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FIBRO’s Chakan plant: hub for precision die & mould standard parts

 FIBRO’s Chakan plant near Pune manufactures products for die and mould industry and rotary tables. After a visit to the factory, Parag Pujari writes about the manufacturing process involved in making these products
FIBRO India Precision Products Pvt. Ltd. is an ISO 9001-2008 certified company and is part of the well-known FIBRO group which has around 700 employees worldwide and more than 70 representative and service stations. In Germany, it has two plants, located at Weinsberg and Hassmersheim in Baden-Württemberg. Whereas in India, FIBRO’s manufacturing unit started in Pune in 2008 and since its inception, FIBRO India is known for providing German quality at Indian price through its products to customers. It shifted to its own current location in Chakan MIDC in March 2013. In addition it has wholly owned subsidiaries in France, USA, Canada, Singapore, Korea and China.
“The FIBRO business consists mainly of two product lines, i.e. standard parts and components for tool and die making and rotary indexing tables for automation and metal cutting applications. When it comes to standard parts for stamping dies and tools, FIBRO is the market leader in Europe,” informed Ju¨rgen Gurt, Managing Director, FIBRO GmbH. “Last year we invested in a new facility at our Chakan plant near Pune which still has the scope for expansion. Our experience has definitely been positive in India with highly qualified people in manufacturing, sales and marketing.”
Units of some major companies like Volkswagen, Tata, Mahindra, GE are located in Chakan, Pune. As any organisation wants to be close to their customers, FIBRO’s obvious choice was to invest in such a place that will help strengthen its establishment.
“Before setting up its first manufacturing plant outside Germany, FIBRO had conducted a market survey in China and India. But India was our obvious choice for many reasons and by the way the Indian industrial culture being one of them,” said Mr Gurt. “When we came to setting up the plant in India, Pune was the first choice as it is considered as the hub for a large number of German companies which helped us developing our clientele.”
“The idea behind starting FIBRO India was primarily to serve domestic customers with German technology and quality at Indian price but also to export components back to Germany,” pointed out Vivek Nanivadekar, Director, FIBRO India Precision Products Pvt. Ltd. “Our major market is automakers and their primary and secondary vendors. Now, by implementing the rotary tables, our market is going to expand including automation segment as well.”
Manufacturing processBeing mainly in die and mould industry, FIBRO India manufactures products like die sets, standard parts for moulds like guide pillar sets, oil less guide elements etc. These products are mostly used in tool and die making industry. Apart from above standard parts the other critical parts such as Nitrogen Gas springs, compression springs, PU elements, cam units etc. are sourced from the parent company to meet the demand of Indian tool industry. These products go to general mechanical industries as well. For all the parts manufactured in Chakan facility, the designs and processes are defined by the parent company in Germany. However, the local manufacturing involves Indian manpower, local materials and if possible Indian machines and equipment. Almost 50 per cent parts produced in the Chakan facility goes into export.
The manufacturing set up of FIBRO India includes CNC machines, precision grinding machines, induction hardening equipment and inspection equipment such as 3D CNC coordinate machine, contour measuring equipment etc. to maintain the high quality standards laid down by FIBRO GmbH.
“Actually very few companies have in-house Induction hardening facility at their manufacturing units as many of the companies outsource this particular task,” informed Mr Nanivadekar. “However, FIBRO believes that it needs to have control on critical processes so as to deliver the German quality to Indian customers. And hence we have the in-house facility for hardening for which the specifications are given by FIBRO Germany which are followed and practised at FIBRO India locally.”
The standard parts and components are manufactured as per DIN and ISO standards as well as JIS standard.
Wear Plates production lineMainly bronze and steel metals are used for making wear plates which are provided in tool and die making applications. Then the computer programmed surface grinding machine comes into picture. It is used to improve surface finish in order to achieve uniform and absolutely flat surface.
Computer measurementThe products manufactured in the factory are completely tested on a programmed machine which gives a computer generated report to see if there are any errors or faults in the product so that it could be corrected well in time. As any company can’t afford rejection of its products, high quality control is implemented by the company. For this, in process checking is done. It eliminates rejection to a great extent and helps to prevent similar faults in future.
Safety measures“FIBRO believes in safety first. The workers working on machines undergo the necessary training before they start their actual work,” said Mr Nanivadekar. “In addition, every quarterly the company conducts training programmes and useful workshops for its workers. Recently the company conducted a session on disaster management also.”
There are two different warehouses as well, one for products manufactured in Pune unit and another one for imported standard parts and components.
Impact of new governmentViews of the new government of India are considered to be more business friendly. However, as Mr Gurt put in, “The most important thing is to see fast improvements regarding the infrastructure. Then other things like cost of finance and quicker approvals should also be implemented. It will not happen overnight, but India has that potential to excel.”
Future outlook“FIBRO India’s objective is to indigenise as many products from the more than 40,000 articles of the FIBRO product portfolio. We will continue to serve Indian market in more competitive manner,” assured Mr Nanivadekar. “As a part of the expansion programme, we will invest in more machine capacity and manpower in the coming years.”
The company looks forward for a promising future and is adopting German products in such a way that they suit to Indian needs. Today it supplies its manufactured products back to its parent company also. Now the company is exploring the possibility of exporting to neighbour countries like Singapore, Dubai, China and Malaysia etc.
“We are aiming to achieve at least 30-40 per cent growth per year. To maintain this target, we are not only investing in machines but also in R&D and in training of our employees in new products and technologies,” said Mr Gurt.
——————–When we came to setting up the plant in India, Pune was the first choice as it is considered as the hub for a large number of German companies which helped us developing our clientele
Ju¨rgen Gurt, Managing Director, FIBRO GmbH.———————-
——————–The idea behind starting FIBRO India was primarily to serve domestic customers with German technology and quality at Indian price but also to export components back to Germany
Vivek Nanivadekar, Director, FIBRO India Precision Products

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