Post covid-19 adoption of AI, IoT, Blockchain expected to stimulate in manufacturing sector
As the lockdown lifts and factories are beginning to open, the manufacturing sector in India will face mounting pressure to decrease costs, boost efficiency in processes, decrease dependence on humans and become more resilient to future exigencies. This will push companies to scale up the adoption of smarter manufacturing processes powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Blockchain, industry experts feel.
“Resistance to change is very high in the manufacturing sector in India. However, of late, tailwinds are working in their favor. Many organizations want to divest in China and are looking at India as a potential destination. The manufacturing sector will look at it as an opportunity. That will call for a tremendous amount of adoption of automation in manufacturing. This will do what industry 4.0 has not been able to do in the last few years,” said Arup Roy, research vice president, Gartner in a statement.
Governments, the world over, require companies to decrease dependence on China for imports of finished products or parts. Japan has set aside an economic stimulus package of $2.2 billion to support its manufacturers shift production out of China. The Indian cabinet has also declared a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme with an allocation of over ₹40,000 crores for the electronics sector.
China already has a lead in terms of spending on AI in the manufacturing sector. The market size of AI in China’s manufacturing sector is anticipated to surpass $ 2 billion by 2025, building by 40% since 2019, states a 2019 Deloitte report.
Mayur Danait, CIO, Pidilite said in a statement, “post COVID-19, the manufacturing sector will have to reinvent to enable a seamless partner ecosystem. Use of IoT to drive shop floor efficiencies and the use of digital collaboration, predictive analytics, bots, and gamification of experience to drive engagement with end-users and channel partners are likely to be the norm.”
Recently AI is being utilized in manufacturing for predictive maintenance –recognizing and reporting a fault in parts, machines, or manufacturing processes and reporting them in real-time. AI can also assist in the optimization of the supply chain by anticipating demand and returns. The data supplied to AI models comes from the industrial IOT network used on the manufacturing floor. This network is made of sensors installed on machines to assemble real-time data on their functioning and efficiency.
“Covid-19 is going to precipitate the whole move towards industry 4.0. There is a lot of interest in what can be done to build resilience. Indian manufactures will now have to start taking automation seriously. We already see interest in predictive analytics, essentially modeling that shows trends and patterns of failure in machines. The heartening thing is that the mid-market segment has started looking at it seriously. The automotive segment is looking at it in a big way,” said Lux Rao, director –solutions and consulting, NTT India in a statement.
The pandemic has also revealed the vulnerabilities in supply chain networks. Blockchain can assist companies to recognize the point of disruption by combining all stakeholders in the long network, allowing them to prepare for any future difficulties.
“A sophisticated RPA bot could collect information across manufacturing ecosystems including inventory, warehousing, logistics, suppliers and vendors systems and use the cognition capabilities in the tool to initiate actions that increase the overall efficiencies of the entire ecosystem,” said R. Venkateswaran, senior vice president, Industrial and IoT Solutions, Persistent Systems in a statement.
Blue Star, JK Tyre & Industries, TVS Motor Company, and Asian Paints are some of the companies which are already utilizing AI-based solutions and analytics platforms in their manufacturing units in India.
“As we come out of the current situation, we realize that the homogeneity of a uniform market is shaken up, and may take months before we become a connected, homogenous market, it is these areas that tech like AI can become powerful tools to create an integrated, holistic view. These will get baked in quickly in the overall harmony of manufacturing companies,” said Rajesh Rege, executive director – Technology, Cloud & Solution Sales, Microsoft.