Interview

India, being the net exporter of the manufacturing world

PG-50

The least understood and routinely trivialised, welding is perhaps the most complex of all manufacturing processes.

Aniruddha. R. Vilekar, Chief Technical Officer & Head-Marketing, Ador Welding Limited discusses how automatedand robotic welding have taken on added importance and have given a whole new dimension to the welding industry.

What according to you is the current market scenario of welding industry in India?
We have witnessed a surge in demand from the automotive segment, infrastructure, oil and gas, railways and defence sectors and related businesses like the pre-engineered building sector business have seen growth. The demand for continuous welding consumables be it in the GMAW, FCAW or the SAW segment have all seen a sharp rise in demand. The shift from the conventional stick electrode to continuous wire is happening rapidly with end-users in India.

The market for welding automation is on the rise with more and robotised welding is gaining ground.

Government of India’s Make in India initiative has given a fillip to indigenisation in welding that has led to work in many projects for development of import substitutes with top government establishments.

What are the prime growth drivers for welding equipment market in India?
If you look at the welding equipment market, it is divided by the welding processes in use. Automobile, railways, infrastructure and related industries and the scaling demand for continuous welding consumables in these segments has and will continue to see an increase in the sale of GMAW and SAW welding equipment.

The Ujjwala scheme of the GOI for providing subsidised LPG cylinders to every household will result in a further demand of SAW and MIG welding equipment from cylinder manufacturers.

As the industry upgrades to Weld 4.0 there will be a surge in IOT/AI enabled welding equipment across all welding processes.

Has intelligentised welding technology finally taken shape in India?
Intelligised welding; Weld 4.0 is a part of the latest industrial revolution Industry 4.0.

Interconnectivity among welding power sources, software, and manufacturing decision makers makes this possible. This involves intelligent power sources, robots, specially configured data collection and storage systems and a weld monitoring software that can feed the information to various platforms either on a smartphone of on a flat screen tv in the engineering office. The software used will have to be flexible to be able to sync with the equipment in the process flow and provide a complete flow of the entire welding process. Ador Welding is soon introducing ‘smart’ welding equipment to the Indian industry.

What is your company’s initiative in creating skill development especially into the welding and fabrication segment?
Ador Welding has been in skill development for the last five decades now. The Ador Welding Academy now located in Pune has trained more than more than one lakh welders and engineers from top establishments in India and abroad. Through our CSR initiative, we train young boys and girls from less privileged backgrounds in welding and provide them with employment.

How do you analyse the global and key regions market potential and advantage, opportunity and challenge, restraints and risks?
The Indian welding industry has been exporting for several decades. The Middle and Africa are few of the regions with immense potential for welding. While the African market is growing rapidly as it moves towards industrialisation, the Middle East market has tremendous potential both in oil and gas and infrastructure segment. While the African market reels under an overdose of heavily subsidised Chinese imports,the Middle East markets are facing a huge drop in crude oil prices and creating investment uncertainties. Ador welding products are approved at all major end-users in these countries and have a distinct advantage of being present in these markets for over four decades now.

How do you reckon the rise in demand of automatic and semi-automatic welding electrode production machine?
Automationin the welding industry is the need of the hour as the India steps on the accelerator of growth and readies itself towards becoming a net exporter to the manufacturing world. Welding automation offers tremendous opportunities for value addition and growth. This section is capturing the imagination of the fabricator more than ever before. The world class products that will be produced in India shall measure up with the world’s best. Our welding design team has developed many new welding automation solutions for customers spread across the country and abroad.

Products designed, developed and manufactured in India have the potential to measure up with the world’s best.
Aniruddha. R. Vilekar, Chief Technical Officer & Head-Marketing, Ador Welding Limited

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