CII hosts Industry 4.0 summit in Chennai, pushes smart manufacturing mantra to MSMEs, Tier 1s and 2s

by Sricharan R 23 Dec 2019


Industry 4.0 is the new disruptor in the world of manufacturing globally and now in India. This industrial revolution of connectivity is clearly a global megatrend, and many MSMEs, Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers are yet to fully understand what smart manufacturing is all about.

Keeping this in mind, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organised its 12th edition of the Tamil Nadu Manufacturing Summit in Chennai today, on the overall theme of ‘Taking the Manufacturing to the Next Level through Industry 4.0’.

Speaking at the Inauguration, Dr Rajendra Kumar, IAS, Principal Secretary – MSME & Director, Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation Institute, Government of Tamil Nadu, said, “We have a target of reaching 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024, and we are at 2.9 trillion dollars now. To reach the target, it would require a growth rate of over 9 percent. During the year 1991, the manufacturing sector contributed around 16-17% to the economy and today it is around the same level. MSMEs can contribute a lot in reaching the target. Many MSMEs do not understand on how digitising help their business grow and bring in more cost-effective solutions. We have a chance to leapfrog to Industry 4.0 from nothing and become the best to compete with the globe.”

Pointing out how Tamil Nadu government is supporting the MSMEs, Rajendra Kumar stated that the state government is approving applications online. They also have a single portal for MSMEs and around 15 different departments to provide regulatory approval to their business. Going forward, to help MSMEs, the principal secretary mentioned the government is looking at the possibility to bring newer digital solutions. With this, business owners can inspect their own company and self-certify them online. This reduces the need for physical inspection and saves time.

“We are working on this and it will be out soon. Last year, with the help of the online portal over 950 MSMEs applications were received and we have approved around 855 of them,” he mentioned.  

Sandeep Sinha, CEO, TAFE; S Ganesh Mani, Director – Production, Hyundai Motor India; P Kanniappan, Convenor, CII TN Manufacturing Panel; S Chandramohan, Chairman, CII Tamil Nadu and N Anbuchezhian, Convenor, Manufacturing Panel, CII Chennai Zone were also present at the inauguration.

Right after the inaugural event, a panel discussion on ‘Making Sense of Industry 4.0’ was conducted. Shivkumar Srinivasan, Member Tamil Nadu Manufacturing Panel and Vice-President, Mel Systems, delivered the opening remarks. Ramamurthi Aiyappan, DIrector - Digital Manufacturing Asia, Siemens; and Milan Kumar, Global CIO, WABCO spoke about the use of Industry 4.0 in their factories.

N Anbucheziyan, General Manager - Operations, Caterpillar India, spoke from the shopfloor and MSME perspective. “Rather than just looking at the newer connected technology, we should look for sustainable and smart manufacturing. It has to be scalable in the future. MSMEs should work on four areas namely, Smart innovation, Smart factory, Smart solutions and Smart supply chain to ensure sustainable and smart manufacturing,” he stated.

The event also had other panel discussions on Emerging Needs for Industry 4.0, and Application of Technologies for Industry 4.0. It had participants from various organisations including major OEMs and MSMEs. Companies like Hyundai Motor India, TAFE, WABCO and Siemens presented case studies and examples from their own factories, as to how the connected solutions are enabling them to be more efficient and productive.