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Production Planning & Control “India has to become a manufacturing service base for MNCs… ”

Mar 1, 2016

…says Ranjit Date, President and Joint Managing Director, Precision Automation & Robotics India (PARI), in this interaction with Shekhar Jitkar & Megha Roy, while discussing how line automation is aligned with ‘Make in India’ to help transforming SMEs to global manufacturing centres. Excerpts…

How will ‘Make in India’ help transforming SMEs to global manufacturing centres of the Indian or global MNCs?

The idea of ‘Make in India’ is to gather manufacturing expertise & infrastructure to such high levels that effectively meets the manufacturing needs at a higher value spectrum. To make ‘Make in India’ a success, India has to become a manufacturing service base for multinationals, be it Indian or global. It may not be done by only Indian entrepreneurs, but also by a German company, for example, by having a manufacturing base in India and catering to the requirements from all across the globe from India. This will make the needs of manufacturing industry enhanced and the entire picture will shift to a different business model. That’s where the paradigm changes—it’s not just doing a little more of what we are doing today, but doing things differently. This will also provide an opportunity for some SMEs to strategise effectively so as to meet the standards of the global manufacturing value-chain.

Can you highlight on the Indian manufacturing standards versus global standards in terms of manufacturing capacity, R&D, innovation & technology breakthrough?

With automation as one of the majors, India is currently at least 50% behind, as compared to the developed nations. Human productivity issues and defect rates are higher in India. In terms of products and corresponding R&D and innovation on the products, it’s not a fair comparison. To meet the global players, R&D, innovation and expansion of products should meet the expectations of the global market. This is also a challenge for ‘Make in India’. To meet this, we have to innovate and invest more in terms of R&D, manufacturing capacity & facilities, quality of facilities, process capabilities of the manufacturing capacities, etc.

With line automation, there is a paradigm shift in the business model today. What should be the approach in this area?

Line automation caters to the end-to-end requirements and challenges of the manufacturing industry through automation. It integrates the automation solutions, not only to solve local errors, but is also responsible for end-to-end delivery. This way, the manufacturer is guaranteed to have many products coming out of the line, irrespective of the product mix & variety, attrition profile, process variabilities, issues of manual errors, etc, and the manufacturer is able to deliver his global commitments as a part of the model. Line automation delivers assured process, quality and rate of delivery, without any variabilities associated with human process. Hence, the paradigm shift is moving from a revenue cost model to a capital investment model.

Can you brief us on your company’s latest offerings to support advanced factory automation systems? How does PARI help to enhance productivity and achieve the manufacturing goals of its customers?

ARI’s strength in terms of manufacturing automation covers precision components, machining & assembly processes and related quality assurance processes required in the manufacturing world today. As such, we focus on machining, assembly and its various quality assurance parameters like quality control, anti-falsing, in-process verification, etc. We offer turnkey solutions by delivering good part at the rate that the line is designed for, for example, automotive products. We have successfully automated most machining processes like turning, milling, grinding, drilling, gear cutting and finishing operations. We also have consistent focus on improving product performance. For example, we have recently developed the 4th generation of gantry robots, with a gantry speed of 4 m/sec.

PARI has recently expanded its production facility in India. On this, what is your investment percentage in terms of technology adoption, design and manufacturing verticals?

We have recently enhanced our production facility in India, both on the production & engineering sides. We believe that we have to create investment first, so that when the demand develops, we don’t let our markets down. Over last four years, we have aggressively invested in terms of physical infrastructure facility, shopfloor space, machines and people. From these investments, we can easily grow our business to two-folds of what we are today. We are ready for a significant expansion of our offerings.

How do you strategise your approach to achieve a competitive edge overseas vis-a-vis western suppliers across the export market?

PARI follows a three-fold strategy to achieve a competitive edge in the western market. We are aligned with our customers’ requirements and challenges. In doing so, we aim to become the ‘supplier of choice’ for them, rather than being counted as one of the suppliers. Secondly, we utilise a very large amount of engineering strengths in terms of in-house training, skill enhancement and supervision by seniors. We have created a large talent pool to implement changes or modifications from the customer’s end as well. Thirdly, we value engineering on our products. This helps us generate a global supply base and incur the Indian cost-effectiveness into a value proposition for customers that delivers the same or better performance more competitively, cost-wise.

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  • “The idea of ‘Make in India’ is to gather manufacturing expertise & infrastructure to such high levels that effectively meets the manufacturing needs at a higher value spectrum”Ranjit Date

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