In Photos

In photos: Christopher Robin meets his childhood friend, the silly old (and wise) Winnie-the-Pooh

Directed by Marc Forster, the Disney live-action movie will be released in India on August 10.

Winnie-The-Pooh, AA Milne’s beloved, silly old bear is back – this time through Disney’s new live action movie Christopher Robin. Directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner, Quantum of Solace), the movie is named after Pooh’s human friend who has grown up and finds himself grappling with a mid-life crisis.

The adult Robin (Ewan McGregor) is a workaholic in London who hasn’t met his childhood friend Pooh in years, but that doesn’t mean he has forgotten him. The trailer for the August 10 release shows the fortuitous reunion of the two best friends, one that not only helps Robin set things right in his life but also helps Pooh find his way back into the woods from the chaos of London.

Jim Cummings has voiced Pooh’s character, and the film has been written by Alex Ross Perry.

Christopher Robin. Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures.
Christopher Robin. Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures.

Christopher Robin is Disney’s latest live action movie after Cinderella (2015), The Jungle Book (2016) and Beauty and the Beast (2017). However, unlike the others, which were reboots of Disney’s animated classics, Forster’s film imagines Robin and Pooh’s story many years after where the original story left off.

Disney’s animated version of the Pooh bear’s adventures came out in 1977. In that version, Robin is a cheery young boy whose only worry is that Pooh will forget him when they grow older. In the trailer of Christopher Robins, it is Pooh who is worried that Robin has forgotten him.

The grown-up version of Robin is neither cheerful nor carefree. Work pressures seem to be weighing him down, leaving him no time to even take weekends off for his his wife and daughter. A trip to the woods and a return to his roots have never been more necessary than now.

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Christopher Robin (2018).

Hayley Atwell plays Evelyn Robin, Robin’s wife, while Mark Gatiss plays his strict boss. Among the other key characters of the Hundred Acre Wood, Eeyore, the gloomy donkey has been voiced by Brad Garett, the owl by Toby Jones, piglet by Nick Mohammed, the rabbit by Peter Capaldi and Kanga the kangaroo by Sophie Okonedo.

Ewan McGregor was last seen in Drake Doremus’s science fiction romance Zoe earlier this year. Christopher Robin is the second live action film McGregor has starred in after Bill Condon’s Beauty and The Beast (2017).

Christopher Robin. Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures.
Christopher Robin. Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures.

The film was shot in the United Kingdom and specifically in London, where the story is set. In an interview to The Hollywood Reporter, writer Alex Ross Perry spoke about what drew him to the film and to Pooh: “Everybody has these memories of these books, the Disney shorts and the feature that comprises the three initial Disney shorts...It’s one of the most universally acknowledged, recognized, cherished and beloved characters.”

Christopher Robin. Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures.
Christopher Robin. Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures.

Pooh’s character has a timeless quality, Forster told Entertainment Weekly ahead of the film’s release in America: “There’s this timeliness to him, and his Pooh-isms, as naive as they sound, there’s always so much truth to them. He doesn’t take himself seriously, but there’s so much substance. They make you smile, but at the same time, you think, he’s so right.”

Christopher Robin. Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures.
Christopher Robin. Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures.

There is one country where Pooh will not be able to spread his good cheer, and that is China. On August 6, there were reports of Chinese authorities banning Christopher Robin from a theatrical release. “No reason has been given for the decision, but it’s believed to be part of a nationwide clampdown on references to the beloved children’s character,” the BBC reported.

In the last few years, Pooh has bafflingly become a controversial figure in China after a few Chinese bloggers compared China’s president Xi Jinping to the anthropomorphised bear. Chinese authorities have been blocking images of Pooh online since 2017. Pooh has been hailed as a “symbol of resistance” in China, especially among those who are opposed to the ruling Communist Party, reported The Hollywood Reporter.

Christopher Robin. Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures.
Christopher Robin. Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures.
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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.

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.

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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.