2016 has been touted to be a tipping point for manufacturing technology \u2013 A watershed year. At the forefront of this pivotal phase, are automation and 3D printing.\nGeneral-purpose robotics is becoming increasingly affordable, and this has significantly influenced the reinvention in the industry. Increasing affordability means smaller companies are now able to adopt automation.\nIt\u2019s been proven that in today\u2019s scenario, manufacturers can generate revenue growth by taking one or more routes:\nAdopting more flexible production lines, robotics, and 3-D printing to offer products with higher levels of customization.Implementing innovative business models, such as machines as a service, to tap into new marketsDeploying augmented reality in the field to expand after-sales service and to develop new servicesExpanding their efforts to meet increased demand for Industry 4.0 technologies, such as autonomous robots\nIn all of the scenarios, the adoption rate of technological advancements will lead to significant productivity gains, thereby reducing the number of employees required to achieve a given level of output. Although some jobs will be lost, the level of cooperation between humans and machines will increase significantly.\nIT advancements = More Horsepower\nInnovation and advanced technologies are critical to company-level competitiveness. They differentiate businesses and help them thrive amid global competition by creating premium products, processes, and services that capture higher margins.\nWithout differentiation through technology or innovation, companies are more likely to become cost-driven commodity businesses, making it difficult for them to succeed in the long run. The future growth potential of advanced technologies and the products and services they enable is sizable; this growth potential is a core component of many companies\u2019 overall future growth strategy.\nBut, has the sector done enough?\n\u201cI see the manufacturing sector still lagging behind on technology adoption,\u201d believes Rahul Kumar, Head \u2013 IT Services, Essar Steel India. \u201cNew trends like mobility and analytics will play a key role and companies will leverage this to gain an edge,\u201d added Kumar.\nLet\u2019s glance at the aviation sector. \u201cThe IT infrastructure is in a support sense, ultimately the MRP system,\u201d explained Dr. Karthik Krishnamurthy \u2013 CTO, Mahindra Aerospace.\n\u201cAs you move up the value chain, the problem becomes that of reverse engineering the data, because in the aircraft industry, production lines tend to stay for 20-30 years, sometimes longer,\u201d he added.\nThe company uses SAP, and is developing two or three additional modules as it ramps up operations. It has a production engineering team, because in the business of what we call build-to-print, the customer gives the drawings, and manufacturers have no right to change anything. So, converting all that data from the drawings to production readiness is the engineering team\u2019s job.\n\u201cAs you move up the value chain, the problem becomes that of reverse engineering the data, because in the aircraft industry, production lines tend to stay for 20-30 years, sometimes longer,\u201d added Dr. Krishnamurthy.\nRealizing this indirect, yet powerful link between economic prosperity and R&D investment, advanced economies \u2013 such as the United States, Japan, Germany, Korea, and Singapore \u2013 that have invested heavily in R&D and research talent, and have reaped in the harvest. These economies have also benefited from increased high-tech exports and higher productivity.\nThe road ahead is clear, and the target \u2013 Well defined. Now\u2019s when India needs to strap up and fire all cylinders. Here\u2019s our chance.