His calm demeanour masks his ultra-speed and superb style of working. In his career span of over 35 years, he has played an instrumental role in transforming the IT landscape of his organization. As a strategic thinker of his business, he is always ahead of curve in driving IT innovation in his organizations.
In a tete-a-tete with ET Edge, Uppal reveals some of the crucial steps for embarking on Industry 4.0 journey.
Lifecycle of Technology
There’s a lifecycle of technology, from a hype to getting into the stability circle, all these technologies are at different stages of maturity.
Manufacturing, especially automotive, is always the first adopter of any technology. Whether its AI, blockchain, the kind of value and benefit it is creating for the industry is phenomenal. We are looking forward to all these technologies to make sure they become part of our business on an ongoing basis. That’s the stage of technology and all these technologies will have different stages of maturity, somewhere it would be pilot, somewhere pilots would be done. In different areas, different technologies are getting implemented.
Talk about Analytics, it is a big journey where various data points are doing it from reporting to predictive, we are moving past the POC stage and we see good value in some of the areas of manufacturing whether it’s prediction, whether it’s forecasting, marketing, we are seeing adoption from the POC stage now.
In RPA (Robotic Process Automation), we have gone through the pilots and trials. Now, business projects are being done to ensure we create efficiency in our business. We are reaching that stage of the business.
The manufacturing side of IOT has always been very high on IT-OT connectivity, but now going forward, I think there’s a lot of work required in getting right data from all machines possible, going predictive on that. We need to get alerts for any exception, happening on quality. I think this is also the stage where we are getting matured. I think we are fairly adopting on many of these technologies.
Kick-starting the Industry 4.0 Journey
We are moving past the POC stage and can see some real value in digitalization of manufacturing, whether it’s predictive maintenance, RPA, we are reaching efficiency in businesses through them. We are fairly adopting many of these technologies. One of the major concerns of industry 4.0 would be --capturing the right data. We need to get machines to handle that and our legacy machines are not capable of doing so. Doing that requires a lot of investment, beyond investment we also run the risk of disrupting the current business, so it becomes quite challenging to streamline certain digitalization projects.
Competing with Global Peers in Industry 4.0 Era
Yes, absolutely! We are competing with our global peers. Our plant in Gujarat, which has come up recently, I think this is the best possible in the industry today. My feeling is there cannot be apples to oranges comparisons, certain use cases relevant for Germany would be different from that of India. Innovations and technology are ongoing process, regularly organisation process innovation requirement and it varies from culture to culture, country to country.
The kind of connectivity we have with the IT system, the kind of data we are extracting, this is best of the class result.
One of the major challenges is capturing data, you need to handle the right data properly. There are legacy machines which are not capable of extracting value out of data. For updating those machines, a lot of investments is required, a lot of disruptions take place in the current businesses. The concern also remains of IOT, aligning new projects with latest connectivity.
Fear of Job losses
I think in any new technology, the structure of job changes, job does not go away, but the structure of job goes away. Yes, any change impacts the routine job and in order to run that process you need a different kind of jobs. So, we are creating that data analytics skill, robotic skills, these are job changes that we will witness in the future. So, to align ourselves with the changing times, here we have created one part to support existing business and to sustain this business and another set of people is getting reskilled or we are sourcing from outside, to support the new architecture.
I think a lot of universities today are coming up and finetuning their study material as per Industry 4.0 requirements and that is a welcome step. In our organization, we focus on innovation and we have a team dedicatedly working on innovations.
Manish Sharma, Chief Project Manager, 9818287188, Manish.email@example.com
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1 Comment on this Story
Abhishek Mitra378 days ago
We have cheaper manpower than any other Countries. Not every possible places it is needed. If you just innovating and applying , big problem. Like a new car and Maruti 800. Reliability also matters and at last how much it will save in your pocket. Don''t think about long run. In long run more will come.