India claimed 66 medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the third highest tally by the country’s athletes at the quadrennial event and the second highest outside India after Manchester 2006.
Indian athletes consistently bagged medals on each day of the Games. It’s a commendable achievement that many athletes broke Games records and their personal bests. But none of this success has previously translated into medals at bigger international competitions. Despite this new-found bravado, India’s best still lags behind in many events.
To start with, Muhammed Anas Yahiya ran a blistering 400-metre final, falling just short of the podium with a timing of 45.3 seconds, a national record and his personal best. Nearly two years ago, South African Wayde Van Niekerk covered the same distance in 43.03 seconds, more than two seconds faster.
If they ran these times in a simultaneous race, Anas would be over 20 metres behind when Neikerk crosses the finish line. So though he’s the fastest Indian over this distance, he would have snagged an Olympic gold only in 1956.
This is a common story across many events at the Gold Coast. Listed below are a few examples. This doesn’t cover every event that India participated in but those that are decided by timing, weight and distance.
India claimed the silver and bronze in women’s discuss throw with Seema Punia and Navjeet Dhillon respectively. Punia thew 60.14 metres and holds the national record of 64.76.
Both were outclassed by Dani Stevens. The Australian threw the disc 68.26 metres, enough for a silver at Rio.
She was more than eight metres ahead of India’s best ever discus thrower. Punia, a formidable athlete in her own right would need to break her national record by over a metre to be in contention for an Olympic medal at Rio.
Another sport that India was alarmingly successful at the Games was weightlifting. Nine out of India’s 16 lifters won a medal. But India were able to dominate in part because of the absence of Chinese and European lifters. Their consistent success at the Commonwealth Games has never translated into Olympic glory because most of the Indian lifters are dwarfed by their foreign counterparts. India have only won a bronze at the Sydney Olympics largely in part because most can’t lift the same kind of weights.
The exception at Tokyo 2020 could come in the form of Mirabai Chanu. The Manipuri dominated the women’s 48 kg at the Commonwealth Games, lifting 26 kg more than her closest competitor. Her mark would’ve won the silver at Rio. However, there are multiple lifters globally who do lift around the same weight, but Chanu’s progression over the last four years has been nothing short of monumental.
Other Indian lifters didn’t decimate the competition like Chanu did. Most won against lifters from countries with no real weightlifting pedigree.
Like Chanu, 20-year-old Neeraj Chopra’s cannon-like arm could see him in fine company at the next big javelin event.
Chopra clinched gold with a throw of 86.47 meters, easily putting him contention for a bronze at Rio. Although he’s over 10 meters behind the world record, Chopra has a legitimate chance.
His throw was a shade under his personal best of 86.48 metres. Chopra is young enough for multiple chances at the Olympics and world championships. In all likelihood with further training and experience, he’s likely to eclipse his best and give himself a genuine chance to win at bigger events than the Commonwealth Games.
The next Industrial Revolution is here – driven by the digitalization of manufacturing processes
Technologies such as Industry 4.0, IoT, robotics and Big Data analytics are transforming the manufacturing industry in a big way.
The manufacturing industry across the world is seeing major changes, driven by globalization and increasing consumer demand. As per a report by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd on the future of manufacturing, the ability to innovate at a quicker pace will be the major differentiating factor in the success of companies and countries.
This is substantiated by a PWC research which shows that across industries, the most innovative companies in the manufacturing sector grew 38% (2013 - 2016), about 11% year on year, while the least innovative manufacturers posted only a 10% growth over the same period.
Along with innovation in products, the transformation of manufacturing processes will also be essential for companies to remain competitive and maintain their profitability. This is where digital technologies can act as a potential game changer.
The digitalization of the manufacturing industry involves the integration of digital technologies in manufacturing processes across the value chain. Also referred to as Industry 4.0, digitalization is poised to reshape all aspects of the manufacturing industry and is being hailed as the next Industrial Revolution. Integral to Industry 4.0 is the ‘smart factory’, where devices are inter-connected, and processes are streamlined, thus ensuring greater productivity across the value chain, from design and development, to engineering and manufacturing and finally to service and logistics.
Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are some of the key technologies powering Industry 4.0. According to a report, Industry 4.0 will prompt manufacturers globally to invest $267 billion in technologies like IoT by 2020. Investments in digitalization can lead to excellent returns. Companies that have implemented digitalization solutions have almost halved their manufacturing cycle time through more efficient use of their production lines. With a single line now able to produce more than double the number of product variants as three lines in the conventional model, end to end digitalization has led to an almost 20% jump in productivity.
