Connectivity is a serious challenge in the implementation of IoT

Ravi Pagar, Regional Director - South Asia and Asean at element14
Ravi Pagar, Regional Director – South Asia and Asean at element14
Make in India’ is positioning India as a global manufacturing hub. Advanced manufacturing will enable Indian manufacturers to not only be cost competitive but also enable access to developed markets through technologically advanced products. The growing popularity of manufacturing trends like Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT), Advanced Robotics and Home Automation act as catalysts to this growth.
element14, a global leader in high service distribution of technology products, services and solutions for electronic systems is helping its customers redefine their business and innovate in IIot and Home automation.
In this Interview, Ravi Pagar shares insight on India’s manufacturing and automation trends and elaborate on how the company evaluates the Indian market and its talent pool.
  1. Can you talk about the emerging manufacturing trends in India?

Manufacturing has emerged as one of the high growth sectors in India. The ‘Make in India’ program was launched in 2014 and it has put the country on the world stage as a manufacturing hub. It has given the Indian economy global recognition. According to the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index published by Deloitte, India is expected to become the fifth largest manufacturing country in the world by the end of the year 2020. Basis this, the government has set an ambitious target of increasing the contribution of manufacturing output to 25 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025, from the earlier 16 per cent.

This ambitious move by the government to locally manufacture as many as 181 products could help infrastructure sectors such as power, oil and gas, and automobile manufacturing which requires large capital expenditure and revives the Indian capital goods business. Considering the market, several brands have set up or are looking to establish their manufacturing bases in the country. Today, India is an attractive hub for foreign investment in the manufacturing sector.

  1. How do you see the adoption of the Industrial internet of things, both globally as well as in India?

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) focuses on closing the gap between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) in order to digitally integrate manufacturing processes both within and between factories. In other words,Industrial IoT—also known as Industry 4.0—is all about increasing the efficiency and flexibility of production along with advancing production processes, introducing new forms of cooperation to the supply chain, and delivering innovative ways of commercializing products and services.

IIoT promises to be the most transformative industrial revolution for manufacturers, changing the way they think about resource allocation, production processes, materials handling, and the workforce. The first wave of adoption of the IIoT could help increase productivity by up to 30 percent. Predictive maintenance helps to calculate when machines will break down before it happens, eliminating up to 70 percent of failures in manufacturing. If combined, organizations could add savings up to 12 percent, while maintenance costs could come down by as much as 30 percent.

The Industrial Internet of Things will follow four distinct phases – Operational Efficiency, New Products and Services, Outcome Based Economy and Autonomous Pull Economy.

Operational efficiency often lays the foundational business case for IIoT adoption. It builds the underlying infrastructure that enables manufacturers to advance in their IIoT journey, adapting their offerings and driving new revenue opportunities. As the IIoT becomes more ingrained in production processes, new product and services business models morph into the delivery of measureable outcomes. A pull-based economy characterized by real-time demand sensing, enabled by intelligent machines and highly automated and flexible production and fulfilment networks will emerge.

  1. What are the opportunities emerging from Industrial IoT?

    Recent innovations allowing for economical application of information technology in factories are changing industrial production all over the world. Rapidly advancing technologies such as predictive analytics, machine learning and cloud computing are converging to form the IIoT. Technology concepts such as Big Data analytics, cloud storage, cognitive intelligence, and edge computing form the basis of the industrial IoT architecture. The four functional facets of Industrial IOT are –

  • Convergence of IT-OT-Crossover of ideas, technologies, and processes between the worlds of information technology and operations technology will form the core of the fourth industrial revolution.
  • Services 2.0 -These explore newer avenues for service innovations, such as cloud-based service platforms, and evaluate the potential for new profit centres.
  • Supply Chain Evolution -The dawn of the future factory is set to disrupt existing supply chain networks.
  • The Industry 4.0 Business Ecosystem – The advent of advanced information and communications technology (ICT) will promote new inter-relationships and interdependencies, giving way to unexpected business collaborations and partnerships in the future.
  1. How do you look at Industrial IoT for manufacturing automation and robotics?

