Performance improvement through automation: A case of Indian brick industry

Ajay K. S. Singholi


Indian brick industry, the second largest brick industry in world generating an annual turnover of about Rs.140 billion is running as an unorganized small sector throughout the country and is the only industry where modernization has not taken place. Numerous efforts have been taken up to improve the kiln design for increasing the productivity but efforts to mechanize the system as a whole as a mean to increase the productivity has been scarce. This paper aims at studying the effect of lack of automation of the entire brick manufacturing system on the productivity of the system. The study is based on data collected from 4 different firms located in Bihar and which are typical in structure as being mostly followed all over the country. The data collected regarding various aspects of the system has been used to study the effect of lack of automation on total loss incurred and establish a mathematical relation between the total loss and loss due to lack of automation using statistical tools. The result indicates that automating even few of selected processes of brick manufacturing can bring about considerable decrease in total cost of manufacturing and also increase the efficiency and decrease seasonal dependency of the industry.  .

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