With the 50-year completion of IMTEX this year, what significance does it hold for you and your company? How old is your company’s association with IMTEX?
Our association is of nearly a decade, collectively as a subsidiary of Allied Machine and Engineering. IMTEX is one of the most important events for the Indian metal cutting industry and a great opportunity for us to share our latest hole-making and finishing solutions. This industry event is significant to us because it is an iconic milestone for the Indian manufacturing and technological industries, overall. This long-standing industry event reinforces our own faith in the continued growth of these sectors and we are proud to exhibit in this global exhibition.
What would be the big strategy/plan that you will be pursuing post-IMTEX in 2019, aimed at creating a big business impact?
IMTEX is such an exciting opportunity to see both current customers as well as meet many new prospects. I feel that immediate follow-up after IMTEX is crucial for growth. It demonstrates our commitment to expedient service and the exhibition’s attendees have better recall of projects and possible solutions discussed when we reach out to them immediately after the show. We plan to grow our field presence and provide outstanding engineering and technical support locally to more countries in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) after IMTEX.
Digitalisation has been the most talked-about topic in the manufacturing industry today. Besides digitalisation, would you like to highlight any other technology advances that will have the maximum traction in the next two years?
3D printing has advanced to include high-speed sintering, which is 100 times faster than current 3D printing methods for plastics. Another advancement is the development of lighter and stronger materials in industries. While these materials offer great benefits, they also provide new obstacles for machine operators. In reality, these challenges are the perfect opportunity to promote our cutting tool expertise. These subtle yet intricate changes result in remarkable improvements in productivity and cost savings for our customers.
How do you assess the disruptive power of new technologies at an early stage and build a sustainable plan so as to respond to the technological disruptions, in the short-term and long-term?
First, we diversify our resources and see how market data is gathered. Computer-based disruption forecasting programs can be developed and are invaluable with regard to raw data mining, statistical computation, and quantitative analysis. It is also important to balance out the weaknesses of those systems with human observation, which is better at qualitative analysis, social listening, pattern recognition, and natural language interpretation. In the short-term, we must decide what market signals to monitor in order to filter out market noise. In the long-term, we design our business strategies to be flexible, so that we can continuously embrace change rather than allow market disruptions to defeat us.
In your opinion, what is an industrial trend/concept/ myth which you would like to demystify within the Indian manufacturing sector?
One misconception in the sector is that quality tooling is too expensive, when in fact, it can provide a significant return that outweighs any initial investment. Many sources show that the cost of cutting tools only accounts for about two to six per cent of the total cost per part, while the machine centres, labour costs and throughput account for 78 to 82%. So, in reality, we can make a much bigger impact on a customer’s profit margin by providing faster cycle times and improved capacities with our quality cutting tools.