Indian machine tool sector has grown more integrated, globally
Carlos Cardoso, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Kennametal Inc.“India is very well-positioned to lead globally, because the country possesses the crucial combination of fast-paced growth with the required technical talents,” says Carlos Cardoso, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Kennametal Inc.
Kennametal is a leading name in machine tool solutions, how much responsibility it brings while doing business in India?India is a priority growth market for Kennametal and presents many opportunities to concentrate and grow more business.
As a global industrial technology leader, we bring exceptional technical capabilities and constantly invest in innovation to address clients’ most demanding operational challenges. To keep pace with India’s growth, they are continuously pushing the limits to produce more, increase efficiencies and reduce overall operating costs. We have focused our entire business on helping them achieve these goals, providing engineering and technical support as well as the right technologies.
We have been serving the Indian industrial sector for more than 40 years, yet we have never been more optimistic about India’s growth story and the opportunities it presents for our mutual growth.
What is your take on the status of machine tool sector in India?With a constant stream of innovation, Kennametal, which provides a complete solution in tooling, engineered components and advanced materials, has helped to advance the technology and the industry in India. As it has matured over the last decade, it has grown more integrated in the global market.
Not only the sector in India is growing rapidly, I believe that India is very well-positioned to lead globally, because the country possesses the crucial combination of fast-paced growth with the required technical talents. We expect to realise substantial growth in India in the coming years, serving a heightened level of production and development across the country. To serve this increased activity, our customers value Kennametal as a trusted partner, providing complete development across their processes for optimal productivity. We see many opportunities to serve this need, bringing our advantage of the latest technology, including the most advanced materials and total tooling solutions to meet the most demanding needs.As to India’s domestication policy for the industry, we have plans in place to localise high-consumption tools and wear solutions in India, which would mean ongoing technology transfer initiatives and supporting investments to build competencies to further offer Indian customers indigenously produced items supporting accelerated growth.
What are the products and solutions you offer in the machine tool business?Many people think that we provide simply tools for metal cutting. In fact, we provide end-to-end solutions, including process-engineering support for manufacturers.
We provide customised fixture tooling and enjoy a unique advantage in India for that, with the WIDMA range of machines and fixtures solutions. We also offer integrated solutions to optimise our customers’ production and performance. Our focus is to add value at every part of the customer’s process, from the art or concept design to all the way production of a finished part.
To do this, we bring application-specific solutions proven for their industries, such as aerospace where we collaborate with customers and produce landing gear components, as well as on structural airframe and engine components. Similarly, in the transportation sector, we bring complete knowledge in production of cylinder heads and blocks, crankshafts, con-rods and other components. In energy and power generation, we deal with the turbine blades, rotors and boiler components, among others.
The manufacturing sector in India is gradually picking up, how are you planning to get the best out of it?We grow with our customers by working more as a comprehensive solution provider rather than just as a tool supplier, thereby providing value-added services tailored to each customer’s needs. We have made substantial investments in India and have strategic plans in place to support our long-term growth in this emerging market, which we will leverage to continue earn our position as the industrial technology leader.
We note that the Government of India has announced long-term plans to increase the manufacturing output to 25 per cent of GDP from its present level of 15 per cent by 2017 during 12th Five-Year Plan. In 2012, we completed acquisition of the firm Stellite that brings specialised materials and surface technologies to our offerings. We expect to strengthen our reach and expand further the breadth of solutions, adding value to our Indian customers across a wider manufacturing base.
To share the full complement of our capabilities, we are strengthening our focus on services with regrinding centres closer to customer locations and increased engagement via cost-per-part programs to add further value.
This full-picture focus includes constant innovation, introducing new products that should support us to offer Indian customers the best value along with best-in-class solutions for all types of production and construction processes.
You have products for industrial as well as infrastructure business. How tough it is to maintain the both?Both present huge growth opportunities, and in fact, we have plans in place to grow and develop both the industrial and infrastructure sides of our business in India. On the industrial side, Indian automobile, aerospace and farm equipment sectors are poised for quantum growth, while on the infrastructure side, energy including power generation and the mining and construction sectors are must grow areas to support India’s overall development.
Moreover, India’s steel industry is the fastest growing in the world, as well as the robust SME and MSME opportunities well-suited for our infrastructure business.
Could you highlight some significant achievements, especially in the area of machine tool business? We have been working closely with machine builders during the set-up of their new greenfield facilities for Fiat, Ford and Renault, while also working closely with the machine tool builders to tool up the manufacturing components required for these lines.
Our hole-making and finishing tools have contributed significant productivity enhancements to clients on these initiatives, and our new products for both the industrial and infrastructure sectors have received wide customer acceptance with deployment across various applications.
In the Indian market, we have also been successful in extending our special product lines that we acquired in recent years to broaden our offering, including Conforma Clad, Extrude Hone and Stellite.
What are the expansion plans you have to enhance your footprint in the Indian market?India is emerging market and Kennametal believes in serving the market with an experienced, high-calibre workforce backed by our well-established integrated manufacturing infrastructure what we have at our Bangalore operations. We will continue to make strategic investments in our India operations not only to serve growth in the India market, but also to leverage our engineering and industrial technology base for the global demands.
Kennametal has recently won Israel’s National Quality Award. What are the quality measurements you applying in the Indian market?Kennametal India is ISO-9001 certified and has a strong Lean-Six Sigma culture. Our operations in India have received recognitions in many instances at the national and state levels, such as the CII-ITC commendation for our strong commitment to business sustainability; the Best DMAIC short-term project in the manufacturing sector, the CII Quality Circle Award, and the Environmental Excellence Award for 2012-13 from Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, to name a few.
Indian machine tool sector has grown more integrated, globally