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The National Productivity Council (NPC) of India, in association with the APO Secretariat, hosted an individual-country observational study mission (IOSM) on Industry 4.0 in Small and Medium Enterprises in New Delhi, 24–28 July. The face-to-face study mission provided an opportunity for a six-member delegation from Fiji to understand the nuances of Industry 4.0, innovation, and digitalization in SMEs. The IOSM was led by two local resource persons from the APO COE on IT for Industry 4.0, who shared insights into advanced manufacturing technology trends, the evolving landscape of Industry 4.0, and the adoption and implementation of these technologies by SMEs.
The study mission covered topics like smart manufacturing policies and strategies for technology identification, development, and deployment in sectors such as agriculture and textile/apparel manufacturing. It highlighted the linkage between Startup India and Industry 4.0, showcased sectoral adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, and examined Industry 4.0 training and innovation for MSMEs in India. Site visits included the Foundation for Smart Manufacturing, Indian Institute of Technology–Delhi, Invest India, Startup India, Yakult Danone Plant, National e-Governance Division, and Training-cum-Incubation Centre of the National Small Industries Corporation.
Fiji, a favored South Pacific manufacturing hub for its cost-effective utilities, often operates at the Industry 2.0 level due to limited Industry 4.0 awareness, while larger players embrace Industry 3.0. Fiji’s Industry 4.0 journey begins with transitioning to Industry 3.0 and leveraging the IoT to streamline manufacturing processes. This involves interconnecting CNC control operations and central systems for production analysis and downtime prevention. The study mission facilitated knowledge exchanges on best practices, policies, and training programs among participants from Fiji National University and the National Training and Productivity Centre. It will enhance the development of training programs on Industry 4.0, innovation, and digitalization, along with related policies, besides facilitating collaboration among participating training institutions and SMEs in the two APO members.