Tiger Trail

Photos: How tigers adapted to thrive in dissimilar corners of the world

These remarkable cats have found ways to persist over evolutionary time.

Throughout Asia – from muddy mangrove swamps in India to crisp temperate forests in the Russian Far East – there were once at least 100,000 tigers. Today about 3,500 of these endangered animals remain, largely restricted to pockets of disjointed habitat in India, Southeast Asia and Russia, where their survival is continually threatened by poaching and habitat loss.

These remarkable cats have adapted to thrive equally well in these dissimilar corners of the world. In Southeast Asia, for example, the complex coat pattern helps Malayan tigers blend in with the dense lattices of tropical vegetation as they stalk their prey. And in northeast Asia, to protect against the cold, Amur (or Siberian) tigers grow noticeably thicker coats than their southeast Asian counterparts.

The Amurs also have “thicker skin”: these cats are tough. Here, winter conditions drive the other mega carnivore of the region – the brown bear – to hibernate, while tigers push through chest-deep snow to search for prey in temperatures that reach the minus forties. They are not fully impervious to the cold, however: they sometimes cut their soft foot pads on coarse ice and leave flecks of blood in their snowy tracks as they walk.

Other tiger adaptations are behavioural. In the forests of Nepal, for example, where the rich vegetation can support high densities of deer and boar, a resident female Bengal tiger can meet her prey needs with nearly 20 square kilometres of home range.

In the comparatively-sparse temperate oak and birch forests of northern China and Russia, in contrast, where food is scarce and the severe winters keep prey numbers low, a female Amur tiger needs an area twenty times as large­ – roughly the size of Rome – to meet those same energetic requirements. Tigers also use the landscape to their advantage. In Russia, the shock of auburn fur makes terrifying sense as these cats simply disappear among the autumn oak leaves.

Tigers have found ways to persist over evolutionary time by squeezing every advantage they can from their circumstances, be it in humid jungle or frost-cracked forest. They have not, however, discovered a way to coexist with the world’s most adaptable and cunning animal – the human. And so, tigers continue to face significant and evolving threats. Hopefully their spirit of survival, along with dedicated actions from conservationists, will be enough to ensure tigers always remain.

Tigers in the fall

Photo credit: Jonathan Slaght
Photo credit: Jonathan Slaght
Amur tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger in the fall. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger in the fall. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher

Tigers in the winter

Amur tiger in the snow. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger in the snow. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Tiger track in Russia. Photo credit: Jonathan C. Slaght
Tiger track in Russia. Photo credit: Jonathan C. Slaght
Tiger tracks along a stream in Russia. Photo credit: Jonathan C. Slaght
Tiger tracks along a stream in Russia. Photo credit: Jonathan C. Slaght
Tiger habitat in Russia. Photo credit: Jonathan C. Slaght
Tiger habitat in Russia. Photo credit: Jonathan C. Slaght
Amur tiger in the winter. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger in the winter. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger in the winter. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger in the winter. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger in the snow. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger in the snow. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger paw. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger paw. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger in the winter. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger in the winter. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher

Tigers in the spring and summer

Amur tiger during the summer. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger during the summer. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger in the summer. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger in the summer. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger cub at play. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger cub at play. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger going for a swim. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Amur tiger going for a swim. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger cub at play. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger cub at play. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger cub during the summer. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
Malayan tiger cub during the summer. Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher

This article first appeared on Mongabay.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.