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“Energy efficiency is not a USP, it is considered given”

“Air compressors being one of the most ubiquitous industrial workhorses energising modern day factories, hospitals, workshops and residential complexes, their demand is expected to be recurrent,” says Amar Kaul, VP and Business Head for Compressed Air Systems and Services business of Ingersoll-Rand India
 Ingersoll-Rand (India) has recently rolled out an aggressive plan for growth in India. In this interview, Amar Kaul talks on the trends and technological advancements in the field of compressors and his company’s commitments.
Ingersoll Rand has been in the industry for so many years. How has the experience been so far and what kind of growth is expected?The experience has been very fruitful and the response from the industry as I see is really overwhelming. We have been one of the oldest American investments (dating back to 1921) in India and one of the first companies to make India the global sourcing hub for product lines.
Ingersoll Rand has been pioneer in bringing into the country centrifugal technology as well as the award winning “Nirvana” energy saving rotary compressors. Ingersoll Rand had the courage to invest in manufacturing of Centac in India, in 1989, when centrifugal technology was barely known and hardly accepted. This approach has been handsomely rewarded by the market.
Over and above bringing global innovations to India, we will continue to design and develop local innovative solutions for customers in India. Most importantly our vision is to bring to the Indian industry a level of service that is only seen in the consumer space as of now. We have already made couple of strides on this direction and have been well received in the industry.
How do you see your company establishing in Indian market?Over the past few years, we have been consistently investing in initiatives that have improved our productivity and this continues to be the journey of operational excellence. Ingersoll Rand is at the forefront of customer-centric innovation and we are constantly innovating products and solutions that are relevant to the Indian market and our customers. To sum up, our innovative approach, customer-first and solutionising mindset has driven us into the position of market leaders.
Market opportunities are governed by the mega trends that define the economic progress. Growing population and scarcity of power become the basis industries in all verticals like FMCG, F&B, pharma, and power coming up with strong growth potential.
Air compressors being one of the most ubiquitous industrial workhorses energising modern day factories, hospitals, workshops and residential complexes, their demand is expected to be recurrent.
As I said earlier, there is a greater demand for energy efficient (low life cycle cost or operating cost) and minimum maintenance (high reliability) machines. Today, the purity of air has become the most important element if you have critical oil-free applications which are catered to by our Class 0 range of oil-free compressors for rotary screw and centrifugal technologies.
Similarly, if you have a multiple-compressor installation, advanced controllers — coupled with extensive system audit services enable our customers to have optimum air efficiency, consistent flow, pressure and extended life of system components.
Tell us about the products and services you are offering in the field.Ingersoll Rand offers a wide range of compressors from 0.75 to 4,500 kW and has several firsts to its credit, including its distinction of being the first company to introduce centrifugal compressors to the country. Ingersoll Rand is among the first manufacturers to offer compressors on rental in order to help customers avoid huge investments. Besides compressors, Ingersoll Rand offers the widest range and technologies for air treatment and filtration solutions-air dryers, filters;  storage solutions-air receivers; energy savings controls solutions like system pressure and flow controllers, variable speed drives, remote monitoring as well as the energy saving compressed air modular piping and distribution solutions for increasing the overall efficiency of the entire system (demand, supply and distribution side), besides reducing the maintenance costs and downtime. The plant audit solution services deliver a unique combination for overall optimised efficiency, reliability and operations.
Centac, our centrifugal compressor range, has been our flagship product in our industrial compressor range. Ingersoll Rand India proudly celebrated the milestone of shipping its 1,000th Centac package from the Naroda plant facility last year.
Considering this new wave of energy efficient air compressors,  Ingersoll Rand recently launched a new range of D series refrigerated air dryers that offer unmatched energy efficiency, low cost of ownership, higher uptime, traditional Ingersoll Rand reliability, and environment friendliness with use of Zero ODP refrigerant, adaptability to tropical conditions, and superior serviceability.
How do you look at the compressors industry in India?We see a definite shift from oil-injected compressor technology to class O oil-free compressor technology. In centrifugal compressor space, we see a movement from small and medium capacity machines to large capacity machines. Today, energy efficiency is not a unique selling proposition, it is considered given. Customers prefer solutions that have the lowest cost of ownership. Often compressed air systems in factories and facilities are not energy efficient.
System owners have great opportunities to improve operating margins and reduce costs through energy savings. As every industry tries to cut down costs, audits of compressed air systems help in reducing hidden costs and ultimately contribute to increase in revenue. Ingersoll Rand’s Audit Solutions offers services that help our customers identify potential leakages and take corrective actions to conserve energy. Some of the real cases after acting on actions from energy audit have had pay back of less than six months after which is pure savings.
Through our experience in handling energy audits, we have seen that the audit processes are extremely educational and informative. We encourage our customers to participate and learn the methodology during such audits apart from just monitoring and implementation. With compressed air being one of the poorly managed industrial utilities, there is enormous opportunity to change the way it works now. 
How Ingersoll is leading the way through local innovation to cater industries like power, textile, iron & steel, automobile and general industries?Our dedicated product management and engineering teams continuously work on understanding customer needs and then work backwards on Innovation with best of the technologies based on efficiency and sustainability. With a strong team of world-class professionals, we are able to provide superior service experience to our customers at any given time. We have already graduated multi steps from old concept of AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract) to Package Care and Package Care +.The above suite of service packages in summary means insurance of our machines at customer site. Customers also appreciate that we ensure uninterrupted supply of quality AIR and they focus on their core competence.
We invested heavily on remote monitoring to monitor the performance of our machines remotely. This ensures that before the machine brakes down, our service technician is at the door step.
These are some of the innovations that we thrive on over and above the product innovation.
For catering to specialised engineered compressor packages, Ingersoll Rand’s highly specialised and expert teams can handle large projects for customised solutions and provide a one-stop solution right from conceptualisation, design,  installation to audit control.
Our team of experienced engineers works closely with the customers to design packages which are passed through stringent quality tests and inspection before shipping to the customer location.
Would you like to talk about your future expansion plans?As mentioned earlier, we will continue invest in customer centric innovations, partner with our customers to make them successful in their business. The simple philosophy is that if we help our customers be successful and grow, we automatically will grow and be successful.
We will continue to invest in our services suite to being in the levels of service that industry would not have seen before.

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