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IIoT propels JK Tyre towards Industry 4.0

While the benefits of the IIoT technology are vast, JK Tyre is looking to achieve cost vs output balance through the creation of IoT enabled networks

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While the benefits of the IIoT technology are vast, JK Tyre is looking to achieve cost vs output balance through the creation of IoT enabled networks

Leading tyre brand, JK Tyre & Industries, is betting big on Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) for migrating its existing manufacturing plants (nine in India and three in Mexico), producing 30 million typer per annum into connected and smart plants. As part of the digital transformation, JK Tyre has already started investing in its Chennai plant and planning to have fully automated and digitally-enabled plants by the end of 2020.

While the benefits of the IIoT technology are vast, JK Tyre is looking to achieve cost vs output balance through the creation of IoT enabled networks, that means the company can have better identification of issues before they occur, for example, potential breakdowns, optimisation of supply and reduction of costs through closer observation of the production network.

Furthermore, it will allow having improved analytics and decision-making through relevant, real-time data. Even more, IIoT can bring efficiencies of scale in areas such as inventory, production, logistics, etc. Sharad Agarwal, Head-IT at JK Tyre informs, “With IIoT, we are gradually moving away from legacy systems to new-age technologies. IT is no longer a support function, instead, it has become a way of driving a big change in the organisation towards digital. Besides making our production units technologically advanced on the product side we are creating buzz around smart tyres, which is a combination of tyre sensors and an app. The app presents real-time tyre pressure, temperature and gives an idea about the user’s average fuel consumption, and even provides an insurance reminder. This device can convert any used tyre into the smart tyre. Currently, we are in the process of making this device commercially available at JK retail stores as well as electronics stores like Croma.”

Another area where JK Tyre is making technology wise headway is connecting the extensive dealers and sales personnel network through a digital platform through which they can place and track order status. A CRM solution has been implemented, which helps the sales team to sell effectively and have a constructive discussion with the dealers.

To capitalise on the new digital world, manufacturers will need to reinvent everything they do, with digital as the backdrop. And by leveraging digital technologies, this transformation process can be more innovative, fast, scalable, and agile—getting manufacturers ready for the future, today. Agarwal also pointed out that before investing in new technologies our one of the priorities is low-risk cost structures, and continue to introduce product innovation. And with continuing technological advances like robotics, automation, big data and the IoT, we are seeing enormous change the way we operate now.

Legacy technology is another factor holding JK Tyre back. The average factory today is 25 years old, with machinery that’s approaching nine years old. Before any plans of integrating the IoT can begin at these plants, they must first upgrade the equipment to enable digital readiness, driven by immediate goals of reducing costs and returns. The company is addressing interoperability issues that occur across legacy platforms with right skills sets and technology.

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