Indian manufacturing industry has come a long way since independence from foundational stage in 1950s and 60s to liberalization in 1990s to finally becoming globally competitive in the 21st century. According to an industrial development report released by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), India is the only lower middle income country that secured its place in the second group of leading economies in this field. Other countries in the same group are Australia, Canada, Italy, Singapore, and Spain.
The study named ‘Industrializing in Digital Age’ tried to assess the development and application of Advanced Digital Production (ADP) technologies or Industry 4.0 technologies. The feat can be attributed to the new innovations being patented by Indian research centers and companies in markets across the globe. The country has in fact reached the level where it is now embedding the industry 4.0 technologies in smart machines being exported.
India is today the 5th largest manufacturing country in the world, as per CII (Confederation of India Industries). With initiatives like Make In India, the government has tried to galvanize the manufacturing sector, encouraging more and more players to don the manufacturer’s cap.
However, the set of goal of increasing the contribution of manufacturing to GDP to 25 percent by 2022 does not seem to be achievable with the current pace and a lot needs to be done in this direction.
Advent of the pandemic
With the advent of pandemic the manufacturing sector has been hit hard. Having witnessed phases of either low demand or less supply, the manufacturing sector was not ready for the precarious situation of both demand and supply hitting rock bottom. In order to sustain and get back its growth, the only way forward for it is to increase the efficiency of manufacturing processes by using new technologies, thus cushioning the impact of the pandemic to some effect by ramping up production with the same or less resources at their disposal.
“If India comes out of the present crisis with minimum of impact, we can be the destination of choice for the global manufacturing giants in different sectors like electronics, computer hardware, pharmaceuticals, including medical devices, automobile, including components and other engineering products,” said Deepak Sood, Secretary General of industry body ASSOCHAM.
Additive Manufacturing for Enhanced Efficiency
Additive Manufacturing is a bold step in the direction of enhancing efficiency and improving production outcomes. The technology also called 3D Printing is bringing a revolution in manufacturing by helping manufacturers save costs incurred in manufacturing prototype models and testing them before moving on to the actual production stage. By employing CAD and digital 3D methodologies, it is allowing manufacturers to expedite the testing phase at lower cost with better efficiency and then helping them to start chugging the production engine much sooner along with considerable assurance of the quality of the product.
In addition to additive manufacturing, some of the other technologies and trends that are going to make a seminal impact are Predictive Maintenance, IoT, AR/VR etc. and it remains to be seen how rapidly the industry adopts these technologies.