Techtonic 2021

Industry 4.0: Factories that need no human

While fully autonomous facilities are still many years away, Indian organisations have taken a big leap towards it. These are exciting times! 

Shutterstock

We are in the midst of a revolution. It may not feel like it, when we are vegging out in front of a saas-bahu series or chasing out mosquitoes with a bat, but we are. When history is being made, people are often doing mundane things.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, is unfolding as we breathe. The first Industrial Revolution was when we made machines move with steam, second was when we made them move with electricity, third was with electronics, and now we are set to make them move autonomously. Now, we are designing machines that can take data from the environment, process it using their algorithms and past data experience and act in a way they think best.

So what?
Manufacturing, that boring thing that happens in the background and makes our lives, laptops and toothbrushes possible, will never be the same again. A factory may soon be able to take orders from a remote location, manufacture the goods, quality check and ready them for dispatch. Simultaneously, it may be able to check the health of its machines and belts and nuts and screws, and alert those in charge if there is a need for replacements, to avoid inconvenient breakdowns and delays.

These fully autonomous facilities may be a few years away in India, but there are companies here that are already on this path with few of the processes managed remotely, even from hundreds of kilometres away.

Venugopal G, general manager and head of Digital Advisory and Industry 4.0, Bosch Digital, says Industry 4.0 is rapidly being adopted by facilities that manufacture large batches of products or in processes where there is little room for error, such as chemical production.

unsub

You don’t want to be left behind. Do you?

Our work is exclusively for discerning readers. To read our edgy stories and access our archives, you’ve to subscribe