The domestic metals sector is seeing robust demand with higher prices, capacity expansion and trade policies for steel that supporting volumes and profitability. While there is enough headroom for growth in per capita usage of metals in the Indian economy, given favourable policies like National Steel Policy, Smart City, Make in India etc., metal sector players especially in steel would do well to employ smart digital solutions to meet challenges in productivity, resource security and capital cost, says a recent report by EY, titled ‘Metals on Track: Digital to sustain growth.’
Digital transformation embraces the information technology, process automation technology and communication technology to create value across the value chain. The metals industry aims to improve efficiency, productivity, adaptability and sustainability of production & supply chain systems and their integration within agile business models and processes.
To achieve this, the technology domains that are relevant include: IOT, Robotics, Big Data & Advanced Analytics, Mobility, AI, wearable technology, social media etc. While digital technologies offer a gamut of solutions and distinct benefits, employing the most relevant technology that suits the company’s business model is most crucial, the report added.
“While challenges to achieve a 300 million tonne steel capacity remain, in terms of access to equity capital, bank loans, attracting new promoters etc, there is a lot that the industry needs to do for itself by embracing digital technology,” Anjani Kumar Agarwal, Global Steel Leader at EY said.
“Industry can help improve productivity, efficiency, and environment, health and safety issues and open up “new revenue streams and enhance customer and social contacts, he added.
Successful digital transformation is not limited to the technology in question, but is also a function of several factors that are critical for success, including alignment with enterprise goals and overall strategy, enterprise-wide integrated architecture, technology enabled workforce, well-defined operating model and business case, culture of innovation and clearly defined implementation pathway amongst others, the report said. Given the early stages of adoption in our country, the right approach to transformation is critical,” it added.
Similarly, digital technologies will have a greater say in the course of domestic mining industry and help shape its future across the value chain in India, according to the latest EY report on mining. Titled ‘Tomorrow’s mine: How digital can shape the future?’ it discusses potential benefits of digital technology to help exploit the top operational opportunity in mining — productivity. Digital can enable new ways to drive productivity, manage the variability challenges of the sector and pursue commercial excellence. The report explores the common pitfalls and how digital can be a solution to the challenges faced by the Indian mining industry.
India has been a major participant of the global mining industry with a large resource base, and now the use of digital in mining with technologies such as, IOT, Robotics, Big Data & Advanced Analytics, Mobility, Remote centre, AI, Wearable Technology, Social Media etc., it will have significant benefits for the Indian mining industry and help shape its future, it said.
Use of digital in mining has slowly evolved with technologies such as, plant automation systems, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), mine planning systems etc. and recently to cloud computing. Significant benefits have already been realized but much more can be done with a holistic approach. The report further highlights the current trends and developments in digital mining in India pertaining to enterprise integration & organisational efficiency, productivity and growth, mine safety, exploration, governance, regulatory and procedural streamlining, infrastructure, human capital and skill development.
As the Indian mining industry moves in to the digital age, technology -enabled solutions will become a necessity for survival and growth. Some of the prevalent themes in the Indian Mining sector over the near future would include Automation, IOT, Remote command centers, Big Data and next-generation analytics, Digital enablement of the workforces and Cyber Security.
Agarwal who is also National Leader – Metals and Mining at EY said: “The Indian mining industry is at the cusp of a transformational change, and digital is at the forefront driving this change. The average miner’s focus has shifted from targeting volume growth to achieving cost reduction and productivity growth.” Read more