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Production Planning & Control Things are moving in the right direction

Jan 1, 2016

“In today’s challenging market, building the right cost model and delivering customer expectations consistently across all metrics are key things. Continuous improvements, lean manufacturing systems are very important.” B C Rao, Managing Director, Kennametal India

What is the impact of the ‘Make in India’ initiative on the Indian manufacturing sector? What are the major changes witnessed last year?

Automotive is still the major growth contributor in India because of its sheer volume. We also see significant actions initiated in other sectors of railways, defence, aerospace, mining, construction & general engineering industries to step up local manufacturing. ‘Make in India’ has driven favourable policies like lower excise duties, automotive emission norms, the constitution of NAT Rip, National Mission for Electric Mobility 2020, FAME - Faster Adaption and Manufacturing of Hybrid land Electric Vehicle, etc.

Brief us on the major trends in the upcoming years, in terms of technology development, advaced manufacturing technology adoption, product lifecycle, collaborative manufacturing, etc.

Kennametal continues to invest in innovation led growth path, which is going to shape our future. To meet the growing demands of manufacturing engineers and process planners around the world, we have invented an advanced process planning cloud enabled software called NOVO™. Besides, Additive Manufacturing is another evolving technology, especially in aerospace segment. Components are becoming near net shape with the advancement in foundry techniques. This is good as it not only shortens the total lead time to produce, but also reduces the cost of manufacturing.

How do you plan to align your company’s Vision 2020 strategy with these trends?

We are gearing up our ability to cater to the needs of the future with a focus on lean and innovative manufacturing techniques, which will help us in bringing out cutting-edge innovative solutions to fuel the growth, with strong commercial capabilities focused on customers. We are focused on optimising the supply chain for best benefits. Our strategy for the path forward is to invest in CRM, enhanced manufacturing technologies and digital intelligence through NOVO. It is important to build the talent pipeline for future team members who are passionate in developing the next big idea for success of the organisation & our customers. We need to develop the leaders of tomorrow and ignite the entrepreneurial spirit to meet the vision.

What would be your recommendations on achieving manufacturing excellence and sustaining the growth momentum in today’s uncertain market conditions?

To achieve manufacturing excellence, we need to build the culture of continuous improvement in our processes that will enable improve productivity and reduce waste at the same time. Manufacturing commitments of 100% on-time delivery or 100% quality conformance are the norm today & no longer a customer delight. It is all about how agile we can be in responding to the ever-changing and uncertain environment.

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