What are the initiatives undertaken by IMTMA to help the Indian machine tool industry enhance its manufacturing competitiveness globally?
IMTMA has undertaken various initiatives to catalyse technology development among its members and to open new opportunities for R&D. The association has been advising its members to work on specific projects. Eleven such projects, which were identified were cleared by the Department of Heavy Industry. Departments in IIT are working with machine tool companies on such projects. Some of the products developed by certain machine tool companies were showcased during IMTEX 2017, which was well received by the industry. Also, leading Indian machine tool companies have in recent years, acquired foreign technology and entered into strategic tie-ups to expand their product range and markets. This will help the Indian machine tool industry to establish itself as a significant player.
How can we address the skill development issues in the Indian manufacturing industry? What are the activities from IMTMA in this area, especially in improving the collaborations between industry & academia?
There is a great dearth of skilled resources to match the requirements of the manufacturing industry in India. The industry is forced to invest towards enhancing the skill set and supporting skill development initiatives for bettering their manufacturing outputs. The gaps can be bridged only through advanced training centres & technology centres set up across the country. The centres need to be funded jointly by the government and the industry. They will act as the support infrastructure for skill development and make the younger generation more skilled with the use of advanced technology and hands-on training.
We have given a great deal of impetus for skill development in the machine tool sector. We impart hands-on training to students and young engineers at our tech centres in Bengaluru, Pune and Gurugram and shape the job aspirant and industry workers to the needs of the manufacturing industry. Participants who undergo training at IMTMA learn the latest technologies used in the industry and apply the science that they have learnt in product development when they begin working. IMTMA’s R&D matchmaking site “Institute Innovation Collaboration” brings together industries and institutes to work jointly on R&D projects. The site enables companies to get in touch with academia and vice versa and carry on discussions to develop new products offline.
As per recent industry data, high-end machine tools are mostly imported in India, widening the gap between production and consumption ratio in India. Can you highlight the joint initiatives from the government & IMTMA on this front?
We have been working closely with the Government of India for developing the machine tool industry through various initiatives. As a result of our sustained
advocacy with the Government of India, the Department of Heavy Industry set up
the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Development Centre at IIT, Madras. This will enable the machine tool industry to bring out new innovative indigenously designed products into the market. DHI also created the Technology Acquisition Fund Programme to enable the capital goods industry to acquire and assimilate specific technologies for achieving global standards in a short span of time. The industry obtained reduction of custom duty from 7.5% to 2.5% on critical components not manufactured in India for CNC turning centres and machining centres, which has since been extended to all categories of machine tools.
Can you throw a light on the establishment of the Integrated Machine Tool Industry Park in Tumakuru?
Tumakuru Machine Tool Park in Vasanthanarasapura is a world class industrial infrastructure being set up by the Government of India & the Government of Karnataka. The establishment of the park will be a forward step in making the machine tool sector cost-effective. It will enable the industry to produce hi-tech machine tools, enhance export capabilities of the companies and attract fresh investments.