Four out of five vehicles rolled out on the road everyday have a Lucas TVS component fitted on them. The group caters to all the automotive OEMs by supplying electrical motors for all the applications. The tool room of a manufacturing stalwart of this scale is always loaded with tough and challenging jobs. G. Sadanandam has been a privy to the workings of this tool room since the last thirty years and today leads the facility ably drawing upon his vast experience and well-rounded expertise. Here are the excerpts from a candid conversation with him:
On challenges before the tool room managers in India today:
The biggest challenge is Speed. The discussion is no more about the quality, that is a given. Speed with which you deliver the first time right tool/ mould or die at a competitive price is what matters. This is primarily because the product life cycle has shortened and also variety has increased within products.
When competing globally, one has to adopt the practices and deliver the performance that match the global level. So, delivering results in such a highly competitive environment with first time right product in the least possible time is our challenge.
What are the essentials to compete at the global level?
First there has to be a tremendous improvement in technology and manpower. Technology is the key to faster delivery and optimal performance. In my own field, automation helps double the output at one-third the labor cost. Technology also plays a vital part in mending the knowledge gap between the Indian labor and the rest of the globe. The steady increase in the size of the Indian markets that is happening now should act as a stimulus for the industry to adopt new technology. This is the right time for India to catch up with the global level of technical expertise and the country needs to seize the opportunity.
Your take on future of Indian Machine tool industry:
We in India understand that technology works to fulfill a precise function and unnecessary frills must be avoided. For instance, in the wire drill, Sparkonix has used a stroke pump instead of a compressor unit to pump the dielectric. It fulfills the function of pumping the fluid.
Is it reliable? Yes.
Is it good quality? Yes.
Is it cost competitive? Yes.
This fits my definition of technology-delivering the desired performance reliably at the optimal cost. This can strengthen India’s position globally.
Today the biggest challenge for the tool room managers is Speed. The discussion is no more about the quality, that is a given. Speed with which you deliver the first time right tool/mould or die at a competitive price is what matters.
What are some trends you see shaping up the Machine Tool Industry today?
I think automation is not a trend anymore; it is what people expect wherever it is required. I see two major domains where Indians can take the lead and shape the future of machine tool industry:
Development of Modular Machines:
Modular machines gives us tool room managers
a lot of flexibility and also make the machines easily maintainable.
Modular machines are easy for tracing errors and repairing faults. This is also helpful for the machine tool manufacturer because when the product is modular, the process can be made leaner. It is easy to outsource such processes. With increasing costs of Indian labor, I think our focus must be on designing the best and outsourcing the rest. Innovation in design is our core and we need to focus on it.
Environment friendly machines:
There is no alternative but to care for our planet. This has to be the priority now on.