Sikich finds that few manufacturers are using IoT
According to its annual report, the professional services firm, Sikich, has found that less than 10% of manufacturers surveyed are using Internet of Thing (IoT).
Additionally, the 2018 Manufacturing Report shows that another 30% do not have a clear understanding about IoT.
“Manufacturers of all sizes can benefit from the internet of things, but too many lack the necessary understanding of the benefits and fail to embrace these transformative technologies,” remarked Jerry Murphy, Sikich’s Partner-in-Charge of Manufacturing and Distribution.
“As a result, many manufacturers and distributors miss out on significant operational improvements and efficiency gains across the supply chain, which can put them at a competitive disadvantage.”
40% of the respondents claim they don’t use robotics in their manufacturing operations.
Although more than 75% of manufacturers has not experienced any cybersecurity incidents in the previous 18 months, only 19% argue they are “very ready” to address risks, with 63% “somewhat ready”.
“Cybersecurity threats will only increase as technology becomes even more integrated into manufacturing operations,” said Brad Lutgen, Partner in Security and Compliance at Sikich.
“That’s especially true given the rapid adoption of IoT devices. Manufacturers must therefore have security programs in place to address the ever-changing threats.”
“At a minimum, a company’s program should include conducting regular risk assessments, penetration testing and vulnerability assessments to gauge its current security posture.”
“Manufacturers should also put in place vendor management programs to vet third-party technologies to make sure that vendors adequately test for security vulnerabilities.”
First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector
First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV.
Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’.
A Bit of Background
First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules.
The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about.
How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?
Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’.
After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’.
According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin.