S M Bhat, Managing Director, Ador Welding Ltd (AWL)
Intro: “Our welding design team has developed many new welding automation solutions for customers spread across the country.”
How has been the journey of Ador Welding since its inception in 1951?
Ador Welding since its inception has contributed significantly towards the nation building. We have constantly strived towards ourambition to become ‘The Best in Class’. We cater to various sectors likenuclear, wind, thermal, defence, railways, infrastructure, automotive, steel and many others. Ador Welding has embarked upon a digitization program a few years back, and today, according to industry experts, we areamong the best companies. On the business front, we are the only company into the welding industryto have grown consistently both in value and volumes. Our market share has increased last year despite of the sluggishness that the manufacturing sector witnessed in the last few years. We have surpassed our best ever achievement in the last financial year and have made giant strides towards being the number one welding company in the country. We can say, journey was exciting, enjoyable, at the same time, touch and challenging.
What new technical advancements have you introduced into your product line?
Our welding inverter manufacturing setup boasts of the only‘Clean Room” in India that produces CE marked inverters. Our Project Engineering Business has recently executed an order for a “Mobile” flare which is a first-of-its-kind customized flaring system developed for a critical application when competitors of international repute had backed out. Our consumable plants have high-end extrusion equipment and fully equipped testing facilities are available for making world class products.
Any recent launches? If yes, elaborate.
We have recently launched our own Pulsed Migmachine Champ Pulse 500. This indigenously manufacturedhigh quality world classinverterwelding equipment has been conceptualized, designed and manufactured at our Technology Development Centre in Pune. This product exhibits all the features of the latest inverters available in the market.
Our inverter welder Champ T 400 has won the India Design award for its impeccable design. King Cut Pro 2500 is the latest addition to our Hi definition CNC plasma cutting range.
These are some significant steps towards Ador’s vision in achieving the best in class global standards of manufacturing and development.
What about introducing robotic techniques in your product range?
Though we are not into manufacturing of robotsat present, we have tie-ups with top robot manufacturers to offer customized robotic welding solutions by interfacing them with our welding equipment as per customer needs. We also have an exclusivedevelopment and testing facilityat our Pune plant for the same.
How is the overall robotic welding scenario in India?
Automation is the need of the hour as we are surging ahead from being a developing nation to a developed one. Roboticsolutions offer the much needed skill and repeatability to critical jobson mass manufacturing lines which makes them absolutely vital in this age of consumerism.
The automobile industry in India is forecast to grow rapidly in the near future. Investments in highspeedrailway coaches, metros, defence and aerospace manufacturing hubs are expected in line with the government’s “Make In India” programme. This bodes well for the automation and robotic industry.
What kind of after sales services do you offer to your customers?
There is an advertisement by a network provider which says “Wherever you go our networkfollows”. Ador Welding would say that “We are present even where your network deserts you”. This statement is areflection of our core value; to always be with the customer during his time of need. Our network is spread throughout the country with our sales and service network of more than 100 engineers spread across the country through our strategically located area offices spread across the country. Our CCC (Customer Care Centre) at our manufacturing plants are in constant touchwith the sales and service team and the customers to ensure quick service.
What are your initiatives toward eco-friendly, health and safety in welding?
We are a green organisation in its very essence. Our organisation is anOHSAS 18001, ISO 9001 and 14000 certified company. Through our training academy AWA,we are constantly educating industries on the best practices in welding safely.Besides, wecontinually havein-house awareness programmes for our employees, safety drills and manyotherrelated activities that reassert our commitment towards health, safety and the environment.Ador Welding is the only Indian company meeting CE standards. We have CE certification for model CHAMPT400 and various other equipment. For complying with CE marking requirements, the machine has to be tested for safety with respect to Electrical and Fire Hazards. Apart from these, CE marked machines should not produce any electrical pollution like Current Harmonics and should not emit electromagnetic noise on electric supply lines. With CE marking compliance, CHAMPT400 can be sold in European countries. We have also introduced a newenvironment friendly packagingmaterial called Expanded Polyethylene Foam for packing the machines.
