AWPM take initiatives for solving issues of Indian Welding Industry
Welding process is a technology based fabrication process which is critical and integral part of manufacturing activities to all industry sectors like, Petroleum and Gas, Automobile, Railway, Ship building, Defence, Power, Steel, Aviation and Space etc. Over the years it has become indispensable to all sectors to the extent that manufacturing of supercritical boilers on one side to the success of Indian space missions in projects like Mangalyan, Chandrayan1 and 2 on other side would not have been possible without welding. Though Indian welding industry was shaping up in India during last five decades or so, it has grown rapidly in last 15 to 20 years due to indigenous research and development efforts by welding product manufacturers and adopting latest manufacturing technologies in all manufacturing sectors.
While Indian welding industry has grown significantly technologically and business wise during last 20 years or so, it is still a very small industry compared to other industries mentioned above. Therefore, it has not drawn the attention of government while making any policy decisions. On the other hand there was no association of welding product manufacturers at national level to address issues of Indian welding industry. It is at this time that in year 2005, some of the leading welding product manufacturers in India took initiatives and established the association called as Association of Welding Products Manufacturers i.e. AWPM. It was registered on 8th Feb’2005, with registrar under Greater Bombay Region, Maharashtra government.
AWPM was basically established to bring all welding products manufacturers together to set up their objectives & aims, take up various issues regarding overall business of welding products in India, with CII, Indian government etc and initiate all actions required for technological and business growth of Indian Welding Industry to match it with international level.
Aims and Objectives of AWPM
AWPM decided following objective during it’s formation which are laid down in the MOA of the association.
- To study the market for welding products and services in India from time to time, and assist the Government in formulating proper mutually helpful policies in regard to such products.
- To engage Research and Knowledge Sharing Institutions/Educational Institutions /Universities in pursuing research / new development relating to welding processes, products and services
- To sponsor deserving Welding Technologists for higher education / specialization in welding technology with scholarships/financial supports.
- To continually work towards improvements of Indian Standards for welding on the lines AWS/DNI etc.
- To closely work with Raw Material manufacturers / suppliers (Steel, Rutile, Chemicals etc) for the development, quality and supply related issues.
- To interact with the various Government Agencies and various Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Export Promotion Councils and other Revenue Agencies for growth oriented approaches / policies towards the welding industry.
- To work for the common interest of the welding products manufacturers in India by promoting ethical Trade practices and combating the menace of spurious/imitation goods and for the doing of all such other lawful things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of above objects
- To obtain details of supplies of major raw materials from respective members and obtain details of the sales and make them available to the Government and interested people, if asked for.
- To obtain details of the sales made by the members of the Association on a quarterly basis and make them available to the Government and interested people, if asked for.
- To co-operate with Institutions and Associations having similar aims and objectives.
- To support and promote the activities for the safety and health of the welders and people working in welding and fabrication area of industry
- To engage in any other lawful activity which may be conducive to the promotion of any or all the objectives of the Society mentioned above on no profit motive.
Current Activities being done by AWPM
Ever since it’s inception in year 2005, AWPM has been doing various activities as follows against above aims and objectives laid down in MOA.
- In the beginning of year 2015, AWPM has taken up the issue of extension of approval period for welding consumables from 6 months to 2 years for boiler applications with Central Boiler board (CBB) Delhi. Managing committee and office bearers of AWPM approached to this problem very systematically, organized the meeting of all stake holders with IBR board and coordinated all activities effectively. As a result of close coordination, IBR Board, finally extended the validity period from 6 months to 1 year through notification vide registration no D.L. 33003/99 on 2ndmay’2017. We are currently following up with IBR board for extending it further to 2 years mentioned above.
- AWPM has taken up the issue of exemptions being given on imports of welding consumables used in shipbuilding and other industries through FTA/CECAs/CEPAs/RCEPs agreements with countries like China, Korea and Japan etc. This was impacting domestic manufacturers as these concessions were affecting the competitiveness of domestic manufacturers. We made the representations from time to time during last 3 years to the ministry of Commerce and Industry. Recently AWPM made the representation once again, in the Interaction Meeting organized by CIM-Mr. Piyush Goyal, at Mumbai on 22nd July’2019. We requested CIM minister to exclude all welding products which was agreed and recorded by the minister and his team of secretaries. Thus we expect that welding products will be excluded from all future RCEPs.
- Since Nov’2015, AWPM has taken up issues regarding BIS Certification process for welding & cutting products in India which are under mandatory certification list, as announced by BIS and DIPP department of MoC. We have informed them the difficulties being faced by welding product manufacturers for fresh certification as well as annual recertification processes and suggested them how they can be streamlined to make them manufacturer friendly in view of “Make in India” initiative and for maintaining required quality standards, in the context of global manufacturers coming to India.
- We have also taken up the issues of inadequacy of existing BIS standards for welding products (including the point that these standards not being updated regularly) and how these standards can be rationalized to the level of American and European standards like AWS, API, ASME, and EN standards.
