PUNE: Startups working in the area of Internet of Things (IoT) are helping manufacturing companies make their shopfloor smarter and more efficient.

Startups such as Covacsis, Entrib and Altizon Systems help manufacturers increase their machine productivity by 10-20%, which in turn translates to huge savings.

These start-ups are now finding a big market in India, especially with the Prime Minister’s recently announced ‘Make in India’ initiative, for solutions based on Internet of Things – the concept of connecting individual devices through wireless communications to draw operational data and control them.

“When we decided in 2012 that we wanted to enter the huge market of IoT, we realised that in the end-consumer world, one device and one app connecting you to other devices automatically was becoming big.

But this had not penetrated in manufacturing. That is when we started building censor network devices and data analytics platform for this segment,” said Vinay Nathan, chief executive of Altizon Systems. Nathan started Altizon along with Ranjit Nair and Yogesh Kulkarni in April 2013.

According to Nathan, who has worked with Persistent Systems before starting Altizon, the Altizon platform uses a combination of IoT, cloud and data analytics. “We are able to fit our own devices or use client’s devices in case of big OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).

And the device sends the signals on our platform, which in turn analyses the data for our clients and send it to them realtime. In one glance they know how many minutes a machine has been idle, what is the output in any machine, and are able to measure the operational equipment efficiency of a machine,” he said. Altizon plans to set up a million of its devices within the next three years.

“Initially, I was unable to correctly pinpoint the reasons for this loss of efficiency, which leads to lower output, and more manpower utilisation, all increasing costs. Since the machine data was manually recorded, it was not possible to accurately spot any trend,” said Deepak Karandikar, director of Praditi Pressparts, which manufactures metal assembles for auto companies.

“Now with Altizon’s device, I am able to reduce avoidable idle time more accurately, as the data is accessible to me realtime, and I can ask for exact reasons for the machine remaining idle. This has resulted in reducing productive time loss by 20%,” he said.

“Earlier, we had 55% idle time on our machines without being aware of reasons. We have been able to reduce that significantly to 32% idle time with reasons.” Mumbai-based Covacsis offering to make manufacturing shopfloors efficient, says the huge investment made in manufacturing plants makes efficiency crucial for SMEs and big companies alike. Tarun Mishra, cofounder of Covacsis, had set up the company with classmate Abhijeet Mhatre in 2009.

“Our system enables everyone from the top management right down to the plant supervisor to view the machine data on realtime and every few minutes that they can even use the data to predict patterns on which machine is lagging in efficiency and if it needs to be serviced,” Mishra said, and added that technology and IoT has been missed by the manufacturing segment in India, which is now opening up to it. Covacsis plans to take its product international within the year and targets revenue of Rs 100 crore in the next three years.

Pune startup Entrib, on the other hand, is looking to create a niche with plastic manufacturers by taking shopfloor solutions to them. “While we work with automotive ancillary manufacturers too, we are specifically targeting plastic manufacturers, where here are many small parts produced in bulk, and machine operational equipment efficiency is the key to meet targets,” said Kiran Nataraj, CEO of Entrib, which he started with Swapnesh Shirolkar.

Entrib client Ecorea & Kuroda Electric India (EKI), a Japanese and Korean JV in India, has found a 30% improvement in productivity through the solutions. “We have been able to eliminate uncertainties in the shopfloor, and monitor them regardless of whether we are physically present there or not. This has resulted in direct reduction of manpower as we have around 45-50 machines, and we had one person per shift to just record data manually,” said Rajan M Thakur, general manager, operations, at Ecorea & Kuroda Electric.

Potential for such a solution is huge in the country as MSMEs are in need for good manufacturing practices and technology to eliminate wastage and productivity loss, says Ananth Sardeshmukh, director-general of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture.

“The Pune region constitutes for 25% of the MSME segment of Maharashtra, and Pune alone has over 10,000 registered MSMEs in need of such solutions,” he added.