Metal forming plays a major role in the production of diverse products starting with automobile industry to high precision components for the instrumentation and electronics industries, and everywhere in-between. To keep this key role of metal forming in manufacturing industry, a continuous development is necessary concerning the materials, development of new & innovative forming processes, tooling and manufacturing equipment, etc.
Focusing around these trends, IMTEX Forming 2018, along with Tooltech 2018 was organised by Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA), at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, Bengaluru, on January 25-30, 2018. With an international participation from Germany, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, UK and USA, the exhibition size, this year, grew by 18% and showcased future technologies that could be vital for enhancing productivity for the Indian manufacturing industry.
The exhibition was inaugurated by R V Deshpande, Hon’ble Minister for Large & Medium Scale Industries & Infrastructure Development, Government of Karnataka, along with AS Kiran Kumar, Former Chairman of ISRO; Nirmal K Minda, President—Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA); Jamshyd N Godrej, Chairman—Exhibitions, IMTMA; P Ramadas, President, IMTMA; V Anbu, Director General & CEO, IMTMA and Indradev Babu, Managing Director, UCAM and Vice President, IMTMA.
Speaking about the significance of the show on SMEs, P Ramadas said, “Indian manufacturing landscape has a significant number of SMEs. The exhibition was important for fulfilling their aspirations and goals. The SMEs were able to leverage opportunities which would enable them to rise a notch higher. The presence of decision-making authorities from original equipment manufacturers (OEM) resulted in securing well-qualified leads and accelerated the sales process at the show. The show generated overwhelming response from SMEs engaged in manufacturing of vices, presses, manufacture of parts such as wheels and castors, measuring, welding and material handling solutions, and so on.”
Reflecting on the potential of the show, Anbu added, “IMTEX FORMING 2018 was the largest in the series in terms of exhibition area as well as exhibitors. There has been a significant increase in the number of business visitors which affirmed the immense potential of business opportunities that the exhibition had in store for the manufacturing industry. The show will further strengthen the bonds between machine tool manufacturers and customers and we hope the leads generated during the show will result in good business outcome.”
Forming technology on the rise
Forming technology is gaining momentum and importance in the industry. Technology in forming is moving rapidly, especially the automotive & composites, where focusing on the parts, right from the beginning has become important. Owing to the current technology development, it is expected that the forming technology will be gaining momentum in the upcoming years too. It was on these lines that IMTEX 2018 witnessed exhibitors displaying a wide range of high-end presses, laser cutting machines, and technologies related to bending and tube drawing. Advanced technologies such as Industry 4.0 and IoT, along with automation, robotics, sensors, CAD/CAM and tools that were more related to support the metal forming user industries were also displayed.
Delegations from public and private sectors representing user industries such as auto components, aerospace, defence, railways, electrical and electronics, plastic machinery, white and brown goods, medical engineering, and others took part in the show.
The International Seminar on Forming Technology was organised in conjunction with IMTEX Forming 2018. The seminar covered the more pertinent aspects of forming technology, its requirement in the manufacturing industry, and the technology gaps that can be bridged. It focused on processes, equipment & software, and materials & tools, to bring together the fraternity of forming technology on a common platform to discuss the latest developments in technology landscapes.
The exhibition also witnessed the i2 (Industry-Institution) academia pavilion that featured R&D projects on manufacturing from 44 institutions representing from all over India. ‘Connect’, an awareness programme on imparting knowledge on the machine tool industry to young engineers, was held on January 26-29, 2018. A ‘Reverse International Buyer-Seller Meet’ was also held, where potential buyers from 10 countries visited the show to explore business opportunities.
Overall, IMTEX Forming 2018 served to open up the way for development of Indian metal forming sector by acting as an enabler to forging long-term business relationships, which could lead to the growth of the country’s economy. The six-day exhibition that drew around 36,000 visitors with business enquiries worth Rs 4819 cr concluded on a positive note.
“Incremental compliance factor drives demands” — Pradeep Patil, Managing Director, TRUMPF India
At IMTEX 2018, we showcased bending machine, new generation 2D laser cutting, Tru Laser Cell capable of laser cutting, welding and cladding and the latest TRUMATIC series combi machine that offers the best of punching and laser technology to manufacturers. As accessory, we also brought the ‘parts centre’ that is effective for busy manufacturers.
