IoB Meets…Haresh Malkani, CTO at the CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute

May 19, 2020
8 insightful answers in less than 8 minutes
Internet of Business’ IoB 8×8 Series is designed to reveal more about the people who have helped shape IoB’s live event and digital content over the years, picking the key industry brains who have dedicated time to educating peers. 
Lucy Ashton meets Haresh Malkani, CTO, CESMII, who shares why he believes subject matter expertise is one of the most under-valued aspects in Smart Manufacturing today, how analytics vendors and tools are not silver bullets alone, and his advice on how to steer through the Covid-19 pandemic.
L: In one line, what is the main objective of the CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute? H: CESMII’s objective is to accelerate the democratization of Smart Manufacturing (SM) through technology, knowledge and innovation.
L: What are the three key drivers that lead manufacturers to invest in smart manufacturing? H: In short – Productivity, precision and performance. SM solutions provide information visibility to know  what  is happening, including establishing a baseline or current state. They provide information necessary to analyze that information and develop insights to understand  why  it is happening, establishing cause and effect relationships. These cause and effect relationships, combined with subject matter expertise, lead to developing the intelligence to know  when  will it happen again,  how  can we make it happen again, or  how  can we prevent it from happening. Having these capabilities through SM technologies and a well-trained workforce enables smarter decisions that lead to sustainable improvements in throughput, quality, and efficiency.
L: And what are the three barriers of adoption? H: Cost, talent and scalability come across as some of the common barriers to SM adoption. 
Having a technology solution is necessary but not sufficient for the adoption of SM. For small manufacturers, in particular, many of the SM solutions may be cost-prohibitive. Unless the entire process of developing proof of concept solutions quickly, trying them out, and implementing them can be done in a cost-effective scalable fashion, this journey will be difficult for them. Scaling up from a proof of concept is hampered by solutions that are locked down with proprietary technologies, and single-source technical solutions.
Scaling often requires huge repeated investments. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, talent and culture is an extremely critical issue for all sizes of manufacturers. Acquiring, training, and retaining talent in this field is a challenge, and must be considered as a strategic priority to embrace SM and make it part of the organization’s DNA. And changing your company’s culture takes commitment across all layers of the organization – provide a compelling vision from the top down, but engage from the bottoms up with...