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How Supply Chain Automation Is Changing the Face of the Industry

In our recently concluded webinar in collaboration with Rockwell Automation, an expert panel weighed in on the future of supply chain automation

March 23, 2021 / 11:55 AM IST

On March 16, CNBC TV18 and Moneycontrol, in partnership with Rockwell Automation, hosted the second webinar of its engaging industry dialogue series Manufacturing: Powering Economic Recovery. The webinar titled The Future of Supply Chain Automation, had numerous conversations focusing on the need to invest in tech-led solutions for creating an efficient, resilient, and agile supply chain that enables business continuity.

The webinar was segregated into five insightful sessions, including a fireside chat, a DTEC tour, and an expert panel discussion. Some of the topics covered during the sessions included:

  • The use of AR/VR technology to enhance operator efficiency

  • Deploying Artificial Intelligence for product recommendations, personas, and context

  • Machine learning for increasing human-machine collaboration

  • ‘Always-on’ agile supply chain

  • Emerging trends in warehouse automation

  • Next-gen manufacturing and procurement 4.0

A Winning Strategy

Dilip Sawhney, Managing Director, Rockwell Automation and Nandkumar Kulkarni, Director Integrated Supply Chain, Mondelez India, kicked off the fireside chat. The speakers provided a management perspective on how companies can reconsider their supply chain amid unprecedented disruptions. They shared key strategies for supply chain and warehouse automation that bring efficiency, better productivity and resilience, and agility to the company's business model.

Speaking on the topic, Sawhney said, “Human-machine collaboration is no longer a fantasy. Winners in the future will be those who can blend and leverage the human agility with the power of the machine in both hardware and software to maximise value creation.” He provided a few real-life use cases of digital transformation technologies like AI, ML, and big data by elaborating on soft sensorization in warehouses.

Improving Quality Through Automation

The webinar included a virtual tour of a connected supply chain facility and a demonstration of technologies that help create such facilities. The tour explained how a connected enterprise that leverages technologies such as AI, data integration, IoT, and analytics help companies manage inventory better and decrease delivery time.

Lokesh Kaushal, Regional Segment Lead, Rockwell Automation explained the concept of the digital twin that is used to design, simulate, and commission systems more effectively. It was followed by a detailed explanation of independent cart technology, which is replacing the now replete conveyer belts and helping organisations achieve flexibility through warehouses.

Meeting Heightened Expectations

The tour was followed by an engrossing panel session, where Arvind Kakru, Country Head, Rockwell Automation, underscored the need for supply chains to look for more productive solutions that deliver the best consumer experience while helping manufacturers lower operating costs and increasing accuracy.

Kakru said, “In my view, the biggest application of technology is in order picking area, which is a seemingly mundane process that takes up more than half of the operational cost in a typical warehouse. If you streamline that, you can find the products quicker and manage them better, resulting in tremendous cost savings.”

Speaking on the return of investment, he added, “It will depend on the situation to situation, and businesses will have to see how best to leverage these technologies. While there are capital-intensive projects like physical robotics, companies can also look at other technologies such as machine automation, and the interconnection between various devices to yield ROI in a shorter timeframe”.

In Closing

With an ever-increasing demand for swift and accurate results in commercial sectors, there's a growing need to explore technological interventions in the supply chain. Leveraging the power of automation puts companies at the helm of operations by reducing costs and improving quality.


This is a partnered post.
first published: Mar 23, 2021 11:55 am