We believe in the incremental compliance demands in the automotive sector, adoption of new technology in railways, construction and agri-equipment and investments in infrastructure like smart city projects, which are some of the underlying drivers of this impetus in the metal forming industry.
We also witnessed an overwhelming turnout of customers and associates at this IMTEX. We look forward to being able to be at the fore front and help our customers solve their manufacturing demands and be their partners in their aspirations to serve their customers.
“Focusing on specific components of machines” — Vasant B Vibhute, Managing Director, GIVI Misure India
The overall metal forming industry is experiencing a growth-phase. To add on to the momentum, our team at GIVI Misure, is always eager to support its customers for all the precision measurements and low-cost automation requirements. Rather than focusing on the entire machine tool manufacturing, I believe, it’s time to focus on the manufacturing of specific components of the machines.
Our company has witnessed a growth percentage of 15-25% in the metal forming industry in 2017. The major growth driver for this industry has been the automobile industry. Also, automation of various kinds has been a prominent decisive factor in this regard.
As far as the current trends are concerned, the profound developments in the storage of batteries have been of vital importance. The research areas in this field have also increased manifold. As such, there is an inclination and a rapid growth in terms of electric vehicles lately.
“Unveiling the next generation plasma in India” — Yaseer Wahajet, Market Manager - India, Hypertherm India Thermal Cutting
At IMTEX 2018, we showcased our entry-level and high-end plasma technologies. We unveiled our latest technology called X-definition plasma for the first time in India. This technology focuses not only on cut quality, but also helps to reduce cost, which is well-suited for a developing market like India. It can cut a wide range of materials, like mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminium. Moreover, it enables operators to use web servers to look into the error codes and monitor the operation remotely.
In India, many end-users are still using older technologies, like oxy-fuel cutting, which is a comparatively slower process. Keeping this in mind, we demonstrated to our visitors the advantages of using plasma cutting technology. We also educated them on how to reduce the operational cost, how to improve cut quality and what a CNC machine and plasma can do together.
We have received many positive leads and visitors came to us seeking knowledge and understanding of what they need, in terms of CNC plasma cutting technology. After IMTEX, we plan to conduct trainings and seminars in various cities and follow-up with the leads generate at the show together with our channel partners, who demonstrate how our technologies have been incorporated into their systems, thus providing end-users a better solution.
“Growth has exceeded our expectations this year” — MK Narasinga Rao, Managing Director, LVD-Strippit India
This year at IMTEX, we showcased our fibre laser technology, which is a 4 kW fibre laser machine that can cut 16 mm thickness. The piercing speed of this machine is quite high and it is a globally competitive product.
In terms of industry performance, the last two years have not been positive. However, we are noticing a positive growth trend this year and it has exceeded our expectations. Government policies such as the GST implementation and investments in infrastructure have acted as a big positive and contributed to the growth trend in the Indian manufacturing sector.
The response we have received during the show has been very good. We want to leverage this by putting as many installations as possible and cash in on as many orders as possible. Combining our previous prospects as well as networking with prospects from IMTEX, we have found that our customers belong mostly in the transportation, infrastructure and aerospace sectors.
“Focus on Industry 4.0 technologies” — AV Srinivasan, CEO, Meiban Engineering Technologies
We have been exhibiting the servo turret press every IMTEX since 1994.This year, too, we have displayed our 30 tonne servo punching machine and a servo press. Both the machines are ecofriendly and the running costs are low. We also highlighted that our machines are Industry 4.0 ready. We have noticed that in the automotive sector, many large companies have already adopted Industry 4.0 technologies. However, our customers, who are into the MSME sector, are not yet aware of this concept. So, we educated them on how data collection and segregation will be useful in increasing their machine uptime. We received a good response at the show this year.
“Industry growth reflected at IMTEX” — Renganathan Chellamraja, CEO, Chennai Metco
AT IMTEX 2018, we launched the precision cutter and displayed certain new products as well. These products cater to all the engineering segments. We also received a good response from the exhibition this year. IMTEX has always been a success for us. We participate in fairs across the globe and we find IMTEX to be more vibrant compared to other international fairs. This shows that the Indian economy is doing well and hence, in the coming years, more growth is expected. In the last few months, we witnessed growth in the industry and that was reflected in the fair as well.