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Machine tools industry in India to scale to $ 3-4 bn by 2020

With customer requirements becoming more stringent, the machine tool industry needs to evolve to meet the customer expectations
 Over the next 5 years, the entire Indian automotive industry across vehicle and component segments is expected to witness robust growth. “The growth in the automotive sector will propel the machine tool consumption in India to grow from $ 1.3 billion in FY14 to $ 3 billion by FY20 at 14 per cent CAGR,” noted a joint study recently conducted by ACMA, IMTMA and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.
The study titled ‘Enabling Indian auto component industry competitiveness: role of Indian machine tool industry’ was conceptualised identifying the roadblocks faced by machine tool industry and suggest a way forward for the segment. It undertook a detailed survey with sixty ACMA-members (across tier one to three) and more than twenty IMTMA-members.
The growth rate for Indian machine tool suppliers can potentially be higher as import substitution is high on agenda of the automotive industry due to the adverse impact of fluctuation in exchange rates, the findings of the study said.
While the machine tool industry is becoming increasingly competitive, customer requirements are also becoming stringent with regards to reliability, productivity and cost. Competition is intensifying from foreign players who have certain advantages in terms of technology, workmanship, quality, robustness, delivery commitment, etc.
“While the domestic machine tools manufacturers have certain advantages in terms of cost and after-sales; technology development will be critical to meet customer requirements, fend off competition and substitute high imports,” the study revealed.
Performance, access, ergonomics and aesthetics of domestic machine tools requires significant improvements vis-à-vis imported machine tools, it adds.
Commenting on the findings of the study Ramesh Suri, President, ACMA, said, “The automotive industry accounts for over fifty per cent of machine tool end use. With customer requirements becoming more stringent, the machine tool industry needs to evolve to meet the customer expectations. To embark on the next phase of growth, the industry will have to look beyond the current advantages it enjoys in terms of cost and after-sales. Learning from success stories of foreign players and upgrading capability and processes to best-in-class will be crucial for realisation of the Machine tool industry’s Vision 2020.” Concurring on the need for the machine tool industry to move up the value chain, L Krishnan, President, IMTMA commented, “The domestic machine tool manufacturers provide significant capital cost advantage over imported tools. Over the years, the Indian machine tools have improved in technology and are well positioned for medium accuracy requirements, however to be globally competitive, areas such as reliability, solution engineering, new or improved technology and products and delivery commitment or CRM need to be focused upon.” The study findings suggest recommendations for a 5-year improvement roadmap. These have been prioritised as immediate, near-term and long-term: Immediate measures (to be rolled out within the next 1 year)• Improve machine performance and reliability through better machine maintenance practices and implementation of safety standards• Build confidence in ACMA companies that use Indian machine tools • Offer low cost automation solutions or frugal machines for standard tasks to ACMA companies• Organise knowledge seminars on topics such as machine tool technology, reliability improvement, application engineering topics, etc. Near-term initiatives (to be rolled out within 1-3 years)• Improve reliability of peripherals• Drive project management excellence program• Adopt standards for data collection and acquisition• Conduct detailed machine performance benchmarking • Develop Special Purpose Machines (SPM).  Long-term plans (to be phased over 3-5 years) • Joint cooperative development of new machines – involve ACMA companies and auto OEMs• Develop “solution” based approach in IMTMA.

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