Manufacturing Vision turns SMARTer
The future smart factory represents the absolute pinnacle of technological and manufacturing development. Next Generation Smart Factory would march forward with the motto ‘Specialized By industry – Engineered for Speed’.
It is a perfect amalgamation of high-tech tools and high-tech workers that shines like a silver lining of the dark and dirty cloud of manufacturing from past centuries. A Smart Factory is a more productive factory! And in order to stay competitive tomorrow, we must start planning our Smart Factories today.
The changing nature of the manufacturing world is simply juxtaposing some of today’s environments with tomorrow’s requirements; Smart Factory is sole solution to these never-ending demands. It’s a nice future dream, yet a dream which sometimes appears as a fantasy, is much closer to reality than one can think.
This especially can be seen in the automotive industry. The key elements in today’s automotive industry have expanded beyond the horizon of nuts and bolts. To understand this perspective, let’s backtrack a bit. Indian roads experienced the first car in 1897. Indians were directly importing the cars in few numbers till 1930. Now the Indian automotive industry is one of the bigger markets in the world. Indian car and commercial vehicle manufacturing industry is the sixth largest in the world. The majority of India's car manufacturing industry is based around three clusters in the south, west and north. The southern cluster in and around Chennai is the largest.
To this end, to survive in such competitive environment, the auto manufacturers need to constantly innovate with appropriate R&D facilities. Raised on a staple diet of iPhones and social media, the incoming manufacturing workforce already knows how technology allows them to access and use real-time information in their personal lives.
And now, more than a century after the assembly line began its run, the new age workforce is ready to use the tools of this generation to drive innovation into the industry’s next century. With newer, smarter and disruptive solutions being introduced by some of the best enterprise application players of the world, the automotive industry is all geared up for a tremendous growth in the foreseeable future.
The efficiency, productivity, and economic gains involved are substantial, and we believe that innovation, collaboration, and the application of intelligent technology across end-to-end industrial systems stand to lead us to the most competitive era we have ever seen.
The author is Managing Director, Infor India.
“The next generation smart factory would be a purpose-built environment of efficiency and efficacy where whether defect or downtime, waste or waiting would be a long forgotten tale.”