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Monday, November 29, 2021

India will play a role in the transformation of manufacturing: Apple VP of Operations

Apple VP of operations Priya Balasubramaniam addressed the Bengaluru Tech Summit today where she spoke about smart manufacturing and how it will transform the industry

By: Tech Desk | Chandigarh |
Updated: November 18, 2021 3:27:42 pm
Apple, Apple VP, Apple VP of operations, Apple Smart manufacturingApple VP of operations Priya Balasubramaniam speaking at the event.

Apple is investing significantly in the Indian market to expand its reach and engage with more local suppliers,” stressed Priya Balasubramaniam, VP of operations at Apple at the Bengaluru Tech Summit. She spoke at the event via a video call and pointed out that Apple currently supports over one million jobs in the country, which includes its own employees to those engaged in the iOS app economy to supply partners.

Apple started manufacturing in India in 2017. It started by manufacturing in Bengaluru, which was later expanded to Chennai as well and the company now manufactures several models in the country, both for the domestic market and for export. She also spoke about how the company is looking forward to expanding further in the country with physical retail stores directly from Apple. The Apple India online store went live last year in September.

Balasubramaniam also spoke about the growing importance of smart manufacturing, adding that the “nature of manufacturing is transforming at rapid speed,” and that “India can also play a role in that transformation.”

Regarding smart manufacturing, she said that the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning along with augmented and virtual reality is adding to “a new form of manufacturing,” and Apple is terming this as Smart Manufacturing.

“Instead of using expensive optical inspection machines to measure part dimensions for quality assurance, we can use an iPhone’s 14 bionic chipset and camera to run machine vision algorithms. In milliseconds, we can capture product deviations. In the past workers needed to be on the factory floor to measure performance metrics. Now with connectivity and data analytics, we can track these metrics in real-time from anywhere in the world,” she explained.

She added that smart manufacturing can “prevent problems before they occur,” and said that this was not just theoretical, but rather that Apple was already implementing this today in some form.

“We can now develop predictive models that anticipate issues and we can proactively implement corrective actions, without slowing productivity. Smart manufacturing is more resource-efficient and more sustainable. It also helps us reduce our environmental impact,” Apple’s VP of operations said. As part of this smart manufacturing, Apple is piloting a new project in India, which is called station monitoring with Video machine learning. This will allow remote monitoring and control of production, increasing productivity, according to Apple’s VP of operations.

She also spoke about how the company’s manufacturing operations in India have achieved “the goal of zero waste to landfill very quickly and went further by taking the learnings of waste reduction into local communities where employees live.”

“In India our suppliers achieved a record for gaining Platinum Zero Waste certification: seven suppliers in just six months,” she claimed. Apple had revealed recently that 11 suppliers in the country are part of its clean energy programme.

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