- We have taken up the matter of inadequate welding education in India with H R Ministry and AICTE Board since Sept’2015 and suggested them how welding education can be improved by introducing a separate degree level ‘Welding Engineering” course through AICTE board. We have received the confirmation from them that the same will be considered at appropriate time. In continuation with vision document “Vision 2025 for Indian Welding Industry we have decided recently to take up this issue further with help of CII and Institute of Engineers in India.
- AWPM has taken initiatives to cooperate with engineering institutes to set up the “Welding Learning Centre” (WLC) at engineering institutes in India. The first “Welding Learning Centre” is already established at VIVA Institute of Technology at Virar, Thane, Mumbai in year 2015.
- We are creating awareness against Welder’s Safety and Health hazards among the welding fraternity by participating in various events like exhibitions being organized by IIW (Weld India 2014 & 2015) and organized by IWS/MDI like India Essen Welding & Cutting exhibitions in year 2014, 2016 and 2018. We have created awareness on Health and Safety hazards for welders & people working in welding area and illustrated what precautions need to be taken by concerned persons and authorities involved, through such events.
- AWPM has organized free Health Check up Camp for welders during Weld India 2014 exhibition organized by IIW at Delhi.
- AWPM has also organized Welder’s Competition in these exhibitions to promote welder’s skill &motivated them for improving their welding skill sets.
- AWPM has taken up the issue of uncertainty in availability and supply of Rutile material from IREL and had arranged the meeting of managing committee/office bearers of AWPM with their CMD on 12th Sept’2018. This meeting has revealed that IREL is not in position to cope up with the demand of Rutile raw material from Indian electrode manufacturers currently. As a result, electrode manufacturers have to depend on import of Rutile every year. We have now requested Finance ministry for 100% exemption on import duty on such imports.
- AWPM has taken the membership of CII-ASCON since last 3 years. For last 2 years AWPM have been submitting Pre-Budget Recommendations from Indian Welding Industry to the Finance Ministry through CII-ASCON. We have given our recommendations on following points for consideration of Finance ministry during their Budget. We have been asking for rationalization of GST for welding products (lowering GST for daily use items), 100% import duty exemptions on import of rutile, exclusion of all welding products from RCEPs and certain policy matters on direct/indirect taxes as well as on government compliances.
- AWPM has updated it’s website couple of years back and introduced the web based data collection system from members to capture the welding market size and authentic market information for AWPM which can be used during representation with government agencies.
- Right from it’s inception in year 2005, AWPM is supporting the cost of specific welding training and certified courses for needy and economically poor welders & welding engineers.
Future Plan for AWPM
- Continue current ongoing activities for their logical conclusions
- Initiate action plan through government agencies to bring in control on import of inferior quality of welding consumables, Equipment & systems and also Raw materials
- Implementation of all the actions which will be decided from time to time on vision document “Vision 2025 for Indian Welding Industry”
- Initiate actions on feasible improvements& implementation of Industry 4.0 standard among Indian Welding Industry.
Benefits of AWPM Membership
Various activities being done by AWPM mentioned above, benefit it’s members in two ways i.e. Tangible Benefits and Intangible Benefits
- Tangible Benefits to members
- Electrode manufacturers save 50% of their expenses on testing and getting approvals from Central Boiler Board for IBR applications since approval period is increased from 6 months to 12 months. They also save on their manpower cost and the time.
- AWPM negotiates separate exclusive rates for it’s members for participation in national and international welding exhibitions. Members save minimum 25% and maximum up to 50% on the stall rent from organizers, which is very significant amount.
- For participation in welding conferences, symposiums, workshops by organizers like IIW, IWS etc AWPM members get 10% discount on delegate fees.
- AWPM has already taken up the issue of Rutile supply from IREL to government of India and requested them to extend 100% exemption on import duty on imported Rutile. Since our case is justifiable and legitimate, there is a very good chance of getting partial or full exemption on import duty from government.
- AWPM is planning to have negotiation with raw material suppliers for the benefit of electrode manufacturers, thus all members will get benefitted from common BEST competitive rate decided with raw material suppliers.
- On the same line, AWPM is planning to have the negotiation with various testing/inspection agencies like LRS, DNV, LBS, etc for their fees and same negotiated rate will be applicable to all members.
- Intangible Benefits to members
- Since AWPM is the member of CII-ASCON, It’s members get access to various programs, workshops and also international exhibitions being organized by CII. They are also liable to get opportunities for participation in overseas exhibitions organized by CII and incentives OR concessions thereof. This will help members to start and/or improve their export business, if they are already doing it.
- Members get satisfaction and pride of extending their direct help for the national cause of skill development activities through education, training, welding competition, welding learning centers set up by AWPM etc for welders which also help indirectly “Make in India” initiative launched by Indian government.
- AWPM is promoting welder’s Health and Safety aspects while working in welding and fabrication area of factory and creating awareness through national and international exhibitions. This is the CSR activity being done by AWPM which finally helps to improve the environment in the welding area of any industry. Thus members can derive satisfaction and pride for helping the national cause.
AWPM has recently introduced a web based data collection system on their website. Thus the consolidated data of system which is available to members will serve as a very useful information and guiding factor to plan and decide their own business strategies.