A pilot project for ushering in 'Industry 4.0' in the country has been launched for implementation at the Modern Coach Factory (MCF) at Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh.
The Ministry of Railways and the Department of Science & Technology (DST) have joined hands in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur for the project, an official press release said.
The launch ceremony yesterday saw an exchange of ideas between Railway Board Member (Rolling Stock) Rajesh Agrawal, Secretary, DST, Ashutosh Sharma, Professor N S Vyas of IIT Kanpur, DG RDSO Virendra Kumar, MCF General Manager V. M. Srivatsava and other senior officials of the Railway Board and the Ministry of HRD.
Sharma said that his department had recently launched a new programme “Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems (ICPS)” to foster and promote R&D in this emerging field of research.
He said about Rs 4,000 crore was expected to be spent in years to come in this area.
Agrawal, said that the initiative is expected to make India an advanced industrial economy with exponential growth in jobs.
‘Industry 4.0’ commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, is a name given to the current trend of automation, interconnectivity and data exchange in manufacturing technologies to increase productivity.
Industry 4.0 is a complex Cyber-Physical System which synergizes production with digital technologies, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data & Analytics, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address in Houston, USA on September 22 had highlighted the importance of ‘Industry 4.0’ in global economy and India's advantage.
The new project is being implemented under the aegis of “Technology Mission for Indian Railways” (TMIR).
It will be implemented by a consortium of the Ministry of Railways, the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Ministry of Science & Technology on an investment-sharing model for taking up identified railway projects for applied research and use on Indian Railways for advancement and modernization.
"Industry 4.0 is a complex cyber/physical digital system. Therefore, the architecture to be conceptualized and formulated in MCF initially would be gradually expanded in a phased manner to encompass all complexities that constitute Industry 4.0 in all manufacturing spheres in the country," an official press release said.
"Full transition to the digital factory using ‘Industry 4.0’ across entire value chain from design to production will help enhance productivity hugely by providing insight into production process to take decisions in real-time basis, minimizing human errors by effective monitoring to ensure that resources are put to the best utilization measured by, what is called the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).
"Such a National Policy for Advanced Manufacturing envisages that manufacturing sector should contribute at least 25% to GDP. All over the world, countries who have been able to achieve phenomenal growth, could do that with the advent of rapid strides in manufacturing sector. This initiative in Railways may have wider ramifications to spur growth in defence production as well as in private manufacturing sector also," it said.
MCF was established as a state-of-the-art coach manufacturing unit with the capacity to manufacture 1000 passenger coaches annually and has modern automated machines and robotic fabrication lines.
During the last one year, MCF has increased its production to 1425 LHB coaches in 2018-19 as compared to 710 LHB coaches in 2017-18. This was enabled significantly by the adoption of elements of Industry 4.0. on sophisticated machines.
"In view of the continuous demand for higher speed coaches with comfort of international level and to meet the demand of a continuously growing economy, there is a need to employ the tools which will improve the productivity to next higher level with greater product flexibility," the release said.
Industry 4.0 would be based cyber/physical digital system and would involve various packages, systems, applications and Hardware within Design/Planning, Networking and Production to be added in a modular and incremental manner in MCF, it said.
(Our News Desk can be contacted at email@example.com)