Amazon develops first device manufacturing line in India
At its Chennai plant, Amazon will produce its Fire TV sticks locally, which is said to have an annual capacity of hundreds of thousands of units. Production is expected to be operational later this year (2021).
“We are delighted to announce Amazon’s first manufacturing line in India to produce hundreds of thousands of Fire TV Stick devices every year, catering to the demands of customers in India. This further reiterates our commitment to the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative,” commented global senior vice president and country leader at Amazon India.
With plans to continuously evaluate its manufacturing capacity based on domestic demand for the devices, Amazon’s plans to establish a device manufacturing line at its Chennai plant aligns with its wide plans to partner with the government for a self-reliant India (Atmanirbhar Bharat), as well as its commitment to invest US$1bn into the country. The investments will focus on digitising 10 million small and medium businesses by 2025, as well as create one million additional jobs.
“India is an attractive investment destination and is poised to become a major player in the global supply chain in the electronics and IT products industry. We welcome Amazon’s decision to set up a manufacturing line in Chennai, as it will enhance domestic production capacities, and create jobs as well,” said , Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice.
“Amazon is a global company but Amazon India must evolve as a truly India company deeply connected with Indian business community and culture," he added.
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.