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India’s consumer electronics industry is set on the path to Industry 5.0

By 2025, the manufacturing sector will breach the $1 trillion mark, positioning India on the global manufacturing map. Even as the pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of economies, it is time to analyse India’s manufacturing playbook and see it transition from Industry 4.0 to Industry 5.0, comprising smart artificial intelligence-enabled factories.

The latest episode of Mint Zetwerk Smart Manufacturing dialogue, titled The Next Frontier in Consumer Electronics—Digitally Driven, in partnership with Zetwerk, delved into why digitization is important to the consumer electronics industry’s growth. It also highlighted how big players can leverage new technologies to bring in speed and agility into the ecosystem. Lokesh Payik, partner, Bain and Co. moderated the session.

While enterprises are building smart and connected manufacturing set-ups, sustainability and a zero-waste policy also fare high on the agenda of a vast majority. Enterprises are shifting their products from linear to circular, keeping the sustainability goals high.

“I would say the modern-day manufacturers and consumers are very focused on sustainability, and that’s what every organization is looking for. Even our service offerings have a lot of sustainability for us, our customers, and end consumers, who are conscious about it. We are also working on the circularity of manufacturing, an essential arm. A lot of work has been done, and a lot more is in progress,” said Nikhil Rao, senior director-operations, Flex.

The value of digital comes through if one has complete visibility of the value chain, starting from planning, to sourcing, to making and delivery. Digital is a competitive advantage when you have a decentralized manufacturing ecosystem, which Zetwerk has mastered. “Covid was a time when we realized a huge need for digitization. A lot of things were happening with respect to large factories, but there are a lot of suppliers who did not work with large factories, and they really required hand-holding. That’s where we came in the picture,” said Rahul Sharma, co-founder, Zetwerk. Today, everyone has visibility to data in the entire value chain. A case in point is that of Samsung, which manages a lot of data insights from multiple data centres and manufacturing locations and has impactful results in their factories of the future.

“Samsung has been investing in the entire Industry 4.0 or smart manufacturing a lot earlier than the others. Recently, we opened the world’s largest manufacturing unit in Noida. Samsung has split its manufacturing into multiple geographies across the globe. On the software front, India has four software development centres. All of them keep changes in manufacturing happen rapidly,” said Balaji Hariharan, senior director and head of product, Samsung India.

After Industry 4.0, the next frontier is perhaps Industry 5.0, which is nothing but AI-enabled factories. Calling it ‘factories of today’, Santhosh Kumar, managing director, Texas Instruments India, said: “50-60 % of our worldwide revenue business comes as industrial and automotive.”

“We are looking at creating factories where people will work with robots. But, we need to identify the safety concerns and see what creativity, differentiation, and value people will add. We are analysing whether people can work in harmony with robots without creating any problem for themselves, or products that they are working on, or the robots that they are working with,” he added. LiveMint

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