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OEM Update
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‘Pipes manufacturers to be more proactive’

June 22, 2011 6:28 am

“Non availability of the right, modern-day pipe systems has been defeating the very purpose of infrastructure development in our country. India needs factories that shall dispense the latest pipe systems”
 
Thanks to the easy availability of foreign and other aid funds, India is witnessing a major infra boom. The government is now engaged in either executing or planning infrastructure projects, including that of water supply and sewerage where pipe systems form the major part.
 
However, is it really happening? A closer look into what has been happening in the much talked about infrastructure projects would reveal some worrying issues. The tender bids for these projects are prepared with technical specifications that have become history in the developed world. This is even after having employed the so called international consultants by spending crores of rupees on them for preparing the bid documents and to supervise the works.
 
Through this infrastructure boom, we are intending to match the visible standards of the developed countries, especially the west – Europe. Can this be achieved? The impossibility is almost proved from the fact that most of our bid documents are old fashioned with outdated technical data.
 
The core issue lies in the fact that our design engineers are dealing with various limitations such as lack of information and non-availability of modern-day systems in the Indian market. It’s a fact that a large number of engineers who are responsible for designing the infrastructure projects in our country are functioning with outdated knowledge and they have little information about the latest systems available in the international market. There is no argument about the fact that our project designers need to be educated about the systems in the developed places and they shall get the whole-hearted support of the government. Yet, we may not be able to find the real lasting solution to this issue.
 
When we have done and sorted out the first limitation of our design engineers, as I stated earlier, they will be invariably facing the next set of restrictions – primarily the non‑availability of the modern-day pipe systems in the Indian market. In most cases when a design engineer decides to provide the latest system in his project, he has no option but to import it from the European countries. So, what constitutes the latest pipe system of the developed world? It’s plastic, chiefly made of PE and some PVC. Unfortunately, we have in our country hundreds and hundreds of producers doing these pipes, but there are only very few factories producing the allied, complimenting pipe systems. The pipe system is not just about the pipe, but it’s about the pipes and hundreds of types of fittings and specials also.  Knowingly or unknowingly, our leaders are ignoring this fact.
 
I believe the matter I discuss can be easily understood if I briefly share my experience. I began working for Glynwed Pipe Systems, a European MNC, towards the end of 2007. Globally, Glynwed is one of the leading manufacturers of plastic pipe systems including the electrofusion and compression fittings required for the PE gas and water supply lines. I was asked to focus on the water market, especially to promote the use of PE pipe systems there. As I entered, I saw that the design engineers of the water industry were happily using the concrete, DI and PVC pipes for most of their projects. Some of them had used PE pipes, but wasn’t happy about the olden day butt-welding method to join these pipes, but most of them had little knowledge of this pipe system, which was ruling the water supply system in the developed world.
 
Glynwed made huge investments to create awareness among the engineers by conducting dozens and dozens of seminars in most of the states of our country. When these engineers saw what pipe system was delivering the designed aspects in Europe, they slowly began to think beyond the concrete, DI and PVC pipes. I do acknowledge the efforts taken by other manufacturers such as the PE pipe production wing of the Reliance, Duraline India, Kimplas Piping Systems, etc. Soon erupted the next issue, the non-availability of the specials such as electrofusion and compression fittings required for the PE system in the Indian market.
 

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