With the 50-year completion of IMTEX this year, what significance does it hold for you and your company? How old is your company’s association with IMTEX?
Heidenhain has been a part of this journey for more than 3 decades. We consider IMTEX to be the most important interface to showcase our commitment to the Indian market and we will demonstrate our latest precision and control equipment, which have come to define accuracy and quality throughout the world.
What would be the big strategy/plan that you will be pursuing post-IMTEX in 2019, aimed at creating a big business impact?
Heidenhain’s linear and angle encoders provide accurate feedback to the control so that thermal effects and mechanical disturbances are prevented from causing component rejections. The machine building world has recognised that machines without closed loop feedback systems cannot remain accurate. At IMTEX, we will demonstrate the difference between a component manufactured by using precision linear encoders and a component that has been manufactured using only a semi-closed system. Closed loop technology will be the focus area for Heidenhain to go forward.
Digitalisation has been the most talked-about topic in the manufacturing industry today. Besides digitalisation, would you like to highlight any other technology advances that will have the maximum traction in the next two years?
Real 5-axis machining, high speed milling, die mould machining or 3 + 2 axis machining of automotive parts would be increasingly important in the Indian market. Heidenhain’s TNC controls fitted on machine tools are considered the ‘gold standard’ in 5-axis machining and the user-friendliness of TNC controls, combined turning and milling solutions, etc give unsurpassed smooth finishing to highly complex engineering parts.
How do you assess the disruptive power of new technologies at an early stage and build a sustainable plan so as to respond to the technological disruptions, in the short-term & long-term?
The centre of every metalworking manufacturing company is the workshop. The question is, how digital networking and software solutions can be used to analyse one’s own manufacturing processes and tailor the use of external services. With its connected machining package of functions, Heidenhain offers solutions for individual networking of production processes. These solutions place the user at the centre of digital order management through the control of his milling or turning machine. The Heidenhain control is networked with all production-related areas within the company on a very individual basis tailored to the existing structures and open for future developments. You are supported
through simple data usage, time-saving workflows and transparent processes. This applies, of course, in the workshop, but also during design and production planning, as well as in management, servicing, etc. The production related strengths of modern machines and plants are, thus, supplemented through a uniform digital job management with connected machining.
In your opinion, what is an industrial trend/concept/ myth which you would like to demystify within the Indian manufacturing sector?
The Indian machine tool manufacturing industry caters to only about 40% of the local demand. We now have a huge opportunity to increase this share by a sincere upgradation process that will include investments in reliable technology. Indian machine builders would need to raise the quality bar to compete with the best in the world. In any manufacturing economy, strong small and medium enterprises play a crucial supporting role, with great focus on innovation. India’s MSMEs are known more for low cost production, with a lower focus on using high quality components and equipment. This has to change, so that India can take its rightful place in the global machine tools market.