By Srinath Srinivasan
With speedy localisation and incentives for manufacturing, a quantity of new manufacturing units are anticipated to come up in India and the current ones, expand additional. This creates area for automation, an critical aspect of Industry 4., exactly where the operations take place in sync, via communication in between distinct entities in the manufacturing unit.
One of the essential technologies that make this a reality is the Internet of Things (IoT). “Manufacturing is a very large horizontal area having various verticals. How employees interact with equipment in a large plant and how different machines interact with each other are our important focus areas within manufacturing,” says Alok Bardiya, head, Internet of Things (Business Unit), Tata Communications.
Employee security, car movement tracking, and accident prevention are some examples exactly where IoT is employed to increase efficiency and productivity in a manufacturing plant. “The aim is to bring visibility into the numerous activities going inside the plant at scale which has traditionally been monitored manually,” says Bardiya.
The other desirable outcome for organisations is in the type of resource efficiency. Monitoring localised or distributed power, water, gas and other sources is an critical industrial application. The technologies also opens up possibilities for massive particular financial zones to present connected services for the businesses setting up their facilities inside the zone. “The SEZs usually span over several square kilometers. We have something called the IoT fabric which the SEZ authorities can offer to the companies occupying the zone. This fabric usually has essential IoT services that the occupant companies would need,” says Bardiya.
In IoT, hardware and analytics go hand in hand. “India has a huge opportunity ahead for IoT hardware and sensor production,” says Bardiya. According to him, China and Taiwan used to be the go-to areas for procuring all the hardware. However, at present, Tata Communications has its personal vendor and supplier ecosystem in India. “This is an ongoing process. We work with multiple partners for different client use cases. There is still a large scope for full localisation to take place,” says Bardiya.
On the software program side, there is comprehensive localisation and analytics type the core of the service offerings and worth addition to shoppers across verticals. “Most of our offerings fall in the analytics, maintenance and service fronts that are subscription based,” says Bardiya. Data collection, safety, forecasting and predictive evaluation are some of the most sought-soon after services on the software program side of IoT. According to him, most of the customisation occurs on the software program application side irrespective of consumer size and for many readily obtainable hardware and sensors. Since IoT itself is not a single piece of technologies, the possibilities are numerous and distinct combinations can be tailored for distinct purposes. This also aids shoppers measure the returns based on the goal. “For instance, for connected street lights we have seen 25-30% returns in the form of power savings by collectively measuring electricity efficiency, LED light efficiency and other parameters over 12 months,” he says.
The heavy software program play has also enabled the players in the IoT sector to scale their options. Bardiya points to the SaaS company model that has turn out to be a common more than the years. “SaaS model allows clients to use the product without worrying about anything associated with the backend. Data, security, analytics, and choosing the right cloud platforms become our problem,” says Bardiya. The actual challenge then is the worth and idea promoting for wider adoption.
Then there is the hunt for talent. There are hardware specialists, software program specialists, information scientists and men and women from consultancy background who work with consumers for developing options. The vibrant side to these challenges is the creation of a massive new sector with many new job possibilities.