Not long ago, the Industry 4.0 was the buzzword in the Automation Industry. Everybody was going gaga over its likely impact on future of the industry. Every one wanted to be pallbearer of Industry 4.0. The word used to get mentioned very prominently in seminars, conferences and other public forums, alike. The industry veterans were confident that this is the next big thing in manufacturing industry. This was touted as the next wave of Industrialization. Then, Covid-19 hit us all. That left the world panting and stopped it in its tracks. The whole world was under Lockdown, albeit at different periods of time. Some of the countries are still under Lockdown but more or less, the restrictions have been considerably relaxed. But the trepidation is still there. Because the Virus is still lurking somewhere close by.
As we gear up and restart our industrial activities, there is a need to strategize and re-look at the ways we run our industrial operations. The industries will have to adopt more and more of automation so that physical contact can be minimized. The future will see, businesses spending in industrial up-gradation, to rise significantly. While it may not be a cakewalk in every industry but manufacturing companies will have to ingeniously devise ways to look in to embracing Industry 4.0 with lots of empathy. The automation will negatively affect employment and the workers may get hit with jib losses. The handcrafted works as in like Transformer Industry, will face lots of challenges. The placement and alignment of windings in Transformer Manufacturing Industry happens when workmen sit and work in tandem.
Construction sector has its own challenges. In countries like India, construction sector is heavily dependent upon manual labor work. There is hardly any segment in construction industry which can be termed as fully automated in here. Workers are engaged in small group/batches and they carryout the work sitting close by. All these may have to change.
There have been a few investments in automation in the Indian Industrial Landscape but it has never been and end to end one. Our automation efforts have generally been segmented. We have a good opportunity now to embrace the automation to improve the lives of our workmen and also at the same time improve the productivity of our operations. But just one caution. All such improvements should happen with lots of empathy. So that we all remain connected and human.