What are Walter Tool’s focus areas for triggering the Indian operations?
Möller – First and foremost, we are expanding our team to ensure an efficient workflow. Secondly, we are focusing on the e-mobility business along with other segments. With this, we are also focusing on distribution and sales, as these are the key factors for the growth plan of a company. Aligned with this is knowledge transfer, which I believe is another crucial factor for a company’s growth strategy.
Kumar – As the Indian economy shows signs of revival, we are confident of growth across manufacturing sectors in the ensuing fiscal to spur growth. Walter, being a global player with expertise in metal cutting for the last 100 years, paves a good trajectory for Walter India, which has ambitious growth plans through market share gain and distribution base expansion during the coming years. We rely on a solid growth strategy, which enables us to provide our customers with a competitive advantage through innovative technologies, premium product quality, and expert engineering services.
How do you plan for end-user expectations in terms of cost and technology from both local and global players?
Möller – We have a division called ‘Walter Multiply’ that offers tailored solutions from a single source, without any unnecessary interfaces or service components. Apart from several services, this team is handling the tool management services. I believe we are probably number one in the Asia-Pacific region in tool management service. This is because we create specific solutions for clients. We started with this division in India and there is a lot of manpower behind it. The demands of clients are humungous. As such, we can foresee the business future for our end clients.
Kumar – Today’s end users are demanding the latest in technology at the most economical cost. The industry has a continuously evolving appetite for improvement, which calls for challenging applications, surfaces, and materials to be machined. On top of that, greater precision is needed to be achieved at an ever-increasing productivity rate with rock-solid process security.
We at Walter concentrate on a holistic approach to the entire range of our clients’ applications and on what they can achieve using our specialised and tailor-made machining solutions.
The perpetually growing competition in the manufacturing sector, both from local and global players, has led to an increased end-user expectation towards cost and technological competitiveness. Today, manufacturing companies need to act as cutting tool experts, offering optimised machining solutions for increasing productivity and quality.
In this context, Walter is setting benchmarks with highly innovative products and services. Walter launches new product innovations at regular intervals to offer machining solutions to the challenging requirements of its customers. Walter is a pioneer in offering customers a complete machining solution backed by technologically innovative and advanced products.
Selecting a cutting tool supplier with such competence in product innovation, backed by local engineering support and availability of the entire spectrum of cutting tool products in a single portfolio, helps customers have an edge in the industry against the competition.
Keeping in mind the technology advancements, how are you expanding the company’s digital portfolio?
Möller – There is no escape when it comes to Industry 4.0 and Walter Tools has invested in digital technologies to create a future factory where everything is at the user’s fingertips. One such software is ‘Walter Innotime’, where customers must simply upload a 3D model of a component, and Walter Innotime will generate a recommendation for the tools required, along with suitable machining parameters.
This recommendation is then validated and adapted by our technicians and engineers. This is a unique technology. Secondly, we have ‘Walter GPS’, another best machining solution. It is a navigation system that guides customers to the right application solution for milling, drilling, threading, and turning. It also guides them to the perfect tool for an application and component and to the optimum cutting data for the tools customers are using. It’s not only tooling anymore, but it is also the service behind it, and we are prompt in providing it.
Kumar – When a digital offering is concerned, I can simply put this into three terms: find, buy, and use.
That means making it easier for our customers to find tools faster, buy them more easily, and use them more effectively. This is exactly what Walter Digital represents — it understands what the customer needs. Using digital assistance systems, one can find the right tool, buy the product quickly and easily and also order it online. Through the Walter online catalogue for tools and product data, Walter GPS for determining tools and cutting data for a specific application, and by using the Walter Innotime® digital design wizard, we offer our customers and channel partners easy access to a wide range of information, including all relevant data for optimal use of our tools—and with a direct link to the Walter TOOL SHOP.
How is your company catering to current business demands?
Möller – Since the market demand is on the rise all the time, we have to be flexible in providing a ready solution within a shorter period of time. In terms of our latest technology, the ‘Tiger-tec Gold’ for turning has set a benchmark in the industry. There is a huge market demand for Tiger-Tec Gold products, as we have enlarged our internal target and sold more than 140% of this product.
Kumar – Cutting tool technology is evolving rapidly to respond to changing demands, more challenging workpiece materials, new geometrics, coatings, specific customised demands, cutting-edge technology, digitalisation, etc., The growth of technology has brought many methods and processes to cut metals in different shapes, sizes, and dimensions to meet the ever-rising customer demand.
