The role of digitisation and analytics in manufacturing

In the age of automation, there is widespread use of digital technology as it enables faster data integration as well as smoother and more efficient processes across machines, enabling businesses to produce high quality products at a lower cost. Industry 4.0 is a digital transformation that connects us through “smart” technologies such as Blockchain, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. It helped revolutionize modern manufacturing by providing in-depth insights into product design and operation and by facilitating experimental R&D. The ESG initiative of energy control systems is implemented in the plant to reduce the specific consumption of energy and reduce carbon emissions.

As we look to the future, we are looking for ways to find value through virtual and human-connected experiences, and even if Industry 4.0 continues to help businesses, it is paving the way for Industry 5.0. Still in its early stages, Industry 5.0 is promoting human-machine collaboration in response to increased customization in products. Industry 4.0 puts smart technology at the forefront of manufacturing, while Industry 5.0 focuses on human-machine collaboration. The combination of the two will synthesize the accuracy of industrial automation with human skills, perception and critical thinking.

However, in order for an organization to adapt to the next digital revolution, there are a number of points that organizations need to look at:

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Improving the skills of the workforce

Improving the skills of employees is very important. This has a number of different advantages over hiring new workers, as veterans know the company’s culture, have a deeper understanding of the company’s products and services, and have a higher chance of committing to the company. Upskilling also helps bridge the gap in digital skills and fosters stronger relationships between employees and technology. This is important as Industry 4.0 moves forward and looks forward to the next revolution.

As business operations need to adapt to the future, so does the workforce. Frontline workers are among the core strengths of the business. More for textile manufacturers. Business responsibilities do not end with hiring the right people. Companies need to invest in education and skills development for workers on a regular basis. At Welspun, we launched the DigiSmart program to help all of our workers. Built on an integrated approach to learning, the program provides training towards building the core competencies of workers for the purpose of a smart factory tomorrow. Training that relies heavily on e-commerce data analysis and skills and Industry 4.0 applications used on the store floor are some of the programs covered.

Enhancing digital capabilities

Digital capacity building and cross-functional governance is now almost a necessity for all organizations and production units, especially with the hiring of well-equipped talent in technology. Only then will digital prove effective. It is important to have a long-term vision to understand the need for digital transformation for the end-to-end process, from raw material procurement to sales of finished products to customers. Welspun has actively incorporated Traceability into its manufacturing process using the advanced technology of the Blok chain. As we see the program evolving from Weltrak 1.0 to Weltrak2.0, the core vision is a complete tracking of goods such as cotton from farm to shelf. Advanced analysis can help find opportunities to increase production output and provide insights into what customers want. An automatic towel counting system using artificial intelligence is a good example. The data collected can thus be used to produce products that best meet the needs of their customers, enabling the integration of human data and intelligence as we move forward.

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Securing data and investing in smart factories

The role of digitalization in decoding production units will be the first to turn them into smart factories. Smart factories have the ability to enter data in real time and analyze it to make decisions on new discoveries. The overall flexibility of the production process is greatly enhanced in a smart factory and can help the production unit look beyond practical limits.

Welspun has successfully integrated intelligent technology and continuous analysis and applied insights into the production process on its processes. We have focused on reducing the gap between machines and data treated in silos in many areas of production, including Cut & Sew, spinning weaving and packaging. Companies need to manage cybersecurity to the end to protect store-floor operations and digitally-owned proprietary data due to the many cyber security risks associated with the large capital investment needed to build a smart plant. Data management as a valuable business asset is also important in ensuring key checkpoints for manufacturing companies as it can be used for analysis that will provide insights into various aspects of the industry.

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Optimizing production, flexibility and customer orientation, and providing opportunities for new skill sets and jobs are just some of the benefits being taken by this revolution while setting the pattern for the next job. Industry 5.0 is set to bring new human-machine collaboration that enables quality innovation. Contrary to popular belief, this collaboration will not affect the human-machine balance in any way. It is desirable to increase cooperation between people and intelligent production systems.



The views expressed above are those of the author.

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