Machinery 4.0

Why Machinery 4.0 in India?

Dr. J Ramkumar, Dr. Amandeep Singh
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

The new industrial revolution is all the rage nowadays, known as Industry 4.0. Strong demand and stringent competitiveness have made manufacturing companies enhance their productivity. Industry 4.0 is a concept that reflects how industrial production follows the latest developments and changes over time.  This calls for the man, machine, and the production itself to work in one intelligent and independent network, by realizing smart factories and smart manufacturing by using Machinery 4.0, which is the hardware part. Figure 1 portrays how the Industrial revolutions have emerged with the time and technological developments, starting from Industry 1.0 in the 1700s to the current Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Figure 1: From Industry 1.0 to Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 holistically has the following major components:

  1. Cyber-physical system — machines and computers system, the hardware.
  2. Cloud storage and computing — backup for the data, and heavy calculations.
  3. Cognitive computing — technological platforms that employ artificial intelligence.
  4. The Internet of things (IoT) — interconnected sensing, scanning and monitoring devices

These major components can be depicted from Figure 2 giving the expanded illustration of the enablers.

Figure 2: Industry 4.0 components

To realize Industry 4.0, four phases are suggestible:

  1. Equipment connectivity: Machines, sensors, production lines, and factories are connected to the system, and therefore, data transparency, as well as information visualization, can be fulfilled.
  2. Mobile device management: The man-machine interfaces to be run with the simulated and validated training, for intuitive operation of complex systems.
  3. Data collection and integration: The system is run and operated, the past and current data are stored, accessed, cleaned, and used to provide value-added products and services
  4. Intelligent innovative services: Artificial intelligence is instituted to provide smart (self-sustaining, or minimal human interference) development of products and services while using intelligent machinery and big data analysis.

The hardware of Industry 4.0 includes Factory 4.0 components known as Machinery 4.0, which largely includes:

  1. Major activities for successful sustenance of Industry 4.0
  2. Robotic and Autonomous material handling systems
  3. Additive Manufacturing
  4. Advanced Manufacturing Systems (CNC and DNC)
  5. Sensors: electronic, electrical, mechanical, and programmable
  6. Industrial mobile devices (platform), Automated Guided Vehicles
  7. Nanotechnology / advanced materials

Why Machinery 4.0 in India?

Digitalization is not a possibility anymore – it is a necessity. The drastic change in the manufacturing technology and adaptation of the Smart Manufacturing strategies by major players in the industry exerts heavy pressure on the MSMEs to upgrade to the latest version. It is feared that the loss of millions of jobs is imminent, as has happened in developed countries. Owing to the lower quality manufactured by outdated technologies, the economic strife could further exacerbate due to the plummeting demand for the products. This in turn could bring a certain loss of capital and sully the goodwill of various brands in the market. This brings the call for digitization, specifically in the developing countries like India, when we are talking about ‘Atmnirbhar Bharat’. Machinery 4.0 would help to fulfill the market demand and quality requirements and to counter the expensive imports from the neighboring countries. The initial investment might seem somewhat higher, but this can be early recovered by building the confidence in the consumers while delivering the niche products and services. The technical know-how gap between the developed countries and India would also be narrowed, strengthening the manpower in our nation.