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CII’s Manufacturing Conference 2017 was held at Vadodara recently. A report... Globally, transformation in manufacturing is led by disruptive changes in technology and breakthrough innovations which are bridging the gap between the digital and physical world of manufacturing.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) recently organised a Manufacturing Conference with the theme “The Future Factories – Automation, Optimisation and Digitisation” on Friday, 22 December 217 at Vadodara.

The objective of this conference was to capture the forces that are shaping Indian manufacturing and understand world-class competitive companies who have a strong focus on design, innovations, emerging technologies and new processes that can build the needs of a growing number of industries.

Manufacturing Conference 2017 also hosted a small exhibition where various companies exhibited their competencies on automation and digitisation. Over 20 speakers and 200 industry captains attended this program.

Addressing the conference, Mr Srikant Jainapur, Chairman, CII Central Gujarat and Chief Executive, L&T Sargent & Lundy highlighted that “Gujarat today is the hub of large MNCs and manufacturing MSMEs. This is the era of cooperation, i.e., joint ventures. Industries across the world are looking for partners to start operations in India. Gujarat in general, Vadodara in particular, is today the most preferred destination for joint ventures due to the strategic location, industry responsive workforce and a proven track record. These joint ventures and influx of industries will make Vadodara the hub of manufacturing in the next decade.”

Mr Prashant Amin, Chairman, CII Gujarat State Council and Executive Director, Elecon Group further informed the delegates, “We must be cognizant of the transformations around us, as these transformations are being driven and will drive our choices, and our choices will drive how far we collectively go as a nation. The transformations are not merely limited to a specific field, but cut across various socio-economic aspects. The transition from foraging to farming happened around 10,000 years ago and was made possible by the domestication of animals. The agrarian revolution combined the efforts of animals with those of humans for the purpose of production, transformation and communication. While the first and second industrial revolution took several hundred centuries to take place, the third and fourth happened within decades. Many jobs that exist today will not be there after 10 years and new jobs like Drone Traffic Controller will come in place.”

Mr Yatindra Sharma, Past Chairman, CII Gujarat State Council and Managing Director, KHS Machinery emphasised on importance of new technologies. “Today the world needs more precise goods with speed. The production time today has reduced by over 50% in the past few years. The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor will create immense opportunities for local companies in Gujarat. What they will need is precision and speedy production. Local companies need rapid adoption of new technologies to match with the demand side.”

Mr Sunil Parekh, Corporate Strategic Advisor, Zydus Group & Jubilant Group stressed upon building digital culture and mind-set to adopt breakthrough innovations. Focused interventions on digitisation would help you to have competitive advantage in the market.

Mr Piush Bansal, Chairman, CII Manufacturing Conference 2017, and Unit Head, Apollo Tyres, announced that “CII will initiate Manufacturing Clinics where industry veterans will help MSMEs to upgrade their technology.”

During the conference, the first technical session was on Optimisation. Challenging economic conditions and tough competition, as is common knowledge, bring constant pressure to keep costs down and profitability up maximising capacity utilisation. Industries need to optimise their resources and operations while negotiating the manufacturing complexities. This involves continuous improvement in people, processes, and equipment – while ensuring quality and safety across the operations. Exiting tools and practices followed by industries along with case studies were discussed during this session.

Automation demands huge capital investment which requires mass production for quick return on investment. While large industries are able to afford and opt for automation, medium and small scale industries find it difficult to adopt automation. The second technical session was focused on addressing current challenges faced by the industry engaged in high volume productions. New technologies which can help the industries to graduate from conventional manufacturing to some degree of automation based around the existing equipment, tools, and methods.

In addition, the rapid digitalisation is shaping technology changes and fostering productivity improvements in the manufacturing sector. This growing trend is geared to be a driver of change in the way businesses function. Given this context, this technical session also focused on future trends and advanced technologies for industries.

At the end of conference, there was a Panel Discussion with the theme “Vision 2025 for Future Factories” to understand the readiness and bottlenecks for laying down future ready factories.

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