How was your experience in the Asian market?
The Asian market is similar to the European and North American market because the customer expectations are same everywhere—productivity, efficiency and best products & solutions. The only difference is that the Indian market is quite vibrant and has a high level of patience. The speed and eagerness to improve is also great here.
Can you brief us on the milestones that Seco Tools has achieved under your leadership?
We had the vision to improve the working atmosphere for our employees. Keeping this in mind, our Asian headquarters was shifted to Pune and, thereafter, we have invested around 20 million dollars into the production of tools & inserts, R&D, and the facility. This facility is one of the largest production units globally catering to various industry segments including automotive and aerospace.
As per the latest reports, the global cutting tool inserts market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.83% during 2017-2021. What are the major trends that are attributing towards this growth?
The growth might be attributed to the blooming times of China that influenced the world economy and tooling consumption. However, in recent years, we have observed a decline in the inserts business because the workpiece is getting smaller with the exception in the aerospace industry, they are more preformed. The total consumption is declining since the process of metal removal is not environmental-friendly. We support such pre-forming with the right tooling products for the final finishing of components. Thus, the underlying trend here is a drop in the consumption of cutting tools.
What are the challenges & opportunities in your industry?
Productivity is important in every industry. Investments in the right cutting tools can make a huge difference in productivity. India has a huge potential in this regard. With many improvements and new investments, the Indian market’s focus is not on low cost, but on increased productivity and efficiency.
How do you define the role of advanced concepts like Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing space?
Advanced concepts boost the efficiency and productivity levels. Many Indian industry leaders opine that India has leaped from an agriculture age to a digital world without the existence of the industrialised period in the process. This can be of great help for Indian companies to become more productive at a rapid pace to overcome the increase in labour costs. In this context, Industry 4.0 is a great opportunity that lets us connect to customers. Seco Tools also have MyPages, a digital portal that enables comprehensive data at the fingertips for the selection of tooling products.
Have you witnessed any particular demand trend that you expect to continue in the upcoming years?
The eagerness on mobility will continue to drive the automotive and aerospace industries. We have a strong hold in milling aerospace components and machining stainless steel, aluminium and difficult-to-machine materials like titanium. Currently, booming industries include aerospace, medical, general engineering, die &
mould and defence.
What are the manufacturing practices implemented in Seco Tools India that help the company achieve competitive excellence?
We have implemented a high level of automation in the production for inserts and tools. Lately, we are investing in robots to have moving robots at work. This also focuses on adding values to design capabilities and improvement in processes, rather than just operating and loading & unloading machines. This uses fewer processes and reduces cost. Thus, automation is certainly driving operational excellence for us.