ElectroMech: Enormous plant of herculean effort
July 16, 2015 11:05 am
In a visit to the ElectroMech plant in the Pune area, OEM Update saw the magnificent plant sprawled over an area of 80,000 sq. metres buzzing with activity and innovation
ElectroMech was established in 1979 and today claims to be the largest manufacturer for industrial overhead cranes in India by volume as well as value. It provides material handling solutions for manufacturing, infrastructure, construction, oil and gas, power and steel industries. ElectroMech has a diversified list of client spread across 35 countries.
Several processes and innovations have been deployed at the plant to produce high quality cranes.
A plant replete with technology and innovationAs we take a look around, Tushar Mehendale, Managing Director, ElectroMech Material Handling Systems (India), briefed us on the intricate details of the functioning of the plant. He told us about the processes, logistics and technologies that are involved in the plant.
Highlighting the uniqueness of the ElectroMech plant, Mr Mehendale, said, “The plant is sprawled over an area of 80,000 sq. metres, with a covered area of 20,000 sq. metres. It is the largest of its kind for the manufacturing of industrial cranes and the first of its kind in India to adopt a unitised process flow for the material. It is an adoption of the assembly line concept, where the raw materials come into one end and the finished goods leave at the other end.”
We then took a quick look at the material input area. Speaking of the storage area for the components, Mr Mehendale explained, “The material input area is where all the parts come from outside. Several of the high value components are stored in vertical racks, which is served by a stacker crane, operated through a remote control. It is made with a view of using vertical space, which most manufacturing facilities have an abundance of! A fork lift is not used here for several reasons. It can’t reach very high. Also if it is diesel operated, it leads to pollution and if it is battery operated, it will lead to a lot of downtime.”
Speaking of the automation of cutting process, Mr Mehendale said, “All cutting of steel plates is done using CNC machines – we completely avoid cutting by hand. All the reference drawings and measurements are fed into the machine along with the numerical figures. The entire process is automated. All the measurements and relevant details are stored in the machine.”
According to Mr Mehendale, “The semi-automated jig for a girder welding is an in-house innovation. The girder is made up of four steel plates. We have a semi-automated girder fixture. There is always a possibility that the welding may not be perfect if done manually, leading to waviness in the girder.
Design efficiency of equipment key to being cost effectiveHighlighting the design efficiency of the equipment, Mr Mehendale noted, “Design is very important in terms of customised products. Design efficiency can play a huge role in the overall cost of the operation for the buyer. If the cranes are designed well, it saves, say 2% on structural costs. 2% saving in absolute numbers is a huge thing. We make sure our products derive value for the customer.”
The company has done an innovation in the process by building a small store for the workers at the assembly area to take required components. The store in the lower deck for workers helps to easily access quick consumables that are required from time to time and these are kept in the area. If a worker needs to recharge his welding electrodes, it can take time to go to the other end, so the store in the lower deck enables easy functionality and helps save on time. Within the factory there is every type of crane – single girder crane, double girder crane, wall travelling crane, torsion box cranes.
ElectroMech ensures that its products meet the highest standards of operations as well as sustainability. The cranes are manufactured within the factory. Then tested, disassembled and shipped to the clients. Some of the components go for shot blasting and then they go for painting. Being conscious about environment, the company has its own shot blasting facility, along with exhaust system. The paint booth is one of the largest in Pune. The paint fumes are extracted and processed in a wastewater treatment plant and then used for landscaping around the factory.
The scope for industry growth fuelled by demandAnalysing the crane industry and the prevalent market conditions, Mr Mehendale says, “The crane market is estimated to be anywhere between ` 1,200 to ` 1,800 crore. Currently, the market is fragmented but more than 60 per cent of the market is made up of the top 10 manufacturers. The fragmentation in the industry makes it difficult to achieve economies of scale. There is a requirement for consolidation in the market, failing which, the volumes won’t be achieved.” However he adds that ElectroMech enjoys some advantages as opposed to the other players in this segment, “Our partnerships with Abus, Zoomlion and Stahl cranes help us to deal with a spectrum of options. Our presence in 35 countries helps us leverage a much needed advantage especially when the crane market is poised to grow and become a ` 2,500-crore market in the next few years.”
With streamlined processes and innovations that pervade every aspect of the production as well as delivery, ElectroMech is setting new standards for the Indian as well as the international cranes industry. With its objective to always be ready to meet and excel in the challenges and opportunities of the future the company is confident that it will continue to lead from the front.