In line with the above-mentioned requirements, Walter Tools, with the combined expertise of Walter, Walter Titex, and Walter Prototyp, offers machining solutions at a faster pace and is known in the industry for innovation and technology in machining. For example, the recently launched solution that offers shining results in every sector: Tiger•tec® Gold – for milling, hole making, and turning. The key to this superior solution is our holistic approach to development, which focuses on finding the best possible synergy between cost efficiency, process reliability, and productivity.
How is the technology centre in India addressing market challenges?
Kumar – After its establishment in 2013, the technology centre was the new trendsetter for the Indian cutting tool industry. The ultra-modern, cutting-edge technology center at Walter India’s Pune office showcases Walter competencies through a LIVE demonstration of the latest in machining technology. Prototype development, prove-out of new products, and total machining solutions, along with technology exchange and specialised training for customers and engineers, are a few of the major objectives of this new Technology Centre.
As the virtual world demands to connect with customers using digital platforms, Walter India offers LIVE streaming of the machining processes conducted in the technology center, thus enabling our customers to have live interactions. This allows our distant customers to get enlightened on production and development through digital platforms with ease.
The technology centre enables us to satisfy the needs of our end customers and get intangible business out of it as it can facilitate prototype development. It has the machines, the manufacturing processes, the technology, and the tools for the same. This technology centre is instrumental in honouring the commitment that we have made in terms of the proposal to our customers.
Möller – We are selling engineering competence, and when a company wants to become a premium supplier, it must invest in it. At Walter India, we see this as an extraordinary success.
Speaking of the market, how is Walter Tools contributing to the $300 billion in annual revenue by 2026 in the automotive industry?
Kumar – The Indian automotive sector is dominating as far as manufacturing is concerned. Around 60% of the industry is dependent on the automotive sector. While the automotive segment contributes to a major share of Walter’s business, Walter has established its dominance in other resilient segments like the aerospace, energy, and railway sectors due to our focus on developing new tools and providing optimised solutions.
The industry has a continuously evolving appetite for improvement, which calls for challenging applications, surfaces, and materials to be machined. The EV segment is getting into the market and the government is also supporting it to a great extent. Walter, too, is geared up to provide solutions in this emerging segment, thereby contributing to the growth of the economy.
Möller – As compared to the automotive industry, we are investing in new technologies like e-mobility. Today’s engines will not exist in 50 years. So, several companies are coming into the industry to support this change. This will definitely cause a positive shift in the Indian GDP.
How about developments in the die and mould industry?
Möller – As per our strategy 2025, where mould and die are one of its major pillars; we started with an initiative around a year back where we curated our mould and die catalogue for its applications. We established a separate department for mould and die, where we are showing our competence level.
Kumar – With the expertise of Walter, Walter Titex and Walter Prototyp, we are providing more than simply excellent machining tools for the die and mould segment. Achieving success calls for the right machining strategies. Therefore, we develop comprehensive, high-precision machining solutions all from a single source. We speak the language of mould and die-making and work hand in hand with the users.
We offer not only customised solutions for complete machining operations designed for the die and mould segment by our engineering experts, but also a global service and on-site technical support. We are confident in offering and delivering quality and precision without compromise.
How can today’s highly productive manufacturing solutions address productivity improvement and cost reduction challenges?
Möller – Customers have a huge requirement that needs to be catered to. This area is taken care of by our engineers and sales team to investigate the price points and support the team’s new strategic solutions. It is our job to analyse and offer a customised solution to the client.
Kumar – Today, the ability to machine new materials with a high level of process reliability and precision is not the only thing that matters – the development of technically and economically viable solutions for that purpose is of equal importance. Thanks to the Engineering Kompetenz of Walter, which combines economical tool solutions and reliable service under one roof.
Can you highlight the key drivers for your company’s growth? What are the important pillars that make up for a major business impact?
Möller – We have our own internal programme running called 'Successors Intellics’, where we support our workforce to force and train them. Our major focus is to build our internal team for great competency ahead. We have also invested in digital training and social competence. In fact, each Walter global division has a trainer. These trainers must go through several exams from Walter Academy to be certified as qualified trainers.
Kumar – We are very well placed with resources and strategies in terms of business, and most importantly, our employees make our company a great place to work. These are the key factors that largely contribute to the overall growth of the company. As the company takes care of the employees, the employees take care of the company too.
Moving ahead, which sectors will you prioritise in the upcoming years and why?
Kumar – India has been emerging in its market stature in areas like automotives, EVs, aerospace, and electronics. The government is prioritising massive developments in this area while also investing heavily in these emerging sectors. These sectors contribute to huge benefits for the Indian market.
Möller – In my opinion, the Indian economy will grow strongly in the future. As pointed out earlier, die and mould will be the key focus areas in the upcoming years, along with other trending and necessary sectors.