India’s manufacturing industry has emerged as one of the fast-growing sectors due to numerous government initiatives, easing of trade policies and technology knowledge sharing among companies. In FY19, the manufacturing industry’s annual production growth rate was pegged at 3.9%.
Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi welcomed global conglomerates during the launch event of new sectors addition in previously announced PLI scheme in February 2021 to make the most of Production-linked Incentive (PLI) schemes worth Rs. 1.97 trillion (US$ 26.4 billion) in 13 sectors and boost manufacturing in India through the coveted ‘Make in India’ campaign.
The three stated goals of ‘Make in India’ (to be achieved by 2022) are the following:
On July 02, 2021, the Government of India announced the launch of six technology innovation platforms to boost the domestic manufacturing sector and develop innovative, indigenous technologies to put India at par with the global counterparts.
The six platforms launched are as follows:
These platforms are likely to aid in converging India's technical resources on one platform and serving as a common point for varied industries to kickstart and expedite discovery and crowdsourcing of technological challenges faced by them.
These platforms will help develop indigenous manufacturing technologies by organising ‘challenges’ or ‘contests’. Key sectors covered by these platforms are manufacturing, capital goods and mobility, core mechanical manufacturing, advance materials, additive manufacturing, smart material manufacturing, robotics & automation, electric mechanics and drive, mechatronics, sensor control and power electronics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
The platforms will also help OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), start-ups, Tier 1-3 companies, raw material manufacturers, domain experts/professionals, R&D institutions and academia in delivering suggestions, technology solutions and opinions on issues looming the manufacturing industries.
Knowledge exchange between stakeholders on R&D and technological aspects will be further enhanced by these platforms. Currently, >39,000 students, professionals, institutes, industries and labs have already enrolled owing to cash rewards for winning challenges posted by the platforms.
The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) has brought about hi-tech advancements in the manufacturing sector. These advancements link cyber-physical systems, i.e., smart machines can exchange real-time information for decision-making through the industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). The Department of Heavy Industries (Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises) introduced Samarth Udyog Bharat 4.0 (Smart Advanced Manufacturing and Rapid Transformation Hubs)—India’s initiative to augment implementation of Industry 4.0 (by 2025) by extending technical solutions to manufacturing units through steps such as creating demo centres and conducting awareness campaigns and training sessions.
Samarth Udyog Bharat 4.0 and these tech platforms are likely to be the game changer for the Indian manufacturing sector in the near future.
Following are the six technology innovation platforms developed under the Department of Heavy Industries (DHI), Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises:
ASPIRE – ICAT (Automotive Solutions Portal for Industry Research & Education)
The programme is for enhancing technological capabilities of the Indian automotive sector by sharing knowledge and experience and making the industry self-reliant. The sector's growth will further boost India’s overall socio-economic progress by bringing the experts to exchange knowledge on a single platform. The platform has been developed by the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT), a quality certification and R&D services provider for the automotive sector set under NATRIP.
ASPIRE will facilitate the Indian auto industry (including OEMs and Tier 1-3 companies), R&D institutions and academia (colleges & universities) to collaborate on R&D and technology development, and get expert comments on resolving tech issues and gauging progress.
SanRachna – BHEL
BHEL, a Government of India undertaking and an engineering & manufacturing company, has rolled out a technology innovation platform—SanRachna. It is an open technology platform developed to identify inadequacies in the current technologies used in India. The programme will achieve this goal by organising ‘challenges or contests’ for industry experts on the platform.
The objectives of this platform are as follows:
TechNovuus – ARAI
ARAI, a renowned automotive R&D organisation under the Government of India, built a platform—TechNovuus—for cross-domain collaboration. The platform will provide a medium to intellectuals to contribute their knowledge on development of new technologies and innovations and shape the future of mobility.
The objectives of this platform are as follows:
HMT, a Government of India undertaking and a machine tools manufacturing company, introduced a technology innovation platform—HMT TechPort. The platform has been created to boost the machine tools industry by aggregating technology and innovation ideas through collaborative approaches. It will assist users in accomplishing new initiatives, resolving various manufacturing challenges faced by the industry and delivering business results more quickly.
Boosting the machine tools sector’s competitiveness and empowering the manufacturing sector are key goals of this project. Consequently, the platform will assist the government in achieving its goal of generating 25% of the GDP from manufacturing in the near future.
KITE - IIT-Madras (Knowledge Integration for Technology Enrichment)
The Advanced Manufacturing Technology Development Centre (AMTDC) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, launched a manufacturing technology eco-platform—KITE. The platform will focus on enhancement and implementation of smart manufacturing, digital manufacturing, Indigenous manufacturing and process and discrete manufacturing in the manufacturing sector. The platform has developed features to cater to these focus areas:
DRISHTI – CMTI (Design, Research and Innovation by Harvesting Science and Technology for Industries)
The Central Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI), Bengaluru, developed an online platform—DRISHTI, which brings together innovators and manufacturing companies to address complicated problems.
Currently, the platform has listed the following topics as challenges:
The six technology innovation platforms were introduced at the backdrop of the Production-linked Incentive (PLI) schemes (announced in 2020) to help India become a global manufacturing powerhouse. These platforms have been expertly designed to eliminate sectoral barriers and provide economies of scale to help India develop healthy manufacturing eco-systems and become self-reliant.