Interview (Nitin Lall)

Nitin Lall,
General Manager – Industrial Technique at Atlas Copco (India) Ltd

“With the advent of Industry 4.0, Smart Manufacturing has taken over the Indian Manufacturing sector. Please tell us about its impact and benefits in India?”

In India, the fourth industrial revolution has been on the agenda of the global manufacturing industry for years and many manufacturing industries are executing a strategy where Industry 4.0 technologies are key enablers for operational improvements. The fourth industrial revolution will change and create new business models. The Automotive industry is currently leading the development of manufacturing and assembly concepts and processes. The development is driven by environmental requirements, with the introduction of alternative drivelines, and fierce market competition, with an explosion of the number of models and variants, as a means of meeting the competition. These two trends call for increased flexibility in production with leading automotive manufacturers rapidly approaching the vision of “mass production one”. To produce multiple car models or even a mix of cars and motorcycles in one assembly factory is the new norm.

“What kind of automation trends can we see in the Indian Manufacturing sector? Also, what are the future trends that you expect to arrive in the upcoming time?”

In India, the digitalization we are experiencing as part of Industry 4.0 will, thanks to its intelligent fusion of mechanics, electronics and software, has profoundly changed the reality of production. With the advent of cyber-physical systems, where the devices interact with each other, it has allowed for much higher adaptability and flexibility as the sensors in the cyber-physical system provide process transparency, self-optimization, and self-adaptation to external influences.

In the Future, Flexible-manufacturing systems will become more popular and can be divided into two types of areas: machine flexibility and routing flexibility.

Machine flexibility refers to the ability to use several machines for the same operations and the system’s ability to customize changes such as volume and capabilities. Routing flexibility refers to a system’s ability to adapt to new products and in what order the assembly puts the products together.

“Indian firms are moving fast towards leveraging Industry 4.0. What kind of opportunities and challenges does this technological transition involve?”

The fourth industrial revolution is a digital transformation of industry and is divided into four major areas, namely Smart Factories, Internet of Things (IoT), Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Service (IoS). Technologies can add value within manufacturing in many ways, including improving end-product quality, lower costs of production and maintenance, new service-based business models, worker safety and usage-based design of products, to mention some opportunities.

“What kind of upskilling will be requisite for preparing the workforce for future smart manufacturing?”

The outlook for the workforce is positive even though there is no doubt that there will be a decline in the number of repetitive tasks. The new jobs are expected to be more attractive compared to the disappearing jobs, with more diverse and challenging tasks and a higher emphasis on creativity, problem-solving and interpersonal communication skills.

“The government has been aggressively promoting the adoption of E-Mobility under the FAME II scheme. What opportunities does it bring for Atlas Copco?”

Atlas Copco is one of the 1st suppliers to provide complete assembly solutions for EV. Starting from Battery Pack assembly to Final Assembly, Atlas Copco has developed market-leading solutions for multiple joining technologies, including tightening, riveting and gluing. Atlas Copco Application Centre in India works closely with customers to develop assembly solutions and processes using these joining technologies and supporting control and analysis applications

“As the Indian Manufacturing sector transforms itself through Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing, what kind of future do you envisage for the sector?”

The roadmap to Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing is different for every company. The roadmap should take a company from its starting point to its desired target situation. This is an exploratory journey for most companies as new technologies and opportunities need to be tested and evaluated. In parallel, new organizational capabilities need to be developed. The implementation of Industry 4.0 concepts is a development and change journey for any company, even though the initial phase will have limited organizational impact. One key objective of the initial phase is the learning of new concepts, and companies should strive for an organization and culture of collaboration and agility to prepare for the coming changes. From a strategic perspective, the approach of newcomers should be to explore and learn the new technology and create a vision for how Industry 4.0 concepts can benefit the company.

Interview 04/11/2019 by Moulin
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