IIoT critical piece in Industry 4.0 journey: Vijay Sethi, Hero Motocorp.

With innovation at the core of its philosophy, the New Delhi (India) headquartered Hero MotoCorp has been at the forefront of designing and developing technologically advanced motorcycles and scooters for customers around the world. It became the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer in 2001, in terms of unit volume sales in a calendar year, and has maintained the coveted title for the past 18 consecutive years.

With over 90 million satisfied customers across the globe, it continues to champion socio-economic progress and empowerment through its range of products and services.

Hero MotoCorp is the dominant market leader in India – the world’s largest two-wheeler market – with over 50% share in the domestic motorcycle market.

Here, Vijay Sethi, CIO, and Head HR & Head, CSR, Hero Motocorp., presents his views on the Industrial Internet of Things. Excerpts:

DQ: What business needs can be solved with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?

Vijay Sethi: As technology has evolved over last few years, one can see Internet of Things (IoT) evolving in a big way because of convergence of technologies, including sensors, cloud, analytics, machine learning, AR/VR and others. Organizations have started getting benefits of IoT, including enhancing the customer delight.

However, perhaps the biggest evolution from IoT perspective that is happening today is the Industrial internet of things (IIoT), where the usage of IoT is going beyond the consumer, and connecting machines and devices, not just to enhance productivity, improve efficiencies, but also improving the health or safety. Many of the applications are in the areas that may be high risk.

Hero Motocorp.DQI Bureau | DATAQUEST

DQ: How big is the market for the IIoT?

Vijay Sethi: IIoT is today used in areas like predictive maintenance where real-time data generated from IIoT systems can be used to predict defects in machinery and ensure that action can be taken before the machine breaks down to reduce down time, asset tracking, supply chain, monitoring conditions within a factory, monitoring machine performance like vibrations, temperature and other factors to ensure that performance of machine, and hence, the quality of products is optimal.

Other areas include, remote inspection and diagnostics, tracking products and machine inventory, using AR/VR for maintenance and training, management of production facilities, use of robotics on the shopfloor, tracking goods post-production, etc.

DQ: How will IIoT benefit smart manufacturing?

Vijay Sethi: IIoT is a critical piece in an organization’s Industry 4.0 journey and in that, IIoT connectivity that plays an important role. For getting value from IIoT, one needs to ensure reliable, fast and secure data transfer in a timely manner. This is where 5G and TSN can play a big role.

DQ: How are IIoT and 5G linked?

Vijay Sethi: 5G technology promises to reduce costs relating to the cabling infrastructure and also ensure flexibility on shop floor by supporting things like autonomous carts, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), supporting connectivity to remote sites, allowing connectivity of dispersed factories across different locations, thus increasing the flexibility in industrial applications.

DQ: How does 5G-TSN integration meets networking requirements for industrial automation?

Vijay Sethi: Time-sensitive networking (TSN), which defines a set of IEEE standards primarily developed for Ethernet, could be a big enabler, along with 5G mobile technology. The main goal of TSN is to provide deterministic services over the Ethernet wired networks, thus having guaranteed packet transport with low and bounded latency, low packet delay variation, and low packet losses.

As I see, 5G and TSN would give a major boost to IIoT globally, thereby, significantly enhancing the value that can be derived from an organization’s IIoT investments.

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