The 21st-century manufacturing landscape has witnessed a remarkable transformation in recent years, mainly driven by the adoption of Industry 4.0 principles. In a natural progression of Industry 3.0 that focused on machine-based manufacturing, Industry 4.0 focuses on a deeper integration of the physical with digital to promote cut-throat efficiency and visibility across business functions.
Industry 4.0 (4IR) pivots around advanced digital technologies such as cloud computing, AI, industrial automation solutions, IoT, and cyber-physical systems to create smart assembly lines. This article explores how India’s manufacturing sector will shape in the coming years and which skills will dominate future job roles in manufacturing.
Industry 4.0: A Game-Changer for Indian Manufacturing
Industry 4.0 combines automation, data exchange, and smart technology to create a highly interconnected and intelligent manufacturing ecosystem. This transformative approach is empowering manufacturers in India to achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency and competitiveness by setting up smart factories.
Key Components of Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 encompasses various technologies that are reshaping the manufacturing landscape. According to McKinsey, here are four broad Industry 4.0 fields that will revolutionize the manufacturing value chain:
- Connectivity tech: Includes IoT, sensors, cloud computing, blockchain, digital twins
- Data analysis and intelligence: Artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced analytics, cyber-physical systems
- Greater human-machine interaction: Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), robotics, AGV
- Advanced engineering: 3-D printing, use of nanoparticles, renewable energy
The underlying objective of deploying the above mentioned technologies is to make the manufacturing process more automated, efficient, and agile in terms of adapting to evolving market conditions.
The Rise of Automation in Manufacturing
A vital component of Industry 4.0, manufacturing process automation has become a key driver in the industry, enhancing productivity, quality, and efficiency of manufacturing operations. With advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), manufacturers in India are adopting automated systems to streamline their operations.
According to a NASSCOM report on the adoption of Industry 4.0 by India’s manufacturing sector, companies invested nearly $6.5 billion in integrating advanced digital technologies like Cloud and IoT into their operations during 2021.
The spend on digital tech is set to comprise 40% of the total manufacturing tech spend by 2025, and according to Ananth Chandramouli- MD, Capgemini, more than two-thirds of the Indian manufacturing sector will embrace Industry 4.0 by 2025.
Benefits of Automation in Manufacturing
Given the thrust given to automating manufacturing, one might wonder– What is the real role of automation in the industry?
Automation offers several benefits to the manufacturing sector. It improves:
- Production speed
- Reduces manual errors
- Lowers operational costs, and
- Ensures consistent quality
By automating repetitive tasks, companies can free up their workforce to focus on more complex and value-added activities.
Skills in Demand in the Era of Industry 4.0
The rise of Industry 4.0 automation has created a demand for a new set of skills in the manufacturing sector. Proficiency in data analysis, programming, AI, cybersecurity, robotics, and digital literacy has become crucial for professionals seeking to thrive in this evolving landscape.
According to McKinsey and India Skill report 2023, manufacturing in the future will not only depend upon proficiency in these digital skills but will also require the drive to constantly reskill and upskill as the future will bring in many more disruptive technologies.
Roles in Demand in the Manufacturing Industry
The integration of automation and Industry 4.0 has led to the emergence of new roles in the manufacturing industry. Job titles such as automation engineers, data analysts, IoT specialists, cyber-security experts, and robotics technicians are witnessing a surge in demand.
Automation and Industry 4.0 have revolutionized the manufacturing sector in India, enabling companies to achieve higher productivity, cost-efficiency, and competitiveness. Embracing these technologies and investing in the development of the required skills among employees will be vital for businesses to thrive in the changing landscape of manufacturing.
By staying at the forefront of automation and Industry 4.0, manufacturers in India can unlock new opportunities and contribute to the growth of the economy, making the nation a global hub for advanced manufacturing processes.
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