Driving Manufacturing Efficiency for a Better Future, CIO News, ET CIO

By S Devarajan

Climate change is real. With sea levels rising, glaciers melting and pollution increasing, the impacts of climate change cannot be overstated. It has never been more important for us, as the dominant species, to “invest in our planet”, which is also the theme of Earth Day this year. It’s no surprise that one-fifth of global carbon emissions come from the manufacturing and production sectors. But it’s not all dark and dark – these sectors, armed with the latest technology, can take progressive steps to protect our planet by creating a lasting solution.

Nothing has been more transformative than the data revolution and the possibilities it opens up. Today, the global circular economy has helped transform us into interconnected beings, seeking ways to collaborate to create transformational value for our species and the planet. It is the driving force that allows us to preserve the resources of our world while protecting the economy.

How does data analytics enable a sustainable future in manufacturing?

Environmental sustainability is no longer essential just for compliance or CSR, and has become the primary focus of corporate strategy across manufacturing. Environmental objectives are now an integral part of the planning and operating model across all functions. New market opportunities, product life cycle, supply chain, risk management, operational efficiency of manufacturing units, each function must connect to the broader dimensions of sustainability to meet the new environmental imperative. Customers are also increasingly concerned about the environment and prefer sustainable and responsible brands.

To adapt to today’s reality, leading organizations have exponentially channeled their investments into green business practices for a better future. Artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and blockchain have evolved as important agents of change for better environmental outcomes. To take the actions necessary to ensure environmental sustainability, manufacturers use data processing technologies for optimal use of critical natural resources, identifying any anomalies and applying new knowledge to refine day-to-day operations and processes.

According to a study by PwC UK, AI for environmental applications is expected to contribute up to $5.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Implementing data-driven processes offers huge potential to generate of long-term value at the macro level. This will allow companies to improve their operational capabilities while providing considerable opportunities to optimize waste management, manufacturing efficiency and resource distribution. The use of digital technologies to map and design environmental KPIs across organizations has been helpful in reducing the overall environmental footprint.

Reduced carbon emissions and improved return on investment

Harnessing big data and analytics capabilities will reduce carbon emissions and positively impact a company’s financial performance by minimizing vehicle downtime. A 2021 McKinsey report indicates that predictive maintenance in the manufacturing subset could generate between $260 billion and $460 billion in 2030.The use of data processing tools is an opportunity for car manufacturers to respond to a market that offers more and more emission-free vehicles.

At last year’s Glasgow Summit, India pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070. Achieving sustainability goals requires an integrated approach to tackling social, environmental and economic challenges that will produce valuable results for the government and the public. AI-powered technology can deliver breakthrough results in achieving decarbonization through energy optimization and provide detailed insights across the entire manufacturing supply chain.

At TVS Motor Company, data analytics is at the forefront for accurate decision-making capabilities and improved operational efficiency, leading to carbon neutrality. The company uses real-time data at multiple levels for data-driven decision making, problem troubleshooting, and accurate reporting.

From a long-term perspective, TVS Motor has adopted end-to-end technology acceleration in the manufacturing unit to manage the water consumption cycle in the factory premises. At dealerships, it is currently exploring nanotechnology to reduce water consumption for vehicle washing and maintenance as a step towards sustainability in operations. All information for the Pollution Bureau is captured online in an effort to go paperless.

The future of sustainability in manufacturing

Sustainability has a direct impact on the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.

The manufacturing industry must develop circular processes that recover, recycle, reuse, remanufacture, refurbish, repair, reuse, reduce, redesign and refuse to move from efficient production to smarter production and supply chains environmentally friendly for a greener future. Analyzing big data in automotive manufacturing will bring better value to consumers and the environment by designing environmentally friendly vehicles, understanding market demand, and identifying gaps as soon as they persist, thus avoiding unnecessary disturbances.

As the adoption of cutting-edge digital transformation accelerates in manufacturing industries, there is a need to be prepared and scale operations and use our data intelligence skills to reduce the impact on climate ecosystem.

The author is Senior Vice President, Advanced Manufacturing, TVS Motor Company.

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