Your role in welding education, as availability of trained manpower, especially in welding is a major challenge in India?
Welding skill is a ‘Rare Skill’ today not just in India but globally. It is therefore imperative for every welding industry to invest in skill development. Ador Welding has been executing its role towards skill development. So far, we have trained over one lakh welders and engineers through our industry customized welding training programmes. Our welding academy AWA is undertaking skill development programmes with NSDC. Recently, we trained a full batch of women welders most of whom got absorbed in the industry soon after the programme.The AWA has been officially designated as a “TOT” (Training of Trainer) Centre by CGSC. Through AWA, we intend to continue this initiative in the future as well.
What are the other major challenges encountered by the segment? How can it be resolved?
The industry today is facing a challenge to achieve a sustained growth, while there is no or lower growth in manufacturing sector. The other challenges that the segment faces is the availability of quality raw materials for consumables within India. We still have to depend on the import source, as we need to offer best and complete solution to our customers. However, we at Ador Welding are geared up to meet this challenge.
Automation in welding is rapidly capturing the market. What is your say on this?
Welding automation offers tremendous opportunities for value addition and growth. This section is capturing the imagination of the fabricator more than ever before. Our welding design team has developed many new welding automation solutions for customers spreadacross the country. The Welding Automation Division is a very important cog in our wheel towards furthering our growth.We expect automation demand to grow once manufacturing sectors starts growing.
What is the current overall welding market scenario in India? How much of market size can be expected in the coming time?
The present welding market scenario in India is not very rosy, but the markets are expected to stage a recovery with the huge investments in infra, defence, shipbuilding, railways and automobile segments. The market size from the organized players is expected to be around Rs. 2,500 crores at present and is expected grow as these projectsstart seeing actual work on the ground. AWL however is firmly on course for great demand on account of its two pronged strategy of adding new products to meet market need and closing gaps in the products portfolio and toaggressively work on its market share strategy.
Is the Indian welding industry on par with the international markets?
As far as AWL is concerned, today, we are at par with the international markets inbusiness due to our world class facilities and offerings. We have state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, which are constantly getting upgraded to meet the demands of the industry. Our Chinchwad plant is equipped with the only “clean room” for manufacturing indigenously developed inverter welding equipment with capacities that are un-paralleled among peers in the Indian manufacturing segment. We have huge capacities to manufacture high alloy cored wires, submerged arc wires and fluxes besides having the highest extrusion on modern hi-tech extruders and baking capabilities for welding electrodes. Our stringent quality checks, third party approvals give us a distinct edge. Ador’s R&D facilities are unquestionably. We have the best and latest testing equipment in the welding industry. Ador Welding has achieved CE marking for Welding equipment and Welding Consumables. Our Technology Development Centre has applied for several patents for some path breaking work in the field of applied research. We have come up with several new and advanced products in the last couple of years.
The other Indian welding manufacturers have the advantage ofrubbing shoulders with the top welding manufactures in the world vying for a share the Indian market which has given them the right thrust towards improvement.
Government is largely focusing on the growth of infrastructure. What opportunities do you see for the welding segment in coming time?
Infrastructure, railways, defence, shipbuilding, automobile, nuclear / wind power offer us the biggest avenues for business and we have products, approvals and firm strategies in place to increase our share in these sectors.
What are Ador Welding’s future plans?
This year we shall add a whole new plethora of products that will further enhance our product basket and give us the right impetus towards growth. Besides, we also look forward for the growth through our bullish market share increase strategy. This year too we will maintain our growth chart like in the previous years.
How much is your current turnover? How much do you expect in the coming year?
For the first time in its history, AWL has crossed Rs490 crore of gross sales in the FY 16-17. With our strategies and plans firmly in place, we expect to touch Rs540 crore in 17-18.