IoT is the crux of Industry 4.0. There could be no relevance to the concept without a seamless data integration, for which it requires the devices in the industrial automation system to be connected, so as to create a Smart Factory. India has been faring well in the Internet of Things market, as could be witnessed from the big giants like Havells, Bosch, LG or Samsung venturing in the Indian IoT space. While China could be considered a major competition in the manufacturing side of the word, India has managed to maintain an upper hand. Though several factors like bureaucratic hurdles, limited power and water resources could be major obstacles, its ample supply of technical labor is playing like a charm over all the disadvantages.
While India has become a hotspot for the Industrial IoT play, there can be many factors that define the overall implementation of Industry 4.0 facilities in the country. IoT India Magazine covers such recent developments, opportunities, adoption and challenges around Industry 4.0 in India through its interaction with Santanu Ghose, Director-Networking at HPE Aruba.
3G, 4G and wireless connections boosting Industry 4.0 in India-
While Industry 4.0 has been making rounds for a while, Santanu Ghose believes that for manufacturing industry, IoT is nothing new. It is in the process of evolution and that is happening at a very fast pace. “IoT has been used in automation, sensors and various other systems in the manufacturing industry, but what has happened recently is that the sensors have started to get transformed into wireless mode”, says Ghose.
Though the relevance of IoT has always been there, there has been constant evolution in terms of improved gadgets and devices to enable the connection with the wireless mode in the industry Level I and Level II systems. There has been a significant surge in the implementation of 3G, 4G and wireless connections over time that has brought the ease with which data exchange can be carried through these setups.
An interconnectedness between IT and OT enabling Industry 4.0-
“The industries has two parts—one is the business side of it (ITO), while the other is the operational knowledge. ITO gives the inner support and the operational technology frames the entire structure such as the processes and the automation part of it. These two were never linked in a very great manner, but now because of increased adoption of IoT, an IT-OT integration is happening, hence boosting Industry 4.0”, explains Ghose.
It is important to note that for bringing in new advanced devices, the wireless structure should be standardized. This becomes a crucial point as every organization that has automations has a different set of proprietary protocols for bringing out automation. “This will get replaced by new emerging protocols which is standardized so that different devices could connect in a consolidated manner. Having said that, for IoT to actually make a move to Industrial IoT, there is a convergence of network that is going to happen”, says Ghose.
He explains that there were different networks running in a manufacturing setup—the data, voice etc. But now it has all merged into a single wireless network that supports voice, data, new generation IoT devices—all of it. “An emerging technology from a converged network is going to happen that will actuate the adoption of new generation of IoT devices to enhance Industrial IoT”, he adds.
IoT impact that is beyond Industry 4.0-
Believing strongly in the fact that IoT is beyond just the industrial implications, Ghose says that it can have bigger impact in terms of energy management and conservation as well. It can play a key role in transmitting data consumed on a daily basis.
“For instance, every building or factory gives access to people via say access cards—which has a lot of data in the form of logging details. It can give the information in the real-time as to how many people are there in a building and what is the energy consumption. The amount of energy consumed based on the number of people can be mandated by the energy providing agencies—hence IoT becoming a key contributor in energy conservation”, he exemplifies.
He strongly believes that adoption of IoT in India will allow lots of developments around industrial IoT and industry management such as the adoption of solar power, wind power etc. IoT could play an important role in integrating various energy resources and ensure its rational use. “It could also form an important part in terms of its traffic and garbage management, which is increasingly becoming more problematic”, he adds.
Connectivity, profiling, security and behavioral analytics—key contributions of HPE towards Industry 4.0
“It is important to understand that no single organization can bring a change in this area. It is a collaboration of efforts that would matter and everyone has to contribute in some parts”, he shares.
Coming to HPE Aruba’s contribution, connectivity is the first thing they provide. “Connecting these devices, making them visible and managing them is the key element that we deliver. And since IoT devices play a key role in industries, they need to be on 24*7, be reliable and robust”, he shares.
Second part of what they deliver is understanding how the IoT devices are deployed being—meaning profiling. The profiler can understand which devices are in the network, their performance, what are they supposed to do and the location of these devices.
The third important thing is providing security. These devices have high chances of encountering frauds and securing these connections is a very important aspect. “Without security IoT devices cannot run properly and we are one of the best in doing that through our product called ClearPass”, he says.
The fourth thing is behavioral analytics. When IoT is deployed, it is important to understand what the device could do and this is where behavioral analytics comes into play.
“We deliver all of these in conjunction with other partners. For instance, some partners may provide the IoT devices, the other might do the application part of it”, says Ghose.
Challenges in the adoption of Industry 4.0 in India-
Lack of single protocol connecting the IoT devices, is the first challenge, as Ghose says. “Every IoT application vendor has their own process of connecting, which is a big hurdle in the adoption of IoT”, he says. It can go away if standardization happens, which is emerging slowly but has not taken a central place as yet.
The second hurdle is that IoT can generate a lot of data but it is difficult to find out its relevance. “With a lot of control systems being installed for the automation, it is important that relevant data comes to use, the irrelevant data can be discarded but the relevant data should be actioned upon”, he says.
He further adds that keeping the data that is relevant will be the actual element for IoT adoption, which will only grow based on the analytics available. “There is no point in having so much of data if it can’t be used for any good”, he adds.
Government policies vis-a-vis Industry 4.0 in India
“I think government supporting IoT is still taking shape in India. On the other hand, government doesn’t really have too much of a play, it is more of an evolvement that is happening around industry 4.0. While some are slow and others are doing it aggressively, the objective is to have a bigger productivity, bigger production, lowering the cost and giving better visibility to the management in terms of profit”, opines Ghose.
Government can play a key role in areas of facilitating networks that can support IoT devices, such as the LORA network. “They can also contribute by incentivizing the adoption of IoT for industry management, which can in turn contribute significantly in improving country’s economy”, he says.
On a concluding note-
Not just the industrial aspect, but IoT adoption in India is seemingly making ways to industry management, homes, street lights, smart cities etc. While the manufacturing industries will be impacted in bigger ways in India, IoT can be exploited extensively to understand the traffic flow and managing the garbage. Automation around these could help in bigger ways by having relevant data around these and taking actionable insights out of them.