• Ratnesh Mittal

Use Cases for Digital Manufacturing in India

Updated: Aug 12

A lot has been written and spoken about the 4th industrial revolution, also referred to Industry 4.0 or i4.0, in short. Most of the discussion in popular technology media is about the transformative power i4.0 and usually written from the perspective of large modern factories in high cost labour economies.



Indian factory

The question we are often confronted with is whether Industry 4.0 is relevant to the majority of Indian manufacturers where small and medium scale industries are dominant. A combination of an industrial policy which incentivised low investment in plant & machinery and relative cost advantage of labour over capital has meant that most of our factories are small in size, running a combination of PLC and legacy machines.


Such factories depend on a combination of rudimentary data collection methods and machine data to manage day-to-day operations.


Digital manufacturing programs for a majority of Indian manufacturing need to solve more pressing problems such as the ones below:


1. Management Visibility of Information


Exactly what machines are running, for how long, what is the input and output? Time series data on productivity of various resources. Reports that simply present ground realities accurately and in real-time.


2. Controlling Rejections


Direct impact to manufacturing efficiency and bottom line is knowing the exact contributors to rejection on the production line. Many factories use grossing up methods to measure total rejects. Automating data collection and correlating it with various factors such as input materials, time of operations, machine operators and product variants can help smart factory managers bring down rejections.


3. Maintenance Management


Vital parameters of machine health that can help prevent unscheduled breakdowns, enhance machine life and save precious resources in the form of spares and power.


4. Asset Management


Knowing the entire inventory of assets and their utilisation is a surprising use case particularly for onsite project operations and for multi-location manufacturing operations. A consolidated visibility of all assets, their working condition and utilisation can help companies manage capital expenditure better.


5. Managing Operating Expenses


This is particularly true for consumption of power and fuels. Industrial IoT installation can give very precise and actionable information to help control costs.


There are many unglamorous use cases for Industry 4.0 solutions that deliver great ROI while also building the foundation of more advanced uses. Best of all, each of these projects can be implemented as stand alone pilots to build confidence before committing large investments.


Without specific objectives of solving pain points of legacy plants, smart manufacturing and digital factories will only be buzz words. At Axon Networks, we help you get the most out of automation irrespective of the data intelligence capabilities of your machines.

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