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Panel envisages Factory of Future as manufacturing landscape shifts

Sudipta Ghosh, senior partner, PwC India, and Ankit Fatehpuria, co-founder, Zetwerk.Premium
Sudipta Ghosh, senior partner, PwC India, and Ankit Fatehpuria, co-founder, Zetwerk.

The latest episode of Mint Zetwerk Smart Manufacturing dialogue, titled ‘Factory of the Future’, in partnership with Zetwerk, saw industry leaders discuss specific interventions, use cases and success stories. The session was moderated by Sudipta Ghosh, senior partner, PwC India

As India aims to become a $5 trillion economy, its manufacturing sector will play a major role in driving growth. With data analytics, digitization and Internet of Things (IoT), technology today has the capability of transforming manufacturing and create Smart Factories of the Future. The latest episode of Mint Zetwerk Smart Manufacturing dialogue, titled ‘Factory of the Future’, in partnership with Zetwerk, saw industry leaders discuss specific interventions, use cases and success stories. The session was moderated by Sudipta Ghosh, senior partner, PwC India.

The discussion started with the aviation sector. “The factory of tomorrow should address three Ds—the first D we talk about is ‘Done’, the second one is ‘Dirty’, and lastly, it is ‘Dangerous’. As an industry, we are almost in the transformation process and all the adjustments conforming from the old organizational method to Industry 4.0 are now happening," said Ganapati Hebbar, supplier development and growth leader, Boeing India.

Ankit Fatehpuria, co-founder, Zetwerk, pointed out key factory issues such as visibility of demand, management inventory and production on time, adding Zetwerk solves such problems and then builds them to become factories of the future. “Factory of the future needs to be lean in three parameters—cost, time and inventory. If a factory is able to solve these three things through leveraging tech, that becomes a factory of the future for us. Another attribute which I think a factory should have is as close to 100% First Time Right (FTR)," said Fatehpuria.

Zetwerk works with over 5,000 MSMEs, and takes orders from customers which are delivered using cloud manufacturing solutions as it does not have any factories. “As a customer, you will never know what the factory is, where it is located and how things are getting manufactured, but you are getting your goods on time, with quality, and at the best prices. This is one of the trends which is present today and probably would be scaling up," he added.

Smart manufacturing cannot happen without smart logistics. According to Sanjiv Garg, managing director, Pipavav Railway Corp. Ltd., the main challenge in logistics is of first mile and last mile connectivity, and only road has the advantage of door-to-door delivery. “You will often find that while for a major portion of the segment in which a freight item is travelling, the charge may be X but for last mile and first mile, it would be another X plus X making it 3X," he said.

India needs to improve manufacturing to transform into a developed nation. “The major trends driving this are digitization, IoT which is going to be a kind of harbinger for smart manufacturing as people talk about connected products. Thirdly, another trend which will offer big insights into how you plan for your production requirements, deal with your suppliers, and what kind of ordering you are doing is artificial intelligence," said Sarvadeep Chauhan, V-P, Luminous Power Technologies (P) Ltd.

Factories are also considering initiatives to slow climate change. Take the case of India’s steel industry, which contributes close to about 7% to global CO2 emissions of the steel industry.

“India has an operating capacity for 126 million tonnes (mt) of steel and by 2030, we are targeting a production of 300 mt of steel. With that strike rate, we are going to generate 700 mt of CO2. So, it is 2.5 tons of CO2 per ton of crude steel. Right now, the industry as well as the ministry are focusing on how green hydrogen can be enabled to reduce this to take the journey from gray to green," said Naveen Ahlawat, chief procurement officer and head, green hydrogen and gasification projects, CCSU, JSPL.

India is a young country, and quick digital adoption has changed consumer behaviour. This is going to also lead the change in factories. “I see it in three parts—trends, frequency and expectation. How factories and the manufacturing ecosystem at large is evolving to make those changes faster, using adaptive tools, software systems which are going into production, and material resources becomes important," said Sourabh Raghuvanshi, vice-president of supply chain and e-commerce, Lava International.

How does one envisage the factory of the future? Sanjiv Rangrass, angel investor and former CEO of ITC agri business, said: “If I were to build a factory, I will construct it using the most sustainable techniques in construction, I will make sure the factory is authorized only to use green power, I will ensure that I use only green steel and that the factory in its construction is water neutral, carbon neutral, plastic neutral. For sustainability, another area is that all the workforce must stay close by to reduce the transportation and then I will make sure that the factory complies with scope one, two and three."

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