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Author's profile photo John Harrison

The Next Industrial Revolution: How ready are you?

Just read this article in Process Worldwide called The Next Industrial Revolution: How Future–Ready is India’s
Process Industry ?
concerning Industry 4.0 and India’s process industries state of readiness.

The article gives a very good overview of the topic and discusses the overall state of India’s industry. One thing jumped out at me when they were discussing the state of readiness, as follows:

“One of the biggest obstacles for the adoption of Industry 4.0 across India’s process industry is related to data security, skill sets, infrastructure and overall reluctance to change.” With these issues, is Indian process industry ready to adapt Industry 4.0? Additionally, to adopt the new concept, Indian process industry also needs workforce having necessary skills.

Does this sound familiar? I have written many times about skill shortage in industry, particularly in the areas of skilled trades regarding maintenance and operations with an eye on maintaining existing operations and processes. However as the article points out there is a need for additional skills if Industry 4.0 is going to be adopted.

The article concludes as that the global industry is moving forward with the adoption on Industry 4.0 so India is concerned  “To be part of the Industry 4.0 revolution is not a choice any longer but is precondition to stay on course and sustain profitable growth,”

This whole article started me thinking about how ready individual companies are for this step change in manufacturing.  While there are plenty of articles on the topic, and the topic is part of the Internet of Things revolution, how truly ready is the Chemical Industry for adoption of this strategy.

Or are we already part of it? After all we have been collecting process data for years and using this information to improve our processes.  One of the major characteristic of Industry 4.0 is being able to interface with other smart infrastructures and networks. 

All this leads to a number of questions:

  • As an industry we ready to expand our internal networks to the greater Internet, gather more data, and use it for improvement?
  • Do we have the correct skill set to support Industry 4.0?
  • Do we have the budget to fit / retro fit our equipment with the necessary sensors / smart meters to provide the data the Industry 4.0 operates on?
  • Is the security that is associated with Industry 4.0 sufficient, or do we need to wait for further developments?

Any thoughts?

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