Additive manufacturing, advanced robotics, industrial internet of things (IIOT) and augmented reality—these are the four key trends identified by the Tata Strategic Management Group as the most relevant for the manufacturing sector in India.
In a first of its kind survey done to gauge Indian manufacturing sector's readiness to adopt advanced manufacturing trends, TSMG, in collaboration with FICCI, pointed out that for the success of 'Make in India', manufacturers have to produce not only cost competitive products, but also develop innovative and new age products. Adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies and practices, the survey pointed out, was a prerequisite to attain such competitiveness.
The report highlights industry's perspective through a survey of business leaders including board members, CXOs and other senior leaders of more than 50 leading engineering companies in the country.
"Make in India" is positioning the nation as a global manufacturing hub and under the National Manufacturing Policy government hopes to increase the contribution of manufacturing from 15 per cent to 25 per cent of the GDP by 2020.
The survey states that manufacturing of technologically advanced products will enable the manufacturers access to developed markets, and says industry perceives productivity improvement and quality consistency as the most critical advantages of advanced manufacturing. According to it, only 10 per cent of Indian companies have adopted advanced manufacturing so far, and 80 per cent plan to do so by 2020. MNCs and large Indian companies are expected to take a lead in this. The survey finds that family-owned companies have "lower willingness" to adopt advanced manufacturing.
Remaining competitive vis-a-vis peers is the primary driver for adopting advanced manufacturing, and quantifying the return on investment is cited as the most critical hindrance.
The report recommends bench marking with global companies and collaborative approach for the industry to hasten adoption with optimal investments. The need to drive awareness, especially among the SME sector to the industry bodies, has been emphasised by the report which recommends special focus through skilling initiatives and indigenous technology development to the government and expects technology providers to facilitate ecosystem for wide spread adoption.
Commenting on the report Mr. Shripad Ranade, practice head—automotive & engineering, TSM Group, said, "The changing global and Indian scenario has made it important for the industry to consider leapfrogging towards the advanced manufacturing trends. It is imperative for stakeholders to improve the adoption by focusing on driving awareness of these trends, emulating global best practices, forging industry-academia connect and up-skilling workforce".
Mr. Abhishek Bagwe, engagement manager—engineering & infrastructure, TSM Group, added, "The advanced manufacturing trends will have far reaching impact on Indian manufacturing. It has the potential to alter business models of many companies. MNCs and several large Indian companies have already taken steps in the right direction. The Indian SME sector also needs to step up before it is too late."
Dr. A. Didar Singh, secretary general, FICCI, said, "The government has been making consistent efforts to promote manufacturing industry in India through ‘Make in India’ and related initiatives. Indian industry has repeatedly demonstrated potential to develop world-class products. Adoption of the advanced manufacturing trends would provide necessary thrust to Indian manufacturing to compete and win in the global markets."