Pilot project at Raebareli rail coach factory to usher in 'Industry 4.0'
30 September 2019
The ministry of railways and Department of Science and Technology have joined hands with IIT Kanpur for taking up a unique project on ‘Industry 4.0’ by launching a pilot project for implementation at Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli.
Speaking on the occasion secretary Department of Science and Technology Ashutosh Sharma said his department has recently launched a new programme “Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems (ICPS)” to foster and promote R&D in this emerging field of research. He said about Rs4,000 crore is expected to be spent in years to come in this area.
Railway Board (Member Rolling Stock), Rajesh Agrawal, said that today's initiative is expected to make India an advanced industrial economy with exponential growth in jobs.
‘Industry 4.0’ commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, is a name given to the current trend of automation, interconnectivity and data exchange in manufacturing technologies to increase productivity. Industry 4.0 is a complex Cyber-Physical Systems which synergises production with digital technologies, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Analytics, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address in Houston, USA on 22 September highlighted the importance of ‘Industry 4.0’ in global economy and India's advantage.
The project, launched today, would be undertaken under the aegis of “Technology Mission for Indian Railways” (TMIR). It would be implemented by a consortium of ministry of railways, ministry of human resource development and ministry of science and technology on an investment sharing model for taking up identified railway projects for applied research and use on Indian Railways for advancement and modernisation.
Industry 4.0 is a complex cyber/physical digital system. Therefore, the architecture to be conceptualised and formulated in MCF initially would be gradually expanded in a phased manner to encompass all complexities that constitute Industry 4.0 in all manufacturing spheres in the country.
Full transition to the digital factory using ‘Industry 4.0’ across entire value chain from design to production will help enhance productivity hugely by providing insight into production process to take the decisions in real time basis, minimising human errors by effective monitoring to ensure that resources are put to the best utilisation measured by, what is called the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).
Such a National Policy for Advanced Manufacturing envisages that manufacturing sector should contribute at least 25 per cent to GDP. All over the world, countries who have been able to achieve phenomenal growth, could do that with the advent of rapid strides in manufacturing sector. This initiative in Railways would have wider ramifications to spur growth in defence production as well as in private manufacturing sector also.
Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Raebareli was established as a state-of-the-art coach manufacturing unit with the capacity to manufacture 1,000 passenger coaches annually and has modern automated machines and robotic fabrication lines. During last one year, MCF has increased its production phenomenally to 1425 LHB coaches in 2018-19 vis-à-vis 710 LHB coaches in 2017-18. This was enabled significantly by the adoption of elements of Industry 4.0 on sophisticated machines. Inspection of MCF by the prime minister in December 2018 has been an inspiration to proliferate this initiative.
In view of the continuous demand for higher speed coaches with comfort of international level and to meet the demand of a continuously growing economy, there is a need to employ the tools which will improve productivity to next higher level with greater product flexibility.
Industry 4.0 would be based cyber/physical digital system and would involve various packages, systems, applications and hardware within design/planning, networking and production to be added in a modular and incremental manner in MCF.
Various shops under the ambit of Industry 4.0, areas such as inspection, machining, welding, measurement etc, will also be provided with the initial and Bigdata Analytics, Artificial-Intelligence etc.