By navigating our site, you agree to allow us to use cookies, in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Business As Usual Simply Won’t Work In The Industry 4.0 Economy

Meenu Singhal Vice President
Meenu Singhal, VP – Industry Business, Schneider Electric-India

Business as usual simply won’t work in the Industry 4.0 economy. The hyper-connected world is too fast. We need a new approach — one that promises speed, agility, and the ability to see and address customer problems in a better way, cited Meenu Singhal, VP – Industry Business, Schneider Electric-India. During an exclusive interview, Singhal also slates on how India is preparing for Industry 4.0, strategies and challenges ahead. Edited Nub.

  1. How is India preparing for Industry 4.0 and sectors likely to be impacted by the trend?
  • Big Data Analytics – “Doing more with more”, is essentially what the analytics side of Big Data is all about. The industry has recognized that the sheer amount of data that can be and is being captured needs to looked at in simple and meaningful ways. Really, what value is data if it just sits in a database without providing valuable insight that drives timely business decisions.
  • Mobility – Technology is becoming increasingly mobile. It only serves to say that the upstream industry that is spread over a significant distance continues to explore any efficiency they might gain through further adoption of upstream mobility solutions. This is driven both by the connection of field devices and equipment as well as the connectivity and enablement of the field workforce.
  • IT/OT Convergence – The boundary between information technology and operational technology continues to be blurred. This has been going on for several years already within the Oil and Gas sector and will continue for the foreseeable future as the drive to become more efficient with better visibility drives this. This convergence is occurring in the traditional supervisory control and up into advanced process control and optimization.
  1. What are the smarter strategies India should adopt for smart manufacturing?

Five major technological advancements are driving digitization in the industrial sector, paving the way for EcoStruxure:

  • Connectivity– standards-driven connectivity has allowed for the large-scale deployment of wireless sensors. In addition, the sensors themselves have become much more cost-effective. The combination of these two factors is rapidly increasing the deployment of IIoT.
  • Mobility– the proliferation of smart devices means communication has become pervasive. User experiences are easy and rich, and technologies such as user recognition are driving even more efficiencies for industries.
  • Cloud– sharing data and working at the same time using the same database to improve efficiency where not possible before. Use of the cloud also means that you can manage your facilities and assets remotely from anywhere, and it enables you to acquire the specialist skills you need to run your business, regardless of the geographic location of those skills.
  • Analytics– the increasing use of analytics in Industry is providing the context and ability for operators to become real-time business decision-makers. This resulting optimization can be felt at every level of a company.
  • Cybersecurity– with digitization comes an even greater need to safeguard industrial assets. Embedded security layers in control, safety, and SCADA systems enable Industry to benefit from mobile and cloud computing.’
  1. How can Indian firms move towards Industry 4.0 – Strategies Firms should amend?

Business as usual simply won’t work in the Industry 4.0 economy. The hyper-connected world is too fast. We need a new approach — one that promises speed, agility, and the ability to see and address customer problems in a better way.

As the world’s first cross-industry open ecosystem, Schneider Electric Exchange takes our long-time extended enterprise innovation to another level by allowing everyone to create, collaborate, and scale relevant business solutions across industry boundaries. As we know that no company can work in a silo to advance real change. Technology resources, public and private communities, and a digital marketplace — accessible at the same time — bring together a personalized experience with the collective intelligence of an open community of solvers, passionate about energy and process automation.

Where is the differentiating value? For technology companies, where the ability to scale can make or break a proof of concept, the community platform empowers you to broaden your geographic and market reach. For system integrators, it connects you quickly to technical resources in a digital workspace. For design offices, you can access reference designs for energy-efficient buildings. For plant and facility managers, you can qualify partners to begin work immediately.

For industrial enterprises looking for more productivity and more sustainability, the platform simply brings a vast array of solutions (through connectivity, transparency, traceability, data sharing and management, the capacity to prevent issues through asset optimization and management).

  1. What are the benefits of 4.0 and the challenges that the industry will face?

Industry 4.0: the challenges

As Industry 4.0 continues to change the way we interact with the world around us, new challenges arise. Here are the main challenges you may face in the not so distant future:

  • New (Digital) business models — the definition of a new strategy
  • Revamp needed in organization and processes to maximize new outcomes
  • Understanding your business case
  • Conducting successful pilots, be ready for taking risk and failures, Change Gears.
  • Helping your organization to understand where action is needed
  • Change management, something that is too often overlooked
  • Shifts around company culture
  • The genuine interconnection of all departments
  • Workforce readiness – Recruiting and developing new talent

Industry 4.0: the benefits

Similar to digital transformation, the benefits of Industry 4.0 will ultimately help a business become smarter and more efficient.

  • Enhanced productivity through optimization and automation
  • Real-time data for real-time supply chains in a real-time economy
  • Greater business continuity through advanced maintenance and monitoring possibilities
  • Higher quality products as a result of real-time monitoring, IoT-enabled quality improvement and cobots
  • Better working conditions and superior sustainability
  • Personalization opportunities that will earn the trust and loyalty the modern consumer
  1. Future of Industry 4.0, Smart Manufacturing and Automation in the Indian scenario?

Whether the world calls it Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), or Smart Manufacturing, the power of technology is being felt throughout the industrial world and fundamentally changing value chains and production methods. Indeed, so great is the change that Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute predicts that smart factories could add as much as $1.5 trillion to the overall output of the industrial sector in the next five years. This is because of the turbo-charge effect of smart technology, which is enabling factories to produce more while lowering costs.

While the majority of Indian factories are not 100 percent Industry 4.0 complaint, many companies are taking baby steps and choosing projects that make sense. The reason why they are interested in smart factories is clear – the rest of the world is doing it and India must keep pace being competitive.

  1. Lastly, how is your company dressing up for Industry 4.0?

Contributing to Industry 4.0, Schneider Electric’s vision in terms of Smart Automation in India is to transform more than 100 factories into smart factories by 2020, and also ensure that 80 percent of the energy requirement is met through renewables by 2030.

As a step in this direction has transformed one such establishment into a green factory by retrofitting and upgrading its existing facilities with new, tech-powered solutions. Located about an hour’s drive from Hyderabad, this is one of the 200 factories the global multinational corporation operates.

The company also seeks to facilitate the digital transformation of industrial automation markets through what it calls EcoStruxure architecture, IoT technologies, and integration software. We strengthened our deliverables around Industry 4.0 with the acquisition of AVEVA, which adds natural synergies to IIOT platforms for Schneider. The software is integrated with the machine components that carry out the manufacturing process, making it possible for new businesses to automate, improve efficiencies and improve profitability. Schneider, which entered India is 1963, now has 24 manufacturing facilities and employs over 20,000 people. Apart from smart factories, it is also looking to engage with Smart Cities projects as it had worked with Naya Raipur (Atal Nagar).

The world is witness to a paradigm shift in energy production and management and this has paved the way for the fourth industrial revolution. Being a global leader, Schneider Electric is committed to investing and creating innovative, future-ready products that can meet the needs of industry 4.0.


Niloy Banerjee

A generic movie-buff, passionate and professional with print journalism, serving editorial verticals on Technical and B2B segments, crude rover and writer on business happenings, spare time playing physical and digital forms of games; a love with philosophy is perennial as trying to archive pebbles from the ocean of literature. Lastly, a connoisseur in making and eating palatable cuisines.

Related Articles

Upcoming Events