact of smart automation and IoT, exploring its benefits and challenges in revolutionising Indian manufacturing.

Smart automation in Indian manufacturing 
The Indian manufacturing industry is no stranger to growth and innovation. Over the years, it has witnessed remarkable advancements, but none as significant as the integration of smart automation. Manufacturers actively invest in various automation technologies, aligning them with their business needs and complexity. The automation of regular and repetitive tasks has not only increased overall efficiency and productivity but has also elevated the quality of products.

Pankaj Sethi, Business Segment Manager at WAGO India, highlights that smart automation utilises cutting-edge technologies like IoT-based cloud connectivity, machine learning, and AI systems. These advancements ensure seamless manufacturing processes, increasing production capacity and enhanced efficiency. Gaurav Chandakkar, Marketing Manager at Vega India, emphasises that automation allows for collecting precise and reliable data, facilitating informed decision-making. By analysing this data, manufacturers can identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks, leading to optimised production processes and improved performance.

Furthermore, adopting automation reduces the risks posed to human life in hazardous processes, creating a safer work environment and promoting a positive workplace culture.

Impact of IoT on manufacturing functions 
The growing adoption of IoT technologies is shaping the manufacturing landscape in India. Advancements in smart automation within the Indian manufacturing industry are enhancing efficiency and product quality in various manufacturing functions. Startups, backed by venture capital firms and multinational companies, are leading the way in incorporating smart automation at the core of their business models. Ankit Jain, IT Head at WIKA India, believes that automation has revolutionised the quality of final products, meeting global precision standards and reshaping the industry’s landscape.

IoT sensors are pivotal in this transformation, revolutionising inventory management by providing real-time data on inventory levels, locations, and usage. Integrating IoT devices into manufacturing equipment allows continuous data collection, facilitating better control over manufacturing processes. Sagar Jeevan Bhosale, Managing Director at Schmersal India, highlights that predictive maintenance using IoT is widely adopted in various industries. This practice ensures machines stay operational, avoids downtime, and prevents equipment breakdowns, mitigating losses to the organisation.

Challenges in the adoption of smart automation 
While smart automation promises numerous benefits, its adoption comes with challenges. Some hurdles businesses face are capital availability for new investments, concerns over job loss, the need for a skilled workforce to operate and program automation systems, and data security and privacy concerns with IoT devices.

Integrating IoT devices into existing systems and infrastructure is another challenge, requiring seamless coordination between new and existing components. The test and measurement industry has also significantly improved in providing highly digitised solutions to enhance manufacturing efficiency, precision, and quality. Additionally, with the increased adoption of IoT, the potential threats to data security have grown substantially. Ankit Jain emphasises that to excel in production efficiency; the industry must embrace highly automated test and measurement solutions.

Cobots transforming production processes. 
Amidst the challenges, Collaborative robots have emerged as an excellent alternative. Their cost-effectiveness, easy installation, and safe collaboration with humans make them ideal for enhancing efficiency and productivity in the production line. Sagar emphasises that ongoing training is vital in ensuring safety, particularly for advanced technical products incorporating electronics and IoT capabilities.

As Indian manufacturing embraces smart automation and IoT, the future holds promise and growth. Utilising IoT technology and cloud computing, operators can monitor and optimise production in real time, swiftly addressing potential issues and reducing dependencies. Integrating advanced technologies will continue to enhance operational efficiency, productivity and simplify processes in the industry.

With the growing reach of the 5G network, the adoption of IoT-based technologies is set to accelerate further. As India’s manufacturing sector experiences steady growth, AI-based automation is poised to contribute to its success significantly. 

Comprehensive training and support modules will be essential to successfully deploy automation in factories, ensuring a smooth transition and propelling the Indian manufacturing industry into a new era of innovation and global competitiveness.

 

Pankaj Sethi, Business Segment Manager- Automation, WAGO India.

“Integrating artificial intelligence into quality assurance has revolutionised the process, significantly improving speed and accuracy.”

Gaurav Chandakkar, Marketing Manager, Vega India.

“To safeguard against unwanted activities and breaches, it becomes imperative for IoT devices to adhere to robust data security guidelines and protocols.”

Ankit Jain, IT Head, WIKA India.
“Incorporating test and measurement devices in manufacturing processes ensures high standards of precision and quality of products.”

Sagar Jeevan Bhosale, Managing Director, Schmersal India Pvt. Ltd.
“Ongoing training is essential even after implementing safety measures, particularly for advanced technical products incorporating electronics and IoT capabilities.”

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