Driven by a vision to build hi-tech solutions, under the leadership of Dr Arvind Patel, Chairman, Sahajanand Laser Technology Limited, the company has been offering solutions with a wide range of laser systems for diversified industrial applications since years. Headquartered at Gandhinagar, Gujarat, with six manufacturing facilities and four offices located overseas, the company considers itself as a total solution provider in delivering solutions through laser systems for industry applications, such as laser cutting, marking & welding, micromachining, solar cell scribing/cutting, diamond processing, etc.
Spread across 42,500 sq m, the company has an overall strength of more than 600 employees. The group is diversified into industrial lasers, gems & jewellery, medical industry, renewable energy and R&F microwave industries. The product range includes laser special-purpose machines, laser hardening & laser cladding machines, electronics, electrical, mechanical, software, optics and opto-electronic components as well as micromachining products. In addition, the company has a government approved in-house R&D facility.
Executing manufacturing processes
With 25 patents and over 8,000 installations, the laser giant has a worldwide footprint in Europe, Middle East, USA, Russia, China, Latin America, Zimbabwe, etc. Its manufacturing facilities at Gandhinagar include the medical facility, E2 manufacturing facility and SEZ. According to Maulik Patel, Executive Director, Sahajanand Laser Technology, the USP of the company’s manufacturing units is in the incorporation of lean management principles across shopfloors. The company follows manufacturing processes under its internal brand umbrella ‘Sahajanand Sahaj Disha’. “Under this, we perform 5S, Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, Continuous Improvement, Lean management, etc,” he averred.
Today, manufacturers worldwide stress over the issue of quality control as it pertains to their industry – considering numerous avenues for improving their company’s own practices. Sahajanand Laser Technology also envisions the same. Explaining the making of laser machine procedure was Ram Ginoya, General Manager, Sahajanand Laser Technology, who stated, “It begins with testing the raw materials, which are being utilised to make machines later. Once all the required components are collected at the manufacturing facility, the machine fabrication process starts. After the body part is attached, final QA testing is undertaken for each laser machine by quality assurance/quality control team,” he said.
Besides checking the quality and productivity levels, it is also important to reduce the time-to-market of the products. Working towards this, the company is already operational on enabling quick delivery. “This can be achieved in the design stage, where we are working on making the products modular and configurable,” remarked Patel. Speaking on the complete manufacturing processes from raw materials to dispatch, Ginoya opined, “We follow international standards and qualitative manufacturing procedures ISO 9001-2008, QMS; 5S, continuous improvement, etc, to make the best innovative systems constantly.”
Adopting technology advancements
The company manufactures machines with a clientele like Bosch, Timken, Cera, Samsonite Group and a number of government bodies and research institutes like IITs, HAL, DRDO, BHEL, etc. To achieve consistency and accuracy of the products manufactured, the organisation has also implemented end-to-end supply chain solutions for the diamond industry (from raw diamond to finished diamond).
In the current scenario, with the advances in automation and technology upgradations across the manufacturing industry, it has become imperative for industries to deploy the latest technologies across the facilities. When asked, Patel stated that the company uses ERP systems in the production department. “As far as project management is concerned, we use our own internal systems that enable a timely completion of a project. This software monitors the flow of data and also tracks the status of the supply chain material,” he added.
Achieving manufacturing excellence
Productivity improvement is one of the core strategies towards achieving manufacturing excellence. It enhances customer satisfaction and reduces time and cost to develop, produce and deliver products and service. Adding further to this, Ginoya stated, “We have also mastered the 5S technique and implemented Kaizen for the entire company and pushed our limit every single day to go ahead than the previous day.”Referring to patenting within the organisation, Patel mentioned
that one of the processes patented by the company is fibre laser cutting under Dr Arvind Patel’s name.
Addressing skill gap is a major vertical in making the manufacturing industry efficient and productive. As such, learning & development in the manufacturing industry has become a crucial aspect. Emplacing that methodologies should be a part of every organisation’s approach for managing operations, Patel opined that under Sahaj Disha, regular skill development and training programmes are conducted within the manufacturing facilities. “We are running a joint association of training ITIs with IKVK (Industrial Karya Worker Theme), under the Gujarat Government. This is a public-private partnership programme and provides training and upgradation for skill improvement as well as productivity enhancements,” he noted.
Throwing light on taking the digital path, Patel highlighted that the organisation has been conducting programmes and campaigns on digitalisation & digitisation across the shopfloors. Sharing further on connectivity across the organisation, he stressed that even if it is a Kaizen, it carries along with it the responsibility of ensuring continuous improvement and innovation by the employees from shopfloor to top floor. “Implementing Industry 4.0 is again a green initiative and implies digital practices in the organisation. Besides, internal processes & departments are connected through CRMs and ERPs. We also have HRMS modules and service modules,” added Patel.
Lastly, since the new manufacturing revolution will be defined by speed, quality, flexibility and customisation, customers today are not only looking for laser cutting or laser marking applications, remarked Patel. “They also want pick-and-place mechanism, quality controls during operation, vision system being embedded in the machine, etc,” he opined. Keeping this in mind, the company has been providing high-end machines as per customer requirements as well as solutions for conserving time and energy.
Given that digitalisation is a key to enable future-ready operations, Patel opined that companies should be more competitive and bring in modularity in terms of new product development in such a manner that it fits into every customer’s necessities and shopfloors.
The way forward…
Speaking on the expansion of the manufacturing facilities, Patel shared that the E2 facility was added in 2011 and the SEZ facility has been specifically dedicated for the export-oriented manufacturing. “For new product manufacturing, there are many modifications within the existing product range. For the expansion range, we have laser cutting machines and here our range goes upto 3 kW expanding to 4 kW and 6 kW. There are also high demands of large-size machines,” he concluded.