Success lies in effective partnership

The Indian foundry industry produces various types of metal castings, cast components, for applications in power, auto, defence, railways, machine tools, agro machinery and tractor industry, earthmoving and mining machinery, electrical, textile and cement machinery, oil and natural gas and for various other industry sectors.
The foundry industry in India generates revenue of $ 18 billion with exports of over $ 2 billion producing around 9.5 million tonnes of castings annually. In an exclusive interview with Subhajit Roy, Vikas Garg, President at Institute of Indian Foundrymen details the roadmap for foundry industry in India in line with ‘Make in India’ movement.
Need better coordinationThe new focus on ‘Make in India’ augurs well for foundry industry as it is key feeder to engineering manufacturing. It is estimated that the demand will grow three folds in next 10 years which will throw open new opportunities and challenges too. The new niche markets will open to foundry sector such as application of light-weight and specially alloyed metal castings for reduced energy consumption. Similarly the advancements in downstream industry is creating new requirements of metal castings which can withstand critical applications in nuclear and ultra critical mega power plants which operate at much higher pressures and temperatures and also for critical applications in railways, aero space, nuclear power and defence sector etc. “This is the time to ask ourselves and introspect whether we are ready for future and prepare now for the emerging opportunities and work in that direction. All the stakeholders i.e. the industry, industry associations, and policy makers need to work in close coordination to make the best use of the emerging opportunities to facilitate manufacturing in India,” says Mr Garg.
Success pointThe new manufacturing policy envisages the increase in the share of manufacturing in the GDP to 25 per cent from current 15 per cent and to create 100 million additional jobs in next 10 years. Since all engineering and other sectors use metal castings in their manufacturing, the role of foundry industry to support manufacturing is very vital. It is not possible to achieve the above goal without the sustainable corresponding growth of the foundry sector.
Mr Garg aspires that the newly constituted Foundry Development Council by DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry will be a very useful platform which will bring together various stakeholders to review and recommend the suitable policy interventions to government for enabling the foundry sector to realise its full potential and to contribute significantly to ‘Make in India’. 
To achieve success all stakeholders must work in partnerships. “The government needs to create the business environment, simplification of procedures, create infrastructure of high stature conducive to attract foreign multinationals and set up manufacturing bases for their global operations, enable the industry to upgrade the skilling and investments in productive, greener and environment friendly technologies,” Mr Garg opines.
He adds, “The associations must facilitate dissemination of information on latest market trends, technologies and best practices for improved competitiveness of the industry and promote working in clusters to harness the strength of working together and create synergies and create access to modern design and manufacturing tools to all.”
Industry must continuously invest in technology, manpower and ensure the scaling up of operations, faster response time for development of new products, Mr Garg observes. “It should also find new technology partners who can help add and create value so that the Indian foundry industry becomes a global force to reckon with and is able to meet the critical future market needs of growing manufacturing sector in India for not only meeting the domestic needs but also for increased share in export markets,” he said.
Barriers before ‘Make in India’The foundry sector in India is undergoing various challenges. Mr Garg highlights some of the major challenges as: • Access to capital at competitive terms for upgradation • Availability of quality and continuous power • Availability of sand due to mining issues • Increasing environmental costs • Lack of organised, modern training facilities • Lack of awareness on efficient energy and resource management.
Government initiativesThe government has constituted Foundry Development Council Chaired by Secretary DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and having senior representatives from other related ministries and government department, industry leaders, IIF, leading training institutes as members of the council to review periodically about the policy interventions required to facilitate the sustainable growth of the foundry sector to support manufacturing in India.
The government in its recent budget emphasised on increasing the speeds which will call for upgrading the rolling stock and in turn spur demand for manufacturing sector. “The announcement related to deferment of GAAR by 2 years, rolling out of GST by Apr 2016, reducing corporate taxes in phased manner, more impetus on new and renewable energy, clarifications and announcements regarding retrospective taxation issues and reducing basic custom duty on 22 items will increase the confidence of investors which will further spur investment in Indian sub-continent,” observed Mr Garg. “This will also benefit the foundry industry. However the increase in service tax rates will have negative effect.”
Government initiatives in easing FDI norms in various sectors including defence may also lead to rise in demand for foundry products. With all these announcements the foundry sector is expected to get a substantial boost.IIF at the forefrontIIF has been playing pivotal role and is acting as key enabler for sustainable growth of the sector by various initiatives and interventions such as: • Promotion of cluster development programmes and creation of common facilities for modern design and manufacturing tools • Promoting collaborative approach for harnessing synergies for better results • Promotion of conservation of natural resources, waste reduction and sand recycling in clusters • Promotion of efficient energy and resource management in foundries by undertaking energy audits and suitable interventions • Promotion of lean manufacturing programmes for foundries for improved utilization of resources, waste reduction and enhanced productivity • Initiation of foundry technology vocational programmes in schools in collaboration with Central Board of Secondary Education • Signing of MoU with Japan Foundry Society for exchange of information and knowledge sharing for benefit of members • Foundry simulation software services at nominal cost for  usage of IT applications for improved design and yield of castings for improved productivity • Publication on best practices in foundry operations jointly with PCRA, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas with focus on efficient energy management • Submission of research project on greening of products and processes to Ministry of Environment and Forests• Perusal of various issues through DC MSME and Ministry of MSME pertaining to skilling, creation of training modules, IT application, upgradation of  technology centres and ITI, revision of CLCSS scheme and definition of MSMEs etc and with Ministry of Environment and Forests regarding categorisation of foundry industry etc• Active engagement with policy makers to initiate policies to promote sustainable development of foundry sector – Formation of Foundry Development Council under Chairmanship of Secretary to Govt of India, DIPP.

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