According to a recent study by EY titled “Will the next transformation in manufacturing be led by digital?” significant disruptions across industrial internet of things (IIoT), big data and predictive analytics continue to capture the attention of manufacturers. As such, the study found that 66 per cent of manufacturing firms in India ranked big data and predictive analytics as the top investment priority in technology in the next 1-2 years.  While 63 per cent of the organisations ranked sensors and IIoT as the second key priority, as many as 33 per cent ranked cloud/integrated platforms along with robotic process automation as the third key priority for investment for transforming their current manufacturing process. The report incorporates first-hand perspectives of major manufacturing firms in India on the recent technological advancements and their adoption, as part of a survey conducted by EY.

Ashish Nanda, EY India supply chain leader said, “Concepts such as Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory, which interconnect the shop-floor ecosystem through emerging technologies, are now a reality. Digitization continues to transform manufacturing processes around the world leveraging technologies such as IIoT, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, etc. However, the adoption of digital technologies in India is still in its infancy, considering that manufacturers have started using these technological advancements recently and with limited scope. Going by the success stories though, it is perhaps essential for manufacturing organisations in India to first understand and then embark on this digital transformational journey to remain competitive and attain world-class status.”

The findings of the report highlight the level of adoption of digital manufacturing and India’s preparedness level, the key driving factors, expectations on the benefits and existing challenges that manufacturers face in India.

Adoption of digital manufacturing in India:

While 60 per cent respondents have a broad understanding of digital manufacturing, only 23 per cent of manufacturing companies have a clear digital strategy.

Level of preparedness:

While 63 per cent organizations are somewhat prepared in terms of their hardware infrastructure with basic software only 9 per cent are ready to a large extent with intelligent infrastructure that connects different processes. 20 per cent organizations are prepared to a good extent with appropriate hardware and software for data monitoring.

Factors driving digital manufacturing in India:

The key factors driving digital manufacturing in India include predictive maintenance, connected supply chain, reduced energy consumption, production optimisation, lower price of sensors and high computing needs and connected customers.

“Survey findings denote that 17 per cent of organisations are yet to consider or evaluate the potential of digital manufacturing. While many companies have on-going proofs of concept, a full-fledged smart factory requires a clear-cut strategy and a well-defined roadmap to be successful in the marketplace,” added Ashish Nanda.