Plasma cutting: transforming the world of manufacturing

“Our aim is to increase the awareness of plasma amongst end-users so that they can make the best decision on the technology that best suits their needs,” says Abhinav Sood, Sales Leader, Hypertherm India
 Hypertherm designs and manufactures advanced cutting products for use in various industries. In an exclusive interview with OEM Update, Abhinav Sood talks about the acceptance of plasma cutting technology in India, the challenges and road ahead. He also briefs on the company’s participation in Weld India expo.
Hypertherm is in the business of advanced plasma cutting systems. How do you see the acceptance of such products in the Indian market? At present, India is in transition from the traditional methods of cutting to adopting newer technologies. With an increase in demand for efficiency and speed, end-users are deviating from the use of conventional metal cutting systems and have started to adopt automated technologies. Over the years, the industry has seen a drastic increase in the expectations of end-users and in recent times, they have come to expect consistent quality, high productivity, efficiency, reliability, and lower cost of manufacturing.
Compared to traditional metal cutting systems, plasma cutting can meet most of the above-mentioned expectations and it offers users an optimised solution for metal cutting processes. Plasma cutting technology has advanced greatly; there are now solutions available to suit a wider range of materials and thickness, catering to a variety of industry segments. As more global manufacturers set up base in India, a growth in the demand for high-end technologies is expected. In fact, the plasma installed base has seen increased growth over the years, not only in India but across the globe. This can be attributed to the fact that more manufacturers are adopting plasma for their thermal cutting needs in replacement of less efficient cutting methods. The Indian market is on its way towards adoption of modern manufacturing technologies, and this area of growth is expected to continue in the coming years.
What kind of challenges are you witnessing in terms of placing new products in the market?When introducing new products and technologies to the market, there are generally two areas that can have an impact on the resultant responses – cost and awareness. In plasma cutting, for example, the initial investment cost is higher compared to traditional manufacturing systems, and this is the reason why many companies are not ready to adopt plasma technology. In addition, the lack of knowledge and exposure to the latest manufacturing techniques like plasma amongst end-users also poses a challenge when it comes to product marketing.
The challenge for us is to educate end-users on the intrinsic benefits of using plasma cutting systems. Through education, end-users can gain a better understanding of the plasma advantage. Our opportunity for growth arises when they become more receptive to adopting the technology. Our aim is to increase the awareness of plasma amongst end-users so that they can make the best decision on the technology that best suits their needs.
Which are the verticals that are driving your company’s overall business?As a leading global provider of metal cutting equipment, Hypertherm’s solutions are employed in a wide spectrum of industries, including key markets such as the construction, infrastructure, railway, pressure vessel, agriculture and general fabrication sectors. Hypertherm will continue to support its customers by developing technology upgrades and new product offerings to meet each industry’s cutting needs.
Can you elaborate on your business activities in India?Since entering the India market in 2007, Hypertherm has successfully built a strong presence domestically. The company now has a local office in New Delhi, providing in-country dedicated sales support to our customers, as well as technical service teams at multiple locations that offer strong technical support and customer service, both locally and regionally. In addition, co-located with our office is the Cutting Technology Centre, where our channel partners can train their technical skills and sales expertise to enhance their capabilities when introducing Hypertherm products to end-users. Also, the end users can experience live demonstrations of various Hypertherm product offerings.
Also, in line with Hypertherm’s commitment to provide customers with the best cutting equipment, we will continue to invest in research and development, to achieve continual innovation and to further develop existing technologies. In that way, Hypertherm endeavours to provide customers with the best cutting experiences.
What are your expansion plans as far as Indian market is concerned?Hypertherm’s expansion plans will always be in line with our business needs. We are positive that our manpower and facilities are capable of providing top-notch service and support for our customers here in India. As mentioned earlier, because of our continuous focus on research and development, our customers can expect greater performance, reliability, and ease of use from the upcoming, new-to-market applications that we will be introducing in time.
How was your experience at Weld India?Through participating at Weld India, we were able to achieve several of our business goals. All in all, Weld India has helped Hypertherm to enhance its brand awareness in India, as well as reinforce its commitment to the market, be it with end-users or channel partners, both current and prospective.
Did you launch any new product at Weld India?Hypertherm introduced two new products to the India market at the show – namely, the Powermax30 XP air plasma system and the industry’s first Duramax Hyamp hand-held plasma long torch.
The Powermax30 XP (PMX30 XP) is an all-new handheld plasma cutting system that delivers high performance in a small, portable power source. Compared to its predecessor (Powermax30), the PMX30 XP offers a 50 per cent increase in cutting power and more than two-fold increase in consumable life, allowing manufacturers to achieve faster cut speeds at lower operating costs. The 30-amp air plasma system is designed for quick and fuss-free cutting, and is able to comfortably cut 10mm-thick metals, as well as sever metals up to 16mm-thick.
In addition, the highlight at the show was the new Duramax Hyamp long handheld torch, a groundbreaking addition to the Duramax Hyamp torch series. The first of its kind in the industry, the long torch opens up new possibilities for scrapping, skeleton cutting, and other applications which are not easily accessible, and comes in two lengths – 1.2 metres and 0.6 metres. The special application torch is made from high impact and heat-resistant materials, and is designed for industrial use in harsh environments.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Most Popular

To Top