On the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, 2021, Amit Saluja, Senior Director and Head of NASSCOM’s Gandhinagar Centre of Excellence, spoke to THESMEIndia.com about focusing on the manufacturing sector to create an ecosystem for the industry that can help accelerate the adoption of digital technologies while also developing infrastructure for the start-up ecosystem.
For the NASSCOM’s Fusion 4.0 initiative, 60 start-ups from throughout the country submitted proposals to tackle the issues, ten of which were chosen for the final stage, with the jury selecting four winners on Friday and would be supported by the NASSCOM acceleration programme. Edited Excerpts:
Q. How can SMEs adopt smart manufacturing?
As digital is the way forward for production units, smart manufacturing is an integrated endeavour. It should become a principle for MSMES, for which they should take baby steps and look for low-cost investments of Rs. 5-10 Lakhs to feel the impact digital may bring to workers, plant efficiency, and worker safety. I would also suggest cloud as a low-cost investment to set up infrastructure and advising MSMEs to prepare for this transformation at the organisational level rather than just at the functional level. Conditioning monitoring to determine the health of the equipment, fewer people operating, and AR/VR-based systems for remote asset tracking are examples of low-cost alternatives.
Q. How can SMEs reduce their carbon footprint?
MSMEs can consider three or four options for resource optimization, including energy minimization (energy utilised in the organisation and all electricity within the facility, such as AC ducts) and the use of sensor-based technologies to identify energy wastage. On the facility side, IOT utilisation can aid in power reduction. Another type of energy is employed to save fuels, such as by transitioning to newer technologies such as additive manufacturing, which uses less raw material. While digital is preferred, manual procedures can be performed with human intervention; nevertheless, digital will make jobs easier and more efficient.
Q. How can SMEs think of doing sustainable environmental business?
While it is everyone’s responsibility to work on environmental conservation, MSMES should explore for renewable resources like solar and wind power to save the environment by utilising less resources, which requires improvements in efficiency and production. What has been found with the use of Solar Power is that 8-10% of energy is already saved, which helps save money. They can also examine at packaging because the use of paper is harmful to the environment; therefore, it should be built with recyclable paper and a minimum paper usage facility. On the facility side, they can look at green buildings that use less energy because the use of natural lighting is considerably more successful in lowering the requirements of both the AC and the lights that are utilised in units. Reduced use of plastics through the use of environmentally friendly materials.
Q. How can government support in all of these aspects?
The government is already assisting with programmes such as the establishment of NASSCOM COE. With the assistance of both the central and state governments, our job is to improve the efficiency and productivity of manufacturing enterprises. Furthermore, the government’s announcement of production-linked incentives is assisting the business is a great step forward, and certain state governments have offered incentives for technological adoption. The government has been working hard to remedy the situation.
For more insights do watch the full discussion.