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Indiawood 2020
22 - 26 February 2024 | BIEC, Bengaluru, India
International Trade Fair for Furniture Production Technologies, Woodworking Machinery, Tools, Fittings, Accessories, Raw Materials and Products

Revolutionising the manufacturing industry in India

50 years of Innovation and Technology with an irrepressible focus on the future. Tell us about the group and the journey of Biesse in India.
Biesse machines revolutionised the furniture market in 1969, setting new technological standards in the industry. Within a few years, the company had established itself as an integral component and driving force in the Italian furniture industry. The establishment of the company’s first foreign subsidiary in 1989 marked the start of an intensive internationalization process that helped to establish the brand globally.

Today, which started as a strategic location to cater to the East, has grown into a global exporting hub – Thanks to its people, suppliers, and customers.

Biesse India started its operations in India in 2006, operating in a small shed of just 1000 square meters with a team of 13 employees having a production capacity of 13 machines in a year. Today, Biesse India has two production units in Bengaluru spread across 30000+ square meters with 800+ employees and has a production capacity of 2000+ machines in a year. Biesse India is Biesse Group’s first production site outside Italy. Biesse India develops cutting-edge machinery not only for the wood sector but also for processing glass, stone, and advanced materials, as well as machining tools and high-tech products. Biesse India has established a state-of-the-art technical centre that has a showroom space of 1000+ square meters in Nelamangala, Bengaluru, with 15+ technologies on display.

Biesse’s focus in the coming years will be to incorporate cutting-edge technology to ensure its stakeholders are delivered nothing but the best in class. Our Manufacturing and Technical Centres in Bengaluru will function as centres in pursuit of innovation.

The world of manufacturing is changing with a focus on Industry 4.0 which will enable the industry to focus on key functional pillars such as technology, integration /collaboration, and processes. Is India ready for this change?
The manufacturing ecosystem is undergoing a phenomenal shift with Industry 4.0 at various levels. There is a tremendous impetus toward modern manufacturing, including advanced materials, robotics, and 3D printing. Industry 4.0 has many facets to it, including the upcoming trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing, and much more. It creates what has been called a “smart factory”. Emerging economies like India have lately focused on building industry and academic partnerships to innovate and take advantage of government incentives. India ranks 20th in industrial digitalization and 30th in readiness for the future of production. The country is currently in the nascent stage of Industry 4.0, but there is limitless potential for the country to establish milestones. With its promising data availability and affordable pricing prospects, India is ready for this tectonic revolution.

Industry 4.0 market size is projected to reach USD 222.4 Billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 19.6% from 2021 to 2028. How do you see this market evolving in India?
Industry 4.0 has reached a tipping point in Indian manufacturing, with more than two-thirds of Indian businesses embracing digital transformation by 2025, contributing to a 25% increase in India’s manufacturing GDP. With USD 5.5 Bn to 6.5 Bn invested in Industry 4.0 in FY 21, the Indian industry has begun to transition to digitalization. The industry invests 50% of its budget on fundamental technologies such as cloud and IoT. 35-40% of the enterprises are at the proof-of-concept stage and will require a quick shift from PoC production. Companies want to increase their investments in developing network technology, big data analytics, central and remote controlled monitoring, and automation during the next 18-24 months. India is actively attempting to evolve by keeping up with the rapid advances in the industrial sector

Please elaborate on how Industry 4.0 technologies would help achieve sustainability in your business practices. How do you see this market evolving in India?
The three critical success factors for Industry 4.0 are: Think value, not technology; Think people, not tools; and Setting clear targets from the start. This is the face of the 4th Industrial Revolution, which has occurred since the start of the 21st century. Its transformational power comes from marrying advanced production and operations techniques with digital technologies to create connected enterprises that use data to drive intelligent actions in the physical world. Smart and connected technologies are being embedded in organizations, assets, and even people in the case of wearable devices, taking advantage of emerging capabilities from robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to quantum computing, additive manufacturing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Yet for companies that want to capture the true potential of Industry 4.0, technology is the means, not the end, according to von Scheel. “All those technologies ultimately have one purpose only,” he says, “and that’s to create value.”

Where does Biesse India stand when it comes to adoption of IoT and what is the roadmap for Biesse India for adoption of IoT?
We are in a growing, technologically savvy, and competitive industry. There is a need for greater visibility across the supply chain and information dissemination across the organization on relevant business issues, solutions, and processes. Nonetheless, to upscale quality and improve the overall experience of the customer. Hence Biesse Group has an ambitious plan for extensive digitalization in all aspects of business operations. That includes new product development, sales & marketing, customer support service, supply chain, etc. Not only are the products that we offer to customers IoT-enabled, but our latest enhancement of infrastructure to ramp up production has IoT-enabled equipment. We have implemented business applications to complement existing ERP that eliminate paperwork and enable BI and data analytics for business decisions for strategies and optimizing operational solutions. We have rolled out a comprehensive plan for the future to embrace extensive digitization and smart manufacturing. Consequently, an evolving to-do list can harvest huge scalable benefits across the entire manufacturing value chain, such as reduced material losses, inventory management, supplier interfacing, improved customer service, better delivery lead times, higher employee satisfaction, and lower environmental impact.

While the skills gap facing industry has been well publicized, overcoming the challenges it presents requires a targeted approach that considers the nuances of the problem. What is Biesse’s approach towards this problem?
It is imperative that all employees understand what it means by Industry 4.0, having a digital mindset, Smart Manufacturing, and consequent forays into areas of data analytics, digital integration of machines and humans, etc. This calls for structured change management as employees embrace the new way of managing operations, taking strategic decisions, and communicating across the organisation. There is a well-integrated plan for onboarding all new employees who join the organisation to bridge the competency gap. Also, for existing employees and across the hierarchy, structured programs are implemented as initiatives progress towards digitisation in manufacturing, including Business Intelligence, Cyber Security, Data Leveraging, etc.

What are the pathways forward for creating a workforce which can adapt to the tech updates in terms of Industry 4.0 & 5.0?
The most challenging aspects are our employees’ touch skills and qualifications, e.g., problem-solving skills, failure analysis, and the ability to deal with constant changes and completely new tasks. There is a need to address decision-making based on a number of factors: process controls, inventory requirements, logistics, etc. for the transformation of Biesse as a new kind of global manufacturing company—a networked enterprise that uses “big data” and analytics to respond quickly and decisively to changing conditions and can also pursue long-term opportunities.

To fix the IT skills gap in manufacturing, do you recommend more internships and apprenticeship-style learning?
Yes, this is very much needed as there is a gap within the industry as well, between the theory taught in colleges and its application in industry. By expanding internship opportunities as an industry, we can increase valuable manpower, ensuring a smooth transition to development and achieving our IT goals.

Source: Manufacturing Today India

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