Digitalization and the Indian manufacturing industry
The Make in India program aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the country’s GDP from 16% to 25% by 2022. India’s manufacturing sector could also potentially touch $1 trillion by 2025. However, to achieve these goals and for the industry to reach its potential, it must overcome the several internal and external obstacles that impede its growth. These include competition from other Asian countries, infrastructural deficiencies and lack of skilled manpower.
There is a common sentiment across big manufacturers that India lacks the eco-system for making sophisticated components. According to FICCI’s report on the readiness of Indian manufacturing to adopt advanced manufacturing trends, only 10% of companies have adopted new technologies for manufacturing, while 80% plan to adopt the same by 2020. This indicates a significant gap between the potential and the reality of India’s manufacturing industry.
The ‘Make in India’ vision of positioning India as a global manufacturing hub requires the industry to adopt innovative technologies. Digitalization can give the Indian industry an impetus to deliver products and services that match global standards, thereby getting access to global markets.
The policy, thus far, has received a favourable response as global tech giants have either set up or are in the process of setting up hi-tech manufacturing plants in India. Siemens, for instance, is helping companies in India gain a competitive advantage by integrating industry-specific software applications that optimise performance across the entire value chain.
The Digital Enterprise is Siemens’ solution portfolio for the digitalization of industries. It comprises of powerful software and future-proof automation solutions for industries and companies of all sizes. For the discrete industries, the Digital Enterprise Suite offers software and hardware solutions to seamlessly integrate and digitalize their entire value chain – including suppliers – from product design to service, all based on one data model. The result of this is a perfect digital copy of the value chain: the digital twin. This enables companies to perform simulation, testing, and optimization in a completely virtual environment.
The process industries benefit from Integrated Engineering to Integrated Operations by utilizing a continuous data model of the entire lifecycle of a plant that helps to increase flexibility and efficiency. Both offerings can be easily customized to meet the individual requirements of each sector and company, like specific simulation software for machines or entire plants.
Siemens has identified projects across industries and plans to upgrade these industries by connecting hardware, software and data. This seamless integration of state-of-the-art digital technologies to provide sustainable growth that benefits everyone is what Siemens calls ‘Ingenuity for Life’.
Case studies for technology-led changes
An example of the implementation of digitalization solutions from Siemens can be seen in the case of pharma major Cipla Ltd’s Kurkumbh factory.
Cipla needed a robust and flexible distributed control system to dispense and manage solvents for the manufacture of its APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients used in many medicines). As part of the project, Siemens partnered with Cipla to install the DCS-SIMATIC PCS 7 control system and migrate from batch manufacturing to continuous manufacturing. By establishing the first ever flow Chemistry based API production system in India, Siemens has helped Cipla in significantly lowering floor space, time, wastage, energy and utility costs. This has also improved safety and product quality.
In yet another example, technology provided by Siemens helped a cement plant maximise its production capacity. Wonder Cement, a greenfield project set up by RK Marbles in Rajasthan, needed an automated system to improve productivity. Siemens’ solution called CEMAT used actual plant data to make precise predictions for quality parameters which were previously manually entered by operators. As a result, production efficiency was increased and operators were also freed up to work on other critical tasks. Additionally, emissions and energy consumption were lowered – a significant achievement for a typically energy intensive cement plant.
In the case of automobile major, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens’ involvement involved digitalizing the whole product development system. Siemens has partnered with the manufacturer to provide a holistic solution across the entire value chain, from design and planning to engineering and execution. This includes design and software solutions for Product Lifecycle Management, Siemens Technology for Powertrain (STP) and Integrated Automation. For Powertrain, the solutions include SINUMERIK, SINAMICS, SIMOTICS and SIMATIC controls and drives, besides CNC and PLC-controlled machines linked via the Profinet interface.
The above solutions helped the company puts its entire product lifecycle on a digital platform. This has led to multi-fold benefits – better time optimization, higher productivity, improved vehicle performance and quicker response to market requirements.
Siemens is using its global expertise to guide Indian industries through their digital transformation. With the right technologies in place, India can see a significant improvement in design and engineering, cutting product development time by as much as 30%. Besides, digital technologies driven by ‘Ingenuity for Life’ can help Indian manufacturers achieve energy efficiency and ensure variety and flexibility in their product offerings while maintaining quality.
The above examples of successful implementation of digitalization are just some of the examples of ‘Ingenuity for Life’ in action. To learn more about Siemens’ push to digitalize India’s manufacturing sector, see here.
This article was produced on behalf of Siemens by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.