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India: Smart Manufacturing for SMMs

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The Advanced Manufacturing Technology Development Centre (AMDTC) of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) has announced it will develop smart manufacturing solutions and technologies for small and medium manufacturers (SMM) in collaboration with a private player.

An official from AMDTC explained that several SMMs utilise old machines that are not operated by controllers. The aim of the project is to transform them into smart machines by connecting them to Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. This will enable the collection and analysis of real-time operational data.

The primary goal for the collaboration is enhancing AI and machine learning (ML)- based solutions to boost the real-time optimisation of various machining processes in SMM shops, leading to a reduction in operational costs and improvements in overall efficiency and productivity.

The AMDTC is a centre of excellence on machine tools and production technology at IIT-Madras and the partnering company works in smart manufacturing solutions for small, medium, and large-scale manufacturers.

The collaboration will result in models that serve as the foundation for the continued advancement of ‘Digital Twins’ that are accessible and cost-effective for SMMs. The two sides plan to make AI-based digital tools and techniques easily available and affordable. It will improve the competitiveness of the SMMs. These techniques shall continuously and dynamically improve the efficiencies of the machining processes involved in the manufacturing of the products.

Under the partnership, student interns will be employed to develop and implement the solution at the SMM shops. This will facilitate the development of a well-trained next-generation workforce for the manufacturing industry.

Countries around the world are rapidly embracing the concept of smart factories that leverage cutting-edge technologies like IoT, AI/ML, and automation to revolutionise manufacturing processes. They provide real-time data analytics, predictive maintenance, and enhanced operational efficiency, leading to reduced downtime and increased productivity. Additionally, smart factories are environmentally friendly, as they optimise resource usage and reduce waste.

In July, Vietnam launched a smart factory development collaboration project for the northern region between the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and a multinational electronics corporation. At the opening ceremony in Hanoi, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Do Thang Hai, said that smart plant development is crucial for Vietnamese manufacturing enterprises. In line with the Central Party Committee’s Resolution No. 29 to advance industrialisation and modernisation, MoIT has been actively collaborating with multinational corporations and prominent foreign direct investment (FDI) companies in the country.

Later the same month, Vietnam’s state-run group Viettel reported a successful trial of its 5G Private Mobile Network (5G PMN) for a privately-owned smart factory located in the northern port city of Hai Phong, Vietnam. This marked the first smart factory in Vietnam to operate automatically using a 5G mobile service, providing significant advantages such as high-speed connectivity, low latency, and support for multiple connections.

As OpenGov Asia reported, during the first phase of collaboration, Viettel supplies 5G private networks catering to various applications, such as augmented reality for video calls, assembly stations, product testing management, and direct supervision of the production process. The goal is to have these 5G private networks fully operational at the private electronic equipment and components factory in Hai Phong, supporting thousands of devices by the end of 2023.


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