Can you brief us on the business segment and market presence of your company in the Indian market?
In India, LMT Tools started its operation in 2003 as a sales subsidiary. Later, in 2013, we commenced our manufacturing facility in Pune which was built around 30,000 sq ft at MIDC Chakan. In this facility, we produce gear cutting tools, mainly hobs for the majority of the automotive companies in India. We also export gear cutting hobs to European countries from here.
Tell us about your participation at IMTEX 2017? What were the new products launched and how was the response?
At IMTEX 2017, we launched our carbide range of tooling solutions in Gear Cutting segment such as solid carbide hobs and indexable tools. In round tools segments, we have introduced new copy milling plate CopyMax2, which has improved cutting and material properties as well as a fully functional second cutting edge. With this, we are meeting the high performance requirements in the die and mould making industry. To provide with the best-in-class customised solutions, recently at AMB 2016, we adopted a new slogan ‘exactly yours’, which means supplying right tooling solution as per the requirements of our customers.
During IMTEX, we had discussions with many of our key customers, wherein we received good responses from quality visitors as well. Thus, we expect to make decent business in the coming months.
How has been the performance of the cutting tool industry so far? What are the key emerging applications that are driving towards growth?
Due to the recent demonetisation in India, a drop in the production & sales of the automotive industries was reported in the month of December 2016. As a result, the cutting tool industry had witnessed a considerable impact. However, the scenario started improving from the beginning of this year and as such, we have reported a growth in our January sales, as compared to the previous year. The key emerging applications, which are driving towards growth, include gear cutting, auto components, etc.
How do you see the demand for your products in the Indian market currently?
We are quite competitive in the Indian market by supplying high quality and high productivity tools. The demand for our tooling solution is increasing, which has resulted in the spread in our customer base too. We believe that we are a market leader in the Gear Cutting segment. In other segments, such as Milling & Threading, Rolling Systems, Advance Tooling and Reaming, we are focusing on strengthening our market presence. A majority of our tooling business comes from the automotive industry. However, in recent years, we see a surge in the demand from the die & mould, medical equipment and aerospace manufacturing segments.
How do you strategise your business model so as to meet the challenging requirements from the customers?
We are constantly innovating and coming up with new grades, substrates and superior coating technology. This allows our tools to perform at higher cutting parameters, thereby, enabling our customers to benefit from productivity improvement and an increase in the tool life. We also provide a complete range of PCD tools for machining difficult-to-machine materials.
What are your company’s future plans for the Indian market?
In India, we are planning to expand our manufacturing base so as to produce product lines in the area of tapping, rolling, milling and threading locally. We are already in the process of producing solid carbide tools in our Pune facility. In the coming years, new products will be launched from this facility.