IIoT, Industry 4.0, Interviews, Smart Manufacturing

SAP Interview: Enabling data driven decision making at every level

Industry of Things World USA team and Haresh Malkani had a chat to discuss the impact of the industrial internet.

Industry of Things World USA: Where do you see the IoT and its technologies creating the most impact?
Haresh Malkani: The most immediate impact will be in our day to day lives – our interactions with people, institutions, environment, lifestyles etc.  Impact on manufacturing will follow.

Industry of Things World USA: Where do you see the biggest challenges in your field at the moment in terms of adoption of IoT?
 Haresh Malkani: Adoption of IoT in manufacturing is hampered by several challenges: Business case/justification, capital constraints, legacy infrastructures, talent gaps and resistance to culture change.

Industry of Things World USA: How do you see the next 5 year evolving?
Haresh Malkani: IoT enables digital/intelligent/smart manufacturing.  It is clear that companies who adopt IoT technologies, in whatever flavor is suitable for their operations, are the ones that will develop agility necessary to adapt to rapidly changing business conditions in the next five years.

Industry of Things World USA: What are the most critical pieces missing today that will be needed to support this sort of computational ubiquity?
Haresh Malkani: In the manufacturing arena, one of the key missing pieces is the ability to create the foundational informational infrastructure & framework for in-site data acquisition, autonomous aggregation and seamless contextualization.  Without this, converting data into information, information into knowledge, knowledge into insight, and insight into actions on a real-time basis will be difficult to achieve.

Industry of Things World USA: Will the IoT enable new business models or new business applications?
Haresh Malkani: Digitization of the manufacturing process is occurring exponentially, and old ways of doing business will rapidly give way to modern business models and applications that rely on instantaneous information & insights across all layers of the organization.

Industry of Things World USA: How are you at Alcoa implementing/taking advantage of IoT?
Haresh Malkani: We have embarked upon the journey of Automation and Smart Manufacturing across our businesses and are in the process of implementing selected solutions to enable data driven decision making at every level in the organization. This will be followed by advanced analytics & integrated flow-path control enabled through predictive modelling and simulation capabilities, leading to real-time optimization & flexibility in our operations.

Industry of Things World USA: Which burning questions or challenges would you like to discuss within the Industry of Things World community?
Haresh Malkani: The two specific challenges that I would like to discuss are around talent and culture.
1) What should we be doing to acquire, train, engage and retain the right mix of talent that is necessary for manufacturing industries to effectively adopt IoT and Smart technologies?
2) How do we overcome cultural barriers between the previous generation of seasoned experts and the new generation of smart device savvy talent coming out of schools today?

Industry of Things World USA: Shout-outs: Any sites/people/articles or books that have inspired you lately?
Haresh Malkani: I am humbled and inspired by people with self-less leadership and tireless passion to develop technology that can make a positive impact on the lives of the underprivileged and disabled.

The Industry of Things World USA team thanks Haresh Malkani for sharing his insights!
About Haresh Malkani: Haresh Malkani is Manager of the Manufacturing Intelligence & Automation Technologies Division at the Alcoa Technical Center near Pittsburgh.  He is responsible for leading a group of 30 researchers in the area of process modeling, advanced process control, simulation systems, advanced analytics, optimization, advanced measurement, non-destructive testing and automation systems.  The division’s diverse portfolio of projects cover development and deployment of technology solutions across a variety of processes including smelting, ingot casting, rolling, extrusion, forging, heat treatment and additive manufacturing.