Industrial Automation Magazine India



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How industry should cope with the disruption ?

During these trying times when the industry is heavily affected with economical issues came up the pandemic called Covid 19 and disrupted the industry completely. We at Industrial Automation Magazine have taken an initiative to bring the industry together and share their viewpoints so that others reading can take measures accordingly to have minimal damage.

About the industry expert

Disclaimer: The views expressed in interviews are personal, not necessarily of the organisations represented.

Successful entrepreneur and technologist. Sujata is a thought leader in Industrial IoT and convergence of Industrial Automation and Information Technology. She is founder and Managing Director of Ascent Intellimation. She has ably led Ascent as a leading provider of Industrial IoT solutions. Ascent has developed an IIoT platform PlantConnect which is deployed in areas like environmental monitoring, smart manufacturing, reliability engineering etc. Sujata’s focus is to help organizations recognize and embrace diverse ways in which manufacturing data can be beneficially used by various stake holders.

Has the present Corona Virus strain caught the world unaware and unprepared ?

It has definitely caught the world unprepared. Countries were aware of it since Dec 2019 or even before, but nobody grasped the extent impact it will have on the world in coming months.

What are the implications for business in the near, medium and long term ?

Businesses world over are severely impacted. WFH is the new normal, but this is not possible in many industries and they are suffering the most! In short term this is going to create huge impact on revenue, cash flow and more importantly employee morale. In medium and long term, businesses will have to learn new ways of functioning. They have to look at DIGITAL more than ever now and have a robust strategy around it. Business continuity has to be a focus area.

How can governments be better prepared to handle such pandemics in future ?

Governments have to increase spread and quality of healthcare infrastructure and personnel. Disaster management procedures and teams should be in place and their preparedness ensured regularly.

High accuracy thermal scanners are available but are not used possible due to high costs. Would they be more effective ?

May be

Now that businesses are getting used to the Work From Home culture, will this signal a paradigm shift ?

WFH is suitable for some types of businesses and yes, such businesses will follow it to some extent. But man is a social animal and we all like contact with others. Also some businesses like manufacturing cannot adopt WFH due to obvious reasons.

Some analysts have suggested this crisis will boost automation and make a case for Lights Out manufacturing. Your comments ?

This crisis will definitely accelerate push for automation and digitalization. Manufacturers will have to think out of the box, innovate and overhaul their way of working. Automation, IIoT and Industry 4.0 will play a big part in this process.

What are the lessons from this crisis ?

This pandemic has taught us few crucial life lessons. First and most important lesson is the NATURE is supreme and MAN cannot control it. Mankind must understand and respect this and live harmoniously with nature and other living things created by the nature.

Everyone has to pay attention to being healthy and taking holistic approach to it so that your immune system is strong. This approach was intrinsically woven in our traditional way of life which we are unfortunately giving up for so called modern living!

Another area that should be looked at seriously is dense concentration of population in cities. COVID-19 has hit the large cities hardest. In future smaller, more manageable, self reliant and sustainable towns will fare much better in any crisis than mega cities.

#April 2020 Covid Special

To say the world is passing through trying times is to state the obvious. Also evident is the fact that for too long the world has been ignoring the warning signs of environmental degradation fuelled by human excesses and greed. But this is no time for ifs and buts, nor recrimination. Instead, the crisis should be used as an opportunity to make the required course correction to make the world a safer place for all living beings, and the ecological balance, restored. Industrial Automation invited a cross section of industry leaders to offer their views and possible course of action as a way forward from this situation, even as governments across the world and the people are trying to make sense from the still evolving scenario. To read the full cover story Please click here