Robotics and Industrial IoT is the fastest and most successful deployment of IoT primarily due to the long-timeneed for effective automation and M2M applications. There has been a long standing need to repair and maintain expensive manufacturing equipment remotely by technical experts to reduce production downtimes and resulting losses.Traditional M2M systems are proprietary using point to point communication and centralised server environments thus making the costs prohibitive for many to adopt. The advent of IoT has helped to bring various proprietary M2M platforms to common development platforms thus increasing their scalability and making costs affordable to many.

  1. How is element14 helping design ecosystem to bring the new manufacturing trends and helping their business?

As the Development Distributor, we work with professional makers, start-ups and the largest electronics suppliers to research, design and develop new products with a key focus on IoT.   We sell the broadest range of development kits available, enabling users to express their creativity and expertise and bring their ideas to reality using kits from the popular Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black, to high utility models such as OM13086 LPC43S67 and A70CM Cloud Connectivity Kit, Freescale Freedom Development Platform for Kinetis K82, K81, and K80 MCUs and BC3770 Battery Charger Board with KL25Z.

element14 is also providing customisation of their platforms for end customers whose deployment reach a stage where they can cut cost by designing and manufacturing  custom hardware dedicated for their application. Our state of art design centres in US and China with manufacturing expertise and infrastructure in China will help customers to design and source hardware at the most competitive price to performance metrics. This enables customers to focus on their Data management and application the backbone of revenue generation in an IoT system.

Development kits such as the Raspberry Pi have been used to develop solutions around large scale automation in the industrial sector.  The Raspberry Pi has been used by a popular Out-of-Home entertainment industry to develop solutions which can enable the provider to push advertisements in high traffic zones and NEC Digital Displays is using a Compute Module 3, customised by element14, for their large-format displays, adding intelligence to what was initially a passive display.

  1. According to you what are the major concerns associated with IIoT? What about security?

Connectivity is a serious challenge in the implementation of IoT. The network world of millions of devices connected will be much different from today where hundreds or thousands of devices are connected. The future will depend on how easily the IoT technology can move from a centralised network to a de centralised distributed network keeping intact security concerns. Solutions like Mesh networks, new computing models  can help to overcome this challenge.

Standards is another area of concern. Being a highly potential market the development is running in different directions each competing with each other to become a standard. This may force the IoT deployment to cover multiple hardware and software products thus raising the costs of such a deployment. IoT deployed products will generally have longer life times and if some of the technologies become obsolete before the life time of the Product itself it might be a huge loss of investment.

The bottom line is a big motivation for starting, investing in, and operating any business, without a sound and solid business model for IoT we will have another bubble , this model must satisfy all the requirements for all kinds of e-commerce; vertical markets, horizontal markets, and consumer markets.

End-to-end solution providers operating in vertical industries and delivering services using cloud analytics will be the most successful at monetizing a large portion of the value in IoT. While many IoT applications may attract modest revenue, some can attract more. For little burden on the existing communication infrastructure, operators have the potential to open up a significant source of new revenue using IoT technologies.

  1. Which are the future applications you look forward where Industrial IoT can be a part?

IoMT( Internet of Medical Things ) will help the growth of telemedicine  in a populous country  with limitation of advanced medical advice and treatment into the rural areas. Advanced electronic healthcare services are required to be made available through a network anytime, anyplace and to anyone.Wireless technologies enable the real time transmission of data about a patient’s condition from various sensors and analytical instruments to remote consultants and caregivers. Additionally IoMT will also help in Asset tracking ,Hygeine compliance and other hospital quality management activities.

Additional areas where we will find application in India is Security Systems, Emergency Management, Domestic Home Automation and Lighting Control etc. IoT will also make way into areas of Agriculture and Dairy farming.

  1. Tell us about element14 community and its impact on Indian electronics ecosystem?

Our award-winning platform, element14 community, hosts a world of virtual field engineers. The idea behind this platform is to supports our customers and engineers with up-to-date technical information in different areas. Over 470,000members worldwide are connected and benefited through our platform.

Our community offers research support, design software, development kits and other online solutions so that engineers can get their prototype ready for production in no time. The amount of interaction hosted on element14 community on a daily basis cover multiple disciplines. Technical resources such as webinars, product road test and interactions with other industry experts are also provided by element14 community,. This gives the audience with greater insight into how the technologies of high end productions work and thus motivate them to dream big thereby impacting the entire electronics ecosystem.

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