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Changing Scenario in Lighting Manufacturing

Lighting Industry in India is still in its infancy. Inadequate infrastructural facilities together with the lack of technological advancements are the major hurdles for development of this sector. Anil Valia, one of the Country’s eminent lighting Designer and Educator shares his views on this sector. He has also compared the current status between the lighting industry of China and India.
 
I am in this field since last 35 years and I had started my career in design & development of Lighting Fittings way back in 1971. From that day onwards the Lighting Fitting manufacturing activities are under Small Scale Industries (SSI) when the limit for capital investment was Rs.1 Million which is Rs.30 Million today. Today most of these SSI are Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and are suppliers to large marketing companies in their brands. There are very few SSI brands manufacturing the lighting equipment. For this SSI/OEM they have several limitations like:
•      SSI is generally one man show to look after several activities including Finance
•      Non Availability of Capital for investment in dies and tools
•      Non availability of skilled personnel for design & development and if available are non affordable
•      Lack of Quality Control laboratory
•      Non availability of Photometric testing
•      At National level also inadequate facilities for Photometric testing
•      Lack of R&D Activities
•      Poor quality of dies and tools
•      Old and Poor quality of manufacturing methods/process  & machinery
•      Poor implementation of Standards and quality control
•      Most of them are craftsmen and not educated
•      Lack of education in lighting field
•      Vision is limited to marketing only for  localized marketing
•      Exporting difficult
•      Government related rules regulations like excise, making documentations/paper work and so on.
Today many OEMs/SSI are getting several parts and components from China as they are available at cheaper cost with better finish.  Now, there are many more traders than OEMs/SSI in the field and they bring several products and market it – No SSI/OEM status & they may be doing more business/profit than SSI doing investment of time, money and energy to produce and sell.
 
In China, size of the manufacturing unit is similar to that of large electrical equipment manufacturing companies in India. They are capable of manufacturing millions of pieces with good quality dies & tools which is no way possible in India as on date by any SSI. Automation like Robots are used for activities in pressure die casting for pouring of molten alluminium. Even the infrastructure is much better for example 40’ container can easily be brought to such units and loaded in no time. Similarly facilities by government for land, water, electricity, are much better for export promotion. Labour laws are also too strict and in favour of Industries.
 
If we have to be nearer to this we shall have to make improvement in all spheres – may be government policies, infrastructure, lighting education, production techniques, vision of businessmen and so on.
Coming years will be of LEDs and the lighting fitting manufacturers will have to now understand the lamp manufacturing technology too. Government will have to encourage Illuminaion LED packaging plants & finished products to bring down the cost.    
 
Anil Valia, Lighting Designer & Educator
Author of Designing With Light – A Lighting Handbook
BE Elect (Hons.), Chartered engineer, MIE (India), FISLE, MIES Emeritus (USA), FILE (U.K.), MIES (Australia), Educator – IALD (USA); CIE. EDU,
Ex-Vice President & Founder Member ISLE, Fellow & Founder Member CEEAMA, Course Director – International Lighting Academy

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