KNOWING BEFOREHAND

Manufacturing Today|April 2020

KNOWING BEFOREHAND
IoT AND PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE OUGHT TO BE A FAMILIAR LANGUAGE AT THE SHOP FLOOR
MOLLY R

LARGE COMPANIES IN INDIA ARE transforming their diverse businesses through smart factory initiatives. What does that mean? It means they are looking at real time manufacturing insights from their plants. Again, what does that mean? It means real time visibility into manufacturing operations and the right analysis of production line losses at every stage. Data is acquired through sensors installed at each stage of the assembly line and that throws up real time insights into online efficiencies.

Today, technology is very important to manufacturing. Among the technologies that are important to the process and hybrid industries are: digitalisation because it triggers investments in many other areas from field devices, to MES, to IT/OT convergence, the digital twin which reduces engineering times and helps improve the performance and availability of installed assets.

Speaking about technologies on offer, Meenu Singhal, VP, industry business, Schneider Electric India, says, Our whole focus is towards transforming industries in India through energy efficient and innovative solutions. This involves supporting automation and the manufacturing segment in improving productivity and efficiency. We do this through Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure that enables industries to create sustainable infrastructure to drive IIoT growth, by turning industrial automation into a profit engine. Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure is an IoT-enabled, plug-and-play, open architecture, that delivers end-to-end solutions in six domains of expertise – power, IT, building, machine, plant and grid. Technological advancements, such as the Internet of Things, big data, and cloud computing, will transform everything within the industrial operation, from cyber security to supply chain. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) delivers a huge potential for automation and manufacturing companies. With AI and automation powered technologies, the manufacturers can improve efficiency, fasten processes, and even optimise operations by reducing production cost.

Mid-size companies need to accelerate digital transformation initiatives to survive disruption. The major challenges a mid-size company faces for adopting new technology is around the workforce, time, and cost. To simplify this, they can take step by step approach. Run a pilot project on a small scale and look at the RoI before going all out. TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) audit is becoming a necessity for not just large companies, but for the SME segment too. The adoption of IIoT will help them in complying with the TPM audits.

Manish Misra, chief information officer, Panasonic India, says, “Our Industrial IoT (IIoT) platform helps manufacturers tap information from their machines on the shop floor and provide insights around availability, quality, and performance. It helps the manufacturers monitor the condition of machines across plants in real-time. This increase in visibility allows them to operate more machines with fewer resources, increasing uptime and production by more than 20% on average. Our solution also measures and analyses consumables such as power, water, and gas, which are critical for a manufacturing plant.”

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April 2020