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Industrial IoT powers innovative manufacturing

Thought Leadership - Vikram Kirloskar
Vikram Kirloskar, Vice-Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Chairman and Managing Director, Kirloskar Systems, is a catalyst in the development of a stronger automotive base in India. “Regular and continuous interaction becomes vital to stay engaged and to voice our opinion on various elements that directly or indirectly impacts the business environment”, he says.

With a new generation of tech startups on the rise in Bengaluru, innovation in manufacturing is powered by Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), says Vikram Kirloskar, Vice-Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) and a key spokesperson for the industry. TKM is a joint venture set up in 1997 between Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan and Kirloskar Systems, that makes a wide range of popular cars.

The drive towards manufacturing startups is highly critical towards achieving the vision of ‘Make in India’, says Kirloskar in an interview with Sandhya Mendonca. “With the automotive industry being a key contributor to the socio-economic development of the country,  it is important to have an integrated environment, to work closely with concerned stakeholders and to actively participate in the formulation of rules, regulations and policies related to the industry.

Providing access to government bodies about real trends and developments in the automotive industry leads to effective national reforms and enables companies to pursue technological issues like Telematics, Alternative Mobility, harmonisation of safety and emission standards, which decide the future of mobility in the nation. With the changing dynamics of the auto industry, such an exchange of ideas and communication becomes crucial towards expanding bilateral trade and technical cooperation across the globe.

The supply chain base is growing stronger with many unit startups creating increasing job opportunities and contributing to achieve cost effectiveness in support of sustainable manufacturing operations. Entrepreneurs have been able to effectively leverage Bengaluru’s startup ecosystem to their advantage and also gain from the pool of engineering talent. More innovations are streaming to foster the manufacturing sector such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) venture to better manage shop floor performance and data management.

Innovations locally are enabled by factors such as higher literacy rates, exposure to technology across borders, booming information technology (large scale knowledge base), strong government support which enhances the entrepreneurial spirit leading to sustainable and scalable startups.

While Bengaluru’s latest label is the ‘global hub of technology startups’,  tremendous innovations have been taking shape in the manufacturing portfolio. There are multifold startups which are accelerating manufacturing in the areas of solar and bio energy, environment-friendly packaging units, cost effective logistics solutions, robust monitoring software – leveraging IoT & other tech solutions, enhanced infra connectivity with first and last mile solutions, and similar developments that address various challenges with the evolving changes of the consumers and market.

TKM’s plant facility in Bidadi has embedded innovations through practices as shop floor kaizen (continuous improvements), specialised training to workforce on safety dojo (training centre), schemes that engage the workforce to come up with innovative and new ideas to adopt in manufacturing processes and workplace – such suggestions lead to better yield in terms of optimum output and to achieve cost effectiveness, energy conservation methodologies, manufacturing design development with local engineering and many more benefits.

A lot more work needs to be done to extend the growing entrepreneurship movement in India, and focusing incubation support to first-time entrepreneurs in Tier II cities is essential. Mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs in these regions to create sustainable, scalable, and replicable business models becomes more relevant. These cities have more resilient entrepreneurs solving new problems to build more impactful enterprises. Accelerator training programs would aid to enhance exposure and build entrepreneurs in smaller towns and semi-urban India, targeting self-driven entrepreneurs and focus on value-creation for budding entrepreneurs. The incubators can also mentor  established entrepreneurs to think big and expand their business horizon.

The economic success story of the region has been scripted by good infrastructure connectivity and industrial clusters and estates being set-up. A strong network of industries would be conducive for setting up a business park for startups and a single window clearance mechanism will boost efficiency, timeliness and cost-effectiveness.”